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Thread: Lyman M Die Measurements Needed

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Some notes on case neck expanders;

    There were a number of difference M-type die expanders used for the Lyman 310 system. Many of them are much better for cast bullets than the current Lyman production. Ex: 38/357 available in .357 and .358. 45 hangun in .452 and .454. Various 30 caliber sizes from .308 to .313.

    I have a new set of RCBS expanders from .308 to .311. Two measure dead nuts on, and two are .0002 undersize (not enough to matter)
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy
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    Note also the RCBS Cowboy expander for cast usage, marked as .358, although the first step measured .356 on my mic and as noted by another guy before...

  3. #23
    Boolit Mold
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    Hello. New to the site and so far reloaded about 800 Colt 45's. Recently bought some cast bullets 0.453" and 0.454". Heard about the Lyman M die, so it's now part of my tool kit.

    Only problem is, the OD of the expander plug is 0.452, but when I run it into a case, it produces a 0.457" ID case mouth opening and the bullets just drop right in. This is BEFORE I get to what I call the secondary shoulder at the top of the die where the case is further expanded for the bullet to fit without lead shavings.

    Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? I called Lyman and they insist it's the right expander plug.

    Or am I just stuck with trying to find a machinist to turn the plug down.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Bob

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Bob

    Something is BAD wrong here.

    Let's go over this slow....

    (1) you're sizing your brass in a full length sizing die, correct ?

    (2) I'm sorry , but a .452 outside dia. can't produce a .457 " opening in the end of a case. Theoretically impossible.

    Brass has " spring back ", if you put a .452 " expander in a sized .45 Long Colt case, it should leave you with a .451 or .4505 " opening in the end of the case.

    Sounds like you may be running the M die , expander plug too deep into your sized cases.

    These measurements that you're offering, are you getting these with a dial caliper or a good micrometer ?

    Ben

  5. #25
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhwinger View Post
    Hello. New to the site and so far reloaded about 800 Colt 45's. Recently bought some cast bullets 0.453" and 0.454". Heard about the Lyman M die, so it's now part of my tool kit.

    Only problem is, the OD of the expander plug is 0.452, but when I run it into a case, it produces a 0.457" ID case mouth opening and the bullets just drop right in. This is BEFORE I get to what I call the secondary shoulder at the top of the die where the case is further expanded for the bullet to fit without lead shavings.

    Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? I called Lyman and they insist it's the right expander plug.

    Or am I just stuck with trying to find a machinist to turn the plug down.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Bob
    Did you measure this ?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  6. #26
    Boolit Mold
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    Ben/JonB:

    I am neck sizing with Lee sizing die in an attempt to minimize case hardening. May have to rethink this as I experienced some jamming when trying to load cartridges into the chamber of my Ranch Hand last weekend.

    Measured with digital caliper. When I measure 0.453 and 0.454 Dardas cast bullets, I get 0.453 and 0.454. The only "known reference" I have.

    I am inserting expander plug just past the end of the rounded taper, to where the plug just starts to straighten out. The bullet seating shoulder is WAY past the end of the rounded taper, up near the end of the plug where it attaches to the die body. At least that is what I *think* is the seating shoulder.

    In any event, no matter what the caliper says, the bullets just drop into the case mouth?

    Thanks guys.

    Bob
    Last edited by rhwinger; 04-30-2014 at 01:05 PM.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master MGySgt's Avatar
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    Does your expander plug have 45 R on the end of it? (the actual plug where it goes into the case first).

    I believe you have the Rifle expander vice the Pistol Expander. The pistol one has 45 P on it.
    Big Bore = 45+

  8. #28
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    well, if you measure the expander plug and it's 0.452, and then measure the ID of the neck (not just the case mouth) and it measures 0.457

    Then something else is wrong...maybe your technique...maybe a worn wobbly press ?

    It's tough to diagnose over the interwebs...Honestly it sounds impossible.

    edited:
    PS, what does the ID of the neck measure before expanding with the M die ? as you said, you are using a Neck only sizer die...Maybe you don't have that adjusted correctly...did you read the instructions ?
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 04-30-2014 at 09:40 AM. Reason: added PS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGySgt View Post
    Does your expander plug have 45 R on the end of it? (the actual plug where it goes into the case first).

    I believe you have the Rifle expander vice the Pistol Expander. The pistol one has 45 P on it.

    That's what I was thinking, too!

  10. #30
    Boolit Mold
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    45 P on the plug.

    It's a fairly new (2 years old) Lee Classic 4 hole press. It does have a little slop in the action, but always has?

    I am neck sizing by inserting the case into the standard resizing die about 3/8 - 1/2 inch. I'll try a full length casing resize to see if anything changes. Who knows?

    This is so strange. I must be doing something wrong. Thanks for all your suggestions.

    New to the site and enjoying the helpful folks here.

    Thanks,

    Bob

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Here are the measurements for a new Lyman 50-70 M die plug.

    This plug is marked on the end 50 R

    This plug is a little different than most rifle plugs. It has 3 diameters close to the bullet diameter.

    .510 diameter - this is the first diameter into the case but its effective length is only .250 long. It looks like a large auto pistol expander it is so short.

    .5145 - this is the step that we are used to and it is .080 long. This step could be polished out to make the first step longer then you can polish down the top step to just over your bullet diameter.

    .5175 - This is not a functional diameter on most M dies but it might help some rifles with oversize bores or you can do some polishing to make the effective lengths and diameters longer or larger. This diameter is .215 long and is the top end of the plug.

    For my use I should have made my own M die expander.
    Last edited by EDG; 04-02-2015 at 01:03 AM.
    EDG

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Lyman M die expander plugs

    I've been searching Lyman M die expander plugs.
    I have found a few things that might help. I hope I can post my purloined pics.
    In the first pic it shows A die cut away that tells how far the case should be pushed up onto the M expander plug. The second pic shows it with more detail.
    The second The case at A is expanded to the minor size of the plug, just under bullet diameter. B shows the case pushed just up onto the step. This expands the end of the case to just over the bullet diameter. About 1/16 inch is plenty. Just enough so the bullets sets into the case a bit.
    At this point a bullet will just set down into the case. It will set straight in the case.
    Now if you seat the bullet it will seat straight. If the end of the case were it is expanded to just over bullet diameter is to large to allow the cartridge to chamber, you can adjust your seating/crimp die to crimp this edge in enough to allow the cartridge to fit the chamber.
    On revolver rounds you can adjust the seat crimp to crimp this edge into the crimp groove of the bullet.
    You can also push the case up to C, were the end of the case gets a flare. This is for Boolits that are cast to a lager size.
    If you want you can get or make your own to better fit larger cast boolits.
    I believe these are about the best way to expand for cast boolits.
    Some one asked why their 7.62x54 dies came with two expanders. Most of the Russian built rifles had a bore size of about .300x.310 bore and land size, some went a bit bigger than this.
    When the Russians fought with Sweden The Swedes captured a lot of the Russian Rifles. The Swedes rebarreled these rifles with a tighter bore, about .300x.308 bore and lands. So most die makers know this and supply two different expanders, one for the smaller bore size and one for the larger.
    Leo
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  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I mentioned that I thought the M expander is great for cast boolits. The only thing I can think of to improve the loads would be to use a neck sizing die with inserts so you can neck size to have the case neck be the right size for your cast boolit or just under that size then use the M die to add the slightly over size section.
    This neck sizing will extend case life and the M die will ensure straight seating.
    Leo

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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