Powder Through Expander Die

country_boy

TGT Addict
Feb 7, 2009
3,631
63
Round Rock
Im kind of confused on how this die is used. I have a 5 piece lee carbide die set for 357 magnum and 38 special, and it has the die expander with the yellow powder scoop.

Do I need to use this die if im using the lee perfect powder measurer?
Im not using the yellow scoop method.
 

Kerbouchard

Member
Jun 18, 2008
133
16
Dallas
No, if you purchased the powder measure accessory, you do not need to use the scoop. Until you have it fine-tuned, you should use a scale to measure your powder weight to make sure it is correct and not deviating from your load tables.

If you use a dryer sheet to clean your automatic measurer, you can reduce the initial static cling and improve consistency.

The yellow scoops come stock and are not entirely accurate because the scoop size needed will depend on the powder type you use. They are perfectly functional, but slower, once you decide which ones you need.

If you are already reloading, I would hope that you have checked your charges with a good scale. If you haven't been, I would invest in a bullet puller and start over. Just my .02.
 

Kerbouchard

Member
Jun 18, 2008
133
16
Dallas
Yes, you need the expander die. The expander die is designed to expand the cartridge case of previously fired rounds and drop the powder charge in one step. If you are using the scoop, you do not need to load the powder charger.

The powder through expanded die was an innovation of Lee's to do two steps in one. It gives you the proper case diameter and drops the powder charge in one step.

I am confused about the 5 piece die set, though, that you mentioned in your OP. All of the Lee sets I know of come with a 4 piece set. What type of reloading press are you using and what type of dies did you receive?
 

country_boy

TGT Addict
Feb 7, 2009
3,631
63
Round Rock
oops sorry about that, I was thinking of my set of lee dies for reloading 7.62 x 25 tok. That includes the lee 3 piece steel set, a lee 38 super sizer carbide die, and the factory tok crimp die.

 

Kerbouchard

Member
Jun 18, 2008
133
16
Dallas
I don't know if I have answered your question yet, but if you have any other questions, please ask, or have somebody you know who reloads come look at your set up. When you are new at it, it's best to check and recheck everything. Make sure you have a good scale and a good set of calipers. Check your charges and your over all length regularly. There is nothing quite like firing your first batch of reloaded rounds.

Best of luck in your reloading. It's a great hobby. It won't save you any money, but it will let you shoot a lot more for the same amount of money.
 

res1b3uq

Active Member
Feb 14, 2009
336
16
If you are weighing your loads, the Lee funnel fits into the top of the expander die, and you can pour the powder in there.
 

The_Vigilante

Member
Jan 2, 2009
52
6
Far West Texas
To improve the accuracy of your Lee Powder Measure, use a powder baffle. You can buy an RCBS Powder Baffle for around $7.50 or you can use a 1/2" x 2" Fender washer (in the bottom of the powder measure).
 

noylj

Member
Jun 18, 2011
94
8
arizona
OK, first, you HAVE to use an expander die. You need to expand the case ID over the length that the bullet will be seated so that the case ID is no more than 0.002" smaller than the bullet diameter (and 0.001" is ideal). If you don't, the bullet will seat crooked and you will get a case bulge where the case wall is thinnest. If you are using lead or plated bullets, you can also swage the bullet down in diameter. Thus, even if you ARE NOT using the powder-through part of the die, you still need to use the expander part.
If you are using a powder measure off the press, then you also could put a Lee powder funnel on the "powder funnel" part of the Lee PTE die so you would be using the powder-through operation of the die--unless you are charging the case using the measure's spout.
You need to resize/deprimer, prime, expand the case to proper ID for the bullet, flare/bell the case mouth, charge case, seat bullet, and crimp. The PTE die incorporates expanding the case, flare/belling the case mouth, and charging the case with powder in one operation. Some people also incorporate seating and crimping in one operation, but I never liked that.
 

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