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help - shell stuck in depriming die

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by tlfreek, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    I was reloading some 338 win mag yesterday and on the last case the lower grove/socket on the case that fits into the shell holder broke in pieces and the case is stuck in the die - really stuck. I have done a few things without success. Is there an easy way to resolve this without buying another tool?

    thanks in advance :thumbup:
  2. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    MidwayUSA sells a case extractor kit (I think RCBS). I got mine after destroying a die trying to get a case out.
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Buy the RCBS stuck case remover.
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There are several dies that allow for removal of stuck cases without buying any tools. I've had success removing stuck cases from Lee dies merely by removing the collet nut that holds the de-priming pin in place and used the depriming pin as a punch. The problem with other types is that the expander ball won't come out of the case while the neck is still fully into the die. Sometimes you can screw the depriming pin farther into the die and force the case out. Sometimes not.

    Another possibility is to use Dry Ice. Brass expands and contracts more than steel. Place the die/stuck shell between two pieces of dry ice for about 1/2 hour or so. Ideally, the brass will contract more than the steel of the die. When as cold as they can get, stick the die back in the press and see if you can twist the case with a pair of vice grips. All you need to do is get the moving and you can work it out. It may be necessary to re-freeze a time or two once the two parts start to warm. I've done this with similar "assemblies" where a piece of brass was stuck inside a piece of steel and it worked about 80% of the time. Don't use heat as it will only cause the brass case to expand more.

    Going forward, whatever lube you were using, consider either a change or use more of it. I prefer, for large rifle cases, either Imperial Sizing Wax or Hornady's Unique. Haven't had a stuck case using either.
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Can't recall which make die now as I'm using one of each Hornady, RCBS and Lee for pistol. I remember reading that you could ship your die back to the maker and THEY would remove stuck brass and return it, for a fee. Seems to me the shell holder manufacturer might give you a hand. Drop a dime to the maker.

    Let us know how it turns out, good learning opportunity here.

  6. BroncoFan

    BroncoFan Eastern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Worse comes to worse if it's Hornady you can send the die to them. They'll remove it and send it back.
  7. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Newcid has the short answer. Here's the long one:

    No serious handloader should be without a stuck case removal tool. Having said that, one can be easily fabricated with a tap (just larger than the primer recess), small bolt to match the drilled and tapped hole in the primer recess and any steel "spacer" , with a centered hole that allows the bolt to slide through. If you know what a "spark plug anti-fouler" is, they are almost perfect for this application (with some modification).

    Drill out the primer recess with a common drill bit of appropriate size (just larger than the primer recess, enough that your tap will create strong threads in the brass. Some taps are sold with the exact drill bit for that tap.) Your spacer goes over the head of the brass, and buts against the base of the die. Slide your threaded bolt thru the spacer and thread into the tapped brass head. When the base of the bolt head butts against the spacer, further turning of that bolt will extract the case.

    A buddy of mine has a stuck case extractor he made and is very proud of. I think he spent more time building it than I did driving to the store to buy my RCBS one. ESSENTIAL tool. (As the OP has discovered the hard way, as did I.)

    Even Bi-Mart has these. Sportsman's warehouse/Wholesale sports (or any dealer stocking a good line of reloading equipment) will have them as well. Most times it resides in the drawer doing nothing. When needed, it pays for itself immediately. Loaning mine to buddies has resulted in their purchasing one very soon thereafter, and I am briefly a hero.
  8. nrc

    nrc Oregon Member

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    +1 RCBS stuck case removal kit. Its cheap, simple, and can be used again if needed.
  9. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    I think I got my RCBS Stuck case removal kit at Bi-Mart. It was a worthwhile purchase. ;)
  10. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    It is an extra step that is not needed. With a puller they come right out just as the tool was designed.
  11. FORKLIFT252

    FORKLIFT252 Oregon Active Member

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    Don't be a tool. ....LOL..get THE tool.
    I finally got the RCBS and can't be happier.
    I got sick of stacking washers and trying to fined the bolt that I used the last time.
    I will add that after you get the RCBS. ..buy. a real tap for it
    mine broke after the therd time.
  12. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    if you have something to hold on to the die you can use a dent puller (slide hammer type) and screw it into the primer hole. A few light taps with the slide hammer does the job easily. This is, of course, if you have a dent puller in your tool collection. I'm guessing the broken case extractor tool is much cheaper.