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Thread: Flare for rifle cartridges?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Shadow9mm's Avatar
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    Flare for rifle cartridges?

    So... I have only loaded handgun cartridges with cast bullets up to now. I was planning to have my first go at loading 30-06 with cast bullets tomorrow and something struck me. I have always flared my case mouths when loading cast bullets to keep from shaving lead or powder coat off.

    Will I need to flare to 30-06 cases so I don't shave lead or powder coat as well? Or will the chamfer from deburring the case be enough?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Most likely flaring will be required.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    I usually flare the case mouth just enough that half of the gas check will enter the case. I also do seating the boolit and crimping as two separate operations. Using this method I have yet to shave any lead during reloading.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    See what works for you.

    For jacketed, I've never had to flare a case mouth.

    For cast, I have to flare the case mouth for .45-70.
    However; for .30cal. sized to .309, just a nice inside bevel on the case mouth will work with gas checks for me.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    It depends on what cast bullet diameter works in your rifle to prevent leading. If you have sized them to 0.308 the bevel is probably enough. But if you size 0.309 or larger a flare will usually work best.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Look up Lyman M-die. It's designed to do exactly what you need. RCBS I believe has a similar die.

    Lee makes a generic expander that sort of works. It just flares the very mouth of the case.

    Most cost effective is the Lee expander body with a specific expander/bell from NOE. You can order several different sized expanders from NOE plus the lee expander die for the cost of 1 Lyman die.

    Don't forget to lube the ID of the case, you are doing a forming operation and a little lube helps. I use Imperial that I wipe just a bit on with a Q-tip. The lube does have the potential to catch a little powder when filling if you don't wipe it out after belling.

    Or toss them in the polisher for 20 minutes to clean of the lube. That's what I do because I'm too lazy to wipe out each individual case. Gotta wipe it in by hand, don't gotta wipe it out by hand. That's what machines are for.

    And go online, the Lyman Cast #3 is available as a free download. There should be a good description of cast boolit loading techniques.
    Last edited by 15meter; 06-19-2022 at 11:05 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    I've been flaring .223 for years, JUST enough to make sure the bullet seats without shaving. .308 I do as well, but very lightly. Both are with the cheapo Lee expander die.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    The NOE system is great. I’ll never go back to a simple flare.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    I don’t like ‘ flaring’ a case mouth and expanding is what you want just enough that the bullets starts into the case with no ‘flare’ just expanded to accept the desired diameter. None of the Lee dies expand they ‘flare’ which requires a roll crimp to remove so the cartridge will chamber. The BACO expanders either for rifle or handgun are $20.00 you order them for your particular dies it replaces the jacketed bullet ‘flaring’ expander which is useless for cast bullets, anything that ‘flares’ is not optimal , expanding works much better. Flaring causes neck splits eventually where expanding does not,they are not equal.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy 414gates's Avatar
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    Flare is required. Just enough that a bullet base can ba placed on and balance in the neck.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I normally have to. I use just enough to get the bullet started with shaving any lead.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I flare ALL cases with cast bullet loads.
    I use the Lee Universal when my dies don`t flare the case and have never had issues.
    It takes a little time to change settings but I don`t have to buy multiple dies.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    The only rifle(bottle neck) I load cast in so far is 30-06. I got a Lyman M die because of reading/researching here on this site. My first 06 loads were loaded with necks expanded with the M die, and I've never had an issue seating boolits. It doesn't just stop shaving, I believe it helps the boolit seat straighter and easier, a plus with cast.
    I would recommend using the M die.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I much prefer the 'M' die from Lyman or NOE to the 'flare' dies that RCBS and Lee provide. The NOE dies are available in more diameters to allow better seating. Bullet alignment is better with the 'M' dies as the flare is really a short parallel diameter. Lyman 30 cal 'M' dies are .3065 with a .311 'flare' (30R) and for the .31 are .3095 with a .314 'flare' (31R). The short parallel helps a great deal in seating bullets straighter and quite often a crimp is NOT needed, depending on your rifle. A flare can get caught on a sharp chamber edge and may not chamber. I do use 'M' expanders for all the rifle calibers I load for, handgun calibers if I can get them.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    For cast , including gas checked cast I usually flare a hair to get it started with no shaving.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I'm with Dale2242, does not need a lot, just a little radius instead of a sharp square edge. Make it easy for the cast to slip into place.

    Then when you crimp, however you crimp, it removes the flare.

    I mostly use the Lee tool but some dies have a powder through die that flares and sizes nicely.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    +10 for all the answers given thus far!

    They cover a broad range of what works and give the OP a good starting point to find the suitable combination to adopt into anyone’s repitiore.

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    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

  18. #18
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    I use the RCBS case neck expanding dies. Not only will it give a slight "flair" to the case mouth but more importantly it expands the neck of the case so you are not sizing your bullets as you seat them. I size my .30-06 bullets to .311"
    I use a .310" spud in my die. This gives me .001" neck tension. Works well for me.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I second that with Waco.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    I use a cheap lee neck expander flipped to the shallow angle side. Lil' dab 'l do ya.

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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