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Someone said in another thread, perhaps one of you guys, that the reason Federal gold medal match .308 had the reputation it did, was because the brass was so soft that it released the bullet quickly and easily and uniformly. Your method would enable reloaders to accomplish the same thing with tougher brass. Thanks for the post...nutritious food for thought.
 

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Lee collet die works better and easier to apply consistant force in a press that goes over center which most Lee presses don't .
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #23
My Bonanza CoAx does, but why make any press go over center hard if you don't have to.

YMMV

RJ
 

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If you adjust correctly it only goes over center with just the right amount of force , that's the whole point . The problem is Lee's die adjustment advice is all wrong for an over center press because Lee don't have any or maybe one press suitable .
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #25
I've done 7 (seven) Lee collet dies as described. They now perform better as there is more "built in" neck crush if I so desire without undue wear on my press linkage.

RJ
 

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Smoothing up the die definitely helps a lot . Getting a precise size each time is harder when it's only arm pressure control instead of linkage stop pressure control . Big difference.
Making the die give more neck tension may be good and maybe not so good depending on the ammos final use .
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #27






I'd say my way works pretty good for my uses.

As I said, I'm using a CoAx press which does "cam over", not a Lee which may or may not depending on which one you have.

RJ
 

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It still sizes concentrically and fairly consistently each way but after many sizes without cam over your arm gets very tired and the amount of force applied varies more than if it was set up to cam over . The co-ax is a better press than a cheap Lee .
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #29
My arm got tired making it can over needlessly, that's why I started doing the tailored collet bit. That's the point I'm trying g to make Country, is "Work smarter, not harder"

RJ
 

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Then you are using way too much pressure . It only takes a small amount of force on cam over compared to the constant force method for any given cartridge . Look at your case necks if you see slight lines left by the collet splits then the force is too much . I can resize a 223 cases with two fingers on the RCBS press handle on cam over . Once the collet crushes the case neck too the mandrel any extra force above that is wasted energy that achieves no work except wear the die quicker . I watched a guy at my range using massive arm pressure to size with a Lee collet die I cringed every time he lent on the press handle eventually the collet retaining cap stripped the thread . When an RCBS style press cams over it is at the point of it's maximum leverage the sizing should only happen at the very last bit off movement before it cams over .
If it cams over too early you are just trying to smash the die . Experiment with some fired cases and work up too the right die setting depth a bit at a time moving in small amounts and testing the case for projectile fit each time . When the projectile suddenly will not go into the case , it's sized .
Preparing the collet die by smoothing it up is a good idea but that is not telling you how to use it properly . Completely ignore any Lee instructions when setting up cam over . .
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
Good Sir, it appears you just want to argue without really reading or understanding the original and subsequent posts on set up, measuring and use of the Led collet die.

Let's do this, you do yours your way and I'll do mine my way and we'll be fine. Fair 'nuff?

For the record, I have four (4) .223 (not 5.56) bolt guns (two 788's, a 700SPS/VLS, a Sako 85 and another 788 in .222REM) Each .223 has her own load but each is sized with the same collet die I first "tailored" some 30 years ago because no amount of pressure or camming over reduced the necks enough to properly grasp the bullets.

I reload and shoot 2000-3000 223's per year shooting ground dwelling rodents depending on availability, so please, with all due respect, I have loaded quite a few.

What I'm getting at is it takes less force no matter what press you are using and you get the added benefit of increased bullet pull to facilitate initial powder burn.

Too much tug? Then reduce the lower "half" of the mandrel .0001 until there less "felt tug" or use some Imperial dry neck lube like I do.

Anyways

RJ
 

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Ok sorry if I offended you , I was not aware anyone was arguing , but something is not right as cam over is way easier than the Lee constant pressure method. You are not understanding what I am saying as I have said the smoothing up of the die is a good idea but that is not an instruction on how to use the die .
The long press handle swing of the co-ax press might be an issue but I suspect you are not adjusting the die correctly so your getting extra hard cam over .
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #33
Offended? No, I'm a coal miner, I leave my feelings at the gate.

When I set up my .223 dies how ever long ago it was, no amount of pressure (cammed over or otherwise) "squeezed" the neck down far enough do that it would hold a bullet. So, being the tinker I am I tried "machining" the collet down a bit and WALLAH!

Am I saying every Lee collet dies needs this, no. What I am trying to get across is IF your die isn't doing what it should to your satisfaction (as in too much pressure) then try my idea before you get frustrated. It's easy, it's quick and you can end up with better ammo.

At that time I think Lee suggested it in their directions but I could be mistaken.

RJ
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Country, you might have experienced Lee collet dies that gave "enough" sizing without all the effort of fixing the mandrel.... but enough members here have had to do it, that apparently every die that leaves the Lee factory is not perfect. It doesn't take much size variation in the mandrel to not have "enough" neck sizing to hold a bullet properly. There is, by the way, a substantial difference in how much brand new brass 'springs back' vs. brass that has been loaded many times.

Dead soft brass has about no 'springback' whatsoever. Size it a few timess, and 0.002" springback is about right. Some brass may be even harder. And by the way, you might be surprised at the variation in diameter on factory bullets..... even from the same factory. You CAN end up with "resized" brass that won't hold a bullet, when the tolerances line up wrong.

Then different presses have different tolerances in their linkage, different designs, and so forth.

You either get good at annealing, or size the mandrel down, eventually. Assuming you get luck enough in the first place to get a perfectly sized mandrel. If you think turning out these things by the thousands and holding tolerances to less than 0.001" is easy, I'm guessing you haven't tried it.
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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And this is a sticky, not an ongoing open discussion. Thread closed.
 

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A difference in terminology to be aware of in discussing "cam over".

I don't like to post in a closed thread, but I think it is worth pointing out a big part of the problem here was a simple misunderstanding that meant RJ and Country were talking past each. This was because they were not using the same definition of "cam over". I've seen this on another forum where half the folks said they cam over with their Rock Chuckers and the other half said their Rock Chuckers couldn't cam over because of the location of their linkage stops.

The first half of those folks would say a press is camming over when they are applying force via the camming action of the linkage past the point where the shell holder is already hard against the die. The second half says camming over means pushing the linkage past the point where the ram reaches as far up as it can, a brief point of infinite mechanical advantage, and then starts to drop down again, as in, the camming action goes past top dead center in a press in which the top of the ram stroke is limited by the linkage and not by stops, the stops coming after that point. RJ was using the first meaning, which is why the effort got hard. I know this is so because I have two Forster Co-ax presses and both have tabs in the casting that stop the linkage before the ram reaches and passes top dead center for the linkage mechanism. Same on my Lee Classic Cast. Those stops are to protect the press from someone abusing the infinite mechanical advantage point that is passed through when a press lets you camming past the top dead center point in the ram stroke. Country was using the second definition, and screwed the collet die into a press that doesn't have those protective pre-top-of-linkage-stroke tabs, so the pressure on the collet peaked when he had infinite mechanical advantage, which is why it made the stroke easier for him. Presses that will do that are often called camming-over presses.

I have one press, a Lyman Spartan turret press I got new in the late '70s or early '80s that will cam the ram over past the point of maximum stroke height as in the second definition. It is rather clever in that the linkage stops are located beyond that point so that the ram has gone past peak height and dropped an amount equal to the amount the press frame stretches and deflects in a normal resizing. Thus, when setting up a sizing die, I just run the handle fully forward, screw the die into finger-tight contact with the shell holder and I'm done. When I pull the handle back,camming-over in reverse, the stroke raises the ram into compressed contact with the die, same as if I had turned the die in an extra quarter turn in after lowering the ram on a non-camming-over-press. The problem with all camming-over presses is they allow you to generate enough force to crack a casting if you push them too hard (what the stops prevent on the other style press). If I set the die up as described, and then also turned it in a quarter or half turn afterward, I could quite possibly damage the press.
 
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