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Projectile wont fit in case!


Staff member
Premium Member
Don't know how many peps on here specialise in one or a few calibres but anyway whilst cataloguing the collection i must have 40 or so rounds that came with the cases they have been pulled from but won't go back in. The neck of the case needs to be evenly expanded to accept the projectile. This problem took me back to the days when i had a steamroller and had to re-tube the boiler. I used a tool from Wicksteed Engineering called a tube expander and a 30mm version turned up in the post today :) I can only recommend one of these if you have only one or two sizes due to the cost of a precision tool. This one expands from 28.22mm to 31.14mm and came in at 83.75 delivered! Expensive? Yes, but produces a perfect result. Wicksteed can be contacted on 01933 318555 if anyone’s interested. p.s. photo is a stock photo as i don't have a camera that talks to the computer with me at the mo.


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Thanks for posting this! You must be batman with all the cool tools! Having never worked on a boiler, I didn't know such a thing existed, but I was just thinking about how I wanted to do the same thing myself, except with larger cases.

No big rush, but sometime I would like to see some photos of it, so I can figure how it works, and maybe build one in a larger size.

There are two problems with cases being too tight, the problem you mentioned, and for larger cases, the stake marks where the case was crimped to the projo (at least some U.S. cases). The stake marks still protrude, and either need to be hammered or rolled out, so the projo will slide in. I was thinking of a powered roller, where the cases would be squeezed between two rollers. One of the rollers would be rotated, pulling the case through. You could rotate it as much as needed, tightening up the gap between the rollers, ironing the case, till it got big enough for the projo to fit.
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Will take some later today mate. Just popped home for lunch and just had to try it out. Well the result was better than perfect and to expand a 30mm case neck by about 1mm took 45-50seconds!!!! I then set my eyes upon one with a rim dent as so many Rardens have due to being expelled out of the front of the turret and in about 20 seconds a perfectly round rim :) Wicksteed were quite baffled when i told them what i was using their tool for and how good it performed lol

Awesome tool. I almost wonder if one could recover the cost of the tool by renting it out to locals or offering a neck expansion service?
For the bigger cases,Ive been using a exhaust pipe expander.The down side to that is that the two that I have are tapered and less refined when it comes to contact with the brass or steel.
Ok heres how it works.


1 Projectile won't fit in case.
2 Insert expander in case neck.
3 Incert mandrill into expander.
4 With spanner turn mandrill clockwise about 30 turns.
(the more the mandrill goes in the more the neck expands).
Remove mandrill and expander.
5 A perfict fit.


You can see the grid thing in the background. A camera attaches to the upright bit that goes up and down and it has 4 spotlights attached. I rescued it from a skip :)

All the best,



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Thanks Charlie!

Hey, when you are using the expander, does the piece that sits on top of the case mouth (with the three bolt heads resting on it) rotate as you turn the tapered mandrel into the center hole?

Does the expander take the stake markes out where the case was crimped to the projo?

can you shoot a couple of photos of that part, that goes into the case mouth? Maybe a photo without the mandrel installed and one with it installed to show what happens to the part that goes in the case.


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Hey John,

Yup, the expander turns as the mandrel (spelt it right this time lol) is screwed in.

It depands on the case and type of crimping as to how visable the crimp marks are after, but does a diamond job on dented rims.

Will take some more photos for you but it is basically three rollers tapered the same as the mandrel so they expand uniformaly as the mandril goes deeper.

I have two larger expanders from my steaming days in the workshop somewhere, will dig them out and see what dimensions they expand from / to.

So, when you turn the mandrel in the middle, the friction turns the rollers, and the whole thing rotates? What makes the tapered mandrel want to go deeper and push the rollers out?
That is one question i can't answer mate ??????? I have pondered over it for ages and all anyone can come up with is that the rollers are fractionally offset. Will ring wicksteed and ask them.
Hey Charlie, did you get a chance to ask the expander manufacturing people why the mandrel works its way into the rollers when turned one direction, and exits when you wrench it the other direction?