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  1. #1
    Plinker

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    DIY decapping pins

    I was going through some reloading stuff the other day and I found a set of .45ACP Redding dies that I picked up in a package deal a while back. I used it for a while until one day I broke the decapping pin and did not have a replacement so I grabbed a resizing die from my Lee set and swapped them. So I look at the die, it has a separate decapping pin without a shoulder or anything. It fits in to a sort of compression collet built in to the decapping rod.

    So I look around for replacement pins. Most places want $1/per! Ten pins for $10+. That is highway robbery. The pins are just straight pieces of steel and the Redding replacements say they are 0.062" diameter. So it seems like a person could pick up some appropriate stock and just cut their own. Or am I missing something? I mean, you couldn't use soft wire or anything. But I cannot see those pins being made of some sort of unobtanium that we mere mortals cannot buy for under $1/inch. Any ideas on where I should look for some appropriate stock?

    And while we are on the subject, this coincides with something else I have been considering. Why does everyone recommend the Lee Universal Decapping die? It uses fairly expensive decapping pins that require you to replace the entire rod due to the integrated decapping pin that is cut in to it. I have tried the Squirrel Daddy pins, and while they do last longer they are still fairly expensive. Other brands make universal decappers that have much cheaper replacement costs should you bend or break the pin. Even buying the Redding pins at what seems like a usurious price to me would still be cheaper than the Lee replacements. Lee decapping pins are $3 or more per pin. If I could make Redding pins cheaply I may pick up their decapping die and use it instead of my Lee. I am tired of spending $3-$4 every time I bend a pin on a misaligned case or hard crimped primer.

    Yes, I know you can loosen up the collet so that it will slip and (hopefully) not break. But I have never been able to find the sweet spot between it being able to decap crimped primers and not breaking when one is crimped in extra well.

  2. #2
    Plinker

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    Because the Lee replacement is free when you message them that it broke? Lee seems to do a good job of standing by their cheap products.

  3. #3
    Expert Clay Pigeon's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by John3354 View Post
    I was going through some reloading stuff the other day and I found a set of .45ACP Redding dies that I picked up in a package deal a while back. I used it for a while until one day I broke the decapping pin and did not have a replacement so I grabbed a resizing die from my Lee set and swapped them. So I look at the die, it has a separate decapping pin without a shoulder or anything. It fits in to a sort of compression collet built in to the decapping rod.

    So I look around for replacement pins. Most places want $1/per! Ten pins for $10+. That is highway robbery. The pins are just straight pieces of steel and the Redding replacements say they are 0.062" diameter. So it seems like a person could pick up some appropriate stock and just cut their own. Or am I missing something? I mean, you couldn't use soft wire or anything. But I cannot see those pins being made of some sort of unobtanium that we mere mortals cannot buy for under $1/inch. Any ideas on where I should look for some appropriate stock?

    And while we are on the subject, this coincides with something else I have been considering. Why does everyone recommend the Lee Universal Decapping die? It uses fairly expensive decapping pins that require you to replace the entire rod due to the integrated decapping pin that is cut in to it. I have tried the Squirrel Daddy pins, and while they do last longer they are still fairly expensive. Other brands make universal decappers that have much cheaper replacement costs should you bend or break the pin. Even buying the Redding pins at what seems like a usurious price to me would still be cheaper than the Lee replacements. Lee decapping pins are $3 or more per pin. If I could make Redding pins cheaply I may pick up their decapping die and use it instead of my Lee. I am tired of spending $3-$4 every time I bend a pin on a misaligned case or hard crimped primer.

    Yes, I know you can loosen up the collet so that it will slip and (hopefully) not break. But I have never been able to find the sweet spot between it being able to decap crimped primers and not breaking when one is crimped in extra well.
    A buck a piece is expensive? you might want to pick another hobby.....



    Invest 9 bucks for a large primer decapper from Lee... And a re loader that does't have a few bags of large and small decapping pins in his spare parts is not prepared.

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    "Too much agreement kills a chat." ~Eldridge Cleaver

  4. #4
    Master AmmoManAaron's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by omegahunter View Post
    Because the Lee replacement is free when you message them that it broke? Lee seems to do a good job of standing by their cheap products.
    ^^^This^^^

    In my experience, the Lee product is very stout. I have only ever broken one and Lee replaced it promptly at no charge - great customer service!

    On the other end, I have broken more RCBS pins than I care to count. Yuck!
    "2016: The year that hackers became more trusted than government or reporters."

  5. #5
    Plinker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Pigeon View Post
    A buck a piece is expensive? you might want to pick another hobby.....
    For what it is? Yes.

    Compared to the rest of the crap I buy for this hobby? Not at all.

    But it is expensive for what it is and for being a consumable that should be inexpensive.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster patience0830's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by John3354 View Post
    For what it is? Yes.

    Compared to the rest of the crap I buy for this hobby? Not at all.

    But it is expensive for what it is and for being a consumable that should be inexpensive.
    Free is obviously way to high a price to pay. First world problems.

    Do you squeak when you walk?
    Parkerizing lollipops since 1973.

  7. #7
    Grandmaster Cameramonkey's Avatar

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    What is the cost of a good metal lathe and saw to cut the blanks? Because I believe that is what would be required to cut the pin tip into the rod stock.

    How many pins would you have to go through to break even by saving 75 cents a pin?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Freeman View Post
    A confused cop is an arresty cop.
    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdoc View Post
    also, where do we sign up to touch Frank's equipment?

  8. #8
    Expert

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    Quote Originally Posted by John3354 View Post
    ...The pins are just straight pieces of steel and the Redding replacements say they are 0.062" diameter. So it seems like a person could pick up some appropriate stock and just cut their own. Or am I missing something?...
    Price 1/16" O1 tool steel (because it's relatively easy to heat treat at home). Cut, round and polish the tips of each pin. Heat pins to cherry red and drop in oil. Heat your oven to it's max and temper the pins back to a spring temper. Then all you need to do is clean up the scale on each pin and you're ready to put them to use. Get them too hard and they will snap, too soft and they will bend.

    $1 a pin looks like a bargain to me.

    You could also buy 1/16" drill bits and cut a pin out of the shanks and hope they are not hard enough to be prone to breaking, but again, $1 a pin seems cheap/

  9. #9
    Grandmaster Cameramonkey's Avatar

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    So we're talking about these things, right? Not some straight rod? That last narrow bit seems to be the hangup to self manufacturing.



    Any savings will be eaten up with screwing around making the tip.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Freeman View Post
    A confused cop is an arresty cop.
    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdoc View Post
    also, where do we sign up to touch Frank's equipment?

  10. #10
    Plinker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameramonkey View Post
    What is the cost of a good metal lathe and saw to cut the blanks? Because I believe that is what would be required to cut the pin tip into the rod stock.

    How many pins would you have to go through to break even by saving 75 cents a pin?
    Why would you need a lathe? Why would you need anything more than something to cut suitable material to length?


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