lee .308 die

Sl*vex said: So my lee collect die just fucked 3 of my once fired lapua brass. Collapsed the shoulder. Effort felt the same but result totally not right. Wtf?

G*tehouse said: And it sized other cases normally? Or you messed up 3 and stopped?

604sh*oter said: Mine did exactly the same as soon as I started using Lapua brass. North American brass would size without any issues, but sizing Lapua brass would collapse the neck into the shoulder. Prying the collet fingers open and polishing the mandrel helped for a little while, but the problem would eventually reappear. I chalked it up to the thicker uniform necks of the Lapua brass and have since moved on to bushing dies.

Sl*vex said: I did 500 cases with no issues. Then it did one. I cleaned the die put it back together and did another 10 when it happened again. As well the necks of those 10 cases all look different. They all have a bunch of vertical lines running up them. All around the entire neck. Not just 4 you normally see from the sizer. Not very happy right now.

b*n hunchak said: Get rid of those dies and use proper dies, bushing neck dies from Redding, and comp seating die set.

Sl*vex said: Already have the Redding comp set for seating and body die. But so many people swore by the Lee I mistakenly went with it. Match is 4 days away. Not enough time to get Bushing die and bushings. Sigh.

G*nderite said: The collet die is handy when you have a wildcat like the 260 Ackley. The 260Rem collet die will neck size it easily. But for most cases, the bushing is much nicer.

D*UGLAS D said: Already have the Redding comp set for seating and body die. But so many people swore by the Lee I mistakenly went with it. Match is 4 days away. Not enough time to get Bushing die and bushings. Sigh. Live and learn Brother. Least wise you're bout' half way there with the Redding dies,

Sl*vex said: so that's it. Redding dies on the way, Lee piece of shit is going in the trash. I tried polishing it this morning, followed all the advice I could find on the net and Lee's useless website, and I ruined one case for sure, crushed it down, and maybe 4 other cases, as I got some serious marks on the neck. Not fucking happy at all. Of course, the sniper match is this weekend and I'm not sure what I'm going to do now as I have 200 cases to decap and neck size. Hopefully I can borrow a die off a buddy of mine, otherwise I'm out of the match.

Sl*vex said: Thanks to 757Fixer for providing me with a Redding Bushing die. Worked awesome. somehow though, I am now missing 6 cases. I don't freakin get it. My fired rounds are always done in groups of 50, and then put away in groups of 100. Somehow I'm down 6 cases all of a sudden. Arrrrrrrgggggg. I have a spares box of unfired brass, but I don't want to pull from there unless absolutely necessary fuck.

tb*ugh said: The only time I've had that problem with the Lee collet die was on some Winchester brass that I had annealed. I assumed I had I had over heated the necks.

m*ynard said: Thanks to 757Fixer for providing me with a Redding Bushing die. Worked awesome. somehow though, I am now missing 6 cases. I have a spares box of unfired brass, but I don't want to pull from there unless absolutely necessary f**k. Use the new cases for your sighters, good chance they will be in the group anyway.

z*ke said: Sound's like your case neck's are too soft. Been there,done that.:D

d*n belisle said: It does sound like it's annealing time. - dan

f*zzy said: Send your POS die over here Slavex. I've been using a used one for hundreds of loadings of Winchester brass and then hundreds of loadings of Lapua, no trouble. I've got the Redding bushing die and Comp seater, I only use the Lee ones to size and use Lee Collet for most of the other calibers I load for as well.. Good luck at the match! Mike and I would like to be there :(

Myst*c Precision said: did you size your cases before using the Lee collet die? Because the die has a fixed 'chamber' length, if a case is longer then desired, it will top out in the die and this can cause it to be pushed back. Unsupported, the case can bulge or buckle. As long as the case is within desired dimensions, the die can't crush the shoulder - it should never touch. If you are finding this, AND the shoulders haven't been over annealed, put a washer on the shellholder so that the die is activated higher up. This should solve the problem I use a 1/8" thick washer with a 1/2" hole in the center. works like a charm. Now, I run all my brass through a body die to ensure proper functioning and it also ensures no case is too long for my Lee die. bushing dies work just fine and very popular too. I sell a bunch so have nothing negative towards them. Just keep an eye that you don't get excessive brass flow into the base of the neck causing a donut. Every tool has its quirks and limitations.... Jerry

N*rthman999 said: Isn't it funny how we get pissed about a couple of pieces of trashed brass? The first piece of brass I tried to resize in my .375 RUM ended up with a crushed neck, due to an improperly adjusted die, and it ticked me right off for a good while. Likewise I crushed the necks on my first two 22-250 brass I tried to reload, my first experience with Lee dies, again I had not adjusted them right, and I was seriously pissed and almost trashed the die set. Must be even worse for someone preparing for a competition, but if you think about how much reloading supplies we go through, it doesn't really make much sense how bent out of shape we get about a few pieces of brass getting mangled.

Tr*vor60 said: When you broke down the lee die and put it back together did you clean and lub the fingers? I have had no issues with the two I own. some useful information Using The Lee Collet Die. The collet die achieves neck sizing by using a split collet to squeeze the outside of the case neck onto a central mandrel which has the decapping pin in its base. One advantage is that there is no stretching or drawing action on the brass. The inside neck diameter is controlled by the diameter of the mandrel and to some extent by the amount of adjustment of the die and the pressure applied to the press. This results in less misalignment than can occur in standard dies because of any uneven neck wall thickness in the cases. Cases will last longer in the neck area and require less trimming. If cases have very uneven neck wall thickness then this can cause problems for the collet die they definitely work smoother and more accurately with neck turned cases but it is not essential. When you first receive the die unscrew the top cap and pull it apart check that everything is there also that the splits in the collet have nothing stuck in them then inspect the tapered surface on the top end of the collet and the internal taper of the insert to make sure there are no metal burs that might cause it to jamb. Next get some good quality high pressure grease and put a smear onto the tapered surface of the collet. Put it back together and screw it into the press just a few threads for now. The best type of press for this die is a press of moderate compound leverage that travels over centre. Over centre means that when the ram reaches its full travel up it will stop and come back down a tiny amount even though the movement on the handle is continued through to the stop. e.g. is an RCBS Rockchucker. This arrangement gives the best feel for a collet die sizing operation. Place the shell holder in the ram and bring the ram up to full height then screw the die down until the collet skirt just touches on the shell holder, then lower the ram. Take a case to be sized that has a clean neck inside and out and the mouth chamfered and place it in the shell holder. Raise the ram gently feeling for resistance if none, lower the ram. Screw the die down a bit at a time. If you get lock up (ram stops before going over centre) before the correct position is found then back it off and make sure the collet is loose and not jammed up in the die before continuing then raise the ram feeling for any resistance, keep repeating this until you feel the press handle resist against the case neck just at the top of the stroke as the press goes over centre and the handle kinder locks in place. This takes much less force than a standard die and most people don’t believe any sizing has taken place. Take the case out and try a projectile of the correct caliber to see how much sizing has taken place. If it’s still too loose adjust the die down one eighth of a turn lock it finger tight only and try again. Once the die is near the correct sizing position it takes very little movement of the die to achieve changes in neck seating tension. This is where most people come undone, they move the die up and down too much and it either locks up or doesn’t size at all. It will still size a case locking it up but you have no control over how much pressure is applied and some people lean on the press handle to the point of damaging the die. A press like the RCBS Rockchucker that goes over centre each time gives you a definite stopping point for the ram and the pressure that you apply. There is a small sweet spot for correct collet die adjustment and you must find it, once found, how sweet it is! Advantages: With a press that travels over centre it is possible to adjust the neck seating tension within a very limited zone. No lubricant is normally required on the case necks during sizing. If you still can’t get enough neck tension to hold the bullet properly for a particular purpose then you will have to polish down the mandrel. Be careful polishing the mandrel down and only do it a bit at a time as a few thou can be removed pretty quickly if you overdo it. You can't get extra neck tension by just applying more force. The amount of adjustment around the sweet spot is very limited and almost not noticeable without carrying out tests. For example, to go from a .001 neck tension to a .002 or .003 neck tension you would be talking about polishing down the mandrel. There are some other advantages but I will leave you the pleasure of discovering them. One disadvantage that I have found with the collet die is that it needs good vertical alignment of the case as it enters the die or case damage may result so go slowly. Also some cases with a very thick internal base can cause problems with the mandrel coming in contact with the internal base before the sizing stroke is finished. If pressure is continued the mandrel can push up against the top cap and cause damage. If you are getting lock up and cant get the right sizing sweet spot, then check that the mandrel is not too long for the case you can place a washer over the case and onto the shell holder and size down on that. It will reduce the length of neck sized and give the mandrel more clearance. If it sizes Ok after adding the washer then the mandrel could be hitting the base. This is not a usually problem once you learn how to use them. The harder the brass is the more spring back it will have so very hard brass will exhibit less sizing than soft brass because it will spring away from the mandrel more. If this is happening to excess then use new cases or anneal the necks. Freshly annealed brass can drag on the mandrel a bit in certain cases because it will spring back less and result in a tighter size diameter. I have experienced it. I always use some dry lube on the inside and outside if I get any dragging effect. Normally you don’t need lube. I make up a special batch 1/3 Fine Moly powder. 1/3 Pure graphite. 1/3 Aluminiumised lock graphite. Rub your fingers around the neck and It sticks very well to the necks by just dipping it in and out and tapping it to clear the inside neck. After a few cases it coats up the mandrel. Other dry lubricants would work also. Use the same process for normal neck sizing also. I noticed a definite improvement in the accuracy of my 22-250Rem. as soon as I started using a Lee collet die instead of my original standard neck die. Readers are encouraged to utilize the benefits of responsible reloading at all times. Although the author has taken care in the writing of these articles no responsibility can be taken by the author or publisher as a result of the use of this information. John Valentine. © 21/01/2002.

Sl*vex said: the die was cleaned and lubed, still had problems. it had done 500 rounds previously, with zero problems. All once fired Lapua brass, all cases are the same length, same size etc. The die simply is a piece of shit. I'd much rather deal with the donut that the Redding die will cause, then the destruction of random cases whenever the die feels like fucking up. it's not going on the EE, and in fact not even into the garbage, it's going to the range as a target.

m*ynard said: I have been using Redding dies for years and never seen this so called "donut" problem caused by Redding dies. I also only use Lapua brass. Maybe I am doing something wrong?

z*ke said: might I suggest trying it out on different type's of .308/7.62 brass to see if it does this to all of it or just your Lapua brass? You never know......

Sl*vex said: Like I said. Fine for 500 rounds then it crapped out. Not going to waste any further time on this POS.

Myst*c Precision said: I have been using Redding dies for years and never seen this so called "donut" problem caused by Redding dies. I also only use Lapua brass. Maybe I am doing something wrong? Seems to be random but pressure is a common element. Brass does flow forward as we shoot - why our cases grow in length. NO, I don't use any die with an expander ball which can really stretch cases. In some combinations, brass starts to go from the shoulder area (thick) towards the neck (thin). The bevel in the bushing stops its ability to size this and over time a build up of brass occurs. It most certainly doesn't occur with all bushing die users but it does occur. Jerry

f*zzy said: the die was cleaned and lubed, still had problems. it had done 500 rounds previously, with zero problems. All once fired Lapua brass, all cases are the same length, same size etc. The die simply is a piece of s**t. I'd much rather deal with the donut that the Redding die will cause, then the destruction of random cases whenever the die feels like f**king up. it's not going on the EE, and in fact not even into the garbage, it's going to the range as a target. You're pretty Rob. I'd send ya a couple new Lapua brass for the die. My Lee die was bought at the BCRA silent auction a few years ago and has worked fine since.




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