expander ball for redding dies

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by bearbar, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. bearbar

    bearbar

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    I have several sets of redding dies and was wondering if any place makes different sizes of expander balls for them
    I wanted to change my neck tension without turning necks
    Example I have a 6.5 x 284 set of dies it has a .260 expander in it I would like to get a several different sizes maybe .261, .262, and .263 with these I could change the size of the interior of the neck or tension of the neck.
     
  2. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just use bushing dies and get rid of the expander.
     
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  3. bearbar

    bearbar

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    I did not want to get into bushings if I do I will have to turn the necks with the expanders I can just change expander balls
     
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  4. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen Gold $$ Contributor

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  5. chkunz

    chkunz Gold $$ Contributor

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    You do not have to turn necks to use the bushings.
     
  6. Wirelessguy2005

    Wirelessguy2005 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Boyd is correct, follow his recommendation about Whidden Gunworks. Their parts are interchangeable with Redding dies.
     
  7. 370bc

    370bc

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    Are they better than Sinclair neck expander mandrel dies Im using? I removed my Redding expander ball. Thx.
     
  8. bobinpa

    bobinpa Gold $$ Contributor

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    As chkunz said, you don't have to turn necks to use bushings. The bushings take the place of the expander ball. The expander ball works from the inside of the neck expanding the neck to a certain size. The bushings work from the outside of the neck "squeezing" the neck down to a certain size. If you use the bushings, you take the expander out of the die. You use one or the other. If you are set on using expanders then absolutely take Boyd's advice and Whidden is a great company to deal with.
     
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  9. bearbar

    bearbar

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    I can do the bushing thing but if the neck thickness varies I would get different interior neck dimensions, but with the expander ball that interior dimension would be the same for each case
     
  10. Prose

    Prose

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    Believe you can get custom expanders from redding as well
     
  11. bobinpa

    bobinpa Gold $$ Contributor

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    Absolutely. I understand that, but I didn't know what level of precision you were working to. I personally don't use the expander because I feel it gives me or could give me run out at the neck. For that reason, in some of my rifles, I prefer to turn the necks enough to clean them up and use bushings. I hope I didn't mislead you in some way.
     
  12. Someoldguy

    Someoldguy

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    This has been my experience as well. If the neck wall thickness varies, I have yet to find a way to get consistent neck tension. And expander balls just exacerbate the problem, leading to run-out problems. But the OP didn't ask for advice in this department, so I'm guilty of thread drift myself. Pardons.
     
  13. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen Gold $$ Contributor

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    ....Thanks but not exactly, when you use a bushing die with no expander the irregularities in neck thickness of unturned necks get pushed to the inside. On the other hand if you carefully coordinate bushing selection with expander diameter, as the different sizes of expander balls that Whidden makes allow you to do, you can have a situation where the bushing produces a neck ID that only has the expander doing perhaps .001 of "work". That amount of expansion will not mess up neck concentricity because it does not create enough pull for that to happen. For that reason, when using unturned necks and bushing dies I tend to favor keeping the expander and coordinating the expander OD with the bushing ID so that I end up with the neck tension that I am looking for, and a round, more uniform neck ID. The evils ascribed to expander balls are caused by excessively sizing necks before pulling the expander through them. This extreme expansion pulls on the neck so hard that it causes the case shoulder to yield slightly and because that does not happen evenly around the case, the neck becomes cocked relative to the case body in the process. If the sizing is much less this does not happen. This is not conjecture on my part, I have done the testing.
     
  14. bearbar

    bearbar

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    Thanks for all the advice, what I like to do is take all the advice I get and try to formulate my own results, and with what was given above this will make my job a whole lot easier.
    I do turn some necks but I have found out that is not a perfect science either. I was very carful turning the necks on my 6.5 x 284 and still came up with some inconsistencies in neck thickness, this was measured with a mandrel and dial indicator, I then put in a ball expander that came with the Redding dies which measures .260 and I could feel different pressures needed when the ball was retracted from the neck. Just for the heck of it I kept the ones separated just by the feel. I shot some groups using 4 of the one type and 1 of a loser feel the loser neck tension went out of the group.
    I think the use of a properly fitted expander and bushing would probably give some good results as BoydAllen stated above.
    The only bad thing is the price of the set of expanders is a little high especially if you have several different calibers to deal with.
    Thanks to all again
     
  15. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  16. bobinpa

    bobinpa Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for the education Boyd. That's good info to have.... essentially, a guy wouldn't have to turn necks that he was going to turn just to clean them up. Going forward I might try it. Thanks
     
  17. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen Gold $$ Contributor

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    You are welcome. There is another option for unturned necks that friends and correspondents have told me works well for them. It involves a two step sizing process, a Lee collet die for the necks and a body die, or bushing FL without the bushing (same result) for bumping the shoulder and sizing the bodies of the cases. The only drawback of this method, other than the additional step is that some fellows are not comfortable trying something different. Just remember that the way that you change neck tension when using a collet die is not to toggle the press harder, but rather to use a different sized mandrel, smaller for a smaller case neck ID.
     
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  18. bearbar

    bearbar

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    I only size the neck no body at all, I took 1 case and reloaded at the range, and shot it 16 times measuring and recording my results for every shot. I was using Lapua brass and neck sized only, the brass acted very funny.
    Here is what happened I would shoot a couple of shots, brass grew in length a few thou shot some more brass shrunk a few thou this went back and fourth through out the 16 firings I ended up with the brass 2 thou longer than when I started I came home and checked the thickness at the web and had very little separation.
    I am shooting the 6.5x284 in a savage model 12 with factory chamber
    when I check for run out on the necks after firing I get .001
    When I size the necks I only size about 1/2 of the length of the neck
    I am using 142 SMK
    My problem is when I shoot a 5 shot group I get 3 shots in a sub 2 tenth group but the other 2 are strays making the group around 3/4"
    on the 3 shots that are 2 tenths the vel is only 3 fps apart and on the 5 shots its 9 fps
    This is why I am trying to do something with the tension
     
  19. dmoran

    dmoran Gold $$ Contributor

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    @bearbar
    Myself would primarily care about how much variation there is in case headspace, and not as much at all of OAL. If your getting variation in case headspace, could be an explanation to your "stays".

    Try that same test scenario, but F/L-sizing to a same shoulder bump number each cycle.
    Or, test both ways at the same time for a comparison test.
    Donovan
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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