Lee Value priced dies???


February 25, 2013, 11:38 AM
How are these dies? They are considerablly cheaper than others. On the premise of "you get what you pay for", would it hold for these dies, or are they pretty good?? Never used them, looking for input from those that have.


If you enjoyed reading about "Lee Value priced dies???" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 25, 2013, 11:48 AM
I use Lee dies to load 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt and 45-70. No problem with any of them they all worked liked they are supposed to. Now I also use some RCBS dies but only the cowboy line to date. Dies to me are pretty much the same but I do prefer the carbide dies as come in the Lee Pistol dies more than the steel dies due to having not to lube the cases to size first.

February 25, 2013, 11:49 AM
Lee dies are generally highly regarded.

February 25, 2013, 11:52 AM
If you mean RGB lee dies I think the dies are the same as other sets lee has except you dont get extras like shellholder, powder scoop, and load data. Its a 2 die set.


February 25, 2013, 12:08 PM
I have replaced all my dies with Lee dies.

February 25, 2013, 12:09 PM
Yeah, those are the ones i referred too. If the only difference is you don't get the "extras", then they would be a great bargain.

February 25, 2013, 12:18 PM
Whatever you do, make sure you have a screwdriver. lolz


Ky Larry
February 25, 2013, 12:18 PM
I like the "no tools needed" adjustments on Lee dies. As far as accuracy and reliability, I don't see much difference between any brand. YMMV.

February 25, 2013, 12:29 PM
RGBs are a great deal if you already have a shell plate or don't need the extra dies. Mine were not marked in any way to show they were different than standard Lee dies.

February 25, 2013, 12:57 PM
Lees are excellent workaday dies. I've found they work better with some of the "rougher characters" like the military brass that tend to annihilate RCBS and other decapper pins. I guess they aren't as finely-tuned as some dies but they've always worked well for me.

February 25, 2013, 01:07 PM
RGB dies are the same as their other dies, you just don't get the FCD, scooper, or shellholder.

Overall a very good value. "You get what you pay for" is a long-standing myth manufacturer's have used to lull uneducated buyers into paying more for an item by associating price with quality.

Forget about "you get what you pay for". Research an item based on its own merits. Look at reviews, people who have used the product personally, etc, and then judge whether or not it will fill your needs.

February 25, 2013, 01:14 PM
I think you are getting what you pay for with those RGB dies. They're a good set of dies, but nothing else.

I bought a set of Pacesetters for .30-06 because it had the shellholder and crimp die (shooting an M1). At the same time, I bought the RGB set for 8mm Mauser. I already had the shellholder from the .06 set, and no need to crimp for the bolt gun. I'm satisfied with both sets and will buy RGB for anything else we start loading that requires a #2 shellholder and no crimp.

February 25, 2013, 01:29 PM
Lee dies themselves are fine but I find the o-ring lock rings less than suitable for use on a single stage press. The lock rings work fine if you leave the dies mounted in a turret or bushing.

I have not bought any Lee dies in 15 or 20 years. When I bought my Hornady progressive, I did not like the way the Lee dies mounted in it so they all have been replaced.

I think current production Lee dies are a bit longer than my old vintage stuff and may work better than the old one's that I had.

February 25, 2013, 01:33 PM
I've been using Lee dies exclusively for about 23 years, and have yet to have one fail. I started using them because they were more in my price range when I started reloading. I keep using them because they have yet to give me a reason not to.

I was having this discussion this morning with a coworker new to reloading. He was shying away from them because of price. There are those who avoid them at all costs, and there are those who swear by them. Most of us are somewhere in-between.

As mentioned elsewhere, do your research and buy what's right for you. None of the major manufacturers make junky dies, including Lee, in my opinion.

February 25, 2013, 02:00 PM
You just don't get the powder dipper or shell holder with the value set of Lee's, I think the dies are the same as their other sets (except the carbine ones). I have RCBS, Lyman, and Lee die's . I like the Lee the best, can't explain it, I just do.:)

February 25, 2013, 02:25 PM
Another vote for Lee dies. The RGB dies are great if you are just adding a new caliber to an existing reloading set up because you are really getting only what you need. I tend to neck size only for single rifle calibers and really like the Lee Collet dies.

February 25, 2013, 02:31 PM
I've used Lee in 6.5x55, 7x57, and .30-06. Other than the cheap o-ring lock nuts, they are great. If you're loading rifle with a single stage press, go ahead and order a set of Hornady lock rings to put on the Lee dies. It'll save you the hassle of having to realign everything everytime you change calibers or operations.

Also, if you only have one bolt rifle in a particular caliber, the Lee Collet neck sizing dies work great, and don't need any caselube whatsoever. I really like their factory neck-sizing die too.

February 25, 2013, 03:31 PM
Another happy lee die customer here.

February 25, 2013, 03:35 PM
Lee dies are acceptable, thats all i can say. Most of my dies have been switched over to dillon.

February 25, 2013, 04:26 PM
I started with RCBS dies and press in the 80's and that was all I used until I added calibers in the late 90's. I tried Lee dies because they were cheaper than RCBS. I hace since added 45ACP,40S&W,9MM Luger & 9MM Mak,7.62X54R,762x39 and 357/38 Spec. They are IMHO top notch.

February 25, 2013, 05:41 PM
My understanding of the Value Lee dies is that they are the same as there other dies but do not come with the shell holder or dipper just the dies. If you have the shell holder and do not need the dipper they are a better deal.

February 25, 2013, 05:55 PM
There are a few areas where dies may differ a little.

Taper crimp:
I've seen pictures of Redding taper crimp. They appear to have a more gradual and longer taper. The Lee taper crimp is a little shorter/steeper.

I have noticed that many of my Lee semiauto pistol dies have a very short expander plug with a graduated taper. They do little more than flare the case mouth. This is fine for jacketed bullets, but it doesn't always suffice for cast bullets. This is particularly true in 9mm, which often has thicker brass where the bullet seats, due to the taper of the case wall. My Lee 357 expander, OTOH, is much longer, and it has a more consistent diameter all the way through, with the graduated taper just at the case mouth. This is probably a safety thing. The short, tapered flare is better insurance against setback in an autoloader, particularly when you are seating shorter bullets. (The Lee 38SW expander plug fits just right in the 9mm die, and it works beautifully for cast bullets up to 124gr, BTW. With the standard expander, my 9mm cast bullets were horribly, unusably innaccurate. The bullets were being squeezed down to .354" at the base).

I don't know how other brands of pistol dies do their expanding, but I thought it was worth noting.

Hornady New Dimension rifle seating dies have a drop down bullet guide. This sounds like a gimmick, until you actually come across a situation where it helps - for seating blunt-nosed, flat base bullets that want to tilt before the nose can get in the seating stem. My Lee rifle dies do not have this feature.

All my LEE pistol dies a came with only 1 seating stem, with a round-nosed profile. Some dies come with extra seating stems and/or a reversible stem.

February 25, 2013, 06:07 PM
The Lee dies will serve you just fine. The storage case they come in is crap though. I didn't use one set of dies for several years, (my hunting rifle, had plenty of ammo loaded up) and my dies rusted. My storage location wasn't the best but the real problem was moisture getting into the storage box. I don't think it is worth the 2-3 times the price to get a better storage box that the other manufactures have but if you don't use them for a while make sure that you put them in a DRY place.

February 25, 2013, 06:28 PM
I like Lee dies. I bought a set of Hornady .38 S&W dies once (after I had lots of assorted Lee dies) and didn't like them and sent them back and bought Lee.

The O-ring lock rings work just fine for everything except the seating/crimping die. And that is only because it takes longer to adjust that die if you lose the setting. So buy Lee dies and a package of Forster rings; problem solved.

I've never used Dillon or Redding dies; maybe if I try 'em nothing else will do ;)

February 25, 2013, 07:06 PM
I don't get the RGB dies because I like the NS dies. The die boxes are nice also. I only have one auto & it is in the same chamber I have a bolt action in so....

I think one of the best things about the dies is the lock rings. They are quick to adjust. If you seem to have trouble locating them you can always put a locator mark on them.

If you enjoyed reading about "Lee Value priced dies???" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!