What is wrong with my Lee expanding die?


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bbooker
April 13, 2012, 01:28 PM
When the case is coming down from the expanding die it is very rough and feels like it is hanging or grabbing on something. It is a Lee 9mm die. Nothing seems to be wrong with the case or case mouth when it comes out, but man it is rough. Shakes the table and causes small amounts of powder to fall. Any advice appreciated.

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cberge8
April 13, 2012, 01:33 PM
Lee powder through dies do this intentionally.

It makes sure that no powder is left in the die body if you are using it to charge cases.

Wil Terry
April 13, 2012, 01:39 PM
Lee powder through dies do this intentionally.

It makes sure that no powder is left in the die body if you are using it to charge cases.
YOU gotta be kidding us, right ??

JohnM
April 13, 2012, 01:46 PM
That's how they work.
But if it's hanging on so much it shakes everything, polish it some.

GT1
April 13, 2012, 01:48 PM
From Lee Precision: In use, the expander plug travels approximately
3/8 within the die and comes to an abrupt stop at extraction.
This helps to shake the powder through. However,
we recommend you check to be sure all the powder has
cleared the funnel and expander plug.
-----------------------------

Yes, the tug you feel while lifting is supposed to be there.

JohnM
April 13, 2012, 01:52 PM
And you got your press mounted tight to a good solid bench too, right?

R.W.Dale
April 13, 2012, 01:53 PM
I lube the expander up slightly from time to time with case lube when it gets particularly jerky

Josh45
April 13, 2012, 01:55 PM
Well, This explains why our Lee 9mm expanding die does the exact same thing. I have to hold onto the case sometimes in order for it to not do that. Then I just learn to bell the case just enough to accept the bullet and has been easier to remove the case since then.

gamestalker
April 13, 2012, 02:02 PM
I've polished mine to have just a light click. But yes, that is what the powder thru die is intended to do.

bbooker
April 13, 2012, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the answers. Makes sense but is a pain.

rcmodel
April 13, 2012, 03:17 PM
Polish the snot out of it with a drill and fine emery paper..

There is no good reason it has bolt thread lathe tracks on it from the factory except it is cheaper to make it that way.

rc

Walkalong
April 13, 2012, 05:30 PM
Yep, polish them. They can be rough as a cob.

The old, it makes the powder fall out, is still humorous after all these years. The proper angle and smooth insides will cure sticking powder every time, unless you are trying to meter 800X through a .32 expander of course. :rolleyes:

JamieC
April 13, 2012, 05:38 PM
Get out your calipers and measure how much of a 'bell' you are putting on the case..005" is all there should be.

GLOOB
April 13, 2012, 06:32 PM
Look at the inside of the case necks for vertical scratches.

I have 6 different Lee pistol die sets. The quality on the expander finish is quite hit or miss. At least 3 or 4 were super rough, including the 9mm, especially.

I bet what you'll find is a rough expander, with lots of galled brass imbedded in it.

Just sand it down to remove the galling and smooth out the ridges. You don't need any lube, but you may need to repeat the process every blue moon if the expander picks up a bit of galling, again. Steel and brass are somewhat sticky to each other. Galling can occur at some point, especially if you clean the inside of your cases squeaky clean.

mike.h
April 13, 2012, 08:00 PM
My 9mm expanding die works pretty good. It requires a little more pressure then what I'm used to when doing .45acp. However I add polish to my media and tumble the brass until shiny.

So my question to the OP, do you tumble your brass with a decent polish?

MIke

kingmt
April 13, 2012, 11:32 PM
That isn't what the statement from Lee says. It says the expanded floats. I bet your over flearing & the die is ironing them back out.

I have 5 & none have ever been polished. They quit jurking when I learned to adjust them.

GLOOB
April 14, 2012, 03:40 AM
I bet your over flearing & the die is ironing them back out.
The die body squeezes the outside of the mouth of an overflared case just a bit on the way back down. But if you wanna see the die really catch, you need to get it stuck on the inside of the mouth. It can take more force to get a badly galled expander out of the case than it does to size the brass.

GT1
April 14, 2012, 04:32 AM
I bet your over flearing & the die is ironing them back out.
The expander die body ID is .400+. A flared case off my Lee expander is .380 OD. That's a lot of belling to get to .400. I'm not buying that one. The case never gets close to it.

kingmt
April 14, 2012, 10:01 AM
The expander die body ID is .400+. A flared case off my Lee expander is .380 OD. That's a lot of belling to get to .400. I'm not buying that one. The case never gets close to it.
It does on my .380 if just slightly over flared. It be done on the 9mm also but It does take a lot of flare. If it is jerking that hard then my bet is it is over flared.

Sorry for the typo earlier I was half asleep. Glad you figured out what I was saying.

Walkalong
April 14, 2012, 10:44 AM
It will grab worse the more flare there is, that's for sure. Polish it, double check the amount of flare, and all will be well.

Sport45
April 14, 2012, 11:04 PM
When the case is coming down from the expanding die it is very rough and feels like it is hanging or grabbing on something.

What is the condition of your brass? I get the same effect when using brand-new brass, but not on subsequent loadings.

Uniquedot
April 14, 2012, 11:36 PM
YOU gotta be kidding us, right ??

No, he wasn't kidding. Richard Lee said that was part of the design to make sure all of the powder clears the die. Kinda like the same function as a knocker on the Lyman drum measure.

rcmodel
April 14, 2012, 11:42 PM
Kinda like Mr. Lee doesn't want to spend the money to make the expander stop shaving brass and jerking too.

Old manufacturing rule:
Screw machine lathes produce more parts rougher cheaper the faster you run the cross feed on them.

Old sales rule:
Tell the customer it's an added feature and some of them will believe you.
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

rc

Uniquedot
April 14, 2012, 11:47 PM
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.


Or you can pretend to know more about an engineers own design so that people on a public forum think you are just really smart. :D If the engineer tells me that it is an added precaution to help guard against squib loads in one case and an overcharge in another, and if it makes sense then i believe him.

rcmodel
April 14, 2012, 11:49 PM
Yes, I can do that too.

Thank you!

It seems in the last 50 years of reloading, I sometimes do seem to know more then the engineers that were not reloaders who designed something for reloading.

At least I learned a smooth expander rod is better the a rough expander rod because it doen't wear brass shavings out of my cases every time I reload them.

rc

kingmt
April 15, 2012, 12:53 AM
I guess I'm dumb to this new design that jerks the table & wears brass out. My Lee dies must be defective because they don't do ether. The expander does float which would give a tap as it reaches the bottom of the die. Seems that was what the statement was saying. Then again maybe I just don't know how to set them up to get that added feature. I thought you should adjust them to get just enough expansion to get the bullet in.

Why does everyone blame there tools instead of learning how to use them.

GT1
April 15, 2012, 01:31 AM
Mine don't jerk anything nor do they wear any brass. There is just a light thump as the case is pulled away. My Dillon funnel expanders do the same as they are free-floating inside the tube also.

kingmt
April 15, 2012, 07:31 AM
GT1

We must have got a bad run.

rfwobbly
April 15, 2012, 08:50 AM
If the engineer tells me that it is an added precaution to help guard against squib loads in one case and an overcharge in another, and if it makes sense then i believe him.

But first I think you need to find out who was telling you that information: Mr Lee the engineer, or Mr Lee the salesman ?


Just an observation: Dillon also uses the "powder through" setup. The Dillon expanders I have are all polished to a mirror finish.

higgite
April 15, 2012, 09:13 AM
Next time ask the engineer if it's a patented feature. If so, and if it's a desirable feature, that would explain why other manufacturers don't do it. If it's not patented, then it would be interesting to hear the explanation of why one manufacturer feels the need to do it and nobody else in the world does.

dickttx
April 15, 2012, 10:20 AM
I got the bad ones too. All six of my handgun calibers just work.

kingmt
April 15, 2012, 01:14 PM
Lee says it floats & it taping the bottom of the die shakes the powder lose. I wish people would learn to read before passing misinformation around.

Uniquedot
April 15, 2012, 01:32 PM
Just an observation: Dillon also uses the "powder through" setup. The Dillon expanders I have are all polished to a mirror finish.
____________

And it doesn't take a highly skilled engineer to figure out that if you are polishing the inside and outside of the funnel mirror smooth that there is no need for the grabbing of the funnel to shake the powder through. All the usage you can muster isn't going to graphite the rough internal surface of the Lee expander, but Lee isn't charging you for a highly finished part either so the grabbing is necessary to insure the powder doesn't stick to the insides of the rough expander. I would assume that the user would be able to realize if the grabbing was too extreme and if so he/she could send it in for repair or break out a little elbow grease. Heck a lot of responders to this thread are so smart that they can read the mind of Richard Lee. They know that he said one thing when he meant another.

GT1
April 15, 2012, 03:26 PM
:D
I'll give credit to the reloaders, they are passionate about their craft.

If things work, fine, if they don't, get 'em repaired or replaced if you can't, change manufacturer. Whatever gives you zen.

Be safe, be happy.

bbuddtec
April 16, 2012, 07:40 AM
Reloading is zen, hehe, I feel like I'm doing some sort of sitting Tai Chi when I'm feeding my single stage. :D

zhd
April 18, 2012, 01:07 PM
I'll give credit to the reloaders, they are passionate about their craft.

If things work, fine, if they don't, get 'em repaired or replaced if you can't, change manufacturer. Whatever gives you zen.

Be safe, be happy.

I have a Lee Pro 1000 in .45 ACP. I had to tweak the hell out of it to get to work smooth enough for my liking. As of now it runs fine and I can deal with all the little quirks for the price. But I will never buy another one. Dillion will be my next venture. You get what you pay for...Cheap aint good and good aint cheap.

kingmt
April 18, 2012, 02:41 PM
I have a Lee Pro 1000 in .45 ACP. I had to tweak the hell out of it to get to work smooth enough for my liking. As of now it runs fine and I can deal with all the little quirks for the price. But I will never buy another one. Dillion will be my next venture. You get what you pay for...Cheap aint good and good aint cheap.

Just because you pay more doesn't mean you get more. So make sure you get what you pay for.

Why pay more for less. Just because there is a Craftsman sticker on a MTD that cost a few hundred more then the MTD at Walmart doesn't mean it is better.

I read about more problems with Dillon then I do with Lee & I doubt that is because there is more of them. When I read about a Hornady or Dillon problem the threads normally have all the posters saying they have the same problem or don't use that function. When a problem with a Lee tool is posted We try to teach the person how to use there tools if the Na Sayers would stay out of the way.

So would you like me to help you learn your press or do you want me to just wait until your kicking your Dillon to laugh at you?

I'm not bashing Dillon & have never used one of there tools. I have used only Hornady, RCBS, Lee, & a few others. I have picked Lee over the others. Not only because of price but operation. I am replacing other brands with Lee.

kingmt
April 18, 2012, 02:48 PM
I forgot about the problem with the Redding die. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=655087&p=8110197#post8110197

Does that make Redding junk? Maybe they should cost more so it will work better.

I've never used Redding ether so I can't say.

bbooker
April 19, 2012, 02:57 PM
We all get that you have a hard on for Lee, but seriously, get something better than that MTD. And yes, sometimes you do get what you pay for.

zhd
April 19, 2012, 03:02 PM
Just because you pay more doesn't mean you get more. So make sure you get what you pay for.



True, and with a Lee you get what you pay for.

Just because there is a Craftsman sticker on a MTD that cost a few hundred more then the MTD at Walmart doesn't mean it is better.



True but a Craftsman has a lifetime warranty, the MTD will quit in 3 years and you will have to buy another.

I read about more problems with Dillon then I do with Lee

Prove it

I'm not bashing Dillon & have never used one of there tools

Here's the problem, you can't compare a Dillion to a Lee. YOU'VE NEVER USED A DILLION. I have a Lee and have used a Dillion and let me tell you the difference is more than noticeable. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings about your Lee press, sorry you are so sensitive to that, but then again Lee presses are very sensitve as well. Look pal I own a Lee Pro 1000, it was given to me and it works fine, I have loaded thousands of rounds on it and figured out all the little nuances that goes along with any press, especially this one. I have also had a chance to load on a Dillion 650 and was blown away by the difference. I can assure you to those who can afford the Dillion it is well worth the investment, and for those who cannot (myself included) a Lee will do the same job, it will just take a different route to get there. Try a Dillion out and then repost, I think your feelings will change. For the record, I like my Lee cause it's what I got now.

kingmt
April 19, 2012, 04:32 PM
A Craftsman lawn mower is a MTD & there is no lifetime warranty.

You didn't hurt me. How could you I don't even know you.

I do like all of my Lee presses & all my other Lee tools. I'm no snob tho, I have a LNL AP & a RCBS press also along with other tools. The Lee presses are just better except for paint. I don't have a flaw in my Pro1000, Load Master, or Classic Cast. I believe the paint may be a weak spot but it hasn't came off yet ether.

The only reason I even care to post back to your comments is to put out the truth that there is good tools out there that can be afforded by most people.

As far as proving Dillon has just as many or more problems you can do your own search. I read these threads all the time. Why should I do all the work for you. You won't find as many threads but when you read one you will see the same problems repeated over & over. You also know how hard it is for someone to tell other people there Jag is in the shop again.

Most of the problems with the Lee tools is from new loaders that don't know how to use the tools but the bashers have to come in & trash the threads while those of us that know how to use them are trying to teach.

I have no need for a Dillon because my Lee is without problems. If I was offered a chance to load a few hundred rounds I'd try it but I'm not looking for one. I'll keep my Ford you have fun with you Jag. I'll enjoy all 3 of my fords that was the price of your one Jag.

I just spent $700 on a huge box of Lee tools just because I wanted them & my wife keep telling me to get them. I think a Dillon would have been in my means if I wanted one.

I'm also very cheap so I don't like buying something that I have to replace. I'd switch to all Lee dies if I wasn't to cheap to replace the RCBS dies that work fine.

Wow. Way to much typeing to do on a phone.

zhd
April 19, 2012, 05:03 PM
The Lee presses are just better except for paint. I believe the paint may be a weak spot but it hasn't came off yet ether.



I could care less about the color....I'm more about functionality.

As far as proving Dillon has just as many or more problems you can do your own search.

Guess you can't prove it...

You won't find as many threads but when you read one you will see the same problems repeated over & over.

As many as what? Lee? HA.

You also know how hard it is for someone to tell other people there Jag is in the shop again.



I would consider a JAG to be along the lines of a LEE myself

Most of the problems with the Lee tools is from new loaders that don't know how to use the tools

I totally agree with you on this point only

If I was offered a chance to load a few hundred rounds I'd try it but I'm not looking for one.

You would be after loading a few hunderd rounds, I garuntee.

I'll keep my Ford Theres the problem...You need a CHEVY!!!!

kingmt
April 19, 2012, 06:04 PM
I'm talking about color. I like Red but the paint itself isn't the quality or doesn't appear to be as nice as the RCBS or the Hornady.

I made my living for better then 10 years working on autos. I would have a Yugo before a Jag myself. I hated working on those things along with Benz & other over priced cars. I would have to say ether Honda or VW was the best engineered. VW was well engineered not best car. Kia is one nice car for the money except for a few models. I agree if you look at Ford as a whole there not that great but most of my picks come from the ford line. I like a few from the Chevy line. I worked for Toyota in production & I wouldn't own one now.

I just can't see where there would be any gain by spending more money on a Dillon since my Lee runs without problems. I set down & crack out a mag in 5 minutes. I could do 100 in not much more if I want & I don't run a press very fast. Some things I like to run differnt & make a mod but that would be with any press. I don't like my LNL powder measure at all & got a Pro Disk for the LNL AP press. Still undecided if I like that press.

My Pro1000 runs just as good as my Load Master. I don't have the problems that others post. I'm not crazy about the hand press but still impressed what it can do.

Like I said I'm not going to do the work of tracking down threads when you can do a search as easy as I can.

dickttx
April 20, 2012, 01:09 PM
I believe it is insecurity that leads people to jump on Lee threads and talk about them being junk compared to their Dillons. If I paid more for a caliber change than for an entire loading setup I would try to justify it too.
Don't know why they are even reading the Lee threads.

USSR
April 20, 2012, 01:45 PM
I forgot about the problem with the Redding die. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...97#post8110197

Actually, the only problem with the Redding die was, he was missing part of the die.:)

Don

kingmt
April 20, 2012, 06:02 PM
That was my point. A newbie that just need some instruction. It is the same thing with the Lee tools.

Lost Sheep
April 20, 2012, 11:09 PM
A Craftsman lawn mower is a MTD & there is no lifetime warranty.

And the warranty is what makes it worth the higher price (if you think it is worth it).

As far as proving Dillon has just as many or more problems you can do your own search. I read these threads all the time. Why should I do all the work for you. You won't find as many threads but when you read one you will see the same problems repeated over & over. You also know how hard it is for someone to tell other people there Jag is in the shop again.

I read a lot of these threads and find very few complaints about Dillon, but really, when someone asserts a something as fact, it is usually up to the claimant to provide his evidence, isn't it?
Most of the problems with the Lee tools is from new loaders that don't know how to use the tools but the bashers have to come in & trash the threads while those of us that know how to use them are trying to teach.

I think that a lot of people just think it is good sport to bash Lee. I don't have any evidence for that opinion, but it just seems to be the only explanation that doesn't involve envy

Check these two threads
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=481812
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=481894

Lost Sheep

Walkalong
April 20, 2012, 11:20 PM
Actually, the only problem with the Redding die was, he was missing part of the die.Yep, bushing dies won't work without bushings.

Some people mistake someones having a less that glowing opinion of a Lee product as bashing, and get upset and defensive. Stating that some Lee expanders are machined very rough and need polishing is a fact, not bashing. Polish them and they work fine. Actually, they work fine as they are, they just tend to grab the brass and jerk when pulled out.

kingmt
April 21, 2012, 07:44 AM
Lost sheep

There is no more warranty on the Craftsman mower then the one at Walmart. Actually Walmart will take it back if your not happy. They will even if you hit a stump & trash it. I have seen it. Sorry I have no proof I can post on here since I'm stating it as fact but your welcome to come see my zero turn mower that had one hour on it & I got it for less then half of there retail price.

I don't see anyone else offering proof to there claims. I'm just offering the knowledge. If you want to take it as truth without proving it to yourself, if you want to not believe without checking, or you want to search for your self. I don't care.

I would rather be helping the guy with the problem not doing thread searches. I haven't heard from him in a while tho so I assume he got it fixed.

Walkalong

Maybe they did need polished but the OP never told us. I believe he was just using it wrong. If someone is asking for help what good does it do to tell them you don't like there tool?

I don't care for my LNL AP so far but I don't bash it ether. I'll ether learn it & enjoy it or get rid of it.

blarby
April 21, 2012, 08:52 AM
if the Na Sayers would stay out of the way.

The truth, she's pretty sometimes.........

Walkalong
April 21, 2012, 09:56 AM
Walkalong

Maybe they did need polished but the OP never told us. I believe he was just using it wrong. If someone is asking for help what good does it do to tell them you don't like there tool?
I suppose he could have been using it wrong, but I wasn't addressing that. I never said I did not like the "tool" (die). I did say some of them come rough as a cobb and need polishing. That's a fact, not bashing. Obviously, according to posters, some come machined well enough not to need additional polishing. I never doubted or argued that. I cannot be responsible for what anyone else posts.

I'll admit, how it could be used wrong eludes me, short of having it screwed down too far.

icanthitabarn
April 21, 2012, 10:19 AM
None of my several Lee expander dies have ever had powder thru them. They don't seem to be doing anything at all. No sticking or shaking.

kingmt
April 21, 2012, 10:35 AM
Walkalong

I'm not argueing your point ether. I was agreeing it is possible. Mine are not rough. I have seen this same problem on here a few times & those good enough to post back has said that backing the die off fixed the problem.

Walkalong
April 21, 2012, 03:07 PM
Backing off the die will help if it is rough since less of the expander will be in the case neck, with less belling going on where the expander is pressing hard against the inside of the neck. Backing off will decrease the amount of pull needed to release the case from the expander. As long as backing off leaves enough bell to seat the bullet, all is well.

Polishing also helps.

I still use some Lee dies (Mostly sizers), but over time have done away with all my Lee expanders.

kingmt
April 21, 2012, 04:01 PM
If they are belled to the extreme it catches on the die body causing the jerk. Not just more then needed but really over flared.

Walkalong
April 21, 2012, 04:49 PM
it catches on the die body Yea, that would be over flared alright.

jacksgd
April 21, 2012, 05:44 PM
After reading some of this thread I went and polished the expanders on my Lee pistol dies.

What a difference it made!!! Smooth as silk coming off of the expander and now just a little shake as the expander sleeve hits the die body, just as it is designed to do.

I realy do not think that you can expand a 9 mm case enough so that it will drag on the die body when lowering the ram with the Lee expander die.

kingmt
April 21, 2012, 11:20 PM
I took some pictures the other day & posted them to a thread about a 380 die. I was using my 9mm die.

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