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Discussion Starter #1
In June I purchased a new set of Redding 45/70 reloading dies.  I posted here last month with a question concerning my 45/70 resizing die and you guy's supplied me the answer I needed.  Additionally, my set was shipped with the incorrect neck expanding plug in the expander die and Mr. Kurt Nelson of Redding mailed me the correct replacement part - I would like to thank him for his timely response to my problem.

Now I have another technical question that concerns the expander die.  How far into the case does the neck expanding plug need to go?  I have resizied my cases using the Redding sizing die and then trimmed my cases to the "trim to" length using a Lee hand held case trimmer set.  Now, I find I am having to "expand out" all of that top portion of the brass case that the resizing die sized down (approximately the top 3/8" of the case) in order to expand the case enough for a bevel-based lead bullet sized at .458" or .459" to start without shaving lead.  The Redding neck expanding plug has an initial bevel then a straight section that measures .457" in diameter before stepping up to another, wider bevel.  I am using up most all of the .457 diameter portion of the neck expanding plug (that is; it is inserted completely into the case).  I have not quite reached the second bevel.

Let me know if I am correct in my method.  The Redding dies are unlike the other brand I have used (Hornady) - I am just on unfamiliar ground here.

Thanks, Odessa
 

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Let's see.
I've got the same die set you have, but have not used the Redding expander die. I use the Lyman M die that I've been using since the 70s. Long ago I chucked the expanding portion of my die into a power drill and used emory cloth,then crocus cloth,to reduce the diameter of the expander that goes down into the case. I left the belling portion alone and only reduced the part that goes down deep into the case.
Plus polishing the shank reduced any drag going down or coming out.
My suggestion is to drop the expander into the case until you get a small belling to the mouth of the case and no more. This should solve and shaving problems and still give you case life and a tight grip on the bullet.
Jim
 

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I like Jim's suggestion.  I too use the Lyman "M" die, or the RCBS equivilent I have both, and use them in different applications, but the dies mentioned here will give the proper case mouth flare, without unduly expanding the body of the case.  In this way you not only don't shave lead, but you retain the very tight grip on the bullet from the unexpanded case.  It aids in creating uniform start pressures and can make quite a difference with some powders.   Too, the "M" type die also facilitates very straight bullet seating with cast pills... a plus in anyone's book!

You aren't doing anything wrong with the Redding dies, they are superb, just go ahead and run the expander plug down into the case until such a point as there is sufficient flaring of the case mouth that the bullets may be seated without shaving lead.

Let us know how you make out with your .45-70 loading!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guy's.  I went ahead and loaded the ammo; the finished rounds look great.  The Redding bullet seater die sure has a nice crimp section built into it.  Odessa
 
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