Seating hard cast RIFLE boolits ???

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Contributing Member
Dec 24, 2002
I still consider myself fairly new to reloading, with lots to learn. I've been reloading Missouri Bullet hard cast lead projectiles in straight-walled handgun cartridges for some time now with great success. It's fairly easy to flare the case mouth of a .357 or .44 mag case to start the bullet, be they hard cast lead or jacketed.

What do you do with bottle-necked rifle cases? I don't recall reading anywhere about dies to flare the mouth of such cases. Are there any special procedures to follow when seating hard cast lead boolits in rifle cartridges? Inquiring minds want to know.

The Lyman "M" die or the Lee universal expander will do the job, but even a tapered punch will work in a pinch.

I made my own "M" dies many years ago, but more recently bought the Lee universal expander. I was a bit skeptical that the Lee tool would work, since it doesn't expand the neck at all, it just applies the mouth flare. I feared it would shave lead or deform the cast bullets, but was pleased to find that it works great.
Thanks! I'll do some research on the Lyman and Lee tools. Now that you mention it, I do remember hearing about the "M" die somewhere along the line.
Well, I have to say I haven't needed to flare any case necks in 7.62x39mm to seat cast lead bullets. They do all right in the 527M, not so great in the vz-58.
I bought a Lyman M die for 30 caliber, but I use The Lee universal expander die for all my other rifle rounds. In theory I like the long neck diameter plug of the Lyman, but the Lee seems to be just as good in practical use, at least with 8X57 and 35 Whelen.
I flare.

Most of the better loads i've come up with based on MBC rifle bullets in .30 cal have been seated fairly adjacent to the crimp...if not right on it.
blarby, what .30 cal MBC bullets have you used in your rifles? I'd be interested in hearing what loads you have come up with. Thanks.
I swapped the expander/decapper in my Lee 30-30 dies for one from a 303 Brit die. I also use the Lee expander die and flare in the case mouth. I flare it just enough to sit a cast bullet in the case. The system works really well. I load .312" diameter bullets in my 336, so I needed a larger expander.
I use these :

#1 Whitetail
.309 Diameter
165 Grain RNFP
Brinell 18
For .30-.30 Lever Guns
Price per box of 250
Price: $27.00

I had Brad size them to .311 Not sure what size they fall out of his magnacaster, but his sizing ring is right on...

I tried a few different loads and tweaks.

I use a lee flaring die.

The one I just used again today was that bullet over 20.5 gr of H4895, loaded to a length of 2.510, with a CCI LRP. This load was originally horrible for me, it was literally a matter of going from 2.530 to 2.510. that 2 thousandths of an inch into the rifling changed a 24" monster puddle maker into a 9" pie plate buster. The physics on this one eludes me......

A side note or two on flaring for lead :

1. Interior chamfering is less important for seating, as you are flaring the whole case mouth....that little chamfdivot isn't doing much..... I still do it for de-burring purposes.

2. a Lee FCD functions remarkably well for reducing a flared case mouth containing a lead bullet. As a handy bonus, it crimps your round :)

If you search by my name, and LEAD in the search box, you'll find a bunch of interesting stuff all of us have been up to in the .30-30 lead department.

Helpers to really look for : Arch, and Jech for sure......... Haven't seen Jech around in some time though. ( Not to disparage anyone who has helped me along the way, but those two names ring out the loudest)

I'd be happy to help ya anyway I can... you've managed to stumble on somethin i'm decent at :)
Hey folks,

For more than fifty years I have been loading my own gas checked hard cast bullets in bottle necked rifle cases without the need for any tool to flare the case mouth. When I first started, a Lyman "M" die seemed pretty expensive, so I tried using my case mouth chamfer tool to put a very smooth bevel on the inside of the case mouth and very lightly smooth the outside.

When I tried to seat my first .30 caliber gas checked Loverin design cast bullet in a chamfered case mouth, I raised the ram very slowly and lowered it as soon as it felt like the bullet started in the case mouth. Sure enough, the bullet entered the case without any problem. I finished seating the first bullet and continued slowly seating several more cast bullets. After seating the first half dozen or so bullets with no problems, it was pretty clear that one could easily seat gas checked bullets without flaring tools if one is willing to prepare the case mouths with careful chamfering.

While I first started this practice with .30 cast bullets, I also did the same thing with 6MM, .25, 8MM, and .45 caliber rifle bullets. I used Loverin design bullets in all of those calibers but the .45 which actually resembles a Loverin design with a flat nose for my .45-70.

I also do the same thing with pistol bullets that wear a gas check. Avoiding the repetitive flaring and crimping of the case mouth saves wear and tear on same. When using cast pistol bullets which do not wear gas checks, I do flare the case mouth slighty to facilitate seating. Even with plain base bullets, I try to use as little flare as possible. Chamfering the case mouths on these cases helps to seat these bullets with the minimal amount of flare.

It really does work. Once you chamfer the case mouth once, you do not need to do it again unless you have cause to trim them again in the future.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
For more than fifty years I have been loading
Gangsta ! All of us should be so lucky !

Gas-checked and flat-based rifle round seating varies greatly.

He's acknowledged the fact he's newish. Mebbe a little flare instead of a pile of shaved up lead to start ? Once he's "mastered the ram" and found that magic sweet spot for centering the lead in his cases, perhaps.
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RCBS makes specialty case mouth expanding dies for this application.
I'm looking to build some plinking rounds for a Remington 760 carbine in .308. No "reason" to speak of, but I've been having great fun with lead bullets over Trail Boss in my .357 and .44 mag revolvers and rifles (Marlin 1894c in .357, Ruger 77/44 in .44), so thought I'd take a shot at building some plinking rounds for my .308.
I use the Lee Universal expanding die. Read some guys just roll the tip of a closed pair of needle nose pliers inside the case mouth very slightly to accept the base and prevent shaving when seating.
Bula, I've actually done that just to straighten out slightly out-of-round brass before sizing. Never thought of that as a way to flare a case mouth. I just ordered a Lee Universal, but might give that a try sometime, just to see if it works. Neat idea; thanks.
I shoot a minimum of about 1000 .30 caliber rifle bullets per year (High Power) not counting plinking and load development. I use the Lee die and it's worked on the .223 as well as all my .30 caliber cartridges. My primary load I use in my 7.5x55mm for our local HP matches is a 155 gr. flatpoint plain base that I cast. I use just a touch of flare to the case mouth, NO crimp, ever...just a little bump in the seating die to iron out the flare.
In this same rifle I also shoot a gas-check bullet and then use a little flare. In fact, I guess I use flare in all the cartridges I load cast bullets.

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