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FW Arms Decapping Die Review


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This is my review of the FW Arms Decapping die. 

 

Rounds Processed Count: 61654 of 9mm once fired, same head stamp

 

Pins Broken: 4

 

Machine: Mark 7 Evo Pro fully automated and configured with separate tool head just for processing. Running at max RPM. No Dwell on stroke. No timing adjustment on the shell plate. 

 

Construction: pictures included. The construction is really simple and robust. It just plane makes sense. I dont know why anyone hadnt thought of it before. The die itself is quite long with a long channel that runs through it. This adds rigidity to the pin. This is especially important when it hits an obstruction (foreign debris, or a sideways case). The case centering shuttle itself is spring loaded and centers cases automatically on the shell plate. 

 

Installation: All you need is the Dillon wrench that most people already have. Place fired brass in that station. Move the Tool head all the way down, make contact, back off slightly. Ensure that the decapping pin pushes primer out, and move it further by one quarter turn. Tighten everything down. 

 

Overall impressions: I had initially set up a separate tool head because processing (decapping resize and swage) and loading on the mark 7 presented some issues with other dies i was using. It just wasnt reliable or couldnt keep the machine running with stopping very often. i feel pretty confident i could run these dies progressively and not have any issues. They just work. And very well. Often id have the machine running so fast that i didnt have time to stop it when i saw a sideways case come into the decapping station. Id have time to cringe and thats about it. The machine would crush the case or debris and i would think id have to stop and replace the pin. The majority of the time the pin was so robust and supported so well by the rest of the die, that this was not the case. Id also see cases come into station one at as much as a 45 degree angle and be auto centered by the die, and continue on without issue or stoppage. Occasionally the decapping die would find a missed piece of gravel or a little rubber nub (from the brass pick up rollers). Any other decapping die i would have had to stop and replace the pin. The FW Arms however i did not. I would just ensure it wasnt bent. And continue to run the machine. In my opinion if you are running automated, you need these dies. I would never have been able to process this much brass in the amount of time i did without these dies. I was processing about 9000 rounds every 3.5 hours.  

Ive used quite a few different decapping dies. And spent money on beefed up squirrel daddy pins and all that nonsense. None of these hold a candle to the FW Arms dies. Loading automated youre going to get stoppages. Its just a fact. To minimize those is the key. And these certainly do that. I wish i had found these a long time ago. 

 

 

Oh and i forgot to mention. Will, the owner is really a pleasure to work with. He'll work his ass off to ensure you get what you need. 

 

The pictures below show the dies, and a couple scenarios where this thing really shines. Typical dies, i would have had to stop and replace broken pins. But this thing allowed me to keep on running without stopping. Really impressive. 

IMG_5932.jpg

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It really is a great design the cone for auto centering. It's one of those things you look back on and think "damn why didnt I come up with that!". I've ran about 2,000 rounds and no issues at all.


Haha I know it. So simple. Works so great. I thought the same thing!


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  • 3 weeks later...

What I like most about the FW's is the alignment of the cases before decapping or swaging. The MA decapper and hold down die have the tendency to nick the casemouths of my .223 cases (because the cases can wobble a little on the shellplate and then the decapping rod or swage rod clips the casemouth sometimes). The FW's don't do that because the case goes in straight.

 

Next experiment is decapping a berdan case.... :)

 

I know the MA pin bends but then again I don't think he advertizes that it will go straight through..... let's see what happens with the FW.

 

****

 

Edited to report my FW decapper has no trouble with 9mm berdan cases. It pierces clean through the case web. I tried 5 cases.

 

Edited by RGA
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

FW dies are by far the best decapping and swage hold down out there. Ive slowly been swapping over to these dies on all my processing tool heads.

 

Processed well over 100K of 9mm, 223, and 300 BO. Broken maybe 5-6 pins that whole time. Mostly from 223 not feeding correctly into the shell plate and it just happens to fall sideways when the press indexes and drops the pin right on the sideways case. This is a case pusher issue, not the die at all.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 7 months later...
On 7/2/2020 at 1:20 PM, BiknSwans said:

Has anyone used the FW Arms decapper for 9mm range brass that includes a lot of military crimps?  I'm still struggling with primers being pulled back during decapping on my Mark 7 Evolution.

 

Bikn - I have used mine so far on a little 1500 rounds of 9mm brass with zero pull backs and slightly over 2000 rds of LC 223 brass (crimped) with only one primer issue and it actually was not a pull back - the freaking primer was stuck in the primer pocket and the decapping pin went clean through the primer - wish I would have taken a picture of that round but I did not....Other than that I have had zero issues and so far I have not broken a pin (I load manually - no auto drive on my presses).

 

Also I am using the newest decapping die that FW Arms released last year called the Primer Popper Unit (it is the second generation to the original model).  When I ordered mine he had over 2300 in stock so when you read "Pre-Order" just know that this is not a new item he has never sold.  Here is the link..... 

 

 https://fwarms.com/shop/reloading/pre-order-fw-arms-primer-popper-auto-case-centering-decapper-deprimer/

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13 hours ago, Boomstick303 said:

When using FW Decapping Die what station are you sizing the brass?  Are you using these dies in the same pass as sizing and trimming, or are you making 2 passes for processing?  

 

Broom - I have mine in station two (case feeder in station one) and then I resize in station 3 using the Lee "U" die on 9mm.....

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1 hour ago, Sigarmsp226 said:

 

Bikn - I have used mine so far on a little 1500 rounds of 9mm brass with zero pull backs and slightly over 2000 rds of LC 223 brass (crimped) with only one primer issue and it actually was not a pull back - the freaking primer was stuck in the primer pocket and the decapping pin went clean through the primer - wish I would have taken a picture of that round but I did not....Other than that I have had zero issues and so far I have not broken a pin (I load manually - no auto drive on my presses).

 

Also I am using the newest decapping die that FW Arms released last year called the Primer Popper Unit (it is the second generation to the original model).  When I ordered mine he had over 2300 in stock so when you read "Pre-Order" just know that this is not a new item he has never sold.  Here is the link..... 

 

 https://fwarms.com/shop/reloading/pre-order-fw-arms-primer-popper-auto-case-centering-decapper-deprimer/

 

Thanks Sigarmsp226.  I tried both the Mighty Armory universal decapper with a spring popper and a Dillon .40 caliber sizing and decapping die, which also has a spring to pop out the primer.  Both worked fine except that I couldn't use either and prime at the same time.  The new primer would flip sideways quite often.

 

I've since gone to using two passes.  On the first pass, I only decap and swage.  If the primer gets sucked back, and it never does using the Mighty Armory decapper, the swaging die will tell me right away.  I then wet tumble with pins, so I also get clean and dry primer pockets as a bonus.  Also, I'm assured that there are no .380s or Berdan primers after the first pass.  The second pass I use another decapper and hold down die in the swaging station, just in case, and this pass is very pleasant without worrying about unprimed cases or .380s.  The two pass system is slower, but I'm very comfortable with it now and really enjoy loading again.

 

The FW Arms primer popper that centers the brass looks awesome, and if I need another decapper, that will be the one I buy.

 

Thanks again for the update.

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  • 3 months later...
On 2/19/2021 at 3:03 PM, Sigarmsp226 said:

 

Broom - I have mine in station two (case feeder in station one) and then I resize in station 3 using the Lee "U" die on 9mm.....

 

If you moved the resizing to station 3, what's happening to the "Swage primer pocket/expand Neck" operation that is supposed to be happening at station 3?

 

How does the FW Arms die compare to the Mighty Armory die?  I think they have a decap/size die.

Also, are these other dies radiused at the bottom?  If not, do they crush cases when loading if they don't line up perfectly?

 

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1 hour ago, Cuz said:

 

If you moved the resizing to station 3, what's happening to the "Swage primer pocket/expand Neck" operation that is supposed to be happening at station 3?

 

How does the FW Arms die compare to the Mighty Armory die?  I think they have a decap/size die.

Also, are these other dies radiused at the bottom?  If not, do they crush cases when loading if they don't line up perfectly?

 

If you put the sizing die on station 3, it’ll also act as a Swage hold-down die. The “neck expanding” will be taken care of by the MBF powder funnel.

 

Im using an FW Arms primer popper decapping which is self-centering to prevent crush cases. 

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  • 3 months later...

Does anyone know if FW Arms is still in business? I ordered a die last week, and other than a confirmation email it's been crickets. No response to my emails, the phone goes straight to voice mail and the mailbox is full.

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54 minutes ago, chilehed said:

Does anyone know if FW Arms is still in business? I ordered a die last week, and other than a confirmation email it's been crickets. No response to my emails, the phone goes straight to voice mail and the mailbox is full.

I ordered and received their popper decapper and swage hold down dies last month. 

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22 minutes ago, Cuz said:

I ordered and received their popper decapper and swage hold down dies last month. 

Thanks. I'll give it more time, maybe they're on vacation or something. Hopefully not ill or anything like that.

Edited by chilehed
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21 hours ago, chilehed said:

Does anyone know if FW Arms is still in business? I ordered a die last week, and other than a confirmation email it's been crickets. No response to my emails, the phone goes straight to voice mail and the mailbox is full.

 

I've ordered multiple times and always got my stuff.

They might be a little slower to process orders than someone like Midway.

I get the impression they are a fairly small operation probably do batches at a time.

 

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