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Thread: 38 Special shaving lead while bullet seating.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    38 Special shaving lead while bullet seating.

    Noticed this weekend I was shaving lead while trying to seat some Lee 358-158 RF boolits. These are dropping at .360 and I'm trying to load them without sizing. I have the standard RCBS dies(not Cowboy). My question is will the RCBS Cowboy flaring die or a Lyman M die fix this issue I'm having?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    I don't know about the cowboy die, but the M die will. NOE also has an insert for the Lee universal flare die that will also work. It is the cheapest if you have the flare die, or will load more than one caliber with cast.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Tagged for interest, as I have a very similar question. Thx,

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by tranders View Post
    Noticed this weekend I was shaving lead while trying to seat some Lee 358-158 RF boolits. These are dropping at .360 and I'm trying to load them without sizing. I have the standard RCBS dies(not Cowboy). My question is will the RCBS Cowboy flaring die or a Lyman M die fix this issue I'm having?

    Thanks for the help!
    I was told to purchase a Lyman "M" die to have available in loading all cast bullets.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Your standard Rcbs expander will work if adjusted down to increase the case mouth bell. However too much bell and the case won't enter the seating die. You just have to work with it.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  6. #6
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    "Bullet Shaving" is caused by a sharp edge smaller than bullet diameter. Three things you can do; use the "M" die, works quite well. Use a flaring tool, also works quite well, but for a new reloader the amount of flare can be problematic. Use a countersink or neck chamfer tool. Will work if there is only a few thousandths of an inch of taper needed...
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    A lot depends on where in the seating process you are shaving off the lead.
    If you are shaving at the base of the boolit, expanding the die more will end the problem.
    If you are shaving as you start to crimp, you have a different problem which can be solved by crimping in a separate step.
    If the timing on the crimp isn't just right, you will shave lead by cutting into the driving band right before the crimp groove. To avoid this issue while seating and crimping in one step, all cases must be exactly the same length.
    I crimp in a separate step on every pistol/revolver cartridge I load. I adjust the seating die so it only straightens out the bell and does nor crimp. I do the crimp with a Lee factory crimp die.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    One other problem you can have that is solved by the M die or NOE insert is the case swaging down a soft lead boolit. The standard expander will expand the case to .002 smaller than the standard jacketed bullet, or .353. You are forcing a .360 boolit into this case. Unless it is very hard lead, it will be squeezed enough to reduce it in size. The M die and the NOE insert open the case up for the larger diameter boolit and put a flare on the case. NOE inserts are made in sizes to be able to get the .002 under size after expanding. You can check this out by loading a dummy round then pulling and checking the diameter of the pulled boolit.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    If you don't expand the cases correctly, say .001" or .002" smaller than the cast sizing you may be swaging your cast as you are seating them.
    Of course that would depend too on the hardness of your cast. I imagine that BHN 10 or less would be susceptible to swaging in a case that's expanded too little. Too little, yes...using an expander meant for j-types.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
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    I'd recommend an M die with a 38P (Pistol) expander plug (.356 dia) as opposed to the 38AP (AutoPistol) expander plug (.353 dia.)

  11. #11
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    The Lee Universal Neck Expander is good for a simple flair....it does not expand the neck like a Lyman M die but the little NOE insert works like a charm, expanding the neck to the size of your cast boolit and flairing like an M die does ...no sizing down and no shaving on seating. Cheaper than a serarate die also.
    I got a NOE .413 expander to go with a .413 boolit mould and it makes boolit seating a snap!
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  12. #12
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    If you're cheap - I am.

    If you sometimes take your loading with you and use a portable loading kit - I do.

    If you're more of a rifle guy, and your presses are single-stage; and you don't want to set-up an extra die each time - I am, they are, and I don't.

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    http://leeprecision.com/flaring-tool-38.html
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  13. #13
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    Are you seating and crimping in one operation?

  14. #14
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    The RCBS Cowboy expander is a 2 step expander same as an M die. As CharGar notes, run it in a little more for more flare but be careful not to go too far. Make sure you are getting the bullet square in the case before running into seating die. I will sometimes bump the round slightly to get it started, letting it center in the case then make contact with the bullet again and complete the seating slowly and smoothly. If I get too sloppy in technique I can cause the shaving being experienced.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    Are you seating and crimping in one operation?
    No, I am seating and crimping in seperate operations.

  16. #16
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    Thanks to all for the recommendations. I ordered a Lyman M die last night.

    Hopefully this will take care of the problem.

  17. #17
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    The new rcbs dies have an m die as an expander. I found that out when I bought my 9mm carbide dies. Give them a call and they will send you a new expander plug.
    Tom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel4k View Post
    Tagged for interest, as I have a very similar question. Thx,
    Quote Originally Posted by tranders View Post
    Thanks to all for the recommendations. I ordered a Lyman M die last night.
    LOL, I ordered a couple first thing this morning - thx for getting me going.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel4k View Post
    LOL, I ordered a couple first thing this morning - thx for getting me going.
    You are welcome. Misery loves company.

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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