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Buying Used Dies
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:38 pm    Post subject: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

Folks,
On the way home from work I stopped at a gun shop and bought used RCBS dies that are like-new in .32 Win. Special and 7x57mm Mauser. When I got home, I encountered a problem that often occurs with used or new reloading dies. The previous owners or the factory seem to tighten all the adjustment screws with about 100 ft.lbs. of torque. I end up placing the dies in a padded vise and using padded pliers to loosen things up. Even the allen screws on the lock rings are sometimes tight enough to damage the threads on the die body. Anyone else ever notice this? All the best...
Gil

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BillPa
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

Seems to be a common problem. I enjoy the ones the have the screw slot or allen socket stripped. How tight do you make them? Twist them off plus one full turn!
Before buying a set of used dies I check the inside. I figure I can fix anything on the outside.
One trick is to put a #8 lead shot under the screw. I will hold the ring tight and protect the die threads at the same time. A small piece of nylon or soft plactic will do the same and don't forget dab of anti-seize on the screw threads just in case you need to adjust them in the future.

Bill
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calsibley
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

Gawd, I must have a dozen dies, mostly sizing dies, with stripped threads.
I now use penetrating oil. It helps. I guess the safest way is to loosen the screw right after using the die so it won't freeze in place. It is a royal pain to be sure. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

BillPa wrote:

One trick is to put a #8 lead shot under the screw. I will hold the ring tight and protect the die threads at the same time. A small piece of nylon or soft plactic will do the same

Bill

Good tip i never thought of that wtf Thanks.

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sniper
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

I've never had much trouble with dies, but one time I bought a set off the 'Bay, and they looked to be NIB. I sized some brass, and they were rough as a retreaded corn cob. I polished the insides, which did't help much. Soo, I went back to the old RCBS dies, which work much better.
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robfromaz1977
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

I WAS GIVIN A SET OF RCBS 30-06 DIES THAT LOOKED TO BE ABOUT 20 YEARS OLD. THE LADY THAT GAVE THEM TO ME BOUGHT THEM FROM A YARD SALE FOR $1.00! SHE SAID SHE HAD NO USE FOR THEM AND WOULDN'T EVEN LET ME PAY HER FOR THEM. THE ONLY THING I FOUND WRONG WITH THEM WAS THE DECAPPING STEM WAS BENT. I SENT IT OFF TO RCBS AND WITH IN A WEEK I HAD A NEW STEM. THEY WORK AS GOOD AS NEW.
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Jack
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:47 am    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

I always have my eye open for a good deal on used dies. If the interior has no scratches, and it's a brand of die I like, I'll pick them up- even if I don't have a rifle in that caliber.
You do run into overtightened nuts often- some Kroil and a little time help a lot.
I normally put some Break Free on all the threads in a die set, and that helps a lot to avoid the 'gorilla tightened nut' syndrome.
There is a real danger to buying used dies, tho. More than once, I've bought used dies thinking "well, I might some day buy a rifle(or pistol) in that caliber, or someone I know will.."
Then, some day, you see a used firearm, and you think, "hey, I got dies for that caliber'
That has cost me some money a time or two.
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GuyRWood
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

Hi everyone, just found this forum tonight and it's brilliant - informative and really friendly :).

I bought my RCBS .303 british dies second hand and they seem to be fine - certainly make great ammo. I just bought a 6.5x55 redding deluxe two die set off eBay for £16! i think they're about 4 times that retail and they look pretty new. Now, if my scope and mounts arrive at the shop tomorrow, I may be able to shoot my new 6.5x55 stainless Tikka Varmint on Sunday that I bought a month ago Mad Very Happy .

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

Welcome Home...Mr Wood...And to the site...You have a question...We have an answer. We have a question...You have an answer. When there is no questions we just have fun... Very Happy

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

I always replace the RCBS lock ring with Dillon or Hornady with the cross bolt. They dont contact the threads of the die.

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

The only purpose of a lock ring is to allow us to set the die and keep it set against inadvertant movement. Finger tight is good. I don't understand why some folks seem to think they should jam dies so tightly they need a wrench.

Ring lock screws that bear against the die threads can be replaced with brass screws. They are strong enough to hold, soft enough to prevent damage to the threads and fully release the locking pressure with a half turn when you need to change something. Lead shot under steel screws work too but they often mush against the threads so tightly it can be difficult to readjust the ring later. Small chips of copper or brass for pads will work as well as lead and release better. I like brass screws better.
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

I just set the lock rings (I like the split rings) and then I don't have to adjust them. Just screw the die in to the locknut and perform that action to all my cases - unscrew it screw in the next die and perform that function to all the cases. It is nearly as fast on my single stage as it is with my progressive. I don't let the progressive seat primers or powder my cases. I want to be sure those operation are done right.

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Joe Boleo
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:22 am    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

I buy used dies when I come across them in the calibers I need. The lock ring screw can be removed and a small lead shot dropped in the hole and the screw replaced into the lock ring. The holds the ring tight and protects the threads on the die body.

I agree with Gil, most of the used and new dies I buy have everything so tight, I have to put them in a padded vise to get them apart. Take care...
Joe
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gandog56
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject: Re: Buying Used Dies Reply with quote

Crackshot wrote:
I always replace the RCBS lock ring with Dillon or Hornady with the cross bolt. They dont contact the threads of the die.

I use the Hornadys on my Lee dies.

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