Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of spec.

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Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of spec.

Postby Huntbear » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:33 pm

Hello all, first post here.

So, I reload for my .243 WSSM. I unscrewed the sizing die and it had a 1" crack in it. I sent it back to Redding, along with 5 of my fired brass. They call me back and tell me, my brass is out of spec by .007. They polished a new die to match my brass, and sent it back no charge.

My question is this. Is this a normal thing with this caliber/gun??? Will being that much out of spec, cause an issue? Do I need to worry about my chamber being out of spec?

The gun has less than 700 rounds through it. Never had "HOT" loads thru it. I shoot factory 95 gr. Winchester ammo for deer, until I get a good round worked up... my varmint loads are not super fast hot loads... I like accuracy over speed. At 300 yards a yote is not going to know the difference between 3400 and 3100 fps... as long as it hits him where I aim.

I bought the rifle from the original owner.. he bought it new in 2004 he said.

Thank you for any help.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby John A. » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:53 am

.007 is 7 thousanths.

Sorry, but I'm not a reloader, but wanted to welcome you to OA2. There are lots here more knowlegable about reloading than I am
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Huntbear » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:50 am

Thanks for the welcome.

I have already gotten my "polished" die back, I just have not had time to sit down and size some brass. I am just wondering if this out of spec is something specific to AR type rifles, or the wssm calibers in particular or is it my rifle.

The rifle shoots very very well for having a 20" bull barrel. :mrgreen:
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Rattler » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:26 am

Huntbear wrote:Thanks for the welcome.

I have already gotten my "polished" die back, I just have not had time to sit down and size some brass. I am just wondering if this out of spec is something specific to AR type rifles, or the wssm calibers in particular or is it my rifle.

The rifle shoots very very well for having a 20" bull barrel. :mrgreen:


Define, "out of spec"?? Do you know what the allowable tolerances are for the head-spacing on this caliber?

There will, of course, be brass growth on magnum calibers fired from auto-loaders. The problem with most reloading companies, s that they do not take into consideration that the caliber in question (especially when it is a magnum caliber) is being fired from a semi-automatic firearm. Even fewer knowing this variable, are able to speak with rational experience, of the effects that this will have on brass growth, and make presumptions they should not be making.

Realize this: If you are measuring the size of your WSSM brass to determine chamber size, and then using that dimensional understanding to determine whether your rifle's chamber is "in-spec" or "out of spec", you WILL be wrong. There will be in some cases considerable growth to the case body when firing magnum calibers from an AR15 that will have to be compensated for when you full-length case re-size after each firing. I'll defer to more active reloaders on here to give you the dimensions they find as normal.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Huntbear » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:00 am

Redding was measuring the diameter at the base of the case... It was/is .007 out of spec. I told them I was firing this from an AR semi auto rifle. However, I do realize that the tech at Redding very well could be making minimum wage, and does not have enough experience or savvy to understand the effects of a Semi Auto ripping a magnum case out of the chamber as it is fired.

That said, my brother shoots a 300 wsm in a BAR... WE have been reloading for that rifle for several years now and have never had a problem.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby jerry » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:37 pm

I'm just suprised that a die would crack, It doesn't matter if a case was "oversize" or not.
The steel the die is made is so much stronger than a hollow piece of brass that I cant see how the die could crack.
I have never seen a cracked steel die. I have cracked a carbide ring in a 45 die but suspect that was from overcamming plus the fact that the carbide ring is a small thin and brittle piece.

I'm glad they replaced the die but wonder if the oversize statement has more to do with creating an excuse for a faulty die

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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Globemaster » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:55 pm

jerry wrote:I'm just suprised that a die would crack, It doesn't matter if a case was "oversize" or not.

I've reloaded for years now, and have never heard of such a thing (yet) ... I was surprised to hear this too.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Rattler » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:14 am

Globemaster wrote:
jerry wrote:I'm just suprised that a die would crack, It doesn't matter if a case was "oversize" or not.

I've reloaded for years now, and have never heard of such a thing (yet) ... I was surprised to hear this too.

I'm with Jerry and GM on this one. I've never cracked a die before in my life, and the very idea that a brass case would crack a steel reloading die fails the "sniff" test immediately in my mind. Sorry I did not pick up n this earlier. Good job Jerry and GM.

Redding was measuring the diameter at the base of the case... It was/is .007 out of spec. I told them I was firing this from an AR semi auto rifle. However, I do realize that the tech at Redding very well could be making minimum wage, and does not have enough experience or savvy to understand the effects of a Semi Auto ripping a magnum case out of the chamber as it is fired.

Huntbear wrote:That said, my brother shoots a 300 wsm in a BAR... We have been reloading for that rifle for several years now and have never had a problem.


Yes, semi-autos have different effects on the brass. it depends on the type of recoil or auto-loading system. All I know about reloading for the WSSM is that if you are not using small base dies and full-length resizing dies, you'll probably have problems with cycling later on.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Huntbear » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:40 am

The die is a full length sizing die.. Not sure if it is a small based die or not, since they came with the gun and all the brass.

I have been super busy with Hunting and now Thanksgiving... going to go and size some brass and see what happens with the "new" die...

I have included a pic of the cracked die before I sent it to Redding.

Cracked Sizing Die.jpg
Cracked Redding Sizing Die .243 WSSM
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Globemaster » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:37 pm

wow, I've never seen a 'die' fail like that 8O
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Rattler » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:29 am

Globemaster wrote:wow, I've never seen a 'die' fail like that 8O

I cannot think of a reason that brass will cause a steel die to crack except that the die has a bad heat treat and became too brittle. Brass used to crack steel? Not likely.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby skid2964 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:19 pm

I've seen some complaints about Redding lately, I hope they get their act back together!
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby LtBlue425 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:55 pm

That "explanation" from Redding is bogus in my view. I've been heavy into reloading since 1972 with around 500k rounds under the belt and never even heard of any die cracking. I did wear out a .308 Win RCBS sizer die and it took a lot of abuse from brass coming from many sources/chambers.

From my tenure as a production machinist I know that steel stock can have hidden flaws that machining doesn't uncover. Doesn't mean the maker did a poor job, these things happen. Unless the parts are subjected to non-invasive testing designed to detect hidden flaws, the part will pass dimensional and visual inspection but possibly fail later during use.

The Redding rep should've just manned up and admitted that "stuff happens", corrected the customer issue and got on with life.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Dtech » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:47 pm

I know this is an older post, but I thought I would add a little.

Redding had a problem with their WSSM dies. They were getting many of them returned cracked, just as the OP had. A couple of years ago a contact from Redding that I had worked with on custom WSSM dies called me at the shop. We spoke of case expansion due to the operating system, the thickness of the brass and the fact that the large diameter case left little "meat" on the walls of the sizing die. He confirmed they had been seeing WSSM dies failing, and asked if I had seen it. I had seen it, but only with Redding dies.

Later this same contact let me know that they had changed the heat-treat process on the dies and figured they had the problem solved. I believe they have, as I have yet to see a die produced after that time fail.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Rattler » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:06 pm

Good response Dtech.
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Globemaster » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:33 pm

Rattler wrote:Good response Dtech.

plus (1) ... it was really nice to see a few thread postings the other day :thumbs up:
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Re: Cracked sizing die and Redding says my brass is out of s

Postby Dtech » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:35 am

Rattler wrote:Good response Dtech.


Thanks!

There's nothing that "makes my day" like having a customer call and inform you that "his gunsmith says". While trying to work through the "Redding split die" era, I had a customer call and inform me that he too had his Redding die splt. He had sent hid die and spent cases in to Redding and they told him his chamber was "out of spec". I politely asked him how they determined that, he said by measuring the spent cases. I had trouble getting the point across to him that a case fired in and extracted from a gas-operated rifle is not a true indication of chamber dimensions. He didn't believe me until I told him: "if you can take one of your spent cases, put it back in the chamber and close the bolt, I will check your chamber dimensions".

He not only found the bolt would not close, but the case would not even completely slide into the chamber that it was fired in.... Then he understood why Redding really could not determine his chamber dimensions from a spent case....
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