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Preventing Dies from Rusting

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by lunchboxtheman, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. lunchboxtheman


    May 1, 2011
    I'm looking for some tips on how to keep my dies from rusting.

    I have a set of Lee carbide dies for 9mm and a set of RCBS carbide dies for 308. Both sets of dies were almost comlpletely covered in surface rust after about two weeks of owning them. I have tried literally drenching them in Ballistol, Rem oil, WD40, wax, etc. You name it, I've tried it. I even reapply every day and they still rust.

    They are in my basement right next to a big dehumidifier that runs round the clock. I live in Missouri where it is fairly humid but it is not particularly humid in my basement. This was a dry summer too.

    While the rust is purely cosmetic at this point, I don't want it to get worse and affect the function of the dies. So, does anyone have any tips?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  2. wallacefan


    Dec 24, 2011
    what is you humidity?

    i run my basement around 40-45% and i don't see any rust
    if ballistol doesn't work i dunno!
    Maybe store your dies upstairs?

  3. lunchboxtheman


    May 1, 2011
    Not sure what the humidity is - don't have a way to measure it. Might be a worthwhile investment.

    I'll try storing them in my room to see if that helps. Thanks for the suggestion.
  4. Butcher

    Butcher NRA Life Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    I use those little silica gel packets for small storage containers and my safe. If you can't get rid of the water, at least you'll remove the oxygen from the equation. Just put one little packet like you'd find in a pair of new shoes and close up the dies in a small container (ex: ammo can)

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  5. I got a dehumidifier for my basement and looked up the NRA recommendation-50% humidity. I set mine for it and haven't had any issues.

    Eezox has done better in rust prevention tests than any other oil represented.
  6. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
  7. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Wipe them well with a silicon coated gun rag.
  8. Fuerte

    Fuerte Cigar?

    Apr 29, 2005
    The Woodlands, TX
    Eesox is very good for preventing rust. My press is mounted in my garage and it gets very humid here in Texas. Eesox helps me keep the rust off of the press, dies, case gages, etc.
  9. sig357fan


    Apr 8, 2008
    SW OH
    +1, I do this after I dismantel and clean the die thoroughly with bore cleaner then alchol, then run the dies in my brass tumbler with crushed walnut shells, adding a cap full of mineral spirits and a cap full of Nu Finish car wax , after a couple hours, they comes out nice and shinny (just like my brass!), then a coat of Rem oil and into a small, sealable container with a desiccant silica gel pack.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  10. lunchboxtheman


    May 1, 2011
    Good thinking on the ammo can with silica gel. I actually already have one of reusable ones inside of an ammo can for storing primers. Never dawned on me to put my dies in there too haha.

    I'll look into eezox too. Thanks everyone.
  11. michael e

    michael e

    Nov 20, 2010
    Mine used to be in garage in Houston , all I did was store them in ammo cans . Now in the house and still store the same way.
  12. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    I'm in one of the more humid locales in the US, Florida. My reloading gear, including multiple caliper quick changes with dies already set, stay in a non-a/c garage. Once in a blue moon I may notice some surface rust on the dies. A good shot of Rem Oil takes care of it.

    WD40, contrary to popular belief, is not a protectant. It is a water displacement fluid. Use some sort of oil, not WD40.
  13. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    + 1,it would be my last choice to protect or lubricate anything,Ever. SJ 40
  14. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    You could always move up to Conifer, Colorado.


  15. timpar


    Aug 7, 2007
    I live in the mountain west desert, with pretty low humidity. But I did have some reloading equipment that was showing surface rust, so I rubbed some cold bluing paste that I had sitting around, on them (following directions for prepping them), and haven't seen any rust since.

    And, they look way cooler, too.
  16. SBray


    May 5, 2012
    Loomis, California
    The garage where I do my reloading and other work has a swamp cooler for use when it is hot. Keeping that in mind, I always try to keep metal surfaces oiled and covered.

    I have noticed some surface rust on some of my Dillion dies. I just used some fine steel wool and a light coat of oil to keep it in check. I cover my reloaders and other equipment with cloth so the humidity has less of a chance of settling on the metal surfaces.

  17. justinsaneok


    Jul 13, 2010
    I was forced to reload in a 8x12 shed here in Oklahoma after the births of my kids. Sometimes it gets really wet out here. I keep all my not currently used items toolheads, dies, primers, powders, trimmer and all metal stuff in a refrigerator with o2 absorbrs. I also give the metal stuff other than primer tubes a light coating of TC11 it's magical anti rust spray! I'm not sure if it's that stuff or that I have AC or a heater keep it around 65 all year . TC 11 does work I spray it on anything that I don't want to rust or stuff I want to stop rusting. I use it with the steel wool to remove rust from rusty things. Good stuff.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  18. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012