Lee collet die - no -neck - tension-WHY ?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ol mike, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Hey you'all,

    I,m trying to get some loads ready for an ocw test and i went through the same procedure as usual w/ the lee collet dies.
    The only thing i did different was clean the inside necks of the brass before i deprimed and neck sized it.
    It's once shot Winchester brass.
    I'm beginning to have second thoughts about this lee kit,the linkage broke once already.
    I know w/ the lever it doesn't take much to get the 25# that's called for to size the brass.
    I don't have the time or the patience to have these on going problems w/the lee stuff.
    Can the die not be funtioning internally for some reason?

    Also i already primed the cases do i have to shoot the primers out?
    I don't think i can press out live primers can i?Thanks Mike
     
  2. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    I'm beginning to have second thoughts about this lee kit,the linkage broke once already.

    Im assuming you are using a lee press? They are crappy... no other way to say it. Light duty stuff... like priming or decapping, its great. but thats about it. I too have a pile of fubar linkages for my lee challenger press.

    I know w/ the lever it doesn't take much to get the 25# that's called for to size the brass.
    I don't have the time or the patience to have these on going problems w/the lee stuff.

    Can the die not be funtioning internally for some reason?
    Yes, teh collet could be closed, or you may not have enough travel on the ram after making contact with the bottom of the collet.
    My suggestion would be to measure the OD of a case neck freshly fired, then again after sizing. If there is no change, you are having one of the 2 problems above. If its getting smaller, just not small enough, pull the top of the die off, and pull the mandrel out and measure it. You might do that and report back anyway... that might tell us something.

    Also i already primed the cases do i have to shoot the primers out?
    I don't think i can press out live primers can i?

    I do all the time with my RCBS universal decapping die... just using slow even pressure. You won't be able to reuse them though. One thing I have gone to doing recently is cutting off the decapping stem on the mandrel since ill be decapping seperately. I usually decap, then ultrasonic clean, trim ect... and do my sizing last... neck with a collet die and .001" shoulder bump with a redding body die. So there are a few options.
     

  3. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    abinok,

    I'm going to start over w/dealing w/ this in the morning.
    I'll pull the die apart and measure the mandrel.
    I did pull the top off earlier and it's not stuck.There were some little metal particles between the collet though.
    Anyway the lee challenger press ain't up to the challenge,the linkage being cast won't last long.
    The brass is once fired winchester so it doesn't need annealed.
    Thanks for the imput i'll get back at it after breakfast.Mike
     
  4. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Pulled the die apart and it measured too close to .224 after a high speed drill - fine steel wool and fritz spin job it cleaned up nice.

    The press isn't going to cut the mustard though.It's hard to believe this [pot metal] cast aluminum linkage is suppose to hold up w/the force needed for the collet die.
    I'm going to check-out the co-ax press.Thanks Mike
     
  5. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    Huh... may be time to call lee.... if this is for a centerfire 22, that mandrel should measure about .0025" smaller than bullet diameter. if its .224, thats the problem.
    They have a good customer service department, and if they screwed up, they will fix it. I had a mandrel for a 270 clollet die a couple of years ago that was a thousandth too big. I had a new one in 3 days.
    Can't agree more on the lee linkage. There is nothing cheesier... even midway stocks replacements! That right there ought to tell you something is fishy, after all, you don't see replacement linkages for any other big name presses. The coax is great, but it can have handle clerance problems with some of the really tall competition seaters, and the die holder is kinda funky. Redding ultramag press is great, as is the new rochchucker supreme. Theres 3 presses bolted to my bench at the moment, and 2 under it. The rockchucker gets all the sizing chores, and never seems to complain
     
  6. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Adam , you are not talking about the new Lee classic cast press are you ?
    Jim B.
     
  7. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Abinok,

    I am getting good neck tension now w/ the loads.
    I put some emory then fine steel wool and fritz to the mandrel w/a drill.
    The press is the weak link so i'm doing some shopping.Thanks Mike
     
  8. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Adam , you are not talking about the new Lee classic cast press are you ?
    Jim B.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Nope, The challenger is an older press. The classic is much newer, much beefier, and much nicer. Im not sure its the equal of the rochchucker or the big redding press, but its a million times better than the challenger.
    Well, maybe not a million... more like a billion.
    Ooh ooh! a bigillion.. is that a number? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif