Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:03 PM
I was prepping a couple hundred once fired Speer brass 357 Sig brass this afternoon. After resizing and decapping about 40 rounds I found that I could not remove a round from the shell holder after sizing. Further inspection found that the decapper rod had apparently broken off and the pin had stuck in the flash hole of the case, locking it in the shell holder. After removing the shell holder and case from the press I removed the pin from the flash hole and separated the case from the shell holder. I removed the decapping rod from the die and then inspected both the broken pin and the rod. After looking at both under magnification it was apparent that the Lee decapping rod and pin are not a single unit. The pin showed no evidence of being broken and there was a hole in the bottom of the rod approximately 1/8" deep.It appears that the decapper pin is force fit into the hole in the rod. Since the rod was not damaged I tried replacing the pin in the rod. It would not go in under normal hand pressure. I then took a hammer and tapped the pin into the rod, fully reseating it. This caused no deformation of the pin or rod. I replaced the rod in the die and resized and decapped the remaining 160 rounds with no further issue.I read in the reloading forums where a lot of broken decapper rods/pins get returned to Lee for replacement. I believe the pin may not have been fully seated in the rod at the factory, causing it to separate and become stuck in the case's flash hole. (Possibly the flash hole was was tight and gripped the pin enough to pull it out of the rod.)I have ordered two new replacement decapping rods from Lee but if this happens again with this decapper or one of the decappers in my other Lee dies, I am planning to clean the parts with a degreaser and then place a drop of super glue in the hole in the rod before tapping the pin back in place.Unless you look closely, you would just assume you broke the pin off the rod and you would be out of business until you could obtain a replacement part from Lee. My fix should get you back up and running at least long enough to to finish your reloading run.
Mountain coyotes have more fur.