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#4132342 - 06/01/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: 378Canuck]
378Canuck Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 5006
I've used the Lee also but I seem to get better results using bushings. I fire form my brass to get chamber size and order the bushing (Redding)accordingly to get just the right neck tension. Then I have what I want -consistency. I anneal after 5-6 firings so necks remain soft and lose their memory to avoid uneven neck tensions. I use the Lee in my auto loaders.
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#4132346 - 06/01/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: Longarch]
shootinurse Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 8694
Loc: northcentral PA
The crimp die is cartridge specific. It holds the round as you run the ram up and the shell holder contacts the collet slide to push it up into the die to constrict and crimp the case mouth. Adjusting it deeper runs the slide higher into the die creating more squeeze. The top is open, so it has no effect on seating depth of the bullet.
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#4132360 - 06/01/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: 378Canuck]
jpb Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 7092
Loc: northern Sweden
Originally Posted By: 378Canuck
I've used the Lee also but I seem to get better results using bushings. I fire form my brass to get chamber size and order the bushing (Redding)accordingly to get just the right neck tension. Then I have what I want -consistency. I anneal after 5-6 firings so necks remain soft and lose their memory to avoid uneven neck tensions. I use the Lee in my auto loaders.

Interesting! My experience with Lee neck dies and the Redding neck die with bushings was the opposite.

Using my RCBS case gizmo to check alignment, I found the Lee neck collet die gave just as good alignment as the Redding bushing die, and was not sensitive to neck thickness as the Redding neck bushing die was.

I disliked being forced to turn necks, or to get a different bushing for different brands of brass. So, I kept the Lee die, and sold the Redding neck die and all its bushings.

John

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#4132456 - 06/01/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: jpb]
378Canuck Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 5006
I found this result on my 338/378 weatherby and on my 378. May have something to do with the Weatherby neck. Haven't bothered to try the collet die on my 338 Lapua IM, went straight to Redding and bushings. However I use only Lapua brass which is some of the best on the market. It comes pretty damn straight and uniform on neck thickness.
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#4132479 - 06/01/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: 378Canuck]
jpb Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 7092
Loc: northern Sweden
Hej 378Canuck

Well, you could not get two more different calibres for "our comparison"!

Mine was a .222 Rem, yours the mighty .378 Weatherby.

I too (now) use nothing but Lapua brass in my .222 -- it is amazingly good!

Actually, as a 3 decade handloader, I hate to admit it, but I hate a devil of time even matching the accuracy of the Lapua FMJ factory rounds that I purchased to get the brass to reload.

My best tailored reloads with Norma brass just neck sized were still less accurate than those Lapua factory loads.

I have a .375 H & H so I am not a stranger to recoil, but I have fired a .378 Weatherby -- I salute you and your rawhide-covered cast iron shoulder! smile

John (Canuck in Sweden) smile

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#4132694 - 06/01/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: jpb]
378Canuck Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 5006
Actually it's not so bad after I stuck that 30+ oz NF scope on it and the heavy McMac-tupperware stock. If I run out of bullets, I could still club them to death with this thing. LOL
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#4134434 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: 378Canuck]
Huntz Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 6043
Loc: N.E.Wisconsin
I will have to try these Lee crimp dies.Seems like everyone likes them.
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#4134460 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: Huntz]
jpb Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 7092
Loc: northern Sweden
Originally Posted By: Huntz
I will have to try these Lee crimp dies.Seems like everyone likes them.

I was very skeptical, but gave them a try when the last round in my 5 shot magazine in my .375 H & H would get pushed in the case by recoil because I was seating the bullets out where there was no ring to crimp on (with a conventional die anyway).

Three rounds in the mag were no problem, but this rifle held 1 + 5 shots and the bullet in the last round would start to move in spite of an undersized expander ball in my sizing die.

The Lee collet crimper die allowed me to crimp even on a smooth X bullet, fixed the problem of the bullet moving, and cost very little. I do not recall accuracy changing at all, but some have sure reported improvements.

I understand Lee crimp dies for pistol calibres do not use the fingers and collet, but I sure like the rifle dies (which do use this approach).

John

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#4134629 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: shootinurse]
rost495 Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 38373
Loc: La Grange, TX
Things come to mind... I've never seen a long range shooter or BR shooter even THINK of using a Lee die.... and I"ve never seen either see the need for a crimp as a good thing.

I"ve run well over 100K rounds through ARs, maybe double or triple that even.... and never crimped one round.

IMHO there are better ways to skin a cat, but IF it works for you, then thats all you need to know.

I do have a handful of Lee dies collected over the years and I have done my best to not ever buy another.
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#4135080 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: jpb]
378Canuck Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 5006
Originally Posted By: jpb
Originally Posted By: Huntz
I will have to try these Lee crimp dies.Seems like everyone likes them.

I was very skeptical, but gave them a try when the last round in my 5 shot magazine in my .375 H & H would get pushed in the case by recoil because I was seating the bullets out where there was no ring to crimp on (with a conventional die anyway).

Three rounds in the mag were no problem, but this rifle held 1 + 5 shots and the bullet in the last round would start to move in spite of an undersized expander ball in my sizing die.

The Lee collet crimper die allowed me to crimp even on a smooth X bullet, fixed the problem of the bullet moving, and cost very little. I do not recall accuracy changing at all, but some have sure reported improvements.

I understand Lee crimp dies for pistol calibres do not use the fingers and collet, but I sure like the rifle dies (which do use this approach).

John
I've never seen bullets slide back in the brass from recoil. You need to anneal your necks more often to remove the springyness(may not be a word). Like I said before after 5-6 firings they seem to spring open a bit after sizing. My findings. I don't know metalurgy but something seems to happen to the brass and it develops a memory. Maybe others with more experience know why or can explain it better than I can.
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#4135105 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: 378Canuck]
logcutter Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 5762
Loc: Central Idaho
I am sold on the Lee "Factory" Crimp die especially on hard recoiling pistols and rifles..Never had a bullet even come close to moving on the hard recoiling 454 Casull and it helps big time with heavy bullets in the 45-70..I would hate to think of reloading either without it.

I have both RCBS and Lee dies and use the Lee's more often.

Jayco

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#4135300 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: logcutter]
azrancher Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 421
Loc: tombstone az
I have used the crimp dies in several rifles that i couldn't get to shoot otherwise and got an improvement in them all. They were all auto's or levers or magazine rifles that had short magazines compared to how the barrel overall length was set.[mainly browning levers and autos] One 270 blr of a friends went from 4 inch groups at 100 to 1&1/2 just from crimping. I now crimp any rifle i can't get to shoot a reasonable group.
Fred
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#4136095 - 06/02/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: Longarch]
efw Online   content
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 12560
Loc: Mi.
I've had fantastic results with my Lee Collet Neck Sizer Dies in 30-06, 7x57, and 257 Rob (which I use for my AI). As a matter of fact,I just got online to order custom sets for my 338-06 A-Square, 9.3x57, and 6mm-250.

They're wonderfully easy on brass and make it very easy to obtain near-perfect concentricity. I've loaded once-fired RP brass for over 10 yrs with 15+ reloads without cracked necks or the need for full length sizing.

I have only one of their crimp dies and that is for my 30-30 WCF. Again, a fantastic product that works just as advertised eliminating the "case crumpling" issues that I've had when over diligent using built-in crimps like those in RCBS dies.

The other of their products that I use extensively is their case length gauges. These chuck in a drill and, after being shortened a hair with a file, give you the perfect "trim to" length everytime, with perfectly squared case mouths. Of course you really only need to use these on factory brass in preparation for the first loading if you're using their collet neck sizing die.

On the whole I've found Lee products to be a great value, although other than these two particular dies I prefer other brands/models.
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#4136123 - 06/03/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: efw]
smithrjd Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 2217
I use the collet die for my 300H&H I find that I get much longer brass life not full sizing. These always strecth right at the belt, the Lee die lets me keep the fired sizing and reset the neck. Well worth the money IMHO 300H&H brass is not getting cheaper. The crimp dies work well in my 44 Mag better crimp than standards. Some don't like Lee's, but for myself they work just fine.

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#4144970 - 06/06/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: smithrjd]
Longarch Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 593
Loc: SE Tenn
Thanks to all. I just ordered collet and crimp dies for my .270 and 7mm Rem Mag. I hope to order a 6.5-284 set next year. I haven't got that one completed yet. lol....
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#4145186 - 06/06/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: Longarch]
downwindtracker2 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 2678
Loc: B.C.
You are dead wrong about the collet die,one of our Palma shooters does.
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#4145495 - 06/06/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: downwindtracker2]
Vic_in_Va Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 5414
I've never used the collet die, so won't comment on that, but the crimp die is, in my opinion, the best way to crimp and it allows more versatility in OAL.

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#4146614 - 06/06/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: Vic_in_Va]
Huntsman Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 415
Loc: Western Canada
One thing I learned a long time ago was that running an expander ball dry thru a case neck was not a good plan.
So I got my hands on some Graphite powder and run a brush in it then put some in the neck. Works slick.
Keeps the work hardening of the brass down to a minimum and thats a good thing.
But from what I'm reading here (thanx to all the contributors btw) I'm gonna get me a collet die and give er a whirl.

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#4148168 - 06/07/10 Re: Lee Collet & Crimp Dies - Your Opinion [Re: Huntsman]
luke Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 889
Loc: Wisc.
I have never used the crimp die, but am going to get one for 45lc. But I use the collet die for my 308 Savage and love it. Just got a set for my 6.5x55.

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