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Thread: 9mm neck expanding issues

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    9mm neck expanding issues

    So I am using a 38/357 neck expanding die that was recommended to me for loading cast bullets. It works great however out of 50 cases about 5 of them will receive a large bulge on the side of the case from the expander die. I usually have to sort the bad ones out and redo them. Any ideas how to resolve this issue?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    Might be the expanding die is just too big. I don't understand why someone would have recommended a 38/357 die for 9mm. An ordinary 9mm expanding die is all you need. I load cast bullets up to 0.358 in my 9mm rounds and have no trouble seating them when expanded with a regular 9mm case expanding die.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    The length of the 38/357 expander may be longer. It goes deeper into the case?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I use a Lyman M die to expand cases when loading cast.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The 9mm cases begin to taper and become thicker once you get beyond the seating depth of a 115-grain or 123 grain jacketed bullet. If you use a normal .38 Special or .357 expander plug its longer shank length will impinge against the case wall taper and cause the bulge.

    Get a correct 9mm Parabellum expander or use a .38 Short Colt if you have one or grind a substantial bevel on the end of your .38/.357 expander to prevent the bulge.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-15-2020 at 03:12 PM.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    A bulge on one side often comes from a bullet being canted as it is being seated. Are you sure that the expander is doing it? I just don’t see how it would make a bulge on one side.

  7. #7
    38 S&W expander is the one you need. Not 38/.357. Try it, you’ll like it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Butcher View Post
    38 S&W expander is the one you need. Not 38/.357. Try it, you’ll like it.
    +1^^^^^

    I simply made my own expander for the 9mm's.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Another option is to call or e-mail neo and tell them what trying to do. That have excellent quality expanded for what I consider extremely low $$$ for such high quality equipment.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Are you talking about a circumferential bulge in the sized 9mm case caused just by the expander, not the by the seated bullet? I had that particular problem.

    In my case I ordered a custom 9mm expander too long. The ball, designed to expand to about .357, would hit the internal web of the case wall and give it a donut/life saver ring. Some brass was worse, I think because the web ran higher and thicker. Adjusting how deep the die runs into the case is one solution to the problem.

    A heavy (therefore long in the body/bearing surface) boolit in 9mm can cause a similar problem in loaded to a very short COL, with the heel of the slug hitting the web. Loading longer or using a bevel based version can help here. This is not the same thing as the "coke bottle" or "wasp waist" seen when reloading 9mm, where the factory case has a taper while the reloaded round does not, and can look, ah, "top heavy" especially with the larger diameter cast slugs versus the smaller j word projectiles in most commercial ammo.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Another way to approach the issue is to not full length size the cases but make sure the case will drop in to the chamber after sizing.
    I have been loading .360" bullets in my 9 mm with the 9 mm powder funnel/ expander on my Dillon 550, by not full length sizing the brass does not spring back as much so the bullet does not get swagged after loading.

    One still needs to make sure the loaded round has good neck tension and passes the plunk test for the gun you are loading for.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Mixed brass? I use a MBF powder thru expander for my Dillon. It does fine with mixed brass, giving a uniform dia in the case.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    yeah it goes deeper in the case allowing the bullet to seat without being sized down

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Going to try and back out my expander die. its actually a 38 s&w expander die.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub 1006's Avatar
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    If the bullets will Chamber, I would just shoot them, and see how the perform.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master bigboredad's Avatar
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    Another option is a Hornady expander. They only go the case mouth and no deeper. One of the many reasons I prefer Hornady dies

    Sent from my SM-T377V using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sort your 9mm brass and you wont have any problems. There is a lot of crappy 9mm brass out there and many have stepped cases that will only seat to specific depth and thats it. More then that and you either bulge brass or swage projectile either not good for stepped cases either way. There is a list of good brass out here somewhere. I use mixed range brass for many calibers but I always sort 9mm. Sorting will also help to eliminate NATO brass if you have any where primers are crimped.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Butcher View Post
    38 S&W expander is the one you need. Not 38/.357. Try it, you’ll like it.
    yep...
    https://www.titanreloading.com/lee-s...h=Lee%20SE1699

    https://leeprecision.com/pm-expan-plg-38-s-w.html
    It's a direct replacement for the plug in the 9mm PTE die, stop using the 38/357 pte die.
    Size/Prime a few cases when starting off with a progressive and put them aside. You can plug them back into the process when a bad/odd case screws up the priming station and continue loading.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Partial sizing only works if you have one firearm you load for. Unless your willing to separate/dedicate those cases for one particular firearm. I load for half dozen nines, without issues................been doing it for near fifty years. The only firearm I sort 9 mm cases for, is my CZ Scorpion carbine. The reason is for extreme accuracy at longer than handgun ranges. I have used the RCBS supplied expander as well as the Lyman M die. Both work. Since I have two, I've dedicated the RCBS for J-words, plated or undersized commercial cast. The Lyman M for larger diameter bullets that I've cast. If your bulging a case with the expander, your belling too deep.

    Winelover

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    I may be the odd man out, but I have been reloading 9mm for about 18 years and just used plain Lee dies (NO FCD!). About 75% of the time I load cast 125 gr bullets and actually never needed to "expand" as the powder through die does a sufficient job. None of the cast bullets are swaged down (My 9mm alloy runs about 15 BHN), and I never get any shaving when seating cast...

    I may have read it somewhere, but can't remember why some don't just use a 9mm expander/flaring tool when reloading 9mm. My Lee dies and my RCBS dies will load cast with no problems in my 9mm.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    "(My 9mm alloy runs about 15 BHN)" This to me is a key factor in loading 9 mm that a lot of shooters try to ignore and use soft alloy.

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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