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View Poll Results: Favorite Reloading Dies
Redding 10 7.30%
RCBS 35 25.55%
Hornady 8 5.84%
Lyman 3 2.19%
Dillon 6 4.38%
Forster 6 4.38%
Lee 69 50.36%
Voters: 137. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 30, 2012, 11:35 PM   #1
warbirdlover
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Favorite and least favorite dies

I always bought Redding when I could or RCBS. I didn't like Hornady and the others but that's just me. Never tried Dillon dies.
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Old January 30, 2012, 11:43 PM   #2
Sevens
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I have many Lee, a few RCBS and one set of Lyman All-American. Those Lyman dies are from 1978, I believe.

When shopping for dies, new or used, I'm shopping for Lee. I only end up with RCBS when someone buys 'em for me or I find a steal on some used ones. Lee works great for me, I'm quite happy with them.

I bought the Lyman All-American set to load .357 Magnum with... and I love 'em! I have no idea if their current production dies are like these old ones. If they are, those are the ones I should be buying.

Problem is... I've got like 18 sets of dies and I'm not likely to wear them out or lose them, so I don't see me replacing them anytime soon.

I like Lee's lock ring better than any other die ever made.
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Old January 30, 2012, 11:58 PM   #3
dunerjeff
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I like RCBS,but also prefer Hornady's floating seaters best,Dillon crimp dies are great, Redding makes some awsome dies but are so much more pricey that I only buy them in calibers that non of the others do or if RCBS has only a two die set and I want a three die set.
I Have tried two Lee sets now,one never worked from the get-go,the other obviously isn't the same quality as the others, so thats my least fav.
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Old January 31, 2012, 12:13 AM   #4
SIGSHR
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Back in my reloading days, I preferred Lyman because they reized AND decapped in the same die. RCBS were more available locally, so I usually got those. Lee for some of my exotic calibers, 8MM Lebel, e.g.
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Old January 31, 2012, 12:39 AM   #5
totaldla
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I started with RCBS and Lyman back in the days of covered wagons and dinosaurs. But Lee kept getting better and now they are the best. I always buy Lee now.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:03 AM   #6
GTOne
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Favorite: Lee

Least favorite: Any dies that cost twice as much as Lee dies yet do the same thing(Just about everyone else.).
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Old January 31, 2012, 02:30 AM   #7
44 AMP
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Started with Lyman, back in the 70s. Moved west in 79, and since then, most have been RCBS. Over 30 sets and only have a couple Lee. Don't like the Lee dies. The only one I ever use is a .357 Seater, and thats so I don't have to change seating stems, just the die.

Got a couple sets of Lee rifle dies, but before I got around to use them, got RCBS dies, and used them instead.

I know Lee costs less, and they do work, but to me they just seem...cheap.

The Lee decapper punch sets and primer pocket tools I use a lot, and love.
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Old January 31, 2012, 08:20 AM   #8
Sevens
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A couple specific things about the Lee dies that make me choose them over others:

The "unbreakable" decap rod. No, it's not entirely unbreakable, I have actually broken one, but the design is such that it's quite difficult to actually snap it. It's got a collet that allows the entire rod to slide up harmlessly when you try to decap the not-decappable, and this feature works quite well.

The collet neck-only size die for bottle neck rifle rounds allows me to size my brass without the force necessary to FL size, and without lube. Quick, easy, and works well.

I like the Lee lock rings with the rubber o-rings and NO set screw. Of all that I've used, these are my favorite.

I prefer the Lee die boxes over the others. Lots of folks complain about the round 3-die box, but these make for easy access from a deep drawer on my bench. Also, these boxes keep my turrets loaded with dies, perfect for storage.
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Old January 31, 2012, 09:03 AM   #9
homesick
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I have several RCBs dies a couple Lyman, but the one I find the smoothest and easiest to use with the most features are my Lee deluxe dies.
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Old January 31, 2012, 09:26 AM   #10
David Bachelder
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I voted RCBS, most of my dies are RCBS. However I do have two sets of LEE dies. The LEE dies have a few issues like plastic parts and lack of lock rings on the bullet seater studs. Other than that I'd say they perform as well as the RCBS.
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Old January 31, 2012, 10:17 AM   #11
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my 308 setup Lee for neck sizing, Forster seating and full length. 204 Lee collet necksizer, Forster full length, and Lee seating. My .223 and all of my pistol is Lee. I like the Lee neck sizers and almost anything will work for seating. Bought the fancy benchrest micrometer adjust for the 308 and the bargain basement Lee seats just as well. Checked em on my concentricity gage no more runout on the Lee than on the Forster. I do like the Forster for full length sizing, it just seems better built and I plan on getting one for my 223
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Old January 31, 2012, 10:22 AM   #12
Sevens
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Quote:
The LEE dies have a few issues like plastic parts and lack of lock rings on the bullet seater studs.
Help!
I have Lee dies in .32 Auto, .32 Mag, .380, 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W, .38/.357, .45 Auto, .44 Mag, .30 Carbine, .460, .500, .223, .8x57, .30-06, .25-06, 7mm Mag, and .300 Win Mag... and I think that's all.

There are no plastic parts in or on my dies.
There is a rubber gasket on the bottom of the lock ring. There are aluminum parts, the seater adjustment screw for example.

I don't know of any plastic parts on any of my Lee dies, or any of the dies I own from RCBS or Lyman.

Are you mistaken or has Lee begun to add plastic parts inside their dies?
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Old January 31, 2012, 10:42 AM   #13
hounddawg
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no plastic parts on any of mine other than a rubber O ring not on the new ones eithe ras far as I can tell, just got a set of Lees in 204 a couple of weeks ago and they are all metal
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Old January 31, 2012, 10:55 AM   #14
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For Pistol calibers, the Lee Deluxe Carbide 4 die sets are my favorite and they've given me great service for 10s and 10s of thousand of rounds in the 30 carbine, 38spl, 357mag, 40s&w, 45acp, and 10mm calibers I shoot. For necked rifle calibers such as .223, 5.56, .308, and 30-06, I like a combo of Lee Pacemaker for their bullet seating and FCD die but then a Dillon resizing / decapping die. Dillon uses a carbide expander button on their steel resizing dies so that's better than the steel expanders in that I don't have to lube the inside of the case, but I like Lee's hand adjustable knurled knob on their bullet seater better than Dillon's wrench adjustable one.
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Old January 31, 2012, 12:01 PM   #15
m&p45acp10+1
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Almost all of my dies are Lee. I have a set of Redding dies that were included with the .357 Wildey Mag conversion that Wildey sent to grampa back in the early 90's I think. I have 2 sets of RCBS dies. One in .41 Rem Mag. (If I could have found a Lee Deluxe set at the time I would have bought it.) One Set is a .223 Rem Small Base Die set. I used it twice. When my Lee Deluxe die set came it the RCBS went into my cabinet, and been there for a little over a year. I took the box out to dust it a few days ago.

There are no dies I dislike, my experience is limited to a few.

Oh wait I have a 2 Redding die sets for 7.62x61 Sharpe&Hart. One is a 3 die set with FL Sizer, Neck Sizer, and Micro Meter Seater. The other is a 3 die forming, and trim set to convert .300 H&H to S&H.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; January 31, 2012 at 07:36 PM.
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Old January 31, 2012, 12:38 PM   #16
David Bachelder
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Yes, plastic parts. I have a set of LEE .38/.357 dies I bought off E-Bay. the bullet seater adjustment stem is black plastic. I also have a brand new set of LEE 9mm luger dies and there is no plastic. I bought the .38/.357 dies because it was a good deal and I didn't want to pass it up. The 9mm dies set was bought by my son and his brother in law. Then tossed in with my collection.

I think that if I had to complain, and I really don't. I'd complain that the LEE dies do not have a lock ring on the seater stem. I'm clumsey and tend to accidently turn the seater stem and throw my adjustment off. If there is a lock ring, I wouldn't be able to do that. I also have found that the .40 Bulge Buster by LEE doesn't work as well as the Redding G-RX set up I bought.

I have no real complaint on LEE dies. They seem to be as good as the RCBS I'm used to using.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:01 PM   #17
David Bachelder
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The plastic part is circled in red.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lee plastic.JPG (44.4 KB, 92 views)
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:06 PM   #18
Sevens
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Wow, I'd love to submit that die to Lee themselves...
I have never, in 23+ years in this hobby ever seen a Lee handgun or rifle seating die (or any Lee reloading die) that looked like that.

Ever.

Looks like a home brew to me.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:08 PM   #19
Sevens
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...And what is that die to the left with the philips head metal screw in it?!
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:19 PM   #20
m&p45acp10+1
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That looks like a home fabricated deal to me. That appears to be a sizing die with some sort of fabricated part added. What are the numbers on the die?

Oh I just caught the bought off EBay part. The person that owned the set before you modified them. That is not Lee factory.

If you do not like the O-ring lock ring. The other makers sell thiers at a reasonable price. If you have a Lee Breach Lock they now sell a quick change with a screw to lock in the die. Personaly using a single stage I just unscrew and screw in another. 30 seconds is not that much time.

I have the Lee .38 Spcl/.357 Mag. Die set, and the .357 die set. Neither of them have a die that looks like that. None of them have any plastic in the die construction. The only non metal part is the rubber O-ring.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:44 PM   #21
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For rifles I like Hornady's seaters.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:47 PM   #22
David Bachelder
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The die with the phillips screw is the LEE expander die. I'm not sure what the screw is for. I didn't need to adjust anything but the height.

These are genuine LEE dies as far as I know (?, or thats what the seller claimed).

It was described as a LEE 3 Die set:
LEE Stamps are as follows:
Decapping resize die - LEE 38.357-82
Expander Die - LEE 357AG
Bullet seater - LEE 357 Mag-82 (this is the one with the plastic part)


The dies work perfectly. I have loaded a boat load of .357 Mag shells with them.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:49 PM   #23
Brian Pfleuger
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I'd be willing to bet that plastic seating stem is a home-brew. I've never heard or seen any reference to such a thing on Lee dies. It doesn't look right at all. Every Lee seating die I've seen looks virtually identical to all the others. I have their dies in 5 cartridges and they all look alike.

The seating stem on all of them matches this:

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Old January 31, 2012, 01:52 PM   #24
AllenJ
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I've been using RCBS dies since the 70's and never had a problem so they get my vote.
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:58 PM   #25
Sevens
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Quote:
The die with the phillips screw is the LEE expander die. I'm not sure what the screw is for. I didn't need to adjust anything but the height.
This one, like the one with the plastic plug in it, are not standard dies as shipped by Lee.

Glad it works for you... but someone took some liberties with the dies you purchased.
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