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Help with Lee Collet neck sizer die...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Tomekeuro85, Mar 29, 2006.

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  1. Tomekeuro85

    Tomekeuro85 Member

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    I just got one of these and I neck sized some .308 and .223. It appears to have been successful. What I did is follow the directions. I pulled the handle till it came to an abrupt stop, then pulled down a little harder to get the collet to squeeze the neck.

    First, does it matter how deep you screw in the die?

    Second, what happens if you pull the handle too hard?

    Finally, Is it possible to accidentally size less than the full neck, or is the die designed to do either all of the neck or none of it?

    Thanks again. I'm pretty sure I did it right, but I'm asking just to be safe.
     
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Lee Collet Die

    1. If you adjust the die right for proper tension on the neck, the whole neck will be resized.

    2. If you put too much tension on the neck you will break the die. When adjusting the die, I incrementally screw it in until the neck has been sized adequately to hold a bullet securely.

    When using a collet die to resize 375 H&H Magnum cases to load Barnes Triple Shock bullets, I found that too many of the bullets were loose despite proper neck sizing. I solved that problem with a Lee Factory Crimp die.
     
  4. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    In addition, there is a help video on this subject which is accessed off the main page. It's called "Collet Neck Sizing Die Adjustment".
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    No. As long as the bottom of the die makes solid contact with the shell holder, the die will size. Screwing the die deeper will have no effect.

    Conceivably, you could break the press handle off, pull the press off the bench, or break something else -- but that would take your full weight or more on the handle.
    It is designed to do all of the neck. If you want less than full neck sizing, put a washer or two on the shell holder to cause the collet to activate early.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I blew the top out of one on a Rockchucker. They replaced the aluminum top screw but told me that the instructions were meant for their turret press, not a compound leverage machine. Set it far enough down to size the neck snug on the bullet with no overtravel.
    I would not call a .375 H&H with loose bullets dependent on crimp "properly sized" and would be looking for another die or other bullets.
     
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You CAN break a Lee Collet Die -- but you can break anything if you try hard enough. If you're not getting enough neck tension, check your technique first. You need a firm hand on the handle to get the collet to close. One way is simply to size cases and check each one with a bullet before charging -- if the bullet slips into the neck with hand pressure, you didn't get the collet closed. A little practice with feedback like that will soon have you developing a feel for the process.

    If that doesn't work, your mandrel may be too large. First measure it with a micrometer or dial calipers. It should be significantly smaller than the bullet size. If it isn't, you can ask Lee to replace it, explaining what's wrong, or simply chuck it into a drill press and polish it down with a strip of medium grit crocus cloth.
     
  8. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I broke a Rockchucker press with a Lee Collet die.
    If there is force on the handle as the press goes over top dead center, the forces internal to the press are infiinite, mimus friction.

    What does it all mean?
    Adjust the die so the the handle stops half way down.
     
  9. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    I agree - have never understood what people think is gained with an over-center press. If it's to make sure dies are set properly, that is the absolute wrong approach in my opinion. It is my understanding that the companies that have presses that do not cam over, go through an extra machining step to avoid it. It would be cheaper for them to let the press have it, but it makes no sense to me. Outside of swaging, I can't think of any operation including collet sizing and 50 cal sizing that takes any more than 25 lbs of pressure on the handle with a properly set die.
     
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