Does anyone here ever resize without an expanderball?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KQguy, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

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    I was talking to my gunsmith the other day,and we were talking about reloading.He said he never uses an expander ball when reloading,he said it has never made sense to him why anyone would ever want to drag that expander ball through the neck and screw up the concentricity of the neck.I personally have never tried this approach,but was wondering if anyone here ever uses this method?I know there are things that can be done to help neck runout when using an expander ball,like polishing it,and using dry lubes to reduce friction,but I have never heard of anyone completely taking it out.
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I never use an expander ball. Eliminating that cause of runout is one of the first things that is recommended. Your gunsmith friend is correct.


    AJ
     
  3. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    I have been reloading for approximately 9 years now (for .308, .284 Winchester, .260, and 7WSM - soon to add 338LM Improved tot he list) and have never used an expander ball.

    JeffVN
     
  4. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    try it , you'll like it!
     
  5. mikebob

    mikebob Well-Known Member

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    I grind mine down so I can still knock out primers. Also started only resizing half the neck, no noticeable gain though.
     
  6. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to decap in a universal decapper, FL size without an expander and expand with a Lyman "M" die to get the necks up to the proper diameter. That way my bullets don't have to do the expander's job. The "M" die expander makes much straighter necks than a conventional expander ball can.

    As a point of info, Forster's BR sizers have an expander ball that can be screwed up the decapping pin. Expanding can begin immediately as the neck is withdrawn but while the upper part is still firmly held in the die. That makes for straighter necks too. The Forster BR die sets are great tools but I don't have them for all my cartridges.

    When neck sizing I only use a Lee Collet Neck Sizer, it makes the best necks of all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  7. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

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    I expand the necks with a Sinclair Mandel (same idea as Boomtube with the Lyman M die) after FL resizing in a conventional die.

    Today, the best solution (for a regular 7/8" screw-in die) is the Redding "S" FL resizing die with separate neck sizing bushings.

    Type S – Bushing Style Dies
     
  8. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    Use the Lee Collet Neck Sizer, no expander ball, no lube inside the neck and less runout. Follow up with a Redding Body Die when the shoulder needs to be pushed back.

    Some calibers don't have a Lee Collet available so I have to use a Redding Bushing Die but they are much more expensive and complicated to use.
     
  9. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I agree!!:cool:
     
  10. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Those are the dies I use as well.

    AJ
     
  11. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    I guess I'll be the lone voice of dissent here...

    Almost anything I have a Redding Type 'S' F/L bushing die for - which is nearly every caliber I make 'accuracy' loads for - has an expander ball go through the case neck.

    I don't use the standard factory expander plug - I agree, those suck. What I do use is the carbide expander ball available separately from Redding. Most of the sins attributed to expander balls - they can be off center, they have a long bearing surface that may not be all that smooth, etc. and as a result, pull the necks off center, or pull on the neck/shoulder area and mess up your headspace, etc. - can be eliminated or greatly minimized by using the carbide balls. They float around the shaft, so they self-align. They are round balls, not cylinders, so the bearing surface is extremely small. They are made of polished carbide, which is noticeably harder/smoother than any factory expander.

    The other half of the equation is I don't use the neck bushings to set my neck tension normally. I simply pick one that is 2-3 thou smaller than my desired loaded round diameter, and that way the neck doesn't get squeezed down to far and over worked like it would in a regular F/L die. The ball just 'kisses' the inside of the neck on the way out - not the full-contact 'drag' that you feel with a regular expander. Just enough to take care of any slight dents or dings that might have occurred in the case mouth - I shoot gas guns, and even my bolt guns with ejectors get operated pretty briskly... the mouths don't always stay perfectly round, what else can I say?

    With the proper bushing and the floating carbide ball doing their respective jobs, the only thing I'm missing is to be able to set the neck tension to some particular value, as the ball is going to set the ID of the case neck, period, unless you start mucking w/ the bushings a lot. If you make 'em too small, the neck will end up 'springing back' to a somewhat smaller dimension than the expander ball - but you end up getting back into the drag issue again. If you use too big of a ball, you get lighter neck tension but the ball isn't really doing its job any more. With it set just the way I described, you get about 0.002" neck tension - which seems to work pretty darned well for most anything I've attempted to load thus far. I don't have to fuss with digging out a mandrel for my neck turner when I dent a case mouth (notice I said 'when', not 'if'), and I don't have to sit there wondering when (again, notice the 'when', not 'if') a Lee Collet die is going to eat another one of my cases out of the blue.

    YMMV, but it works for me.
     
  12. gamedog

    gamedog Well-Known Member

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    Dumb question...If you take the expanderball out, how do you deprime the case?
     
  13. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    I deprime with a universal decapper die, then clean the decapped cases, so that my cases are clean before I run them through my sizing die to push the shoulder back by 0.0015.


    JeffVN
     
  14. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    deprime like Jeff said. clean the primer pockets. tumble, and size with a FL die that has the neck at the size you need. better than bushing dies IMO.