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Thread: Tungsten carbide die?

  1. #1

    Tungsten carbide die?

    I haven't reloaded since I shot pistols many years ago and back then I used to use Lee tungsten carbide dies as you didn't need to lubricate the cases.
    Is this the case with reloading for rifle calibres?

    Thanks for info

    fraser

  2. #2
    Don't think so. I load 223, 6.5x47 and 308 and lube all mine. I think that the tc dies are for straight cases not bottle neck. There will be someone no doubt who has way more experience thant me who may be able to add to this. It is a pain to lube the cases but more of a pain to remove a stuck case!

    Hope that helps


    Si

  3. #3
    NO

    Even WITH a t/c pistol die, the advice IS to still lubricate - though if you choose not to the case will not stick in the die as it would do with a steel die

    The rifle dies SHOULD still be used with lubricated brass, as it will make the working of the brass easier & prolong case life

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by saddler View Post
    NO

    Even WITH a t/c pistol die, the advice IS to still lubricate - though if you choose not to the case will not stick in the die as it would do with a steel die

    The rifle dies SHOULD still be used with lubricated brass, as it will make the working of the brass easier & prolong case life
    Say what?
    No.... You don't lube carbide pistol dies for straight walled cartridges. You must lube bottle necked cases.~Muir

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Say what?
    No.... You don't lube carbide pistol dies for straight walled cartridges. You must lube bottle necked cases.~Muir
    Not the dies - the cases

    Modern Reloading - Richard Lee - 2nd Edition - Chapter 4 - page 71

    Carbide dies usually eliminate the need to lubricate the cases. There are exceptions. If cases are excessively clean, some of the brass will rub off on the carbide. The dirt, soot, oxides and oil on the case keep the case from galling the carbide. None of the foreign matter on the brass case is hard enough to damage the carbide die. If you clean your cases in a vibrator with fresh media, you may need a slight amount of lube. Even a very light spray of furniture polish will work...Tapered cases such as the 9mm and 30 M1 Carbine need some lube. Usually lubricating an occassional case will leave enough lube in the die for a few without lube.
    I ALWAYS go with the latter advice of lubing every 5th or 6th case when using carbide pistol dies.
    Makes the press operation much soother...and does NO HARM to the cases or dies...seems to be quite common from the reloading forums I am on too

  6. #6
    Are tungsten carbide dies available then?, and if so, is there any advantage to using them ?.

    Thanks,

    fraser

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by private fraser View Post
    Are tungsten carbide dies available then?, and if so, is there any advantage to using them ?.

    Thanks,

    fraser
    They are more common with pistol/revolver reloading

    Recently a few companies either offer rifle dies in carbide option, or some are doing retro fit carbide sizer buttons for certain brands of rifle die.

    Carbide is very strong and resistant to wear/tear/abrasion - so the dies tend not to wear out.
    Not many companies offer rifle dies as a carbide option - but more offer the retro fir carbide sizer buttons - have a look at the Sinclair catalogue for more info.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by saddler View Post
    Not the dies - the cases



    I ALWAYS go with the latter advice of lubing every 5th or 6th case when using carbide pistol dies.
    Makes the press operation much soother...and does NO HARM to the cases or dies...seems to be quite common from the reloading forums I am on too
    Got me there!
    I still won't lubricate the cases. What the hell is the point of carbide, then? For what it's worth, I've never had to lube cases in T/C dies and never had a galling problem.~Muir

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by saddler View Post
    They are more common with pistol/revolver reloading

    Recently a few companies either offer rifle dies in carbide option, or some are doing retro fit carbide sizer buttons for certain brands of rifle die.

    Carbide is very strong and resistant to wear/tear/abrasion - so the dies tend not to wear out.
    Not many companies offer rifle dies as a carbide option - but more offer the retro fir carbide sizer buttons - have a look at the Sinclair catalogue for more info.
    I looked at sets of RCBS T/C dies this weekend in .223SB and 308 SB. I didn't get a chill running down my leg when I saw them. If you reloaded a heck of a lot of one kind of ammo... I mean on the semi commercial level... they might be useful in that they will be harder to wear and not as easier to scratch.~Muir

  10. #10
    One way of lapping / working tungsten carbide or harder materials is to rub hard ceramic powder or diamond into brass or copper. This then works like a file.
    sand or grit on cases is similar and could wear dies quite efficiently.
    edi

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