9MM Expander Die for Cast Bullets

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Hartkopf

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What's your favorite expander die for loading cast bullets in 9mm.

I've been having problems with the bullet getting squeezed undersize, and no, its not from me over crimping. I pulled bullets that had not been crimped at all and they were undersize by .002. Currently using Lee carbide dies.

Anybody use 38 Special expander dies when loading oversized lead 9mm bullets (.356 to .357)

I'm fairly new to loading cast so fill me in if I'm way off in left field.:)
 
The Lyman M die is a two-step expander that might help.

But, I've loaded a lot of .358 cast bullets with a regular expander in both RCBS and Hornady and not had any issues. Both expanders will give .385+ flaring w/o problem. So, all you need to do is iron that flare out.

The old rule of thumb is to mic your neck wall thickness and times that by 2 then add in the bullet diameter. So, wall thickness of .012 x 2 = .024 plus .357 = .381 crimp. Using this method will keep you from "squeezing" lead down.

SAAMI chamber specs for 9mm show .381 as min dim, but I've not run into one that tight. If you look at the cutting allowances of +.004, you'll get a better picture of chamber dimensions. My standard 9mm crimp is .380 but I've gone out to .383 w/o problems. Test in your chamber to be sure.
 
The .38 die might work if you can adjust the expander that far down. I use a Lyman M die for 9mm. the NOE system also works well. I use it for other calibers.
 
Your brass might be an issue.
Nickel plated, certain brands (CBC) are very stiff and put more of a squeeze on your bullets.
I've used Dillon, Lyman M and Lee expanders with lead. All worked OK.
I use soft brass (Blazer) when loading lead.
 
You're not using the Lee FCD are you? I have been flaring with Lee powder through flaring die and expanding with a Lyman M die for my .357" and ,358" cast. I have also used a 30-06 case, a cold chisel head and a tapered brass rod/mallet. My 9mm alloy runs around13 BHN and I haven't experienced any swaging using mixed brass, some of nearly every 9mm brass available but a lot of Blazer Brass...
 
FCD!
Should have thought of that.
If you are using the Lee 'deluxe' 4 die set the FCD is your problem.
It 'post sizes' the rounds and will crush your bullets a bit.
 
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Lee FCD in 9mm will not swage your bullets. The 9mm Luger is a tapered case and the carbide ring in the FCD only touches the base of the case. If you were loading 40 or 45 or another straight wall case, this can be an issue. It was so bad on my 45 I cut the bottom of my FCD off, removing the carbide ring, making it a crimp die only.

I also vote for the Lyman M-die. The NOE setup is nice, but constantly changing stuff around is a pain. M-die is set it and forget it.
 
As I wrote in the OP, it is not my crimp die because I seated bullets without crimping, pulled them, and they were .002 smaller than they started.

I agree about brass being a possible reason and I tested that too. I used only thin walled brass like Blazer but it only helped a little.

The problem is my expander die which appears to only be "belling" the top of the case and not expanding the diameter to accept the bullet.
 
I know I voted for the noe system so let me clarify. Both systems work but availability is currently a driving factor. Get either one and the result is just as good. The second is cost. You want to make a slight adjustment in diameter, for 6.50 you can do that with noe. I dont even know if that's possible with the lyman. I will argue one is no better than the other and if your unwilling to do setups repeatedly you can just buy more lee universal holders and still be cheaper.
 
I know I voted for the noe system so let me clarify. Both systems work but availability is currently a driving factor. Get either one and the result is just as good. The second is cost. You want to make a slight adjustment in diameter, for 6.50 you can do that with noe. I dont even know if that's possible with the lyman. I will argue one is no better than the other and if your unwilling to do setups repeatedly you can just buy more lee universal holders and still be cheaper.

Yup, thats the way to do it. Lee expander dies are cheap. I like options :)
 
FWIW; I have used Lee dies for my 9mm for about 18 years and only recently, out of curiosity, used an M die. Better? Maybe, but no major improvement over my plain old flared cases. The 9mm is the only case I've tried an "expander" on and just flare my 3 other semi-auto handloads, with cast bullets (most 11-12 BHN). No problems. I seat all my bullets straight and shave none... (an "expander" opens up, expands the OD of a tube, in our case a cartridge case mouth/neck. My rifle dies expand the necks but I also flare many of them too.)...
 
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