Lee Dies

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by cottontop, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    I know that many guys here like Lee reloading dies. Let me tell you about my recent experience. In fact, this happened yesterday. I was loading up some 8x57 Mauser ammo (.323 dia. bullets). I had all the brass cleaned, full length sized, trimmed and primed. I loaded up a couple and noticed something unusual. The bullets were actually loose in the cartridge. They were about finger tight. I loaded up a couple of more and the same thing happened, the bullets were loose. So, I took my Redding 8x57 neck sizing die, removed the neck expander rod and ran all of the remaining brass through it. Problem solved. The bullets were now tight in the cartridges. So, from now on, when I full length size 8x57 brass, I will have to run the brass through the Redding die after the Lee F.L. die. Not a big deal, but an extra step. It also shows the quality of Lee dies. I have a Lee scale and I love it, but I will never buy anymore Lee dies even if I have to pay more for RCBS, Redding, Lyman, or Hornady. So much for the cheap Lee dies, I am done with them.
    cottontop
     
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,393
    243
    63
    Cotton, I've had some bad experiences with LEE dies as well.

    I won't buy them, except for the FCD.

    But to be fair, LEE's customer service is outstanding. Send the bad die back and they'll replace it.
     

  3. saitek

    saitek New Member

    79
    0
    0
    i use a lot of lee dies ,did you check the diameter of the bullet ,and the expander ball and inside neck diameter .i am quite shure if you call them up with your finding's they will be more tham happy to help you out !
     
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

    4,435
    28
    38
    Nothing made by man in this world is perfect 100% of the time. I've had bad die problems from every single manufacturer of them in one caliber or another over the last 30+ years.Every time one of you has a little bitty problem,the first thing you do is get on the internet and rant about how this or that companies products suck,and I'm not buying their stuff ever again.

    Did you set the dies up correctly? If so,try screwing the die in 1/4-1/2 turn more.
    If that doesn't work,do what Saitek suggested,and measure the expander ball. If it is a little over sized,take some sandpaper/emory cloth,and sand it down by hand a little.
    That will solve the problem.
    Or,contact Lee,and they will send you a new expander for your die.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2012
  5. tri70

    tri70 New Member

    1,324
    0
    0
    I had a problem with my Hornady dies but it just with certain 223 cases. Most are fine Rem, Win, LC, Federal, PMC.
     
  6. cottontop

    cottontop Guest


    Hold your horses there cowboy. This is not the first Lee die I have had problems with. I have had problems with their .243 dies, their 7x57 dies and had a custom made .225 collet neck sizer that did not work at all. And, yes, the die was set up correctly. Even if it (the 8x57) wasn't screwed down another 1/4 to 1/2 inch, it still should have properly sized the neck. I have a couple of sets of Lee dies that work fine. I especially like my set of Lee 6.5x55. But, I will not take the chance of another bum set of Lee dies. I'm going to keep the 8x57 dies, I'm just going to run each case through the Redding neck sizer after full length sizing w/ the Lee. Try to sell Lee dies at a gun show. If they sell at all, they won't bring near as much as a set of RCBS.
    cottontop
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    A lot of the older cartridges have different sizers for the "same" bullet 762x54r is such a cartridge. You have to be very careful to get the right set some sets may have different options or are made to certain outdated specs or updated specs. Always do your research on a given set of dies before purchasing blindly.

    Just cuz it says rcbs on the side doesnt mean its good to go. The rcbs dies for 458 socom you cant crimp and seat at the same step. Rcbs in 458 winmag will often crumple brass seating 510grain bullets there isnt enough die body to seat proper depth before it tries to crimp. I have to use lee dies for winmag seating on those longer bullets because of that issue.
     
  8. cottontop

    cottontop Guest


    OK, the next time I load up a batch of .458 w/ 510 grain bullets, I'll keep that in mind. :rolleyes:
    cottontop
     
  9. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,393
    243
    63
    Three different LEE sizers I had were DEFECTIVE IN MANUFACTURE
    Two of them left deep gouges in the side of the case(and yes I cleaned them thoroughly before using)

    One of them, the cases could not be forced into the die at all.

    LEE replaced all three, no questions asked and apologized for the inconvenience.
     
  10. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    5,360
    3
    38
    I guess I've been lucky. All my pistol caliber reloading is done w/ Lee dies except .44-40, those are Redding. Rifles All almost all RCBS except for 3 Lee sets and 1 Hornady. I've not had an issue w/ any.
     
  11. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    my point is that not all dies are perfect for any application. every maker has their idiosynchrosies. the thing i hate the most about rcbs dies and like about some other makers is rcbs incorporates the crimp step in the seating dies. to get seperate crimping i have to buy yet another die. :rolleyes:
     
  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,393
    243
    63
    Jon, look into Redding dies. Many calibers are available in 4 die sets.

    I usually buy Redding 3 die sets, and a LEE factory crimp die.
     
  13. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    I will agree that the Lee factory crimp die is a good one. I use the Lee crimp die with my .35 Remington loads, the only cartridges I crimp. However, the other Lee dies, like I explained above are just not worth the trouble for me. Redding and Lyman seem to have the highest quality to me, followed by RCBS and Hornady. That is just my opinion based on my experience. Your opinions and experiences may be different and I am fine with that.
    BTW, I have an old set of Herters dies for the .222 Remington (I believe made by CH) that I bought off ebay. The full length sizer works great, but the adjustment ring on the bullet seater is stuck and I cannot move it at all. So, after sizing the brass, I use the bullet seater from my set of .223 Lyman dies to seat the bullets in my .222 cartridges and it works perfectly fine.
    cottontop
     
  14. Shade

    Shade New Member

    1,720
    0
    0
    What do you bullets measure and what does the expander on the Lee die
    measure?