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Thread: Asking Advice on Pacific Dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    Asking Advice on Pacific Dies

    I acquired a used set of Pacific reloading dies for 45 ACP from a member here. Like usual, I used the die with the decapper to size the empty cases. I found that my boolits had to be considerably over size or they would slip in the case. There was another die with a hole in the middle, but no threads on top, inside. I assumed it was a taper crimp die (there aren't any markings on the dies to tell you.) Sometimes when I taper crimped they would work, and sometimes they didn't. Today I looked at the dies again. On top of the die that has no inside threads, it is marked with a "1". The die with the decapper and flaring stem is marked with a "2". The seating die is marked "3".

    All my life pistol dies had been in the order: size and decap, flare, seat, crimp (if needed). Am I correct in thinking that the Pacific dies moved the decapping station to the flaring die? Which would mean the sizer die is the one I thought was taper crimp. Thanks.

    Wayne
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or else it gives you a bad rash.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    Most of the older die companies(including Pacific) used the flaring die to de-cap the used primer. It did not size. The die without a stem is the sizing die. I have an older set of RCBS dies that have that same set up. That is the reason the dies are marked 1, 2, 3. Size 1, de-cap and flare 2, and seat 3. There are specialty dies now that flare only, or crimp only. There are die now that de-cap only. It depends on whether the die is for rifle use or pistol use that the dies differ somewhat.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    That is true. The old sequence for straight wall cases was:full-length size (generally without decapping); decap/flare; and seat/crimp (if crimping was necessary).

    A lot of the old FLS dies had no threads at the top of the die; later ones typically have threads, but nothing screwed into them. I clean the lube off cases with brake cleaner, so I prefer to put a skinny decapping stem in the FLS die so the liquid drains out more easily.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    Rumor has it that the "open top" size die facilitated the easy removal of stuck brass, advances in lubes and carbide dies have made sticky pistol brass a non issue.

    Your size die would be plain steel not carbide so lube is a must if you use it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    Well, that explains everything. It's weird, though. I've been running my reloads through the Star PD 45, and most of the time, they work fine. I guess the Star has a generous throat. Thanks, guys.

    Wayne

    PS: If that set of dies predates my reloading experience, I don't feel so old.
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or else it gives you a bad rash.
    Venison is free-range, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    It was eluded to, but not specifically stated that you will need to lube the cases to size them.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    By integrating the decapping function into the expander die the die companies were able to omit 3 parts
    1. Decapping rod
    2. Decapping rod lock nut
    3. Decapping rod bushing

    Omission of those parts reduced the cost of the die set and put more money in the pocket of the die company while you still get dies that work.
    EDG

  8. #8
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    I just rolled up half a box of JHPs in the 45, using the sizing die. They plunk test just fine; next thing is to shoot them.

    Wayne
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or else it gives you a bad rash.
    Venison is free-range, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Wayne, don't be feeling less than smart, I been known to do similar so you ain't alone.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I had a CH set that seated and sized in the same die as near as I could figure .
    The other die was flair decap .
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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Yep, some things are just a bit harder to figger out! I have an older set of Pacific 38 Special dies I had the same "problem" with. Being fairly new at reloading, pre-web and no reloading friends, I just put them away and bought a Lee set...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  12. #12
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    When I first started reloading in 1963, that was how handgun dies were made: Lube cases, size first, decap and bell second, seat and crimp third.

    I thought it was pretty slick when Lyman came out with the .38/.357 carbide sizing/decapping die and bought one in 1969, for the princely sum of $6.00. That Lyman die probably has well over 500,000 rounds through it and it's still going strong. The $6.00 price tag was quite high at the time, but I think I've probably gotten my money's worth out of it.

    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.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I picked up an older set of RCBS 44 mag dies. These were set up like your pacific dies. The only real problem I had with them is the expander was to long. It would go deep enough to flare the case.
    The size die was treaded. I called RCBS and they sent me a the adapter to thread in the die and a decapping rod and lock nut. I put the expander in my drill press and with it spinning I used my angle grinder and ground the expander shorter so it can even expand 44 Special cases.
    Now the set decaps as it sizes, then you expand, then seat and crimp with the last die.
    RCBS makes a series of Cow Boy die. These are supposedly designed for cast bullets as used by Cow Boy Action shooters. While I was on the phone with them I asked if that set used a larger diameter expander plug. They told me it used the same expander as the regular sets of dies.
    Leo

  14. #14
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Wayne, don't be feeling less than smart, I been known to do similar so you ain't alone.
    Thanks, Bazoo. I had just never seen dies like this before.
    Wayne
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or else it gives you a bad rash.
    Venison is free-range, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free

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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