Hi, I've recently bought some Lee dies for my new 30-06. Previously for my 25-06 I was using RCBS. With the Lee dies, when I seat the bullet it always seems to require a different pressure to get the bullet in.
Could some experienced loaders give their opinions on the quality/consistency of the Lee dies please. And, if they're no good, please recommend good brand(s).
What kind of Lee neck size die . Collet or Expander ball type ?
If using a Collet die then you may not be getting a good size down to the mandrel and some are larger inside than others. Rough or dirty inside necks , inconsistent neck hardness and or thickness. Inconsistent inside neck chamfer
If using an Expander ball type die then , poor and or inconsistent inside neck lube , rough or dirty inside necks , inconsistent neck hardness and or thickness.
Inconsistent inside neck chamfer .
Polish up the inside of the case necks with an old worn bore brush wrapped with a small amount of fine steel wool. Chuck it in a battery operated screw driver.
For an expander ball type die buy some Moly powder and Fine Graphite and mix 50 50 .
Polish up the outside of the neck with fine steel wool . Rub your fingers around the case neck , dip it in the powder , tap it to remove excess .
After a while it will coat up the die .
For the collet die no lube is required but clean and polish as above.
What brand of brass are you using? If you are using remington brass, OR if the brass has been previously fired, OR if it needs to be annealed. Any of these could cause the issue you are having. Some of it could be "springing back" after you size it, necks could be a little thick on some, could be from different lots or different brands (of course you would know if this was the case but you didn't say so I have to ask). Remington brass is inconsistent in my experience, especially if from different lots, often from the same lot. Did you chamfer each case the same amount? I don't think it is your dies. I have had this problem but always from one of the above causes. The die is one size all the time, it will size the outside of the case the same every time. If you have spring back then your brass is going back to near it's original dimensions after you run it through the die, Annealing could help. I would first take a look at the brass. If it were the die the issue would be the same every time.
One other thought though that just came to me and COULD be your die. The seating die could be loose or you could have an issue with the seating stem. wrong stem or something to that effect causing your bullets to no sit straight. You could check that out. If so they will replace it for you.
Firstly I'd like to thank you all for your prompt and detailed responses - very much appreciated. And Boomtube, I am sorry that I clearly offended you, I had no intention of doing so.
I am using Federal Brass that was factory loaded then fired in my rifle, this batch is the first reload. The dies that I am using are Collet and the lube is RCBS Case Lube-2. I can now see where I must have been going wrong - not being careful/meticulous enough when preparing the cases. How foolish of me!
CogburnR, would you recommend I buy some sizing wax or is the RCBS lube sufficient in your opinion?
Since writing my original post last night I have tested the ammo today. I Loaded 3 lots of 3 rounds with 3 different powders, all other variables equal. The results were;
1) H380 54.0gn = 1.2" group @100yds.
2) IMR4895 49.0gn = 0.25" group @100yds
3) Reloader15 47.0gn = 0.25" group @100yds
Unfortunately my Chrony ran out of batteries so I didn't get any MV results - man that pissed me off!!