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Sizeing without expander ball

 
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  #1  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:34 PM
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Sizeing without expander ball

What are the pros and cons of neck sizeing wothout an expander ball?
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:32 PM
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Re: Sizeing without expander ball

A pro would be to minimize the chance of having the expander ball cause case neck runout.

Not sure what exactly the cons would be for sure but I suspect inconsistent neck tension. I simply polish my expanders and allow them to float in the case by not tightening them to the die. Not sure if this is correct but it suits me fine.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:37 PM
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Re: Sizeing without expander ball

On a standard sizing die you are actually sizing down the neck on the way in then pulling it over the appropriate size button for proper neck tension.

The only way to properly size without a button would be to have a bushing die or to have ordered a die with a specific neck diameter.

The benefit would be to have the neck perfectly true to the body not to mention concentric. This would only be true on a FL die with the proper neck size. Experience has shown me that a bushing neck die will not improve poor run out, though I'm not really sure why I though it would. A FL bushing die may but I have zero experience with that. At least this is what my impressions were as I'm still waiting on a die from Forester (they are only 9 weeks over their estimated delivery date).
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:54 PM
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Re: Sizeing without expander ball

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagMan View Post
Experience has shown me that a bushing neck die will not improve poor run out, though I'm not really sure why I though it would.

Could you expand on this please? I'm curious as to your findings.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:17 PM
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Re: Sizeing without expander ball

If you take a case with unacceptable neck run out and size with a bushing neck die the run out won't get any better. There is nothing to hold the body in place while the bushing sizes the neck to the proper size and location. The neck will be the proper size but will remain off center of the body. To much floating going on to straighten anything out, which is the way it was designed to work I believe.

As I have stated the FL bushing die may work but I'm not willing to spend the money on that when I could have a custom die made to my specific neck size.

I have also noticed brass with good run out wont get any worse when being run through a bushing die. It just never gets any better in my case though I'm sure some will disagree.

Last edited by MagMan; 03-05-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:55 PM
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Re: Sizeing without expander ball

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabelas90 View Post
What are the pros and cons of neck sizeing wothout an expander ball?
The only way to properly size a case without the expander, if in standard type dies, is to hone the neck portion of the die to be .0015"-.002" SMALLER than what the neck thickness is with a bullet SEATED in it.
Some dies will shrink the neck by .010", then the expander will bring it back up .008" to be .002" below bullet diameter. Without the expander or altering the neck section of the die, the case mouth may get damaged when you try to seat bullets.
A better method, and easier, is to polish the expander so that it is .0015"-.002" below bullet diameter. If it is the correct diameter to start with, just polish it with 1200 wet/dry, so it passes through the necks easier.
Another tip, use powdered graphite on a case neck brush, lube the inside of your case necks. Only a couple of passes into the neck are necessary, this will diminish any chance that the expander will gall on the way through the neck, and it won't over stress the necks or drag the shoulder forward. This also helps reduce split necks!
Keep the expander CLEAN, build up of CARBON is the biggest factor in the expander galling, remove the decapping stem after every use and wipe it clean with lighter fluid.

I use the polished expander method, when I'm not using bushing dies, and I have better neck tension with this method, unless you have custom neck dies the expander is still necessary to uniformity, because the neck die will resize varying neck thicknesses to varying diameters, and only the expander will make them uniform again in regards to neck tension.
I do not go into neck turning, unless it is absolutely necessary for the case to fit my rifle chamber, as long as the internal dimensions are the same, a few thou' difference in neck thickness won't alter accuracy enough to worry about, unless your shooting benchrest/1000yrd matches.
Cheers.
MagnumManiac.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:36 PM
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Re: Sizeing without expander ball

A concentricity gauge allows one to determine what things help and what things don't. Until you have one the old saying is true "ignorance is bliss" Once you get one you will start worrying and lose sleep.
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