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Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

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  #8  
Unread 05-16-2009, 03:11 PM
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Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

Thanks Mikecr. I think that article you sent me just may solve my problem. I'm putting way too much pressure on my collet as I neck size. I will adjust accordingly and see what happens.

I wonder why Lee hasn't given us better instructions on how to use their collet die...
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  •   #9  
    Unread 05-16-2009, 04:13 PM
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    Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drenge View Post
    I neck sized with a Lee collet die then seated with a RCBS competition seater. The ammunition is fully loaded when I measure the case neck.

    Then like Mike says the take the .308" and subtract the amount of bullet grip you want

    .308"-.003"=.305" or .308"-.002"=.306" or one of each and see which works best.

    But like the others I prefer the Lee Collet Neck Sizer and Redding Body Die combination to the bushing dies. I use the bushing die in the 338RUM caliber and it works well but it just costs a lot more to do almost the same thing. The only difference or advantage of the bushing dies is that you can more easily get different bushings and vary bullet grip. However, for $5.00 Lee will make you a mandrel any size you want.

    The CaseMaster is not the best way to measure neck thickness IMO. Like you said the case will tilt unless you are careful and if you measure on different places on the sliding sleeve it will vary so I mark mine


    even then it only measures to a certain depth in from the case mouth. A much better tool and one that will be indispensable if you are neck turning is a ball micrometer on a stand


    you can measure all over the neck and it is much more accurate


    IME the stand is very very useful for working with a ball micrometer unless you were born with 3 hands.

    In my limited experience, what helped most with SD & ES was the Lee Factory Crimp Die and paying particular attention to the inside surface of the neck. The Lee Collet typically has very low bullet grip, part of it's secret to low runout, most of the time only .001". That is why the Lee Factory Crimp is a good companion die to the Lee Collet, it will stabilize bullet release with the low bullet grip the Lee Collet produces.

    Also I steel wool the hell out of the inside of the neck


    and use mica


    Using the Lee Collet, steel wooled and mica'ed necks, crimped with the Lee Factory Crimp the last 6 loads recorded on my 6.5 rem mag were 3072, 3086, 3072, 3072, 3072 & 3072.

    However very good results can be achieved with the bushing die with a .003" bullet grip, steel wool and mica'ed necks but without a crimp the last 6 loads recorded on my 338RUM were 3191, 3182, 3182, 3189, 3189 & 3197.
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    Last edited by woods; 05-16-2009 at 04:26 PM.
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      #10  
    Unread 05-16-2009, 04:45 PM
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    Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

    As far as adjusting the Lee Collet goes, I move the lock nut up to the top of the threads



    this will put the press handle as close to horizontal as possible. YOU DO NOT WANT THE HANDLE TO CAM OVER! That will put too much stress on the die and maybe pop the aluminum cap. The instructions say to put 25 pounds of pressure on the handle and with the handle as close to horizontal as possible it makes it easier to gauge how much pressure you are getting on the handle.

    If you want to leave part of the neck the fire formed size it is easy to get a washer and put it on top of the shell holder



    and it will leave part of the neck (the thickness of the washer) fire formed size



    Whether this helps or not I have been unable to verify and most of my guns are tight necked custom rebarrels where the benefit would be minimalized anyway.
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      #11  
    Unread 05-16-2009, 05:56 PM
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    Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

    I believe people who have the most problems with Lee collets, and perhaps a lot of other Lee gear, is due to a burning desire to do things by the numbers rather than the results. A properly used Lee collet neck sizer is a god-send to those of us who seek best accuracy with factory rifles, IMHO, but it can't be set up very well by a specific set of directions, a lot of it is by feel and that varies by the press. And the user!

    It makes little difference if the press cams over or not, if the collet die is adjusted to the right point it will work quite well. It seems that many buy it with the errouneous idea that it must work much like a common neck die so it needs lube. Or that, in some obscure way, if they push harder on the press they can increase neck tension when all they will do is bust off the top cap, which is made of fine threaded aluminum to strip and keep such users from busting the die or his press!

    Many users seem to hate that bullet tension with a collet die is frequently quite low. They don't understand that high bullet tension is a large contributer to bullet run-out (actually, the pressed fit of a bullet into a too small hole is not quit the same as "tension"). The lightly fitted bullet held in a collet-sized neck helps maintain good neck and bullet concentricity for some really good ammo!

    Cases sized with the collet dies tend to shoot better with bullets seated well out. The BR practice of seating near or into the lands is mostly helpful to achieve good powder combustion with soft seated bullets, not so much to "align" them to the bore as many think. Done right, crimping can also help obtain better combustion in factory rifles when using a collet die.

    Last edited by boomtube; 05-16-2009 at 06:00 PM.
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      #12  
    Unread 05-16-2009, 07:32 PM
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    Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

    Thanks woods, boomtube, and everyone. I just adjusted my die properly in my rockchucker and it worked great. I definitely had the die screwed down too low the first time. I lowered the lever to the bottom and screwed the die in until it connected with the seater. I then turned the die one full turn and tested with a case. I turned it 1/8th of a turn several time until the pressure felt right at the very bottom of the stroke. It didn't make the awful grinding sound like it did last round.

    The runout is under .001. I love the Lee collet for that reason. I'll have to look into a crimp die if it helps with my ES. I've never really cleaned the inside of my necks. I've read many different opinions about that as well. Some swear by it some don't. I'll give it a try with the steel wool and see if it helps. It sure looks like you (woods) are having excellent results with cleaning the inside of the necks. Very consistent speeds!

    I'll update the post after I get a chance to shoot. Here is my group at 100 yrds... Looked pretty good untill I moved out to 600!

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      #13  
    Unread 07-14-2009, 12:05 AM
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    Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

    very informative.....thanks to all those who are contributing. Great shooting drenge
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      #14  
    Unread 07-14-2009, 07:05 AM
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    Re: Measuring for Bushing Size. Help!!

    I also think the case master is probably misleading you, ive used it on big magnum cases such as 338 edge , 300 win mag etc to measure neck thickness with poor results. Ionly use it for checking case neck and bullet runout now, it seems to work fine for that. However it performs better for neck thickness measurements with small cases 222, 22-250 probably because the big cases sag down and give inconsistent readings. Better to get a case neck micrometer.
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