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Thread: Lyman M Die

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman M Die

    I saw a used Lyman M die for sale. Itís not a caliber I reload, but was wondering if you could buy the internal part for different cartridges, or if you have to buy a complete die for each?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    The expander spud is threaded. Lyman does or used to sell them. I have had custom ones made for specific boolits. I find the factory ones undersized and not the best for softer cast boolits.

    That said, Do you have any M dies? If not, you might consider the NOE expanders before going down the M die rabbit hole. A Lee universal flaring die and you use the NOE expanders that Al makes in custom sizes for a tailored fit for your application. Just a suggestion.

    BTW, I have about a dozen Mdies with 8 or 10 custom expander spuds.

    Brad

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Actually I do use the NOE expander dies. They work great. I checked the Lyman site and it didn’t mention anything about buying just the inside part. Also, they don’t seem to have that much of a selection. No .45-70 dies.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    DHDeal's Avatar
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    I went down the M die rabbit hole. It would have been if not cheaper, more simple to have done as Brad suggested and started with the NOE stuff. A nice plastic box with divided and labeled trays and I'd have everything for expanding all calibers right there.

    Not all of my M dies are undersized but my 44 and 45 caliber are. The 45 being slightly undersized is not a problem as I use it for 454 Casull brass and want those bullets tight.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Track of the Wolf Expander Plugs ... Use neck expander plug in #LEE-DIE-45-EX die body, with standard 7/8-14 threads, in your reloading press.
    One Lee EX die body ($10.00)and plugs at $2.99 sure beats Lyman M Dies at $19 & Plus each
    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/1221/1
    And if you are a black powder cartridge shooter - compression plugs for use in Lee Ex die for $2.99
    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ.../LEE-DIE-45-EX
    Regards
    John

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    There are two M die bodies, one is shorter than the other. They both use the same plugs. I have a full complement of them that I should sell off. The NOE setup is more versatile and provides better neck tension w/ cast bullets.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    When I first started loading cast bullets, I had never heard of NOE expanders. So, I bought M-dies. I got one for .38/.357 and one for .45c. When I started casting and loading for 9mm, the only thing that was big enough for the oversized bullets were the Noe expanders. The M-dies work fine as I load .358 in my .38/.357 and .452 in my .45c, but the NOE expanders give you many more options. If I was starting from scratch, it would be all NOE without a doubt, but you live and learn. Just like buying new tools, and who doesn’t like buying new tools.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    NOE expanders are great and I am getting ready to order more to have more options.

    I haven’t figured out how to use the Lee plugs to take up the right amount of space in the die. I have a fair amount of play before the plug stops moving in the die and does it’s job. One Lee plug doesn’t take up enough space and with two I can’t start the threads of the screw cap. I guess I have to make my own spacer. Not the end of the world.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    There is a little chart that comes with the lee die. It tells you how to arrange them. For some calibers you have to flip the lee inserts over. It worked for me anyway. Good luck!
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelguns 1961 View Post
    There is a little chart that comes with the lee die. It tells you how to arrange them. For some calibers you have to flip the lee inserts over. It worked for me anyway. Good luck!
    I first bought a Lee expander and it worked fine as explained in the instructions. I then bought expander plugs from NOE that are to be used in the Lee expander. It’s with these new plugs that I can’t seem to get the right spacing.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I first bought a Lee expander and it worked fine as explained in the instructions. I then bought expander plugs from NOE that are to be used in the Lee expander. Itís with these new plugs that I canít seem to get the right spacing.
    Me too. The NOE plug clanks back & forth, but it does the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I saw a used Lyman M die for sale. Itís not a caliber I reload, but was wondering if you could buy the internal part for different cartridges, or if you have to buy a complete die for each?
    I've bought the Lyman plugs from customer service, over the phone. (FWIW, it was a few years ago.)

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Don't understand you guys problem with the NOE buttons in the LEE expander die. Every one I have works perfectly. You can align the LEE expanders any way you want to get the desired length you need.You can use them flat side up or tapered side up to go up into the adjustment knob to get any length you desire. Greg What cartridge are you having trouble with?

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Lee Universal Expander Plugs are excellent - just adjust the die so the case mouth bell is correct: 1/2 of the base band sits in the case ...
    But a great combination is the TOTW expander plugs in the Lee Expander Die used to compress black powder reloads for any caliber with the proper size expander plug. I have saved hundreds of $$$ using this combination
    Regards
    John

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oily View Post
    Don't understand you guys problem with the NOE buttons in the LEE expander die. Every one I have works perfectly. You can align the LEE expanders any way you want to get the desired length you need.You can use them flat side up or tapered side up to go up into the adjustment knob to get any length you desire. Greg What cartridge are you having trouble with?
    For the most part, at the moment, I am loading .45-70 405 and 500grs. I have the same problem with my 6.5mm too. One Lee expander plug, with the NOE plug, doesn’t take up enough room, so there is play until it makes firm contact. If I put both Lee expander plugs in, with the Noe plug I can’t get the top cap to engage the threads.

    It’s not a big problem. It does work, but I would like to have a smoother and more direct contact. I think it can easily be solved by cutting off a piece of round stock or even a bolt to a length equal to one and a half times one of the Lee plugs. However, since it does work the way it is, I haven’t gotten around to making something up. It would be nice if NOE had the right one all ready to go for a couple of bucks extra. I know I would have gone for it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    I've been using LYMAN M- Dies my whole life. All bought long before LYMAN was driven into the toilet by corporate *******s. They work FANTASTICALLY.
    But you gotta get the old stock. From back in the days when there were different size expanders for .44spl/44mag & .44Wcf. And 45acp & 45Colt.

    I see in the latest issue of HANDLOADER Mag that someone is making M-type die inserts for the Dillon expander powder die.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    I make custom M die expanders in my lathe, starting with 9/16 - 18 threaded rod from McMaster-Carr. About $5.00 a foot in 1 foot in 3 foot lengths Part # 92580A125. Cuts and polishes beautifully. You get about 4 expanders per foot. More if you only make short ones.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Have a couple M dies but balked at buying the various sizes needed for some of the cartridges I reload. I have some grade 8 threaded rod in 3' lengths. Took two 9/16x18 nuts and machined the front and back so that they are flat. Used them like lock nuts so the rod doesn't have the tendency to work it's way back into the chuck. Then center drill and use a live center in the tail stock. After that it's a simple turning procedure to just about any diameter you want with a small section to bell the case. Works great even used on new brass to make sure that the case neck is actually round. The lathe is a 40 something year old 6" sears craftsman I bought many years ago. Frank

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