RCBS Resizing Die question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by thomas44, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. thomas44

    thomas44 New Member

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    I got this RCBS .223 resize die along with a small single stage press from eBay, and there is obviously a part missing from the decap pin. I've tried to find what it is that's specifically missing, but I'm a little confused. I've seen universal decap pins (.22-.45) available for RCBS, but wouldn't I want a decap pin/expander ? I haven't found anything online that looks to be compatible. (forgive my ignorance-I own Lee and Hornady dies)

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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  2. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    You need both the expander ball and the decapping pin.
    The expander ball threads onto that bottom portion and is what hold the decapping pin in place.

    That one looks like it uses the old-style standard (small size) decapping pins as opposed to the new-style headed pins but your picture is kinda fuzzy so I'm not sure. Does the bottom of that stem have a collet-chuck type end on it? If so, its the old style.

    You can get replacements from Huntington Die Specialties...pretty sure that Midway or Graf's should carry replacement RCBS parts too though.
    http://www.huntingtons.com/dies_parts.html
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  3. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    I'd call RCBS and tell them what you need. I'm guessing they will send them to you.
  4. thomas44

    thomas44 New Member

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    Hmm, it has a squared off end with a tiny centering hole in the end. I don't see old type vss. new type in the online catalogs. I guess I'll call RCBS. Thanks guys.
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    This is a picture of the old-style (collet-chuck) type decapping pin & expander setup. This is out of a 6.5mm but .223 would be the same. (It's the only RCBS set I've got with me at the moment otherwise I could show you the new style as well).
    To see the picture larger, click here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/moparmike90/2973798359/sizes/o/

    If yours doesn't look like this, it sounds like your die has the new-style "headed" decapping pin.
    Here's the parts list catalog page at rcbs.com...same stuff as at Huntington.
    http://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/Mai...=CategoryDisplay&categoryId=C45J054&route=C45
    (Huntington's is still affiliated with RCBS and carries their full line of spare parts. Fred Huntington is the "father" of RCBS and even though he sold off the main RCBS operation to Omark in the mid-70s...it's now owned by ATK...his kids are still involved with both Huntington's and RCBS operations).
    Give either place a call and they can set you up with the right parts.

    [​IMG]


    BTW...excuse the rust. This was one of my sets that got neglected in storage for nearly a decade.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  6. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Thomas,

    It looks like an "X-die" which one of our pro's can specifically explain it to you better than I can. I just retired mine after destroying the shoulders on alot of my .308 brass with the whole "x-die theory" I'm a new reloader and would probably suggest another die if you are a newb. You may be able to find a new mandrel assembly from rcbs - Just throwing caution out there to you.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    You might be right. The top end of the decapping stem does look different than any of the "standard" RCBS dies that I have. Didn't think of that.
    If it's an X-die, they use the new-style headed decapping pins.
  8. thomas44

    thomas44 New Member

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    Thanks guys-I did a little more digging, and it apparently is an X-die, which I have come to the conclusion is useless to me.Oh, well. Live and learn. The X-dies sound good in theory, until you read some fine print and find they aren't recommended for cartridges used in bolt action rifles ! What kind of crap is that ? Okay, just my little rant for the day.
  9. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    yeah,
    This die has a step on the mandrel which you adjust to stop the brass from expanding - the problem lies within the length of brass you use for setup. If ANY brass after initial setup in your pile happens to be a couple thousanths longer its going to blow out the shoulders and say goodbye to headspacing properly! Now show me a 100 rounds of brass that expanded in a chamber EXACTLY the same length - BS. Its almost as if the fine print is admitting your going to ruin your brass using it! HAHA
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    312shooter:

    You got me worried! I'm using the X-dies for the first time and I sure don't want to loose 150 cases of 308.

    Did you full length resize the cases as spelled out in the instructions by seating the die in the press against the shell holder then backing the mandrel out about 2 turns? Did you then trim the cases 0.020 inches MORE than the manuals trim-to-length (shorter than trim-to-length by 0.020 inches)? Did you then set up the mandrel to seat against the case mouth and not change it for subsequent reloads?

    The first firing should blow the cases out to fill the chamber of the gun. That should make the cases shorter than after the initial case preparation. It should take several reloads to get the brass "grown" enough for the mouth to touch the mandrel step again. Reloads after that are controlled by that step in the mandrel stopping the case mouth from growing.

    Does any of this sound different from what you did to your brass that you ruined?

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  11. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    LD,

    The X-die (mine is a small base .308) set up was spot on and it did its job of resizing superb as can be, however, once you get enough brass "flow" toward your shoulder (3rd firing or so?) and the case mouth is on the step before your shell holder hits top stroke it compromises the shoulder. I didn't headspace gauge these when I was done so thats one strike against my procedure. It was quite a bummer finding out the hard way every second or third round was bad out of a hundred. Since then I have gone back to my Redding dies and a case trimmer, I hope you can help me and others out with this die since it just seems to be way to much headache for my fairly shallow experience in reloading!
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    312shooter:

    "headspaced gage"....what do you mean by that.

    I also don't like the fact that you are using a small base 308 die set. You are working the B-Gsus out of the brass with every reloading. I use regular die sets for all of my semi-auto rifles with no problem. Why did you go to small base die set? I wonder if the small base die set is the problem? Why don't you call RCBS and get their opinion on this. I am sure they will want to help.

    Before I bought my X-dies I researched them. I found a guy on the Internet who did extensive testing way beyond any I would have done. He took a small lot of brass and reloaded it to destruction. He didn't see the cases get to the step on the mandrel until five or six reloads. The first case to get "worn out" was at about the 14th reloading and most of the rest were still going after 20 reloads. He used a the ammo in a semi-auto 308 gun (M1A, I believe). The dies were not the small base set.

    I too have no experience with this die set. At the rate I reload 308 I may never get to the point where the step is reached if my luck follows the Internet guy's. I don't want to advocate these dies to anyone just yet, but I like the concept and ony wished to test it (over a long time period). I use regular rifle dies and trim as required on all my other rifle cartridges. My trim setup is all motorized so it really is not that much of a big deal. For me, with somewhat artritic hands, the worst part of trimming is the chamfering of the case mouth which in my case is motorized too. My normal lot size is 100+ cases. I just wanted to try the X-dies.

    Please do call RCBS and give us some feedback as to what your problem is according to them. We all need to know. Thanks.

    LDBennett
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