Originally Posted by teampete
Hey all, you guys have helped me get into reloading and I appreciate all the help. I have a question about neck tension. I have a lee collet die and I started to use it after firing my rounds. I am a little worried about the neck tension. I can weasel a bullet into the case by hand but I am unable to pull it out by hand. To pull it out i have to grab a pair of pliers and grip the bullet. Is this enough tension? It seems that my brass that was sized with a RCBS fl die are just a tad tighter. Please let me know if I have enough tension and how I can measure the tension or anyway to tighten the tension if needed.
Could be in how you have the die adjusted. Here's how I do it:
1. Run the ram all the way to the top so that the handle is at the bottom of the stroke.
2. Screw the collet down to the shell holder.
3. Size a case.
4. Try seating a bullet in the fired case by hand. If it goes in easily, turn the die down a small amount, maybe 1/8 turn and repeat the process until you have satisfactory neck tension.
5. Set your lock ring. I replace all the lee lock rings with Forster rings. For me, unless I index mark the die and the press, The Lee lock ring allows a little too much movement when I screw the die into my press, making how far I screw the die down not repeatable from one time to the next.
Bullet should not be able to be seated by hand and I don't like it if I can move the bullet by holding the case in my hand and pushing against my bench top.
Another way is to measure with a caliper the neck diameter of a loaded round and keep running the die down until the neck diameter on a sized case is .002" smaller than the neck diameter on the loaded round. That should provide enough neck tension.
If you are having to apply too much force or collapsing cases in your efforts, first make sure the collet fingers are not collapsed. If they are, spread them with a round punch or something similar. Don't get over enthusiastic with this. If that doesn't fix the problem, you may need to polish down the mandrell a little bit using a drill and emory cloth. If you are afraid to do this, Lee will supply you with an undersized mandrell polished to your specs for a very reasonable fee.