Lee dies.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Freddie Hunt, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Freddie Hunt

    Freddie Hunt Member

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    Hi, I've recently bought some Lee dies for my new 30-06. Previously for my 25-06 I was using RCBS. With the Lee dies, when I seat the bullet it always seems to require a different pressure to get the bullet in.
    Could some experienced loaders give their opinions on the quality/consistency of the Lee dies please. And, if they're no good, please recommend good brand(s).
    Cheers
    Fred
     
  2. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    Bullet seating pressure should be the same if the necks were cleaned, lubed, sized, cleaned again and de-burred.

    What kind of lube are you using inside the neck? I swab the inside with sizing wax and wipe a little on the outside of the case. If you are using one-shot or something the necks will all be different.

    I have polished the inside of the neck area of the die and polished the decapping stem and it made a small difference also...

    All the Lee dies I used worked just fine. Some of the worst dies I used weren't LEE's and are pretty popular although they worked fine after switching lubes and polishing the inside of the die.
     

  3. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    What kind of Lee neck size die . Collet or Expander ball type ?
    If using a Collet die then you may not be getting a good size down to the mandrel and some are larger inside than others. Rough or dirty inside necks , inconsistent neck hardness and or thickness. Inconsistent inside neck chamfer

    If using an Expander ball type die then , poor and or inconsistent inside neck lube , rough or dirty inside necks , inconsistent neck hardness and or thickness.
    Inconsistent inside neck chamfer .
    Polish up the inside of the case necks with an old worn bore brush wrapped with a small amount of fine steel wool. Chuck it in a battery operated screw driver.
    For an expander ball type die buy some Moly powder and Fine Graphite and mix 50 50 .
    Polish up the outside of the neck with fine steel wool . Rub your fingers around the case neck , dip it in the powder , tap it to remove excess .
    After a while it will coat up the die .
    For the collet die no lube is required but clean and polish as above.
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "With the Lee dies, when I seat the bullet it always seems to require a different pressure to get the bullet in."

    Well, the die is the same each time but the cases are not; perhaps your variation is from the case necks rather than the dies?


    "Could some experienced loaders give their opinions on the quality/consistency of the Lee dies please. "

    Yeah. All our die makers do good, if they didn't they would have gone out of business years ago. On average, Lee dies load ammo as well as anyothers.
     
  5. cfvickers

    cfvickers Well-Known Member

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    What brand of brass are you using? If you are using remington brass, OR if the brass has been previously fired, OR if it needs to be annealed. Any of these could cause the issue you are having. Some of it could be "springing back" after you size it, necks could be a little thick on some, could be from different lots or different brands (of course you would know if this was the case but you didn't say so I have to ask). Remington brass is inconsistent in my experience, especially if from different lots, often from the same lot. Did you chamfer each case the same amount? I don't think it is your dies. I have had this problem but always from one of the above causes. The die is one size all the time, it will size the outside of the case the same every time. If you have spring back then your brass is going back to near it's original dimensions after you run it through the die, Annealing could help. I would first take a look at the brass. If it were the die the issue would be the same every time.

    One other thought though that just came to me and COULD be your die. The seating die could be loose or you could have an issue with the seating stem. wrong stem or something to that effect causing your bullets to no sit straight. You could check that out. If so they will replace it for you.
     
  6. Freddie Hunt

    Freddie Hunt Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Firstly I'd like to thank you all for your prompt and detailed responses - very much appreciated. And Boomtube, I am sorry that I clearly offended you, I had no intention of doing so.

    I am using Federal Brass that was factory loaded then fired in my rifle, this batch is the first reload. The dies that I am using are Collet and the lube is RCBS Case Lube-2. I can now see where I must have been going wrong - not being careful/meticulous enough when preparing the cases. How foolish of me!

    CogburnR, would you recommend I buy some sizing wax or is the RCBS lube sufficient in your opinion?

    Since writing my original post last night I have tested the ammo today. I Loaded 3 lots of 3 rounds with 3 different powders, all other variables equal. The results were;
    1) H380 54.0gn = 1.2" group @100yds.
    2) IMR4895 49.0gn = 0.25" group @100yds
    3) Reloader15 47.0gn = 0.25" group @100yds
    Unfortunately my Chrony ran out of batteries so I didn't get any MV results - man that pissed me off!!

    Many thanks
    Fred
     
  7. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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  8. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    You don't need lube inside or outside the neck using a Lee collet die neck size die
    The only time it may be needed is with very soft annealed case necks that can sometimes cause some drag on the mandrel as you extract the case. Then use dry lubricants .
    Clean and polished is what you need . If excessive lube builds up on the mandrel inaccurate results will happen. A small amount will not do much harm but you don't want liquid lube inside your case necks as it can upset powder flow into the case . That is the whole idea of the Collet die to be able to size with no lube .
    You need lube for body sizing and full length sizing in that kind of die.
    Your results seem good so you must be getting good straight ammo from the dies.
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I use the dreaded and maligned Hornady aresol 'One Shot' lube myself with no issue however I do use Imperial Sizing wax inside the case mouths, applied with a plastic bristle brush. Just a tiny bit.

    I have evryone's die sets BTW. I just refit all them to the Hornady lock rings. The Lee lock rings especially are crap. RCBS is a close second.

    My favorite specialty die is the Lee 'Factory Crimp Die in any caliber. I love 'em.

    I don't think anyone was offended. Some of us just have loyalities to certain brands....:)
     
  10. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    Hornady lock rings are very good that's for sure. The thing that amuses me is that Redding make a very good quality die but the lock rings with the lead pellet under the grub screw is a real nightmare to change the setting . They seem to be of the opinion that once you set it you will never want to move it again. Not sure if they still use it but it made me wonder why they did not just copy Hornady's system.
    Over the years I have contacted Redding on several issues that I felt was bad business but I found the upper managment to be very intractable and resistant to change . The lock ring was one of those issues . Not a huge problem . I do the same as you .
    I have used a Lee factory crimp die and they do a good job as long as you don't over do it .
     
  11. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "Boomtube, I am sorry that I clearly offended you, I had no intention of doing so."

    Goodness, NO! I'm not offended at all, I just tried to walk you thru the problem for the learning benefit!
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I find the British influence neat. People in this country have no idea what a 'grub screw' is, let alone a spanner unless you are a Brit bike guy like me.

    I suspect Hornady has a patent/copyright on their fixing ring. It is light years ahead of all the others. Too bad their dies aren't.

    I agre, the prople at Redding are stuffy, so are the Wilson folks but they both have a good product, just taks some tweaking on the customers part...
     
  13. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I am half British myself and half American . My dad born in Dorset and my Mum born in Oregon . My Dad was a cousin to Don and Derek who built the Rickman Metisse motor bikes . I raced bikes myself for some years in my youth.
    One was a BSA 441 Victor in a Metisse frame just before two strokes took over and I changed to a Bultaco . I sold the BSA / Metisse to raise extra money to buy a house but really regret it know as it would be worth big money now .
    I have raced sidecars scrambles and short circuit but not that seriously , just for fun really and we did some stupid things , like throw water b*mbs and such from side cars .
    Had two a 650 Triumph T 120 and a Vincent HRD but I could never get the Vincent going very well it ran but not great . Only have one bike left now an old Suzuki DR Enduro.

    I try to use language that the USA will understand on this forum it's only polite to do so and I do have some American type sayings naturally in my speach that I picked up from my Mother but I could not remember what else to call a " grub screw " other than a grub screw . I guess I should have said " Allen set screw " or " set screw " , " Socket set screw " maybe ??
     
  14. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Set screw works just fine but I have no issue whatsoever with grub screw.

    I'm not SidecarFlip for no reason. I have a Bonnie with a sidecar, my name happens to be Flip, I don't flip sidecars.... I also have a Norton P11A 750 Scrambler a Triumph Rocket 3 and a Kawasaki KLR to get filthy with.

    When I was young I had my competition license and I rode a 250 Penton ISDT bike with Jack Penton and his crowd and yes, you should have kept the Rickman Metisse 4130 Alloy frame. I have a good friend that has 3, 2 with Beezers and one with a smoker.

    I love Brit bikes, Prince of Darkness and night visitor and every quirk that goes along with ownership. I'm sure you know that Triumph is the oldest brand still in production today. Triumph's were around before Harley Davidson was even designed.

    That Rocket 3 is like straddling a dragster and every time I twist throttle, it provides a rush..... There isn't much on the road that can run with it except a crotch rocket, certainly no large cruiser.

    It's summer for you and winter for me. My bikes are ready to go into hibernation. It's time to hunt now.