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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. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I've never had an issue with Lee dies. Most the of the dies I've bought new were Lee (bought one set of Hornday dies for my .225 Winchester as Lee didn't make dies for that at the time), but I have a lot of sets of various brands that I've bought used. All of the brands - including Lee - will turn out quality ammo.
     
  2. floydster

    floydster Member

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    For the money, Lee dies can't be beat, I have Hornady, RCBS, CH, and Lyman dies.

    Smokeyloads
     
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I have only used Lee & RCBS. I like Lee better.

    If your getting a had yank coming out of the belling die your probably going in to deep. I load for 5 straight wall handgun cases & user Lee dies for all of them. none of mine yank if adjusted correctly.
     
  4. Otto

    Otto Member

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    You'd be happier with Reddings.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    To load .45ACP? LOL! :D All you'll be is POORER!
     
  6. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    Will Lee dies produce good, high quality 45ACP ammo? Of course they will!

    Will you be happy with that? I don't know.:confused:
     
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Lee dies will make as good ammo as any other dies. Wether you will like them or not remains to be seen. I use Lee dies on a classic turret and Dillon 550 and they make great ammo for me.
     
  8. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Another happy Lee user here, I prefer them to my RCBS.
     
  9. Romeo 33 Delta

    Romeo 33 Delta Member

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    No problems with Lee at all. I have them for all my pistol calibers and over half of my rifle calibers. I use other manufacturer's dies when Lee doesn't have what I need. As for the lock rings, yes I like set-screw rings (RCBS) better ... but if you use a die wrench and tighten/loosen the dies to grasp the lock ring ... I've not had a problem in my single stage presses either.
     
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    You don't need a wench to tighten them. That is what makes the Orings so great. When switching from one press to another you don't have to need with those set screws.
     
  11. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    I like Lee. Don't know if you will, some people like to spend more money for the same thing.
     
  12. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    And being as I rarely if ever switch dies from one press to another, even tho I have 6 different presses. And that is precisily why I like the split rings on my dies, once the die is set and the lock ring is locked in place, "notice its named a lock ring and not an adjustable ring" everything is in place unless I change bullets for the seating/crimping die, which in my case I have extras 1 for each bullet shape/weight I reload for that caliber.

    Once that puppies set, all adjustment/fussing around is done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  13. targetshooter22

    targetshooter22 Member

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    My dies are LEE and RCBS. The LEE dies work fine. Lately I've been buying RCBS, not because I think the product is that much better, but because I like their customer service. Or more to the point, I think the balance between customer service and price is good. The customer service I reference is that when I accidentally misused their sizing die and broke the deprimer, they sent me new parts, no questions. I even told them it was my error, not their failure.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I agree with what jcwit just said about lock rings. Once mine dies are adjusted for a press, they do not move to another press unless that press gets replaced. So, I like my lock rings firmly locked in place.

    I have replaced a press once in thirty years. (Note, I have added several presses during that time).

    i do load 223 Remington on my progressive and my single stage press. For 223 Remington, I have two sets of dies, one for each press.

    I will agree, if using a tool head (I don't) or bushings like Hornady's L-N-L or Lee's Breech Lock, the Lee lock rings would work fine. But I would jam them down with a wrench and not rely on the o-ring holding.

    I do use a Lee o-ring lock ring on my powder cop die on my progressive. This die gets re-adjusted with every cartridge change and at the price of the powder cop die, it is one place I prefer to economize. The Lee lock ring lets me re-adjust the die in a few moments without tools.

    I have used my cast off Lee lock rings here and there on powder measures or other places that did not come with a nut and do not need precise positioning. I have jammed two Lee lock nuts together to permanent positioning a time or two when replacement split rings were out of stock. It work but get the adjustment right was a pain.
     
  15. res7s

    res7s Member

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    I prefer my Lee dies to my RCBS and Hornady dies. I buy Lee if I'm buying new. If I'm buying NOS I look for Pacific Durachrome, Bonanza, or Redding.
     
  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Weird. I have to jam down my dies that have a split ring or set screw. If I don't put a wrench to it with a little torque, the whole die may work its way loose by the end of a batch.

    I've never had a Lee ring-locked die work loose. I have no problem relying on the O-ring to hold position. It's getting it back to the exact same position every time that's the bother.
     
  17. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    But it'd be nice if she would... :)
     
  18. BP44

    BP44 Member

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    Hate to say it but nothing beats a lee FCD, I have been treated very right by rcbs in the past though.
     
  19. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    My wench usually just brings coffee when I am loading. At age 17, back in 1979 I bought a set of Lee .44 mag dies for a new pistol. Between being poor high school kid, new pistol, then dies and bullet mold was best could afford. That set of dies has loaded well over 100k rounds with no problems. Even pull out that little one cavity aluminum bullet mold just to keep it from being lonely and forgetting how to work. It is still a good piece also.

    I have dies from everyone out there. From micrometer seating dies to carbide rifle and custom wildcat die sets. Price does no scare me. But when buying for caliber don't own a gun in or plan to use a lot, I still pick up Lee dies. Only problem is wasted space on shelf storing round boxes. Hahaha
     
  20. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Yeah, I like my sets of Lee dies just fine. The only thing the others brands do is cost more.

    I put Lee lock rings on all my dies, they don't back out from finger tight(all they ever need), and they automatically square up.
     
  21. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    I had the same CS experience with Lee. Great people.
     
  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't think the Lee lock rings are great but they don't bother me either. Since I'm using a Lee 4 hole turret press I don't move the dies after they are set so the O rings on the lock rings work just fine for me. If I had to move the dies at all I would replace the lock rings with RCBS rings like I did on my Lee 30-30 dies I use on a single stage press.
     
  23. Havok7416
    • Contributing Member

    Havok7416 Member

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    All of my dies are Lee and I have yet to have a problem with them after over 4,000 loaded rounds to date. There is a slight issue with the locking rings being too fat but that is easily fixed with other rings.
     
  24. mike.h

    mike.h Member

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    I started reloading 45acp with the LCT and the Lee carbide set which includes the LFC. I have nothing to compare them to, but I have no complaints yet. I also use the Lee set for 9mm and just ordered the 223 set.
     
  25. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I wouldn't get too concerned about the differences in the lock-rings. If that's the only issue you have with Lee dies, you can buy other companies' lock rings separately:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/402579/lyman-split-lock-die-locking-ring-7-8-14-thread

    You can outfit a 3-die set of those for ~$10, which is less than the price difference between Lee and most of the other brands. Personally though, the Lee lock rings never bothered me. I have bought some of those I linked though, not to replace Lee lock rings, but to replace RCBS ones. I don't mind the split type with the set screw like those above but the RCBS type with the screw that tightens down directly onto the die's threads never sat well with me.
     
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