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Die and Press compatability?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GregC, Nov 23, 2009.

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  1. GregC

    GregC Member

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    Are Lee dies compatable with a Lyman press? Are there any issues that might come up from trying to use these together? Specifically, I am wanting to reload .454 Casull pistol rounds.

    All responses are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tlen

    tlen Member

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    The standardized thread size for both rifle and pistol dies is 7/8-14. Thus, presses generally use 7/8-14 dies as well.
     
  3. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Will work just fine.
     
  4. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

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    The only press that I know of that uses a different die thread size is the Dillon Square Deal B. I has a different thread that only Dillon dies will work. That said, any die should work.
     
  5. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    I have a Lyman Orange Crusher press and use Lee and Hornady dies. They thread in just fine and the shell holders work just fine.

    One thing I think I'm recognizing (still fairly new at this) is the instructions from Lee for setting up the dies is a little off. What I mean by that is:

    For setting up my Lee .357 mag bullet seating and crimp die, the Lee instructions state to screw the die in until it touches the case mouth, lower the ram, then screw in another 1/2 turn. One half turn additional buckles my cases.

    The case expansion die adjustment of 3/4 additional turn is way off too. The case mouth is so expanded it wouldn't fit in the bullet seater and crimp die. This expansion stem only took about 1/4 turn additional to flare the case mouth enough to start a bullet for seating.

    Same for my 30.06 using the Hornady bullet seating and crimp die. 1/2 additional die turn buckles the case mouth.

    I'll tell you right off I'm not expert of long time experienced reloader but am at least mechanically inclined. I suspect the leverage geometry of the Lymann versus the Lee press is different and why 1/2 turn used with a Lee press is just way too much additional adjustment of the die set up in my Lymann press. About half of what they call for is more like it.

    The Lee instructions sequence is fine but with my older Lyman Orange Crusher press, the additional turn is a little off. Another Lyman press model may be different but I only have my one press to have experience with.
    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1258890717.158=/html/HelpVideos/video.html

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  6. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    While I don't own any Lee dies, your stated adjustments would be extreme to say the least. In other die makes it is normal to adjust the case expansion STEM rather than the whole die. The same would go for the seating die, turn the bullet seating STEM not the whole die, the die controls the crimp. The industry standard 7/8" - 14 thread would adjust any die the same amount reguardless of which makers press it is in, 14 threads per inch.

    Jimmy K

    Go back and watch the video again, watch what the guy does. He run the ram up then screws the die down until it touches then screws it back up and locks it. Then he turns the stem down until the expansion is right. The same with the seating die......rewatch it again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  7. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    Understood Jim. The stem is what gets adjusted, and what I'm talking about. Run the die down to a specified distance per the video then adjust the stem as specified in the video. I'll go back and edit my original to better distinguish between die and stem.

    For the threads of the die itself, we also agree. x amount of turn of the die raises or lowers the die a consistant amount.

    What I'm talking about is the geometry of the press's lever and ram itself. Stand to the side of your press and look at the relationship of the handle to the brace to the ram. You're focusing on the dies when I'm specifically addressing the press with my original message, not the dies themselves.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Your carbide sizer dies for pistol need to be adjusted so they just misse the shell holder when the press ram is fully extended. There is no need for them to be screwed down any further. The tiny amount of sizing you might get is not needed and you can potentialy damage the carbide ring.

    The expander and seater dies need to be screwed down close to the shell holder, and then adjusted with the inner stem for amount of expansion and seating depth.

    For most pistol crimp dies the crimp is adjusted by screwing the die in and out, but the Lee FCD die crimp is adjusted by screwing the inner piece up and down. Set the FCD die body up so it just misses the shell holder as well.

    For rifle sizer dies the standard is to screw them down until there is good solid contact with the shell holder & then a little more. How much more will depend on your press and how much force is required to size that particular brass. The idea is to have the sizer down as far as it will go when the press is cammed over when actually sizing a case. That will, assuming all the tolerances in the die and shell holder are OK, ensure that the case is sized to at least below SAMMI max so it will chamber in any properly cut chamber.

    The best way to set up your sizer die is to use a case gauge to check to see how much your case is sized. Then you can adjust the sizer to somewhere between min and max. That way your cases should chamber in any rifle, but won't be sized more than needed. Some folks will only full length size enough to chamber in their gun, ensuring the best case life. When they do this they understand that the reloads may not fit all rifles, but will fit theirs. (any any rifle that has a chamber as large or larger) This can be accomplished useing your rifles chamber, or by various tools used to measure how much you are setting the shoulder back when sizing.

    For rifle seater dies one should also adjusts the die body to just miss the shell holder and use the seater stem to adjust seating depth.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    This is a factor. I set a Lee Collet Neck Size Die way down in the press such that the handle toggled over top dead center. Blew the top retaining plug clear out of the die body. Lee replaced it but scolded me for setting it too tight in a Rockchucker which has more leverage and less flex than their machines.
     
  10. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    Thanks guys. I think I owe an apology. I introduced a specific topic (Lee's adjustment videos) to the discussion that wasn't actually asked. I thought I was being helpful to fore warn the Lee videos seem to be specific to their press's geometry.

    Greg, I used Walkalong's instructions and got mine set correctly. These instructions don't make blanket "turn an addition 1/2 turn" type statements so they apply to any press or setup.

    Andy
     
  11. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Reread your post, that is not what you said:
    Never did you say "stem"
    Like I said if the ram is all the way up, die adjustment would be the same for any make press.

    Jimmy K
     
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