9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

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71GTO
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9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by 71GTO »

All,
I hope that I have chosen the correct forum to post my question on, but I figured since it does relate to a Lee die that I would start here.

I will start by telling you that I load 9mm using a Lee CTP. I started off by using the Lee 4-die setup, but soon found that I was having problems consistently seating bullets as well as maintaining proper neck tension. Because of this I replaced a few of my Lee dies with other types and my new process is as follows:

Sizing and decapping is accomplished on my Lee Single Stage using the Lee Undersized Carbide Sizing Die (U-die)

I then move the case to my LCTP, which has the following arrangement of dies:

1) Lyman Neck Expanding (M) Die
2) Lee Powder Through Expansion Die
3) Hornady Seating Die W/ Microjust Seating Micrometer
4) Lee 9mm Luger Taper Crimp Die

This new procedure works great with one exception, I have to manually pour my charge into a funnel mounted on the Lee PTED because if I mount my Lee Auto Drum onto the PTED, it will flare the case mouth, which has already been completed by the Lyman M-Die. The Lyman M Die does a much better job for me since it not only flares, but also expands further into the case, which gives me much better neck tension.

I'm sorry it's taken so long to get to the point (my question), but I wanted you to understand my process.

My question is whether there is a way to set the PTED up so that it will still operate the Auto Drum without flaring the case?? I am willing to do what ever will work no matter if it involves fabricating the existing PTED or having to purchase additional items, dies, etc. I have had great results since switching to the Lyman M-Die and do not want to go back to depending on the Lee PTED to do the flaring (belling).

Thank you for reading and hopefully replying.
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by Ohio3Wheels »

I don't use the through expanders so this may not be much help since I'm not sure how exactly the die operates the measure, but would it be possible to chuck the expander in a lathe and remove the "offending" metal.

Just a thought.

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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by Ranch Dog »

71GTO wrote:My question is whether there is a way to set the PTED up so that it will still operate the Auto Drum without flaring the case?? I am willing to do what ever will work no matter if it involves fabricating the existing PTED or having to purchase additional items, dies, etc. I have had great results since switching to the Lyman M-Die and do not want to go back to depending on the Lee PTED to do the flaring (belling).
I don't think there is anyway to make the AutoDrum work with the die setup you have described. Simply put, it depends on the PTED or the Rifle Charging dies for activation.
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by 71GTO »

Ohio3Wheels wrote:I don't use the through expanders so this may not be much help since I'm not sure how exactly the die operates the measure, but would it be possible to chuck the expander in a lathe and remove the "offending" metal.

Just a thought.

Stay well, be safe, make smoke,
O3wheels,

Thank you sir for the suggestion! Even though I don't have a lathe I still followed your lead and ended up using a Dremel to grind the expander so that it now fits inside of the case to activate the Auto Drum, but doesn't expand the case at all. Exactly what I needed so thanks again!
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by Ohio3Wheels »

71GTO wrote:
Ohio3Wheels wrote:I don't use the through expanders so this may not be much help since I'm not sure how exactly the die operates the measure, but would it be possible to chuck the expander in a lathe and remove the "offending" metal.

Just a thought.

Stay well, be safe, make smoke,
O3wheels,

Thank you sir for the suggestion! Even though I don't have a lathe I still followed your lead and ended up using a Dremel to grind the expander so that it now fits inside of the case to activate the Auto Drum, but doesn't expand the case at all. Exactly what I needed so thanks again!
Glad to hear it worked. I got to thinking about that and I realize I do use some of the expander but just to flare case mouths not to activate a powder measure and I have several of the die bodies with Track of the Wolf expanders or powder compressers inserted but they are solid and wont do thru powder.

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Curt.......makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time +guns +guns
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by horseman »

That is a pretty interesting setup you're using for loading 9mm. Would you explain why you're using a U die to size the cases. Not sure I understand not getting enough bullet tension using a standard size die. I've not seen that problem before.

Actually I have several questions, or maybe better just saying curious about your process.
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by mikld »

With no offense meant to the OP, but something is off...

I have been reloading 9mm with Lee dies and a Redding taper crimp die (no real "crimp" just deflaring as I don't care for the Lee FCD) for 3 pistols for several years. Started reloading 9mm about 2000 and used commercial jacketed bullets of .355" from 90 gr to 147 gr, and various sizes of cast bullets; .356"-.358". I have used mixed brass from every modern manufacturer including European military and NATO brass. I have never had any loose neck tension rounds nor seating problems. I started reloading 9mm on my Lee old style turret press and now use my Forster Co-Ax. I do have a Lyman M die but I do not use it exclusively, just on occasion for my .358" cast bullets (for an old Tokerev w/.357" groove diameter.). I have "bench tested" my handloads for neck tension and none failed and have not needed any "undersize" dies nor "bulge buster" dies..

There's nothing special about my reloading methods or my equipment, but I don't have the problems the OP has, so my first thought is there is a problem with his methods... :?
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by Macd »

I reload a lot of 9mm and like mkld have used many case makes over the years including cases that have come from full auto firearms. I have used bullets from 114 to 147 grains in every shape available cast, FMJ, plated and even some half metal jacketed someone gave me. I have never had a neck tension issue but consistent seating depths sometimes can be a problem . My setup is pretty simple, all Lee and I use a single stage for sizing, depriming and load development. I use the LCT for reloading in volume. Just to try I adjusted my PTED twice the distance (2 full turns up from die contact with the shell holder) and ran a case through with the auto disk in place. The disk moved completely to the dump location at this setting and there was no measurable flair to the case mouth.
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by Macd »

I did some checking and experimentation with the 9mm PTED. On my turret press it comprises the die body, the riser and the Autodisk Pro. I ran 25 cycles with the die set to one turn from the shell holder as per the Lee instructions. I used a brand new case that had just been sized and a Berry's 9mm plated HP for the test. The first cycle flared sufficiently to allow me start the bullet with finger pressure. I measured C.O.L. and then ran the case through the setup 24 more times, seating the bullet by hand each time and measuring length. Allowing for slight variations in hand pressure seating, I perceived no increase in apparent flare from the first to the last cycle. So why would others be experiencing increasing flare? They must be experiencing more resistance within the setup which causes the plug to slightly and therefore additionally flare the case mouth each time before the the press string hits the top of its travel. This is where the flare should be produced. There are several points in the string where this could happen.

1. The Die
Assuming the correct flaring stem, dirt, rust or, unlikely, an out of spec die body or plug.

2. The Riser
It is not possible to put the riser stem in upside down. Dirt etc. could cause resistance to movement.

3. The Auto Disk Powder Measure
Assuming the correct spring, the actuating lever pivot screw and/or the groove in which the lever pivots may be too tight. Tightness here would transmit to the press lever but probably be undetectable. The cast thimble that causes the lever to pivot may be sticking on the drop tube. Finally something may be creating resistance to the movement of the disk or the lever in the body of the measure.

In addition to 9mm I use the PTED in the turret for 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 38 Spl. and 357 Mag. No problems with any of them. I use a lot of flare for the 45 Colt as I like .453-454 cast lead in the Uberti Remington clone. Again no problem getting a consistent flare.
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Re: 9mm Powder Through Expansion Die Question

Post by drone »

I found just the opposite to the OP, lyman expander sucks, lee powder thru/expander great for my 357, operates my double disk set-up pretty good though I have one issue with the dispenser that ain't die related.
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