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Thread: 38/357 Lee powder through expander in 9mm die mod

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Personally I'm not interested in activating a powder measure because I use only a single stage press. So you're saying that I just need to add the .38/.357 expander into my 9mm die? Thanks BC
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet Caster View Post
    Personally I'm not interested in activating a powder measure because I use only a single stage press. So you're saying that I just need to add the .38/.357 expander into my 9mm die? Thanks BC
    No. Add a spacer the same OD as the insert (like the PVC one I did) along with the 38/357 expander and it will work. Just the insert alone is too short.

    You can make the spacer out of whatever you want. PVC is just what I had on hand that was close so that's what I used.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jailer View Post
    No. Add a spacer the same OD as the insert (like the PVC one I did) along with the 38/357 expander and it will work. Just the insert alone is too short.

    You can make the spacer out of whatever you want. PVC is just what I had on hand that was close so that's what I used.

    When the powder drops, does any of it get hung up on the PVC spacer or did you bevel it somehow?

  4. #24
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    I thought enough of this to sticky it.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 30yrcaster View Post
    When the powder drops, does any of it get hung up on the PVC spacer or did you bevel it somehow?
    Nope. The powder drops through the delivery tube in the center of the measure. The outer body stays put since it's screwed into the die and the delivery tube rises and falls with the die insert. It's in constant contact with the inner portion of the insert as the ram is raised and the powder drops right through. The PVC spacer is just to make up the difference in OAL of the outer diameter of the insert to stop it's travel so it will expand the brass.

    Without the inner spacer the brass would get expanded but the powder measure wouldn't work. Without the outer spacer the powder measure would work but the insert would keep traveling upwards until the ram topped out and not expand the brass.

    This could be done a lot nicer by someone with the actual tools to make the parts. I just did it this way since that's what I could scrounge up in my garage to make it work.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    I thought enough of this to sticky it.
    Heh, noob gets a sticky.

  7. #27
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    Great thread. I thought 9,s were just junk compared to my .45's. just not there for accuracy. I slugged the barrels with unfired cast bullets. looked good. had a squib last week. bullet pushed out easily with very little ,shallow rifiling cuts, Now it all makes sense.

  8. #28
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    I'm working on this now... I had to come back to get your measurements.

    I don't have PVC hanging around, but I do have old brass. ATM it appears 40 cal will work perfect for the inner diameter, and 45 for the outer spacer.... fingers crossed.

    I'll be back...

  9. #29
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    Well I didn't fail, but I did learn about 12 new ways to NOT make a spacer out of a 45 case

  10. #30
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    Yeah, I dare say your going to have to use something a little stronger. I'm sure it crushed the brass the first time you tried it. Keep trying you'll find something that works.

    I've used different variations of this to adjust the throw distance on my powder measures with other Lee die sets too. With some of the larger disks in the powder measure if they don't travel far enough out it will leave a little bit of powder at the edge of the drop hole. Take a little bit off the top of the expander plug with a file and it increases the travel and pushes all the powder over past the edge of the drop hole.

    It's amazing how consistent these powder measures get when they throw the entire charge in the hole every time.

  11. #31
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    If the 45 case had been a "46" or so it seems like it would have worked. It was a little too narrow to allow the powder tube to fit through it, so it would bind up on it and yes, crumple.

    The 40 case worked well for making up the inner diameter spacer.

  12. #32
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    I ran into this problem loading fat .358" boolits into 9x19 cases with my Loadmaster. My BHP shoots best with .358" boolits, and my Lee 9mm case expander on the Loadmaster would not give enough flair to the mouth for seating my boolits without shaving lead. If I turned the powder measure down far enough for usable flair it would cause timing problems with the shell plate. My solution used 1/4" lock washers instead of pvc. Flatten them out and spread them to nearly the same ID as the drop tube. Stack three of the modified washers on top of the expander insert, and that extended it down far enough to flair the cases for the larger boolits without messing with the timing of the Loadmaster.
    Changing to .358" boolits in the BHP was a real eye opener for me. Group sizes were cut in half, and leading just went away.
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  13. #33
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    It seems I have fallen victim to the 9mm case swage syndrome. Some data - storm lake barrel slugged .355, Lee 124 truncated cone sized .356 from range lead pushed with 700x at less than 1000fps (lower velocities grouped better than higher). pulled boolits measured .353 at the base.
    I have attempted the described remedy with some success as it appears my Lee .38 expander does not extend far enough down the case for the boolit being used. My question is - how should I address the flair on the case rim and is the boolit meant to stay in place by case tension alone or is some type of crimp applied? Also would an 'M' die in .357 be longer and just make this process a whole lot easier?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashguy View Post
    It seems I have fallen victim to the 9mm case swage syndrome. Some data - storm lake barrel slugged .355, Lee 124 truncated cone sized .356 from range lead pushed with 700x at less than 1000fps (lower velocities grouped better than higher). pulled boolits measured .353 at the base.
    I have attempted the described remedy with some success as it appears my Lee .38 expander does not extend far enough down the case for the boolit being used. My question is - how should I address the flair on the case rim and is the boolit meant to stay in place by case tension alone or is some type of crimp applied? Also would an 'M' die in .357 be longer and just make this process a whole lot easier?
    The expander portion of the 38 insert is more than long enough to prevent swaging. If it's not going deep enough into the case then you need a thicker spacer on the top of the outer diameter of the expander. A thicker spacer will make it bottom out sooner and push it into the 9mm case further. You may run into case tension issues (lack of) trying to run a boolit sized to .356 using a 38 expander.

    I use a taper crimp die to remove the flare on the case rim. You can use an M die to get the same effect on the case but you won't be able to use the powder measure with your expander. This mod retains the powder through expander so you can expand the case mouth and drop powder in the same step.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanM View Post
    I ran into this problem loading fat .358" boolits into 9x19 cases with my Loadmaster. My BHP shoots best with .358" boolits, and my Lee 9mm case expander on the Loadmaster would not give enough flair to the mouth for seating my boolits without shaving lead. If I turned the powder measure down far enough for usable flair it would cause timing problems with the shell plate. My solution used 1/4" lock washers instead of pvc. Flatten them out and spread them to nearly the same ID as the drop tube. Stack three of the modified washers on top of the expander insert, and that extended it down far enough to flair the cases for the larger boolits without messing with the timing of the Loadmaster.
    Changing to .358" boolits in the BHP was a real eye opener for me. Group sizes were cut in half, and leading just went away.
    You have to be careful if you are dropping powder and expanding in the same step doing what you have described. If you don't make up the difference with a spacer for the powder drop tube you run the risk of short stroking the powder measure. This will introduce a whole new set of problems with inconsistent powder drops and light charges.

  16. #36
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    Jailer- thanks for the info and response . Well I guess operator error could be the problem , I will get back to the drawing board on this, I'm determined to correct this issue. I should have noted I do not use the powder through feature so that's a non-issue , one less thing. Just one more thing.
    What taper crimp die do you use to remove the flare ? the 9mm die or the 38 die?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashguy View Post
    Jailer- thanks for the info and response . Well I guess operator error could be the problem , I will get back to the drawing board on this, I'm determined to correct this issue. I should have noted I do not use the powder through feature so that's a non-issue , one less thing. Just one more thing.
    What taper crimp die do you use to remove the flare ? the 9mm die or the 38 die?
    Lee 9mm taper crimp die. They're only around $10 on line.

  18. #38
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    I am using M die in a 5 die press. I set the M die tojust a bit over boolit depth in the case, but to "bell" or step less than I desire. Then I let the powder thrugh die do the bell. This lets the powder through die continue to grab onto the case a bit and to give a little jerk onto the powder measure upon withdrawl so that the powder is settled for the next round. As always, the least amount of belling that will serve to set the boolit is best. I have a 45/70 powder through die insert I was gonna mill down to fit my .454s, but I came across a set of RCBS cowboy dies with a .454 appropriate lead boolit expander, so I never followed through with the project.

    prs

  19. #39
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    Very well done. Your pictures are great and makes for a great explanation.

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  20. #40
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    Sorry Shiloh I just say your reply today, thanks for the kind words.

    I'm not the best at explaining things in written form so I try to make up for that with lots of pictures.

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