Lee collet dies seem kinda of tricky?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by tiberius10721, May 23, 2012.

  1. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    Well today was the first time using lee collet dies on some fire formed 8mm brass and it was a hell of an experience. As i was seating the bullets they kept falling through the case. I finally figured it all out after re reading the setup instructions very carefully but it took me a while. All my problems were due to my inexperience reloading rifle cartridges but im learning:D anybody else go through this?
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    yeah! i resized and prepped about 25-30 cases of 280 Rem. loaded the powder charges, seated the bullets, did a light crimp, one evening after work. a few days later, the next weekend, i was going to do some testing of the loads i did, then realized, i forgot the primers!:eek:

    it happens. even to veteran reloaders. just learn from your mistakes and everything will be fine.
     

  3. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    None of us were born knowing much. The collet neck sizer has a moving part - the collet - so it does have a short learning curve. From what I read on the web, seems some guys never get it.
     
  4. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    You're in good company.

    Are you talking about reloading or wimmen?

    I have a theory, all equipment is female...:eek:
     
  5. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    well im not giving up on it yet. Apparently it helps if you totally disassemble it clean out any metal shavings and grease it up a little.
     
  6. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    gave up trying to learn about women a long tome ago now i just use selective hearing with my wife to try to Pick out the important parts of what she is saying and tune out the rest:D
     
  7. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    I could see with these dies how someone using them for the first time would be frustrated with them. I will be taking my calipers with me to the range just to make sure there is no bullet set back while im shooting. My reloading manuals are my bible when it comes to reloading but I sure love youtube when it comes to learning all the little tricks on how to do things and fix problems.
     
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    The Lee Collet die is set up for about .001 neck tension. Many handloaders feel this to be inadequate. Increasing the neck tension can be done two ways. Chuck the mandrel in a drill and polish it down to your desired size with some fine emery cloth, or order a "reduced" mandrel from Lee for $5.

    Check the neck tension by taking a loaded round and push the tip of the bullet hard into the bench, you should not be able to seat the bullet deeper without a lot of pressure, if at all.

    You can also measure it. Measure the outside neck diameter of a sized round. Seat a bullet. Measure again and subtract.
     
  9. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    What you can try is to seat a bullet

    in a cartridge without the primer or powder.

    I save my crappiest and mismatched cartridges,

    and test press my "crushers" till I'm satisfied

    that seating depth and crimp are right, before

    moving on.

    I find I lose some cartridges, but save a lot of primers and

    powder this way.
     
  10. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "The Lee Collet die is set up for about .001 neck tension. Many handloaders feel this to be inadequate. "

    That's true but, IMHO, they are provably wrong; a thou or so is all of the "neck tension" anyone's really going to get no matter how small they may make case necks. I suspect they're mentally equating the lever force for seating in small necks as bullet grip but that's not so, all they're feeling is the additional effort to expand the necks enough for the bullets to enter. Any hole starting smaller than about 1 thou less than bullet diameter just stretches the brass passed its elastic limit during seating and we are left with only the last .001" for real bullet grip/tension.

    Prove it to yourself; carefully mic a loaded round, then pull the bullet and mic it again... 1 to 1.5 thou of springback after bullet removal is all that will change from seated to pulled no matter how small the original sized neck diameter was. Meaning, Lee knows what they are doing; those who think added seating pressure equates to added bullet grip don't.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  11. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Lee dies are probably the easiest dies in the world to set up and use.When all else fails-READ the directions and follow them.
    I have and use dies by Lee,RCBS,Redding,and Hornady.Lee's are by far the simplest to set up and use,and I have never broken/bent any parts of them.
    I can't say that on all the other brands!
     
  12. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    I have proven it to myself. I have several Lee Collet dies. Many of them right out of the box did not supply enough neck tension to hold the bullet secure. It was very easy to push the bullet deeper into the case.
    A quick call to Lee and the problem was solved. They suggested I polish the mandrel down or purchase one of their "reduced" mandrels. They told me that not all brass is created equal and some brass is more elastic than others and some has more spring back than others. Especially brass that has been fired many times. The reduced mandrel squeezes the neck down a thou or two more to compensate for brass spring back.
     
  13. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Do you regularly anneal your brass?

    In the 30+ years that I've reloaded.I've never had any neck tension problems with any dies,especially Lee's,unless the brass needed to be annealed.
    I rarely ever crimp any bullets,and don't have any problems with any bullets being freely moved by hand in the necks,but I also always anneal my brass after 3-5 firings.It all depends on the caliber/loads that I'm pushing rather fast.
     
  14. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    I anneal most of my brass, especially the high $$ stuff. Even annealed, different headstamps yield different amounts of
    "spring back".