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Thread: Lyman 310 - 380 ACP - need help

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Lyman 310 - 380 ACP - need help

    So, I'm relatively new to the Lyman 310 tool. I currently have dies for .38 Special, .45 Colt, and .380 ACP. I've loaded 100 or so rounds of .45 colt without issue, and I have at least set up my .38 Special dies to my satisfaction. I'm afraid the .380 is kicking my butt. The biggest problem that I have right now is that the case expander doesn't do anything. I have the die screwed into the handles as far as it will go, and the expander is screwed into the die as far as IT will go, and it's still not flaring the cases at all. I even took the nut off of the expander to screw it in deeper. I'm not sure what to do now. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Make sure you measure the expanding plug, I have a handful of expansion plugs that are marked .35x and actually measure under size.
    There were two different styles as well, a straight plug and a a plug with a flare built in.
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  3. #3
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    Are you sure you have the small handles meant for handgun calibers? I can see where trying to use a short die for a short case in the large handles would cause this very problem.

    Robert

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    Are you sure you have the small handles meant for handgun calibers? I can see where trying to use a short die for a short case in the large handles would cause this very problem.

    Robert
    This is true, the large handles are approx 3/8 longer than the short handle. This would make a huge difference on a .380 case, not so much on a 38 special.
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    Are you sure you have the small handles meant for handgun calibers? I can see where trying to use a short die for a short case in the large handles would cause this very problem.

    Robert
    Well... I *THINK* so. I have two sets of handles, both have relatively short die holders. Measuring from the top of the handles, the top of the die holder is just less than half an inch taller than the handles.

    I just noticed that the shell adapter seems abnormally thick. It's marked with a "1". Is that the right size for .380?

    The expander die is marked "Lyman KF 23" and the expander is marked 356.
    Last edited by sambeaux; 09-15-2020 at 09:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    There is a different die adaptor for the .380 (#18???) but a #1 should work fine... it’s for the close size 38 Spl. If your expanding die isn’t getting the job done for you, it may be possible to use one from a 38 Special (.357 or .358) to expand your case mouth, if you Can adjust it down sufficiently.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    I seem to have the same problem with the .38 sizing die...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Remove the sizing plug from the die body and measure it, or see if it will enter the shell casing by hand. If you can insert it in the casing then the sizing plug is under size.
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsh1106 View Post
    Remove the sizing plug from the die body and measure it, or see if it will enter the shell casing by hand. If you can insert it in the casing then the sizing plug is under size.
    It definitely won't enter the case by hand. Is it possible that the .38 special shell adapter is too thick? That it won't allow me to screw the die in enough to make contact with the case?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I don't know why I didn't look this up earlier, I assumed the handle and insert that you were trying was correct.
    You need a #17 for the 380 auto, this insert work for 38 Super, 380 Auto & 9MM.

    The #1 insert is made for 38 special and 357 magnum. If the 38/357 casing does not sit on the head when inserted into the insert then there is something wrong.

    This might help you moving forward.
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/310/310op/chart2.htm
    Last edited by dsh1106; 09-18-2020 at 02:12 PM.
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I think all the adapters are the same thickness. just different size holes for different size cases.
    If the die is bottomed out against the adapter and the expander plug won't reach the case I might remove the adapter and try screwing the die in further. If this lets the expander plug reach the case well enough you could shorten the die body a bit more than the thickness of the adapter.
    dsh1106 mentioned that some plugs have the step expand the mouth a bit more than further down in the case. All the ones I have have the end of the plug sized smaller than the bullet, then up about the depth the bullet seats there is a step. This step opens the mouth to a bit over bullet diameter.. Farther up the plug there is a tapered area that can flare the mouth even more. How does yours look?
    Leo

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    I will try that tomorrow and post pics ( if I can ) of my expander plug.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Qi run into a similar problem (now that I think I understand your problem) when I load 32 S&W Long ... forget about 32 S&W! I’ve had to do a lot of maneuvering and parts swapping to make that work, but keep the faith, it will eventually work.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmQWzbm4

    So... I wasn't able to figure out how to upload my photos. Above is a link to an album on Flickr.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    If you have your pics in your computer you can upload straight to here.
    Just below where we write is a GO ADVANCED button. Scroll down to where the Manage Attachments.
    This opens a window that lets you search your computers pics. Once you find it the select button uploads it in the window.
    That's how I upload pics to every site I'm on.
    Leo
    Last edited by 44magLeo; 09-23-2020 at 02:50 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    It seems that no matter how I try to upload the file, I get an error message that the upload failed. I've tried using the "Insert Image" button as well as the manage attachments feature. I don't get any more information than that the upload failed. My photos are 3.3 MB in size and are JPEGs...

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Most of my pics are jpeg files and are under 100KB's They load fine. Try resizing a bit smaller. This one is 18.8KBs
    Your hosting site won't show me anything. It don't like my search engine.
    Here's a pic of an expander plug and how it expands a case mouth.
    As I mentioned before the case gets expanded to a bit under bullet diameter, then the step that expands to a bit over bullet diameter, then if you go more it flares the mouth.
    If the first two diameters are right for your bullet size then you shouldn't need to flare the case.
    Leo
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  18. #18
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I changed browsers so flicker will let me see the pics.
    Your handles are the short version. On the large the place where the dies screw in is about 3/8 " longer.
    If the threads are clean when you screw the die into the handles the bottom of the die can butt right snug to the adapter. You can see this by looking in through the adapter. If it won't, clean the threads out. In the handles and the die. A few drops of oil will help.
    If the die is bottoming out, remove the adapter, this will let the die screw in further. You can thread it in a bit further as long as the extractor hook is free to move. This will let the case enter the die further.
    Once you get the die in as far as you can try screwing the expander plug in. You may have room for it to reach the case and go far enough to expand the case mouth.
    If this works, you can do it that way or trim the die off the a bit more than the adapter is thick. If done carefully you won't damage the threads. A bit of file work after the cut to bevel the threads a bit should fix any burrs.
    Another thing is on the die body do the threads run out before the die goes all the way in? If so then the trim of the bottom won't help.
    Good luck.
    Leo

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    There's quite a bit of thread left on the die when it makes contact with the shell adapter. It does contact the shell adapter. I didn't think about just removing the shell adapter. I'll try that.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    As I mentioned earlier I don't have a .380 casing, but according the 310 quick reference sheet you will need a #17 shell holder to work with the .380 casing.
    A #1 shell holder is about .010 small in diameter and will not allow the .380 casing enter far enough, if you do manger to find one the fits, once it is sized you might not be able to remove it from the handles.

    Just for size confirmation
    I measured my steel handles for the 38 special, the hole in the handle is .392 diameter.
    I measured the thru hole in a #1 shell holder, it measures .381 diameter.
    I measured the thru hole in a #17 shell holder it measures .395 diameter.

    Scott
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

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