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Cleaning dies - what do you use?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by theflyguy, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. theflyguy

    theflyguy Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    Guys,

    I just completed building my reloading table and mounted my press. Want to properly prep my new dies...buy with the limitations/availability of products, what do you normally use to clean/prep your dies?

    Thanks,
     
  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    You mean brand new dies? If they're steel (like most rifle dies, and some pistol dies) I hit the inside with carb cleaner, and then spray some of the lanolin case lube I use in and then blow them out with compressed air.

    Same thing usually for all other dies, I spray them off with carb cleaner, and then rub on a little bit of paste wax and heat them up slightly with a propane torch (just to melt the wax on the outside) this keeps the surface from rusting, but doesn't cause powder contamination headaches.

    After use, if you're running the lanolin based case lubes... take a q-tip with a bit of alcohol, or you can use the carb cleaner again and then spray some regular gun oil on them (I'm partial to rem-oil).
     
  3. vertical ascent

    vertical ascent Vancouver Active Member

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    This is how I cleaned mine straight out of the box, cleaned them with hot soapy water to eliminate the oils that the manufacturer used and then I dried them completely (I use the air coming from my heating vents to air dry the dies, use a hair dryer if you have access to one) I then sprayed and saturated my dies with RemOil.
     
  4. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    Yup, brakeleen then oil.
     
  5. theflyguy

    theflyguy Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    Don't you need to worry about contamination when using rem oil?
     
  6. vertical ascent

    vertical ascent Vancouver Active Member

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    Nope, I let it dry before I use the dies. I use imperial sizing wax, besides, I tumble my brass twice, before resizing and then after processing the brass: sizing, trimming (if needed), swagging (if needed), cleaning the primer pocket. I tumble for only about an hour or so.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I'm slowly becoming a fan of Hornady "One-Shot" lube. Bought some Hornady dies recently and their instructions were pretty clear. Clean with some gun cleaner (Brake Kleen works great too) and then spray some One-Shot inside the die.

    I like how the product dries on cases and doesn't need any clean-up after sizing.

    I have run across some dies that also benefit from a good scrubbing inside with the finest steel wool you can find. Every once in a while a die will have a piece of grit or metal chip hidden in it that will scratch the @#$& out of a case.

    After a few thousand cases sized I also disassemble the sizing die, swab it with "Sweet's 7.62" and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Then finish cleaning just like a rifle bore. This removes any copper/brass buildup that might have "smeared" the walls of the die over time.
     
  8. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

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    I use the Hornady one-shot tool & gun cleaner on my dies and on the press.
     
  9. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't clean new ones, just use them. Clean them after several hundred rounds.
     
  10. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I go with clean them with qtips and brake cleaner, I dont like to take apart stuff I dont have to
     
  11. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    I'm a fan of the one shot also.
     
  12. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Hornady One-Shot and nylon bore brushes.
     
  13. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Geez, Deadshot2, I thought I was the Luddite. Hornady One Shot has been indispensable to me for quite a long time (maybe since it came out). I still keep a tube of good ol' RCBS case lube around (and the ink pad) for tough sizing chores.

    New dies: no prep, and never any problems. Lube brass properly and go to town. If veteran dies start showing debris or gummy bears, they get disassembled, then flooded with CRC brake cleaner/nylon bottle brush.

    I am leaning heavily now toward Hornady dies. RCBS disciple from the early days, but I love the Hornady slider bullet holder that cradles the bullet in alignment all the way to seating. Won't cash in the RCBS's in the stable, but new cartridge experiments almost always get the Hornady dies.
     
  14. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    Many of the dies are shipped with a preservative. Cleaning them is necessary to avoid contamination and variability.

    I put new dies in my ultrasonic cleaner and then give them a light coating of EEZOX. When I store them I store them in their original box with a piece of VCI paper.

    I know they are dirty when I get them because the ultrasonic cleaner fluid is dirty after just a few minutes.
     
  15. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    "Many of the dies are shipped with a preservative. Cleaning them is necessary to avoid contamination and variability."

    First sentence is very most probably true. Second sentence (especially the utilization of the absolute, "necessary") would require some hard data/blind studies to convince me I've been unknowingly struggling against "contamination and variability" for over 42 years of handloading. I DO agree with the concept, and may well reconsider my practice of not cleaning new dies before use. It DOES make sense (just as scrubbing the bore of a new rifle makes sense).
     
  16. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Works pretty good eh? I can certainly see the advantage. I wish I had a 'new' caliber to reload for to try them.