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Old January 12, 2013, 12:17 AM   #1
Newton24b
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Join Date: February 10, 2009
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odd vagaries of reloading instructions

first off, its well known in here that the folks at LEE Precision say you do not need to use lube with their carbide dies.

yet the manuals for their dies and presses still say every case needs to be lubed.


next thing is this,

if you read their straight walled pistol cartridge die instructions, it seems that you dont need to fully close the ram when you seat or crimp that bullet in. It wierd but if you read it word for word and read the photos, you only close it till you feel resistance.

care to eloborate/ ive always assumed it was close the ram till the shell holder meets die, for every step.

i admit i dont reload yet but i will be.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:37 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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1 of my primary complains about Lee has been the quality of their documentation.

it is to put it mildly often lacking something which I complained directly to Richard Lee about many years ago.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:54 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
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first off, its well known in here that the folks at LEE Precision say you do not need to use lube with their carbide dies.

yet the manuals for their dies and presses still say every case needs to be lubed.

You don't HAVE to lube (straight wall) cases for sizing in a carbide die. But a very light application of lube reduces the effort on the handle noticeably. This is a help when loading in large volume. Tapered cases like 9mm P and especially .30 Carbine benefit the most. I give my pistol brass a LIGHT spritz of spray lube.

next thing is this,

if you read their straight walled pistol cartridge die instructions, it seems that you dont need to fully close the ram when you seat or crimp that bullet in. It wierd but if you read it word for word and read the photos, you only close it till you feel resistance.

care to eloborate/ ive always assumed it was close the ram till the shell holder meets die, for every step.

The usual approach is to adjust the die so the operation is completed at the top of the ram stroke. This does not mean the shellholder always meets the die. If you seat and crimp in the same step, you adjust to get the desired results which I find usually leaves a little space. But the ram is all the way up.
There are always exceptions, I had a friend who would seat and crimp with the lockring backed off, one hand on the handle, one hand on the die. He would operate by feel to accomodate mixed brass which was not exactly the same length, thickness, or hardness. But he was a pretty advanced loader.


i admit i dont reload yet but i will be.

Some more books would help in the meanwhile. I learned to load from Lyman, Speer, and the old NRA book.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:11 AM   #4
chiefr
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Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: AR
Posts: 1,251
I have been using carbide dies for many years. Have them on the sizer station of many Dillon blocks. Most are Lee. I have never lubed these dies. and never had any problems whatsoever
The whole theory (Selling Point) of carbide dies was elimination of case lube.
If lube was required, I would have never bought the things to begin with.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:17 AM   #5
wncchester
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Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
"ive always assumed it was close the ram till the shell holder meets die, for every step. .... i admit i dont reload yet but i will be. "

When you start, one of the first things you're going to learn is that no one can give your rote 'instructions', 1-2-3, to set up dies to do anything. All any instructions can do is get you close enough to start. Different instruction writers explain things differently because it can be started in different ways.

Dies and shell holders have a manufactoring tolerace range of a few thousanths of an inch so they vary a tad, presses vary, cases themselves have different springback qualities. No manufactor can possibly tell me precisely how to set my rig up for anything.

Bottom line is to grasp what you're trying to accomplish and then set the dies so that happens. And it rarely happens by simply screwing any die down to touch a shell holder; in a seater that's usually a fast way to ruin cases.
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:45 PM   #6
Daggitt
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Join Date: March 11, 2011
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My Lee instrucs specifically say to lube , "If you don't have the carbide sizer ...." And I have beenn using Lee dies a long time and I see nothing that is unclear. Nor has any Lee product failed me or broken at any time.
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