I am a big fan of LEE collet dies, but I am having trouble with their seating dies. Do you guys with more experience than I have any words of advice for keeping run-out to a minimum using the LEE seating die?
I found with the new set of Lee dies I just bought that the seater damages the tips of my berger bullets and they are also not very consistant in seating depths. So went out and bought a set of Redding dies, hope they work better, so far I am on my forth set of dies, bought two RCBS dies, one set of Lee dies and one set of Redding dies. I figure my next set will be forster dies. Hope I don't have to order any more????
go out and buy yourself a good seater! You simply cannot buy a better seater than a Forster for any amount of money (threaded die). Now wether or not you need the micrometer head is up to you (you really only need it when you change bullets often). But on the otherhand, if the case starts out bad, the best seater in the world will only produce substandard ammo. Tell us a little more about your setup, and what you are try to do. (be sure to tell us about the exact bullet as well)
Perhaps the most helpful tool to reduce run-out is a concentricity gage. Only with that can you determine where the run-out is being induced. Most run-out comes from the cases, no sizer can make non-concentric necks seat straight, no seater can seat bullets streaight in a non-concentric neck. I lost a lot of my die brand snobbishness when I got my concentiricity gage!
For seaters I can say that my results - after measuring ammo from a LOT of dies - show there are two classes of seaters. Forster/Redding are tied for first place and all of the others are tied for second place, including some expensive so-called "competition" dies. All sizer dies are made to the same tolerances and that's a range, NOT a specific point, so there's as much variation between dies of the same brand as there is between brands.
IF we get a good standard seater it will load as well as a more costly type bu that's not the average result. The reason the Forsters and Reddings are so good is the design, a full length sleeve that centers the bullet and case body before seating begins, not "tighter" tolerances. No other seaters have that full size seater so no other brand will, on average, do as well as those two.
Pulling a conventional sizer's ball expander through necks WILL pull/bend them toward the thin side. It helps reduce run-out if we at least skim turn necks to make them more uniform and get the inside and outside pointing in the same direction. That said, over-turning necks simply makes an already poor fit worse so, if you turn, only skim off maybe 70-80% of their circumference.
The Lee Collet Neck sizer is perhaps the very best neck die available for factory rifles; it works case necks the absolute minimum. It tends to reduce the worst effects of bad necks but can't totally correct them; no die can do that!
IF you don't like the Lee Collet neck die you may want to try Lyman's M expander die, used after normal sizing but without using the normal expander. The M expander works by pushing IN and that seems to help keep the finished necks straighter.
I've found no benefit from seating part way and rotating before completion. Sounds good but the internal fit of the bullet guide and seating punch is usually much too loose for any tilt correction to occur. Fact is, once a bullet has started off axis it tends to continue off axis.
Lee's Dead-Length Seaters used as the directions suggest produces the most consistant OAL ammo I can make. ??