expander ball on sizing die ?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by rebs, May 31, 2019.

  1. rebs

    rebs Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    214
    what can I do to not use the expander ball on my RCBS 223 sizing die ? THe reason I ask is because it is really hard to get the case out of the die because it hangs up on the expander ball.
     
  2. mike06

    mike06 US ARMY 1970-1977 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    your die have a decapping rod in it if so the ball should come off if you remove the part that holds the decap pin ok I think I see what you have. You have to file the expander or get a decap rod with no expander Many decap with a separate die
     
  3. SPJ

    SPJ Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    4,391
    Set it a bit higher if possible, also run a nylon brush a couple of passes, I’ll bet you notice a difference. Once you remove the ball you will most likely need to use an expander Mandrel

    Option B is perhaps a different style Die
    J
     
  4. HomeSlice

    HomeSlice Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    105
    I put the carbide expander ball on most of mine (Redding). It runs a lot smoother.
     
  5. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,947
    As suggested, run a few passes with a brush in the neck to smooth out the carbon. Annealing the brass or turning the necks a bit so the neck inside diameter isnt reduced so much will also help.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  6. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12,515
    Imperial dry neck lube until you can get rid of the expander setup. Get somebody to turn it down a bit on a lathe. If its tough that means youre seriously overworking your necks plus pulling your headspace back inconsistently
     
    mike06 likes this.
  7. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Messages:
    596
    Below is a closeup macro photo of new a RCBS expander, it needs to be polished smooth for less drag in the case neck.

    [​IMG]

    Next dip your case necks in Imperial dry graphite lube, it is nothing more than finely ground carbon.

    [​IMG]

    Below I replaced all my RCBS expanders with the Forster high mounted floating expanders. Or replace the die with a Forster benchrest full length die.

    [​IMG]

    Using the dies expanders are not the end of the world as many reloaders think. Just polish the expander and lube the inside of the neck.

    Below a Redding full length die with a modified Forster expander and spindle assembly, that greatly reduced expander drag and also reduced neck runout.

    [​IMG]

    Below a young inexperienced Ewok doing it the wrong way with his expander,

    [​IMG]
     
    Daddymac, mikeinct, 'Freak and 5 others like this.
  8. JohnnyReloader

    JohnnyReloader

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    I decap on separate stage, removed decap/expander rod from sizing die.
    I only use once fired LC brass for .223/5.56, have found better neck tension without expander in sizing die. And of course I chamfer/debur all cases.
     
  9. misser

    misser

    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Messages:
    41
    i wonder if you are saying the brass is tooo hard . do you have this problem with all the brass you are working with ?
     
  10. MGYSGT

    MGYSGT Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    767
    For a .22 cal. You can chuck it up in a drill and emery cloth it down a couple of thou. It will slip right through. Or buy a smaller expander. I always remove or sand down the expander or replace it with a smaller one. I just don't want that thing dragging through my necks.
     
    mikeinct likes this.
  11. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    6,549
    Another option is to go to a bushing die and get rid of the expander ball.
     
    muleman69 likes this.
  12. Baddog0302

    Baddog0302 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    751
    Are you using a FL die because you need your brass FL sized to function through an AR ??
    If you are sizing for use in a bolt gun, consider getting a bushing style die or a Lee collet die.
     
    muleman69 likes this.
  13. K22

    K22

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,916
    Most RCBS expander balls are over sized and create too much drag of the neck. In addition some have rough surfaces aggravating the problem.

    I polished mine with a very fine grit emery cloth by chucking the assembly in a drill and carefully applying the emery cloth to a rotating expander ball, stopping a measuring frequently so I don't take too much off - usually about .001" max does the trick. The result is an expander ball that has a "glass like finish" that glides through the neck without excess resistance.

    For me, the expander ball is necessary since it uniforms the inside of the neck. In most of my rifles the top of the case neck has a slight dent from the extraction process especially thin neck cases like the 223 Rem. The expander ball smooths this out producing a uniform and concentric neck.
     
  14. Pwc

    Pwc

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Do you decap in a separate die? If so, when sizing, the ball may be set too high and trying to pull the case over it while still in the neck.
     
  15. B23

    B23 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Not sure if this has already been mentioned, I honestly haven't read through everything 100%, but my concern would be if it's dragging that hard across the expander ball your die is likely sizing the neck down a good amount smaller than the diameter of the expander ball and if you remove the expander ball all together, it could leave you with a lot more neck tension than you may want.
     
    Bc'z likes this.
  16. Mark W

    Mark W Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Messages:
    727
    All of the answers to solve this problem have been mentioned:

    1) brush necks
    2) polish expander ball
    3) use a dry lube on necks
    4) remove expander ball and use a mandrel
    5) change to a bushing die
    6) anneal any over worked brass
     
    mikeinct likes this.
  17. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Messages:
    596
    'Freak, Mark W and hogpatrol like this.
  18. T-shooter

    T-shooter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    1,220
    Sounds like you may have the expander ball set too high on the spindle. I have a Forster die and had the neck honed out to it only compresses .004" under the finished size using turned necks. The ball expands it back out to .002" under. Without a ball, you are centering the neck's inside by the outside of the neck. If it's offset a bit or out of round as most factory cases are, that gets transferred to the inside producing runout. The shaft sits on a rubber washer and can wiggle a little which allows it to self-center. I have check several times and there is no increase in runout using the ball and many times a bit less. The proper way to adjust the ball is to run a case into the die all the way, then back out the center stem/ball until you feel it touch. I then screw it down 1/2 turn and lock it in place (extra locknut on the top of the shaft). This way most of the neck is still in the top of the die centering it as the ball starts to be pulled through.
    Die3.jpg
     
    dgeesaman likes this.
  19. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Messages:
    596
    T-shooter

    Below on the left is a RCBS .223 expander raised as high as to would move, so I do not think his expander is set too high.

    The Forster expander and spindle assembly on the right will screw right into the RCBS die.

    [​IMG]
     
    'Freak likes this.
  20. McGraw

    McGraw Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Messages:
    681
    T-shooter, Thanks for that explanation on setting the expander ball. I had just always laid my case on the outside of die and try to adjust it to Forster’s diagram pics, this makes more sense and will be more precise.
     

Share This Page