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Lee dies.

 
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  #1  
Old 10-20-2012, 12:28 PM
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Lee dies.

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).
Cheers
Fred
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2012, 03:06 PM
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Re: Lee dies.

Bullet seating pressure should be the same if the necks were cleaned, lubed, sized, cleaned again and de-burred.

What kind of lube are you using inside the neck? I swab the inside with sizing wax and wipe a little on the outside of the case. If you are using one-shot or something the necks will all be different.

I have polished the inside of the neck area of the die and polished the decapping stem and it made a small difference also...

All the Lee dies I used worked just fine. Some of the worst dies I used weren't LEE's and are pretty popular although they worked fine after switching lubes and polishing the inside of the die.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2012, 05:04 PM
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Re: Lee dies.

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.
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:41 PM
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Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,596
Re: Lee dies.

"With the Lee dies, when I seat the bullet it always seems to require a different pressure to get the bullet in."

Well, the die is the same each time but the cases are not; perhaps your variation is from the case necks rather than the dies?


"Could some experienced loaders give their opinions on the quality/consistency of the Lee dies please. "

Yeah. All our die makers do good, if they didn't they would have gone out of business years ago. On average, Lee dies load ammo as well as anyothers.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2012, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 372
Re: Lee dies.

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.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2012, 01:50 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 13
Re: Lee dies.

Hi Guys,

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!!

Many thanks
Fred
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2012, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SD
Posts: 380
Re: Lee dies.

I think everybody that reloads should have some sizing wax if just to see how it works in comparison to other products.

It is all I use now because it is easy to control how much lube you use. 7-8$ for a lifetime supply. Read the reviews...

Imperial Case Sizing Wax 2oz

Sharp Shoot R Royal Case Sizing Wax 4oz Jar
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