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Discussion Starter #1
When I bought my 45/70 I purchased a new set of Lee 45/70 Gov dies.

To my surprise, there is no expander on the decapping pin or in the dies. Is this usual? if so how do you expand the case to except projectiles without running the risk of crushing the necks?

Currently, I am employing a 45 APC die to expand the throat.
 

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....Q. : there is no expander on the decapping pin or in the dies. Is this usual?
A.: yes, in straight wall cases_
one of the three dies, the one with the big hex on top, should work as expander, I mean that it should allow flaring the mouth of the case. the more the die is screwed in, the more it should flare the mouth_

(note that I said should, because in my .444 they work in a way that overall leaves something to be desired_ Currently, I am employing a .44mag. set, as aid, to to get some results : does it sound new? :mad:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Wiliecoyote, Yes I read this and tried it but if it bells the case I can't notice the expansion. I tried a projectile in it just to see and would be very skeptical about it working especially with such a thin-walled case. I have a set of 45 ACP dies and am using the expander from them and also thinking of using the crimping die from the same set.
 

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Mick, I'm sorry I can't help you better for now... I perfectly understand the mess to get by with the kind of homemade solutions above, even if we talk about different calibers, to the point that I also bought a Hornady set and I'm waiting for an Redding set_ then I will get back to work to see if I can solve it, or build a suitable expander to mount on a Sinclair universal die, because I don't feel like continuing to waste new cases with substandard or, al least, inconsistent with my expectation,.reloading operations _
(when I can, I will take care of posting at least a comparison)
 

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I am using Lee Pacesetter dies for my 45-70 and it is three die set. There is FL sizing die, bullet seater and powder through expander die. I bought also factory crimp wich usually comes with pacesetter set, but is replaced by expander for some calibers.

My dies works great, and if I adjust expander too low my brass would look like a trumpet. Maybe your problem works out if you try to screw the die lower?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have tried to move it down as described with the instructions but they just don't bell the case. Thanks though.
 

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Like Sapponen I have the Lee pacesetter dies and purchased the FCD. Mine work just fine and flare the mouth to any size that I wish. Maybe your powder expander die is missing parts?
 

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Does your die have the expander in it or is it missing?
820455



Also make sure that the expander is properly positioned in the die. You should hear it rattle when you shake the die.
 

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Are you trying to use Hornady cases from Leverevolution factory ammo?

If so, those cases are shorter than others and require Hornady dies to properly reload.
 

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I'm not sure about the Lee dies, but the standard RCBS dies has a simple "expander" much like the ones on the bottleneck rifle cases, such as 243, 308,30-06, etc. These are generally designed for use with jacketed bullets, and leave a lot to be desired for using cast projectiles. I solved the problem on mine by purchasing an RCBS Cowboy Expander unit (just the part inside, not the entire die). This gives you the ability to flare the case mouth as much as is necessary. As I recall the unit was less than $20.

It seems strange to me that die manufacturers don't include that option on their dies for rounds like the 45-70, as it is widely reloaded using cast bullets.
 

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Since I shoot cast bullets in many different calibers including bottle necked rifle rounds whose dies don't usually include a flaring die I bought a Lee Universal Neck Expanding die. Works on everything from 22 to 45 caliber. I used it yesterday to load some 425 grain cast bullets in 45-70. Midway has them for $15.
 

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I use the Lee 45-70 dies but also use a Lyman M die to expand and flare the cases. That along with a custom seating stem eliminates any alignment issues when loading.
 

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Marlin 1895 Guide Gun JM, Marlin 1895 45-70 22” JM
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Purchase a Lee universal case expander. I have a ton of the short hornady brass so this tool has come in handy for me. Also, your factory crimp die won’t work with hornady brass but Lee will custom make you a new one for pretty cheap. Good luck
 

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condolences from new Lee 444 relatives: different symptoms, but same disease
 

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Sorry to hear your dies has issues. I picked some brass from my trash bin and sized them. Then I left one of them alone and expanded two. My expander works great and I can use whatever bullet I want. Here is some pics, with TSX 300 gr and H&N TC 300 gr lead bullets.
IMG_20200726_184512565~2.jpg
IMG_20200726_184643985~2.jpg
 
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