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Poll: Dies, lock rings, and settings

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ATLDave, Jan 12, 2018.

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Do your die lock rings hold their settings when you remove them from the press?

  1. No; every time I re-install a die, I have to go through the whole process of setting them up

    7 vote(s)
    6.9%
  2. Yes; the lock rings I use hold their settings and I just screw the dies in until they are tight

    49 vote(s)
    48.5%
  3. Yes; I use a bushing system that holds its setting

    32 vote(s)
    31.7%
  4. Some yes, some no

    10 vote(s)
    9.9%
  5. They do, but I re-set the dies from scratch anyway; I have trust issues

    10 vote(s)
    9.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Zendude
    • Contributing Member

    Zendude Member

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    I usually don't have to start from scratch with the Lee dies and lock rings, but I always end up making small adjustments each time.
     
  2. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    I use the cross bolt lock rings on most of my dies ... Forster, Lyman, Hornady ...
    But I use them in my CoAx press and don't have to worry about screwing them in & out ... Just a quick slip and they are there .... I have dies that have not had settings changed in 25 years or more ...
     
    isaactc likes this.
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    isaactc and Walkalong like this.
  4. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    I use the Lee Challenger single stage press and have bushings on all my dies. I never have to re-adjust them but I only load straight wall cases.
     
  5. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I use the Hornady lock rings because I have the wrench that mates up to it... I've never had one move. Spin it in, bump the wrench to torque it, reverse when I'm done.

    I put a sticky note in the die box that tells me which press they were in last, and what boolit.
     
  6. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Use the Lee lock rings on my dies that are in turret heads for my Lee turret.
    Some Lee Lock rings and some Hornady lock rings for the dies for my LNL.
    In bushings so it does not really matter.
    RCBS .45 dies have RCBS lock rings, in bushings.


    If I was buying rings I would by the Hornadys.
     
  7. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I hate the lee O-ring method. Yeah it kinda tries to hold but they do move a little. I have a bunch of old rusty junk dies of various pedigree I got in a few trades. They had the set screw rings on them...had. Those set screw rings are now on all of the dies I actually use, and yes they hold their zero.
     
  8. armarsh

    armarsh Member

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    My Lee lock rings work great. That is, after I drilled and tapped them for a set screw.
     
  9. drband

    drband Member

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    My Lee lock rings hold just fine. I do snug them down in final position with a crescent wrench. They will not move on their own.
    If you only finger tighten the Lee lock rings they will come loose.
     
  10. Havok7416
    • Contributing Member

    Havok7416 Member

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    I don' understand why people do this (I'm also not doubting that they do it either). I use Lee dies with Lee rings on Dillon 550 heads and all mine (rifle and pistol) are screwed in from the top just fine. Maybe it's the air here or something...:scrutiny:

    Related to the poll, I didn't vote because my option isn't there - I have separate toolheads for each caliber I load for. So I just set the dies and forget all about them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  11. ray15

    ray15 Member

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    I bought the Hornady lock rings and found them too bulky when using them on my LCT. I don't really like the Lee rings, and prefer to put a wrench on things and tighten them. Ironically I bought the 1" Dillon rings and their wrench, which I love. The small diameter gives me more clearance between the dies on my LCT, and I can now tighten them fully and easily. I do use multiple turrets and most of my dies remain in place.
     
  12. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    I think this poll is badly flawed.
    Pistol shooters do not have die settings that are nearly as critical setting wise as the setting of a bottle neck FL die for a precision rifle.
    It takes a good while to set a a FL die to exactly match a chamber or to push the shoulder back .001.
    The size die for straight walled pistol rounds could be set to plus or minus .020 and it would work.
    I never use LEE lock rings for anything critical.
     
    ATLDave likes this.
  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Maybe the 550 toolheads are shorter than the 650 toolheads. I can tell you that a Lee 40/10mm sizing die (or at least the one I own) cannot get far enough into a 650 toolhead to touch the shellplate (or even get very close) with the Lee lockring on top of the toolhead. Can't be done.
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Interesting point. I'm definitely much more of a pistol loader than a rifle loader, and when I load rifle cartridges, I'm just setting everything back far enough to fit a case gauge (i.e., all the way).

    Do you feel that even the Hornady or other rigid lock-rings are insufficiently precise/repeatable to allow dies to come off the press and be re-installed without going through the whole adjustment process again? (If so, this would at last explain to me the appeal of having a non-indexing turret press loaded up with various different rifle sizing dies.)
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    For straight cased pistol rounds absolutely not. (Haven't played enough with bottle necked)

    If you use more force to tighten than last time, it will be off a hair, so be consistent in the force you use to tighten them down. But that said, even then it isn't going to show on target with any reasonably good load. One thing that makes a good load a good load is they are not that critical. +/- .010 on how much you size the case won't hurt you, +/- .010 on how much you bell won't hurt you. +/- .010 on OAL won't hurt you, and if it does, it's too picky.

    And if you are consistent on the force used to tighten the dies you will not be off .010 on any of those. This is from taking dies on and off a single stage, a turret, and a progressive, many, many, times and having the measurements and performance stay the same, give or take a couple of thousandths. These days most dies stay put in the bushings. Of course there is flex in the LNL bushing system, but it seems to stay very consistent. Occasionally I will have to tweak the seater a couple of thousandths, if it is a micro top, and if not, just not worry about it.

    If your pistol rounds come out .005 longer than the last time and you shoot a big group, it was you. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    ATLDave likes this.
  16. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    If I get a die that doesn't come with a lockable ring I throw the ring away and put either a Lee oring or a split locking ring on it. For pistol cases that I make occasional tiny adjustments to I prefer the Lee dies with the Oring. For rifle dies I use split lock rings. I use a Lee turret and rarely take dies in and out but I set them up so I can anyway. I use a 9mm carbide die for loading 9mm, 38 special, and 357 mag, so I have a split lock ring on that one so I can quickly swap it between the 3 turrets.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  18. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    Any of the lockable rings will usually go back to the same setting without adjustment.
    Most of my dies are RCBS and they are so old that they have the old solid set screw rings.
    Sometimes the rings will wedge down as the lock screws are tightened. This makes the die very difficult to remove from the press. In those cases the die will not go back to the same setting. Then the setting has to be tinkered with so you can remove and replace the die and return to the same setting.

     
  19. Havok7416
    • Contributing Member

    Havok7416 Member

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    For the life of me I can't find any comparisons online of the height measurement difference between the Dillon 550 and 650. It clearly must be different, but no one has produced numbers.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Put a piece of lead shot under the brass screw on RCBS dies. Works great. Locks far better, easy to adjust, just loosen the screw and tap on it. Instant loose.
     
    cfullgraf likes this.
  21. 420

    420 Member

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    Flawed poll - does not provide options for us Coax users... my rings hold all of the time, the dies are not screwed in and bushing systems are not used.
     
    ATLDave likes this.
  22. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well guys I use and like the Lee lock rings. They work for what I need and they hold their adjustments just fine. BUT to do that I turn the lock ring upside down and reinstall it on the die. I am presently using both a RCBS RC and Turret press along with a Lyman Spar-T press.To install the die I screw the die itself down until the lock ring just touches the press and use a Cresent wrench to finish tightening it in to lock. I just spot check the dies once in a while and my handgun dies have not moved for years. I also make dummy rounds or casings because multiple rifles do require I reset the partial resizing/seating depth uniquely for each one. YMMV
     
  23. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    Lead shot is what comes under the oldest RCBS style lock rings FROM THE FACTORY. I thought everyone knew that.
    Nylon balls are much superior to lead shot because they are elastic. Just back off and the ring is loose without banging on them.
    Even so rings will often bind a die in the press when you tighten the lock/set screw.

     
  24. Z1B

    Z1B Member

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    I don't lock the ring so when removing the die from the press I have to loosen the ring first. Might be a difficult way to go but I've not locked very many rings using the set screw since 1984.
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    True, I have some similar rings with factory included nylon or some such piece under the screw. I have also used a spitball in a pinch.
    Also true. :)
     
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