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Lee .22 Hornet neck die not sizing right

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Armymutt, May 1, 2013.

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  1. Armymutt

    Armymutt Member

    Dec 19, 2012
    I finally got my shell plate and decided to set up the dies. I wanted to use the neck sizing die to lessen the stress on the cases. I set the die up according to the directions, and ran a case. Put a .223 bullet on it, and it slid into the case. I screwed the die in further, but the same thing happened. Changed over to the FL die and the neck was sized properly. I haven't disassembled the dies yet to see if the mandrel is too large, but has anyone else encountered an issue like this? Seems that there shouldn't be that much variation in the dies.
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Wet Oregon
    I'd call Lee. I have one whole Lee neck die but I've never used it. One guy here has around 80 Lee neck dies.. all different calibers. I hear they work very well if you know a couple things. good luck
  3. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    SO. IN
    You have to put quite a bit of force to get the collet to activate in the Lee die.

    The mandrel is sized for the newer Hornet bullet which most are .224" ,the instructions with my die stated you could order a custom sized mandrel or chuck yours up in a drill and use emery cloth to reduce the size. Don't want to go much under sized only about 0.001-0.002" under the bullet size ,or the bullet will size the case neck and cause problems.

    I have the collet dies in 308 Win.,223 Rem., and 22 Hornet all mine have been serviceable out of the box.
  4. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Alamogordo, NM
    Like Dagger said, it takes some force to neck size. And don;t "over-adjust" the die thinking you'll get a nice "grab" on your bullet. If you have to do that, the die is adjusted incorrectly.

    There is something about the Lee Collet Neck dies though: Sometimes a guy will put them in the press and raise the ram, with no brass in the shellholder. Pushing up from the bottom, the die can get stuck in the collet forcing cone. Once that happens, you must unstick it before it will work.

    The bottom of the die insert sticks out from the die body a little. Take your thumb and index finger and see if you can spin that insert (or turn it easily, it won;t be so free as to "spin"). If it's hard to turn, chances are the insert is jammed into the collet. Take the die completely apart (all out the top) and unstick it in this case. I use about half a drop of RemOil (don;t ask me how I get 1/2 drop :D ) and spread it around on the die insert where it goes into the collet. Some guys polish the insert a little to make it smooth. I tried that once or twice, but unless it's overly rough, I wouldn;t recommend that. You could use a tad of white grease too, I suppose. When the die is put back together, the insert protruding from the bottom of the die body should turn smoothly and have a tiny amount of "slop" in it.

    Install it making 100% sure you adjusted it as per Lee's instructions. See, when you install it, you're supposed to raise the ram and screw the die in until it touches the shellholder. This is where the problem starts. There's a little play in the insert, so it's easy to keep screwing in the die, forcing the insert up into the collet until it stops. If it isn't stuck then, it certainly will be on the first piece of brass that you resize. So........make sure the insert is loose and turns easily. Then screw the die in until it just "kisses" the shellholder when the ram is at the top of stroke.

    In extreme cases, Lee says they'll make an undersized sizing mandrel for you. Some guys have polished theirs using fine sandpaper. But, I reload for 13 calibers, and almost all are rifle with Collet dies. I've yet to have a problem (except when I got first one: I stuck it into the collet!) ((:)D)))

    Failing all that, I'd call Lee. Something else is wrong.
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
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