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Lyman Carbide Expander - Review

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jesse Heywood, Apr 29, 2020.

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  1. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Recently purchased this product for use in RCBS .300 AAC dies. Brass is once fired, converted from .223 cases selected for uniform wall thickness. Lubed with Frankford Arsenal spray. Sizing was hard. Case stuck and was driven out with hammer and punch. Case shoulder was collapsed.

    expander.jpg

    (left to right) Case sized with Lyman carbide, case sized with RCBS expander, unsized case.


    stem.jpg

    Top: Lyman expander. Bottom: RCBS expander.

    Lyman: Stem diameter .187, expander diameter .308.
    RCBS: Stem diameter .248, expander diameter .306.

    The expander does not work with the RCBS die. Since the ball is carbide coated, it cannot be sanded to reduce the diameter. I do not have Lyman dies to compare.
    :thumbdown::thumbdown:
     
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    - case sticking is all-but-universally a lube problem. Spray lubes other than alcohol/lanolin are notoriously sensitive to application technique.
    - that sizing was hard is another pointer to lube. Start there.
    - I don't see a collapsed shoulder, but it does look a bit undersized. That would indicate a die problem, but I'm not convinced.
    - the carbide ball is solid, not coated. You could reduce it's size, but it's almost certainly not the problem.
     
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  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Agree. My experience with spray lubes and rifle cases has been dismal. You need a better lube, try RCBS water soluble or Imperial sizing wax. Kiwi mink oil has the same texture as Imperial sizing wax and sizes equally well. It might be the same stuff, it is not an oil, it is a grease.
    91iGpIaBhJL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

    You have to feel sorry for all the little minks they put in a hydraulic press and crush to harvest the oil. LOL!
     
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  4. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I stumbled on Mink Oil Cream (yeah, poor minks) about 30 years ago. IIRC I read about using it for case lube in a magazine and when cruising through a Walgreens, I saw some and picked it up. I have used it exclusively for sizing my 44 Magnum brass up to 303 British and all the rifle cartridges in between, Never had a stuck case nor any "lube dents" on my brass...
     
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  5. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    You're sizing 44 mag brass to 303 British? How exactly does that work?
     
  6. mdi

    mdi Member

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    First ya gotta anneal it very soft. Then a lengthening die is used to stretch the case to 2.300", I use my Smart Reloader lengthening die. (brass choice and a good lube are very important here). Sometimes it is necessary to run the case through the rim expanding die increase the rim diameter to .540", but mostly for use in a pre 1930 rifle which uses a .00157" larger rim, I still have a Herters rim die. Then the neck die, trimming, and a filler loaded over 29.7 grains of Bullseye for fire forming. Yep, it is easier to just buy 303 British brass, but what's the fun in that? (my last count was around 2,343 cases done on my Lee hand press). :rofl:
     
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  7. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I tried again using mink oil as prescribed by @Slamfire. I couldn't find my Imperial. The only change was that the case didn't stick. Did shoot more pics with my DSLR, they are much clearer. Case length with the Lyman ball is 1.345 and 1.360 with the RCBS expander.
    side.jpg
    shoulder.jpg
    L-R Lyman with FA spray, Lyman with mink oil, RCBS expander sized, unsized. The shoulder is collapsed with the Lyman carbide ball. Case length is 1.345 with the Lyman ball, 1.360 with the RCBS expander.
     
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  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I used to feel guilty about all the mink's that had to die to make a can of Mink Oil, but I got over it. :D

    Glad it worked. :thumbup:
     
    Jesse Heywood likes this.
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