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  #1  
Old 09-14-2011, 2:11 PM
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Default Which Lee dies for beginners

Whats the best 223 dies for a beginner? I will be ordering the Lee breech lock challenger kit and on selecting the dies, I was held aback from the different types.
Theres this:

LEE PACESETTER DIES
Includes
FULL LENGTH SIZER
BULLET SEATER & ROLL CRIMPER
FACTORY CRIMP DIE
SHELL HOLDER
POWDER DIPPER
LOAD DATA AND INSTRUCTIONS

LEE COLLET DIES:
Collet neck sizing die,
Dead length bullet seating die,
shell holder,
powder measure,
charge table and storage box
*No case lubrication required
*Reduced or eliminates case trimming
*A ten times increased case life
*Unmatched speed and convenience
*Minimum bullet runout

Not recommended for autoloaders, slide or lever action guns

And there's also this;

DELUXE RIFLE DIE SETS
Want the choice of neck sizing or full-length sizing in one die set?
The Lee Deluxe Rifle Die Set does both.

*No case lubrication required
*Reduced or eliminates case trimming
*A ten times increased case life
*Unmatched speed and convenience
*Minimum bullet runout

There's also an RGB dies which is the cheapest but its just the 2 pc die.

I have an AR so I think the Collet die will not work for me since its not recommended for autoloaders.

I thought its the carbide dies that requires no case lublication and that its mostly available on pistol dies only? So would a Deluxe be a better option since its no case lube would mean one less step in the process?

I saw all of these here:
https://factorysales.com/html/xcart/...g/dies-p2.html
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Old 09-14-2011, 2:42 PM
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If you're loading for an AR then you need to full length size. Even if the die is carbide you still need to lube for a full length size, I'm not buying that you don't need to lube part.

And I could never get that factory crimp die to anything. Mine must have been defective because I tried everything. I switched to Dillon dies and they worked fine.
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Old 09-14-2011, 2:47 PM
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Buy the Pacesetter, and if you have an autodisc powder dispenser, buy the rifle loading die for it.

You can't use neck collet for an AR, you need to full resize.

The factory crimp works fine, if you follow the instructions. I use mine all the time. It makes them a bit more resistant to problems in the magazine. I recommend it for semi auto.

I have .223 dies in RCBS, RCBS small base, Dillon, and Lee (inherited most of them from a friend). I use the Lee ones as a set most frequently. I sometimes put in the RCBS small base if I'm sizing a bunch of new military brass, it does a better job on the ones that are stretched all to hell by a machine gun. The rest I'm considering selling, tbh. They do neither a better or worse job than the Lee for my purposes, and the Lee are easier to adjust in my press.
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Old 09-14-2011, 5:39 PM
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Quote:
You can't use neck collet for an AR, you need to full resize.
But the deluxe model says its both neck and full lenght sizing in one die, and it has a die for 223, so how can it not work?
Also, do you believe its no case lubrication feature does not work and I would still need to lube the cases?
Thanks
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Old 09-14-2011, 5:58 PM
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Default For your AR, buy the Pace Setter Dies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini1 View Post
But the deluxe model says its both neck and full lenght sizing in one die, and it has a die for 223, so how can it not work?
Also, do you believe its no case lubrication feature does not work and I would still need to lube the cases?
Thanks
The deluxe set has both a full length and a neck sizing die included. You use the die that does what you want. The FL for your AR rounds each time and the neck sizer after you have fired a FL sized case in one of your bolt guns.

You need to lube the cases before FL sizing.
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Old 09-14-2011, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini1 View Post
But the deluxe model says its both neck and full lenght sizing in one die, and it has a die for 223, so how can it not work?
Also, do you believe its no case lubrication feature does not work and I would still need to lube the cases?
Thanks
Neck and full length are seperate dies. Both are included in the deluxe set.
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Old 09-14-2011, 6:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini1 View Post
But the deluxe model says its both neck and full lenght sizing in one die, and it has a die for 223, so how can it not work?
Also, do you believe its no case lubrication feature does not work and I would still need to lube the cases?
Thanks
I don't know about that set but I do know that you can't do both at the same time with one die. That doesn't make sense.

I also know that if you want to resize a bottle necked case, you must use lube. No way around it.

My guess is that set comes with both dies, a full size and a collet. Lube is not required on a collet die, but is on a full sizing die. Just guessing about this last part, but I do know that you must lube to full size a bottleneck case.
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Old 09-14-2011, 6:14 PM
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The Deluxe comes with both neck sizing dies, but skips the factory crimp die.

The Pacesetter drops the neck die and adds the factory crimp die.

If you are loading for a semiauto, you buy the Pacesetter.

Carbide dies are next to worthless for .223 unless you are reloading thousands a year. It just makes them a little more resistant to wear. You still have to lube any bottlenecked case, unless you enjoy drilling stuck cases out of the die.
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Old 09-14-2011, 6:48 PM
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However a carbide ball sizer will reduce case neck stretch during resizing.
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Old 09-14-2011, 6:55 PM
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Unless you are loading cast lead bullets or you are going to war, you don't need to crimp.
For bottleneck cartridges, all you NEED is a FL sizing die and a bullet seating die. Everything else is for benchrest-type accuracy concerns. I full length size my .30-06 and get 0.75" groups at 100 yards. I might get smaller with all the "recommended" case prep and such, but that accuracy is pretty much at my limit and even a perfect rifle would probably not reduce the group size that I am capable of shooting.
So as a beginner and as a semi-auto shooter, get the die set that includes just a FL sizing die and bullet seating die.
You don't need anything else
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Old 09-14-2011, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBronco View Post
However a carbide ball sizer will reduce case neck stretch during resizing.
Dillon comes standard with this. Not sure about the Lee's though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noylj View Post
Unless you are loading cast lead bullets or you are going to war, you don't need to crimp.
For bottleneck cartridges, all you NEED is a FL sizing die and a bullet seating die. Everything else is for benchrest-type accuracy concerns. I full length size my .30-06 and get 0.75" groups at 100 yards. I might get smaller with all the "recommended" case prep and such, but that accuracy is pretty much at my limit and even a perfect rifle would probably not reduce the group size that I am capable of shooting.
So as a beginner and as a semi-auto shooter, get the die set that includes just a FL sizing die and bullet seating die.
You don't need anything else
I agree.
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Old 09-14-2011, 7:08 PM
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Yes, buy the Lee .223 deluxe set and just use the FL die, save the collet die for future bolt rifle. The third die is the bullet seater. I own it and use it for my AR rifle.

Also, I don't recall such a thing as a beginner die set. Maybe you can get a single stage press before moving on to a progressive that would be more of a beginner start.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for all the advices/tips guys. So pacetter it is then.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:56 AM
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I got the deluxe works great for me!
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Old 09-16-2011, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini1 View Post
LEE COLLET DIES:
Collet neck sizing die,
Dead length bullet seating die,
shell holder,
powder measure,
charge table and storage box
*No case lubrication required
*Reduced or eliminates case trimming
*A ten times increased case life
*Unmatched speed and convenience
*Minimum bullet runout

Not recommended for autoloaders, slide or lever action guns

And there's also this;

DELUXE RIFLE DIE SETS
Want the choice of neck sizing or full-length sizing in one die set?
The Lee Deluxe Rifle Die Set does both.

*No case lubrication required
*Reduced or eliminates case trimming
*A ten times increased case life
*Unmatched speed and convenience
*Minimum bullet runout
The notes for the collet die apply to the Deluxe die set because the Deluxe dies set includes a collet die. The parts with the asterisk applies only when you use the collet die for depriming/neck sizing and not the full length die. You use one or the other, not both.

Furthermore, you use the collet die only when you are shooting those bullets in a bolt action or single shot rifle you shot the cases in previously. For lever/pump/autoloaders/multiple guns, you should always use the full length die with properly lubed cases.

You don't need lube with the collet die because there is no friction between the die and the case. The neck sizer simply squeezes the neck back to its proper diameter. The walls of the case are not touched by the die.
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Old 09-16-2011, 6:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
The notes for the collet die apply to the Deluxe die set because the Deluxe dies set includes a collet die. The parts with the asterisk applies only when you use the collet die for depriming/neck sizing and not the full length die. You use one or the other, not both.

Furthermore, you use the collet die only when you are shooting those bullets in a bolt action or single shot rifle you shot the cases in previously. For lever/pump/autoloaders/multiple guns, you should always use the full length die with properly lubed cases.

You don't need lube with the collet die because there is no friction between the die and the case. The neck sizer simply squeezes the neck back to its proper diameter. The walls of the case are not touched by the die.
+1
Yes to the above and you get more use out of the deluxe set since there are two dies instead of the pacesetter's one die, only for a couple bucks more.
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Old 09-16-2011, 7:07 PM
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I FL, neck-size, and factory crimp all of my .223.
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Old 09-16-2011, 7:59 PM
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Lee pacesetter dies
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Old 09-16-2011, 8:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
The notes for the collet die apply to the Deluxe die set because the Deluxe dies set includes a collet die. The parts with the asterisk applies only when you use the collet die for depriming/neck sizing and not the full length die. You use one or the other, not both.

Furthermore, you use the collet die only when you are shooting those bullets in a bolt action or single shot rifle you shot the cases in previously. For lever/pump/autoloaders/multiple guns, you should always use the full length die with properly lubed cases.

You don't need lube with the collet die because there is no friction between the die and the case. The neck sizer simply squeezes the neck back to its proper diameter. The walls of the case are not touched by the die.
Thanks rsrocket. Just curious though. Whats the difference or changes occur on a case fired from a bolt vs semi auto rifle? Does the neck of a case expands more on a bolt gun than it does on a semi?
does'nt a case expands from neck down to the body regardless of where its fired from?
Also can either deluxe or pacesetter be okay for range pick up cases?
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Old 09-17-2011, 5:53 AM
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The reason you only need to neck size a case shot in the same bolt action rifle is that the neck expands from the proper size (the size needed to hold the bullet in with the proper tension) to nearly the size of the neck portion of your bolt action rifle which may only be a few mils (0.001") wider. This is enough to make it so the fired case cannot hold a bullet in it with the proper tension.

The rest of the case expands to the size of the chamber and springs back a tiny bit. Since the body doesn't need to be of any exact diameter (other than to be able to fit inside the chamber without binding), once a factory sized case or a full length resized case is fired in a bolt action gun, the body will fit in that same gun the next time without a full length rezise.

Both the Lee Full Length rifle die and the collet neck die will resize the neck of a case. The collet neck die squeezes the neck against the straight mandrel containing the decapping pin. The full length rifle die slightly oversqueezes the neck against a slightly undersized mandrel, when you pull the mandrel out, the expander ball portion of the die opens up the neck to the right size. This is usually the time the shell pulls out of the shell holder if you don't properly lube the case.

Since the collet neck die does nothing to the rest of the case, there is no need for any lube. It uses four split fingers to press in on the neck.

After several firings using neck sizing only, the shoulder may need to be bumped back a mil or two so even if you neck size only, you will need to do more. Here, you can either get a specialized die to bump the shoulder to the proper length or use the full length resizing die screwed down to just barely bump the shoulder back, but not screwed down all the way.

If you are shooting with an AR or are not shooting a precision .223 bolt rifle, there is no reason to worry about this. Just full length resize every time, trim to length if needed, check for cracks in the case and toss 'em when they are worn out. .223 cases are plentiful and cheap.
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Old 09-18-2011, 6:01 PM
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The difference with a bolt action rifle is the amount of force you can apply to close the bolt. Most lever and single-action rifles simply raise the breech up and there is no force to shove the round into the chamber. For a semi-auto, there may be some slight rotation to lock the chamber, but it is no where near enough to force the round into the chamber.
Neck sizing is only for bolt action rifles and only for cases that have been previously fired in that rifle's chamber and you will still have to full-length resized after 2-4 firings.
Finally, neck sizing is ONLY for target shooting or varmint shooting where having a round NOT chamber is not a life-or-death issue to you or the game.
Most people will be most happy with FL sizing.
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