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Old September 14, 2010, 10:17 AM   #1
DogoDon
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Lee Auto-disk Alters Amount of Bell?

I've been PMing another member here about the Auto-disk, and we both seem to have independently verified that belling a case with and without the Auto-disk installed in the Lee powder-through expander die (with no change in position of the die) leads to different amounts of belling.

Specifically, when a case belled without the Auto-disk installed has a bell of about .002", a case belled with the Auto-disk installed will have a lot more bell -- as much as .015".

Is this a known issue? If so, what causes this difference? It's not a problem, as it just requires backing the die out a bit more with the Auto-disk installed, but I'm just curious why this would happen?

Or could I have something set up incorrectly? Thanks,

DD
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Old September 14, 2010, 10:25 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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The stem that flares the case slides up within the die so as to create an effective funnel when the powder is added.

Anything that is done to limit the travel of that stem will increase flare.

I assume that the auto disk simply screws in a bit father, or somehow extends lower, than the standard "plug" that would be used for the plastic funnel.

Certainly, there is that long metal tube on the auto-disk assembly that extends much farther down into the die that does the original piece. I don't know if that is the direct cause or not but it's clear that something simply stops the stem from going as high as it used to go.
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Old September 14, 2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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The PTE die position can vary between use with the powder funnel installed and with the Auto-Disk installed. First of all, with the powder funnel installed all you adjust for is the flare. With the Auto-Disk installed, you have to adjust the die to completely cycle the measure. I have never noticed any large difference in flare after adjusting for each and, if fact, I usually have the die set between just touching the shellplate and raising it 1/2 turn.
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Old September 14, 2010, 02:12 PM   #4
DogoDon
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Quote:
With the Auto-Disk installed, you have to adjust the die to completely cycle the measure.
Can you further explain this? I don't understand. Thanks,

DD
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Old September 14, 2010, 02:41 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Actually, cycling the measure is a bit of a side-effect of die adjustment.

The die has to be adjusted so that the stem that accomplishes the flare goes all the way to "full stop", otherwise the die won't flare at all, you'll just be pushing the stem up. A side-effect of that would be that the auto-disk measure would not fully actuate.

The "zero flare" position would be where the stem is raised to the "stop" point and the press ram is fully raised. Adjusted like this, the die would fully actuate the auto-disk but produce no (or almost no) flare. Any further adjustment of the die downward would produce more and more flare but would do nothing further to actuate the measure. Any adjustment of the die upward would actuate the auto-disk less and less and produce no flare.
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Old September 14, 2010, 03:05 PM   #6
snuffy
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Quote:
I've been PMing another member here about the Auto-disk, and we both seem to have independently verified that belling a case with and without the Auto-disk installed in the Lee powder-through expander die (with no change in position of the die) leads to different amounts of belling.
You ARE replacing the auto-disc with that aluminum collar that the die came with, right? The PTE die, as it comes from the factory, has that aluminum collar installed in the top of the PTE die. It is what stops the funnel/expander/flaring tube to allow a flare. Adjustment is simply screwing the die further down to increase the amount of flare.

I don't know if you can switch directly from an auto-disc to the collar and have the same settings. I doubt it!
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Old September 14, 2010, 03:24 PM   #7
DogoDon
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Quote:
You ARE replacing the auto-disc with that aluminum collar that the die came with, right?
Yes, I removed the collar (I think it may also be called a plug) from the top of the PTE die, and screwed the powder riser into the PTE die in its place. Then I put the Auto-disk on the powder riser.

DD
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Old September 14, 2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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Nope. I meant in the other direction. You said;

Quote:
Specifically, when a case belled without the Auto-disk installed has a bell of about .002", a case belled with the Auto-disk installed will have a lot more bell -- as much as .015".
That means, you're taking the auto disc off, then expecting the die to bell without replacing the collar. It can't be called a plug, since it's got a hole in it. The collar, or hollow nut, is what stops the powder funnel/expander/belling tube. Without either it or the auto disc on top, it won't even expand, let alone bell.
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Old September 14, 2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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I know the problem your tryin to work around , ya want the AD in a certain position ???

Get the swivel it`ll take care of that problem .

Now as far as the varying flare ya gotta adjust the die after securing the AD to the die & all will be cosistent , see v

Also some difference comes in on untrimmed brass.
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Old September 14, 2010, 09:25 PM   #10
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Can a plug have a hole?

Quote:
It can't be called a plug, since it's got a hole in it
It is called a "Funnel Adapter", but some other parts with a hole through them to allow powder to fall through are called "plugs" of various types and the presence of a hole is irrelevant. By the way, can a "hole" be called present? After all, it is the absence (not presence) of material that makes it a hole, right?

In this case, "plug" describes the object more than its function.

Is there any possibility that the spring (if you are using the spring instead of the pull-chain to return the AutoDisk to its "ready" position) might have something to do with the variation in belling. It shouldn't, if the die is adjusted properly (as described by peetzakilla). As snuffy points out, the proper position might vary depending on whether you have the Funnel Adapter, Swivel Adapter or the plain auto-disk without adapter and with or without the riser installed.

As long as your bell is consistent case to case with any particular setup, you should be good. If it varies within a given configuration, you have a problem and might consider contacting the technicians at Lee.


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Old September 14, 2010, 09:38 PM   #11
noylj
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I am basing what I write on all 3 of my Pro Auto-Disks.
All my Auto-Disks use the spring to cycle the measure, not that stupid chain. The chain creates a jerky action and I never use it. I also never use the actuator rod on my Dillon measures (rather, I use the two springs, as God meant for the measure).
I can not bring the Auto-Disks to the full forward position (so the charge hole mates up with the drop tube) without flaring the case.
In fact, my main complaint, if I had one, is that many times I would like more flare than get—at which point, I install an expander die at station 3.
If your Auto-Disk moves all the forward without the case hitting the flare/bell part of the expander/powder funnel, then you can rather easily load jacketed bullets with no flare and no crimp required.
I have never been able to do this, nor have I ever loaded jacketed bullets to even consider not flaring my cases.
Thus, with or without the Auto-Disk installed (meaning the powder funnel nut is attached), I almost always have the die either just touching the shellplate or no more than 1/2 turn off the shellplate.
My first impression from the OM was that the poster was either doing something wrong or being overly concerned about a slight over-belling of the case.
The important thing to do is load a couple of dummy rounds (no powder or primer) to verify that the die positions produce rounds that fit the magazine and cycle and chamber in the gun, and then, using a kinetic bullet puller, break one or two of the dummy rounds down to determine if the bullet has been swaged down or damaged during the bullet seating and crimping operations.
Do not get hung up on minutia until you have determined that all the basics are correct and there is actually something to be concerned about.
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Old September 15, 2010, 08:25 AM   #12
DogoDon
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Thanks for all the replies. I think I understand much better now how the PTE die works. The key I was missing is what snuffy pointed out:

Quote:
That means, you're taking the auto disc off, then expecting the die to bell without replacing the collar. It can't be called a plug, since it's got a hole in it. The collar, or hollow nut, is what stops the powder funnel/expander/belling tube. Without either it or the auto disc on top, it won't even expand, let alone bell.
I didn't put the collar back on when I took the Auto-disk off. Duh! Thanks!

DD
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:46 AM   #13
snuffy
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Quote:
I didn't put the collar back on when I took the Auto-disk off. Duh! Thanks!

DD
You're welcome. Glad I could help. That's experience talking, you'll get that after a couple more loading sessions, then you might be able to help others out.
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