Its just the annoyance of the lock rings that bugs me.
That is interesting. Why don't you like the lock rings? I love the fact I can swap out my dies so easily with very minimal re adjustment. Why do you find them annoying out of curiosity?
The powder through expander dies work just fine with jacketed bullets, but generally don't work as well for cast.
Also, the seater plug in the lee dies is generally a one size fits all approach. These can be replaced of course.
I've found that some Lee bullet seater dies have a small enough bore to scrape a properly flared case upon entry into the die. Again, they will work fine for jacketed.
James wrote:The powder through expander dies work just fine with jacketed bullets, but generally don't work as well for cast.
The powder through expander die for pistol rounds is also your belling punch for lead bullets. The amount of bell they produce is simply a matter of the adjustment you put on it. If you need more bell, screw the die in until you get what you want. You don't need any bell for jacketed bullets.
I am familiar with the basic function of the die. Many times, the expander die will either not expand the brass to a large enough diameter to prevent shaving of lead from a cast bullet, or will expand the brass at an exaggerated angle, causing interference with the previously mentioned small bore of the seater body.
Some styles of pistol dies had a sizer die, a comb decapping and inside sizer, plus belling die, and a seater die.
The Lee set has a carbide sizer with decapping punch installed, a powder through inside sizer and belling die, and a seating die.Also, the seater plug in the lee dies is generally a one size fits all approach. These can be replaced of course.
All of the die sets I have, and of several brand names, have always came with one bullet seater punch. I know you can order different bullet seater punches, but I never have. It seems the universal types furnished work for the bullets I have used.
Yes, I worded this poorly. What I'm trying to convey, is that for the utmost in precision, a different style seater plug is generally required. I have loaded many rounds that looked fine by eye, but the moment I hollow pointed the round, concentricity issues became apparent. Switching to a custom punch removed the issue.I've found that some Lee bullet seater dies have a small enough bore to scrape a properly flared case upon entry into the die. Again, they will work fine for jacketed.
Yes, I see this also in other brands. It doesn't seem to be a problem though. The bullets seat just fine without shaving lead off the bullet. The designers may have done this deliberately to help align the casing as the bullet was seated? (I like to put just enough flare on them that the lead bullet will start without scraping. More than that just works the brass unnecessarily.)
The problem I was mentioning wasn't with lead shaving, but the occasional damaging of a case mouth due to the small diameter of the die body. Also, I agree with your flaring method. It is the same way I flare my rounds.
The Lee pistol dies I have work just fine for lead bullets. Only the lock rings bug me.
The lee dies I have also work fine for cast bullets, with the exception of the 9mm expander. It will not put enough flare on the brass. I have a Lyman M die for 9mm because of that. My biggest point with any dies and lead bullets, (off topic I know) is that some firearms may require a larger cast bullet than others, and a die set at the small end of tolerance may have trouble with properly sized cast bullets for that gun.
Though really, I haven't had much success with the powder through expander dies and cast. The successes I have had with them have only been successes in the sense that they worked, but not really well. I much prefer the Lyman M dies for this use.
Usually a set of rifle dies consist of a full length sizing die with a combination decapping and inside sizing punch installed, and a seating die with a universal bullet seating punch installed. This is sufficient for loading rifle rounds. Once you get into it, you may want some specialized dies, but for starters, a standard set works just fine.
If I were shopping for dies today, I would buy RCBS if they were available, but if not and there was a set of Lee dies on the shelf, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Lee dies. That is just why I happen to have some Lee dies. Not my first choice, but useable.
I am familiar with the basic function of the die. Many times, the expander die will either not expand the brass to a large enough diameter to prevent shaving of lead from a cast bullet, or will expand the brass at an exaggerated angle,
James wrote:I am familiar with the basic function of the die. Many times, the expander die will either not expand the brass to a large enough diameter to prevent shaving of lead from a cast bullet, or will expand the brass at an exaggerated angle,
This is a symptom of brass of different lengths. I personally do not trim pistol brass, but if you want the belling and crimping to be precise, you really should.
manithree wrote:MarshallDodge wrote:I have used Lee, Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS dies for reloading rifle and out of all of them I think the Hornady New Dimension dies are the best bang for the buck.
According to my quick look at google shopping, the Hornady dies would be about twice the price of the Lee dies after I add the full-length sizer. The Hornady has a lifetime warranty, Lee only 2 years. Are there other reasons they're worth nearly twice as much?
I've read several places that even though I only have 1 rifle in each caliber, I'll eventually need to do a full-length size after a few uses. If that's not true and I don't need a FL, then the price is pretty similar between the Hornady and Lee.
Will the Hornady dies just fit and work in my Lee turret?
Thanks for all the responses so far!
James wrote:Perhaps you should read Lee's Brag Sheet?
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