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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hornady single stage, I made 50 bullets with new brass, shot once. Now I'm having problems with resizing, the bullet falls right down. I can push the bullet in and out my hand. I took the die apart, seems there is only one piece, (mandle) is this a neck die? do I need a full case die to tighten up the neck so the bullet does not fall in.
Thanx,
Mark
PS inside diameter is .309 and bullet is .308 Outside diameter is .342 at the flare and .339 at the mouth
 

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I have a hornady single stage, I made 50 bullets with new brass, shot once. Now I'm having problems with resizing, the bullet falls right down. I can push the bullet in and out my hand. I took the die apart, seems there is only one piece, (mandle) is this a neck die? do I need a full case die to tighten up the neck so the bullet does not fall in.
Thanx,
Mark
PS inside diameter is .309 and bullet is .308 Outside diameter is .342 at the flare and .339 at the mouth
Mark,

I'm not entirely sure I understand where you've gone awry, but if the bullets are falling into the case mouth, I assure you, you have! :)

It sounds like you didn't use the right die, or did not adjust it properly, during the resizing operation. Depending on the die set you ordered, it should have 2 or 3 dies. One will have a long stem, ending in a pin, that is used to remove the old primer while at the same time, resizing the case. The 2nd die would be used for seating new bullets in the case, after it is resized and a new primer installed. Please don't take this the wrong way, but is it possible you used the seating die in a failed attempt to resize the case?

If you don't have an experienced reloader to help you identify the problem, I would strongly suggest a book on reloading and a thorough review of the instructions that came with your dies.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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The resizing die will have an expander ball with a decapping pin that sits in the middle of the bottom opening of the die. With a full stroke of the ram bringing the casing all the way into the die, the case enters the tapered shoulder area and then the restricting hole of the neck sizer of the die. The case is brought back over the expander ball again (first time, the case neck was expanded by the firing of the cartridge and the ball easily enters the neck) to properly size the neck interior to offer a bit of resistance to the bullet seating. This is called neck tension on the bullet.

If you have set your die up properly according to the manufacturer's instructions and you still have a problem, you have an oversize expander ball. It can happen with the best of the die assembly line. Take a set of calipers or a miking gauge and measure the ball's diameter. Should read slightly less than the diameter of your bullets. If it is larger, notify the die manufacturer of the problem or you can carefully turn the ball diameter down on a drill press using emery paper until you get a diameter smaller than your bullet.

Are you saying you are neck sizing only?

Not sure why you are flaring (belling) the mouth of the case - that's only done with straight walled cases and using the flaring die of the 3-die set.
 

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Some terminology: I think what you are calling the flare is normally called the shoulder of the case. A flare is when you open the neck of a case up slightly at the mouth to allow a lead bullet seat without shaving lead off (though there are a few instances in which it is useful with jacketed bullets, too).

When you say "mandle", do you mean a mandrel? A rod that the neck is squeezed down onto? If so, this is either an RCBS X-die or it is a Lee Collet Die. The former is a full length die and the latter is a neck sizing die. If it is the latter, you have to adjust the die down until the shell holder pushes the bottom moving end of the collet up hard enough to squeeze the neck down. This takes some force and beginners frequently fail to push hard enough. The best way to learn how to set it up is to watch the Lee help video, here.

If this is not a Lee Collet Die, then you may have a conventional die with an oversize expander installed by mistake at the factory. This is not very likely, though.
 

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I have a hornady single stage, I made 50 bullets with new brass, shot once. Now I'm having problems with resizing, the bullet falls right down. I can push the bullet in and out my hand. I took the die apart, seems there is only one piece, (mandle) is this a neck die? do I need a full case die to tighten up the neck so the bullet does not fall in.
Thanx,
Mark
PS inside diameter is .309 and bullet is .308 Outside diameter is .342 at the flare and .339 at the mouth
Mate, you have me confused, but I'll try and give you some advice.

You cannot tell the difference externally from a neck and FL die, other than what is stamped on them, also, the internal parts are identical. The only way to tell is if the shoulder is getting touched by the die when it's set so the press handle cams over. Normally a 1/4 turn PAST the die touching the shellholder at full press travel will achieve this.
To test for this lube a case and try it in the die. If it's a neck die it will only touch the neck, if it's a FL die all of the body and shoulder will have been resized, it will leave tell tale machine marks on the brass.

When setting up your dies, they NEED to be turned a 1/4 turn past the point that they touch the shellholder when the ram is at it's highest, this takes all slack out of the press linkages.

Are you sure you have the correct calibre die? What is stamped on the die?
Are you setting the die up as described above?
Is the expander ball the correct diameter? For .308 cases it should be .305-.306 in diameter.
Hope this helps.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, the video helped, even though I have a Hornady press, it looks the same. I readjusted the the die and viola the
neck squeezed in I didn't have the mandrel in. I didn't want to pop the live primer. I think it's patience, i was rushing to make 50 bullets to go the range again. I try five at a time.
Anyway I do like this. solving problems
 

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Mark,

Glad to hear you got this mystery solved. I recently gave a friend a copy of the book "The ABC's of Reloading". You might want to pick something like that up, as a reference, when you run into problems like this.

Jason
 

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Marky
Glad to hear you got the problem fixed......

Unfortunately, using the die without the mandrel is going to result in inconsistent case mouth size and probably too much sizing of the case mouth. Taking the mandrel out to avoid de-priming is tempting, but remember, the mandrel is an essential part of both full-length and neck-sizing dies. Without it, there is no properly sized "stop" to the process.

If using a full-length sizing die, the die will close the case mouth tighter than the finished result, but then as Kdub explained, the mandrel is pulled back through the mouth, opening it back up to it's finished size. Without the mandrel in the die, there is no final sizing to the proper diameter.

A very similar thing happened to me just today. I was loading some .35Remington cases with some new Hornady RN bullets. All the cases were primed and charged, and ready for the bullets. The bullet slipped down easily into the case mouth! I realized that, last week, I had cleaned these cases and put them back into the case box, making a mental note to size them before loading. This "mental note" system doesn;t work well when senility is setting in!

I "fixed" my problem using the Lee Factory Crimp die. A time consuming, detailed process that taught me a good lesson...... Leave written notes on half-finished jobs! :D
 
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