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#7006081 - 12/21/17 05:36 PM Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not?
Big Fitz Offline
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Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 2306
Loc: Prosper, TX
I've been reading where some don't use the expander ball when using bushing dies. Kinda makes sense to me but not sure. Thoughts from those who are using bushing dies?
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Originally Posted By: syncerus
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#7006159 - 12/21/17 06:33 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Chuckw Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 257
Loc: tx panhandle
to me, an expander ball defeats the whole purpose if a bushing die. if you use one, it is setting your neck tension and not the bushing size.

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#7006242 - 12/21/17 07:22 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 22817
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: Big Fitz
I've been reading where some don't use the expander ball when using bushing dies. Kinda makes sense to me but not sure. Thoughts from those who are using bushing dies?


Have not really worried about it.
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#7006254 - 12/21/17 07:29 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Hunter80 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 379
Loc: DFW
Good topic I’m currently trying to decide if I want to go with a bushing sizer or not. I know I want to FL size my brass every time but not sure which die I want to use for my 6.5 yet

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#7006262 - 12/21/17 07:34 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Judd Online   content


Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 11529
Loc: Sachse, TX
First thing I do is pull the expander. It screws up the sizing your bushing just did.
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#7006332 - 12/21/17 08:33 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Judd]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11932
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: Judd
First thing I do is pull the expander. It screws up the sizing your bushing just did.


^^ Exactly.
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#7006338 - 12/21/17 08:37 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Big Fitz Offline
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Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 2306
Loc: Prosper, TX
Thanks. Makes sense but just wanted to get confirmation from those who have been down this path.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: syncerus
I prefer to think of myself as a control enthusiast. wink

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#7006342 - 12/21/17 08:40 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11932
Loc: Lewisville, TX
When you get a set of bushing dies, it should have a replacement plug (or whatever you call it) that replaces the expander ball, so you don't expand the neck out after the bushing. I know Redding and RCSB have these plugs.

Just make sure you have enough neck tension on the bullet. And, don't seat the bullet touching or jamming into the lands this way. I have seen guys pull the bolt back on a loaded round, and the bullet stick in the rifling during a competition, and the rifle is out of commission until you remove bullet and spilled powder, which is a PITA.

KISS= Keep it simple. I stopped messing with the neck only sizing with light neck tension and such. Ammo will shoot just fine with a FL size or partial bump with .003"-.006" neck tension (or more in some cases) with a FL size.
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#7006355 - 12/21/17 08:49 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Big Fitz Offline
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Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 2306
Loc: Prosper, TX
Thanks Chad. My Redding and Whidden dies do have them. Now that I've learned this final secret, I'll be competing with Judd with my mega-accurate 6. aim
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Originally Posted By: syncerus
I prefer to think of myself as a control enthusiast. wink

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#7006366 - 12/21/17 08:55 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11932
Loc: Lewisville, TX
You bet, Tim! The name of the game is consistency. Keep everything the same, and the ammo will be consistent. The case prep is a key factor (and my least favorite!!).
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#7006393 - 12/21/17 09:09 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Hunter80 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 379
Loc: DFW
Thanks for the info guys! Can ya'll point me toward a good micrometer seating die and a good FL sizing die? I don't think I want to mess with bushing dies unless I can be convinced I need to. There are a lot of options out there so I'm looking for someone who's been in the game a lot longer than me to tell me exactly what dies they recommend. This will be for my 6.5 creedmoor.

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#7006462 - 12/21/17 09:42 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11932
Loc: Lewisville, TX
^^ You can load some great match grade ammo with a standard FL die and regular seating die. The micrometer seaters are nice, but not needed. When I first started shooting comps, I loaded 300 WM ammo with a 1960's model CH Tool and Die press, FL dies, and an old balance beam. With the powder charges very consistent, it would shoot 1000 yards no problem. I find myself going back to keeping things simple again, and not messing with all the high end reloading techniques. (but then again, I shoot a TON of 308!!).

I prefer the regular Hornady dies. They have a nice tear dropped expander ball that I really like. The RCBS and Redding dies are more square at the bottom, and will sometimes catch on the lip of a case and damage it. Hornady seater dies are great to use. I love the hand adjustable seating adjustments. RCBS you have to use pliers and screw drivers to make adjustments, which slow me down and are annoying.
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#7006484 - 12/21/17 10:03 PM Re: Bushing Dies - Use Expander Ball or Not? [Re: Big Fitz]
Hunter80 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 379
Loc: DFW
I've been using Lee dies in my .308 and with my very methodical approach I'm making some fantastic loads that shoot very well. I'm not entirely sure why I don't just buy a set of Lee dies for the creedmoor and call it good. It's probably because I have a hard time leaving well enough alone

I might try the hornady route

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