Lee Deluxe Die Set..???


September 20, 2011, 07:53 PM
Greetings to all; I have just read the instructions for the Lee Die set. Can someone please explain to me what they mean by; "The set is not recommended for hunting rounds, as the case is neck sized only, and the bullet is not crimped in the case. It also states.."Not recommended for auto-loaders, slide, or lever action rifles!" Is this product meant for bolt action rifles only?? I have reloaded my .30-.30 Marlin for a few years using Lyman dies and never crimped the cartridges. What gives with Lee's ?? Thanks for all info. Duker.

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September 20, 2011, 08:12 PM
Neck sizing only works the neck of the case. The shoulder and body of the brass are basically fire-formed to your chamber. Full-length resizing returns the brass to "spec" size that allows easy chambering and extraction. When it is neck sized only it may be more difficult to seat (ie close the bolt). With a bolt action you have mechanical leverage while camming the bolt handle over. This may allow you to chamber a round that would not completely chamber in a semi-auto or lever.

While hunting you don't want any chance that your ammo won't chamber so the small amount of accuracy you might gain with neck sizing isn't worth the decrease in reliability.

With a semi or lever the round could either not fully chamber causing a big problem if fired slightly out of battery, or it could make extraction difficult and result in the case separation followed by chambering of the next round resulting in a significant jam.

As far as crimping goes the concern is that in a lever or semi the rounds are under more stress in a magazine (tube for example) and during cycling and this could cause bullet setback.

I'm no expert but that's the theory as I understand it.

Hopefully you'll get more experienced reloaders than I than can confirm/clarify.

September 20, 2011, 09:58 PM
The quote you make refers to the neck die included in the Delux set. It also includes a conventional FL die so you can do what ever you wish to your cases. Some people can't seem to make sure their neck sized ammo actually chambers so Lee is warning them not to do it that way, just to be certain their ammo will work when it's needed. Me, I've been using (Lee) neck sized .35 Rem lever action ammo for decades with no problems at all.

September 20, 2011, 11:30 PM
I also heard that it was do to the fact that hunting ammo endures more rough service, as in pockets and being chambered and un-chambered multiple times. I do agree with ranger335v, it boggles me how some people handload and then don't test fit the cartridges.

I have used un-crimped hunting ammo before, and I have the same die set that you have, I always had good results, but they were low recoil guns and I would never use them in a tube feed. my .02

September 21, 2011, 07:36 AM
Thank-you all for your input. If I understand what you have said, this means that I should use the full size die ALWAYS for hunting ( no crimp required) and the neck size die for range ( target ) shooting only??? Not that it matters, but I bought these dies to reload .223 cal. using 52-55 gr. bullets. Thanks again to all of you for your comments. Duker

September 21, 2011, 09:26 AM
"If I understand what you have said, this means that I should use the full size die ALWAYS for hunting ( no crimp required) "

It appears you don't understand. What it all means is

1. If you want to know if neck sizing helps you, try it.

2. No matter how you size, confirm your hunting ammo will feed and chamber; check all of your ammo, every time you reload a new batch.

3. Only a few rifles "need" crimped ammo. Most of those are lever guns because of their tubular magazine's tendency to set bullet's back during the recoil of firing. Otherwise, crimping is an individual option.

September 21, 2011, 08:41 PM
Thanks ranger335V. I will proceed as you say.! Have a nice day. Duker.

September 21, 2011, 10:21 PM
I neck size and hunt with the loads. But test each round to make sure they chamber well, sort out the ones that the bolt is hard to close on. Great die set!

September 21, 2011, 10:33 PM
It sounds like Lee is being overly cautious here. Since I've been neck sizing I haven't had any problems chambering a cartridge and I haven't experienced any kind of bullet setback. But I test chamber a few of my rounds before I load many of them up. I will be carrying neck sized ammo next month when elk hunting, but that's because I know it will work. If you have any doubts about it, then follow Lee's advice and do a FL sizing just to be sure.

They might have a point with tubular magazines. I don't know since I have never reloaded for those.

September 23, 2011, 11:00 AM
I have a single shot Thompson Pro Hunter (see pic) and use the Lee Collet neck-sizing die w/o a crimp. In my opinion, you should never have to crimp a rifle round if you prepare the neck adequately (unless you're doing some hardcore chambering). One of the things about the Collet die is that you usually have to apply SIGNIFICANT pressure to the press to adequately size the neck. Prepare a few dummy rounds and try and remove the bullet. If you can pull it out with your hand, try applying much more pressure to the press.

Another thing no one has mentioned is that sizing the neck only extends your reloaded brass 10x. In fact, Richard Lee himself stated that the Collet die should be used anytime you're firing the shot brass out of the same gun. You should only use the FL sizing die if it's brass you've never shot.

Of course, if the load doesn't fit.. You don't really have much of a choice do you?!:banghead:

September 24, 2011, 10:04 AM
Thank-you drfroglegs for your input. Sounds good. Duker.

October 8, 2011, 02:55 PM
I use Hornady and RCBS die for 30-30. Got a Lee collet die to try. My plan was to NS and then crmp with the proper die. Lee die didn't work. Collet would not move in die shell. Emailed Lee customer service. "Purchased 243 and 30-30 deluxe die set from Cabelas. 243 works fine. 30-30 collet die DOES NOT WORK. The outside shell is so rough the collet won't move up and down. The mandrel is .305, seems small for a .308 cal, my other die are .307. Is a larger mandrel available? What do I send back to get it fixed? What is address to send it to? Thanks" Response "
If you would like to send back the die set, please send it to the address below, with a note explaining why you have sent it back and what you would like us to do for you.". My response to their response "Thanks, but I don't care to ship it back at my expense. I will exchange it with Cabelas, if they have one that works. Otherwise I will just get my money back and buy a different brand. The problem, as I stated in my first email is - the inside of the die casing looks like it was polished with a rasp ( a heavy duty wood file). The fingered part is good, but won't move up and down like it should. Pleasse forward this email to someone in the USA that knows about the products that you sell". I found one of 3 on the shelf that worked and took it home. I don't like to send rude emails to CS, but I appreciate CS that has a clue. I don't work for Lee, I don't get paid to solve their probems. If you are going to get one, unscrew the cap and push on the collet to make sure it moves freely. If it doesn't move at least 1/2", you will not e sizing your neck.

October 8, 2011, 06:35 PM
- the inside of the die casing looks like it was polished with a rasp ( a heavy duty wood file). The fingered part is good, but won't move up and down like it should.

The inside of the die body is NOT what makes the lee collet die work. The hollow tube that slides on the mandrel has a taper in it's bottom, that's where the "fingers" slide in to close on the case neck. Another thing, don't close the collet WITHOUT a shell in the die. The "fingers",(collet), can get jammed closed.

A light polish of the collet and sometimes the tapered part of the tube will make it work smoother.

Duker, As you can see, the third die in your deluxe set is a collet neck sizer die. It's different and better than any other neck sizer. It uses a split collet to push the neck of the case against a mandrel to make it hold a bullet,(neck tension). Pay particular attention to the instructions if you decide to try it. The die should be working at the top of the ram travel, to take advantage of the leverage to successfully size the neck enough to hold the bullet.

October 9, 2011, 07:30 PM
snuffy -- 2 of the 3 I tried, the collet was STUCK in the outer shell! Removed the tapered top piece and the collet STILL won't move. My post was to be a warning, check before you pay, so you don't have to drive 50 mi. to exchange it. Yes, I know how it is supposed to work. Another QC problem that should be caught in assembly.

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