Wisconsin TriggerRotoMetals2StainLess Steel MediaMidSouth Shooters Supply
Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionInline FabricationGraf & Sons

Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: RCBS Lube/Sizer problems

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Alamo, CA
    Posts
    89

    RCBS Lube/Sizer problems

    I just got a new RCBS Lube-A-Matic 2 and am having problems with adjusting the depth of boolits, lube "flow" and boolit lube groove fill. as follows:

    1) I installed the LAM as instructed by RCBS, although I moved the lock ring on the boolit ejector screw from the bottom to the top of the lower casting to deal with short boolits. Initially I set the adjustment at 1/2" under the die.

    2) I am using a Lyman .430 sizer die and 421 top punch. The boolits are a gas-check design. A Lyman heater is installed under the LAM. The lube of the RCBS lube that came with the LAM 2.

    3) I cranked the lube pressure handle down until I felt resistance, but no lube showed up when the boolit was inserted, even when repeated with the same boolit several times. I kept increasing pressure and varying the depth of the adjustment screw, and turned the heater on for 20 minutes.

    4) finally I began to get signs of lube - smeared over the nose of the boolit, none in the lube groove.

    I have the sense that this is a trial and error process, but maybe you all can give me some tips that will shorten the process.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Danderdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    176
    With a new LAM2, you have to fill the reservoir in the bottom with about 3/4 of a stick of lube first. Then it has to work the grease all the way around the die and into all the pores. It's a lot of cranking. Check to see if you still have enough lube left to exert pressure on at all.

    Setting the sizing/lubing depth is trial-and-error. If the stop rod is set too low, you'll get lube all over the nose. If too high, you'll get "mushrooming" with wax giving incomplete fill-out. The goal is to find the depth that lines up your uppermost boolit lube groove with the die groove. Remember that you don't want lube in the crimp groove either.

    RCBS lube isn't that great. They also market an overpriced "RCBS Rifle Lube" which is just 50/50 beeswax and alox. I suggest trying out BAC or 2500+ from http://www.lsstuff.com/lube/index.html . He's a great guy with a great (and cheap!) product and a thorough pleasure to do business with. If the 50/50 works for your applications, his is cheaper.

    Overheating your lube is worse. It will leak everywhere given the chance. Try only running the heater a few mins before starting. I personally put a blowdryer against mine for about 5 mins before I get rocking and rolling.

    When running cold lube, it's common to need to tighten the screw every 3-4 boolits.

    The machine is simple and self-explanatory from here out. Hope you get it sorted out.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    592
    You might try taking the ejector pin (bottom punch) out of your sizer die and then cranking the pressure handle until you can see lube entering the die. This fills the empty parts of the lubesizer and also the lube holes in the die. See if the top row of lube holes in the die are above the crimp groove of the boolit. If so, the boolit is going too far into the die.
    If you get your shots in the black, the 10s and Xs will take care of themselves.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    fishnbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Heart of Virginia
    Posts
    612
    I have run across 1 lyman sizer that would not work in my LAM. It was a .359" and IIRC it wouldn't thread in deep enough. It was too long. I also don't like the ones with a bunch of holes. I have to find the ones that match the lube groove and stop the rest up with birdshot.
    I set the adjustment @ 1/2" like the instructions called for and I had to move it down maybe
    1/16" and voila'.
    You boys gonna draw them pistols or whistle Dixie

    NRA ENDOWMENT MEMBER

    "The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span the hours spent fishing."
    ------Babylonian Proverb

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Alamo, CA
    Posts
    89
    I finally found the right depth, after 25 boolits and gas checks. But, I have some new problems.

    The boolits are only lubed near the two holes in the sizer die, not all the way around. Also, the boolits stick in the die and won't pop out. I had to wrap the noses in some rubber from an old inner tube and rock them loose with a pair of pliers before I could get them the rest of the way out with my fingers, a tedious task.

    Then, a gas check got stuck in the bottom of the die. I tried to remove the die to work on that problem, but the die is stuck in the lube and won't move. How do you remove a die? I got the gas check out by removing the adjustment screw and pounding a dowel up under it. But, having removed the hold down flange for the die, I can't get it to re- thread back in the casting because it is clogged with lube.

    The RCBS lube doesn't seem to flow very well. I've put another brand in on top of it, but its going to be a while before the RCBS stuff is exhausted.

    I've been working on this all day. I had to quit before I threw the RCBS in the trash and ordered a Lee.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Danderdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    176
    >The boolits are only lubed near the two holes in the sizer die

    More pressure and/or higher temp fixes that.

    > Also, the boolits stick in the die and won't pop out.
    >Then, a gas check got stuck in the bottom of the die.

    Adjust the kicker bar on the bottom by running up the nuts on both sides. It will in turn push the stop bar, which pushes the bottom punch, which pushes the bullet out.

    >How do you remove a die?

    Unscrew the die locking nut. Push the handle all the way down with the top punch in, so it moves the bottom punch down. Then go all the way up. Instead of just moving the bottom punch, the whole die should shift up enough to grab with a pliers.

    >The RCBS lube doesn't seem to flow very well.

    I was not at all impressed with their green lube either. Looks good on a bullet but not much else. Now I use pinko-commie-BAC.

    >I had to quit before I threw the RCBS in the trash and ordered a Lee.

    Lee doesn't make a lubesizer, just sizing dies. To use it, you have to either tumble lube or pan lube first.

    Lemme know if you keep having problems. I was not at all impressed with my LAM2 and still have a few nitpicks about it, but it does do the job.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    592
    How do you remove a die?

    Remove the die retaining nut and lower the handle all the way. Put a spacer (1x2 on edge) between the Bullet ejector plate and the bullet ejector rod. Now raise the handle and let the bullet ejector rod push the sizing die out.
    If you get your shots in the black, the 10s and Xs will take care of themselves.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    theperfessor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Evansville Indiana
    Posts
    2,973
    Not to troll for business, but I sell a die retaining nut driver that makes die changing a lot easier.

    Here is a link you can check out:

    http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/...d.php?t=136890

    See my sig line if your interested.
    I am now in full production of top punches for Lyman/RCBS and Saeco lubers ($8 each including shipping, two business day turnaround), and blank sizing dies for Lyman/RCBS, Saeco, Herters, and Star machines. Other products will be added as time and health permit. PM me for details.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Alamo, CA
    Posts
    89
    Thanks for the help. I've got the LAM running - still not getting an ideal fill on the lube grooves, but getting close.

    Why doesn't RCBS give you the information you need when you buy their product? I was really PO'd when I followed their instructions exactly and wound up with a mess I had no idea how to fix. Thank God for Cast Boolits!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    canyon-ghost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northern Texas Panhandle
    Posts
    1,982
    Because these manufacturers are selling to us old 'tinker-'rounds ! I use a wooden handled Lyman hand tool in the 4500 to remove the die. I place the wood under the rod and lift up. It doesn't always just pop out, usually takes the heater to do it gently (without damaging anything, or me! ).

    I learned on the Lyman that complete fillout of the groove is where you push the bullet to bottom and then turn the crank about 1/16th turn (or less) to get just enough pressure to fill out the groove. And, I do it on every bullet. With a brand new die, I keep some light oil and mica close by, in case it sticks the bullet like you experienced. The mica is like that white graphite that crushes when pressed, it makes an excellent lube. With a brand new die, you really need to slick them up with something the first time.

    The brand doesn't matter much, I use heat as a tool. I preheat it, leave it plugged in for a while before I start.

    They are messy but, beats smearing lube on bullets with your fingers!

    Good Luck,
    Ron

    PS: The guys recommending BAC or Carnuba Red, I'm one of them- http://www.lsstuff.com/lube/ good stuff!!
    Last edited by canyon-ghost; 02-04-2012 at 10:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Danderdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    176
    Quote Originally Posted by hanover67 View Post
    Thanks for the help. I've got the LAM running - still not getting an ideal fill on the lube grooves, but getting close.
    I wasn't aware that the Lyman dies only had 2 holes. I splurged on RCBS dies for mine, which have 4 holes. They are probably a better value for your dollar.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Alamo, CA
    Posts
    89
    For now I'm only casting short (pistol) bullets with a maximum of 2 lube grooves, so the Lyman 2-holers should be OK. I'm getting better groove fill using my wife's hair dryer to heat the chamber around the sizer die and experimenting with pressure. The .44's I'm sizing have a gas check, and the old Hornady checks leave a small gap between their top and the bottom of the first ring on the bullet , like a second lube groove. Eventually I'll get it right and learn the art of sizing.

    When you remove one die I'm guessing I should immediately replace it with the next die I plan to use so the lube in the chamber doesn't collapse in the hole and harden into an impenitrable, rock-solid mass? If this does happen, can I "loosen" the lube with heat enough to insert the next die? And, if there is no die in the LAM, does the lube all flow out the bottom?

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    140
    I have a very good condition RCBS lubricator/sizer. What I found was that after a lot of use the pressure just wasn't be applied to the lubricant anymore. The shaft would turn but the cylindrical piece that actually applies the pressure mearly turned rather than downing down the shaft. I replaced the o-ring, which wasn't defective, but that didn't help. Never did solve the problem.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    Reload3006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    St. Peters, Mo.
    Posts
    1,576
    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
    I have a very good condition RCBS lubricator/sizer. What I found was that after a lot of use the pressure just wasn't be applied to the lubricant anymore. The shaft would turn but the cylindrical piece that actually applies the pressure mearly turned rather than downing down the shaft. I replaced the o-ring, which wasn't defective, but that didn't help. Never did solve the problem.
    my question in terms of diagnosis does the sizer give lube until you hit the same spot? in other words if you try to back off the pressure does the nut still turn? of does it go down say half way then start spinning and it does it in the same place each time? If so my bet would be the Pressure screw has buggered threads in that area. I would take it apart and run a die down the screw to clean up the threads. even some hard nasty lube can do the same thing chase those threads with a die and run a tap through the pressure nut. I would almost bet that will fix your problem.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub Goober's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    34
    Had similar issues to the person that started this whole thread... after reading, I am starting to think of coating seems like a whole lotta pain in the but. Will try what I learned here tonight. Thanks folks.
    I have very strict gun control policy; if there's a gun around, I want control of it.
    Clint Eastwood

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by Danderdude View Post
    I wasn't aware that the Lyman dies only had 2 holes. I splurged on RCBS dies for mine, which have 4 holes. They are probably a better value for your dollar.
    Lyman H&I dies have two rows of four holes.RCBS has one row with four.They both work well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master pjames32's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    NW New Mexico
    Posts
    496
    FWIW I use Carnuba Red from Lars White Label. My heater is not too hot and I let it warm up for AT LEAST an hour before I try to lube size. I adjust so the lube groove is exposed to lube, no deeper. I upstroke only enough to grab the bullet with my fingers. I do get a little lube on the base that I wipe on a paper towel. I twist the lube handle a little bit with each bullet. If I don't let lube 360* around the lube groove I twist a little bit more. Don't get in a big hurry. It takes a while to get the correct sequence then you can speed up the process.
    NRA Benefactor Member

  18. #18
    Moderator Emeritus


    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SW Montana
    Posts
    9,456
    With a new sizer or a boiled out one you need to displace the air from the sizer and replace it with lube. When you start to get lube at the front, eject the bullet and turn it 180 degrees and relube. Eventually you will get even flows. It is a process, not a simple plug in.
    I find if a gas check didn't stick it can be removed with a small screwdriver or tweezers.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by hanover67 View Post
    When you remove one die I'm guessing I should immediately replace it with the next die I plan to use so the lube in the chamber doesn't collapse in the hole and harden into an impenitrable, rock-solid mass? If this does happen, can I "loosen" the lube with heat enough to insert the next die? And, if there is no die in the LAM, does the lube all flow out the bottom?
    yes, leave a die in the sizer. Saves muy aggravation.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Eureka MT
    Posts
    873
    For installing the die nut, I put it on the die before inserting the die. Then I put a nickel on top of the nut and push it all down with a top punch until it stops, then while holding a bit of pressure, use a wrench to turn it in. Never had a bit of trouble this way.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check