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Old 09-11-2022, 01:09 PM   #1
canny
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Default Expander Mandrels, who uses them?

For ever Iíve always just used factory Redding/RCBS dies and had good results. Recently Iíve ran into a couple problems with 257 WBY (crunching necks during seating) and 7WBY (tight bullet fit). I broke out the calipers and determined that the factory FL dies are creating excessive neck tension, .0045Ē for 257 WBY and .005Ē for 7WBY.

I ordered a 21st century body die and expander mandrels that should result in .0025Ē of neck tension. Hopefully that corrects the issue and also gives more consistent results.


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Old 09-11-2022, 01:15 PM   #2
WTucker
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I use the same 21st century setup for several different calibers. Very happy with it so far and it is really consistent.
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Old 09-11-2022, 01:58 PM   #3
Slick8
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I size .002 under with a FL bushing die then take it to .001 under with a Sinclair mandrel die.

Additionally I anneal after each shot. Imo-if you want the precision dimensions gained from a mandrel die then you should anneal. Without you'll incur spring back from work hardened necks.

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Old 09-11-2022, 02:17 PM   #4
JakeGraves
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I use the same 21st Century expander with .241 insert on all of my competition loads. My process is:
Clean brass in vibratory tumbler to get outside clean
Anneal in AMP
Spray lube with 10% lanolin, 90% alcohol
FL size with SAC FL dies
Clean lube off of cases
Seat primer with 21st Century priming tool
Throw powder charge with AutoTrickler
Seat bullets with Arbor press and in line seating die
Mark brass
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Old 09-11-2022, 09:00 PM   #5
texasforever
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Well I was gonna give my two cents, but it seems jake said all that needs to be said stick to that process and ammo is never the issue


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Old 09-12-2022, 01:51 PM   #6
Cajun Blake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeGraves View Post
I use the same 21st Century expander with .241 insert on all of my competition loads. My process is:
Clean brass in vibratory tumbler to get outside clean
Anneal in AMP
Spray lube with 10% lanolin, 90% alcohol
FL size with SAC FL dies
Clean lube off of cases
Seat primer with 21st Century priming tool
Throw powder charge with AutoTrickler
Seat bullets with Arbor press and in line seating die
Mark brass
100% spot on if you're serious about consistency and accuracy.

I can say that based on my past experiences and reloading practices, Jake Graves is an ADDICT like me
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Old 09-12-2022, 04:51 PM   #7
Notaguide
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Relatively new to reloading (2yrs) but follow a similar process as Jake's. I first encountered inconsistent neck pressure while seating until I started annealing. Then experimented using a K&M neck cutting expander mandrel before taking the leap. Now using K&M -.002 mandrels for the three calibers I load. It does add another step in the process but I don't see going back to a expander ball. After seeing the benefits of both annealing and expander mandrels, I just don't see how anyone achieves consistent neck pressure beyond virgin brass.
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Old 09-12-2022, 04:56 PM   #8
texasforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notaguide View Post
Relatively new to reloading (2yrs) but follow a similar process as Jake's. I first encountered inconsistent neck pressure while seating until I started annealing. Then experimented using a K&M neck cutting expander mandrel before taking the leap. Now using K&M -.002 mandrels for the three calibers I load. It does add another step in the process but I don't see going back to a expander ball. After seeing the benefits of both annealing and expander mandrels, I just don't see how anyone achieves consistent neck pressure beyond virgin brass.

What if I told you even virgin wasnít consistent


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Old 09-12-2022, 05:25 PM   #9
Notaguide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasforever View Post
What if I told you even virgin wasnít consistent


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I'll have to take your word for it. I would have been super excited just to find once fired brass
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Old 09-12-2022, 05:28 PM   #10
texasforever
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Default Expander Mandrels, who uses them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notaguide View Post
I'll have to take your word for it. I would have been super excited just to find once fired brass

I feel ya there! Unless Iím having to blow the shoulder out on something super far (30k+) itís pretty easy to start and finish load dev for the life of that barrel before half a batch of brass is fire formed. Annealing, mandreling, and properly setting the primer pocket goes along way in consistency these days. Just wish people would stop thinking powder nodes exist stillÖ..


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Old 09-12-2022, 06:06 PM   #11
Notaguide
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I'm finding this true about the node with the 7rem mag I'm loading. Very pleased with group size and SD up until light extractor marks. The last tools I've purchase are pocket and flash hole uniformers. I'd like to start over on round count for two guns now I've investing more effort. The rabbit hole is deep but having fun on the journey.
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Old 09-12-2022, 06:10 PM   #12
texasforever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notaguide View Post
I'm finding this true about the node with the 7rem mag I'm loading. Very pleased with group size and SD up until light extractor marks. The last tools I've purchase are pocket and flash hole uniformers. I'd like to start over on round count for two guns now I've investing more effort. The rabbit hole is deep but having fun on the journey.

Itís super easy these days using quality equipment. Shoot a 10 shot string in .3gn increments till you find pressure in the summer, pick a speed youíre happy with, load up 50 and run a seating depth test, win a match. ES/SD is by FAR more a result of your brass prep than anything else, but weighing down to the kernel makes single digit ES a cake walk


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Old 09-12-2022, 07:40 PM   #13
Mike D
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I do very similar to what Jake does, except I anneal after sizing/trimming/cleaning and just before seating bullets.

The force gauge on my arbor press shows much more consistent seating tension by annealing just before seating.


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Old 09-12-2022, 10:09 PM   #14
kck
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I do but not to achieve a final size. I use an expander mandrel a half a thou over the mandrel on my K&M neck turner to eliminate as much wobble and uneven cut as possible. My final sizing is done with the bushing in the FL sizer needed to give me 2 thou tension with respect to the thickness of the necks I choose to turn to.
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