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Old 06-11-2014, 18:06   #1
Gasman2
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Sizing Issues

I'm having some issues with sizing cases using a Redding titanium carbide die set. My brand new Winchester cases measure 0.421". After sizing they are 0.416". This is far too small to seat a 0.400" bullet so I have to expand the mouth almost the full length of the seated bullet to avoid tearing the case wall when seating. the case mouth is 0.423" around the bullet. When I'm finished the rounds have a distinct hourglass shape. Redding advises that this is normal, but I think it is unnecessary working of the brass and will cause premature case failure. Is there a carbide sizer die out there that doesn't reduce the diameter so much?
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Old 06-11-2014, 18:58   #2
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I would agree with you it's a bit much...I have measured the finished rounds from Underwood "Star-Line" Brass at 0.4215" (just above the extractor cut, as new) Most of the seated rounds show 0.4215"-0.4225" at the taper crimp. More specs can be learned looking through this pull-down info...http://10mm-firearms.com/factory-10mm-ammo-pull-downs/

I have used the RCBS carbide die set since before the 40S&W, thus my seater/taper crimp die is too long to give a taper crimp on the 40S&W cases...Solution; purchased a RCBS 40S&W seater/taper crimp die.

I use my LEE FCD (guts removed) as a "Pass-Through" sizer, best thing I have done to insure positive fitting the Case Gauge and the tighter chambers of my guns. 0.4220" is the usual size at the extractor cut, these drop in and out of the case gauge freely.
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Old 06-11-2014, 20:10   #3
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My Lee sizing die sizes down to 0.418", which is the low end of SAAMI specs. I find that this is a good thing, because some brands of brass are a bit thin (I'm looking at you, Remington), and this leaves the inner diameter around 0.398"-0.399". If it were any larger, the case wouldn't be able to hold a bullet.

On one hand, 0.416" is out of spec, according to SAAMI. On the other hand, brass seems to vary greatly in thickness between manufacturers, and that 0.416" sizer might allow you to make use of thinner brands of brass that a larger sizing die would not.

Last edited by jumbopanda; 06-11-2014 at 20:12..
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Old 06-11-2014, 21:20   #4
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In a recent project we found PPU brass that would not hold bullets properly...brass would not resize and hold shape and it was very thin.
Info (measurements and pictures and what made a difference) can be found here; http://10mm-firearms.com/reloading-1...-ppu-brass!!!/
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Old 06-11-2014, 21:39   #5
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I throw out my PPU brass. Remington isn't quite as thin, but it is thinner than most other brands.
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Old 06-11-2014, 22:22   #6
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My Dillon 40/10 dies size the OD of a Starline case to .418 at the mouth counting spring back.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:26   #7
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Don't you have trouble seating bullets with the case mouth sized to 0.417? I have to expand the case mouth to accommodate the bullet or I get torn or crushed cases. Fortunately my reloads feed well, it just doesn't make sense to size down so far that you have to basically resize to seat the bullet. I suppose the die has to work on all brass thicknesses. I'm just hoping that one of the other brands of dies might size larger.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:56   #8
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When you say expand, are you talking about belling the mouth?
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:12   #9
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I thought I would just have to put a slight taper on the edge of the case mouth but found that I must set the expander die Togo into the case as far as I am seating the bullet. This sets the internal diameter for receiving the bullet. My complaint is the large difference between the sizing die external and the expander die external diameters. Why size down so far then expand? The brass will only take so much working before it gets hardened, thin and ultimately fails. I was hoping one of the other manufacturers might make a sizer that isn't quite so small
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Old 06-15-2014, 18:00   #10
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Originally Posted by Gasman2 View Post
I thought I would just have to put a slight taper on the edge of the case mouth but found that I must set the expander die Togo into the case as far as I am seating the bullet. This sets the internal diameter for receiving the bullet. My complaint is the large difference between the sizing die external and the expander die external diameters. Why size down so far then expand? The brass will only take so much working before it gets hardened, thin and ultimately fails. I was hoping one of the other manufacturers might make a sizer that isn't quite so small
While your sizer does seem to be sizing pretty small, if you bought a Dillon like mine, it will only size a few thousandths less, that isn't going to make a large difference in brass life.

It sounds like your Winchester brass is about .0115 thick, which is not thick or thin as 10/40 brass goes. If you were using R-P brass like JP singled out, it would be more like .010" thick, so a finished round would mic like .420".

On the expander, if you are using a powder through style die with a nose that goes into the case (like a Dillon, etc.), that nose is supposed to expand the case back to within 3-4 mil of bullet nominal diameter. The beveled part of the die above the nose part is what bells the case and allows you to sit the bullet on the case prior to seating, so you are supposed to push that all the way down into the case. You want the belling to be at least as wide (on the ID of the case mouth) as the bullet ID, or a little more to make sure you don't shave the bullet).

As JP pointed out, it is not all bad to have an undersize sizing die. It will assure you get enough neck tension when using very thin brass. I wouldn't worry about the few mil your expander is "working the brass", it is nothing compared to the working it gets when you pull the trigger.

If you are going to stick with the Redding and you are using a powder through style expander with the nose doing the expander work, polishing it up will make things run smoother when the ram is extracting the nose back out of the case.

Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2014, 20:29   #11
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I have a Redding sizer also. Same size. Sucks. Redding won't fix it. They say just don't size the case down all the way. What kind of answer is that. Needless to say, I don't use it. Waste of money.
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Old 06-16-2014, 17:56   #12
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Yes, that's what Redding told me as well and that might work if I wasn't dealing with bulged cases from my Glock chamber. I'm thinking of using a Lee die as a "pass through" just to deal with the bulge, then just size and expand the neck (bullet seating area). It's another operation but it may work. Shadow, did you say your Lee FCD left the brass at 0.422?
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Old 06-16-2014, 18:14   #13
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Yes 0.4220" to 0.4230" on most brass at the base just at the extractor cut, used as a pass through sizer...Some brass can spring back to a little more.
They are further sized down with the RCBS carbide at the case mouth to 0.4190" to 0.4200".
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Old 06-16-2014, 22:57   #14
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I have several brands of dies, Redding, Lee, RCBS, Hornady, and Lyman. I think I can say that there are things that I like about each of them, as well as things that I dislike about each of them. I'm a pretty big fan of Redding dies, especially their rifle dies. But my first set of 10mm dies were Redding, and I have some issues with them, too.

Redding pistol dies' case mouth expanders have a very slow taper, so you really have to set it deep, especially if you are trying to seat cast or plated bullets. Lee, on the other hand, have a very aggressive taper on their case mouth expander. I prefer the Lee, because I can get the case mouth open enough to seat the cast bullets without losing the rest of the brass elasticity to hold the bullet in place.

I ended up buying the Lee .40/10mm dies after I bought the Redding 10mm only dies. I leave the bullet seater on the Lee dies set for 40S&W, but it's nice when one die set covers all your needs.

Like I said, I'm a big Redding die fan, but I wouldn't recommend their 10mm die set.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:36   #15
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Reading TDC20's description of the Redding Expander profile, I now understand the frustration the OP is having with his Redding dies. It seems almost crazy to make the sizer that small and the expsnder that way.

Does the die come apart, such that you could recontour the nose of the expander?

My thought is if you could recontour more like the Dillon expander, I think it would solve your issues. Making the contour such that once it got to .396-.397" OD, having it go straight for roughly the length of the bearing surface of your heaviest bullet you load, then another bevel for the belling, it would ensure you had uniform neck tension, not over expand the case, etc.

Just a thought.

Then again, maybe just picking up a Lee set might be a more painless solution.
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Old 06-17-2014, 19:51   #16
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My Lee sizing die leaves me with a .418 wall. The LW barrel leaves me with a .422 just above the extraction groove. With a seated XTP or Gold Dot I have .422 with Win brass. There is a coke bottle effect. And I don't flare the brass much. No torn up brass at all.
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Old 06-17-2014, 22:15   #17
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I think all of my straight-wall pistol case sizers create a Coke bottle effect on loaded rounds, but I really don't think it's that significant in terms of losing accuracy or anything like that. My personal preference would be to have that little extra grip on the bullet that comes with case "undersizing", especially for auto loaders that violently slap the cartridge out of the magazine, smack the bullet on the ramp, then hit the top side of the chamber, and then finally slam to a stop once inside the chamber. Less chance of an OAL change from bullet set-back or kinetic pulling with a little more grip on it. I have actually taken several of my pet auto loads, created dummy (inert) rounds, and then cycled them repeatedly from the magazine dozens of times to check for bullet creep in OAL. They are solid. I haven't done that experiment with nickel plated brass or older brass that might be work-hardened, so YMMV.

Don't fall into the trap that you can get better bullet retention by applying more taper crimp to an auto round. You can't. Revolver rounds with a roll crimp are a totally different story.

In terms of accuracy (precision), from a rifle reloader's perspective, you want the bullet to be perfectly concentric in the chamber so it enters the rifling evenly on all sides. With straight-wall pistol cases, even factory loads, this is a pipe dream (pun intended). You have to have the round slightly undersized so that it cycles reliably, which means it will pretty much always lie in the chamber with an offset from the barrel axis. That being said, I will never claim to be able to tell the difference. In the rare event that I can put 5 rounds in a 3 inch group from 25 yards with ANY handgun, I'm as happy as a fat kid with a birthday cake! But that is more a functional lack of shooter's skill (mine), and not necessarily the ammo or the gun involved. That's why I don't get wrapped around the axle over it.
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Last edited by TDC20; 06-17-2014 at 22:35..
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Old 06-17-2014, 22:32   #18
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Does the die come apart, such that you could recontour the nose of the expander?
They do come apart, and I agree, it certainly could be done. I wouldn't do it without a lathe, though, and I don't own one or have access to one right now. Otherwise I would have already done it.

I have two sets of Redding carbide pistol dies, 9mm and 10mm. Both have the slow taper (IMHO) on the case mouth expander. Strangely enough, I also have two sets of Lee carbide dies in 9mm and 10mm. Hmmm....
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Old 06-17-2014, 23:34   #19
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They do come apart, and I agree, it certainly could be done. I wouldn't do it without a lathe, though, and I don't own one or have access to one right now. Otherwise I would have already done it.

I have two sets of Redding carbide pistol dies, 9mm and 10mm. Both have the slow taper (IMHO) on the case mouth expander. Strangely enough, I also have two sets of Lee carbide dies in 9mm and 10mm. Hmmm....
A lathe would be ideal, but I think I probably could get it "close enough" with a file, emory paper and a drill press. Depending on how gradual the taper, it probably isn't all that much material.

Like you I have a number of Redding dies for various rifle calibers and have always held them in pretty high regard, although these days, most of my precision rifle loading is with hand dies and an arbor press (or mallet).

It is kind of shocking they would settle on this approach for their handgun dies. I think the under sizing isn't all bad, guys pay good money to get a U die for loading mixed headstamp 40 and jacketed bullets. Undersized always means you have sufficient neck tension (not to mention your point regarding setback protection, a real plus with gamer loads and a powder say like Titegroup). But to not take the extra step and provide a proper expander that sets consistent neck tension with a radiused nose, cylinder and bevel contour is self defeating.

Maybe they are just trying to sell more of their dual ring sizers. I bought one once to try on my 45 Auto target loads. Ironically, their inner ring didn't size small enough to give me adequate neck tension when loading thinner brass like R-P, TZZ, Starline, etc. and jacketed bullets. It turned out a fine 200gr LSWC round, though. I ended up falling back to my Lee dies until I finally bought all my Dillon gear.
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