Originally Posted by cabelas90
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.