no expander ball in sizing die? - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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no expander ball in sizing die?

I recently read an article that the expander ball in most dies make the necks run out a couple thousandths. The author claimed to size the casings without a expander ball in the die and you would get less runout or no runout. He claimed that you shouldn't have any issue with seating a bullet in a case with no expander ball used either.

Have any of you guys ever heard this?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 01:35 PM
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Re: no expander ball in sizing die?

Yes, I've heard of it. None of my dies have an expander ball. We'll, they have a ball to hold the depriming pin but it's undersized. I took the 223 ball and put it into 25 caliber dies and so on. It's probably better to use bushing dies for the simple reason you can reduce neck tension.

My first all out custom, the gunsmith was a huge help, he gave me all the part numbers for what I needed, when I picked up the gun he said let me see your dies, he instantly removed the expander ball and handed them back to me and explained why he removed it and it's exactly what you mentioned
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 03:11 PM
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Re: no expander ball in sizing die?

I don't use one in most of my set ups either. same reasons as stated above. I prefer three die sets (body, neck, seater) and I decap with a separate die.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 03:45 PM
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Re: no expander ball in sizing die?

bigben, How much does the die reduce the neck? (I don't know but, for example, would reducing take a 30 cal. to 270) Again, I don't know? If so, now you would have a tighter pull and in turn, raise pressure..Unless you have outside neck ream the case, chances are the neck case is thicker on one side. An other factor...The way I do it,( don't know if it makes that much difference) but I first leave the die jam nut loose, run the case into the die (so it self centers and then tighten the jam nut. (If you wiggle a loose die, you will see how much slop it has.) Same with the expander. Leave it loose, draw the plug thru the neck (again self centering) then tighten the nut. That's the way I do it. Maybe right, maybe wrong, but I did it my way......
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 05:30 PM
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Re: no expander ball in sizing die?

that's the whole idea behind redding's bushing dies.the bushing in the die floats. I use both bushing dies and the forster co-ax for better concentricity. also a side benefit of the bushing die is that it only sizes your neck once, as opposed to 2 times via the expanded ball.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 11:17 PM
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Re: no expander ball in sizing die?

Bushing dies are the way to go. But when using an expander ball, run the case up into the die with the lock ring loose, then pull the case down just till you feel it "pulling" on the expander, (this will pull it center) then finger tighten the lock nut. Over tightening can pull it out of center. I actually just let mine loose and have better luck that way with runout. Another thing is to not use the retaining spring clip to hold your shell holder in place. Put a rubber o ring on it. This will allow the shell holder to self center when the case is run all the way up into the die and pull the case out straight and centered. The clip pushes the holder to one side.
Just some tips I learned from Darrel Holland (not in person) and from others. Give em a try. I get pretty decent concentricity with an rcbs die this way. But if you're buying new dies, get the bushing die, you wont regret it. You can adjust your neck tension with different size bushings also.

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