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Old 01-06-2021, 06:19 PM
SW Gun Guy SW Gun Guy is offline
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Default Rusted dies and 223 casings

Hi, Just starting to get my gear back together after probably a 8-10 hiatus. Couple questions: 1) I found a bunch of 223 brass that are nice and shiny and the primer is out and pocket clean. I am guessing they are ready for priming and loading, but how do I be sure? The depriming pin is in my sizing die. I have a bolt action 223, so would trying to drop a brass in to the chamber be a way to check they are sized? 2) found two sets of dies that have some rust on them (see pic), even in drier than dirt AZ. How do I clean them up and then preserve them for future use? I am pretty excited about getting back to reloading, it was fun. One more question. My supressor is probably 3 months in the future, but does anybody have some load data for subsonic 223 loads?? Thanks for everything. Chuck
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Old 01-06-2021, 06:30 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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Brass brush and oil.........Oil and steel wool.
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Old 01-06-2021, 06:36 PM
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If the brass will chamber in the only .223 gun you have and if a bullet will not go into the case, they have probably been resized. Don't forget to check the length. You also should feel normal effort when seating the bullet. If it goes in too easily you might need to neck size to get a good grip on the bullet. You normally only need to full length resize if the rifle is semi automatic or if the cartridges are fired in more than one gun. If you only have one gun, the case is sized to that gun by firing it.

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Old 01-06-2021, 06:44 PM
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To be 100% sure and to help you get back in the reloading groove ... Full Length Size them ... it will hurt nothing and be sure and use case lube ... no stuck cases wanted .
Remove rust from dies the same way you would remove rust from firearm ... WD40 (or other gun oil/lube) and 0000 steel wool .
Make sure insides of dies are clean and rust free also .
Good Luck ,
Gary
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Old 01-06-2021, 06:45 PM
SW Gun Guy SW Gun Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike, SC Hunter View Post
Brass brush and oil.........Oil and steel wool.
And for long term storage? Just leave some oil on them? I also will move them indoors from the garage as it is even drier in here. In fact we had a small roof leak in our garage last year and that may have started the rust.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:08 PM
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I use Dillon case lube as a preservative.
It's lanolin suspended in isopropol
alcohol. It's a real good sealer for steel.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:27 PM
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If you have a lot of rusty dies to clean, buy a gallon of Evapo-Rust at your local auto parts store. Drop the dies into the ER, wait 10-15 minutes and the rust is gone. A very safe, easy to use product. I lived in Yuma, AZ, for four years and was surprised by the problem I had with rust. I was reminded to never assume.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:47 PM
SW Gun Guy SW Gun Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigma View Post
If you have a lot of rusty dies to clean, buy a gallon of Evapo-Rust at your local auto parts store. Drop the dies into the ER, wait 10-15 minutes and the rust is gone. A very safe, easy to use product. I lived in Yuma, AZ, for four years and was surprised by the problem I had with rust. I was reminded to never assume.
Interesting stuff. The good news is I don't really need that much and a search says it is about $10 a quart Home Depot. Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:47 PM
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I'd bet REAL money on the garage leak!
I've got dies I haven't touched in years that are perfectly clean.
Hope they clean up for you.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:48 PM
Racer X Racer X is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SW Gun Guy View Post
And for long term storage? Just leave some oil on them? I also will move them indoors from the garage as it is even drier in here. In fact we had a small roof leak in our garage last year and that may have started the rust.
My buddy stores his dies in an ammo box with a dessicant bag when not in active use.

I will be setting up a progressive press with a die plate for each die set dialed in. I'll just get a "Fat 50 tall" ammo box.

Last edited by Racer X; 01-06-2021 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:18 AM
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I suggest you add a .223 case gauge to your reloading inventory.

Primarily use it to check that your sizing die is properly adjusted.

You'll also be able to tell if those cases are already sized if they plunk in the gage properly.

Hornady Cartridge Gauge .223 Rem

.
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:55 AM
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If you don't want to spend money on a special "gauge" ... use your rifles chamber as the ultimate gauge .
Just because a round fits "the Gauge" it's not a 100% guarantee that round will fit your rifle's chamber ...been there and done that .
Loaded rounds have to fit your rifle ... the gauged rounds may or may not fit .
Gary
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
If you don't want to spend money on a special "gauge" ... use your rifles chamber as the ultimate gauge .
Just because a round fits "the Gauge" it's not a 100% guarantee that round will fit your rifle's chamber ...been there and done that .
Loaded rounds have to fit your rifle ... the gauged rounds may or may not fit .
Gary
And conversely, I have never had a round that was good in the case gauge and not chamber in any of my rifles.

I use mine for die set up and double check for chambering.

Randy
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:29 AM
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You can get away without the gage in a bolt action but not in an automatic like an AR15.

The gage is still a quick & easy way to verify the case is sized, which is what the OP was asking.

On an automatic pistol I agree, having a gage for it isn't a priority. Doing a plunk test in your pistol's barrel is the only way I verify my ammo's fit in them.

.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:37 AM
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I got a set of rusty dies like those in a small lot of stuff I bought. I plunked them in the good old 50/50 ATF/acetone solution then hit them with bronze wool after a couple of weeks soaking. Cleaned up nicely.
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Old 01-09-2021, 04:23 AM
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I disagree with the suggestion above that an unnecessary repeat resizing will do no harm. It's likely that it would shorten the number of reloadings before his brass separates at the head.

The bolts of most bolt actions are easily disassembled. I'd remove the firing pin to better feel whats going on then try to close the bolt on a case. Contact between the chamber and case shoulders is ideal. That extends brass life and can improve accuracy.

Gauges are for making cases so small that they'll be sure to chamber in every simi-auto that has a chamber within specs. That's typically not the goal of a reloader loading for one bolt action rifle.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:39 AM
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I have yet to wear out a casing from repeated loadings....especially .223/5.56 !

Although, years ago there was a batch of LC86 that was notorious for insipinent head case separation even after the first reload. not a product of brass being work hardened.

Randy
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