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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am setting up a Decapping Station only. I just want to pop the primers out of the casings before cleaning the brass in an ultrasonic and then shaker. For this I bought a single stage press (RCBS Partner Press) and looking to decap 3 calibers (9mm, 308 and 50 AE).

I have only reloaded 308 in the past so Im not familiar with switching between calibers and such. For decapping only is there some type of universal die and pin I can get to do the above 3 calibers or do I need to get different dies for each? Ive seen mention online to universal decapping dies but couldnt find out specifically it they would work for the 3 calibers mentioned.

As said above I bought a RCBS press over the weekend and the 9mm die they had available when home and broke the pin and threaded rod after about 1,200 rounds. Before purchasing anything else I figured I would ask

Reloading will be done later on a dillon press in my basement. For now I just want to set up a prep type area up in my garage. So whatever I get for this will be separate from the rest of the reloading
 

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The Lee Universal decapper will work for all 3 of those caliber including the 50AE. I know this because I happen to have some 50AE laying around and just decapped one to be sure you could use that die.

Of course you need the separate shell holder for each caliber.

Note, the 308 is the same as 45ACP for future reference but many think 9MM is compatible with 223 and 380 (called 9MM Kurz in Europe) But, the 223 and 380 are the same base and the 9MM is slightly larger and requires a different shell holder. Just adding some semi-unrelated info to this common misconception
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you buddy. Ya wouldnt believe how many LGS's I asked that and no one could tell me if it worked for 50 ae or not. I guess I wasted a bit of money buying the 9mm die eh but again thanks that answers my question perfectly
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I think breaking it was my fault. At some point I might have adjusted it too far down trying to find what worked best when the casings were sticking a bit. live and learn
 

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I've got a Lee Universal Decapping die that I bought around 1969 and it still works fine.

It's also set up in such a way that the pin won't break as long as it's set up according to the instructions. If you accidentally try to decap berdan, the rod just goes up in the collet without breaking.

Buy with confidence.
 

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I use the lee universal decap die in my Forster Coax press. All the shell holders are built in. A great system!
 

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I use the lee universal decap die in my Forster Coax press. All the shell holders are built in. A great system!
All? Try putting a 308 in the small size, don't work.

You have to flip the base large or small sides and it is a pain in the ars so I use my Forster to size 223 and my Rock Chucker for 308/8MM just because I find flipping the base too much hassle
 

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All? Try putting a 308 in the small size, don't work.

You have to flip the base large or small sides and it is a pain in the ars so I use my Forster to size 223 and my Rock Chucker for 308/8MM just because I find flipping the base too much hassle
Well, yes, all. So you have to flip em...I was making a bunch of different small groups of test ammo in different calibers yesterday. I flipped them three times. Takes all of 2 minutes, or less, to do. from 9mm to 30-06, to 223 and back to 30-30...I had some time on my hands and didn't decide to do them all in that order...until I did.
You do know about the standoff, to assist in the flip, don't you?
Actually, there are some odd-ball cases out there that require the purchase of a different set of "jaws". One or two odd-ball cases. The jaws that come with it handle 99% of the common cartridges.
 

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LOL, you have no idea how lazy I am about doing such things.

Maybe there is something not quite right about mine as it really does take me longer. I am mechanically inclined so perhaps mine are worn enough that causes more hassle to get the springs to stay
 

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Ya wouldn't believe how many LGS's I asked that and no one could tell me if it worked for 50 ae or not.
In fairness not many people load 50AE and it is far better for them to be honest and profess ignorance than to give inaccurate advice
Often times people guess in the pretense they are all knowing so at least you know when you ask these same LGSs again if they have an answer it is likely reliable.

The only reason I could confirm this was I happen to have a few 50AE cases and of course a Lee Universal Decapper so was able to actually decap a case something anyone on this forum would gladly do for fellow members
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I understand and just stating I tried to find the answer before purchasing anything. I was more annoyed at the documentation not saying exactly what calibers it would work for or not. Most just said things like "works for most calibers". I did however bring some casings w me hoping someone would at least try to fit it to see if it would work or not.
 

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LOL, you have no idea how lazy I am about doing such things.

Maybe there is something not quite right about mine as it really does take me longer. I am mechanically inclined so perhaps mine are worn enough that causes more hassle to get the springs to stay
Fair enough. Mine is fairly new. But I can't see the steel of the jaws wearing just from their use. Maybe just the springs. Give them a call, they just may send you the springs. That, or hit the nearest ACE and pick out a few.
 

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You have to flip the base large or small sides and it is a pain in the ars so I use my Forster to size 223 and my Rock Chucker for 308/8MM just because I find flipping the base too much hassle
Just buy two of them :lol:
 

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Tool Cutting tool Pliers Nipper


Lee Breech Lock Hand Press

Auto part Tool accessory Die set Screw extractor


Lee Universal Depriming and Decapping Die
 
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Decapping is a filthy endeavor. I would never do it in the house, as others have mentioned, regardless of the tool. And in my experience, having a dedicated decapping press makes life easy.

Lee makes the most versatile, and least expensive, decapping die on the market. The die is barely $15 and the set of universal case holders is a mere $30. Used with an inexpensive press, you can make quick work of the chore, then wipe the mess off of everything when done.

It sounds like the OP wants to set up a dedicated press for decapping, and that is ideal IMO because it sounds like he wants to run a Dillon progressive, and decapping on a progressive just introduces all that filth to your expensive and synchronized equipment. in fact, and here's where I take a left turn and mention brass processing...

Do yourself a favor and decap everything, then tumble in SS pins. Go read about it if you don't know what that is, but I can tell you with absolute certainty, your brass will be cleaner faster, and your reloading process will be cleaner if you decap first, then tumble in pins. Period. It may not be in the budget now, but it is soooo worth the set up cost. And I know, everyone's grand dad's grand dad did it a certain way , and that's the way we learn to do it, but if you follow this simple advice, you will be truly pleased with the results.

Hope this helps,

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Matt

I do want to set up a dedicated deacapping station in my garage but not with my dillon press. I only mentioned my dillon in reference to thats all that Im familar with and Ive only used that for one caliber in the past.

I bought last weekend an RCBS single station press for this. I recently also purchased a 9L ultrasonic cleaner which I have set up on the bench with the RCBS press. So current plan is to deprime the casings and put through the ultrasonic.

The thousand or so casings I tried so far came out very clean including insides and primer pockets but I think the tumbler does a lil nicer job of making them shiney. With that said though I will probably never use my tumbler again.

It only took about 10-20 minutes to run a batch of casings through the sonic compared to hours and hours through the tumbler, no dust mess, no having to strain all the shells out of the tumbler and best of all the sonic is near silent compared to the tumbler.

Im still experimenting with the new cleaner but think I would have no problem running a thousand or more casings through it at a time depending on which baskets / pans I use in the machine and in that regard I could put separate pans to clean guns at the same time.

Does the LEE dies work in the RCBS press?

And you are right about the decapping mess which brings to mind the RCBS partner press primer catcher sucks. I think I winded up with more primers on my garage floor than I did in the catcher. Any suggestions / recommendations are appreciated.
 

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Hey Philly,

Yes, the lee dies work with just about all presses, except for the Dillon SDB and a few older Lyman presses. I want to say that some 50 BMG dies are different too, but not relevant to this conversation. There's lots of people who feel that LEE offers lesser quality, yet choose to install the LEE factory crimp die because it works best and does a final sizing of the cartridge. Some folks prefer the locking rings of the Hornady over other brands, so they will mix in dies that give them the results they prefer.

Primer catcher: Most presses have a hole that the spent primer drops into once pushed free. On the LEE breech lock, the primer funnels into a tube, which directs the primer towards the floor where you can place a bucket. I found that the primers still ended up on the floor, so I added a piece of clear plastic tubing that feeds into an empty Gatorade bottle. It will catch about 3000 primers before I have to empty it. If your press funnels the primers into the inside of the press frame, just drill a hole in the table under the press frame and add a catcher of some sort beneath it.

As for the tumbler and SS pins... these pins are designed to run wet in a rotary tumbler rather than a vibratory tumbler. The rotary/SS combo only runs for about 1.5 hours to give the best result. In fact, the only time I use my vibratory tumbler is on finished cartridges to remove all lube and finger prints and give them a nice shine. 15 minutes with some good, ammonia free brass polish (Maybe 1/2 shot glass in walnut) makes the final product look like factory ammo.

I have limited experience with sonic cleaners, using a friend's industrial unit for a short time to experiment. My opinion is that they work great for cleaning the nooks and crannies of gun parts (I really like the results on this front) and it does a decent job on gently used, once fired brass. But for range brass, stained brass found after being in the sun for a month, the ss pin process scours the brass and removes any stains, deep scratches and scores, and makes it shine. I didn't start off with SS pins, but once I tried it, I never looked back.
 
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