Fixing My Stupid Mistakes With The RCBS Stuck Case Remover

Daniel Y
by Daniel Y
Fixing My Stupid Mistakes With The RCBS Stuck Case Remover

We all do stupid things sometimes. In my case, I do the same stupid things repeatedly. In recent months I managed to get two pieces of .300 Win Mag brass stuck in two separate dies. This was both embarrassing and was getting in the way of making more ammo for my Winchester 70 sniper homage. Fortunately, RCBS offers a stuck case tool for this job. Let’s see how it works, and if it works.

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A very stuck case in a Hornady full-length sizing die.
I had not one, but two .300 Win Mag cases stuck in two separate dies.

Wait, You Got Two Cases Stuck The Same Way?

Yes, I did manage to get two pieces of brass stuck in two separate sizing dies. I generally use Hornady spray-on sizing lubricant with rifle brass. It works great with most calibers up to .30-06, but .300 Win Mag turned out to be too much. It dawned on me after the second time that improper lubrication was probably the root cause. I have since switched to using Imperial Sizing Die Wax and, though it is a slower process, it does not result in stuck cases.

When the cases became stuck, the rims ripped away such that there was no way to fit the brass into a case holder. I did have a Frankford Arsenal tool that purported to be a stuck case remover, but it did not work at all. That tool relied on a clamping mechanism to grab the exposed base of the case. It was simply not up to the task of un-sticking a .300 WM case and it slipped off.

How Does It Work?

The RCBS Stuck Case Remover is quite simple. All of its parts fit into a tiny little plastic bag, and it only requires some simple tools to use. The formal instructions are printed on the plastic bag, and they are very easy to follow. Here are the steps to use the stuck case remover (with some additional notes of my own) :

  1. Remove the decapping/expander pin from the die (if possible, if not get it as far out of the way as possible).
  2. Drill through the primer pocket with the included drill bit.
  3. Thread the resulting hole with the included tap.
  4. Slide the steel cup over the case base of the case.
  5. Place the included screw through the steel cup and thread it into the threads cut in the brass case.
  6. Crank on the included hex wrench like an enraged ape until the case is freed.
The packaging is rather minimal, and the instructions are printed on the back.
The parts laid out (L to R): drill bit, tap, screw, steel cap, and hex wrench.

My Experience Using The RCBS Stuck Case Remover

The instructions are fairly simple to follow. It was easy to follow the instructions. One slight snag was removing the decapping stem. I could not get the decapper/expander assembly fully out of the dies, but I was able to get them far enough out of the way to drill out the primer pocket and extract the case.

One other note, a specialized tool like a tap handle would be the best tool for threading the hole, but I did not have one of those handy. I used a substantial crescent wrench as my makeshift tap handle and it worked fine. The additional leverage with a tap handle may have sped up the process, though.

I was able to get one piece of brass unstuck using the included hex wrench. However, the other piece did not budge. This situation called for more leverage. I found a bit driver that fit nicely over the hex wrench and that gave me enough torque to break the brass loose. It made some awful noises as it was coming loose but everything worked as it should. I was concerned that the steel screw might rip through the brass threads, but they held.

Drilling through this partially-removed primer felt very uncomfortable, even though I knew it was already fired.
I did not have a tap handle, so a crescent wrench sufficed.
The drilled and tapped hole is visible through the primer pocket.
The steel cap sits over the base of the case and butts up against the die body, with the hex head screw fitting down through the hole in the cap.
The substantial hex wrench is probably enough to extract most cases, but I used a small cheater pipe for extra leverage.
Both of the offending cases were successfully removed from their prison.

Check Prices on RCBS Stuck Case Removers


So what is my final opinion of the RCBS stuck case remover? It is excellent. Both of my sizing dies are back in action and the tool shows no real signs of wear. This is a roughly $25 tool, and it is absolutely worth the money. It is also a great idea to have one of these on hand, just in case. Hopefully, I do not need to use it very often in the future. But if I do, I know it is up to the task.

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Daniel Y
Daniel Y

AKA @fromtheguncounter on Instagram. Gun nerd, reloader, attorney, and mediocre hunter. Daniel can still be found on occasion behind the counter at a local gun store. When he is not shooting, he enjoys hiking, camping, and rappelling around Utah.

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3 of 5 comments
  • Cornpop Cornpop on May 31, 2023

    I've come close a time or two but was able to remove them. I now try to apply a little more lube. Probably would be smart to have this kit on hand.

  • Biff Biff on May 31, 2023

    If you look online you can find what # drill bit, tap and socket head screw you need and just use a washer and a socket from your socket set to achieve the same thing. It might be cheaper if you are already ordering something from McMaster-Carr or another tool vendor.