• Die-Stuck Case Removal

      It happened a few days after I read an article in Magnum on lubricating cases for rifle reloading.

      I setup my press to load .303, and depriming the 3rd case gave me a squeak and a jammed press handle.

      I forgot to lube the cases.

      I was travelling the next few days, so I used my spare time to design a simple technique to remove stuck cases from dies, without injuring the decapping pin. I designed it to use generic hardware store items that were relatively cheap, so as not to end up spending more money than I had to to fix a stupid mistake.

  • The Problem

      This could never happen to me. I'm too carefull. I have reloading experience. As it is said, 'Yeah Right'.

  • Tools

      The T-piece is a standard three quarter inch galvanised plumbing T-piece. The tap is 8mm. I used two spanners, I could have used a 5mm socket to turn the tap as well. Not shown here is a 6.5mm steel drill bit, which is also required.

      The bolt is 65mm long 8mm galvanised mild steel, and the washers are fender washers, I used three together because they were thin and I needed rigidity. Three nuts are needed.

  • Primer Pocket Drilling

      I used a 6.5 mm bit to drill the pocket out. I used a drill press on the slowest speed, and checked the depth frequently to ake sure I did not contact the decapping pin. In this case, the decapping pin was able to retract a limited amount, just enough to clear the primer pocket and move around in the case.

      In this picture , the shiny bit in the center of the drilled pocket is the tip of the decapping pin, and it has not been contacted by the drill.

  • Case Tapping

      Self explanatory. I discovered later the tap could have been driven by a 5mm socket. I measured the depth of the primer pocket, and sure I turned the equivalent number of threads so as not to hit the decapping pin.

  • Tapped Case

      Case is tapped, about 4 threads worth. I chose an 8mm thread for this, because I thought a larger diameter would be less likely to strip the threads on extraction. I guestimated, correctly this time.

  • Decapping Pin

      After drilling and tapping, the decapping pin is unharmed.

  • Screw Depth

      This is an 8mm bolt, I used counterlocking nuts to make sure the number of threads screwed into the case did not change while I was extracting the case. This prevented the bolt from entering the case and bending the decapping pin.

      Note that the die has a split-lock ring on it. The normal lock-nut that comes with the die is very soft aluminium, and might get damaged. I also needed a larger diameter surface for the T-piece to sit on in the next step.

  • Extraction Step 1

      Holding the die upside down, I put the T-piece on it as shown. This is why the larger diameter split-lock ring is usefull. An appropriate sized washer would do the same job if no split-lock ring is available.

  • Extraction Step 2

      Lower the bolt and thread into the case with the nuts and washers positioned as shown. Tighten carefully with a spanner. The number of threads exposed in the 'Screw Depth' step need to be engaged here.

  • Case Extraction

      After a few stiff turns, it was clear the case was backing out of the die. The T-piece has a built-in viewport on proceedings, and is very convenient for the purpose.

  • Case Removed

      The freshly removed case.

  • Decapping Pin Removal

      At this point, the decapping pin won't clear the case mouth or exit through the drilled hole. I was tempted to use pliers on it, but I decided to take a bit more time and avoid nasty marks on the decapping pin.

  • Sanding the Rim

      The case rim was damaged, and would not slide into the shell-holder. Some sandpaper and a rub to flatten it out.

  • Re-assembly

      I re-assembled the die, now the case is in the die not because it's stuck to the die wall but because I want to use the press to pull the case clear of the decapping pin.

  • Using Press I

      Using the press to separate the case and decapping pin. Offset the shell-holder till the case contacts on the upstroke.

      This is step is only for a single stage press.

  • Using Press II

      Slide the shell-holder to hold the case.

  • Complete

      A sight for sore eyes. Everything back to the way it was minus one useable case. No die spares necessary. Need to put a big sticker on the press, "Have you lubed your cases lately" .