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Eventually it happens....you get a brass case stuck in the resizing die. It had been a long time since it last happened to me. I was recently trying out a different sizing die lube and I obviously didn't get quite enough on the .223 Remington brass case. It felt a little tight going in and sure enough, when I moved the press's handle to extract the case from the die, it was quite stuck. Years ago I bought a RCBS stuck case remover. I blew the dust off of the box and did a quick scan on the included instruction sheet. Let's take a look at what is involved with removing a stuck case from the resizing die.
Since you will be drilling a hole in the end of the brass case
(you didn't plan on using it after you were done, did you?), you need to safely
secure the resizing die. The RCBS instructions recommended putting the die
into a bench vise with a piece of wood on either side (to protect the threads).
I found that I could use my RCBS Rock Chucker press to hold the die in place and
allow access while I drilled the hole. How's that you say?
Easy enough.....I unscrewed the die from the top of press and
screw it into the press from beneath. This may not be able to be done with
all presses. It was easier for me to do it this way and so I did.
The next step is to unscrew the depriming stem in the sizing die. You can't remove it but that is not a problem. I loosened it and let it drop out of the way. This got the depriming pin out of the primer pocket on the brass case so I could drill the necessary hole.
The stuck case remover uses a 1/4"x20 bolt to help extract the
case. The drill bit size is a #7 and is included in the stuck case remover
kit. I used my electric hand drill. If you have a cordless drill, it
would work equally well. Drilling through the brass case was easy enough.
Be careful not to "punch through" with the drill bit and hit the depriming stem.
With the pilot hole in the brass case, the 1/4"x20 tap (also
supplied in the kit) was used to cut threads into the base of the brass case.
The tap handle is NOT supplied in the kit. You can use a small wrench if
you are so inclined but it is easier to use a regular tap handle. They can
be had for a few dollars at your local hardware store.
With a freshly tapped 1/4" hole in the base of the brass case,
it was time extract the case. The remaining parts of the kit are used in
this step. A stuck case remover body is placed over the end of the die and
the 1/4" bolt is screwed into the brass case. An allen wrench is supplied
for the bolt.
As the bolt is screwed into the brass case, it pulls the case
out of the resizing die. There is the possibility of the case being so
stuck that you can strip the threads out of the brass case as you tighten the
bolt. If this happens, you could try a larger tap and bolt (time to
improvise) or you could carefully drill out the case on a lathe. I might
be inclined to return the die to the manufacturer and see if they can remove it
(I've read of accounts where they have done so).
So there you have it. How to remove a stuck brass case
from a resizing die. If you wanted to make your own stuck case remover
kit, the 1/4"x20 tap, bolt, and #7 drill bit can be obtained from your local
hardware store. As for the body that fits over the end of the die, one
could use a 1/4" drive socket. I've no doubt it would be cheaper than
buying a kit from the manufacturer....and it would work just as well.