Lee Pacesetter Dies and "Collet Dies" for 300WM (Rookie Question...)?

sm31

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Dec 1, 2016
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Eagle River, AK
I have a set of Lee Pacesetter "Full Length" dies for reloading my 300WM. I'm very much a rookie at this game, and at the time of purchase I was not aware of the need for a "collet die" to keep the cases from bulging just above the belt. I'm still not sure I understand how to mitigate this problem with a collet die... (if there is a way!)

My question is: Are the Pacesetter Full Length dies going to contribute to the bulging case problem after a couple of reloads? If so, will the addition of a collet die help prevent this issue?

At this point I'm so new to the game that I'm not sure I even worded my question properly! Thanks for the input!!!
 

cape cove

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Mar 17, 2016
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The Lee collet die ( if this is the collet die you are referring to) does nothing to size the portion of the case you mentioned. This die only sizes the case neck. The die, I believe, you are referring to is the Larry Willis collet die for belted mags. You may benefit from this die or may not need it. Depends on how your present die and your chamber matches up. Only firing and sizing several times will tell you. JME
Innovative Technologies - Reloading Equipment (larrywillis.com)
 

243winxb

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When sizing belted brass to headspace (head clearance) off the shoulder, the area in front of the belt may become unsupported. More so when neck sizing.
 

Tripodmvr7

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Use reasonable speeds and you wont need special dies for a belted case.

My advice for a rookie is to read up as much as possible, but the help of an experienced mentor is something that helps a lot. Forums nowadays offer lots of help, but the hands on is lacking and sometimes necessary.

Enjoy your reloading journey and remember that we work within physical constraints - do not try and make a 300WM a Weatherby. Safety first and foremost.

Feel free to get as much advice as possible from seasoned shooters.
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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For a rookie the Lee collet die will only cause problems. Even I have difficulty loading cases with that thing.
Get yourself an inexpensive set of RCBS dies, polish the expander button with 800 grit wet/dry sand paper and WD40, and make sure you use powdered graphite inside the necks PRIOR to sizing. Using a cal specific nylon brush is the easiest method.
Do not worry about bulging above the belt, it happens in very few rifles and is ALWAYS caused by the reloader using poor brass or inducing excessive headspace.
If it develops using soft brass like Norma/Nosler/Federal, switch to Winchester/Remington/Hornady.
The harder brass resists this bulge.
Personally, using multiple belted mags, 264WM, 270Bee, 300WM, 300Bee, 338WM, 340Bee, 30-338WM and 375Bee for the last 30+ years, Norma brass is the ONLY one that has given me issues.
I have not seen this bulge ever, but I do get tricky sizing issues with Norma brass, even in non-belted cartridges.

Cheers.
 

sm31

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Dec 1, 2016
Messages
26
Location
Eagle River, AK
Wow... Thank you everyone for such great advice!!! It's a privilege to have this kind of "access" to experienced shooters & reloaders on this forum!!

I will definitely continue my research on this issue... and I will be very cautious with my loads. I also appreciate the advice on finding a good mentor. That would be ideal for sure!
 
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