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Old April 24, 2013, 06:42 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Need some BP Cartridge advice

I am going to get a lube sizer and the dies for the calibers I load.

I'll prolly wind up with a Lyman/Ideal 45, 450 or 4500. (I m lurking around eBay so I have to take what is available)

Question is:

Do RCBS dies work in a Lyman Lube Sizer press?


Do I need a specific die for a specific bullet, for example does the .45-70 405 grain bullet take a different die from the .45-70 535 grain bullet? Or is the primary dimension on the die the diamater? I am sizing the .45-70s to about .461 and I really could go up to .462. Do I just buy a .462 die?


I am loading .45 LC and using a .454 die from Lee. So should I assume that a .454 die from Lyman will do the trick?


Same question for .357.

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Old April 24, 2013, 09:02 AM   #2
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Doc: The body die would be the same, but you need a top punch to match the bullet style. Having seen some of your work on here, you would have no problem making one to match, as the stem in the seating die should match the tip of the bullet. I have the very old Lyman Ideal sizer and I use both Lyman & RCBS dies.
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:35 AM   #3
Andy Griffith
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If those are flat nosed bullets, one flat nosed punch will work for both.

If you google it, there is a chart that shows more or less which Lyman top punch numbers work best with regularly cataloged Lee bullet moulds (and some of their special "make up" bullet moulds too)

You'll have a lot of fun with blackpowder loads in cartridges!
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Old April 24, 2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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If you don't have a sizer now, and expect to move forward with sizing in other calibers and such, now is the right time to consider getting the Star sizer from Magnatec (sp)

The Star sizes and lubes in one motion. No need for a top punch either.

I wish I had gone with the Star sizer before getting my RCBS Lubrasizer. Nothing wrong with my RCBS, I just like the Star's design better.

You may find that if you size large .45 and small .45 bullets, you will have to change out the top punch for the different nose designs (no big deal really) plus you may find you have to adjust the depth of the the bullet into the die to get lube in the right places. I've heard of others using shot pellets to plug holes in the dies to force lube where they wanted. I've not had that issue but I've heard others have.
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Old April 24, 2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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I am only on the periphery of this one Doc.

I too have heard the Star/magantec lub/sizer is the way to go, but I don't own any of the above.

I have had to make a custom sizing die, I am using the Lee sizing die that fits in my single stage reloading press. My Redhawk seems to like cast bullets at about 0.453679". I bought a Lee .452, wrapped some sandpaper around a stick, stuck that in the die as an axle, rolled it back and forth on the bench, ran one bullet through, repeat as needed. Took about four tries, taking off just a little bit at a time, maybe an hour and I am golden now.

Now I buy "as cast" bullets, pan lube them, and then run them through my custom sizer die.
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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Regarding the 45-70: For lee dies, TrackOfTheWolf sells expanders of various sizes. You need an expander smaller than the diameter of the sized bullet. For soft lead bullets about .005 or .010 smaller. For hard cast bullets the expander could be like way smaller than the sized bullet diameter, like maybe .025 smaller.

I use .458 sized bullets in 45-70 (soft lead for low velocity rounds) and the expander I use is .457 (.010 smaller).

For high velocity rounds the lead bullets should be much harder (to prevent leading the barrel) and for those you need a tighter crimp on the bullet so maybe the expander is like 25 thousands smaller. Like a .458 expander and a .461 bullet (which is 30 thousandths smaller). The bullet will push into the brass neck and the narrow neck (30 thousandths smaller) will give it a tight grip. A tight grip on a soft lead bullet would deform it.

Track of wolf expanders for Lee dies:

Thread where a guru, Larry Gibson, is in the middle of telling how he reloads the 45-70 , explains the expander size, I think a .4585 expander and .461 bullets if I remember right...
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