There is always some clearance between the head of the case and die bolt when die extractor is pulling on the rim of the case, so force the bolt up or the lever down until the extractor is pulling properly, then hit the inside of the case a sharp rap with the cleaning rod. This will drive the case back into contact with the face of the bolt or breech hlock. Repeat the operation a couple of times and that case will come out without trouble.
Before attempting to resize any cartridge cases, they should be wiped off to remove any free grit or dust and then lubricated. A good way to lubricate them quickly is to make a fiat pad of a number of thicknesses of cloth and tack it to a board. The pad should then be moistened with a good light oil, such as 3 in 1, after which a number of cases can be placed on it at one time and rolled with die palm of the hand to lubricate them. An excess of oil should be avoided. Vaseline rubbed into the pad is also good.
Cartridge cases fired on a range where the ground is sandy will charge with an excessive amount of grit, which will remain permanently imbedded in the surface of the brass. This grit will cause resizing dies to wear rapidly and will sometimes result in scoring them, after which that die will scratch every case sized in it. The manufacturer can usually polish it out for you without enlarging it enough to render it unserviceable, but a die can not be polished out more than once or tv/ice at the most.
Now for a word about the dies themselves. Tool steel is, as its name implies, steel for making tools, but it is a general term applied to a class of steels and there are almost as many kinds of tool steel as there are kinds of tools. Most of them are not suited to the manufacture of resizing dies.
38 Those that are suitable for dies require careful heat treatment to prevent them from warping. If they arc hardened, they become brittle and will break easily. If the hardened die is tempered or drawn to give it a tough structure, it will be softened and will not have a long life under continuous use. The best way to make a die of tool steel suitable for such a use is to "spout" them. When the die is heated to the proper temperature, a stream of water is run through the inside of it, chilling this inside quickly but cooling it more slowly toward the outside. This gives a hard inside surface, with a gradual softer and tougher structure toward the outside that will resist shock. But such dies would be expensive, as their manufacture would be slow and would call for the highest type of skilled labor.
High Speed steel is another misunderstood term. It also is a general term applied to a class of steels developed for making, cutting, turning and boring tools that will withstand the heat of running at higher speeds than arc possible with tools made from the ordinary tool steels. High speed steels are tough and hard on the tools used to work them, but none of them are particularly well suited to the making of resizing dies. Pacific can supply their tools equipped with "high speed steel" dies. I have one of these and they do a very nice piece of work on the dies, but if they properly pack harden their carbon steel dies, and I have no doubt but that they do, I would prefer the carbon steel dies.
Carbon steel doesn't mean much either, but the term is
applied to the ordinary run of steels of various carbon contents. The low carbon steels machine smoothly and tools used on them have a long life, but low carbon steel can not be hardened by the ordinary process of heating and quenching in oil or water. Dies made from it can be and are hardened by a process known as 4 pack hardening" which is similar to case hardening. This gives the inside of the die a very hard surface, a harder, more durable surfacc than a drawn tool steel die or a high speed steel die, and at the same time a good resizing die can be made in this way at a moderate cost.
Method of sectioning: fired cartridge case to prepare it for etching.
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