Lee dies vs. everyone else

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by 1982flh80, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. 1982flh80

    1982flh80 New Member

    Lee Precision. Love their stuff or hate it. I own Lee dies and components from dies to 2 Lee presses. Classic turret and a 20 yr. old Challenger. No issues with either. Tried an experiment a few years back comparing loads to dies and equipment. A friend of mine owns all RCBS equipment. Good stuff indeed. Loaded 40 rds. of 30.06 for my rifle Remington 700 adl. 3x9x40 Nikon prostaff scope. 20 rds loaded on RCBS press w/dies. 20 rds loaded w/Lee dies and challenger press. Load: R/P cases same lot # 150gr. Sierra match king bullets, winchester primers, 51grs. of imr 4350. Range results showed no deviation in accuracy from ammo loaded wLee or RCBS components. Grouping was tight for a deer rifle. Averaging 4 shot 3/4 inch group @ 100 yds. Personally I see no difference in accuracy or quality of ammo loaded on either type of component. My belief is that all mfg of reloading equipment are held to a strict standard. Otherwise they risk serious liability. My Lee setup proves this point. Their system works well for a fraction of the cost.
  2. noylj

    noylj Member

    What it really shows is that perfection is not needed and wouldn't really improve things.
    I have been loading for 40+ years, so I a wide assortment of dies.
    A couple of years ago, trying to load .38 Special Wadcutter ammunition as accurate as factory loads, I started to compare different dies. Found the two seating dies that seemed to consistently produce the best accuracy were the Hornady New Dimension seating die with the alignment tube and the Lee seating die. The Lee die didn't even have a seating stem that matched the bullet as well as the Redding, RCBS, and Dillon dies, yet the rounds seemed to be 0.5-1.0" more accurate. Found that the only roll crimp die that improved accuracy was the Redding Profile Crimp die.
    The Hornady New Dimension sizing die seems to go lower on the case and sizing more smoothly than the other carbide dies.
    The expander die that seemed to produce the best accuracy was an OLD RCBS expander that could expand the whole length where the bullet would be seated and didn't flare out the case but simply sized the case mouth section to about 0.365". The other expanders, including the various Lee, Hornady, and Dillon powder-through expanders and the Lyman M-die expander were all pretty much the same in average accuracy. The key appeared to be having an expander large enough that the case ID over the length where the bullet would be seated was ~.359", using the Remingtion 148gn HBWC that measure 0.360-0.361" at the skirt. If you swaged the bullet down at all, you get mediocre accuracy.
    This led to me taking out the sizing die. The cases don't expand hardly at all at the low pressures the loads produce and this leaves the case ID just about exactly what is needed.
    My opinion is that Lee makes great dies, but it is fun to mix-and-match and see what effects you can find.

  3. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

    I tend to favor the RCBS and Dillon dies.
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    i believe that most of the dies from RCBS, Lee or any of the other major makers of reloading equipment pride themselves on making quality equipment. i own equipment made by various makers, RCBS, Lee, Forster, Dillon, Frankford Arsenal, and others. i personally think that it depends on what type of accuracy you are hoping to achieve. 2-3" group at a 150 yrds for deer or elk, or .5" group at 1000 yrds in competition shooting. if you are shooting competition at very long distances, you will have to buy a lot more presicion equipment than the standard offerings. several of the manufacturers make such dies and equipment, but unless you are shooting for very small holes at ungodly distances, most people will never truly benefit from this.