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

  1. #61
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Recently I had some trouble expanding some once fired .32 Auto brass with the Lee flare die. The bottom of the expander plug would catch the edge of the case mouth and peel it down like a banana. The remedy was simple, create a taper on the bottom of the expander plug so that the plug would guide itself in to the case mouth without catching. I just used my bench grinder to do this and now it works great. I'll likely try the same thing with my 9X19 flare die.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  2. #62
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Another thing to think about. When using .357 or 358 boolits in 9mm, it seems unnecessary to resize to the same spec as if you are using .355 j-word bullets. Reason being that you are then going to stretch the case back out flaring it for the larger diameter cast boolit. I wonder if it would work better to use a .38 Special resizing die for your cast boolit loads?
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  3. #63
    Boolit Master
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    FergusonTO35: The 9x19 is a very tapered case. The use of a .38 Special sizing die, unless used only over about 1/3 of the case, would damage the case. The few thousandths of an inch difference in bullet size is really not an issue.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    So, do you mean that the resizing die will damage it or subsequent operations?
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  5. #65
    Boolit Master
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    Look at the case drawings.
    The .38 Special case has an OD of 0.379" at the case mouth and an OD of 0.379" just in front of the extractor groove/rim.
    The 9x19 case has an OD of 0.380" at the case mouth and an OD of 0.391" just in front of the extractor groove.
    If you full length size a 9x19 case with a .38 special die, you will be attempting to squeeze the web area of the case down from 0.391 to 0.379". Something tells me that this will 1) be difficult with out case lube and 2) will not be good for the case.
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  6. #66
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Thanks, I wasn't thinking about that!
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  7. #67
    Boolit Man cptkeybrd's Avatar
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    Thanks to Jailer and everyone else, I just started reloading 9mm and noticed that problem, great timing to find this now. I have done some switching around with Lee stuff before and it can work for you as this did. I just ordered mine. Saved me lots of guess work and don't want to lead up my new pistol.
    Cheers
    The best way to cheer oneself is to cheer another....Mark Twain.......
    "IF YOU CAN'T GO SHOOTIN GO FISHIN"...
    >)))))}> .....>)))>

  8. #68
    Boolit Master 4719dave's Avatar
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    okay was going to fire up the dillon 650 for some cast boolits mihas 9mm 125gr .looks like i got to get some stuff oh no more reloading stuff AGAIN LOL

  9. #69
    Boolit Master 4719dave's Avatar
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    Thanks

    well that worked pu a set of those dies with the expander included CHEAP on arf com site ,off to lee for the new expander .looks like miha's 9mm mold will see some lead on sunday thanks guys
    Quote Originally Posted by Jailer View Post
    Just wanted to post an update to this thread.

    Another member on this forum suggested a 38 S&W expander as an alternative. I got one and it is a direct drop in replacement for the 9mm powder through expander plug. The expander portion is the exact same dimensions as the 38/357 expander and it works fantastic for seating 9mm boolits.

    Hey, why re invent the wheel when a simple alternative is available for 3 bucks?

    Lee 38 S&W powder through expander plug

  10. #70
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I loaded some 9X19 last night with the standard Lee expander plug and my new Pro Auto Disk measure. Whats strange is, with the Auto Disk on top of the die it flares as effortlessly as my .38 Special. Normally you can feel the expander plug being shoved into the case mouth and it pulling it out requires alot of effort and shakes the whole workbench. Just to make sure I wasn't imagining things I adjusted the die in until it contacted the shell holder for maximum flaring and it still worked great. Anyone else notice this before? Mebbe the reloading fairy paid me a visit?
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  11. #71
    Boolit Master
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    FergusonTO35:
    You may have enough powder ash in the case interior to act as a lube.
    A little light spray lube (not Hornady One Shot or other very viscous lube) in the case (and allowed to dry) works well. Some dip the case mouth into graphite powder.
    You may have an expander plug that is fairly smooth (some are so rough they look like they are threaded).
    Did you forget to size your cases?
    Have you considered buying Lotto tickets?

  12. #72
    Boolit Master Wal''s Avatar
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    Started reading this thread & thought great this will fix my suspected swaginging of my 9mm boolits when loading.

    Went to Brownells website & ordered their Lyman .38 neck M expanding die, then read on to noylj # 65 post where he pointed out that the .38 M die would swage the 9mm case down, ugh...!!!

    My question is, if I also get the 9mm M die is it possible to swap the expander plug over between the two ?????? anyone tried it ???????

  13. #73
    Boolit Man cptkeybrd's Avatar
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    http://leeprecision.com/pm-expan-plg-38-s-w.html

    use this expander in the Lee powder thru expander die and problem solved for 6 bucks
    I just loaded and shot 200 rounds using .357 boolits. worlks great, thanks to all
    read back a little further
    The best way to cheer oneself is to cheer another....Mark Twain.......
    "IF YOU CAN'T GO SHOOTIN GO FISHIN"...
    >)))))}> .....>)))>

  14. #74
    Boolit Master
    Jailer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wal' View Post
    Started reading this thread & thought great this will fix my suspected swaginging of my 9mm boolits when loading.

    Went to Brownells website & ordered their Lyman .38 neck M expanding die, then read on to noylj # 65 post where he pointed out that the .38 M die would swage the 9mm case down, ugh...!!!

    My question is, if I also get the 9mm M die is it possible to swap the expander plug over between the two ?????? anyone tried it ???????
    If you are talking about swapping the expander plug between the Lyman die and the Lee die the answer is no. They are 2 completely different designs.

    There are many ways to properly expand 9mm brass to prevent swaging of lead boolits when seating them. The purpose of the mod I posted was a means of expanding the brass with a powder through expander so you can expand and drop powder in one station and retain the use of your auto disk or pro auto disk powder measure.

  15. #75
    Boolit Master
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    I don't think I wrote what I am "quoted" as saying.
    The Lyman M-die is an excellent expander die.
    For ALL expanders, simply expand the case (don't simply flare/bell the case mouth) and then measure the case ID. For a 0.356" bullet, the case ID should be 0.354-0.355", and 0.355" is ideal. You can get various sizes of expander plugs for the M-die (the die body comes in a couple of sizes for large and small cases, but the expander plug unscrews easily). In fact, I find that I need to set the expander with LocTite Blue or it works loose all on its own and I start to get over-belled cases.
    With Lee, you can order a custom size for a nominal charge.
    Expanding is a critical and often ignored step.
    Seat a bullet and pull it and determine the degree of swaging.
    I find that with most of my cases, they have been fired so often and work-hardened to the point where I run them through two expanders often to actually get the case expanded enough).
    Measurements are your friend for this step.

  16. #76
    Boolit Master Wal''s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jailer View Post
    If you are talking about swapping the expander plug between the Lyman die and the Lee die the answer is no. They are 2 completely different designs.
    Thanks Jailer & I was asking if I could swap the plugs between the Lyman dies only, not having one in hand have no idea how its been designed & put together.

    Will wait until it arrives & as noylj stated above I can get various sizes of expander plugs for the M-die.

    Thanks, Wal'

  17. #77
    Boolit Master Wal''s Avatar
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    [QUOTE=noylj;1801877]I don't think I wrote what I am "quoted" as saying.

    It was this quote I was on about

    "Look at the case drawings.

    The .38 Special case has an OD of 0.379" at the case mouth and an OD of 0.379" just in front of the extractor groove/rim.
    The 9x19 case has an OD of 0.380" at the case mouth and an OD of 0.391" just in front of the extractor groove.
    If you full length size a 9x19 case with a .38 special die, you will be attempting to squeeze the web area of the case down from 0.391 to 0.379". Something tells me that this will 1) be difficult with out case lube and 2) will not be good for the case."


    But better than that, as you wrote I can get various sizes of expander plugs for the M-die.
    Will wait until the Lyman M die arrives & then order the plug I need.
    The Browning HP is the one 9mm that I have had problems with, the barrel slugs out at 357 & have been using .358 boolits with great success.
    But always felt they were being forced into the case.

    Again thanks, Wal'

  18. #78
    Boolit Buddy
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    Hello everyone, as a side effect to looking into leading in my 9mm I came across this thread. Long story short I just ordered the 38S&W expander for my setup too but thinking of one question.

    Does this expand so much that it takes away all the neck tension that supposedly keeps the bullet from setting back when firing? (Planning on using .357 Lee 120gr TC set at 1.075 OAL, so I don't -think- so but just a thought that keeps popping in my head)

  19. #79
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    Off topic just a lil'.. i seat .355/9mm. Dont like bell so i mod'ed lee exp die. This is photo of another brand but my lee die now looks the same. Below : step the die and take out bell.



    took bell out on laithe at shop


    I use bullet feeders so this makes a great seating place for 102 gr round nose cast bullets.
    Last edited by gunoil; 12-04-2012 at 02:05 PM.

  20. #80
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
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    If anyone is in a pinch and has a Lee 38/357 die set, you can use that insert in the 9mm powder through die. Just stick a 45ACP case in as an additional spacer. Of course you can't drop powder through the die and for $6, the 38 S&W expander is a better long term solution, but this works and the expansion does prevent the 9mm case from excessively swaging down the bullet while still creating enough neck tension to hold the bullet firm.

    Also, if you expand to the proper depth and no further, you certainly won't have to worry about bullet set back, that bullet isn't going any deeper!

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check