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Will I be happy with Lee dies?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Huskerguy, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. Huskerguy

    Huskerguy Member

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    I have mostly Hornady and some RCBS although I do use Lee FCD and a neck die for 223. I am getting into 45 ACP and don't plan on this being a caliber I shot thousands of rounds. I do have a single stage and LNL Progressive.

    I am an accuracy/consistency kind of person. Your thoughts?
     
  2. joustin

    joustin Member

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    I have loaded several thousand 45ACP on my Lee dies with no issue.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Lee dies are decent but I've been much happier having moved on from lee.
     
  4. soloban

    soloban Member

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    I like the Lee Carbide 4 Die sets for pistol but don't much care for Lee Rifle Dies. I much prefer Redding and RCBS in that order. I've slowly replaced most of my Lee Rifle dies with Redding dies whenever I happen to snag a deal on eBay on lightly used Redding or RCBS dies.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    All of my handgun dies are Lee and I'm very happy with the. They make accurate ammo for me and that's the whole idea...
     
  6. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I much prefer Dillon dies for powder charging ( smoother) than lee's, also, for taper crimping, I like just about anyone else's.
     
  7. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    Lee dies work for me. Never had any problems with Lee products. I have dies from every major manufacturer and they are as good as any, IMHO.
     
  8. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I much prefer Lee pistol dies over RCBS pistol dies. Sold the 2 sets of RCBS I had in 380 and 38 Special.

    Only been using Lee rifle dies, but I thought I would try a set of Hornady sometime.
     
  9. bds
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    bds Member

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    I asked the same question to my reloading/shooting mentor when I started shooting USPSA matches.

    Since he had both Dillon 550B and Pro 1000 presses, he had me load the same 230 gr RN/5.0 gr W231 loads to range test at 15/25 yards. I got comparable shot groups with both off sand bags and he said if the pistol could not tell the difference, it won't matter.

    I have been a happy Lee die user since.
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Lee dies, themselves, are fine. Personally, I do not like the Lee lock rings. They do not clamp to the die and retain their setting.

    Other folks think the rings are great.
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I have dies from most every manufacturer and they all work just fine for me, even the Lee Dies work just fine.

    I agree with cfullgraf however regarding the rings and have switched all my dies to the split type used by Hornady. This way they hold their setting if I use the same press that I made the setting in.
     
  12. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    ^^This exactly^^
     
  13. bds
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    bds Member

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    I agree on the "O-ring" lock rings on Lee dies but if you use them with turrets to preset the dies for each caliber, they'll stay put when you swap out the turrets. If you are using them for single stage press, lock rings with set screws would do better.

    The O-rings do come in handy when I switch bullet types (Say RN to SWC) and need to seat the bullet deeper as I can hand adjust them without having to use an Allen wrench.
     
  14. DDawg

    DDawg Member

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    I just purchased Lee dies in 40SW, so far I've been very pleased with them. All my other dies are RCBS (which I've also been happy with).
    I choose the Lees because of price and the fact they came with the FCD.
     
  15. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H Member

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    I started with Lee dies on a Lyman T-Mag turret, and was very happy, but when I switched to the LNL Progressive, I ended up swapping out for Hornady, for a few reasons: 1) I wanted to combine seating / crimping to make space for a powder cop die, and eventually, a bullet feeder; 2) the Lee dies do work, but they're a little short, and the thicker die plate on the LNL AP makes for some difficulty in adjustment. I've heard that some had to move the lock rings to the bottom of the die plate vs. the top in order to get proper adjustment. I didn't find that to be the case with the .45 ACP dies, but they were pretty well bottomed out.
     
  16. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    Most of my handgun dies are Lee carbide sets, but for rifle dies I tend to prefer others. Haven't had a significant problem with their rifle dies but I just like others a little better. But I almost always buy Lee pistol dies; I like the powder through expander feature.
     
  17. rogn

    rogn Member

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    Lee are about all I use at this point except for some wildcats(prefer Redding then). The Lees give good quality handgun ammo, good accuracy. The Lee collet dies give excellent accuracy and consistancy for rifle ammo. Good results in bolt guns, gas guns, revolvers, and auto pistol. What more can you ask for. The O-ring lock ring work well with a witness mark for resetting and the O-ring allows the the die to "float" and stay coaxially aligned.
     
  18. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I don't buy Lee dies any more.

    I have them in .45ACP and .44MAG, and I abhor the way their powder-through expanders catch and go klunk on the out stroke. All my recent handgun die purchases have been RCBS or Hornady.

    OTOH, I have a Lee set in .223 that have worked fine. Still, my most recent rifle die buys have been second hand RCBS (late 70s vintage) that are superb.

    All my dies have split locking rings.
     
  19. DC Plumber

    DC Plumber Member

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    Been using Lee for 15 years and have been very pleased.
     
  20. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    I've been reloading with Lee dies for some of my calibers for 10 years, haven't worn the dies out yet and no issues.
     
  21. matworz

    matworz Member

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    For pistol calibers, I love the Lee carbide 4 die set. For bottleneck rifle, Hornady all day long. Though for my tube magazine rifles, I use the Lee Factory Crimp die as the final step.
     
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I have many Lee dies and have yet to have a single complaint about them in about 25 years of reloading. They work really well with my Dillon 550.
     
  23. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I reload 40+ calibers and have a fair selection of all brands of dies, some date from the 50's. Even some brands that are not made anymore. I have more Lee dies than any other brand and only buy carbide dies for straight walled brass. The next die set will probably be Lee also FWIW. I do all my loading on single stage and turret presses exclusively and find the lock rings no problem here.:) YMMV
     
  24. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    I can't tell YOU if you'll be happy with Lee dies but they sell as many as the others put together (some of 'em to me) so .... why not? Ammo is made inside and Lee's insides are as good - or better, on average - than other common dies. (Meaning, on average, no other threaded rifle dies have quite as precise seaters as Forster BR and Redding Comps but clumsy reloading technique will negate even them.)

    Some people hate Lee's semi-lock rings, some love 'em; makes no difference to me. I put the dies in and take 'em out correctly and the rings rarely move. When I mess up and they get moved I've never found adusting a die to be very complex or time consuming. ??
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I flip the rings upside down and snug them down onto my Dillon toolhead (some, I think, I put on underneath the tool head, actually) and I've never had one break loose.
     
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