Stuck Case Removal – It’s gonna Happen, Get Used to It!

Match Grade M1 Garand in 30-06.

Match Grade M1 Garand in 30-06.

Remember that part where we talked about making sure your cases were clean and well lubricated, free of grit, and other debris?  Well if you forgot about it, or if you just plain old screwed up, or if the gods hold you in ill regard, the outcome will occasionally and inevitably be a stuck case.  You’re resizing happily zoning on tunes from your iPod or whatever, and the case goes in a little hard and…

A case stuck in the resize die

The die was unscrewed from the press and screwed back in upside down for the remainder of the operation as well as to show the stuck case. Note the missing section of rim at 10:00 o’clock! And the bent section at 5:00.

Oh Poo! you’re pulling down on the press lever and nothing on God’s Green Earth will allow that case to budge.  You go gorilla on it, and you finally you succeed in ripping off part of the rim. But the case is firmly and irrevocably stuck in your resizing die.  Fear not, help is on the way, the Stuck Case Removal Kit!

I have found that it’s easier to unscrew the die and screw it back into the press upside down for the next part of the operation, namely drilling out the primer pocket. The Stuck Case Removal Kit comes with a drill bit, a tap, a bolt, and a cup, all of which are used in this process.  So, first we drill out the case primer pocket as shown. Be careful in this step not to bugger up your dies with excessive enthusiasm or rushing.

Drill Primer Pocket

Use the supplied drill bit to drill out the primer pocket.

Next, using the supplied tap, tap the hole left by the drill.

Tape the hole where the primer used to be.

Use the included tap to tap the drilled hole where the primer pocket used to be.

Run the tap in and out of the hole a couple of times to make sure the threads are clear of brass shavings.  It should look something like this when you are done.

Tapped Primer Hole

After tapping the primer hole should look nicely threaded without too much debris.

Next you will place the threaded bolt through the closed end of the cup and thread it into the now threaded case base.

Stuck Case removal parts

The Die with the stuck case, the threaded bolt and cup of the Stuck Case Removal Kit.

Snug up bolt and cup against die base.

This process can definitely be done either in the vise or in the press, I show it here, hand held, for the sake of easy viewing. Screw the bolt down making the bolt and cup snug against the base of the die.

Take up the slack threading the bolt until the cup rests against the base of the die. Then secure the die in a vise using leather or wood to protect the threads of the die. Be careful not to over tighten the vise. Make it just tight enough to prevent the die from turning as you torque down on the threaded bolt pulling the stuck case from the die.

Stuck Case is free.

If all goes well, and you follow the directions, your case will lift itself free of the die. Patience and a lack of rancor will aid this process immeasurably.

Unscrew the bolt from the case and return the parts to the box for the next time you will require them (and you will require them). Take a moment and check the lubrication of your case batch. This is typically the issue with stuck cases. Drop the buggered case into your scrap brass collection and be happy brass is selling for close to three bucks a pound and you just saved a couple of ounces!  😉

About Gary L. Miller

I have many hobbies and spend a fair amount of time playing at them. I'd love to spend more, but there's this earning a living thing... So I often fill my idle hours spewing forth ideas and opinions, unsolicited or not. This is merely an extension of that propensity.
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