Lee Collet die or Redding bushing die for best neck sizing?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by drenge, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. drenge

    drenge Well-Known Member

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    I am about to buy some new dies and would like input on both dies and process. A lot of people like bumping the shoulders with a FL die and then using the Lee collet die for neck sizing. I've also noticed a lot of people argue that the bushing dies give you more ability to control neck tensions.

    I'm loading a 7mm RM and would like your opinions please... I already have a RCBS comp set with an inline seater - so I'm asking specifically about the neck dies and process. All brass has been fire formed.

    This will be used for long range hunting so the ability to take the ammo into the field and perform at it's best is obiously the goal. I am trying to lower my runout as much as possible.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Lee neck die is superior to all others, unless you're a BR shooter. But THEN you wouldn't use threaded dies at all.
     

  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

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    +1 ....
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    First I will say, I have never used the Lee dies so I can't compare. But I just started using the Redding "S" comp dies with my Lapua (recommended by my smith) and I am very impressed. Easy to use, true necks and minimal case stretch. My runout is .001" or less measured .100" above the brass. I will be buying them for everything I am serious about loading one at a time. They are a bit spendy.

    Jeff
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "My runout is .001" or less measured .100" above the brass"

    I use common Remington, Federal and WW brass, slightly neck turned just enough to clean up about three quarters of the circumference. I do have to cull maybe 10% of my cases but that still makes the keepers much less expensive than Lapua or Norma.

    After one firing, then neck sized with my Lee Collet dies and seated with Forster "BR" dies, my runout is typically >.001", measured as close as possible to the bullet's nose. That's a much more significant measureing point than checking just out of the case's mouth. The Run-Out difference there can be as much as three times greater than near the mouth. Or more, depending on the exposed length of the bullet.

    And I have used button neck sizers. No thanks, to each his own but I'll stick to Lee's.
     
  6. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

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    I've had difficulties with runout with a factory sized chamber and thinnish Win (unturned but sorted) brass. I needed to use a 330 bushing to get tension right and fired OD was 340. I even tried sizing down in stages. It caused a bunch of runout. Redding do identify this as a problem in their tech tips and in a query recommended that I try a regular die with a sizer button instead.

    I'm waiting for my Lee collett die and will report back.

    Thicker brass in my chamber (or a tighter chamber) should be just fine with the Reddings.
     
  7. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    I use Wilson and Redding bushing dies. But, do not rely on the diameter printed on the bushing. Check them with a mic after sizing.

    I shoot a Savage .223 in factory class competition. A buddy kept telling me about how great the collet sizing die was, so I ordered one. I just could not get on to the method of squeezing the ram up to just the right spot each time. It was not as consistent as bushings. No thanks to collet dies, don't want them.
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "No thanks to collet dies, don't want them."

    The Lee Collet Neck Dies do have a learning curve so they aren't for everyone. But they work great if we take the time to learn how.
     
  9. Delta Hunter

    Delta Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I have experience with both. I don't think you'll get your best results from the Redding die unless you neck turn or at least sort by neck thickness variation and use the brass with the least variation. The Redding may size the outside of the neck just fine, but if there's significant variation in neck wall thickness it will be transferred to the inside of the neck creating bullet runout. Of course, this assumes you're not using an expander button.

    The Lee uses a mandrel that indexes off the inside of the case. Variations in neck thickness are transferred to the outside of the neck, thus leaving the inside true and straight. Another benefit to this die is that it requires no case lube.

    I've had great luck with the Lee die and that's what I prefer. But I will say that I get better results if I first take it apart and polish the collet and collet sleeve (where the collet slides into the sleeve) with some fine (400 or higher grit) wet/dry sandpaper. A dab of grease applied around the mouth of the sleeve helps also. I've found this to be helpful (if not absolutely necessary) because the tooling marks left over during manufacturing are sometimes just too excessive to allow the two parts to slide smoothly against each other like they need to.
     
  10. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    I chased concentricity hard a few years back until I discovered Lee Collet Neck Sizers. IMO, if a reloader who reloads exclusively for hunting would use the Lee Collet correctly then that would take care of runout enough so that he could forget about it and spend his time on other things. I did try one Redding Type S Bushing Die for a 30-06 but the runout was not good. Perhaps that was not enough of a test. Back then I was not into turning necks.

    One thing to remember is that if you remove the expander ball the bushing dies push all the imperfections in neck brass to the inside of the case so they may not be as evident. Then you should ream the neck to get consistant neck thickness. If you leave the expander ball in then you have all the problems associated with those.

    I have a Lee Collet Neck Sizer for all the calibers that I reload for except a few. For a 338RUM that I have coming I am going to try the Redding Bushing Dies one more time. The Lee Collet do not create a lot of neck tension but that can be readily fixed with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Those are easy to use and you can crimp anywhere on the bullet, no matter your seating depth. In side-by-side loaded-at-the-same-time shot-at-the-same-time tests, the Lee Factory Crimps have decreased group size by an average of 1/8" and increased velocity by an average of 10 fps
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  11. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

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    I posted earlier and said I'd report back once I received my Lee Collett die.

    To sum up again...

    My runout with the Redding Comp bushing dies ran 0.004-0.010"!!! Average was around 0.006". This is not the fault of the Redding product, but rather my SAAMI max chamber and thin Win brass. Sizing from a fired dimension of .340 down with a .330 bushing! (.300 WM). As I've said before I'm learning that we need to match the reloading equipment to our rifles (dimensions and components).

    Anyhow, the Lee Collett tested last night gave neck runout at 0.001-0.002". The bulk are pretty much right at 0.0015".

    For my circumstances the Lee Collett has been an improvement to the quality of my loaded ammunition. I didn't check for runout on the shoulder, but don't see why that would change.

    The neck also is the same size whereas the Redding seemed to give me a slightly tapered neck. If it matters to you you should be able to size the neck lower towards the neck-shoulder junction with the Collett die.

    I hope this is useful input.

    WL
     
  12. zoeper

    zoeper Well-Known Member

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    Am i correct in saying the procedure to minimize runout should be as follows:
    1. Full length size with expander button in tact. (end up with uniform inside neck diameter)
    2. outside neck turn to obtain uniform neck thickness.
    3. Fireform (inside of neck should now be concentric with outside of case and chamber)
    4. neck size with collet or bushing die.

    What makes the collet die better than a standard neck sizinfg die??
    P
     
  13. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    Delta already answered the why is it better question.