Lee Collet Neck Die

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pjifl
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#16 Postby pjifl » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:40 pm

One of the great advantages of the Lee Collet Dies is that a user can usually modify them to suite unusual cartridges or wildcats.
One needs to start with a Lee Collet Die intended for the desired calibre diameter but long enough and fat enough to take the case. Then machine up spacing disks and rings so the die then works on the desired case. They come apart easily and you can see how they work. In fact you should always dismantle a new one and examine and maybe polish the closing taper and occasionally grease this part which can sometimes stick in operation.

For example, I could not source a 6BR Lee Collet Die years ago but easily modified a 243 one to work on the 6BR case. I have no idea whether Lee make a 6BR Collet Die but what is more pertinent is who keeps what stock ?

Although you need a Lathe, the machining of spacers does not need to be very accurate.

Keith has mentioned that the mandrill can be modified by polishing it down with emery paper. Or you can even make a very slightly oversized one. Best hardened but not essential. Thus you can adjust for the grip on the projectile. Other points have also been mentioned previously now I read all the replies more carefully.

I consider then one of the most useful things that Lee makes. Their method of operation depends more on good design that on ultra accurate die construction.

Peter Smith.

GrahamW
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#17 Postby GrahamW » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:14 pm

OK I know it's an old thread but seeing as Alan & Peter have resurrected it I'll throw my two bits in.... :wink:

I've been using the Lee collet die for about 4+ years and I'd say it would be the one thing that has cut my loading times by at least 30% and improved the accuracy of my reloading by at least that much as well.

A couple of things not mentioned in previous posts (that I noticed)....

1: (not sure if this is mentioned in the instructions that come with the Lee Collet Die these days but it was with mine)
... "Option: Even more accuracy can be obtained by rotating the case one half turn and sizing the case a second time"

I have always used this "second resize" method so can't comment on whether it makes a difference or not... but it does make sense to me.

2: When I bought my first Lee Collet Die it came with an Alloy (screw down) Cap which quickly failed under pressure (possibly due to incorrect setting, but I don't think so).
In any case I found a "Lee Collet Die Steel Replacement Cap" (@ Western Firearms, Beverly Hills 2209) which has solved that issue with the failing alloy cap.

3: Occasionally, depending on the amount of use, you might find the collet locking up and crushing a case. This is easily fixed by pulling the die apart and cleaning, I use a light touch of graphite powder on the outside of collet to prevent it.

Cheers,
Graham 8-)

Normmatzen
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Location: California

Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#18 Postby Normmatzen » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:18 am

Lee does make a custom 284 WIN collet die. I use one for my F Class gun.
Norm

Wal86
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#19 Postby Wal86 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:58 pm

I must be missing something here, (or I'm suffering heat stroke it was 41 here today) :lol: Lee collet dies must of changed drastically because they were complete rubbish... Doesn't sound like much has changed though, any dies you need to hone,deburr/polish/diamond file says it all, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone...

You can't turn pig sh#t into strawberry jam!!!!!!
Last edited by Wal86 on Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scott/r
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#20 Postby scott/r » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:30 pm

Yeh, nah, they are the same. They aren't a bad die for the money, but I couldn't get my head around the end result of what the crimp did to outside of the necks. Those three grooves that was left after sizing was what did it for me. I'm not saying that it was wrong or it made a difference to accuracy, but I just couldn't do it anymore.

KHGS
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#21 Postby KHGS » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:54 am

Scot & Wal86, I don't know what the problem is that you guys are having, but I and many others on this forum have been using Lee Collet dies for years. I use them in multiple calibers & will not use any other neck die for the calibers that they are available for, they are far better than strawberry jam for me. Using a Lee Collet die in conjunction with a Redding body die & Willson seating die is the simple & most effective way to maintain straight loaded ammo, works for me!!!!
Keith H.

Gyro
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#22 Postby Gyro » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:25 am

I just knew u was gonna see that post Kieth and put those knockers straight haha !!! I'm with u mate.

6.5x55ai
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#23 Postby 6.5x55ai » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:09 am

The marks on the neck are barely discernable if you size the case, rotate slightly, and size again. Not a great fan of Lee stuff but have been playing with their collet dies lately with my 223, 308W and 7.5 SR and have been reasonably happy with the outcome. Quality is a tad variable though. I have two 30 cal dies (308W and 7.5 SR) plus bought a spare 30 cal mandrel - all 3 mic different.

scott/r
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#24 Postby scott/r » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:11 am

Guys, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the dies. It made good rounds, it was just my ocd f#€@ing with my head again. I still have it and just about to gjve it another go on the neilson I picked up recently.
Scott.

Wal86
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#25 Postby Wal86 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:49 pm

Gyro wrote:I just knew u was gonna see that post Kieth and put those knockers straight haha !!! I'm with u mate.


I hope nobody thought that my post was ribbing KHGS, because it wasn't my intention at ALL.. It was purely an observation of the topic "Lee Collet Dies"..
These dies are made cheap, their tolerances and finishes are poor,(which has been posted above) the idea behind their neck sizing system is good but their product is poorly executed..
And I believe if your going to spend x amount of dollars on quality outfits (barrels/actions/scopes/reloading components) why settle for below average dies.. There are better options out there, that i would recommend well before Lee dies..

Cheers

johnk
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#26 Postby johnk » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:31 pm

I totally agree, Wall, so it really pisses me that except with brass neck turned to tight neck chambers, they give straighter brass than anything I've tried & less runout.

KHGS
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#27 Postby KHGS » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:44 pm

johnk wrote:I totally agree, Wall, so it really pisses me that except with brass neck turned to tight neck chambers, they give straighter brass than anything I've tried & less runout.


You can all say what you like, but they just flat out work! I agree Lee make a lot of cheap stuff but this die isn't one of them. =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
Keith H.

pjifl
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#28 Postby pjifl » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:27 pm

I agree with John and Keith. They work.
A little bit of polishing the collet closer mechanism makes them work better and is quick and easy to do.

Lee make some crap stuff and some quite good stuff. The trick is to understand and separate them.

I think a lot of people miss the point that Lee Collet Dies are far more under the control of the shooter who can tweak them and easily customize their neck squeeze - something that is almost impossible with more normal types of dies. And this can be achieved to a large extent even with uneven neck thickness in the brass.

I do prefer a set of FL custom dies but they are difficult to make and once made are invariant. So you need to get then right or throw them away. I have made some and it is a huge job to get them 'right'.

The Lee Collet dies are easy to 'modify' and that without any fancy equipment or machine tools.

If they are leaving deep 'grooves' on the neck the cause is in the chamber which has been cut in the barrel with a grossly oversized neck for the brass. Anyway - a double hit and case rotation can minimize this and make for even better bullet alignment.

Peter Smith.

basil
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:33 pm

Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#29 Postby basil » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:59 pm

" Those three grooves that was left after sizing was what did it for me."
I have four barely discernable marks on the neck. Is there an earlier or later model Lee Colet die?

johnk
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Re: Lee Collet Neck Die

#30 Postby johnk » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:19 pm

Always thought that there were four - cut, spin 90, cut again - and I've been using them since the early 2000s.


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