Re: New Dillon 550b owner
I have used just about everybody's dies and I find the LEE dies inferior. Yes, they work but...
They use an O-ring to hold them in the press rather than a real lock nut with an allen to tighten the lock nut to the dies body. If you remove them from the press often the O-ring will not hold the lock nut at its setting and you'll have to go through the adjustment again.
The seating adjuster is not locked down but again is held in place by an O-ring. The threads for that seating adjuster are so loosely made that you can rock the adjuster in the die which is not good for precision repeatable bullet seating.
I have over thirty (30) sets of dies of various ages and from various manufacturers, some up to 25+ years old. The only dies that have rusted were the LEE dies.
When you compare the internal finish of the sizing dies (the part that touches the case wall) you will find the machining there rather crude com-pared to almost any other die manufacturer's dies.
The LEE dies that use a collet (Neck Size Only and Factory Crimp Die) do not use the correct materials and the similar metals used in the die body and the collet gall together under use.
Is there a difference? Yes, but LEE dies work well enough and are certainly cheap. They are the Harbor Freight tools of reloading. You get to choose whatever you want to use. I choose not to use most LEE products because they all suffer the same set of problems: made of the wrong materials, and made for cheap. I will admit to using the LEE FCD for rifle cartridges because of the design but I occasionally have to "fix" them.
OK, the can of worms is now open! Remember we all get to have opinions and mine are based on MY experiences and MY preferences. You are entitled to yours. I present mine here for consideration, not to argue the point. You choose for yourself. And I care not what you choose.