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bigcountry 07-21-2003 08:41 AM

Lee Collet Die
Did something different last night. I got a collet die and sized my 308Win brass. But I am confuse don how much to crimp this. Directions says to push in two full turns on a RCBS press so it doesn' t cam over. I was scared of not getting enough tension so I really torqued down the press lever. Almost tore it off my bench. Ha, ha. does it take alot of pressure, or very little?

bigcountry 07-24-2003 09:22 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
Wow, nobody has Collet Dies?

frizzellr 07-24-2003 09:49 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
I have a set that I can' t figure out how to use either. I have to play with them some more to figure them out.

Mark whiz 07-24-2003 11:04 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
You don' t really NEED any crimp - unless your firing a semi-auto elephant rifle. But I' ve been experimenting with this die too. The results are still out on whether crimping helps any or not.

But to answer the question, you don' t need much crimp. Work the die down in increments to see the amount of crimp being applied. I like to look down from the top of die as I run the press and when the collets about touch sides - it' s time to quit.

bigcountry 07-24-2003 11:29 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
Mark, we are talking about Collet dies, not crimp dies. We are talking about sizing not bullet seating.

frizzellr 07-24-2003 11:55 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
Mine keeps leaving marks on the neck of the case but it doesn' t size it down enough. Maybe I need to screw the die in further to the press.

bigcountry 07-24-2003 01:25 PM

RE: Lee Collet Die
I am going to try to load some bullets tonight. I about tore my press off my bench using it. It that doesn' t size it down enough, I might try to polish the collet down to .001" as they suggest.

MR300WM 07-25-2003 06:35 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
Bigcountry last year when I was having some trouble with my 300WM I bought a set of Lee collet dies and tried them. I was not very happy with the results and went back to using the RCBS neck sizer. I did find that by rotating the casing after sizing and resizing helped. I do believe that collet needs to be reduced. I haven' t tried the Lee dies since replacing my brass that was causing my problem. I also ran some 220Swift brass thru but the neck didn' t have enough tension to hold the bullet securely. I think I need to send the dies back to Lee and let them do the polishing since I don' t know if I can keep them perfectly round. Good Luck. OH by the way I believe that the instructons said you need to apply about 25ft lbs of pressure to the die. This is not that much pressure. I would suggest you find a grease monkey and try his torque wrench set at the proper torque and this will give you an idea of how much you need to push the lever.

herman 07-25-2003 07:07 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die
I use the collet die for my 223 in a RCBS and and like it .I went by the instructions screwed it in till reached the shell holder and screwed 2 full turns more,when I size I push down till the primer pops out ,turn the case 180 degrees and press down again,neck tension has been fine so far.
Really like it for these small cases.
You mentioned crimp? I don' t never crimp so I have no idea about it.

frizzellr 07-25-2003 09:03 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die

You mentioned crimp? I don' t never crimp so I have no idea about it.
I believe he is talking about crimp as in what the collet does to the neck to resize it. You know, crimp, smash, squish, compress....

neweboarhunter 07-28-2003 12:02 AM

RE: Lee Collet Die

On the Lee collet dies try adjusting the die down a little to get a firmer grip on the bullet. Also rotate the brass case a 1/2 turn and cycle the press again. The marks on the case neck don' t seem to affect anything, as far as I can tell. These dies seem to take more adjusting time, but once you get them adjusted they are great.

gunsite 12-22-2003 01:44 PM

RE: Lee Collet Die
I use Lee collet dies only to seat the bullet. I use RCBS in either fl or neck sizing dies. never have any problem with any of them. Gunsite

NE Hunter 12-22-2003 07:21 PM

RE: Lee Collet Die
Wow, I had similar results with my Lee collet die the first time I used it too! I did what my wife calls the last resort ... reread the directions and tried to reset the die from scratch. I found that if I'd followed the directions the first time it would've solved some problems ( I figured if 1 -2 turns was good 3 or 4 would be better). Set the die for the minimum amount of pressure and try it; seemed by giving the die room to work it did. I haven't loaded any ammo yet after retuning the die but it seemed to work better as It would grip the bullet much tighter that way. good luck and Merry Christmas

bigcountry 12-22-2003 10:33 PM

RE: Lee Collet Die
I ended up putting the madrel in a lathe and taking off a mil or two. I now feel the neck tension is where it should be. Also, I really can't complain about runout. For once fired brass out of the same gun, I get almost no runout any more.

Solitary Man 12-23-2003 12:41 PM

RE: Lee Collet Die
My first few attempts to neck size brass with the Lee collet die were excercises in total frustration. I either didn't get enough neck tension or I got buckled necks. I quit trying and it sat on a shelf for about a month before I tried it again. I was determined to get it to work, however. I took it apart and examined everything and it occured to me that the parts were just too roughly finished to work properly. There were burrs around the mouth of the collet sleeve that were making gouges in the collet. So I polished the collet and collet sleeve (where they come in contact with each other) going up to 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper. I reduced the mandrel by .001". When I reassembled everything, I applied a little dab of grease around the mouth of the collet sleeve.

Well, my efforts paid off. The collet die has worked perfectly (and quite effortlessly I might add) since I gave it this tune up. I have performed the same procedure to subsequent collet dies and they have all worked great.

I don't know when the patent expires on this die, but when it does I hope one of the other companies starts making their own collet die. It's a great concept, but I think Redding or Forster would do a much better job with it. Lee might have come up with the idea, but their execution of it leaves a lot to be desired.

dog1 12-30-2003 08:15 PM

RE: Lee Collet Die

Just got thru reading your question and all the replys on the collet dies. I've been using the Lee collet dies, several sets, for a long time now and love them. As others have stated, its not for crimping, it resizes the neck. The farther you screw it in the tighter the neck fits the bullet. I have found that after setting it I use my on South Georgia testing procedure. I take my thumb and push on the bullet, if it doesn't move, its' right. Have never had a bullet pushed down while in the clips from firing, etc. Crude, but works for me. Someone on the forum recommended rotating the case, this also works to make it more uniform.

As for as the Lee die, there may be better ones on the market, but I'm well satisfied with mine.

My two cents worth.


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