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Old February 26, 2012, 07:25 PM   #1
thedaddycat
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What's the difference?

Between the Lee seating die and the "Dead Length" seating die? I've looked at several articles and learned a lot more than I was looking for, but what I get out of about two hours of research is that the regular seating die will also crimp while the "Dead Length" seater will not crimp.

The reason I'm asking is that the Lee Deluxe Rifle Die sets come with the Collet neck sizing die, FL sizing die and a regular seating die (but no crimp die) for $30. Add the FCD and Universal Expander die for another $10 each and it comes to $50. The Pacesetter die sets come with the FL sizing die, seating die and FCD for $25, just the Collet die is $20, the Collet die set (which adds the "Dead Length" seater for $5 more) is $25 and again the Expander die is $10 for a total of $55 or $60 depending on if you get the Collet die set or just the die.

I should be getting my LCT 4-hole press tomorrow, and this is what I'm looking to do with it. I have several bolt action rifles that I want to neck size the fire formed brass for, only FL sizing as needed. I want to set the turrets up with the collet die, expander die, seating die and FCD. If I want to crimp I'll use the FCD so either seating die will work for me as long as I can back the crimp function of the regular seating die off enough that it doesn't crimp at all. I will set the FL sizing die up in a lock ring eliminator for the Challenger press and only use it as needed.

Now I already have some of the dies so obviously I would only need to get the dies that I lack for this arrangement in those chamberings. For example, I need collet dies for 6.5X55 and 7X57, and for the extra $5 I'll probably get the collet die sets with the DL seater. But for some like the .303 British and .30-40 Krag, I have nothing at all. What I'm trying to figure out, and hopefully get some input and guidance from you guys on is which way to go here.

So my question is this: Is there any real difference in the regular seating die (with the crimp function backed off so as not to crimp) and the DL seating die? Any advantages or disadvantages of one over the other? If there's no difference I think I'll go with the Deluxe set and FCD where possible and save a few bucks. I only saw the Pacesetter die set for the .30-40 Krag and no collet die for it at all, so I may just have to FL size that brass every time...

As always, any input is appreciated and thanks for any advice you care to offer.

BTW, I got pretty much all the rifle reloading stuff back from my friend. He's going to do .223 and handgun ammo since he doesn't really have any rifles other than his AR. At one time or another I probably paid for almost all this stuff, there was a lot more than I remembered...


Last edited by thedaddycat; February 26, 2012 at 07:40 PM.
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Old February 26, 2012, 07:51 PM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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If it is going into a bolt action I would recomend the Deluxe Die sets. They are worth every penny. The dead length seating die seats without crimping, and supposedly gives the least amount of runout. My experience with them in two calibers has shown better accuracy with the DL seating die, and no crimp. No crimp should be realy needed unless they are feeding in a tube magazine.

The collet dies are awsome. If you can get the seating die with them for a few dollars more I would say go for it. Try them against the dies you already have. Retire one if the other proves itself to give better groups.

Oh and for the Krag you can order the collet die, and a dead length seater from Lee. It will cost more, and they will custom make it. They are still a bargain.

Oh and I do not think the expander die will be needed unless you are shooting cast lead, or oversized bullets. Otherwise the collet die will size to the proper neck size to give good neck tension for bullet seating. Again crimping tends to decrease more accuracy than is gained in most cases. (That has been my personal experince, Not trying to start a flame war.)

I say give it a go and try both ways crimping, and not crimped. I would not be surprised if you decided afterwards to forgo crimping to get better accuracy.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; February 26, 2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old February 26, 2012, 08:50 PM   #3
Scimmia
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Quote:
So my question is this: Is there any real difference in the regular seating die (with the crimp function backed off so as not to crimp) and the DL seating die? Any advantages or disadvantages of one over the other?
The supposed advantage to the dead length seating dies is that you can set them up to contact the shell holder, so any flex or play that may be in your press won't affect the seating depth. Personally, I haven't found it to be a big deal, but I don't use a turret.

I agree with m&p45acp10+1 that the expander die shouldn't be necessary unless you're loading cast bullets. From your description and pic, that doesn't look to be the case, so no reason to spend that money.

As far as the crimping question, I think everyone agrees that crimping with the seating die is not a good option, which is what m&p45acp10+1's experience is with. Crimping with a FCD is completely different, and a subject of some controversy. There's been a thread about it over the past few days, read that if you want more info.
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Old February 26, 2012, 09:39 PM   #4
thedaddycat
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I will put the expander dies in the turrets just in case I ever get the urge to try cast bullets. For the .30-06 I have three rifles: the M 17 Enfield which is a bolt gun; the M1 Garand; and a Remington 742 Woodsmaster. These last two are both autoloaders so the brass for them will be FL sized in the Challenger press and then finished in the LCT. I don't know if you can run the brass in the collet die after it has been FL sized or not, but if not then I'll just prime it in the first station and then use the expander die. For the neck sized brass I'll just run the expander out or short stroke the press to advance it without running the case up into the die. For $10 I'll just put it on even if I never use it.

I'll be setting up my reloading press on my welding table. It's made of 2" angle iron legs and 1/4" plate for the table and it's bolted to the foundation wall so there's not even a twitch of "wiggle" on that sucker. I'll drill and tap holes for the press mounting bolts right through the table, no clamps like the temporary setup I used before. I don't think anything's going to be moving that isn't supposed to.



I've been reading that crimping thread over the last few days. For the bolt guns I'll just go with neck sizing to start with. When I do the .30-30 stuff I'll crimp those for sure, those bullets have cannelures. Of the other bullets I have, some do and some don't have cannelures.
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Old February 27, 2012, 06:28 PM   #5
m&p45acp10+1
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Keep the expander die to the side if the urge to use cast bullets in your rifles comes up then it can be used. There is no need to use it with jacketed bullets at all. In fact it will take away the bullet tension that was gained from sizing away. You need neck tension. Now if you mean a universal charging die to use with the autodisk powder measure then yes that one is needed. Do not expand sized rifle brass with and expander die if you are going to shoot jacketed bullets. It is counter productive. It is like setting the pressure the same in all 4 of the tires on your car, then deflating one half way before you drive away. Then wondering why it is pulling to one side while you drive down the freeway.

Next the after FL Sizing you do not need to use the Collet die. The collet die will squeeze the neck on the round back down without moving the shoulder of the round. In brass going into semiauto, and pump action rifles it will have to be FL sized every time. Keep your brass for the bolt action segregated from the semiauto brass if you neck size it. Using a sharpie marker on the base of the bolt action brass so you know it from the rest.


With the turret press in auto index with rifle rounds it should go like this

1 Size/deprime (FL for the semiauto. Neck size for the bolt action if you choose to.
2 Prime (Lee turret presses this on the down stroke after sizing)
3Charge (if you have the powder through universal rifle charging die or what ever it is called. I still single stage load after 2 years.
4Seat bullet
5 If so inclined to then use the FCD for the bottle necked rounds that are not going into tubed magazines.)

That is with the 4 holes used on a turret. If you do not use the FCD then that is using 3 holes.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; February 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM.
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