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Old November 21, 2002, 12:37 AM   #1
larryw
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Neck sizing dies

I have a Lee neck sizing die for .223 and am finding that I'm smashing the shoulder way too often. This happens even after backing the adjustment way down so the neck really isn't sized. I smoothed the sharp edge on the decapping pin and that helped a bit, but not enough.

So, I'm seeking recommendations on a good neck sizing die.

I looked at the Redding dies on the Sinclair site but am confused by what exactly I'd need if that's the way to go.

thanks,
LW
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Old November 21, 2002, 01:32 AM   #2
ViLLain
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reduce the amount of lube.
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Old November 21, 2002, 02:09 AM   #3
larryw
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Tried that, even dry and no joy.
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Old November 21, 2002, 07:04 AM   #4
Khornet
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Which Lee die?

Is it their 'collet' die?
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Old November 21, 2002, 10:16 AM   #5
JerryM
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I would have thought that lubricant was the culprit. However, if you have tried that and still have the problem call Lee.

I have neck sizing dies by RCBS and have been well pleased with them.
I recently bought a rifle, and dug out my old stuff, and I found that my dies were scratching the cases. I called RCBS and they said to send them in and they would fix or replace them. I also sent in a powder measure that they don't make anymore. The powder drum was cracked, probably because I dropped it several times. Again they are replacing it with their new model free as a lifetime warranty.

I have found that they replace parts for my priming tool, which wear out, free also.

In short, RCBS is a fine company, and has been throughout its history. They have excellent customer service. I highly recommend them for any reloading tools.
Jerry
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Old November 21, 2002, 11:36 AM   #6
larryw
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Yes, its the Lee collet die.

During the stroke, just as the collet hits the mouth, it seems to get hung up on a lip (don't know if that's really what's happening, that's just how it feels). hed the burr off the decap/inside neck pin and that helped a bit: now I only collapse 1 in 5 shoulders. By collapse, pushing the neck straight down into the case until the shoulder is gone.

I tried calling Lee a couple times, but no answer. Since TFL never sleeps, I "called" you next.

It is very possible that the die just doesn't work properly in the 550B. According to the instructions, I screw it down 1 turn past plate contact. Only problem is there are not enough threads to get there. I'm at less than 1/2 turn past contact.

I'll try Lee again and RCBS.

thanks,
LW
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Old November 21, 2002, 01:17 PM   #7
Bogie
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Huh?

I'm guessing that the shellplate is a different thickness than the expected shellholder - The way the Lee die works is when the SHELLHOLDER forces the collet into the die, closing the collet. The brass shouldn't have any stress (at least vertical) placed upon it.
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Old November 21, 2002, 01:29 PM   #8
Desert Pete
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Larry, don't take offense at this, but are you a new reloader? Are you using once fired or new cases? It sounds like you are trying to size already sized cases and the expander won't enter the case mouth. That's the only thing I can figure that would cause the collapse you described. Lee equipment is not the slickest around, but it does always work.
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Old November 21, 2002, 01:31 PM   #9
Desert Pete
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Or maybe it has the wrong expander?
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Old November 21, 2002, 08:08 PM   #10
Cody
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"In short, RCBS is a fine company, and has been throughout its history. They have excellent customer service. I highly recommend them for any reloading tools".

Ditto on that note, I have the Pro2000 and the Rock Chucker on my bench!

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Old November 21, 2002, 08:51 PM   #11
larryw
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Pete, no offense. I'm here to learn and not too proud to ask for help.

I am fairly new to reloading for the rifle with about a thousand rifle loads under my belt, most being 30-06 (Lee collet neck die works like a charm there). 223 has been a "challenge" to neck size, but the loads I worked up sure shoot nice.

Cases are fired, this latest batch are once-fired Winchester brass that I bought new in bulk (WSP, 26.2gr VVN133 and 40gr V-Max). I clean the necks using a Krazy Kloth or Hoppes, wipe them down, run a brush in the mouth. Pop them in my chamber gauge and if all's well, neck resize (collet doesn't require lube). Those that don't pass the gauge get fixed (either full length sized or trimmed depending on need). FLRS brass gets segregated.

As I lower the handle (raise the plate), the case enters the die and I feel some resistance after the spent primer drops. It feels like the casemouth is getting hung up on the collet edge, increasing pressure then no pressure (compared to the smooth springy feel when things work right). If I lightly pump the handle and jiggle the case, I can usually get the case to enter the die and resize. However, the difference in pressure on the handle between success and ruined cases is very small. And my patience is wearing thin (as is my case supply).

At first I thought it was the rough edge on the expander that was causing the problem. I chucked it up and smoothed that edge. Helped a bit, but I still have problems. So now I think that maybe the collet is not expanding enough to allow the case to enter properly (I've cleaned all surfaces of the die). Or perhaps the inside corner needs to be rounded (don't have the tools to properly do that).

Or maybe the collet is the wrong size. The expander seems to be the correct size.

I have the worst luck getting Lee on the phone: in the four times I've tried calling them since I've started reloading, I've never spoken to anyone there.

thanks all!

LW
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Old November 22, 2002, 02:27 AM   #12
larryw
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Figured it out

I got to thinking how the die worked and took a closer look at the actual function of my die. Turns out two problems contributed to the problems.

First, the collet had collapsed so the fingers were touching instead of spread apart. This means the case had to force the fingers apart as it slid in. I carefully spread these apart. Things were much better, but didn't completely solve the problem.

Second problem is the collet galled the aluminum body, so it didn't slide in the body smoothly. I touched the body up with some Emory cloth and it works fine now.

I'm a bit put off how worn out this die is after only a couple hundred sizings. I'll keep a close eye on the collet, at least until my RCBS die arrives.

Thanks all!
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Old November 22, 2002, 02:40 PM   #13
Bogie
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Oh...

Take the thing, and coat the inside of the collet die (and the collet - what the heck) with some moly... Just brush a good bit on.

It'll work a LOT smoother.
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Old November 23, 2002, 01:14 AM   #14
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Just get a Redding die and be done with it.
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Old November 25, 2002, 11:15 AM   #15
mikeinfwa
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I had a similar problem with my .308 Lee die.

The "collett" part of the die was worn and scratched. Thus the collett was staying closed. I cleaned it up but it still sticks every now and then.

I ended up buying a Redding Bushing die.

mike
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Old November 26, 2002, 12:33 PM   #16
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Like most everything else Lee makes, the collet dies need a little "lee-menting". That's doesn't necessarily mean that it's not useable. I like the collet dies, but I've had to "lee-ment" every one of them to get them to work well. One I even returned to Lee - they said they fixed it and returned it to me and it still didn't work right until I "lee-mented" it. I took it all apart and polished everything with crocus cloth that even looked like it touched. For one thing the collet didn't even move back and forth without binding. It also had burrs. I also put a filmed of moly grease on parts that touch. Works like a champ now. No binding or buckled brass. sundog
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