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Queston - Steel type use to make RCBS dies?

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  • Queston - Steel type use to make RCBS dies?

    Any one know what kind of steel is used to make standard RCBS dies?
    Sorrow looks back,
    Worry looks around,
    Faith looks up.

  • #2
    No, but it is some kind of hi carbon so it can be heat treated. But, you probably already knew this. I think there's probably lots of good choices if you were going to make your own. What did you have in mind?
    I cut it off twice; it's still too short
    Oregon, USA

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    • #3
      I want to anneal them so I can machine them into some else. For annealing, it would be nice to know what type of steel was used. I did find on an RCBS website that says they were case hardened, but that's all the info they gave.
      Sorrow looks back,
      Worry looks around,
      Faith looks up.

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      • #4
        I had to shorten a set of dies. Once through the case they were very soft. So it makes sense that they are made of a free machining steel. I know some dies from others are machined and nitrated . ( case hardened ) If you are loading less than 500 and keep everything clean 12L14 will do fine.

        Bob

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 38-72 View Post
          I want to anneal them so I can machine them into some else. For annealing, it would be nice to know what type of steel was used. I did find on an RCBS website that says they were case hardened, but that's all the info they gave.
          For case hardening, probably something mid- to low-carbon. Something like 1045, 1018, A36, 12l14. Cant tell you the exact stuff unfortunately, but hopefully thatll be in the ballpark

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tim Clarke View Post
            No, but it is some kind of hi carbon so it can be heat treated. But, you probably already knew this. I think there's probably lots of good choices if you were going to make your own. What did you have in mind?
            I don't think that is correct.

            They are case hardened, so it's probably some sort of low-mid carbon steel. The case hardening is plainly evident if you machine them; it's a fairly thick layer with a distinct transition but the inside is relatively soft. Whatever the steel is, it machines nicely.

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            • #7
              12l14 is what they use, carburized.

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              • #8
                Once you get through the skin, they cut like butter. 12l14 makes sense.

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  It is 4140

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                  • #10
                    H380 who has them one cant make them for $ 20

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                    • #11
                      It might be 4140, but the last sentence concerning heat treating is the procedure for annealing.

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                      • #12
                        The second sentence says it is the "same style as RCBS and other manufacturers". Doesn't mean it is the same material. I was pretty sure that RCBS use free machining steel and then put a hard skin on it so it is less likely to warp. 4140 is a through hardening material isn't it? Every commercial die I've ever cut on was surface hardened only.

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                        • #13
                          That was on PTGs site. http://pacifictoolandgauge.com/565-p...-blanks-nopix-

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                          • #14
                            OK , this is getting interesting and educational. Yes. the heat treat instructions shown for the die blanks is for annealing. The steel 4140 will not harden to the degree needed for dies without being carburized. As for 12L14, I understand that that is leaded free machining steel that did not lend itself well to either welding or heat treating. School me. can 12L14 be carburized and hardened?
                            As for a very hard skin on low carbon steel, carbo- nitrating will give "glass hard" surface... should be ideal for limited production draw dies.
                            Joe B

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by H380 View Post
                              Click image for larger version  Name:	Annotation 2020-05-24 120935.png Views:	126 Size:	224.8 KB ID:	1877300
                              It is 4140
                              That is a interesting ad. It states 4140 yet at the bottom recommends using a air hardening process. 4140 is a oil hardening steel. Although it may harden somewhat in air, that is not the recommended way, oil quench and then temper is the recommendation. Either way wouldn't give a case hardening only, it would be hard all through. The die in the ad is apparently not the same metal as the average commercial finished die.
                              Last edited by Sparky_NY; 06-07-2020, 04:06 PM.

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