Lee Collet Dies vs Redding S bushing dies

Mikecr

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I also prefer Wilson, with TiN coated bushings.
A few of my mine were blanks chambered along with my barrels.

It might be wrong to reckon so, but I picture collet dies popular among those who FL size everything. And bushing dies popular among those who size less.
Opposite paths in reloading
 

BountyHunter

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A couple comments.

1. Never a fan of the Lee collet dies, but never used them, have no personal facts one way or the other. However, I have used Lee dies and other equip, and flat do not like their dies or presses.

2. It seems that a lot of the F class guys use them with a fitted body die to get FL sizing w/o lub or bushings. However, it is common to see them mention a bunch of tweaking required. Once you get thru that they seem to work OK for them.

3. As for the arguement about bushing costs, which are $15-18; if that is really a concern you need to take up table tennis. The ping pong balls are more in your price line. A custom die is probably the cheapest part of this game and certainly a fitted die is well within anyones price range.

4. Of all the steps of reloading, an old pie pan, two squirts of spray lube over 50 cases and wiping them off after sizing is one of the easiest. So I really do not see the fuss of a little lube as being a valid arguement. If you are that focused on less work, you have other problems in your technique I would be that a collet die will not fix.

BH
 
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boomtube

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"1. Never a fan of the Lee collet dies, but never used them, have no personal facts one way or the other. However, I have used Lee dies and other equip, and flat do not like their dies or presses."

Nice of you to volunteer what you don't like and haven't used but the question IS the collet dies and LOTS of others do like them. So even with the advantage of knowing what you don't like, how is the question itself moved forward?



2. It seems that a lot of the F class guys use them with a fitted body die to get FL sizing w/o lub or bushings. However, it is common to see them mention a bunch of tweaking required. Once you get thru that they seem to work OK for them.

Sooo, you do understand a lot of "F class guys" agree with most of us and don't mind tweaking them to obtain the good results they can produce? Perhaps you could explain to them how they are wasting their time trying to save a few bucks? (Seems those of us who don't enjoy "tweaking" things may not be good candidates for reloading at all?)



3. As for the arguement about bushing costs, which are $15-18; if that is really a concern you need to take up table tennis. The ping pong balls are more in your price line. A custom die is probably the cheapest part of this game and certainly a fitted die is well within anyones price range.

Cost of the Lee collet isn't the issue but it's a nice bonus, well for some of us. Those of us who want to do more than play ping-pong can work it out even if we are perhaps to "poor" to be shooting, at least by your standards. (Of course you didn't mention that bushings are "$15-18" each and a good working assortment will likely be from three to five, but it's ONLY MONEY right?)


Otherwise, you have given us all a very helpful, very well thought out post. :rolleyes:
 

Trickymissfit

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CP

I have to take issue with your tone here. You seem hell bent on Redding Dies no matter what.

All of the positive points stated here about Lee Collet Dies I wholeheartedly agree with. While I appreciate the quality of the Redding dies, (I own several,) when it comes to the Lee Collet Die they simply work and work well.

The Redding bushing dies transfer bad runout to the inside diameter of the case neck, while the Lee Collet Die places the lack of concentricity to the outside and leaves the inside diameter a mirror image of the mandrel, which has no runout.

I have a 20 year old Ruger bolt gun in 30-06 with the only modifications being reduced trigger pull and a glass bedding job. After discovering the collet die, this gun became a boringly consistent 3/4 minute of angle shooter. It is a bit of an effort to remove all of the copper fouling but in the woods it's a whitetail's worst nightmare.

I welcome you as well!

I do see a slight error in your engineering that really needs to be brought to light.
* without a sizing ball in a die your correct in your assumption that the error will be pushed towards the I.D. of the case neck. It's a natural thing to take the path of least resistence

* but if you have a die with a sizer ball in it; the error will be pushed outwards towards the O.D. of the case. (path of least resistence again)

* But if you use a sizer ball and a bushing at the sametime the path of least resistence should be ever so slightly in the I.D. due to area alone. In theory you could use the sizing ball to sorta iron out the the I.D., and force it into a bushing of a certain size. I know of no one that does this, and perhaps the shoulder of the case might collapse instead

I size my cases in a full length Forster die (I like their stem better than anybody elses). Then I shave my necks to the diameter I'm after. I never run a sizer stem thru those cases again unless something has gone wrong. The bushing floats and simply follows the O.D. of the neck; which we already know is turned concentric with the I.D. (Wilson die) My main concern here is the collet itself following the neck, or will the neck follow the collet. It appears that at least in some case the collet follows the neck. I didn't get that when I tried them, but I'm going to try it again. I still have second thoughts about the lines left in the neck, and my necks were not round
gary
 

Trickymissfit

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"I've never saw a bench rest shooter using them,.."

Ah, but they aren't BR dies and make no pretense of being such, do they? And, for that matter, BR shooters don't typically use RCBS, Lyman, Hornady, Forster, Redding or Dillion neck dies either so where does that leave us? Fact is, the Lee collet is properly used in normal factory rifles with SAAMI chambers and for that they may be equalled but they can't be beat.

Anyone getting "vertical creases" in case necks from using this die is (1) using far more pressure than the directions suggest and much more than is needed to properly size the necks and (2) even when they exist, the "creases" are very shallow bulges and external only, they have no noticible impact on the life of the cases.

ever been to a 1000 service rifle shoot?
gary
 

Johnboy

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OK guys we all know that the Lee Collet is a great die to work with or use.all of my dies are Lee.have been able to load a 223 case over 20 times without the trouble of bolt lift.and the loads are hot.but that was before I really saw the facts or need to anneal and bump the shoulder back.now I do a 5 times necked with the Collet die and anneal then bump the shoulder back with a Lee FL die.so yes I really like the saveings of the Lee dies and the groups I get from them.

again I love the dies.even to add to the post I do know of a Jr. benchrest shooter that uses the Lee collet die set.he has even been able to set 3 Jr, F-class records useing the dies we have all been speaking of.so if that doesn't help out to help you come to the idea if you need to use a Lee collet die what will.and he is even a memeber to this very site.but will not say his name because he has no need to prove himself.the records he set says it all.

so go and get you a Lee collet die and start useing it.so what if you might have to polish some of the parts.you will just end up with a grea die to load up some great ammo.but hey this is something I and a whole lot others have choose to do.and that its just an opinion of mine.
 

BountyHunter

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Boomtube,

I am neither for or against the collet die. It has no fit into the reloading at the level I shoot for and techniques I use with neck tension adjustment.

It has its pluses and minus, that is all I was trying to point out. Some very good F class shooters are using them and body dies and doing very well. However, they state that they normally require tweaking to make work correctly. So it is not normally pull the die out of the box and go to work it seems!

Plus I never said anyone was wasting their time, but I do think open discussion of all the issues with it does advance the question don't you?

what I do not buy is the arguements that you should use them due to cost of bushings and time spent lubing brass. Those are so hokey!

We have gun/scope combos up to and over $5000 plus and $45 of neck bushings is the reason you should use a collet die? You should know your target diameter +- 1 bushing so you do not need over three and somehow we are to think that $45 is an unreasonable expense in the LR game. One box of bullets can cost well over that and less than 1% of many rifle/scope combos.

We routinely ream primer pockets, trim, maybe turn necks, maybe open firing pin holes and 2 shots of spray lube and wiping off is a "time consuming" hurdle to reloading?

Neither one of those arguements pass the common sense test.

Finally neck tension adjustment is a variable that will significantly shrink groups IF you are after extreme accuracy. Not everyone gets that advanced in their reloading but for the ones that do, pretty sure it is a hell of a lot easier and faster to do with bushings and cheaper than buying new mandrels, polishing and adjusting. However, if you are not into neck tension adjustments, then no big deal and do not worry about it.

If you understand those facts and are willing to work them or ignore them, OK go for the collet die.

BH
 

boomtube

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"We have gun/scope combos up to and over $5000 plus....If you understand those facts and are willing to work them or ignore them, OK go for the collet die."

"We"don't have $5K rigs, you do. I was speaking to more common shooters. If you had tacked that tidbit into your earlier comments it would made your elitest position much more clear. So, if you think bushings give you better accuracy than the collet, great but I doubt it. And, since you have never used one the fact is you really don't know either but I don't much care. ??
 
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DieselMack

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I know this is a older thread and i am sorry if by bumping it up i have upset anyone..

I am only new the sport, but am a fast leaner and am looking at reloading and keen to start buying my equipment, i have read alot of reviews and opinions and everything seems to have its pros and cons, my question is with the Lee collet neck size die, instead of honing down the mandrel on a .223 die could i just buy and use a .222 die and set that up accordingly to get my desired neck size ???

like i said i am only new, and this might not be advised or a poor solution but i just had to ask..

cheers
 

Clark

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Oct 19, 2006
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I was so stupid.
For years I used Redding FL "S" dies.
I had many brands of dies for .223 and shot thousands of ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

Then when I did a controlled test.
A large randomly picked population of brass, each large population dedicated to a single resizing die, each seated with a Forster ultra seater, and shot the brass over and over in the same rifle.

After dozens of firings of each piece of brass, and some brass needing to be trimmed over and over...

Brass lasts a lot longer with Lee Collet dies.
Brass needs a lot less trimming with Lee Collet dies.
Cartridges are much more concentric as measured on the Sinclair concentricity gauge with Lee Collet dies.

Redding is the worst on all counts.
All the in between dies are in between.
Lee Collet is always the best.

And I left that Lee Collet die on the shelf for years, because it looked cheap.
I was so stupid.
 
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woods

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Yes, absolutely

Had one made for my 6.5 rem mag and plan on having others made for 375 Ruger and 338 RUM
 
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