Custom lee collet dies?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by lurcher, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. lurcher

    lurcher Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Anyone ever have Lee make them a custom collet die?

    In order to do this they want 2 1xfired cases and a couple of bullets. When the make a custom collet die they also provide a dead length seater. I guess they need the bullets to set the seater up? I was planning on getting a set made for a 7 saum that has a factory barrel/chamber. Do I run the risk of producing a die that will not work properly if I eventually go to a custom barrel with a tight neck chamber?
     
  2. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    I had one made in 6.5 rem mag. The problem I had was that this was a new caliber with a tight necked chamber (.293") and I needed the Lee Collet so that I could expand then new brass neck for outside neck turning. The neck was too tight to use factory brass without turning.

    Normally you can just buy a seater without having a sizing die and seat your bullets in new cases and then you would have once fired empty cases. But that means you would have to put off your further load development for a couple of months while waiting on the Lee Collet. PITA and I am not that patient.

    What I did was send them unfired brass and insisted they just go ahead and make one and they did after protesting mightily. The die sizes about 7/8 of the case neck and leaves part of the neck unsized which is just fine with me and works great. At the same time I ordered some undersize mandrels (again over their protestations) just to experiment with increased bullet grip.

    I am about to go through the same process with ordering a 375 Ruger die. I really don't want to order a sizing die that just goes in the drawer never to be used again. I could order a sizing die and have the neck honed out so I could use it like a Redding Body Die which I will need also. Or I could use the regular die without the expander when I need to set the shoulder back and then reopen the necks with the Lee Collet. Might do that.

    The Lee Collets work great with a tight necked chamber. The only thing you need to consider with a tight necked chamber is that you have to get into neck turning.