To Lube or Not To Lube?

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Flying Felix, Jul 29, 2012.

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  1. After 2 years of asking I’ve now got back my multi stage press (lent it out over 12 years ago after the handgun ban) and I’m now starting to reload rifle ammo.

    Every manual I read recommends something different to using case lube:

    1. Lube all cases.
    2. Only lube if not using carbide dies.
    3. No need to lube for pistol cases.
    4. Only need to lube for bottle neck cases.
    5. Fully lube rifle cases even when using carbide dies.
    6. No need to lube rifle cases when using carbide dies.
    7. Only need to lube the neck of bottle necked rifle cases.
    8. No need to lube the neck of bottle necked rifle cases when using carbide dies.


    Are Lyman, Dillon, Lee and RCBS just trying to sell more kit, or is there an actual realistic answer.

    By the way I always use carbide dies.

    And another thing…..if a single dice is called a die why is the plural of die dies?

    Confused from Lancs
  2. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    If you don't lube rifle cases they will get jammed - which will mean an inconvenient trip to a gunsmith who will relieve you of a tenner.....

    It does not matter how good your die is, the failure point will be at the case rim in the shell holder...
  3. Here are my simple rules (after about thirty years of relodding) : no need to lube carbide dies.

    Always lube non carbide dies and lube inside the neck of bottle-neck rifle cases. (In order to assist the expander on the up stroke.)

    Carbide dies for bottle-necks,that must be new because I haven't come across them and I'm not sure how they would work. Carbide pistol dies have a carbide tin that does the sizing.

    BTW although some cartridges look straight-sided (and therefore one can get carbide dies for them) they are not for example 9mm Parabellum. In that case I use non-carbide dies.

    BTW2, because dice and die are different words from different roots.
  4. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I jammed a Snider .577 into a carbide die......:hmm:
  5. Are they genuinely straight-sided? (See my point about 9mm Para.)
  6. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I have a set of Dillon carbide dies in .223, marketed for heavy use, they recommend lubing.

    I don't reload pistol so cannot comment.
  7. Are you referring to a separated case?

    If you say that the week point is at the rim and shell holder, then there is no point in applying lube as this part is not sized by the die.
  8. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Not really, they are custom made to give a .595 neck size for the first 15mm or so (which springs back nicely to seat a .590 minie).
  9. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    If your case is tight in the die, the rim will just get pulled out of the case holder. With cases with weak rims (like Snider), this is easier than with some more robust cases.
  10. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

  11. Ahhhhhh

  12. No need to lube carbide dies, otherwise lube.. but you need to have clean cases to start with...

    AFIK only straight case pistol dies were obtainable in carbide.. most bottle neck dies are usually steel, unless you are using S (adjustable neck) dies for which you can get carbide inserts..

    If you are resizing large calibre, thin cases like .577/.450 or Snider then lubing is very important otherwise you simply rip off the case rim. I use Hornady 1 shot aerosol spray (NOT the pump version - which is, well, pump), which is getting like rocking horse poo these days.. and Imperial sizing die wax for Martini and Snider cases..!

    Be very sparing with resizing lube.. you only need a smear - if you use too much you can cause blisters and creases to form at the neck. You can also kill your primers and powder with too much lube.. One guy at our club was "slapping it on" like KY to the extent that the primer was firing, but not the powder.. not a good scenario! I tend to bung cases back into the tumbler for an hour after resizing. You have to poke the medium out of the flash holes on occasions, but it gets the lube off the cases before reloading. Lube on your case will also increase the bolt head pressure as the case can slide against the chamber, which is not a good thing, particularly in rifles which lock at the rear of the bolt like the Lee..

    Carbide dies were introduced for use in progressive presses so that you could resize and reload without using lube. This is fine with straight wall pistol cases, particulalrly if they were nickel plated, however not so sure I would do it with rifle cases. I have never been convinced that progressive (i.e. resize then reload in one pass) presses were the way to go for necked cases. In Industry there is always a break for cleaning (pickling) between case forming and loading to get any lube out of the way..

    WTF do you need to load that many necked cases for anyway? Got an MG42 stashed away somewhere?

    Oh, and the "dies" and "dice" thing is just down to bad spelling..
    • Like Like x 1
  13. So as I gather:

    No need to lube if using carbide dies…..unless its bottle necked rifle carbide dies!
  14. You're probably OK not lubing carbide insert neck resizing S dies like Hornady, otherwise lube!

    ...and make sure you clean it off after!

    ..not on the curtains!