Lee Turret Die Adjustment


October 9, 2009, 04:46 PM
Anyone got any tips on how to adjust the dies on a Lee Turret press? Specifically, the seater and crimper dies (I've got the 4 die set). Any info on how far to back out the dies after contact with the shellholder and then where the adjustment screw (I think its called that; its the knurled top knob)
should be. I'm doing .357 caliber and have either seated too low, not enough, or chewing up the brass. Lee's directions that came with the die set are kind of vague and not really much help for the finer adjustments.

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The Bushmaster
October 9, 2009, 05:02 PM
Check www.leeprecision.com

They have more detailed information and videos.

October 9, 2009, 05:09 PM
I have found that www.loadmastervideos.com is very useful.
Lots of videos, a forum to ask questions specifically to Lee equipment. It's a good resource.

October 9, 2009, 05:27 PM
because the information you get there will be more helpful than the words you get here.

At the loadmastervideos site, there should also be information about getting the turret itself set up--e.g., turning the adjusting nut, and so on.

And, if you haven't done it already, call / e-mail / order some spare indexing square ratchets; you will probably need more than the one spare the press was shipped with.

Then check back in here with any more questions--and, when you do, tell us more: which press, 3-hole or 4-hole, used or new, etc., etc.

Jim H.

October 9, 2009, 07:18 PM
It's the 4 holer, purchased new. I'll check out the vids. Thanks for the info but if anyone wanted to volunteer a step by step textual on how they do it, I'd be much appreciative. The more info the better is the way I see it.

October 9, 2009, 07:45 PM
For the seating die I will put a case in the shell holder and run it up through the hole the die will screw into. Then I screw the die in until I feel the crimp part touch the case and then back it out 1/2 turn to eliminate any crimp while seating. The FCD should screw down until it touches the shell holder when the ram is all the way up.

October 9, 2009, 07:55 PM
The seating die is easy. Since you are doing separate crimp, make sure die is backed out enough not to crimp. Then take an unprimed case that will be your template. Set screw high and slowly work down until bullet is seated at proper OAL or within the crimp cannelure.

You got it. Save this case. Next time you set up the die, turn the seating screw out a bit. Put in the case and screw down until you contact the top of the bullet.

If you are chewing cases, die is probably set down way too far and is meeting the crimp section of the die way too hard. You don't need to touch the crimper in this die if you are using a separate crimp die.

For crimp die take your template case. Back die out until it is not touching. Then lower it about 1/4 turn at a time until you are happy with the crimp. Next time, check this die just like above. Again, this die should not chew cases unless it is set way too low.


October 9, 2009, 08:24 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by "chewing cases." Are they buckling? Are the bullets digging in? Is the die catching an edge? Explain more--

And, try doing a search in this forum, using a term like "Lee die"--these directions have been given and are available, in two or three different iterations.

Note that there is a tab to "search this forum" at the page header when you are up one level--

Jim H.

October 10, 2009, 01:54 PM
By chewing cases I mean the top edges at the mouth have had hunks taken out of them. I think Noveldoc got it right, the die is set too low and I'm hitting the crimper edge. Thanks for all the input.

October 10, 2009, 02:24 PM
To do this you first have to make up about 10 "practice rounds" with no primer and no powder in them. Just trimmed and sized empty cases with new bullets in them.

First, the 3rd die body is screwed up or down until the correct crimp is achieved. Each adjustment change requires a new practice round. If crimping in the 4th die, then high enough to ensure none to very little crimp.

Second, the center adjustment is then moved up or down until the desired OAL is achieved.

October 10, 2009, 02:54 PM
Your seating and / or crimping die may well be too low. If the seater is too low, it will start applying a crimp as well. If the FCD is too low in the body, that can crumple the case if it's extreme enough....

The variations on these problems can be extensive--for example, if your powder-through-expander die (PTED) is not set to bell enough, then the case might be snagged in the seating operation. Review your number 1 and 2 die settings as well if you change any of the 3&4 die bodies to touch or not touch the shell holder.

If the primary problem is at the seater, rfwobbly's advice really needs to be followed--i.e., each adjustment will take a new dummy to examine. Remember that the Lee #3 die--here, the seater--is actually a combined die, and will start to apply a crimp when the body is 'lower'. With the 4-die set, you want to get the seater adjusted just to the point of straightening out the flare as the stroke finishes--but not applying the crimp.

Jim H.

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