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Thread: Enlarging a Lee Sizing Die...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Enlarging a Lee Sizing Die...

    Ok I have read all about how to enlarge my molds, should/now that the need has risen.

    My issue is with my Redhawk in 44 mag. I slugged the barrel the other day and no matter how I slice it, it measures .431". On top of this, both of the slugs which I used, simply fell through all of the chambers of my cylinder. Taking a caliper to them I got a measurement of .4325".

    So in looking at the Lee sizing dies I see they only go up to .430", which I guess is about average for most 44 caliber guns. I however need one that is a bit bigger, if I am to believe that I need to fit the boolits to the mouth of the chambers.

    At this point I only have a couple of molds for it, so the "Beagling" method or even polishing them out a bit isn't an issue. So far both of them are throwing right at .430" or just a half line below. I figure the "Beagling" method should work out just fine especially since I have plenty of the aluminum tape on hand.

    What method however, would be the best way to open up a Lee sizing die? Can it be done using some grinding compound and boolits like I would a mold, or is there another better method?

    ( I realize there are other options like Star, Lyman, and RCBS, but I am operating on a tight budget here, and the Lee products are just about out of my price range.)

  2. #2
    Whatever I want!



    tomme boy's Avatar
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    Wrap sand paper around a shaft and stick it in a drill and sand it til it is the right size. I wrap the rod until it fits in the die very tight. Keep checking by running a bullet threw the die. You can take it off, but not put it back on.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    If you have an automotive machine shop (engine shop) close by, its a quick, simple job on a pin hone machine.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master mroliver77's Avatar
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    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen

    "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
    Thomas Paine

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Contact Buckshot via PM. Rick will make you one that sizes correctly to your alloy and you will be happy with a lot less work.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Sonnypie's Avatar
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    I do 30 caliber.
    Lee makes a .309, and a .311.
    Why no tweener is beyond me.
    So I took my .309 and honed it out to .3105 for my .3085 bore. .002" fhatt.

    I just took a brass rod and slotted it with an xacto saw and put 240 aluminum oxide on it. Then 320, 400, 600.
    The die body in my lathe chuck, and spin the rod/abrasive with a cordless drill.
    Gently, gently. Size and measure. You'll reach the point that you treasure.

    Anyway, that's how I got my tweener die.

    You can do it without a lathe/chuck. But IMHO I think the double spin was a better way to get the polish on it.
    God Bless America!

    Sittin here watchin the world go round and round...
    Much like a turd in a flushing toilet.

    Shoot for the eyes.
    If they are crawlin away, shoot for the key hole.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Bub mdr8088's Avatar
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    Doesn't the mold drop them around .310? I thought that was why they didn't make a .310.
    Bring the smoke!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Sonnypie's Avatar
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    Not mine.
    My Lyman single drops .314 with RotoMetals Lyman #2 alloy. (311291)
    My Lee drops at .312, same alloy. (C-309-120-R)
    I size everything for consistency.

    Reality is often a far cry from advertised claims.
    God Bless America!

    Sittin here watchin the world go round and round...
    Much like a turd in a flushing toilet.

    Shoot for the eyes.
    If they are crawlin away, shoot for the key hole.

    NRA Life Member
    CRPA Life Member

    Magnificent!
    The basic flaw with Science is man.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks folks, I appreciate the info. I have been a bit under the weather, well to be quite honest, VERY much so.

    That said, I have the sizers on order and will hopefully get them in by the weekend or early next week. I plan on giving the tape a try this weekend, to see where I stand on the as cast diameter, compared to some I poured this past weekend.

    I have to say, that even while seemingly drowning from an overflowing sinus infection, I did manage to pour up some of the prettiest 429640 HP's I have ever done, and from a brand spanking new, out of the box mold with only one good cleaning. To be honest, I was pretty impressed with my efforts, especially after my last attempt at pouring HP's.

    The good news is, I slugged my Contender barrel and the standard .430 sizer will work just fine for it, just not for the revolver. So now I REALLY have a want, to get the sizer set up so I can adjust my boolits to fit and get some of them down range. At least I can use the HP's through the Contender. I am hoping to find a nice fat hog to give one a try on.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    +1 on the slotted dowel sandpaper. dang those things are hard though. Same issue but with sbh. Took awhile but came out perfect.
    Our house is protected by the Good Lord and a gun and you might meet them both if you show up here not welcome son!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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