Lee collet dies--inconsistant neck tension

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ol mike, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Guys,
    I'm loading some 22-250 ammo and for some reason am getting some bullets that -all but fall into the cases.

    I neck sized only and believe i used the same pressure on the lever from case to case.
    What am i doing wrong? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif Mike
     
  2. sullijr

    sullijr Well-Known Member

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    Measure inside neck before resizing,resize measure again.if the brass is too hard it will be very close to the same.if it is and the brass is new (less than 6 or7 reloads)anneal it if not discard.
     

  3. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Ensure that the base is moving freely in the die up and down and spins easily. Sometimes it can jam and stop sizing the neck.

    If all is well, use more force. This is a manual die where your force does the sizing.

    Jerry
     
  4. Iron Worker

    Iron Worker Well-Known Member

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    I was useing Lee dies for 22-250AI thought I'd save some money rather than pay the high price for Redding. That was a mistake all kinds of problems. Now I use Redding no more problems.Also friday morning one certian coyote hasn't any more problems either
     
  5. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Great!
    Another oppertunity to slag off Lee dies /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    I have now read quite a few reports of problems with Lee collet dies, which are not the fault of the operator.
    So, to those who are using them, does this not telling you something?
    The only place for Lee dies is in the bin!

    Ian.

    "I meant to shoot the pike but the duck got in the way"
     
  6. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    Mike,
    The easiset thing to do would be to slap a caliper on the neck OD before and after sizing. See if the diameter is changing... and if you are using enough pressure. These days ive been screwing my collet dies further into the press than the instructions say... and it works easier for me. If the mike shows that the brass is being sized, give lee a call and tell them your problem, they have undersized mandrels, though I suspect that you may not have to go that far.
    Every once in a while the Colet die bashing bandwagon gets loaded and rolling... but id be happy to buy these defective dies if you folks are really that tired of them and its one I don't have. Theres still a few I don't have... Ive only got 9.
    Don't need a 300WM though. Mine seems to be working fine. 2, 3shot groups at 400yds, with the right from a clean cold barrel, a half minute adjustment to the left, and 3 more from a fouled cold barrel. The bipod bounced kinda funny on the shot that dropped out the bottom.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Not the fault of the operator....Ummmmm.

    I like to have the press ram touch the die about 2/3's the way down on the press lever. This gives me lots of leverage to give that die a nice 'squeeze'.

    If you find that even with all this the brass is not sizing, take the die apart and measure the mandrel. It should be 3 to 4 thou under bullet diameter. If this is correct, you need to anneal the brass.

    One nice feature rarely discussed is that the die can be an indicator of neck hardening (case spring back is high). If I find a few cases that will not size, I know that the necks need to get annealed. That is usually when 'flyers' start to show up. After annealing, all is well again.

    No other die has been able to show me this problem. Yet another reason why I like these Lee dies.

    Jerry

    PS will buy most Collet dies you don't want. I need more.
     
  8. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies everybody,I measured the outside
    of the cases and resized 5 more, each case sized ok.
    I turned the die another 1/4 turn in and that small amount helped.
    I'm reloading once shot winchester brass for incremental load developement
    >>each case gets 1/10th grain more than the last to find the sweet spot.
    When i found the inconsistent neck pressure >> my thoughts were -alot of good this will do.
    My reloading bench is an old desk with a flimsy edge
    where the press is mounted -it looks like it might
    break with the pressure applied to the press.
    I'm going to brace it off a bit to get a more solid feel.
    If that doesn't give me consistant necks then i'll pull
    the die apart and measure as stated above.
    So far i like the little lee set-up , i know there
    is more better equipment but hopefully this varmint hunter
    can get by for now.Thanks again..Mike
     
  9. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    a johnny come lately here but i will stand with Jerry and Abinok as I have been using the Lee dies for around 2000 rounds or so now and i HAVE TO SAY AGAIN , " WHATS NOT TO LIKE " Sorry , just noticed the caps lock was on : )

    Let me add that I HAVE all the high dollar dies ,and do not see any tighter groups with them. I have asked this before but since it has come up again I will ask again, Have you used / compared before you post ? I have also pointed out that a 1k champion has used the Lee dies to arrive there .

    Jim
     
  10. Aussie

    Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Ol' Mike ,
    Not sure whether you got the same instructions as I did with my Lee collet dies but it's all explained in there .
    Lee advise that to adjust properly you must run the die into the press until it touches the shellholder plus 2 full turns . A minimum of 25 pounds of force must be applied at the end of the press stroke to properly size the necks . If that doesn't work adjust the die down another 1/4 turn . Lee also recommend that you size the neck twice , rotating the case 180 degrees between sizings .
    If you want tighter neck tension they advise to either polish the decapper mandrel .001 smaller or order an undersize mandrel from the factory .
    I have only one Lee collet die but think it's crash hot .
     
  11. Delta Hunter

    Delta Hunter Well-Known Member

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    The Lee collet neck die is all I use for neck sizing. In fact, it's all I use for sizing, period. When my brass gets too large to chamber, which is usually 6 or 7 loadings, I toss it and start over with a new batch. I haven't used a full length die in 3 or 4 years. If I do need to move the shoulder back a bit, I use a Redding body die, but this is very rare.

    The Lee die is not perfect, however. I have found that they perform quite a bit better if I polish the collet and collet sleeve where they contact each other and apply a dab of grease around the mouth of the sleeve. From the factory there is often an excess of tooling marks and when these are removed the die operates to it's full potential.
     
  12. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Bushchook,
    Your post rang a bell ! I should have read more closely what jerry and abinok wrote .

    The instructions say to turn til touching shl-hldr then 1 full turn.On down it speaks of "other" press's that can toggle over.-----Then it says 2 full turns after touching the shl-hldr.
    The lever is out there where i can feel what i'm doing now[like Jerry said].
    Looks like my load developement might have some inconsistent rounds as far as neck pressure ,but i'll give them a go anyway.Hopefully it will get me in the ballpark for a good load.. Mike
     
  13. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Delta hunter , you are so right, thing is there are bits of metal still ( just like my Redding seater dies ) in tyhe dies so one should dissasemble then light lube and enjoy the best news for reloading there is , /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    Jim
     
  14. Aussie

    Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Ol'Mike ,
    Hope it helps .