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Old April 27, 2007, 08:55 PM   #1
muchocranium
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What do you think of lee dies?

I was thinking of getting a set of carbide dies for .45. I use RCBS dies for .40
but was thinking of trying a set of lee dies because of the cheaper price. What are your thoughts on them compared to RCBS. Also, any recommended
loads for .45. They'll be used in a kimber fullsize. Thanks.
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Old April 27, 2007, 10:20 PM   #2
Randy_che
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I like Lee dies. They have a good design, and the 4 die carbide set with the crimp die is a good deal. The lee dies also come with the shell holder, powder scoop, instructions, and load data. RCBS, while a great set of dies, and with great customer service, only come with instructions.
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Old April 27, 2007, 10:21 PM   #3
pumpkinheaver
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I use RCBS, LEE and Hornady dies for various hangun and rifle cartridges. I think the ammo loaded with the Lee dies is just as good as the ammo loaded on the other brands. I would never hesitate to recomend Lee dies.
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Old April 27, 2007, 10:22 PM   #4
pumpkinheaver
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My most used load for my Kimber is 5.0gr Bullseye under a 230 gr cast bullet.
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Old April 27, 2007, 10:34 PM   #5
benedict1
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+1 Lee 4 die Deluxe carbide die set

You can't go wrong. Get the Deluxe 4 die set and you get the Factory Crimp Die too. You can put a perfect taper crimp on your .45 rounds with it--as little or as much as you want.

I have two sets of them for .45 ACP--one on a turret for my Load Master and one on a turret for my Lee Classic Press. The latter set is used in load development of the turret press.

For the price they cannot be beat, IMHO.
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Old April 27, 2007, 10:49 PM   #6
mrawesome22
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I love Lee dies. I hate Lee lock rings. If you order a 4 die set, order 4 Hornady lock rings to go along with them.
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Old April 27, 2007, 11:08 PM   #7
Ranger61
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I kind of go along with mrawesome. Their 4 die carbide pistol sets are very good but the lock rings kind of suck. They don't stay put very well. It wouldn't be a problem if you put them in the press and never take them out but I load for a lot of different calibers and each time I put them in the press its hard to get them back to the same setting without some trial and error. That being said the one thing I like best about the Lee pistol dies is that with my RCBS and Pacific carbide dies I have found they sometimes leave a ring near the base of the case that is very unsightly. Never had that problem with my Lee dies.
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Old April 28, 2007, 12:29 AM   #8
skeeter1
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Quote:
I love Lee dies. I hate Lee lock rings. If you order a 4 die set, order 4 Hornady lock rings to go along with them.
That's exactly what I did as well. The Lee carbide dies work just fine, but the lock rings just don't hold adjustment very well. I got some Hornady lock rings (from Midway, I think) for about $3 each, and they're much better. Since I use a Lee hand press to reload my .38Spls, I have to change my dies frequently, and the Hornady rings work better. If you're using a multi-stage press, and don't change dies often, maybe the Lee rings would be OK.
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Old April 28, 2007, 01:14 AM   #9
Luciano
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I also have Lee,Hornady,RCBS,Lyman and Redding.
FOR THE MONEY...they're ok.Yes they load ammo.But check your expander plug.A little rough right?Tool marks filing little brass shavings off the case mouth.Yes they work...
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Old April 28, 2007, 05:27 AM   #10
Castaway
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I'm a Lee die fan for pistols. Using the Lee disk kit with the combination powder charger/case beller saves a step in the reloading process and speeds production considerably. I can't tell the differrence in the final product between them and my other dies by Lyman or RCBS.
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Old April 28, 2007, 07:11 AM   #11
qajaq59
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I use Lee, Lyman and RCBS. They're all ok but I like the Lyman the best.
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Old April 28, 2007, 02:47 PM   #12
44 AMP
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Not a big fan of Lee

I don't care for some of their features. I have a couple of sets, but seldom use them. I use RCBS and Lyman mostly, although I do have a realy old set of Herter's that I use for 6.5x55mm Swede.

Lee dies work fine, I just like others better, and the small difference in new price is nothing over the life of the dies. Some of my dies have been in use for 35 years! Unless you do something wrong, they don't wear out.

I use the Lee decapping sets for GI brass, and are very happy with them.
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Old April 28, 2007, 05:49 PM   #13
CrustyFN
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I have Lee die s and they work great. I have never had trouble with the lock ring. I have never had my dies get lose, at least not yet.
Quote:
Ranger61
They don't stay put very well. It wouldn't be a problem if you put them in the press and never take them out but I load for a lot of different calibers and each time I put them in the press its hard to get them back to the same setting without some trial and error.
Ranger61, are you using a turret press. If so then I would suggest buying extra turrets and not removing you dies.
Rusty
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Old April 28, 2007, 06:05 PM   #14
Zippy06
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I have only used Lee dies.
And Lee Carbide Dies. With multiple turrets. Change over is 5 min.
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Old April 28, 2007, 06:08 PM   #15
Shane Tuttle
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Muchocranium,

I have to duplicate what most have said already...the Lee dies, for the money will serve you well. I have them for the .40 S&W and the 3-in1 for my 9mm. I have the Redding for my .45ACP. I think the Redding is the better die, but you pay for it, too. I'll upgrade to Redding when budget allows, but again, Lee is a good choice.

Mrawesome22,

Thanks for the tip on the lock rings. I didn't think of doing that...
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Old April 28, 2007, 06:12 PM   #16
40SIG
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I use Lee dies in 38/357,40 and the collet die in 223. They work well. I especially like the factory crimp die.

Last edited by 40SIG; April 28, 2007 at 10:04 PM.
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Old April 28, 2007, 06:50 PM   #17
mrawesome22
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No problem Tuttle. And thanks to whoever gave me the idea LOL.
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Old April 28, 2007, 07:00 PM   #18
Huntzalittle
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I own 'em, I use 'em, I'm happy
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Old April 28, 2007, 07:20 PM   #19
rfdillon
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+! CrustyFN, almost all my dies are Lee. I like the lock rings so much, that I ordered some extra ones to replace those on my RCBS dies.
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Old April 28, 2007, 09:42 PM   #20
BigJakeJ1s
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Lee carbide sizing dies I have tried are pretty good. Can't say the same for their seater dies though; too much play leads to crooked bullets. I like Hornady seating dies much better, with their floating alignment sleeve, and easy cleaning without having to reset them up. I like the Lyman M Die expanders too.

Lee FCD for rifle or bottleneck pistol cartridges (collet style crimping) are great. I've not had good results from my 45 colt FCD. I like the crimp from my Hornady seating die (while I seat the bullet) better, and it saves a step too.

And I seriously dislike the Lee lock-less rings! Hornady lock rings are the best around. Clamping action to stay put, and wrench flats to boot. Hard combination to beat.

Andy
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Old April 28, 2007, 11:15 PM   #21
cloudcroft
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Lee dies are all I use...except for a Lyman Universal Depriming die.

And, with Lee dies, you get all that extra stuff right there in that compact red plastic container.

-- John D.
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Old April 29, 2007, 09:05 AM   #22
Crazy4nitro
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I like them for Pistols...I have never used their rifle dies.
The Meter is Pegged on Bang for the Buck.

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Old April 29, 2007, 09:13 AM   #23
tstone
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Lee dies....

Work great for me.
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Old April 30, 2007, 12:27 AM   #24
KW-Bane
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All I have used were Lee dies, but I'm sure the others mentioned are just as good.
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Old April 30, 2007, 02:57 PM   #25
Tim R
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I'm going to be the odd man out on this one. I got a set of Lee 38/357 carbide dies when I first started loading 38/357. It sounded like I was sizing sand when I sized the brass. I got a set of RCBS carbides, the sand sound went away, and the press handle stroke was way smoother. Today I use only RCBS carbides for pistol cartridges.
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