Hornady 223 FL sizing die problems

jLorenzo

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I moved recently and just got my bench set up. My Hornady 223 die had a slightly bent decapping rod from me being a bit of a dumb gorilla when I first started reloading, still seemed to pop primers fine so I used it as is even though I was a bit paranoid about the expander mandrel possibly being a little crooked when going into the case mouth.
So tonight I get 4 cases in and the 5th sticks (not enough lube/can of Hornady oneshot not shaken enough would be my guess)
So now having a stuck case I decide to loosen up the decapping rod/collet from the die and tap on it with a hammer in an atempt to free the case, since it was already bent I figured it needed replaced anyway. After that failed to free the case, bent the rod and decapping pin more (crimped LC factory primer) I have been hunting around for the rod, pin and expander mandrel in case it was damaged in some way (wont know until the stuck case is freed) and I can't find any Hornady threaded decapping rods anywhere only the pins and mandrel. Im going to call them tomorrow to see if they can send me what I need, every site I check is out of stock.

Should I just get another 223 sizing and de-capping die from a different company? Should I be using a universal de-capping die before sizing? Seems like a bit of a pain but if it keeps stuff like this from happening Ill be happy.

I'm currently only loading for my 18" WOA Wylde barrel but would like to pick up a Tikka Varmint in 223 at some point also. Most of my loading with be LC brass. Although I might switch to something that doesn't have crimped primers, not a fan of reaming primer pockets even on my RCBS case prep station and the RCBS crimp remover tool is out of stock everywhere Ive seen online. Mostly using 75s or 77s, occasionally 53gr vmaxs.

I'm relatively new to reloading so any advice would be appreciated.
 

alamo5000

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If the expander shaft (or whatever the name of it is) is bent then trash that part. You should be able to get replacement parts no problem however the current shortage is going to come into play.

I know some people like em but I am not a big fan of Hornady dies. That is just personal preference.

If you want to upgrade your die by all means there are some great options out there. I use Forster but I also recently bought a Mighty Armory die for another caliber. On the Mighty Armory website the .223 die is currently in stock. It's not cheap but it seems to be a quality product and should produce better results all other things being considered. The expander for those is more of a mandrel. They look a lot more beefy to me so that's a good thing.

I would wonder if you potentially have messed up any of your brass by running a bent rod in there. Just keep an eye out for possible issues.

I definitely would not bother trying to salvage that rod and expander at this point, especially if it was already bent. Totally not worth it if it's really stuck. Just take a big hammer to it while trying to save the die body. I try to use something like a board with a hole in it or a washer so that your die isn't making direct contact with whatever you are hitting it against to get the die out. The Forster dies have a stuck case kit that if you stick a case you just take all the top of the die off of it, put a washer on there and they have a big nut that you thread down over it and it will pull out your expander ball.

I had that happen to me once where I had to replace the decapping rod/expander so after that I bought that stuck case kit.

Crimped primers has never been a problem for me personally. That said removing the crimp is a laborious process if you don't have the right tools. I know it's a little past late to say so, but I have the Dillon swage tool that removes those military crimps. That thing might get used once a year but it's worth every penny. Even if you have a friend that has one you can do that and be done in no time. That all said there are numerous tools that will make removing crimps relatively easy. Once they are removed then you should easily get multiple firings from your brass after that. Depending on how much you shoot that could last you quite some time.

If you want to decap before you size you can but it's not at all a requirement. Depending on what you are loading, what kind of load, and how you want everything that step is basically doubling the work. If you are loading 100 rounds that's one thing but if you are loading 4000 rounds that's something else entirely. Decapping before sizing in my opinion will have nearly no bearing on stuck cases provided you are doing everything else correctly.

Recently I started using some wax lube. Creedmoor Die Wax or Redding Sizing Wax is pretty good stuff. It's also a lot less messy. Nothing wrong with other stuff but it's just one of those things you can try and see if you like it. I have tried all sorts of stuff myself. I don't really care so long as it works kind of thing. Just do not over lube your cases because you can dent up your brass that way.

All in all Hornady is fine (despite my not liking them as much) but if you are going to spend outrageous inflated prices to try and repair a mid range die you might as well just pony up a little extra cash (if it's an option) and just upgrade.

 

redbullitt

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I like using a dedicated decapper, especially when we have a shortage on... it's easier to source new pins and some of them tend to be a good deal tougher and preserve my hard to find die specific parts.

Get some lanolin lube from the guy selling here in the post exchange. You'll never stick another case. Imperial sizing wax is great too. Get those and never go back. I do like that spray lube for hitting the inside necks though sometimes.

Dillon makes a tool that is awesome for dealing with primer pockets. 100 percent love it. Lc brass is quite good and I have excellent results using it with minimal fuss thanks to their swager.
 

6.5SH

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If it was just the decapping pin that was bent there should be 1-2 spares in the box, check under the foam.
 

Mike Casselton

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    ^^^^^^
    This.
    Now if the rod is bent, well, you'll need another complete decapping assembly.
    Call Hornady CS and they'll take care of you.
     

    Mike Casselton

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    Yep that's the assembly.
    The assembly consists of three parts:
    Decapping rod, elliptical expander and decapping pin.

    Usually, Hornady places an extra decapping pin under the little block of foam. Some times there is a second seater plug for VLD types of projectiles.

    Either way, a call to Hornady and they should take care of you.
     

    never_summer

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    If this is the decapping pin set for the 223 match dies, don’t know if it differs from their others, I have mine that I don’t use. I decap and expand separately so it’s just sitting around if you need one just pm me
     

    jLorenzo

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    Well I broke a bolt off in the case after tapping it and using a socket and washers to try and extract the case.
    Are the RCBS taper crimp small base dies worth getting or should I stick with the standard full length?
    .223 wylde chamber never had problems with my hornady full length die sized brass chambering.
     

    jLorenzo

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    Were you ever in the Marine Corps by chance?
    No but wanted to be when I was younger lol.
    The bolt broke surprisingly easy, I was only using a small allen wrench and the bolt snapped just above the case rim.
     

    AllenOne1

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    I would personally stay with the standard full length sizing die. The Hornady dies are fine for what you are doing. I do decap as a first step with a decapping die because I do think the decapping rod is a weak point in most standard dies. That allows you to raise the expander ball up higher in the die so it is expanding with a little more case support. The Lee decapping die and some squirrel daddy pins is a good setup.
     

    alamo5000

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    No but wanted to be when I was younger lol.
    The bolt broke surprisingly easy, I was only using a small allen wrench and the bolt snapped just above the case rim.
    Get a big hammer and a big nail. If you can flatten the end of the point that's good. If not use a metal rod of some sort.

    Pull the decapping rod up as high as you can and cut it off.

    Insert nail or other metal rod and hammer it out. I would drill a hole in a piece of wood for the die to sit on while you hammer out the stuck case.
     
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    jLorenzo

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    Get a big hammer and a big nail. If you can flatten the end of the point that's good. If not use a metal rod of some sort.

    Pull the decapping rod up as high as you can and cut it off.

    Insert nail or other metal rod and hammer it out. I would drill a hole in a piece of wood for the die to sit on while you hammer out the stuck case.
    The bottom of the decapping rod will still be stuck inside the die because the expander mandrel wont come out through the top. Ive already mashed it and the decapping pin pretty bad (I assume because I can't see it), enough to bend the hell out of the decapping spindel. I may be visualizing it wrong though. If I can make that work it would be worth a shot. Thanks.
     

    alamo5000

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    The bottom of the decapping rod will still be stuck inside the die because the expander mandrel wont come out through the top. Ive already mashed it and the decapping pin pretty bad (I assume because I can't see it), enough to bend the hell out of the decapping spindel. I may be visualizing it wrong though. If I can make that work it would be worth a shot. Thanks.
    It will work. Just don't baby it. Use a good heavy hammer. In this instance following instructions is a good thing.

    The biggest part is to drill a hole in a solid piece of wood so that the case can come out but the die won't move while you whack the metal dowel/nail.
     

    AllenOne1

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    It seems like I read something about put these in the freezer to help with removal but I can't remember any details.