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Thread: RCBS Lube sizer and issues

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had some bullets for a 357 mag made of monotype,sizing them to .358 I thought I was going to snap the press off the bench.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master


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    Oh, NO! Monotype .357s will shatter, disintegrate and turn to dust on impact with almost anything! Haven’t you ever read that? I had but had to try for myself. I shot a previously killed sow, about 200 pounds, with a Monotype 250 KT. Entry was the left shoulder and exit was right ham, almost 2 feet through the pig. The exit hole was clean and round so I don’t think the boolit broke up. It went into the ground and was not recovered.

    I’ve had boolits become much harder from sitting around for a while before sizing as well. I try to size promptly after casting now. When they’re powder coated the heat might be annealing them because they size very easily. Part of that is the PC reducing friction but the metal seems to not be as hard. I’ll try to remember to test the hardness after powder coating net batch.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by wendyj View Post
    Water quenched wheel weights. With gas check.
    That's part of the problem. Sizing hardened boolits is tough on machine .
    Size them air cooled while they are soft , then heat boolits in an oven and quench to harden , then lube without sizing .
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  4. #24
    Boolit Master


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    Size water quenched wheel weights within 3 days and they are not too bad. After 2 weeks it can be tough going.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I use range scrap for most of my pistol/revolver boolits. I water drop right out of the mold more for convenience than the extra hardness it gives. It takes a few days for them to fully harden. I try to size them during the first 2 days before they reach full hardness. Right after casting, I can scratch the surface of the boolits easily with my fingernail. After a few days, not so much.
    Luckily, all my molds drop very near the size I want them to be so I don't need to reduce diameter very much.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocSavage View Post
    I had some bullets for a 357 mag made of monotype,sizing them to .358 I thought I was going to snap the press off the bench.
    These were from a batch that were unsized that I bought from a friend along with molds and a Lyman lube/sizer,

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocSavage View Post
    These were from a batch that were unsized that I bought from a friend along with molds and a Lyman lube/sizer,
    Doc---You didn't mention how much you were reducing the diameter. How large are they to start with?
    If you are trying to size hardened boolits more than about .002 that may be the issue.
    You may need to do the same thing that the OP did to cure the issue.

  8. #28
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    midnight's Avatar
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    I can't see what the hardness of the bullet or the amount you want to reduce it has anything to do with the flow of lube into the grooves which was the OP's problem. I use a heater under all of my sizers. Easy for me to say because I make my own. I put a rheostat in the line to control temp once it warms up. Heat should be on full blast for 30 min. before backing it off. You can shorten that 30 min. by using a hair drier on the sizer. For us bald guys, I just picked up a new unused drier for $1.00 at a rummage sale. As for pressing the bullet into the die, the only solution is to size down less, a softer bullet or both.

    Bob
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  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy Land Owner's Avatar
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    midnight, the lead that used to be 0.462" in diameter, which is now squeezed down to 0.459" in diameter (a 1.3% reduction in cross sectional area) had to go somewhere and I surmise it went into either lengthening the boolit or was "squished" into the lube grooves (the least resistance alternative), giving LESS room for the lube - not that that alone accounts for the hardness of the lube to flow. The lube also "gasses off" and get dryer with age making it harder to flow, even when heated.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy fa38's Avatar
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    I may be all wet but if the sizing die is a RCBS die in that Lyman lube sizer it may be that the single line of holes in the die line up with a driving band on the bullet restricting the lube flow. Try running the bullet a bit deeper or less deep in the die.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    I have set it lower and higher. Either lube in excess on base or nose. The adjustment works ok. I have a heater under it but that was no help. After using the collet in sizer from NOE and sizing down first and then lubing it has been a piece of cake. Sizing .003 down with hardened lead set for 3-4 weeks was biggest issue. The Lyman wouldn't do it at all. Broke some of the lugs ratchet goes on after 20 bullets or so. Older 450 model. It now does only pistol bullets. Sizing die is a 2 hole. I think it was a Lyman when I ordered it.

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sorry to barche in, but i water drop al my boolits and with gc, no problem to size after even when they become to there full hardness.
    Even 40 bhn is no problem with cu gs.
    But its true, size before they age to harden out, cous if you size when they are harden out, you can wait again to let them harden them over time again.

    I think your problem is indeed 2 things A setting B size(c brand)

    A: play around to get your boolit deeper(OR less deep) into the die so its going to lube into the groves of the boolit, and thus dont need so much pressure to lower its friction and or to push the lube in to the lube groves. also give a better lubrication to your die walls and boolit outer rims.

    B: the max I size down is in general .002, i can imagine that sizing .003 or even 005 down would require more strength. this is more to the swaging section.
    I have a mold for my 38 that drops at 356, and i size at 356, no power needed, if i take a mold that drops at 358, i have to push.(340 not doable)
    Regarding gaschecks: for when i need a gc, i first put on the check then i size, after a 500 or so then i lube.
    Reason is simple, the checks wil stay on better and there is no copper or alu shaving in the die, because the lube wants to go even under the gc, and will let the check "flare up" a little, as you going to bring the boolit up again it will shave off a piece of gc and jam the rod inside the die, so more force is needed.

    (C):sorry I am no Lyman fan, recently (2018, April) i bought a new sizer die for my 223, they run out of rcbs, so i bought a Lyman, into an rcbs lubasizer, asking for problems? not really, the die was to "short" to "pop" them out, and after some irritating moments i toke the die to a degrease bath, and then polish it with 1600 grid paper, the inner rod, and polish the lube holes inside the die for possible machine burs from the factory, problems solved, running smooth now.
    Encountered this problem with rcbs also.one time...Monday morning die.

    When i do only the check crimping, the work get a little bit harder due to friction, cous there is no lube.
    But i dont have any shavings that makes me must work harder.
    Maybe put your castings first into a slight bigger die to make it easier, work in a 3 step proses
    Size down a bit, put on check and size down more and then lube.
    What you want is to much, i am afraid, i would also like to downsize a 452 to 429 in one go

    I hope this blabla will make you understand the process, sorry for my bad grammatical and english.
    And this was just a short version of size and lube, sorry

    With best regards and i hope i was of any help. First learn to crawl then learn to walk, them learn to run, then learn to take it easy and enjoy

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a mold for my 38 that drops at 356, and i size at 356, no power needed, if i take a mold that drops at 358, i have to push.(340 not doable)

    no 340 but 360.....

    I meant (360) sorry is more black powder! and no high velocitie nitro powder

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy Static line's Avatar
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    I just sized and lubed about 300, 270 gr. wfngc 44 cal. bullets casted with 100% COWW and air cooled through my RCBS LAM2 with BAC from .434" to .431" and no problems.I started with a new stick of BAC in a cleaned out reservoir so I did have to use the heater plate to get it going,but then I just unplugged the heater after the flow began and continued on. Didn't take a great deal of force to work either the lube pressure handle or the sizing handle at all.I only have to move my lube pressure handle about a 1/2 inch each time,if that to get lube into the grooves.Make sure you are turning your pressure handle the correct way ( counter clock wise). I screwed mine clockwise one time,not thinking, and that presented a whole new set of problems.
    Last edited by Static line; 01-04-2019 at 08:01 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