lee collet dies

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Jimm, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Hey all ! I think I'm in love with these dies,but one small problem. When I am resisizing I run into cases tha t are difficult to lift the press handle , like stuck ,then breaks free ,and the if I do the lee recommended 1/2 turn then resize it's still difficult to lift the press handle . Am I putting too much force on the case and sticking the die ? I am setting the die up according to the destructions /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif( touch ,then two turns ,since I use a Rockchucker Press) Jerry, Adam and all that use these help! Jim
     
  2. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    Are these on your 300WM?
    if so you might have a look at the belts on the cases that are sticking. You may be getting some expansion at that point.
     

  3. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Yes , .300wm , new lapua brass. I did'nt think the die contacted the belt? will look at thatI'm thinking that its something diff w3ith those cases that stick .Gonna get the calipers and go to work. I have diassembled the die ,can't see anything amiss. Actually , come to think of it they drag all the way back out. Perhaps the hardness is diff erent and the brasss is not springing back?Head scratcher for sure /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif,let me know what yall come up with. Thanks, Jim
     
  4. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    I'm not sure of this but it 's begginning to look like the collet was sticking closed.I think I'm using too much pressure.I'm thinking about a way to mount a scale /gauge to be able to use the same amount and not too much .
    Jim
     
  5. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    I went back and measured each and every case,all were exactly the same in each dimension ( belt ,just ahead of belt, neck and inside neck), well that is within .0001, of each other except length which varied as much as .004. I took and ran all the cases into the die by hand (die not in press)and was able to push in and pull out.what about a bit of grit on the mandrel?
     
  6. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Jimm,
    I will be very dissapointed if you use Lee collet dies for your 243 Ackley when you get, i dont want to open the debate on the pros and cons of Lee dies, etc but from an engineering point of view Lee equipment is [censored].

    A quality rifle deserves quality handloads from quality reloading equipment, which i'm afraid you will never get from Lee dies.

    Ian.

    "I mean't to shoot the pike but the duck got in the way"
     
  7. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Hey Centrepunch,
    Actually I have Redding comp. neck bushing die for the 243 AI (which is on it's way /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif ). The Lee collet Die is for my 300 win mag (still being built by Chris Matthews /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif)I really think a bit of grit was getting trapped between the mandrel and the neck causing it to drag hard out of the collet and then less drag out of the die.Have you ever used these dies ? they are simplicity itself .There are several guys here that use them and love them aaand get good results.As far as the reddings I will probably mess up more than I fix with them until I learn how to use them. see ya, Jim
     
  8. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Now then Jimm,
    You have restored my faith in you, Redding and Comp are the words i like hear. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
    Hopefully once you have mastered them you will step up to a set for your 300 Win Mag. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Ian.

    "I mean't to shoot the pike but the duck got in the way"
     
  9. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    jimm, you said you tried using the die out of the press. Is the fired case a tight in the collet body? They should just fall in and out. Zero contact. If so, the chamber you have is on the big side and the fireformed cases are at or over SAAAMI max.

    Easy solution to this is to enlarge the collet body. A lathe is needed to 'drill' out the collet. I like them to be a few thou larger so there is absolutely no drag.

    As to dragging on the mandrel, just see if you can put a bullet into the fired case neck. If the bullet is a firm fit, you have a tight neck chamber/brass combo. Just make sure you have enough clearance between the loaded ammo and chamber or else high pressures can result.

    If the bullet just falls into the neck, the case never touches the mandrel this it is at the top of the die being squeezed. My guess you problem lies in an oversized chamber.

    All SAAMI necks are designed so that a bullet will fall into the fired case neck. They are always generous in size.

    The collet should easily be pushed up and fall down in the die body. If it goes up and sticks, you need to take apart and clear out any burrs. Yes, sometimes it happens but over the many of these I have used, only found this issue once.

    There will always be critics of the rather unique form of sizing. Most have never used this die or used it improperly. I have yet to find someone who has used it properly, properly meaured the results, then complain about the die.

    The neck dimension is ALWAYS the same (defined by the mandrel). Neck tension is thus consistent. If not, a great indication that the necks are worked hardened and need to be annealed.

    Since many in the LR and BR world are discovering higher neck tensions and the benefits for low ES, the whole bushing adjustability starts to loose favor. You just grab a bushing that gives 3 to 4 thou neck tension and fly at it.

    Bushing dies are also excellent, but way more expensive. Their strongest benefit is the lack of expander ball. That is pretty much the route of all the sizing issues.

    Any process that reduces the neck dimension without needing an expander ball has the chance of good results. Just keep things true inside the die. I just wonder why ALL die makers make the neck portion of their sizing die so small.

    I guess they have to worry about the thinest neck being sized...

    Jerry
     
  10. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I have yet to find someone who has used it properly, properly meaured the results, then complain about the die.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Low TIR, consistant, adjustable neck tension and not having to handle lubed cases.... yep. Not much to complain about.


    [ QUOTE ]
    Since many in the LR and BR world are discovering higher neck tensions and the benefits for low ES, the whole bushing adjustability starts to loose favor. You just grab a bushing that gives 3 to 4 thou neck tension and fly at it.....Bushing dies are also excellent, but way more expensive.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Th only differance with the collet die is instead of grabbing the bushing you need, you grab the mandrel you need... how much are those bushings these days? my mandrells are $5 each.
     
  11. POP

    POP Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Hey all ! I think I'm in love with these dies,but one small problem. When I am resisizing I run into cases tha t are difficult to lift the press handle , like stuck ,then breaks free ,and the if I do the lee recommended 1/2 turn then resize it's still difficult to lift the press handle . Am I putting too much force on the case and sticking the die ? I am setting the die up according to the destructions /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif( touch ,then two turns ,since I use a Rockchucker Press) Jerry, Adam and all that use these help! Jim

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Normal for all collet dies. Best dies ever!
     
  12. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Another great feature is that they are not case specific. I have used my 260 collet die to size my 6.5 Mystic (308 length case) and 6.5-06. Just use the correct size spacer.

    Because the sizing is controlled by the mandrel, neck thickness is not critical. This cannot be said for a bushing die. Any change in neck thickness must be accounted for by using a different size bushing or else neck tension is wrong.

    Big bonus is for those who are working with odd length wildcats. Lee will make a set of custom dies based on your brass for $50. How's that for a deal?

    Had them make a set for my 338 mystic (338-300RUM improved). sized perfectly. You don't get a FL die but I figure my brass is toast by the time the base gets too fat to chamber anyways.

    Jerry
     
  13. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Mister Teo<
    thanks for the response ,very much! Now ,I must tell things that will surely expose my great ignorance /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif. The cases in question have never been fired,they are new. I chamfered the inside with a vld reamer, ran them all through the collet die ,then polished them a bit in my case cleaner . Bullets will now just start like they should for loading and as I said all dimensions are right on .Is it possible to put too much pressure on the down stroke ?I just kinda lean hard on it , then lift ,turn 180degrees then lean again.I am convinced that these dies are a good and viable way to reload , Just trying to figure out why the difference in some of these cases. Once again , I appreciate all yall's time and energy. Jim