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Thread: Darn Allenhead Bolts

  1. #1
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    Darn Allenhead Bolts

    When it comes to die lock rings I like to use the ones with the wrench flats from Hornady. What I don't like is that they have an Allenhead bolt 5-32 x 3/8 to use to tighten the ring. I have been known to overtighten Allenhead things. Yesterday I had occasion to reset one of my sizing dies and then return it to the previous setting. Wouldn't you know that I didn't know my own strength and ended up rounding off the Allenhead bolt in the lock ring.

    Soooo I snugged the knurled end of the die in a vise and put a bit of sizing wax on the die threads next to the lock ring.



    Next I used a wrench to turn the ring off of the die. Didn't turn easy but it came off. Then I put the lock ring in the vise and snugged that up good so that the ring was squeezed together.



    After that I took a small torx [a Phillips could work too] screwdriver and managed to remove the damaged Allenhead bolt. Had I thought to do it last night I'd have taken pics of the actual items.

    So I got the deed done without messing around with easy outs or throwing the lock ring away. Tomorrow I'll set about getting replacement screws from the local machine supply house. BTW the best price I've seen for the lock rings is about $20 for a 6 pack from Recobs Target Shop in Wisconsin.
    Last edited by antelopedundee; 10-15-2022 at 01:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice to see you did not dammage the edge of the tool thread.


    Got some old tools showing a wider lock ring fitted with radial lock bolt. Love them, even if too wide to go on progressive press tool holder.


    On my own, I got only 2 sizers I often change the setting, and I always use shims below a forever locked lock ring.

    One is a 9x19 fitted on a progressive press, 1 shim for brass fired in my gun, no shims for pick-up brass.
    The other is a 5.45x39, no shims to push the shoulder of 223 brass cases to form 5.45, shims to adjust headspace at sizing fired cases.


    Got a similar bolt imprint issue on a old Sinclair BR priming tool. One of the 2 bolts retaining the shell holder is almost rounded and can't be tightened strong enough. During long priming cession, the shell holder rotates.

  3. #3
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    Get rid of that cross bolt lock nut and get a proper hex nut with the set screw that goes straight into the die body. We drop a lead shot into the threaded hole and tighten against the die.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil View Post
    Nice to see you did not dammage the edge of the tool thread.


    Got some old tools showing a wider lock ring fitted with radial lock bolt. Love them, even if too wide to go on progressive press tool holder.


    On my own, I got only 2 sizers I often change the setting, and I always use shims below a forever locked lock ring.

    One is a 9x19 fitted on a progressive press, 1 shim for brass fired in my gun, no shims for pick-up brass.
    The other is a 5.45x39, no shims to push the shoulder of 223 brass cases to form 5.45, shims to adjust headspace at sizing fired cases.


    Got a similar bolt imprint issue on a old Sinclair BR priming tool. One of the 2 bolts retaining the shell holder is almost rounded and can't be tightened strong enough. During long priming cession, the shell holder rotates.
    Is there anyone offering shim or spacer kits of various thicknesses? It makes sense to me then to set the die to full length size and use a spacer if or when you want to neck size.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBecigneul View Post
    Get rid of that cross bolt lock nut and get a proper hex nut with the set screw that goes straight into the die body. We drop a lead shot into the threaded hole and tighten against the die.
    Regardless of which type I use after I tighten the lock ring I need to use either channel locks or a wrench on the ring in order to turn the die back out of the press. I pad the ring with some cardboard if I use channel locks. Some rings have a lead plug in front of the setscrew.TY for the tip.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    Regardless of which type I use after I tighten the lock ring I need to use either channel locks or a wrench on the ring in order to turn the die back out of the press. I pad the ring with some cardboard if I use channel locks. Some rings have a lead plug in front of the setscrew.TY for the tip.
    with out a buffer between the die threads and the lock screw you are deforming the threads on the die body hence problem unscrewing. the lead ball or a plastic piece under the lock screw reduces this problem.

  7. #7
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    Die shims are commonly used in precision hand loading:

    https://benchrite.com/skips-7-8-14-sizing-die-shims/

    A thin 7/8-14 jam nut drilled and tapped as Francis mentioned is a good one. With a standard die lock ring, I'll sometimes add a real-deal Allen headed bolt...the Kenworth shifter option. The longer bolt makes tweaking the lock ring so simple that even a dirt clod from South Dakota can do it. Along with lead shot or lead core squirt, a dab of monofilament fishing line or weed wacker line works.



    These 3D printed Nylon lock rings are pretty slick, too.




  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blades View Post
    with out a buffer between the die threads and the lock screw you are deforming the threads on the die body hence problem unscrewing. the lead ball or a plastic piece under the lock screw reduces this problem.
    You're kind of stuck with a situation where you can't get the lock ring to move in the normal. You can cut the crossbolt with a hacksaw or try to remove the ring undamaged. I was just relaying how I got the ring off without ruining it. If I cut it in 2, I have no way to remove the front part of the crossbolt.

    A .030 or thereabout spacer/washer would be nice too, just like the ones you can get that let you load .357 mag ammo with .38 Special dies.
    Last edited by antelopedundee; 10-07-2022 at 11:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    I wonder why

    everybody hasn't gone to Torx? Heads hold up a lot better.

    Pete

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    everybody hasn't gone to Torx? Heads hold up a lot better.

    Pete
    Most if not all of the scope ring and base people have.

  11. #11
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    I'm beginning to think that Hornady gave me a wrong screw size. I'm sure they told me 5-32 x 3/8. My local machine shop supply place didn't have any. A Google search doesn't bring up anything in size 5-32. Looks like it might be 5-40 instead.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    Regardless of which type I use after I tighten the lock ring I need to use either channel locks or a wrench on the ring in order to turn the die back out of the press. I pad the ring with some cardboard if I use channel locks. Some rings have a lead plug in front of the setscrew.TY for the tip.
    The problem with a set screw into threads is that it typically ruin the threads in short order.
    Small changes in the thread position cannot be made.
    A pellet of 7-1/2 shot down the set screw hole goes a long way towards protecting the
    threads from damage.
    With undamaged threads you can make minor changes.
    The deformed pellet will ride the threads.

    The split rings have a better hold and far less chance of deforming die threads.
    The design of the Hornady ones is especially good.
    If you habitually over-tighten the lock screw you might consider using a torque wrench to limit damage.
    The torque on small screws does not have to be all that high for good holding in split die rings.

    I would suspect a call to Hornady would get you replacement screws.
    Possibly multiples in a small envelope.

  13. #13
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    If ya bugger up an Allen head or a Torx. Touch the end of the wrench to a grinder wheel, Dremel sander drum, sanding wheel, etc.
    Leave the burr on the end of wrench. Tap the wrench into socket. Ensure the sides match up. Be nice on turning the wrench. Righty Tighty, Lefty loosey.....Throw out screw.
    Buy new screw. Ace hardware has a huge collection of screws. so you don't have to buy a 100....
    Then take wrench back to a grinder wheel, Dremel sander drum, sanding wheel, etc. And grind that bugger down. Don't cool the tool. It will harden. And make a better tool for next time.
    It's always AMAZED me that really smart guys have rounded Allen Wrenches......

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brickeyee View Post
    I would suspect a call to Hornady would get you replacement screws.
    Possibly multiples in a small envelope.
    You may be right.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy06 View Post
    If ya bugger up an Allen head or a Torx. Touch the end of the wrench to a grinder wheel, Dremel sander drum, sanding wheel, etc.
    Leave the burr on the end of wrench. Tap the wrench into socket. Ensure the sides match up. Be nice on turning the wrench. Righty Tighty, Lefty loosey.....Throw out screw.
    Buy new screw. Ace hardware has a huge collection of screws. so you don't have to buy a 100....
    Then take wrench back to a grinder wheel, Dremel sander drum, sanding wheel, etc. And grind that bugger down. Don't cool the tool. It will harden. And make a better tool for next time.
    It's always AMAZED me that really smart guys have rounded Allen Wrenches......
    Our local machine shop supply house has oodles of screws, but none the size 5-32 that Hornady told me it was supposed to be. Said that there are no 5-32 size. Google SOCKET CAP SCREWS and nobody offers 5-32 size.

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