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Thread: LEE 30-40 Krag Dies ??

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    LEE 30-40 Krag Dies ??

    Just got a set of LEE Pacesetter Dies (3die set) for my 30-40 Krag, i can"t expand the neck (???) to start my bullet, did i miss something? There is a factory crimp die, but no (separate) expander If the sizer& de-caping die is supposed to expand the neck, it ain't working. Bullets are .309- .311 w/ GC.


    coffee's ready, Hootmix.

  2. #2
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    Do what I did and buy a Lee Universal expander die!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    You need either the Lyman M, 30 long, expander die, or the Lee universal neck flairing die. The Lyman is the better of the two, as it expandes the diameter of the neck, as well as flairing, which is better for cast bullets. The Lee only flairs the case mouth. I have two Krags, and have experience loading for them.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you, "Gentlemen" that's the info i am looking for. GB do i need to order by specific Dia.? Or does the M 30 long cover them all?

    coffee's ready, Hootmix.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    There is a 30 short and a 30 long. The 30 long fits the Krag, as well as any 30 caliber cartridge of similar length or longer.

  6. #6
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    Thank you, GB, will be on it tomorrow. I will have more questions; this is a new cartridge for me.

    coffee's ready, Hootmix.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master


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    If you have a set of dies for a 32 S&W, 32 ACP, 30 carbine, or anything else like that, those expanders work too.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I'm using Lee dies to load .308" jacketed and .309" cast for my 30-40 Krag. I just chamfer the inside of the case neck and it works perfectly.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I believe that I have the same die set as well. I personally make sure I have a righteous chamfer before beginning and load away. I would imagine that I have put 2500 rounds through mine with both cast and jacketed with no issues nor additional dies.

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    NOE Moulds make a family of neck expanders that fit into the misnamed Lee Universal Expander die. Work better than the M-die IMHO, and will be cheaper and more likely to be in stock. Using an expander meant for metal patched bullets is not optimum for loading cast.
    Eleutheromaniac

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hootmix View Post
    Just got a set of LEE Pacesetter Dies (3die set) for my 30-40 Krag, i can"t expand the neck (???) to start my bullet, did i miss something? There is a factory crimp die, but no (separate) expander If the sizer& de-caping die is supposed to expand the neck, it ain't working.
    Not sure I understand what you mean,

    The shank of Lee's decapping stem includes the proper expander for the cartridge. No one's decapper-expander is going to expand the case mouths for easy bullet entrance; that's flaring (or "belling") and it takes a separate tool.

    Lee has misnamed their Universal Expanding Die, it's simply a flaring die with a cone shaped plug that covers the normal full range of case mouths. If you want to flare that's the right die to add to your set.

    Lyman's "M" die is excellent for all cartridges and bullet types but they are limited to a single neck diameter.

    Actually, the only difference between Lyman's "long" and "short" M dies is the length of the expander stem.

    I prefer to buy M dies with the "short" case stems because they work fine on long cartridges too but the reverse isn't always true; my .30 Short M die works on everything from .30 Carbine to .300 WinMag.

  12. #12
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    Another option is to just use a set of needle nose pliers. Insert the nose and twist with gentle pressure. Not hard to do at all.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarrinvz24 View Post
    Another option is to just use a set of needle nose pliers. Insert the nose and twist with gentle pressure. Not hard to do at all.
    Urk!!!!! What the OP needs is not to simply flare the case mouth.

    The standard expander stem supplied with the Lee die leaves the neck too small for a cast bullet. They assume you're loading jacketed bullets which need a neck ID small enough to provide adequate bullet pull for a .308 bullet. Cramming a cast bullet into such an undersized neck squeezes the bullet down a couple of thou, just as if you'd run it through a sizing die. Not good.

    Furthermore, Krag barrels are not all the same. The OP's bullets may need to run anything from .309 to .313 to properly fit. His necks should be expanded to be no more than .001 under his optimum bullet size. This is where the Lyman M die falls down. The available range of mandrel sizes is too limited.

    Long ago I started making my own custom mandrels for the M die. All well and good if you've got a lathe. I no longer do this. NOE has such a range of mandrel sizes available, at such cheap prices, that I can't compete even though my labor is free.

    https://noebulletmolds.com/site/prod...er-plug-rifle/

    The expander mandrel in the M die system can come loose from the stem, throwing the adjustment off. I recently spoiled some laboriously converted .25 Stevens cases when this happened to me. The NOE system cannot lose adjustment.
    Eleutheromaniac

  14. #14
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    Expander plug is under control. I will be using Lyman 311466, what will be the shortest OAL w/ this bullet? The Lyman 49th. show's 3.089 max. OAL, looking at the bullet next to the case, looks like the GC & 2 lube groves is all that hold the bullet. Just don't seem like enough to me.

    need more coffee, Hootmix.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    311466 is a "bore rider" design. That long nose should cast so that it kisses the tops of the lands. That keeps it straight. Can be very accurate if it fits the gun properly. Seat it with most of that nose exposed. Deeper only if there is a magazine length issue.
    Eleutheromaniac

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hootmix View Post
    Expander plug is under control. I will be using Lyman 311466, what will be the shortest OAL w/ this bullet? The Lyman 49th. show's 3.089 max. OAL, looking at the bullet next to the case, looks like the GC & 2 lube groves is all that hold the bullet. Just don't seem like enough to me.

    need more coffee, Hootmix.
    The 311284 was literally designed specifically for the krag. So far it's been exemplary in my krag as has it's litter mate the 311290.
    I use the 311466 in the shorter necked .300 savage. I'm not certain I could even get it to touch the lands in my krag.

    YMMV
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
    No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Arrow

    No! Ly. #311466 is a Guy Loverin design, not a bore rider. However, it still needs to be sized to fit the throat/bbl. and seated long enough to be engraved by the lands, but not have the CB stuck in the bbl. if you need to eject a round. You were probably thinking of #311284.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    311466 is a "bore rider" design. That long nose should cast so that it kisses the tops of the lands. That keeps it straight. Can be very accurate if it fits the gun properly. Seat it with most of that nose exposed. Deeper only if there is a magazine length issue.
    I have to walk back the cat on the above. The 311466 is a Loverin design with lube grooves end to end. Not a bore rider. I was thinking of the 311299. Age-related brain fade.
    Eleutheromaniac

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    ....The standard expander stem supplied with the Lee die leaves the neck too small for a cast bullet. They assume you're loading jacketed bullets which need a neck ID small enough to provide adequate bullet pull for a .308 bullet.
    That's true but I don't know why you speak as tho Lee is unique about that.

    All standard dies expand necks for proper diameter of the normal bullets for their caliber because the die makers (rightly) assume most will indeed be used for loading jacketed bullets. Proof of that is we have several jacketed bullet makers but we have very few cast bullet makers and they are quite small. ???

    As an aside, maybe I'm not doing something right but I have never seen any measurable accuracy advantage to justify using much oversized cast bullets in anything. So, my normal dies - including a few Lee's - that work for jacketed bullets also work fine for cast boolits in my firearms.

    Finally, I sure like using Lee's Collet Neck Sizer dies for cast rifle stuff. The chamber pressure of cast ammo is so low that the case bodies rarely need sizing and the necks get worked so little by the Collet Sizer that they usually last a looong time, even without annealing!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I use the .303 Lee collet sizer for my Krags. I use .311-.312 bullets, which works out perfect. I can load many times before FL sizing is required.

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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