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Dies-Hornady vs. Lee Which is better?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mapwd, Jan 16, 2006.

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  1. mapwd

    mapwd Member

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    I bought some used Lee dies at a gun show a few weeks back. They are in great shape, carbide and all. The set did not have a crimp die though so I went looking for one of those and could not find one. I bought a set of Hornady Custom-Grade New Dimension dies because of the crimp die in the set. I have found out though that you do not need a crimp on a 45ACP bullet. Which set is the better set?? I would like to trade one of them for a set of 40S&W dies.
     
  2. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Member

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    You don't actually 'crimp' acp rounds..

    but you do have to remove the bell at the mouth after seating the bullet.The Lee set should have a way of doing this.
    You just want the sides of the case to be 'straight' after seating,no turned outward case mouths.
    Usually the crimper is built into the seater die on pistol sets. you just have to turn it down far enough while raising the seater stem .

    Welcome to the forum!! :)
     
  3. mapwd

    mapwd Member

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    I was thinking of using the Hornady crimp die from the other set to take care of this. The Hornady set seems very confusing to set up compared to the Lee dies, but if they are a better set I will start using the Hornady Dies.
     
  4. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    The Lee dies DOES have a crimp die, its in the bullet seater. Follow the directions and then seat a bullet. Look at the case and make sure the flare is gone. If it is still there turn the bullet seating die (the whole die, not the adjuster on top) about 1/4 to 1/2 turn down. Reexamine, adject die etc.

    You really don't crimp .45ACP as it needs the case mouth to properly headspace.
     
  5. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    I use Lee dies for 9mm (3 die carbide) and 357 Sig (3 die steel & FCD) and have had zero problems with them. For the price they can't be beat.
     
  6. mapwd

    mapwd Member

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    Thanks YellowLab, I tried your advice and it works quite well. I think I am going to get rid of the Hornady dies and keep using the Lee dies.
     
  7. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    mapwd - Out of curiosity, what is the model number of the Hornady die set?

    If it is set #544554 and for "45 ACP/AR/WIN/LC" then you might want to keep it if you ever plan on shooting .45 Colt. That set is lousy for reloading .45 ACP, but great for .45 Colt (the LC part of the description). The crimp die is actually a roll crimp, not a taper crimp which is required for ACP rounds.
     
  8. mapwd

    mapwd Member

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    yes they are that set, I don't plan on shooting LC though.
     
  9. Darkker

    Darkker Member

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    To answer your question. Lee has the most patents, the smoothest surface standards in the industy.
     
  10. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Mal, I used to know quite a few old timers that used nothing but a roll crimp die to load .45 ACP. Just turn it in to a hair past the point when the case walls were stright. If my memory is right, some years ago the RCBS had .45ACP dies with either roll crimp or taper crimp die. Don't see anyone doing that now and don't think they sell the die sets like that today.
     
  11. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    ok, i am fully attired in nomex, so here goes...

    i don't think much of hornady dies, though i think they are better than lee.
    i absolutely hate lee dies. they are difficult to set up, hard to set up after changing dies out, and a general nuisance to use. i especially have a strong dislike for the floating seaters.

    i really think paying the extra money for redding and rcbs is money well spent.

    good luck w/ whatever you use.
     
  12. wrangler5

    wrangler5 Member

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    Lee offers their carbide "factory crimp die" (under $12 at Midway) for 45 ACP as well as for a number of other popular calibers. It both crimps the case mouth against the bullet AND does a final resize on the whole case, assuring that the final cartridge will fit your chamber. I use one of these dies on all my handgun calibers for which they're available, and only use the seating die to seat the bullet to proper overall length - all the crimping is done in the crimp die. Take a look at the user feedback on the Midway site for people's reactions to this tool.
     
  13. bpisler

    bpisler Member

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    I've used lee dies for years,in fact my
    38/357mag dies are 14 years old.They
    still turn out great reloads.I've found
    lee dies the easist to adjust and set up.
    You do need to use caution when you
    remove them from the press to keep
    from messing up the settings.
     
  14. wolf_from_wv

    wolf_from_wv Member

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    I use my Lees with the Hornady locking nuts - the one where the nut is split and has a hex screw that tightens it in place. I like that better than the O-ring that is standard.
     
  15. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    If you think 'setting up' a Lee die is hard, then I would hate to know what you call easy.

    Screw die in till it touches the shell plate. Then depending on the die's function 1/4 to 1/2 turn more.

    The lock rings.. seat die, hold die with one hand and turn lock ring till its finger tight. No wrenches, to tools. When you want to remove the die loosen by the lock ring and your setting is kept.

    I have a set of hornady dies and the last die always seems to have the allen screw in a position that prevents me from tightening it. I took it off and put on a Lee lock ring.

    FWIW the lock rings are only there to take out backlash. If you are cranking down on them thinking it will make the die work better, then you don't really understand what the rings are for.
     
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