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Old January 16, 2006, 11:49 AM   #1
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Location: Janesville, WI
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Dies-Hornady vs. Lee Which is better?

I bought some used Lee dies at a gun show a few weeks back. They are in great shape, carbide and all. The set did not have a crimp die though so I went looking for one of those and could not find one. I bought a set of Hornady Custom-Grade New Dimension dies because of the crimp die in the set. I have found out though that you do not need a crimp on a 45ACP bullet. Which set is the better set?? I would like to trade one of them for a set of 40S&W dies.
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Old January 16, 2006, 02:32 PM   #2
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Hornady. Why bother trading dies'll need them sooner or later.
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Old January 16, 2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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I don't know why I would need 2 sets of 45ACP
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Old January 16, 2006, 03:30 PM   #4
.45 Vet
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I may be a little old fashioned, but if your belling the case mouth enough to insert the bullet, then you'll need to reduce that diameter enough with a taper crimp to hold the bullet in place when it contacts the feed ramp. Other-wise you can get some serious set-back, and resulting pressure spikes.

Lot of guys that reload lead, and jacketed bullets are swearing by the Lee Factory Crimp Die. You do want to get the crimp area dimension down to around .468"---.471" for proper feed/function in most autos. Just my .02
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Old January 16, 2006, 04:23 PM   #5
Mike Irwin
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I have three sets of .38/.357 dies, and 2 sets of .45 ACP dies.

I use them for loading different bullet types/weights.

As cheap as Lee dies are, you can buy multiple sets and do this easily.

I'm just turning out plinking ammo, so Lee dies are perfectly adequate.

Were I turning out match grade ammo, though, I'd go with a higher-end die, such as a Redding or Hornady.
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Old January 16, 2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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I have both Lee and RCBS in 30-06, like them both but break a decapping pin occasionly with the Lees. Probably because of primer crimp in GI ammo.
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Old January 16, 2006, 11:17 PM   #7
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I prefer the hornady seater to the lee seater. Both will crimp if adjusted properly. The sizer dies are a toss-up, but some folks like tungsten carbide in the Lee better than the titanium nitride coating in the Hornady. TN works great for me. Plus if you want to trade a set in, keep the hornady set with the better seater. The hornady seaters are easily disassembled for cleaning (on press if necessary) without touching the settings (helpful with lead, lubed bullets). They also have an optional micrometer adjusting screw.

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Old January 16, 2006, 11:57 PM   #8
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I'm personally a big big fan of the 4-die Lee sets with the factory crimp. I use 'em for .44 mag, .357 mag, and lots and lots and lots of .45 acp. Makes the seating step much more precise (no gaminess from the seat+crimp operation), and gives an excellent crimp.
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