Brass shaving Lee Expander

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  • Last Post 01 August 2017
Levergun1966 posted this 22 July 2017

Hi everyone. Just started loading some .452 45ACP cast Bullets and noticed some brass shavings with my Lee expander die on my Lee Classic Turret. My initial thought was to much flare so I dialed it back and the shaving was minimized. but I wanted to know if any brass shaving is acceptable and does anyone use a Lyman M-Die on their Lee classic Turret.

 

Thanks!

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 22 July 2017

When you say "brass shavings", can you explain further or show a photo? Before comment I would like to know more.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
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Levergun1966 posted this 22 July 2017

Thanks Dave, I will definitely take one. Won't be until next weekend though. I am headed out on vacation😁

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BigMan54 posted this 23 July 2017

I had this happen with a new set of HORNADY 9mm dies that came with a HORNADY Pro-Jector progressive press. I called HORNADY customer service and they sent out a new expander die, and a mailing label to return the defective die to them. That fixed the problem & I don't remember if they every said what the defect was. This was about 25yrs ago.

I've never had a problem with a LYMAN M-die. Regardless of how old or new they were. I favor them for all lead bullet loads. I replaced the new HORNADY expander dies with LYMAN M-dies. I just don't like the new style HORNADY expander. They  don't give you the standard double adjustment option.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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onondaga posted this 23 July 2017

Levergun1966

Over flaring with the Lee powder through expander in 45 ACP can cause brass to shave. The BASIC adjustment for the die is one turn backed off from shell holder contact with the ram full up...NOTE that closer than the one turn back-off setting to the shell holder INCREASES flair and farther than the one turn decreases flair.

The goal in setting the adjustment of the Powder Through Expander die is to use the least amount of flair that allows easy bullet seating without shaving the bullets. Without experience it is a guess how much flair is needed. The die has a wide range of adjustability and can certainly be over adjusted in either direction from the BASIC setting. 

This is helpful: after sizing a 45ACP case remove it from the shell holder and measure the case mouth diameter with a micrometer. Record the measurement. Now adjust your powder through expander to flair the case mouth .003" larger than your recorded sized case mouth diameter.

Try some loading and observe if your bullets seat easily and if they are leaving any lead shavings from cast bullets.

If you are shaving lead increase flair an additional .001 to .002". Or if the seating starts with a bump because bullets are catching you also need more flair.

You should NEVER need more than .004" flair to seat cast bullets and if you do something else is wrong. It is not the die setting and likely your bullet diameter or out of specification brass wall thickness.

Also, brass trim to length isn't often needed for 45ACP but if you trim and leave the edge sharp, your expander will not like that. After trimming, at least break the sharp edge with a chamfer or your expander may collapse a sharp trimmer flash of brass or cut it off and make it look like a shaving.

Gary

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Levergun1966 posted this 01 August 2017

back from vacation and did some testing last night. I think the problem was me, but would like to confirm because I had to really expand the flare. I am using brand new Starline brass, and .451 200r SWC. The diameter of the Starline Brass (pre flare) is .444in, my initial comment was made by not flaring that much I was out to .448in, and there were little brass shavings around the case holder. I increased the flare last night and opened it up to .451in (well beyond .004 that was suggested) and had no brass shavings but  I suspect something is else is now wrong however.

I am using Lee 45ACP die set on Lee Classic Turret

 

This picture is of my 45ac seated with now shavings but expanded a pretty big amount

Fully seated 45acp

 

this is the flared to ,451 image

Flared 45ACP

 

I can always take more pictures if needed. As always thanks for the help!

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45 2.1 posted this 01 August 2017

Basic rule of thumb........ get .04" of the bullet base into the case and it won't shave provided you aren't using a taper crimp seating die.

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Eutectic posted this 01 August 2017

This is new brass and it looks like the cases may have a wire edge on the inside from the final trim. You may be able to feel this with your finger. Also the expansion step may be rough in the LEE die, you may want to polish it with crocus cloth. The case bell should be the same diameter after the bullet is seated. If the bell is closed while seating the bullet will shave lead. Adjust the seating die up till the bell is not closed then adjust the seat stem down to the desired overall length. You should be taper crimping in a separate die, or use a LEE factory crimp die.

It looks like you are seating too deep, there should be at least  0.030 of the front band out of the case, you may want to use more depending on the chamber in your pistol.

Steve

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 August 2017

.... don't load 45 but wouldn't it be better to have the brass mouth expanded to about 0.449 ( or more ) for a 0.451 bullet ??   maybe his expander "" button "" is too small ...  in fact it seems small for even mj ...

 

... and then there is the lyman * M * die ... expands and bells at the same time, and hopefully the right amount of both .  still crimp next .

ken

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BigMan54 posted this 01 August 2017

May be a bit late to ask. Did you CHAMFER/DEBURR the case mouths before you belled the brass ?

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Levergun1966 posted this 01 August 2017

I did not because it was new brass, but I will give that a try. Thanks!

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Levergun1966 posted this 01 August 2017

Yea, I was wondering about that. I used the recommendation of the bullet maker which was 1.200. The last batch I reloaded using a different bullet and the Lyman manual, I had an OAL of 1.225. Thanks

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Levergun1966 posted this 01 August 2017

Thanks for everyone for the input, I still have so much to learn. I am glad I joined the CBA.

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R. Dupraz posted this 01 August 2017

I have had a Lee 45 Colt die set and the expander also shaves brass. I don't load many 45 Colts so that's why I bought a Lee. Fits my personal agenda, so never considered it a problem. If I routinely launched a lot of those 45's, the dies would not have been Lee. 

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