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View Full Version : Remedy for Lyman /RCBS Lube-sizer alignment issues



Buckshot
05-16-2005, 04:54 AM
http://www.fototime.com/902DB7735B7472A/standard.jpg

In the ram guide you can see 2 of the 3 D&T'ed holes fitted with sockethead setscrews. I nipped off a tiny bit of bronze welding rod then mashed it flat with a hammer. A piece went into each hole with the setscrew bearing on it.

If you want to get fancy you can also get setcrews with a springloaded ball bearing in the nose, or thier own brass or nylon insert. Even solid brass machine screws would work fine. An 8-32 thread is a good size.

Due to the shortness of the Lyman ram guide, and being used in a garage environment, it doesn't take too many years for the steel ram to wear a bit into the cast iron of the guide, there at the front.

............Buckshot

beagle
05-16-2005, 12:16 PM
Rick....Ought to work all right.

I've got a guide drawn up that I'll get made that works on the other end. Sits in the center of the die lock nut and has a tapered bevel to guide the ram in line at the end of the stroke where you're sizing.

Similar to what Steve Hurst is using to center his bullets for making the pop can gas checks.

Now that I've gone with Mark's nose first sizing, I'm not having alignment problems as I'm just lubing and there's no stress on the bullet./beagle.

w30wcf
07-07-2005, 07:35 PM
w30wcf's Self Aligning Top Punch

About 20 years ago when I first started casting .22 caliber bullets, I used a .225" sizing die to lube and g.c. some 225438 bullets which dropped from the mold at .225" in w.w. + 2% tin alloy. The problem I ran into was that the bullet was being shaved slightly on one side in my lubrisizer. Not good.

I tried several methods to correct the situation like loosening the set screw, turning the top punch stem undersized and holding it in place with a dab of alox, and putting thumb pressure against the side of the ram. This helped but there had to be a better way.

After thinking on it bit, I made a top punch which was .225" on the o.d. to align the top punch with the H&I die.

Then, instead of the stem that normally locks the top punch into the ram, I turned a flange on the top of the punch which was 1/16" smaller in diameter than hole in the H&I die retention nut.

I then recessed a portion of the back of the flange that fit against the bottom of the ram to hold a dab of bullet lube. This held the top punch in place once it self aligned itself with the die.

IT WORKED! The .225" diameter bullets went into the die with no misalignment whatsoever. As Jackie Gleason would say, "How sweet it is!"

Since then I have made several other self aligning top punches in different calibers that have really come in handy, especially with a used brand name lubrisizer that I later purchased which was in great condition except for one thing......the ram was about .015" out of alignment.

A flat magnet can take the place of the dab of bullet lube to hold it in place against the face of the ram.

I am in the process of writing a short article for The Fouling Shot which should be published later this year.

w30wcf

mountainman49
10-22-2005, 03:19 AM
Well I'm a newbie to your site. Can use any help you offer. SORRY!! to but in to your topic!Not sure about this computer stuff a real green horn.
Might as well get into it!! I shoot blackpowder lots, reload modern stuff have to got a bunch of long guns & hand guns. Well I picking up 2 38-55 winchester on Monday and want to make my on cast stuff. Well I have molds for quite a few of my handguns & handles lead pots furnaces ect. BUT

I don't resize them or lube them . I have a chance to buy a Lyman lube sizer for a few dollars but have NO idea how to use it. I bought some lube in tubes. I saw the luber an sizer in this topic so I thought you gentlemen might give me some help. I have some QUESTIONS:

1) When sizing do you have to have a die or sizer for each type of bullet or want ever?
2) Some guys say not to use tire weights just lead?
3) What kind of loads or where can a guy find some loads for cast rifle bullets?
4) I think cast bullet should have gas checks (yes or no) are they hard to get?

Your help will be appreciated ,Thanks

I don't mean to sound stupid !! Mountainman49

waksupi
10-22-2005, 07:38 PM
Welcome aboard, Mountain man. I'll try to get started on some of your questions.

1) When sizing do you have to have a die or sizer for each type of bullet or want ever?

You do need the proper sized die for each bullet diameter. Each rifle, can be a rule unto it's own.

2) Some guys say not to use tire weights just lead?

I'd say 98% of what most of us shoot is WW's. Some BP rifles need softer stuff, but not all. Once again, each rifle's preference.

3) What kind of loads or where can a guy find some loads for cast rifle bullets?

Get the Lyman Cast Bullet manual, it is a great place to start, along with the archives of this board.

4) I think cast bullet should have gas checks (yes or no) are they hard to get?

Gas checks are readily available from most suppliers. Our local shops even have a good selection. If you are shooting higher velocities, yes, you will need gas checks, for the most part.

Buckshot
10-22-2005, 10:21 PM
..............mountainman49, welcome to the board! I can't add anything to Waksupi's response and just wanted to say HI[smilie=s:

"Your help will be appreciated ,Thanks. I don't mean to sound stupid !! Mountainman49"

I didn't notice any stupid questions.

..............Buckshot

wills
10-22-2005, 10:28 PM
Lyman has instructions on the website

http://www.lymanproducts.com/lymanproducts/Instruction%20Guide%2014.pdf

castalott
12-01-2005, 06:38 PM
Hey Buckshot!

I like that system of quick change ( I ASSUME) you have for your sizer. I use U channel and bolts...quick but not as quick as your method.How does it work....what would you do different? Do you use the same system for your presses?
thanks,
Dale

Buckshot
12-18-2005, 05:55 AM
Hey Buckshot!

I like that system of quick change ( I ASSUME) you have for your sizer. I use U channel and bolts...quick but not as quick as your method.How does it work....what would you do different? Do you use the same system for your presses?
thanks,
Dale

..................I saw this a bit late, sorry. Works fine without a problem. I have presses, all the lubers, and the case trimmer set up on the blocks. I have a blank to put in when nothing else is there. It's more to keep you from banging your elbow on a sharp edge then anything else.

..................Buckshot

Bucks Owin
04-03-2006, 11:44 AM
Buckshot, I like the idea I see on your bench! (Using empty rimfire ammo containers for bullet storage....)

Dennis

Buckshot
04-03-2006, 11:49 PM
Buckshot, I like the idea I see on your bench! (Using empty rimfire ammo containers for bullet storage....)

Dennis

Dennis, when I first arrive at the range, you'll see my backside sticking out of each trash container in turn. Looking for the CCI/FED/REM plastic ammo boxes. The 22MRF and 17 cal ones are best. They'll stack five 30 cals in a row for 50 lubed slugs. The 7mm is 5 in a row, with the rows staggered back and forth. I think it's 60 or65 of those. The 6.5's are a straight 6 across stack.

Besides that, they're really handy for holding small stuff like percussion nipples, screws, nuts, screwdriver tips and whatever else you have rolling around you need to keep track of.

...................Buckshot

beagle
09-16-2006, 07:18 PM
Rick....I thought that was the first thing that any decent bullet caster/reloader did.....hit the trash cans.

My range lately has gotten enviornmental conscious about brass. Has to be in the brass bucket. How sweet that is. I don't have to bend and pick it up anymore./beagle


Dennis, when I first arrive at the range, you'll see my backside sticking out of each trash container in turn. Looking for the CCI/FED/REM plastic ammo boxes. The 22MRF and 17 cal ones are best. They'll stack five 30 cals in a row for 50 lubed slugs. The 7mm is 5 in a row, with the rows staggered back and forth. I think it's 60 or65 of those. The 6.5's are a straight 6 across stack.

Besides that, they're really handy for holding small stuff like percussion nipples, screws, nuts, screwdriver tips and whatever else you have rolling around you need to keep track of.

...................Buckshot

omgb
09-16-2006, 08:36 PM
Two things here. First, to the "old hands": OK, I don't get it. I have two of the RCBS sizers, well, one really, the other is a Lachmiller. Any way, neither has ever had an alignment problem nor has the press shaft ever shown any play. Neither of these presses are any where near new and the Lachmiller has had many thousands of bullets run through it. Am I lucky or is the problem mostly a Lyman problem?


OK, Number two. This is for Mountain man. Those 38-55s of yours should be very accurate with cast bullets. Depending on the gun you are using, a 38-55 could have a bore that ran anywhere from .379-.383. That is a BIG difference in the world of cast bullet shooting. The very first thing you need to do is slug that barrel. Get an egg-shaped sinker, one of the hollow ones from your local sporting goods store. It needs to be just slightly larger than the bore of your gun. Next, clean and very lightly oil the bore. Second, obtain a 26" length of 5/16th cold rolled steel and put one wrap of electrical tape around the length of the rod. Using a plastic hammer or wooden mallet, drive the sinker into the muzzle of the gun. Now, using a 2-3lb hammer and medium-light blows, drive the slug through the barrel using the rod. A 3 lb hammer and light blows is better than a 1 lb hammer and heavy blows. The slug moves more readily and there is no danger of smacking anything that shouldn't be smacked.:mrgreen: Now, get a good mic or digital dial caliper and check the circumference at several spots on the slug. The largest is your bore size. You want to take that measurement and add .002" to it. That is the starting point for sizing. Buy a die that size and try it. As to the top punch, don't get too worried about a perfect match to your bullet. Get one designed for your size die and then fill the nose with some JB Weld or Steel-filler epoxy. Stick the nose of a bullet in it until it sets and you've got a custom fitted nose punch..nice and cheap.

If you are using BP, the best metal for your application would be either 1-20 or 1-30 tin/lead. I'll leave it to you to figure out how to arrive at the mix but do remember, 50/50 solder comes in 1 lb rolls giving you .5 lbs of tin for every roll. 2 rolls is 1 lb or lead and 1 lb of tin:drinks:

If you are using smokeless then wheel weights may work best. The deal with BP is this. Lets say your throat, the area ahead of your chamber and just before the rifling begins, is .380 (very common in modern 38-55s) and your bore is .382. In order for your loads to chamber, you will need to size your bullets to .380. This is not conducive to good accuracy and will almost always result in chronic leading. However, BP is magic stuff. It has a sharp pressure spike and will take that undersized bullet and (if the metal is soft as in 1/20 or 1/30) it will bump it up to bore diameter and accuracy will be good. Now if the gun is older, as in from the transition period between BP and smokeless, that throat may be as much as .384. Once again, BP will come to the rescue and bump that soft bullet up. It won't be able to do that as well with wheel weights. Further more, transition guns and 38-55s in particular frequently have a 1-18 rifling twist with fairly deep grooves. This is an excellent set up for 250-280 grain soft lead/tin bullets. It's fast enough to stabilize long bullets and not so fast as to over torque the soft metal.

I shoot a lot of BPCR and play with this stuff all of the time. If you need specific tricks for loading the cartridges email me and I can hook you up with some help. Presently I'm fiddling with a Win BB94 in .375 that seems to be a basket of compromises between what would be an excellent 38-55 BP gun (it really loves BP loads) and a good smokeless gun like the 358 Win in the BLR. Lots of fun:roll: getting this thing to shoot cast loads in tight groups.

Any way, Welcome to the board. Have fun and shoot'em often.:Fire:

BluesBear
05-29-2007, 02:18 AM
Thirty some odd years ago when Remington first started offering their .22 rimfire ammunition in 100 round plastic boxes they used ten rows of ten rounds each as opposed to CCI's five rows of twenty.
Shorty thereafter they also offered a stackable drawer unit that utilized nine Remington plastic boxes as the drawers.
For a while you could sent nine labels (and a small amount of money for shipping) to Remington and they would send you a free unit.
I used to have several of them and they worked great.

Nowadays I still save/scavage the CCI boxes for storage.
I also keep all of my prescription bottles for storage.
My large Neurontin bottles will each hold three loaded N-frame HKS or Safariland speedloaders stacked on each other.

#2Alloy
07-03-2007, 01:27 PM
Mountain man, one other thought. When sizing cast boolits, you will also need the proper top punch to fit the nose shape, not only a sizing die.
Sorry to be off topic, just wanted to help.

Bulltipper
01-24-2010, 10:21 PM
I have a brand new Lyman 4500 and it is already showing alignment problems. I am sizing / lubing .45 boolits cast from Mihec's 452-200. the problem is not the top punch, It is the ram. If I hold the handle with a little "away " pressure or put my thumb on the top near cross link, it aligns the punch just fine and i get no "smiley" if I just pull the handle down with no correction the natural leverage puts the top punch too far back and gives me a "smiley on the near side of the boolit. The sizer is about 3 weeks old and has lubed maybe 3000 or 3500 boolits, not to mention a broken pressure screw. Other than that I love it...

sergeant69
05-30-2010, 09:08 PM
Dennis, when I first arrive at the range, you'll see my backside sticking out of each trash container in turn. Looking for the CCI/FED/REM plastic ammo boxes. The 22MRF and 17 cal ones are best. They'll stack five 30 cals in a row for 50 lubed slugs. The 7mm is 5 in a row, with the rows staggered back and forth. I think it's 60 or65 of those. The 6.5's are a straight 6 across stack.

Besides that, they're really handy for holding small stuff like percussion nipples, screws, nuts, screwdriver tips and whatever else you have rolling around you need to keep track of.

...................Buckshot

i can got-dam guarantee that ur backside in NOT the first thing i wanna see when arriving at ur range. PLEASE give me detailed driving instructions to that poor demented range so i can permenantly block it outta my GPS!
other than that.... thanks for the excellent advice you always are willing to share w/us (and i speak only for myself) dummys on this site. UR BACKSIDE! how come theres no "smileys" for throwing up on this site?

sergeant69
05-30-2010, 09:44 PM
also............when i found the "antique" RCBS luber/sizer i noticed that the o-ring that is on the "piston" that puts pressure on the lube stick is shot. are there replacements? THANKS

6bg6ga
01-24-2011, 07:42 AM
Take the piston to your local ACE, True Value , or Mom and Pop hardware store. Stroll down the isle where the O-Rings are kept in their slide drawers and choose your replacement. You'll be looking at a cost of less than $1 to replace it.

6bg6ga
01-24-2011, 07:50 AM
After reading the start of this thread again I'm afraid that I cannot agree with the thread starters idea of the crude temporary fix. In order to insure proper alignment and a long life the unit should be dissassembled and taken to a qualified machinest to have it bored out and fitted with an insert/bearing surface.
This is the proper way to address the problem anything else is just putting a band aid which will cause more problems in the future.

SSGOldfart
09-19-2011, 01:44 PM
Sad but true fix it the first time

guess I'm bad for using a quick fix myself

Irascible
02-08-2012, 07:51 PM
My 2 year old Lyman is extremely sloppy already, maybe 1000 bullets. Plus, I cranked before the lube had heated enough, and pulled the threaded rod right up through the casting. What a piece of junk the new Lyman sizers are. I called Lyman and they wanted $125 for a bare casting. I think the RCBS is a much better unit for wear as the ram is larger and has more surface area. The Saeco is even better. You get what you pay for. I have one of everything but a Star and I'm working on that to replace my worn out 4500 Lyman.

sleddman
12-10-2012, 12:27 PM
also............when i found the "antique" RCBS luber/sizer i noticed that the o-ring that is on the "piston" that puts pressure on the lube stick is shot. are there replacements? THANKS

Better yet call RCBS and they will send you one at no cost. Can't beat that

omgb
12-10-2012, 01:27 PM
I can't believe it's been 6 years since I last replied to this thread! Lyman has some QC issues with regard to their sizers. My older RCBS and Lachmiller units are still working fine. I'm afraid Orange has lost me as a customer for most things.

leadman
02-19-2013, 02:27 AM
I follow the instructions that RCBS has on their website about aligning the sizing die by using the top punch in the hole for the boolit. It works just fine as long as I can find the right top punch so it is the proper size. I also use the flat top nose punch if I can and this also helps with alignment issues.

detox
02-26-2013, 10:13 AM
I need a small diameter .308 flat top punch. Does anybody know the Lyman or RCBS part number for this?

Here's a tip: Lymans sizers use a center sleeve that has a concave end. This allows clearance for sprue bulge on bottom of some bullets and seals bullet better at bottom so no excessive lube gets on base of bullet. RCBS sleeves are machined flat.

Polishing inside sizer with 1200 grit paper will make sizing easier without deforming bullet. You can do this by wraping paper tape and sandpaper around dowel then spin in drill. Not much is needed to get mirror smooth

Lead
05-05-2014, 10:00 PM
That works pretty good I've done it on some other loader for shots he'll primer on a single stage mec.

gwpercle
06-01-2015, 04:35 PM
After stripping out the set-screw on my Lyman 450 , I read here about the Quick fix, sticky lube to hold punch in place, with a bit of skepticism . But , hey .....it works!
The punch stays in the socket and aligns itself if the die is not centered.
I'm all for Quick and Easy!
Gary

MT Chambers
06-01-2015, 04:55 PM
Alignment was/is such a concern of mine that I use the Star luber anytime I can, although I have many more sizing dies for the RCBS/Lyman.

dsh1106
03-19-2016, 01:37 PM
I purchased a Lyman 450 used (a gray color), and had the same issue with alignment. The casting had worn to the point that I can not size anything, the ram has ~ .030 - .050 slop in it front to rear. Side to side is less than .005 slop. I just finished rebuilding it, I used a bronze oil-lite bushing in the casting and machined the ram to fit. I can now size without ruining even the longest 270 boolit. I also added a couple tapped holes in the bottom to hold the "pressure ring" in place, instead of the 15 or 20 prick-punch marks that where there. I just finished repainting the casting and re-blueing the linkage.

Hamish
04-05-2016, 05:09 PM
Just ran across this old refurb thread by Keith (thePerfessor) and thought It needed tacked on to keep it from getting lost. Keith, your presence here is missed!

http://web.archive.org/web/20120525005328/http://www.usi.edu/science/engineering/Lyman450/Lyman450LuberRebuild.htm

dsh1106
04-06-2016, 11:38 AM
^^^^ I wish I had this to start with. ^^^^

Same process I went through, works out quite well.


Scott

robert12345
01-31-2018, 04:00 PM
The best advice I can give to you after casting at least 100,000 bullets is,,

Don't size them , .....rather, hand lube them.
If a gas check, use the slip on type, not the crimp on.

If you must size, use an over size,,,,, size die, so it lubes only.

Seat the gas check with your fingers.

.
Best powder for cast bullets in rifles,, 2400.
.
Best lead, wheel weights.
.
Keep your velocities under 2200 fps in rifles with gas checks.
Better 1800 fps.
.
The best ctgs for cast bullets are: 30/30 Win., 32 Special, 35 Rem , 45/70...
.
This is not rocket science.

parkerhale1200
01-01-2019, 02:56 PM
My father bought his first and only sizer back in 1954, now its standing on my bench, still going strong.
Oke i will be honest, we give an email rcbs several years ago, with some details.

They send us a new rod with that wheel to put pressure on the lube, some new rubbers and a new bold that holds the sizer die!!!!!
But they would not replace his first casting mold, strange?(201gr 45 kt)
It did a little more then a 100.00(sarcastic, sorry, could not resist) for my own shooting before i bought my own rcbs lubeasizer.
I start with casting in the mid 80....we shot a lot.
Even his junior press has no problems, and he was making 308 and 30-06 on that thing.

Sorry Lyman and lee, rcbs goes and works for me.

And its true, its not rocket science, it casting science.and that is about, just measuring some things.
plus 1 for Robert but my powder what i use for cast 9 38 357 44sp 44mag 223 308 30-06 is d060 and d032

best

parkerhale1200
01-01-2019, 02:57 PM
And what Elmer Kieth did, a new brass baring.
Be gentle on your stuff it will last a long time

trapper9260
01-01-2019, 03:23 PM
I have a Lyman 450 and I got it back in the mid 80's and did not have any problems with it all line up when set up and use. I only had to change a bolt that broke on the arm for the handle

Walks
01-01-2019, 04:22 PM
I too have an older Lyman 450, bought in the mid 1970's . It's always worked well, has never had an alignment issue. Except with a new Lyman Size Die, bought last year. First one I've bought in 15yrs.

Complained to Lyman, the Cust. Serv. Girl I spoke too, could not understand the problem. She wanted me to send the size die back & they would check it out. I told her I would be home on the next Mon&Tues for UPS to show up with a call tag. Nope, send it at my expense. I asked to speak to her Supvr. He was at Lunch.

He did call me back. Offered to send out a new die, and a return Label for the old one.

Well I ended up with 2 new size dies. No doubt do to communication error. I called and asked to send back the extra die. I tried both 1st, they both lined up perfectly. He said not to bother.

I will say this however. I've seen many examples on you-tube of cross threaded sizer die locking nuts on both RCBS & Lyman Lube-Sizer's. I know from experience ( Had a friend without much patience ) that a cross-threaded lock nut will cause mis-alignment of Top Punch & Sizer-Die.

My DAD literally beat into my head as a teenager to take all the time necessary to thread the nut in CORRECTLY. So after 40+yrs later my Lube-Sizer is still sizing bullets with perfect alignment & the lock nut still threads smooth & straight.

But I wouldn't buy a new Lyman 4500 today. Or a bullet mold. Had experience of those too.

Probably why I bought a new Mold from N.O.E. Yesterday. Of a Lyman designed bullet. The old #452423.

If I could afford it I'd have a SAECO Lube-Sizer too.

jwlegal
01-05-2019, 02:30 PM
Maybe its just me, but it seems like things made 40 years ago just seemed to hold up better. Been using the same RCBS lube-sizer since mid 70"s and the only problem I have ever had was the O ring on the pressure gizmo that forces the lube into the die. Sent an e-mail to RCBS and got two new O rings in the mail at no cost. With the advent of e-mail it is amazing how much can be done, but have to give RCBS a thumbs up as well since they could have told me to buy my own after that long a time.
Had a problem with an RCBS mold as well (my fault completely, did not properly adjust the screw on the sprue cutter, and just plain forgot to put a little piece of copper wire in there to lock it in place, so sheared off the screw. Told RCBS, again in an e-mail, that I screwed up (literally) but could get the seared part of the screw out. Asked where I could find a new screw since I did not see that particular item anywhere on the wide world of web. Again, got a new screw in the mail at no cost. Has worked flawlessly since then (I did put a piece of copper wire in the hole before I tightened the lock screw this time. Got to give RCBS credit for good customer service in a day and age where I really don't expect much anymore since it apparently has also become a antique along with me. I am getting a little old to be arguing with customer service reps who don't know what customer service is. I was in my 30's when I started casting in the mid 70"s. Hope I've gained a little wisdom with age as opposed to doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Some folks get a year of age every year where as others get a year of wisdom. Mine came from lots of mistakes. They didn't have a web back then...sure wish I had known about this site a lot sooner.

Smoke4320
01-05-2019, 03:01 PM
jwlegal " Maybe its just me, but it seems like things made 40 years ago just seemed to hold up better"
no in a lot of cases things were made to last.. Now its to get them out the door and replaced in 3 to 6 years. Appliances and water heaters are this way for sure

dimaprok
01-29-2019, 06:49 PM
My RCBS LAM 2 was misaligned from get go but being a new I didn't understand and replaced the die instead, I got Lyman die and it seemed at first to fix the problem but it didn't. Sizing flat top SWC was not a problem but 309 was crooked and 225 even worse. After struggling for a year I replaced it and the new one works as it should. Lesson learned if something doesn't work replace immediately while return window still applies.

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