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Thread: Replacing RCBS lock ring bronze/brass set screws

  1. #81
    Boolit Buddy 10mmShooter's Avatar
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    I'm with Salpal, I reset my dies with each installation into the press so the locking ring set screws do nothing for me. I also have learned over the years to go with a lighter touch when tightening dies. I use a really stubby die nut wrench, the handle is only about 4 inches. That keeps me from going ape on the die nuts.
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  2. #82
    Boolit Master
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    I prefer much more precision for setting my bottle neck FL dies.
    They are set to exactly match my bolt gun's chambers to the nearest .001". Once set I never change them.
    Dies for pumps, levers and auto loaders are set with .002 clearance. I never change them either.

    Straight wall dies are less critical as are seaters.
    EDG

  3. #83
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    Pressman's Avatar
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    In my case, yes it's a bit extreme, I have a press setup permanently for each caliber and operation. Once in the press the dies never have to come out. Of course it takes a separate room to store that many presses.
    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: pressman@antiquereloadingtools.com
    www.antiquereloadingtools.com

  4. #84
    Boolit Master
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    I do that for my most important lube sizer dies. I hate changing out the sticky nasty dies.
    EDG

  5. #85
    Boolit Bub
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    Bumping this thread to the top for other members to see, as I've been interested in adding set screws to my lock rings

    I tried the suggested McMaster-Carr link in the beginning of the thread, but the old price of $0.12 each for nylon tipped is now $0.75 each!

    I then followed the suggestion for the 10-32 set screws from boltdepot.com. The don't have the nylon tip, but the are only $0.05 each.

    I hope other members find this thread as helpful as I did.

  6. #86
    Boolit Master


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    Sure, info is great!

  7. #87
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Bill 7 View Post
    If you don't want the brass to gall the theads take out the set screw and ad a shotgun pellet ( number 8 shot) in the hole and replace the set screw. That helps to lock the ring in place. Hopefully that solves the problem as I see it.

    Yup, been doing this for 20+ years and it works great!

  8. #88
    After read some of these posts (yes some are old) I wonder how tight you guys are torquing your set screws down.

  9. #89
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I can't help but add a couple of "cents" re what -- after 50+ years of trial and error, I've come to do. I replace all diescrews for powder-measures with 1" one, and use "RCBS-type" -- the 1 1/8" hex ones for other dies. All get a grub screw screwed into one hole I drill, through, one of the flats with a #36 drill, followed with a 6-32 tap. As soon as I put the diescrew on the die, I drop in one piece of lead shot -- I do not know the exact size other than it's what was in a bird-shot 20ga shotshell. One thing I'm pretty OCD about is having the press handle down -- shell be loaded all the way in the die -- before I tighten said screw and then my grub screw. This insures the dies is straight up and down, as well as where I want it to be. I snug the diescrew to press, and use an appropriately sized Allen wrench to snug down the bird-shot under my screw. This secures it, without in any way damaging threads on die. The reason for the smaller (1") screw on powder measure, is to simply make it easier to adjust for shell mouth expansion -- this on a Dillon 550b press. For a few years I used all 1 1/8" dies, with the Dillon 1" wrench in rack collecting dust... most happy I made the switch.
    Again, my 2 cents -- just what I do.
    geo

  10. #90
    Boolit Master
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    I prefer the Hornady rings and actually like the Lee rings for most uses. I use the lead pellet on the rings that must be used with a set screw. No problem there either.

    But how about clipping a short section of soft copper wire that just fits the hole? Use the soft copper if you worried about the lead?

  11. #91
    Boolit Master
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    The best plug to put under a lock ring set screw is a small nylon ball or a short piece clipped off of a nylon screw. The nylon prevents damage to the threads yet it is elastic enough to release its grip on the die when the screw is backed off.
    EDG

  12. #92
    Boolit Master


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    Weed eater string works good too.

  13. #93
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    I must have 20 different lock rings that need new screws. All types: aluminum, steel and old hex Lyman ones that take smaller set screws then the modern style of straight-in or clamp such a Hornady now uses.
    Would be nice to get them at working again.

    If I had the brains to figure out what size I needed.
    Last edited by Walks; 02-15-2019 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Auto-correct
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  14. #94
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    Weed eater string works good too.
    Simple, available & brilliant suggestion. Thanks!

    I think I may change out my lead shot(s) with this...
    Bob

  15. #95
    Boolit Master


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    Its what I use. I have a large spool and wind my own bobbins for the weed water. One day it hit me..dang, I have a 500' spool of this.. This would be great.

  16. #96
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    Good idea.

  17. #97
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    This was a very interesting discussion. I mostly use Hornady style lock rings if I got them. I have some that are aluminum, I think they are RCBS but I'm not sure. They are easier to use than the steel split rings with a cross screw. I have some RCBS rings with the brass set screw, they don't have a brass disc under them though. Hasn't seemed to cause any thread damage yet, I'm gentle with them though.

    Lightman, thanks for the tip on loosening up the rings that have shot under them. Lots of older sets I come across have that.

    Anybody try the Hornady style split lock rings made out of nylon/plastic? There are folks selling them on ebay, they look 3-D printed. Maybe not, they are cheap but I can't imagine the lock screw not stripping the plastic out after a while.

  18. #98
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    If you 3d printed a lock ring you could put an insert or nut in there to make it last "forever" if you designed it right.

  19. #99
    Boolit Buddy
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    I went the easy and simple route. Ordered some Sinclair and Hornady rings. Didnt order them all at once. But i make enough orders for other stuff I would add a set of rings now and then. Probably dont have as many dies sets as many here but I have replaced them all now. I never liked the Rcbs rings. I did bugger a thread on a die with one. But then I could probably break an anvil. Or as they say"he has the touch of a blacksmith".
    Last edited by doulos; 02-25-2019 at 04:58 PM.

  20. #100
    Boolit Master


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    When I got really tired of screwing dies in and out of my Rock Chucker I invested in Hornady Lock 'n Load bushings. Most of my rifle dies as well as the low volume handgun cartridges now wear the LnL bushings. If I make a mistake that I can repair it's a quick matter to pull one die, install another and go back to the original in just seconds. Before I retired time really was that important. It now doesn't matter if I spend an extra 15 minutes in the reloading room. When I was working I was also trying to maintain ammo for USPSA, Cowboy Action, big game hunting (deer/pigs/exotics in Texas) and handgun sidearm ammo for hunting.

    The accuracy with the LnL bushings is as good as it was with the dies screwed into the press. The metal to metal surfaces keep the dies square and the o-ring allows for a few thousandths of floating for concentricity. My hunting rifle will still hold under .400" groups using the bushings.

    I've shot far more handgun than rifle over the years but all of the dies I screwed into the press had locking rings, rifle or pistol. Once I find a combination that works I get a substantial inventory of the bullet that works well so no further adjustments are needed. I don't get bonus points for making extra work for myself.

    When I do use locking rings I like the cross bolt style. Some dies like the RCBS Collet Bullet Puller, Lee Universal Decapping Die and the Lead Hardness Tester don't have critical setting requirements so anything works for them. I keep those in Hornady bushings for ease of use.
    Last edited by David2011; 03-01-2019 at 12:23 AM.
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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