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Lee Dies in a Dillon 550B

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lucky Strike, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Well-Known Member

    My dad's friend heard i was getting into reloading and gave me some of his equipment that he said he bought and hardly used years ago. A lot of it was attachments to a Lee press but there was also two 3 die sets (9mm and 44 mag).

    The stuff had been sitting in a barn for years but other then some surface rust in spots they seem ok.

    This might be a stupid question but i'm trying to think of how they'll work in my Dillon 550B. The Decap/sizing and Seater dies seem like they'll work just fine. I won't use the expander/powder die because the conversion kits for Dillon (i did buy a 9mm one) have a powder funnel that go into the universal powder die that comes with the press.

    Do the Lee Seater dies also crimp? Their 3 die sets don't have a crimping die (dillon sets have a crimping die but don't have a powder/expander) but i don't know if this is because the seater die crimps or because they figure you've already got a crimping die.

    Basically i just need to know if i've got to buy a separate crimping die (and if so, any suggestions?) for this setup
  2. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    Yes they will work. Infact I know more people that use Lee dies on their Dillon press than Dillon dies.
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Well-Known Member

    I use Dillon, Lee, and RCBS dies in my 550B. My Lee dies are all over 15 years old, and I think "shorter" than the newer ones, so they wear thin lock rings/original rings flipped over to function properly.
  4. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Well-Known Member

    cool....so am i gonna need to get a separate crimping die for 9mm?
  5. cochise9424221

    cochise9424221 Well-Known Member

    the Dillon dies are radiused at the bottom to make it easier for the case to enter. That being said I use Lee (cheap but good) RCBS and Redding too, they are all fine.
    I usually buy an extra crimp die so I can seat with one die and crimp on the next station. You dont need to do this but it is better so...
  6. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    your seating dies probably have a crimp shoulder built in,you can look inside the die and see if it's there.
    older Lee dies were too short for the 550b I"ve heard,but I"ve also heard if you put the lock ring UNDERNEATH the die holder,they will work ok.
    I agree with Cochise...2 dies are much faster/easier to adjust than a combo seat/crimp die.
  7. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    For 9mm in my 550B I use 1 Redding sizing die, 1 Dillon powder/expander die, 1 Hornady seater die, and 1 Lee taper crimp die. Does that answer your question?
  8. PCJim

    PCJim Well-Known Member

    I use Lee dies on my 550b for 9mm, 45acp and 223. They work fine although the lock nut/"O" ring is less preferred than the split lock ring with screw used on RCBS dies. I do use the separate Lee Factory Crimp Die for 9 & 45 as it applies a taper crimp, not roll crimp, and insures that any bell on your finished round is removed.

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