New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - About to order Lee Collet die but...
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

About to order Lee Collet die but...

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 19:06
Gil P. View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: February/01/2012
Location: Henderson, NV
Status: Offline
Points: 316
I am about to push the order button on a Lee Collet die but I was wondering what you all think of this:

I have been using a Redding FL sizing die and I am thinking of taking the decapping pin assembly to use it as a body/bump die instead. I am also planning on getting a Wilson Case Gauge to try and measure how much I am bumping the shoulder back (.001-.002). Once I have done that, I want to use the Lee Collet die to size the neck.

Would this work? Or would the Redding die still be sizing the neck in a way that I am not aware of?
I do not neck-turn.

In case you want the info:
Fired case neck diameter: .342-.345
FL Resized:                        .330
Bullet seated:                    .332

Edit: I just tried FL resizing without the decapping pin assembly and it still resizes the neck to .330, isnt .330 about where I want it resized anyway?
What benefits can I get from the Lee die?


Edited by Gil P. - August/22/2012 at 20:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 20:58
djp0623 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: August/08/2011
Location: Pinehurst, NC
Status: Offline
Points: 83
I've got one and haven't used it because all of the info I find on the net always suggests a full resize.  I'm curious about those that neck size and if they have good results.

I guess the idea is that the case is fire formed to your rifle after the first firing, which should mean there is no slop.  Then you just need to bring the neck back to spec.

My process has been to run new brass through the full size die, and I haven't reloaded any of my "fire formed" brass. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 21:26
Gil P. View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: February/01/2012
Location: Henderson, NV
Status: Offline
Points: 316
Ive heard the same thing about the full resize.

I wonder if anyone has tried using both a Redding S type FL die and a Lee Collet die and compared results. Ive heard good things about using a bushing type die because it can be set to bump the shoulder back as well as setting the neck tension.

Those Redding dies are about another 60 bucks (with bushings) so I wonder if they are better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 22:58
sakomato View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: February/28/2008
Location: Houston
Status: Offline
Points: 1085
The Lee Collet is an excellent die.  It works completely different from other dies.
 
There are essentially 3 different types of neck dies:
 
1.  Expander ball type which sizes the neck down and then resets the neck diameter by jerking an expander ball back through.  You need to lube inside the neck and the expander assemblies are fixed and often create a concentricity problem
 
2.  Bushing type which sizes the outside of the neck to a specific diameter which you determine by purchasing the bushing in the size you want.  They come with an expander assembly but most take them out because why spend all that money if you are doing the same thing you can with a regular FL die.  The one thing about bushing dies is that they push all the variances in neck thickness to the inside of the neck where they can cause problems with concentricity.  That is why it is best to outside neck turn to a consistant neck thickness to get the best results from a bushing die.
 
3.  Lee Collet which squeezes the neck brass onto a floating mandrel, no lube needed.  Your fired brass will come out of your chamber very concentric and the Lee Collet will not change that.
 
A few years ago I got into runout and concentricity on my ammo and I will say that the answer is the Lee Collet to make straight ammo.  There is a learning curve and the mandrels that come with the die are only .001" to .002" below your caliber so you don't get a lot of bullet grip.  IOW in a 308 caliber the mandrel will be .307" or .306".  You can get a Lee Factory Crimp die if that worries you or becomes a problem.
 
When or if you need to full length resize and push the shoulder back, the die to use is the Redding Body Die which does not size the neck.  It only sizes the case body and can be set to push the shoulder back when needed.  It is not near as expensive as the other Redding dies.
 
Spend your serious money on a Competition Seater, Redding, Forster or RCBS.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2012 at 07:48
SVT_Tactical View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
Chief Sackscratch

Joined: December/17/2009
Location: NorthCackalacky
Status: Offline
Points: 28753
spoken from the master
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2012 at 10:58
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 4613
sakomato,
 
Seems to me I'd read that the Lee mandrels can be buffed down a bit to get the diameter down a thou or two. Have you tried that or think it would be worthwhile? I can't remember off-hand which bushing dia. I have for my Redding S die, but on Redding's recommendation I had gone tighter because I use and carry ammo around for hunting. Because I use Lapua brass, runout hasn't been as much of a problem even using a bushing die w/o an expander. But I'm thinking of using the Lee instead.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2012 at 11:31
Gil P. View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: February/01/2012
Location: Henderson, NV
Status: Offline
Points: 316
I ordered the Lee collet die, Redding bump die and Wilson case gauge today. Ill let you all know how it works compared to regular FL resizing when I can.

Thanks for the help Sakomato!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2012 at 15:15
sakomato View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: February/28/2008
Location: Houston
Status: Offline
Points: 1085

Hey Gil, did you order the body die or some other kind that is called a bump die?  The reason I ask is that Forster sells a bushing-bump die (which does size the neck) and I don't know if Redding is also selling a bump die yet.

jonoMT, yes if you use very good brass like Lapua which has a very consistant neck thickness then the bushing dies are good. 
 
I have tried chucking a mandrel in a drill and using fine sandpaper to reduce the diameter.  My results were less than stellar.  It was hard to get a 100% consistant diameter because of the length of the mandrel.  You would have to get a mechanism to put 100% consistant force on the sandpaper for the full length of the mandrel.  You would not want the lower part to be bigger than the upper part where the neck is sized since you have to withdraw the full length out of the neck and it would expand it. 
 
I have ordered different sized mandrels from Lee
 
\
 
and prefer to use the mandrel that is .003" below caliber.  Example .281" on a 7mm or a .261" on a 6.5mm.  That is not so strong that it creates a lot of bullet seating force and is strong enough to hold bullets firmly.
 
Another thing about the Lee Collet is that I did a test one time using pin gauges
 
 
that measure neck ID to the .001".  I used a Full Length die with an expander, a bushing die (necks outside turned to the best of my ability) and a Lee Collet.  I sized 5 cases with each die and was looking for consistancy in ID.  Besides being able to determine which pin gauge would fit in the neck, you can also estimate on which side of that particular thousandths of inch it fell on by how tight or loose the pin fit in
 
Lee Collet - was absolutely perfect, same pin, same fit, all 5 case necks
Full Length die - same pin but it was sometimes tight sometimes loose
Bushing die - 2 different pins which in my interpretation meant a variance of .001" or so
 
Again there is a learning curve based mostly on a full comprehension of how the Lee Collet die works
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2012 at 20:11
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: October/31/2009
Location: Oklahoma
Status: Offline
Points: 1724
Originally posted by Gil P. Gil P. wrote:

I ordered the Lee collet die, Redding bump die and Wilson case gauge today. Ill let you all know how it works compared to regular FL resizing when I can.

Thanks for the help Sakomato!

That's the combo!

I've also tried honing down the mandrel, with same results as sakomoto.

I use the Lee collet die whenever I load for accuracy or for just one rifle and using cases fired in that rifle. I don't use it for autoloaders, or ammo loaded for multiple bolt guns of the same flavor.
There is a bit of a learning curve for using the collet die, but there are accurate instructions on the net.

In a pinch, a guy can use his rifle's chamber as a Wilson gage (gauge). I think sakomoto already outlined the process.
 I have two pistols with trick barrels (short leade) for which I must use the barrel as a gage because it will  not chamber ammo which is excessive c.o.a.l. for the barrel, but fits into the Wilson gage, or any other .45. Aggravating fail- to- go- into- battery is the result if not using those barrels as gauge for their ammo. Failure to close the slide can lead to an exceedingly bad practice of smacking the slide to close it... just a matter of time before that turns into a real problem for everyone on the firing line, but getting off topic, here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2012 at 03:19
Gil P. View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: February/01/2012
Location: Henderson, NV
Status: Offline
Points: 316
Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

Hey Gil, did you order the body die or some other kind that is called a bump die?  The reason I ask is that Forster sells a bushing-bump die (which does size the neck) and I don't know if Redding is also selling a bump die yet.



It is a Redding Body die. I should not have written bump die, although it dies bump the shoulder back without sizing the neck. Sinclair describes it as:

 "Body Dies are designed to full length resize the case body, bump the shoulder position for proper chambering, but not size the neck at all. They are made without internal parts and are intended for resizing cases which have become increasingly difficult to chamber after repeated firing. After using a body die, the case should be run through the neck die to achieve proper neck tension."

You had me worried there for a second! Good info about the consistency of those Lee dies. I hope this new combinations shrinks my group sizes!

On a side note about neck diameter... I was loading up some new, unfired winchester brass and I noticed that when I seated the bullets, it was very noticeably shearing off some copper. Before I seated them I ran them all through the FL sizing die to try and uniform the case necks. I accidently loaded up about 15 of these and they all shot pretty darn awful. Im wondering how the necks were so tight, I did chamfer and deburr the necks as well.

Probably just operator error, but I wonder what the heck I did wrong?
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "About to order Lee Collet die but..."
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
Got my Lee Collet die today Gil P. Reloading & Ballistics 6
Lee Powder- thru die and RCBS Uniflow adaptor Alan Robertson Reloading & Ballistics 1
Lee factory crimp die Dolphin Reloading & Ballistics 7
Lee Factory Crimp Die Urimaginaryfrnd Reloading & Ballistics 6
seater die vs dead length bullet seating die JimFromTN Reloading & Ballistics 2
Finally ordered it! torisdad Rifle Scopes 6
Lee new brass trimmer B W M Reloading & Ballistics 6
Trijicon ACOG TRITIUN has died. rifleshooter474 Tactical Scopes 1
Ordering From The Samplelist Snack_Attack Rifle Scopes 46
Misc Dies 7MM Remington Magnum 7 300 Win Mag 300WM 338LAPUASLAP Hunting and Shooting Gear For Sale 0


This page was generated in 0.500 seconds.