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Thread: expander w/ neck sizing

  1. #1
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    Default expander w/ neck sizing

    Here's a question for those of you who use Bushing style dies, such as the Type S dies by Redding.

    Do you find you get better results (concentricity, accuracy) by using the expander ball or not? Since I was under the impression that dragging the expander ball through the neck often pulls the neck crooked, so far I've switched all my dies to the non-expander ball option and have been using only the bushing to resize the neck from the outside. I do use the expander ball the first time I run new brass through the die, just to push out any dents or uneveness in the neck, but after that I remove the expander ball. It occurs to me that I might be missing something. Is there any other reason to use the expander ball?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Usually I don't use the expander with the bushing dies and that does seem to work very well. When I do use the expander I use the free floating round carbide expander ball, (optional at extra cost) from Redding. The carbide is smoother and floats on the stem which allows it to align with the case instead of the other way around. I use this for new brass as you said and for any brass that has been fired in another gun or sized with another type of die. I don't have any concentricity problems when using this round carbide expander. There is no reason to use the expander with the bushing and if it isn't tight enough get .001" smaller bushing and it will be, or if it is too tight, use one size larger bushing. That's the way they are supposed to work. You'll rarely get by with just one bushing anyway.

    Another point about the expander, the stems of those expander assemblies can get bent or a little misaligned and they are almost impossible to get straightened again. I have found for some cases, those with sharper shoulders such as the 35 degree 6.5-284 (or just the 284 case), it works better to leave the expander assembly loose in the die body slightly. This allows it to wiggle inside the case neck and that seem to help prevent case neck bending (making more concentric).
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  3. #3
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    Default another question...

    OK, thanks Murphy, that's good information (as usual!)

    I probably should have included this question in the original post since it also relates to bushing style dies, but I forgot that it had been in the back of my mind.

    I'd like to know if anyone has any input on how much of the neck to resize. By backing out the plug that holds the neck bushing down, one can resize only part of the neck. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to sizing, say, only half of the neck? I've been playing with this a bit but don't have enough practical experience to reach any conclusions. I'm thinking I need a concentricity/run-out guage to see if there are any issues with bullet alignment, but I thought I'd ask in the meantime.

    I guess I'll put my question about that in a seperate post though!

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