PMA Carbide Neck Turning Mandrels (PCM-10xx)
When treated and maintained properly, stainless steel mandrels (specifically 17-4 stainless) will retain their size and finish for years under normal use, satisfying the needs of most reloaders. That being said, carbide offers several advantages over steel and stainless steel when making any tooling. Neck turning mandrels are no different.
- Dimensional Stability - Carbide maintains its dimensions indefinitely during heating and cooling. This eliminates the need to allow the mandrel time to cool every few cases.
- Coefficient of Friction and Wear-Resistance - Carbide exhibits a low coefficient of friction value as compared to all steels and wears up to 100 times longer. This reduces (does not eliminate) the amount of lubricant required.
- Galling - Carbide has exceptional resistance to galling and welding at the surface. This basically eliminates the chance of getting a case stuck on a mandrel due to insufficient lubrication.
All of these advantages add up to a mandrel that does not wear out or change size due to friction and heat; and requires less lubrication than stainless mandrels.
Phenomenal machining. My only gripe is I lost one piece of expensive brass because bottom edge wasn’t rounded. I still rate this a 5 because I am using another companies die. Tolerances are probably perfect if you use a pma die. For use in my 21st century die the amount of free float was a little much so the lip of my brass caught the lower edge of the mandrel. Again I take responsibility for the issue since using other manufacturers die, and probably working a bit too fast. I took the mandrel and ever so slightly rounded the bottom edge. They are definitely carbide it’s not a quick process to round precisely. Mandrels run great now even with little to no. Next time I will start with their matching die.