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  #1  
Old 12-11-2012, 8:24 AM
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Default Help setting up RCBS swager die [Update: problem solved]

Trying to set up an RCBS swager combo on my Lee classic turret press. I followed the directions and couldn't get it to work. I tried tweaking the rod height and the depth of the die. Nothing seems to make a difference, the primer pocket looks exactly the same coming out as it does going in. Most of the time the case is still loose on the swager nub and comes right off even after being pressed against the rod.
I tried seating a primer in one case that I had attempted to swage thinking maybe the difference is not very noticeable but it did not seat normally at all, took more force and was not smooth.
Any tips or tricks on what I might be doing wrong? I've read that swaging should take about the same force on the handle as seating a primer, but even giving it damn near all I got I can't get it to work correctly.
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Last edited by edrex; 12-21-2012 at 9:41 AM..
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2012, 8:27 AM
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Do you have the right size Swage rod matched w/ your primer hole?
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Old 12-11-2012, 8:33 AM
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I believe so, using small rod and small swager for 223.
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Old 12-11-2012, 8:44 AM
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There should just be a tiny bevel around the primer hole. Try priming the case if it doesn't go in readjust your zswaging
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Old 12-11-2012, 8:45 AM
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primer pocket depths may differ as well...
The K&M tool works better:
http://www.kmshooting.com/catalog/pr...tion-tool.html
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Old 12-11-2012, 8:58 AM
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There are two versions, which one do you have? From the Midway comments, suggest sorting by headstamp. The web thickness varies and the rod will bend if you attempt to do a thick web when it's adjusted for a thin web. Also only do the mouth of the primer pocket. I axed about this a few years ago and somebody said they were just swagging the top half of the pocket. Anybody else do that?
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Old 12-11-2012, 9:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edrex View Post
Trying to set up an RCBS swager combo on my Lee classic turret press. I followed the directions and couldn't get it to work. I tried tweaking the rod height and the depth of the die. Nothing seems to make a difference, the primer pocket looks exactly the same coming out as it does going in. Most of the time the case is still loose on the swager nub and comes right off even after being pressed against the rod.
I tried seating a primer in one case that I had attempted to swage thinking maybe the difference is not very noticeable but it did not seat normally at all, took more force and was not smooth.
Any tips or tricks on what I might be doing wrong? I've read that swaging should take about the same force on the handle as seating a primer, but even giving it damn near all I got I can't get it to work correctly.
Have you tried seating a primer to check that the brass hasn't previously been swaged (before you got it)?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenHa View Post
There should just be a tiny bevel around the primer hole. Try priming the case if it doesn't go in readjust your zswaging
When I tried priming a case after running it through the swager it took extra force and "clunked" in hard, not smoothly like other cases I've primed. I don't see a bevel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klewan View Post
There are two versions, which one do you have? From the Midway comments, suggest sorting by headstamp. The web thickness varies and the rod will bend if you attempt to do a thick web when it's adjusted for a thin web. Also only do the mouth of the primer pocket. I axed about this a few years ago and somebody said they were just swagging the top half of the pocket. Anybody else do that?
I have this one. It seems to be the new updated version with stronger rods.
I am also using brass I sorted already.

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Originally Posted by Bill Steele View Post
Have you tried seating a primer to check that the brass hasn't previously been swaged (before you got it)?
The brass is 556 Lake City brass that I bought new and shot out of my gun so it hasn't been swaged already.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edrex View Post
..... Most of the time the case is still loose on the swager nub and comes right off even after being pressed against the rod. ....
Based on this, there are three possible conditions here:
1. Your press is not raising the case high enough into the die, or the stop rod is mis-adjusted preventing full engagement of the pocket with that swaging nub.

2. Defective (undersized) swaging nub. Try fitting it into a crimped pocket with your hand. If it is a tight fit and not loose, then the problem may be #1.

3. Mismatch between primer/pocket size and the nub (I know you covered that, just added here for completeness).
I would propose that the stop rod is not adjusted down enough to contact the interior of the case soon enough. So the rod doesn't stop the case in time for the press to force the pocket onto the nub. Just to be sure the die/rod are adjusted correctly, did you check out the video in that Midway page for this die?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofbak View Post
Based on this, there are three possible conditions here:
1. Your press is not raising the case high enough into the die, or the stop rod is mis-adjusted preventing full engagement of the pocket with that swaging nub.

2. Defective (undersized) swaging nub. Try fitting it into a crimped pocket with your hand. If it is a tight fit and not loose, then the problem may be #1.

3. Mismatch between primer/pocket size and the nub (I know you covered that, just added here for completeness).
I would propose that the stop rod is not adjusted down enough to contact the interior of the case soon enough. So the rod doesn't stop the case in time for the press to force the pocket onto the nub. Just to be sure the die/rod are adjusted correctly, did you check out the video in that Midway page for this die?
Thanks for the info and heads up on the video, hadn't seen that before. Gonna go try it out again.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:29 PM
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It feels like maybe the nub is bottoming out in the primer pocket before the bevel gets to the crimp. Its hard to get a decent pic of it, but I took a measurement of the primer pocket depth with my caliper and lined it up with the nub. At most, the very start of the bevel would engage, but the bulk of it would not reach the brass. Is this how it should be? Since I have no experience with this I assume the problem is me and not the equipment, but this still doesn't seem right. It also makes sense that no matter how hard I press nothing happens; seems like I'm just forcing the tip of the nub and the end of the rod on either side of the brass into each other without room for the bevel to do its job.

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Old 12-11-2012, 1:47 PM
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Still sounds like the die and rod are too high in the turret head, and you are simply out of stroke on the ram before sufficient case contact with the spud occurs. The instructions say:
"The amount of swaging is controlled by moving the Swager body up or down."
With the ram down, try screwing the die into the turret head a half or quarter turn and try that. Repeat until the spud on the swager head is engaging the rim of the pocket where the swage is, then fine tune with smaller adjustments.
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Old 12-11-2012, 2:07 PM
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I've double checked on the links below the ram, there is definitely enough room to go. I've lowered the die so the spud and rod touch well before the ram is fully up and still no success.
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Old 12-11-2012, 3:41 PM
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Well now I'm pretty much stumped. Thinking about this, the only other issue I can come up with is the rod is too long for the die, or not completely seated against the inside of the die at the top.

Maybe it's time for a call to RCBS......

If you get if figured out, post the solution here....I definitely would like to know what's going on........

Last edited by sofbak; 12-11-2012 at 3:54 PM..
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Old 12-11-2012, 3:56 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give RCBS a call tomorrow if I get some time. Will post up results if I get it working.
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Old 12-11-2012, 5:03 PM
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Is the swager adjusted so you can fully/completely lower the press handle?? You may have the die and rod too far into the press. Your press has the maximum mechanical advantage nearest the end of the stroke of the handle (when the ram is fully up). Back the die and support rod off then place a case on the swager and raise the ram fully up. Then adjust the die and rod down till it contacts the case. Then lower the ram and case to allow the die to adjust and screw it in a quarter turn and then raise the ram fully. You should feel the handle cam over with a little resistance is when the swaging is getting done. To increase the swaging, you screw the die/rod in more, but you should be raising the ram fully each time or you won't get the needed mechanical advantage needed to to the swaging.

Could aslo be the turret is loose or otherwise flexing??

Last edited by Sheldon; 12-11-2012 at 5:09 PM..
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2012, 9:40 AM
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Sent an email explaining the problem to RCBS. A day or two later got this reply:
Quote:
The final adjustment will feel like it is too much and this is where the adjustments have to be very minor. If you bed a rod just give us a call and we will send you a new one......
Didn't seem to address my problem directly, but I decided to start over from the beginning and try again. When I got the the final step I went slowly and made small adjustments and, sure enough, got it set up correctly. I may still have a little tweaking to do to make the process a little smoother, but for now I swaged and primed about 75 pieces of brass with no problems.
Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.
ed.
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