View Full Version : Making a bullet sizing die?

08-27-2009, 07:24 PM
Has anyone made from scratch a push thru bullet sizer die similar to the LEE style? What type of material did you use?

08-27-2009, 09:21 PM
Old dies that you can pick up at gunshows for a buck or two each work great (recycling at its finest). I always see a few vendors with a box-o' dies that are a mix of junk and mismatched gems. Most often they are rusty and beat up but you will machine it out anyway. Mostly good for medium to large calibers as the inside of even the small caliber dies will be too big for the smaller caliber bullets you may want to size for. Just part off what you don't need then bore and lap it to what ever size you need. The actual area to size does not need to be big. My first die had about a half inch of bore that actually did the sizing. It was for pistol so I don't know if a longer rifle bullet may require a longer area to size in order to prevent the bullet from being unsupported and maybe sizing crooked. ??? Can anyone else elaborate?

For the ram portion that goes in the shell holder I used some scrap stainless I had on hand, but anything will work.

08-27-2009, 09:31 PM
Yes, that is a good idea. I'll have to keep an eye open for some suitable old dies. So no one has made one from round stock?:?:

08-27-2009, 09:32 PM
Better yet, make a adapter from a 7/8 X 14 aluminum die body bored out to .700". This accepts a normal sizing die and can be locked in with a setscrew.

A shellholder is modified to take modified common hardware bolts turned to the desired diameter for the sizer being used and you can switch sizing dies very easily. Better than a Lee sizer.

Myself and Crazy Mark have been using these rigs for years with good results./beagle

08-27-2009, 10:04 PM
I have a couple dozen home made sizer dies, none of them is hardened, and none have changed dimensions.

If you are going to use salvaged reloading dies, be prepared......they are extremely hard.

Get some 7/8" X 14 tpi all-thread and it will work fine.

08-27-2009, 11:52 PM

Grainger has some great deals on 7/8 x 14 threaded rod right now, such as $2.34 for 3 feet! Here is their listing (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/productIndex.shtml?from=Search&newSrch=yes&operator=keywordSearch&search_type=keyword&action=Go!&QueryString=7%2F8-14+rod+threaded&submit.x=0&submit.y=0).


08-28-2009, 02:25 AM
I have an old somewhat bent .222 barrel from a Savage rifle. It is heavy, about an inch in diameter. I figure it is chrome moly. I use sections of it for Lyman type sizing dies. No hardening required.
Sometimes I use an extra junk reloading die if it is small enough inside to ream and lap out to the right size. Use it same as a Lee push through.
Dies are most times very hard. they don't need to be. I anneal them before I attempt to machine them.
Don't try to ream a chrome plated die. I have made sizing dies from brass with a single flute gun reamer if I didn't expect to use it for more than a few hundred sizings.
I also make dies to cut wads by reaming the inside of a junk sizer or seater die and cut a slot in the side with a die grinder and thin wheel to insert the wad material. Make a matching punch that fits the ram in the loading press.
It sure would be neat to have a milling machine and the tooling to make proper tools such as reamers. All I have is an old worn out Atlas 6"X24" lathe and drill press and sanders and grinders. Surprises me sometimes what a man can do given enough time.
Turning and boring is simple and quick.

Life is good

08-29-2009, 10:28 PM
Just about any steel will work.. I have made dies from scratch.. ( just made a set for loading 12ga brass shells).. I kinda like working with 12L14. You can get it from speedy metals..
Hope this helps..

08-29-2009, 11:03 PM

Grainger has some great deals on 7/8 x 14 threaded rod right now, such as $2.34 for 3 feet! Here is their listing (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/productIndex.shtml?from=Search&newSrch=yes&operator=keywordSearch&search_type=keyword&action=Go!&QueryString=7%2F8-14+rod+threaded&submit.x=0&submit.y=0).


Wish I had seen this earlier. I've been looking for somethnig like this for awhile. I finally found a place that had some bolts this size but they were $6 each and harder than I wanted but it was all I found. I just hope they aren't too hard for me to work. I may still go after some of that soft threaded rod anyway, it would be easier to work.

08-31-2009, 01:10 PM
I tried turning some on my mini lathe. Threading the die body straight about drove me nuts as my threading bit was out of commission. I'm getting some 4340 tool steel soon to have another go at it. I really want to shoot cast loads from both my 6.5's but don't want to wait 9 months to have lee custom make a die. This time i have spare tool bit sharpened up to thread the bodies.

08-31-2009, 01:24 PM
sorry for the duplicate post

08-31-2009, 03:08 PM
I use high tensile steel bolts - 8.8 type not carbon steel.

08-31-2009, 05:27 PM
I use 4140 pre-threaded u-bolt stock. Get it where I work.

10-16-2014, 12:29 AM
Is there anyone willing to make these and sell them?

MT Chambers
10-16-2014, 12:35 AM
There is a guy on here that makes Lee type dies, any size you want.