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Lee Collet Die not sizing

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  #1  
Unread 04-09-2011, 04:05 PM
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Lee Collet Die not sizing

Hi everyone,
About a month ago, i posted my brass wouldnt necksize back and the consesus was that the brass was work hardened and it needed annealing. Well, i tried annealing this brass (Fed Brass, .308 Win 3x fired) and still had the same results (no neck tension, zero, zip, nada). I decided I didn't anneal the brass right and loaded up some new Winchester Brass that I had neck sized months ago but had not yet used. Went to the range last weekend and used those new cases.
This week, I decided to reload those 1x fired Winchester cased and ran them through my Lee Collett die. Decided to spot check them before I commeted primers to it (placing a bullet on top of the case to see if it will have tension when I do seat the bullet). Well, I have again no tension as I can Easily push in and pull out a bullet.
I have never done anything to this die other than set it and use it. I have only ran about 500 or so cases through it.
What could have happened to this die? Do I need to just buy a new die?
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  •   #2  
    Unread 04-09-2011, 05:55 PM
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    Re: Lee Collet Die not sizing

    Make sure the die is adjusted down far enough to make full contact with the shell holder, as the collet will not squeeze the case neck unless the case is all the way up in the die. If that doesn't work, try a different shell holder. Beyond that, I would just call Lee tech support and see what they say.
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      #3  
    Unread 04-09-2011, 06:48 PM
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    Re: Lee Collet Die not sizing

    You may just need to take the die apart and clean it. It could have something, piece of brass etc. fouling up the works. If it worked once upon a time then it most likely is some foreign body stuck in the works.
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      #4  
    Unread 04-10-2011, 12:04 PM
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    Re: Lee Collet Die not sizing

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sambo3006 View Post
    Make sure the die is adjusted down far enough to make full contact with the shell holder, as the collet will not squeeze the case neck unless the case is all the way up in the die. If that doesn't work, try a different shell holder.
    I have a .223 Lee collet sizer, never did like it, but thought I would try your suggestion. With WW brass, and making full contact with a RCBS #10 shell holder, it does not size the neck enough to grip a .224 bullet tightly.I returned to using my Redding Type S die with a .239 bushing and was able to finish the batch.

    How the devil would a different shell holder change anything?
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      #5  
    Unread 04-10-2011, 05:37 PM
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    Re: Lee Collet Die not sizing

    Some shellholders are too thick and won't let enough of the case go into the die.
    I saw a video from ammosmith on collet dies, he sanded one part of the collet and put a tiny bit of grease on it. I don't have a set just going off what I saw.
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      #6  
    Unread 04-11-2011, 09:26 AM
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    Re: Lee Collet Die not sizing

    The collets can get dirty and/or jam. You need to take it apart as previously suggested and clean it.

    While doing so, study how it actually functions.

    Upward pressure from the shell holder is what forces the collar over the collet to squeeze the neck.

    More downward travel against the shell holder equals tighter compression against the neck.

    You can keep adjusting it downwards until you completely close the collet and squeeze the neck as far as possible.

    However, by that time, you're about to make contact with the case shoulder which will crush the shoulder.

    If you're making contact with the shoulder, haven't completely closed the collet, and still need more neck tension, then you need a washer, spacer, or taller shell holder to make contact sooner with the bottom of the die.

    Neck turning is another variable that would require you to squeeze down farther on the collet.

    Hope this helps.
    --- richard
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      #7  
    Unread 04-11-2011, 12:20 PM
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    Re: Lee Collet Die not sizing

    With the Lee Collet Neck Die, IF you put the proper pressure on the press lever (about 20#) the case necks will get sized down as far as they can get.

    IF you put massively excessive pressure on the lever all you will get is the top cap of the die stripped up and out of the die body.

    Nothing will be gained by any changes to the shell holder.

    Last edited by boomtube; 04-11-2011 at 12:30 PM.
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