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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help with this. I am sure there is a simple answer, I just can't think of it. Whenever I load cast bullets in a necked cartridge, I end up shaving some of the lead as I seat the bullet. No such problem with the straight wall cartridges since the expander can put a flare. Can someone tell me how to put a flare in the necked cartridges?
 

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Lyman M die is what you need, or a Lee expanding die. You're skipping a basic step in reloading cast bullets, and that is case mouth expansion. The reason that you don't run into this with the straight-wall cartridges you refer to is because the 3 die set includes the expansion die. To refresh yourself on the ins and outs of loading cast bullets, you may want to check out the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, or Lee's loading manual. Both will give you lots of loading data for cast bullets as well. The only problem with the Lee book is that every page dwells on the products that Lee sells--but keep in mind you don't really have to use their brand. The principles of case preparation are the same across all brands.
 

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Besides the neck expander type dies you need to see what Dia. your throat is. You can do this with an unsized bullet or a lead '"egg" sinker, just drop either into your chamber and give either a few hard taps with a steel rod, [not your cleaning rod] then use your cleaning rod to tap the slug out . Now you size your bullets to that or slightly larger Dia. And depending on what bullet you are useing you might be able to seat your cast bullets in unsized cases. YES unsized, just see if one of your sized & lubed bullets will stay in the case mouth with the round standing up like in an ammo holder box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jlchucker, I went back and looked through my Lyman reloader's handbook (42nd edition, 1960) and sure nuff it does mention an expanding plug for cast bullets. I guess it would not have hurt to reread the book. Been using it so long I take it for granted I already know the basics. I now have a lee universal expand die on order for all of $12.

Waynes, excellent advice about the throat diameter. I am just restarting to do cast bullets again after several decades. I have a lot to learn.
Thanks for the info.
 

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Patw, you've done good. I've got a couple of those Lee expander dies and they work for about anything you can load a cast bullet into. You just need to be a bit careful not to over-expand. Cast bullets are a world of their own, and can be a satisfying hobby--especially if you cast your own, and jacketed slugs become hard to come by. All you'd need is a stash of primers and powder, and you'd still be in business.

There's a website called "Cast Boolets" that you may be interested in. It's a lot like this one, but covers all sorts of topics relating to casting your own, loading them, and shooting them. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php. They are a great bunch of folks over there and that website can be a source of lots of good information. The guys who post there range from neophytes to some of the most expert in the subject, and the discussions are lively and informative. Especially if/when you can't achieve a good group with your bullet/load.

Good luck and good shooting.
 

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Long ago the Hanned Line made a tool that looked sorta like a round tapered punch on both ends with a handle section in the middle. It's what I use for this task. Before I got it I used a standard tapered round punch. I like the Hanned tool because of the weight. I hold case in left hand and tool in right and kinda drop it onto the bench from a few inches. It opens the mouth just right for use with cast bullets.

If you don't have the Lyman M die try using a tapered round punch in a similar manner. Also make sure you've chamfered the inside of case a bit more than normal. Often that is all that's needed.
 

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One of the most useful items I have on my reloading bench is my Lee universal expanding die. They're pretty cheap - I think around $15.00 or so. It will put a nice little flare on anything from 22 caliber up to 45 caliber. It's very easy to adjust, just follow the directions.

Until you get one, you can use a punch or any other tool such as a small 1/4" drive socket to flare the case mouth. Just stick it into the case mouth and give it a small peck with a mallet of some sort.

I've even used an appropriately sized flat-blade screwdriver. Just stick it into the case mouth a twist it back and forth a bit to expand the case mouth - not too much, just a little. It will get you by in a pinch.
 

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I have been loading the 3030 with cast bullets for over 30 years, and as GB said you can chamfer the inside of the case neck is all I have ever had to do.
 

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A 50 BMG bullet is handy for this too.
 

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Scanning thru the Midsouth Shooter's Supply catalog last night I noticed (for the first time honestly) that RCBS now makes a die similar to the Lyman M die. It's a die body and you buy extra inserts for each caliber rather than having to have a complete die for each caliber. It too would be a good option I'd think.
 

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Sinclair has made a spindle (many sizes of them) for expanding necks. Held in a 7/8-14 body.

I've made many spindles for them in small increments and some with steps for cast bullets (can be done on a drill press if you don't have a lathe).
 

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in a pinch i have expanded case mouths with a pair of needlenose pliers....close the jaws and insert into case mouth till the jaw taper makes contact with case mouth,apply slight pressure and turn the pliers 360 holding the case in the other hand...try the bullet for fit....sounds crude but it worked pretty good..Mike
 
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