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Cleaning your dies

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by November Sunrise, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. I have a set of 9mm carbide Lee dies that i have run about 5000 cases through. They are working great but i was wondering how often i should disassemble and clean them. I am not scoring any brass when i am loading and their seems to be no more resistance when i am using them now in comparison to when they were new. Whats the rule of thumb?
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  2. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    That all depends. Do you shoot lead? If so about 500 rds. If you don’t your c.o.l. could start changing. How well do you clean your brass before reloading? I might clean mine once a year. Or when the mood hits me. About 15,000 to 30,000rds. Or something to do while waiting for a hurricane to hit.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

  3. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    You should definitely clean your loading dies more frequently than I do.
  4. I reload only FMJ type rounds. No lead. My OAL has always varried ±.008.
  5. I tumble everything before loading too. Actually i'm kind of a clean freak in my reloading area. I don't want to burn up anything usefull if i drop a lit cigarette.:cool:
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    This subject comes up on a regular basis here on GTR and with our world famous reputation of being the most helpful forum on the net we long ago prepared a pro-forma answer to newb questions such as this.

    We refer you to the GTR Handbook of Hand Loading and Wife/Girlfriend Aversion Techniques.

    Please see Chapter 13, Sub-section 4, sub-sub-section Q, paragraph 17;

    Cleaning of loading dies shall be accomplished on a regular basis to insure the production of quality hand loaded ammunition and help promote a clean and healthy mind.

    To facilitate this most important step in the loading process the GTR Board of Overseers highly suggests that all forum members incorporate this task into their butler's list of routine duties and responsibilities. It is highly suggested that the task be scheduled during one of the maid's several daily breaks to avoid potential of an embarrassing interruption.

    The entire Handbook of Hand Loading and Wife/Girlfriend Aversion Techniques may be purchased for $19.95, U.S. funds. (sorry, no C.O.D's)

    If you act within the nest 20 minutes, we can't do this all day, you will also receive, free of charge, the PCJim's book of Firearm Parts and Wild Truffle Photography as well as a leather bound copy of Little Stevie's book of Beginners Guide to Bullet Casting and Serious Burn First Aid Treatments.

    Just pay additional handling and postage. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

  7. engineermike


    Jul 15, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    Next Jack will have a cardboard audience screaming "SHOW US MORE"..:rofl:
  8. OzzyOsbourne


    Feb 19, 2009
    DFW, TX
    :rofl: That's a great answer.
  9. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    When I was still reloading I used to clean my dies by soaking and scrubbing them in Kerosene. Once a year is usually enough. I used to remove the seater plugs and thoroughly clean out the seater dies about once every 5 or 6 months. I set my presses up nice and tight. (Took all of the play out of the ram or shell plate.) I don't think my OAL's varied by more than .001". A dirty, or leaded up, bullet seater plug is what will screw you up the most. I never loaded dirty brass in my life; everything was cleaned and polished before it hit the sizer.
  10. dbarry

    dbarry Silver Member

    Feb 15, 2010
    the Buckeye state
    Jack forgot the old tip on some nose grease...