There are few things in reloading more frustrating than to have a reloading session ground to a hault by a case getting stuck in a reloading die.
The most simple way to get a stuck case out of a reloading die is to remove the decapping rod from the die, and to then tap the case out with a drift punch. In some situations, and with some types of dies, this will not work. One example of a case where that solution is not feasible is with some rifle reloading dies.
One alternative method to removing a stuck case is to drill out and tap the flash hole, and to use a bolt or screw and spacer(s) as a puller. That’s the technique that I’ll describe in this article.
The result: The case (.223 Remington) removed from the die
1: Drill and Tap the flash hole
Firmly secure the die in a drill press, metal lathe, or vise. Select a size of thread that will leave enough material in the base of the cartridge for strength, but as large as possible for screw strength. For the .223 case in this article I used a 1/4″ 28tpi threading. Select a drill that will leave at least 75% thread depth, drill, then tap. In the video below, I illustrate this process using a metal lathe by “power tapping”.
A picture of the die and case chucked in a collet in my 1955 Logan metal lathe:
2: Select proper screw/bolt and spacer(s)
Start by finding a screw or bolt (and washer(s)) with the threading you selected in step 1. Then determine what kind of spacer(s) you will need in order to bottom out the screw/bolt against that spacer assembly. For the .223 case I was working on, 3 1/2″ nuts worked great with a 1/4″ washer.
The assembly I used for the stuck .223 case:
3. Pull the case out of the die
The last step in this process is to tighten the bolt/screw down until the case is removed. For the .223 case, this was a two step process. Frist, to remove the case body from the die with the decapping pin loosened, then again with the decapping rod nut tightened. The last process involved pulling the inner neck sizer through the neck (involves force for rifle dies).
That’s it! in a few minutes you can remove a case from a reloading die if you have the proper tools. For spontaneous needs like this, it’s great to have SAE and Metric tap and die sets on hand!
Here’s a video demonstrating the process:
HD: (if you have a fast internet connection)
Low Quality: (if you have a slower internet connection)
Note: If you are having trouble with HD video streaming, click Play, then Pause. That will allow the video to queue up on your system. When you have enough “bar” you can then resume playing the video.