Check the expander!

  • Last Post 24 December 2015
Eutectic posted this 09 November 2015

I was loading 38 Specials and the bullets seated a little hard. I pulled the expander plug out of the die and it miked 0.354. What happened to my 0.357 expander? I had ignored it for a few years and over 25,000 rounds. document.write('/images/emoticons/sad.gif');

Attached Files

Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
RicinYakima posted this 09 November 2015

Yep, they do wear! I converted all of my sets for rifles to Redding carbide buttons years ago. Ed Harris turned me on to RCBS selling Cowboy expanders at a good price, they seems to be very hard on the surface. Still and all, 25,000 rounds is a goodly number for cost per replacement plug price!

Attached Files

wv109323 posted this 08 December 2015

Most die sets especially the expander are dimensioned with jacketed bullets in mind. Sizes for 9mm are .353 to .354 from the factory. While ideal for a .355 jacketed bullet, they are not ideal if your 9mm needs a .357 or .358 bullet to properly fit the bore. I have a CZ 75 that has a .3565 bore. The Dillon powder funnel/expander is .3535. A .358 bullet is resized when seated with this expander. This resizing destroys my accuracy with cast bullets in this pistol.

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 09 December 2015

as a rule i make expanding buttons to the same diameter as the sized bullet ... cast or jacketed .

this might tighten a bit if i loaded for tube magazine rifles .


Attached Files

noylj posted this 24 December 2015

The expander should open the case ID (not the case mouth flare) such that the case ID is 0.001-0.002” smaller than the actual bullet diameter. Thus, after expanding a case, measure the case ID and see what you get. You can order larger/smaller expanders (Lee does this for a very reasonable fee). This, and a bullet seating stem that actually fits the bullet you are using, are two areas many reloaders never look into, despite all their efforts for accuracy.

Attached Files