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Thread: When Things Go Wrong

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    38

    When Things Go Wrong

    Greetings,

    After 25 years of swaging, I finally joined the "I broke a die club".

    Good news is it broke in such a way to show the internal finish and bleed hole.

    Cheers,

    Dave

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    How did you do that?
    Pain is just weakness leaving the body...
    It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not (ask DJT).

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    90 miles North of Texarkana 9 miles from OK in the green hell
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    That's odd , especially in a straight wall steel die .

    Pain is weakness leaving .......this 5? arthritis is going to just add another Greek to my list below .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18


    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    38
    Greetings,

    I am not, nor do I have the access to, a Material Scientist that can analyze the fracture to determine what caused the fault.

    Personally??? I think it was a crack that developed in the heat treat process. Again, I have no resources to do magnetic particle inspection.

    What was I doing when it failed???

    I was swaging 99 grain 25:1 Lead:Tin slugs into 98 grain HBWC bullets. I heard a "crack" during one press cycle and thought I broke a link pin. Taking the linkage apart all looked well and I continued. The second bullet went "crack" and the die was now visibly damaged. I needed a small strap wrench to remove the two halves.

    The die was machined from O-1 tool steel and tempered to 62 HRC. I might try a piece of A-6 or A-10, if I have any left in the shop. At least a less severe quench.

    My press is the Corbin S Silver model I bought back in the mid '90's.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    az
    Posts
    204
    I broke a couple of corbins years ago. they broke the same way. too much pressure or weak from a lot of use.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy M.A.D's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Australia
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    I guess im lucky, I get all my lead from the 22 section of the shooting gallery. Ive heard allot of horror stories of guys swaging alloyed lead and popping dies..

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    38
    Greetings,

    I also buy salvage 22lr metal. Oddly, it is harder than 25:1 alloy.

    If I mix the salvage metal 50:50 with pure Lead, it swages a bit better.

    The Lead:Tin alloys actually flow better for forming the Hollow Base bullets.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by fc60 View Post
    Greetings,

    I am not, nor do I have the access to, a Material Scientist that can analyze the fracture to determine what caused the fault.

    Personally??? I think it was a crack that developed in the heat treat process. Again, I have no resources to do magnetic particle inspection.

    What was I doing when it failed???

    I was swaging 99 grain 25:1 Lead:Tin slugs into 98 grain HBWC bullets. I heard a "crack" during one press cycle and thought I broke a link pin. Taking the linkage apart all looked well and I continued. The second bullet went "crack" and the die was now visibly damaged. I needed a small strap wrench to remove the two halves.

    The die was machined from O-1 tool steel and tempered to 62 HRC. I might try a piece of A-6 or A-10, if I have any left in the shop. At least a less severe quench.

    My press is the Corbin S Silver model I bought back in the mid '90's.

    Cheers,

    Dave
    Have any closer up or high res photos? But it does look like it is from heat treat from my experience with tool steels breaking.

    I would try D2 if you have the ability to heat treat that material. It is a bit more forgiving to cracking in the 58-62 HRc range.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    38
    Greetings jmcburn,

    Thanks for the alloy suggestion. However, my furnace is old and I limit the temperature to 1600 degrees F.

    I may machine a replacement out of A6 as I have some stock remaining from a previous project.

    I have been using O1 for years and I suspect this die failed the quench.

    As far as high resolution photos, I do not have a suitable camera.

    Many thanks,

    Dave

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    alfloyd's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Another suggestion would be to NOT knurl the outside of the die. Knurling makes stress spots in the body and helps to make it crack on quenching. Don't ask me how I found that out .

    Lafaun
    Just staying at home and playing with multi-color boolits.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Oct 2008
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    LEESBURG VA
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    765
    I've seen the last threads on splitting dies, I'm currently making a core sizing die and was wondering if 2 or 3 bleed holes would be better, although I'm only using pure lead for cores.

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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