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Cleaning Dies

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Shadetreeman, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Shadetreeman


    Mar 23, 2011
    I have a Dillon 550B, how often and what do you guys use to clean your dies with. I only load jacketed bullets.
  2. hoffy


    Jun 12, 2007
    Loading only jacketed bullets you wont have to clean very often, the biggest variable would be how dirty is the brass. Typically the seaters and sizers need cleaning the most, seaters especially with lead bullets. I just use Hoppes and a brush and dry well. Sometimes with lead I will take a patch on a screwdriver tip to get the gunk out of the seater between proper cleanings, but that does not apply here...... I am glad you are thinking, I have seen dies so gunked up with bullet lube and lead the reloaders were having all sorts of problems.

  3. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I've got 30,000+ rounds through my 550B and haven't cleaned the dies once (I do only load FMJ).

    I probably ought to look into doing that.
  4. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

    Oct 17, 2004
    the buffet
    I spray out my new dies with KGB degreaser and solvent. It evaporates pretty quickly, lifts off oil and grime, and doesn't leave a residue. Since I've only just begun loading, I haven't cleaned my dies out since. When I do, I'll use the KGB and a small nylon bristled brush to knock any gunk loose, if there is any.

  5. kshutt


    Aug 24, 2001
    Like others have mentioned, with jacketed or plated your cleaning will be minimal. When you do decide to clean, however, just pull out the die inserts (if you have Dillon dies, that is) on your seater and crimp dies. All you have to do then is take your pistol cleaning rod with a plastic jag attached, spray some Ballistol on a patch, and clean your inserts. With a few passes your dies will be clean and slick pretty quick. Follow this procedure up with a few dry patches, and your dies will stay cleaner a little longer than normal. Cleaning with Ballistol seems to be like coating your dies with teflon. Just make sure you remove all of the residue with the dry patches.
  6. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    I clean them. Even tumbled brass is amazingly dirty. I clean them with brake cleaner or bore cleaner, whichever is handier. The dirt/grit won't harm the dies at all; but it will scratch the brass. I find that it takes less effort to size with clean dies.

    For lead, it's almost mandatory to clean the seater if you want to keep a consitent OAL. for jacket it hasn't been an issue.

    If you can get to the expander, many find less effort with a polished expander. It's easy with Dillon and Lee, very difficult with Hornady and RCBS.
  7. Shadetreeman


    Mar 23, 2011
    Thanks for the input. Just really want to make sure I take care of my investment.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  8. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Thanks to you I went and cleaned my dies for the first time in four years. I hope you are happy.

    I found some wax and dog hair in my seating die. The wax was from lead bullets. the dog hair? I don't even let my dog in that room. I guess that if you own a dog you get dog hair everywhere.
  9. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Alcohol... 79 cents for a 55 gallon drum. Apply with a Q-Tip but never insert Q-Tip inside your ear, into the die only.

  10. tlafrance

    tlafrance Missing AZ

    Feb 5, 2001
    Never put ANYTHING in your ear, except your elbow :tongueout:

  11. RRTX11


    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Texas
    I cleaned my OAL die and learned something the other day. Not sure if all dies are like this. I pulled the pin out of my Dillon 9mm die and inside where the nose of the bullet sits there are two sides, one side for a flat nose, and it flips around for a round nose. I started with plated bullets and quickly switched to FMJ, so it was good to verify I was using the round nose cup within the die after I put it back together.
  12. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    On my SDB, I use to clean every changeover or 1000 rounds. The XL650 pull the pins on the Dillon dies run and break cleaner or alcohol wetted patch through them then dry patch. Good to go... I lube all my brass with HOS so am aware that gunk may build up.