Lee Pacesetter vs. Deluxe rifle dies


May 10, 2008, 07:31 PM
Looking at buying some dies for 22-250 and 243. I notice that the Lee Deluxe dies have the collet neck die, whereas the Pacesetter has the Factory Crimp Die.

The 22-250 is a Ruger No.1-V, the 243 is a Remington 700. Both are the only rifles I have in each caliber.

I'm inclined to go with the Deluxe set for both calibers, but is there a need for a non-autoloading rifle caliber to be crimped? If not a need, is there any benefit to it in terms of reliability or accuracy?

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May 10, 2008, 07:32 PM
I don't even crimp the .308s I load for my M1 Garand. The neck tension is enough for both bolt and autoloaders.

May 10, 2008, 08:36 PM
I'll take a stab at the question, even though I'm pretty green, mainly to think it through and then see if I'm corrected by someone who knows more than I.

Ammo. loaded for a semi-auto rifle will generally be resized full length and have the bullet seated to clear the magazine for reliable feeding. The cartridge will chamber with a small gap between the bullet and the rifling. So as the powder expands in the case, the bullet will break free when the pressure exceeds the neck tension. Apparently this can vary and be a source of inconsistancy from one round to the next. Crimping will not only prevent bullet set back, but it also requires greater pressure to overcome the crimp and move the bullet. And if the crimp is uniformly applied, this can make your rounds release at the same pressure point from one to the next.

If you are loading for a bolt action rifle, there's an advantage to only neck sizing cases that were previously fired from the same rifle, as the brass is fire formed to the chamber geometry. Also, the bullets can be seated so that the chambered round just barely pokes the bullet into the rifling. Now the pressure required to initially move the bullet is high, because the bullet is hard up against the rifling. And if all the brass is fire formed and the bullets all seated to the same depth, then they should all be launching under consitant condtions.

May 10, 2008, 11:14 PM
I'm in a similar situation, as I currently load for a .223 bolt rifle, so my brass (as SSN Vet points out) is fireformed and only requires the neck sizing the Lee collet die does so nicel, which is why I got their Deluxe die set. However, I'm about to acquire a .223 semi-auto and I don't know if the collet die will provide sufficient tension to stand up to semi-auto action. I'll probably just spring for a FCD, for peace of mind if nothing else. Probably should give Lee a call, too.

May 11, 2008, 10:48 PM
I thought this was an interesting question that kind of tests ones overall understanding of the re-loading process.

I'm wondering if my attempt at an answer passed muster, or do I need to be set straight????

May 11, 2008, 10:59 PM
SSN VET - your answer was spot on. I have Pacesetter dies for .30-06 because I'm reloading for Garands. Full-length resize and crimp is required for all ammunition shot in semi-autos far as I'm concerned.

May 11, 2008, 11:57 PM
CU74, I have to agree. I handload for Garands as well and I always FLS my cases and crimp with a Redding Crimp die. I know my brass will be short lived but sometimes, my garands chew up the brass anyways. Hell, my M1A's, same thing, as well as with my AR's. That's the price of semi auto's. My bolt rifles are a complete different beast.

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