Cleaning New Reloading Dies?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by CoElkHunter, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    I have never cleaned a new die set before. I am about to reload my .458 WM with RCBS dies, and the instructions say to clean the dies first? One guy on a video cleaned his with carburetor cleaner? I’ve never had any issues before not cleaning them, but I guess I should? Any suggestions on cleaners? Thanks!
     

  2. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I’ve just done a quick flush out with degreasing spray... but, I think it would be prudent to fully disassemble and swan out. A case of do as I say and not as I do.
     
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  3. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    Thank you!
     

  4. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    Another question since I just thought about it. For years, I never “tumbled” my once (or more) shot brass cases. I would just wipe them off, lube them and resize them? Again, no issues? They don’t look new, but they work well? How many reloaders reading this do/have done the same? Thanks!
     
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  5. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Well if you never read the directions like most of us guys, you wouldn’t know you were supposed to! Lol Now I guess I better start doing it now that I know! I’ve always just sprayed them out with gun scrubber and wiped them out with a paper towel after use.
    I have always tumbled my brass but think I might try the stainless pins in the near future
     
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  6. shootist~

    shootist~ AH Veteran

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    I would just wipe it out using a 12 Ga cleaning patch on a pistol rod and/or a few Q-Tips. A clean and bone-dry sizer die would make me nervous.

    FWIW, my last several die sets have been Redding - I just install and use (we don't need no stikin' instructions). :)
     
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  7. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    Yeah, it’s too bad nobody (I think) makes a carbide sizer die in rifle calibers, so no case lubrication would be necessary? But I’m sure there’s some technical reason they don’t/can’t? And I knew I shouldn’t have read the instructions. They just get in the way! Ha! Ha! But I’ve not had to roll crimp a cartridge case before when reloading. I guess with the .458 I’ll have to?
     

  8. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Enthusiast

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    When I load ammo I always crimp and seat the bullet in separate steps. It’s just easier for me to get the amount of crimp I want!
     
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  9. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I use RCBS and haven't cleaned any of my dies before use. I figure what little grease, lube, or whatever is in them from the factory will just help with sizing. I do lube my cases before sizing because I have had some stick.
     
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  10. wswolf

    wswolf New Member

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    I once had a .50-70 sizing die crack when I used it without first cleaning it. Now I wipe then out with a patch and a little solvent on a cleaning rod. An occasional cleaning can prevent a buildup of crud which can scratch the dies. To prevent scratches in the neck portion of the dies I now clean the black residue from case necks with Mother's Metal Polish and a cloth before tumbling. A squirt of metal polish in the tumbling media greatly speeds the cleaning.
     
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  11. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Hmm. I still have a can of Brasso but it has ammonia in it. I wonder if that could affect the brass over time.
     
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  12. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  13. dchamp

    dchamp AH Veteran

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    I clean my dies when I first get them. Generally dies come with a preservative oil or grease on them and I prefer them clean and free of this preservative and any little dust bunnies that may be present. I used to clean my fired brass before sizing but I usually don't do that anymore. I guess it depends on how much crude and carbon you have on your cases.

    Now I lightly lube the fired cases with Imperial Sizing Wax, size and deprime and trim to length the cases and then I will clean them in a wet tumbler with stainless steel pins. I clean the brass this way because it cleans both inside, outside & the primer pockets of most if not all of the carbon deposits on the cases. I then rinse and use my compressor to blow dry the clean-wet cases. I clean the dies periodically because of the build up of lubrication and crude.
     
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  14. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    I use carb cleaner spray or brake clean spray on new dies. I also check to see that the small relief hole in the upper side is not plugged with polishing compound.
     
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  15. ufg8r93

    ufg8r93 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I use Hornady One Shot to clean my new dies. I'll also periodically clean them after significant use or after they've sat idle for a while.
     
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  16. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    When I’ve tumbled cases in the past, I have added a cap full of Brasso to the cleaning media. Doesn’t seem to affect the cases over time?
     

  17. leslie hetrick

    leslie hetrick AH Enthusiast

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    I use a harbor freight 2.5 liter ultrasonic cleaner to degrease-clean many things and new and well used dies are two.
     
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  18. Firebird

    Firebird AH Veteran

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    I tumble mine after every use in corn cob grit and brass polish-Berry’s brand I think, made special for that purpose. Agree with the above-dies come with a preservative oil or grease and should be cleaned before use, similar to a new firearm right out of the box-
     
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