Another noob question

So I’ve reloaded several hundred rounds of .45ACP with once used brass that I cleaned. Results were fine. Today I started more with some new brass that I purchased. I noticed instantly that I was having a bit of trouble with the case sticking to the dye on the second stage. Got to the point after about 5 rounds that I had to use some force to dislodge it.

I had not lubed any brass previously as I’d read that wasn’t really necessary for handgun calibers. But I’m thinking that may be wrong and if it is wrong I’m surprised that used brass would be ok but new brass would have an issue.
Do you guys lube all your brass?
Am I correct in assuming this is only a lube issue or is there something else I’m missing?

Thanks for your (KIND) help.


I lube my brass. Even 9mm, I just don’t use a lot. My lube is in a spray bottle and and spritz the brass in the box and shake it a little. Sometimes I’ll even give a spray of lube in side the dies if they stick a little.


Interesting problem there, and a quick question as to your press. What happens in your #2 position? Does it bell and drop powder? Where in the process does it stick? During the case entering the die or coming out of it?

Yes, you are right, if you have carbide dies you do not need to lube the brass (unless it is large brass like 50 AE/S&W).

I’ve had similar issues with mine when I had it belling too much, or pushing the decapper down too far (postiion 1). And sometimes when the brass has a bur on the inside or outside. I always check mine prior to resizing it. If you would give us a little more details, maybe one of us can help you figure it out.



Thanks Jim,
So it is in the Bell / Powder drop stage and happens when coming out of the dye. The brass looks fine in terms of no burrs and it comes out of the sizing dye (position 1) without problem.
It was sticky from the first shell in that stage so I must assume it’s brass related but again the cleaned used brass is fine.


Try increasing the belling of the case mouth for the new brass.
Remember you’re dealing with two different types of brass.
The once fired brass will probably have different dimensions than the new ones.
Just a thought.
After a little use, the new brass should load the same as the once fired ones.


Couple of things, and G has a good point too. Might want to remove the belling and powder, but leave the die in place and see if it is the belling, and I am thinking it probably is. May want to increase or decrease it some to see. Since the OFB has been used, it is a little more pliable than new brass, and it makes it stick a little more. I am assuming you are resizing your new brass exactly the same as the OFB. Also, for a test, may want to use an inside and outside reamer/deburring tool on a couple of new brass and see if it makes a difference too.


I am placing my bet on brass thickness. I load mixed headstamps for .38 Special and I can feel a difference when belling and crimping. I feel differences in the primer pockets too. Some brands of brass feel “tighter” than others.


Another item I read somewhere was the perhaps the new brass is ‘squeaky’ clean. Maybe an hour in the tumbler may fix the issue and take the squeaky out of the brass. Next time I run across that problem I’m going to try that too.


Trying that now for an hour or so. Just 100 and then I’ll compare tumbled/ untumbled tomorrow.

Thanks everyone.


OK so…
I tumbled some new brass for about 2 hours yesterday. This afternoon I sized and belled these with the same result of sticking to the Bell die.

So on close inspection I found brass on the die and slipping some older used brass over this die I can tell this is the source of the sticking. The brass on the die cutting wedging into the new brass. (First photo below.)

So then I decided to check some specs on the brass and compare them to the spec in my Lee manual. Now nowhere can I find tolerances on these specs but my results differ greatly from what I expected. See other photos below.

So my new questions are:

  1. What’s the best way to get the brass off this die and do you think I’ve damaged it?

  2. Does anyone know the tolerances of the specs and is this brass out of spec?

  3. It seems the sizing die make the mouth of this brass somewhat smaller and further out of spec (I expected it to get larger.) Is this typical?


Should be 0.898

Before sizing
Should be 0.452

After sizing


As long as you’re getting technical, might as well as get the real nitty gritty from the horses’ mouth.
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI)
They are the official overseers for ammunition spec and manufacturing tolerances.


On the die, my suggestion would be 0000 steel wool, and make sure you do it going up and down the die, so the same direction that the brass goes, and not in a circular fashion.


So that is a good reference for specs. Thanks. Strangely the only tolerance I saw was on case length which was -.020 so that measurement is safe. Still find the mouth to be smaller than spec.
However none of that may relate to my issue.
I need to buy some other brands to compare.

My biggest concern is if I’ve damaged the die.
I also tried more and less bell but no effect.
Lube might work but seems like a band aid. I’d really like to understand the problem.


Thanks. Will do.


Some points to consider:

  • There is usually no need to resize new brass. Take a few of your new cases and see if they will chamber in your gun, if so then no need to resize.

  • I’ve never found it necessary to lube straight wall pistol cases.

  • You should make sure the case mouth is round and no more than 0.001” over bullet diameter. In your case spec drawing you indicated that the case mouth spec was 0.452”, but that’s actually the bullet diameter. The case mouth must be slightly larger or the bullet won’t go in. Adjust and use the expander ball to accomplish this if necessary. Take a bullet and evaluate how it interacts with the a few case mouths. If it looks like some light pressure will get it in there then you should be fine. Your sticking problem might be out-of-round case mouths.

  • Confirm your dies are CARBIDE - steel dies would definitely cause sticking problems.

  • Case prep new brass by LIGHTLY deburring the inside and outside of the case mouth. You shouldn’t produce any shavings, we don’t want to remove metal per se, just knock off any burrs. Your sticking problem may be due to burrs inside the case mouth. There are many tools for this but this is old faithful:

  • So much of this stuff is best judged by look and feel that there is no substitute for loading up a few test rounds while paying very close attention to the look and feel of every operation. This should give you a very good idea of how your reloads will turn out.


Thanks for the input.
I kinda gave up on that new brass after buying the deburring tool you mentioned and giving myself carpel tunnel in my wrist. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I do have carbide dies and I did manage to get the die cleaned up. I’ve shot enough new ammo to keep me in used brass for awhile.
I have to think the problem was the specs of the new brass itself. It was Starline, which I had heard some good reviews on.
I’ve kept it however and plan to figure this odd problem later.


I think Steve made some real good points (above), but I do beg to differ on resizing new brass. IMHO, all brass, even factory new should always be resized. Does it have to be resized probably not… but for consistency and accuracy, it should be and that is what we teach in class too.


It won’t hurt the new brass to resize it. At worst, it may work harden a bit, but you will have the most consistent brass in your neighborhood!