Cleaning Reloading Equipment: A Quick Guide

As long as you spend enough time and energy taking care of your reloading press, the maintenance procedure is really easy.

Maintaining and cleaning your reloading press is a crucial aspect of the pastime. Even the greatest reloading press will deteriorate and need maintenance, especially if used regularly.

Lubrication is an important part of operating and maintaining a reloading press. It helps your press last for a long time.

Lubrication Procedures

While there are a few types of reloading presses, they are not necessarily hard to maintain if you know the proper technique. So, let us learn the procedures.

Before lubricating anything, use a towel and clean out your reloading press well. This entails thoroughly cleaning both the outside and inside of the press. Warm water generally removes most of the everyday dirt and other stains. However, you may need a small amount of soap to remove the oil.

However, you do not want to use too much soap since it is abrasive and can cause harm to the reloading press’s aesthetics or the metal itself. Wiping down the reloading press before lubricating is important to remove any larger brass casing shards and extra grease.


You will then want to move on to the arm itself. Make sure to find the pivoting centers and other gear, and make sure they are well-oiled on both sides and edges. It makes little difference whether the lubricant is injected deeply into the arm components. Some lubrication will seep into the mechanism’s interior, facilitating mobility.

At this time, there is no need to worry about getting lube everywhere. However, it is preferable to utilize a bit more than not enough. Additionally, you can use the washcloth to remove extra lubricants.

Any pivoting points on the arm should be treated similarly. Soak one of the Q-tips in grease or another lubrication and apply the lubricant liberally to the pivoting points. Adjust any levers or other moveable pieces on your specific reloading press to ensure that everything is lubricated evenly. Although it is difficult to discuss the details of a reloading press, these fundamental notions should still apply.

Pivoting Pins

First, regardless of the sort of reloading press you possess, you have multiple pivoting pins that enable the press’s main arm to move up and down. Regrettably, these pegs are often positioned on opposing sides and are hollow. While this enables them to collaborate effectively with the rest of the press, it also exposes them to oil and other muck buildups over time.

As a result, you will want to look after them. First, you should add lubricant to one of the Q-surface’s tips and attempt to grease the inside of those pins. Then, circumferentially lubricate the region surrounding the pins, ensuring that they work as smoothly as possible. You should notice an instant improvement after using the lubricant.

Alternatively, you can use a needle with the tip dipped in grease. Completely thread the needle through the arm pins until grease emerges on the other side. This indicates that the pathway is clean and that the region has been thoroughly lubricated.


Following that, pay close attention to the ram of the reloading press. Again, you do not want to get greasy into the ram’s innards. Rather than that, apply the grease or oil to the part’s outside. This will lubricate the ram’s sides and help it to travel more smoothly back and forth once connected with the rest of the press.

Of course, you will want to lubricate the ram container or slot inside. This is often sized particularly for rams and should be readily available.

But, again, avoid piling on excessive grease or lubrication to the point that, when the ram is reinserted into the slot, a pool of grease wells up into the inside of the cylinder. This can make water greasy and finally tarnish the press. The trick is to lubricate just the components that come into physical touch with the press’s other metals. In most situations, you can grease the ram holding with your finger.

Other Components

Lubricating indexing rods and related components is a good idea. However, once removed from the press, lubricating them is relatively simple.

Draw a small line of lubrication down the length of each component using a liquid lubricant from a can or container. Then, using the indexing rod, move a bushing of your choosing up and down. This will simultaneously lubricate both the bushing and the indexing rod.

Turret and Die

Following that, lubricate the inside of your press housing with your finger or a lubricated washcloth. Housing is the round turret-style hole in the middle of most presses. Then, you can apply it to the die set using the same lubricant as the press’s die set. The trick is to lubricate the dice set’s edge, particularly the circular sides that rub against the turret circle discussed above.

Again, this assists in ensuring that all metal components interact smoothly rather than grinding or stalling your press efforts. Lubricate the dies as desired, but do not overdo it. Making things overly slick might make it more challenging to utilize the press. Also, you can accidentally spill lubricant into the press’s nooks and crannies. Then, you will have to re-clean everything.

Die Cleaning Frequency

How often you clean your dies will depend on how often you reload and how many rounds you do at a time. If you load thousands of rounds simultaneously, you must clean your dies every 500-1,000 rounds. If you are one the hand-loads a few at a time, yet loads every day, cleaning your dies weekly may be in order, depending on how you store the dies.

If you occasionally reload, one item that needs to be on your mind is proper storage of your dies. Suppose they will be stored for long periods. In that case, you must coat them in light oil or other rust preventative, especially if you are in a humid environment.

Also, you can follow reloading tips, which can help no matter if you are a rookie or a veteran.


As you can see, lubricating your reloading press is not as time-consuming or complicated as you may believe. Cleaning the press is usually the best time to do this since this is a habit that most professional reloaders have mastered.

By following a proper lubrication procedure and routine, you can extend the life of your reloading press. Also, you can use a reloading bench to set up the reloading press and other maintenance equipment properly.

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