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Thread: Shattered carbide ring

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Shattered carbide ring

    I somehow shattered the carbide ring in my .45 ACP sizer die today. It`s from an RCBS 3 die set that I bought years ago. It`s a sizer die only, not a decapper. Just wondering if anyone had heard of this happening. I resized maybe 2 or 3 hundred cases over the last 4 days.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master maxreloader's Avatar
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    I have heard if you have it set too close to the shell holder you could crack one but never known anybody that did. I would imagine the older ones would be more prone to this because they are more "square" and have a sharp edge.
    You cannot win an argument with an ignorant man.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I too have heard and read that you can break it by bumping the shell holder but have never seen one broken that way. The only broken one that I have seen was dropped on a concrete floor. I'll bet RCBS will replace it through warranty.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    The carbide rings are pressed into place ( Heat shrunk on some) its a angled matting surfaces type set up usually so the ring centers up and stays tight. On older dies the ring may loosen up thru heavy sizing or use. Carbide unsupported and or in a mode it can "vibrate" is extremely brittle and will break or shatter. I have seen several come loose or come out even but only one that cracked

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    I`m sure that I bumped the case mouths a few times, but I sure didn`t know that carbide was that brittle. I`ll see what RCBS says about it. It is an old die but hasn`t been used that much for the time that I`ve had it.

  6. #6
    Moderator



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    I once broke a 10mm die, and I've had the carbide ring pull from the die. It makes a loud snap when it breaks, but break they will......

    RCBS will most likely replace the die.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    The set up directions on mine have a comment about not letting the press cam over in order to prevent damage.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    RCBS will definitely make it right.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    RCBS will definitely make it right.
    twice I've contacted RCBS with a question as how to buy something I broke (one the puppy ate) through my neglect. Twice I've been shipped replacement parts free.

    Call RCBS. They will replace it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    If they replace it, and they probably will, the new die will probably be a little different. Newer dies will have a decaying stem and the mouth of the die will have a more generous radius where the case enters. Both are improvements in my opinion.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the replies guys. I sent the die off to RCBS this morning. I`m willing to bet they replace it, shooting industry folks are good like that.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    It has never happened to me, but I don't think the problem is all that rare. When using a carbide die (which is not very often), I fold a sheet of printer paper and use that as a shim on top of the shell holder when screwing the die down. That provides enough clearance so the shell holder does not bump the carbide ring. There are some makes of carbide dies that set the ring far enough up in the die to prevent it from bumping the shell holder.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by 41MagGuy View Post
    I somehow shattered the carbide ring in my .45 ACP sizer die today. It`s from an RCBS 3 die set that I bought years ago. It`s a sizer die only, not a decapper. Just wondering if anyone had heard of this happening. I resized maybe 2 or 3 hundred cases over the last 4 days.
    yes, and I cringe when I read die setup instructions that talk about ""screw the die until it touches the shell holder/plate, lower the ram and screw the die in another 1/4 turn""
    Knowing how brittle carbide can be, I just don't do it.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I bought one of the very earliest of the Lyman .41 magnum Deluxe Carbide die sets in the mid 60's. The instructions with it said to screw the die into the press until it lightly touched the shell holder. I did just that and sized maybe 10 cases and noticed they were coming out of the sizing die with scratches on the case. I took the sizing die out of the press and shined a light into the sizing die and it had little cracks all around the sizing ring. It had shattered when it bumped into the shell holder. I wrote Lyman my experience and asked if they would replace the die as I had followed instructions. I never received a reply. I found a steel size die at a gun show and lubed my cases until I finally sold the Lyman dies in the 70's and bought a set of Redding Titanium dies. I have since run into several problems with Lyman about service and have stopped buying their products. A gun writer made a statement many years ago about dropping a carbide die on the concrete floor of his garage and it shattered the sizing ring but I don't remember him identifying the manufacturer of the die. my experience anyway, james

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    I had the lock ring on this die set so that the shell holder wouldn`t contact the die. I`m 99% sure this happened from the case mouth bumping the carbide ring on the way in.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Had a Hornady die do the same thing I called them and they sent me a new one no questions asked great people to deal with.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    The mailman just delivered my new replacement die. RCBS is good folks as I figured they were.

  18. #18
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Back when I was reloading 38 Spcl ammo alot I was using a RCBS carbide die set. The set was used about 5 years when the carbide ring just came out of the die on an empty being decaped/sized. I called RCBS about this and explained it was an older die set it happened on. In about a week I got a brand new die in the mail for no charge, they didn`t even want the ring or old die back. Ask me why I buy RCBS products?Robert

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcast416taylor View Post
    Back when I was reloading 38 Spcl ammo alot I was using a RCBS carbide die set. The set was used about 5 years when the carbide ring just came out of the die on an empty being decaped/sized. I called RCBS about this and explained it was an older die set it happened on. In about a week I got a brand new die in the mail for no charge, they didn`t even want the ring or old die back. Ask me why I buy RCBS products?Robert
    Yep, I`ve always liked RCBS.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I used JB Weld to glue the ring back in place , I figured it would come out again and I would send it back . That was at least 25 years ago and I'm still using that die. JB Weld , duct tape and WD40 ....if I can't fix it with one of those, then it's time to replace it .
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