lee dies vs others, why no lock ring?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by soundguy, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i setup a lee 35 rem die last night.. first lee die I've used ( others have been CH and rcbs, etc.. ).. and noticed that theyle they have a retainer ring and oring.. they do not hve a locking ring? is this becuase they intend you to tighten thin ingo a quick change breech lock bushing and then use thast as the swap? can i assume hornady will be the same?
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The Lee lock ring works kinda like a jam nut. and when you tighten it down into the press the rubber O ring smashes into the die body and makes it snug against the die.
  3. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    but.. when you take it out of the press.. since the nut has no set screw.. you loose your adjustments. with other dies with lock rings.. you can just screw in and go.

    I realize lee may be expecting you to use a breechlock system and drop in and go.. etc. similar to the hornady setup.. etc. I think I'll be putting some rcbs locking rings on mine..
  4. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I prefer the Hornady lock rings over the RCBS however, I prefer the Lee lock rings over all the others. Redialing the die's in is no big deal for me.
  5. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    it's no big deal.. but it consumes time. I like to walk by my play room and hit a lil work 5 m here.. 10m there.

    can't do that if i am taking 10m to adjust a die just so... and then no time to play.. :)
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Take a sharpie and put a dot on the lock ring and die body while its set up right in the press. Then when you unscrew it just grasp the lockring and die body together then theyll stay together where you left them. the dots are so when you reinstall the die for the next loading session you can put it back exactly where you had it last.

    I personally put a drop of penetrating loctite on the dies ill never reset and use a stubby 1 1/8 wrench i cut to remove and install the die. and the penetrating grade loctite still allows you to adjust the die if you need to it just takes a bit more force.

    Granted its not as dead simple as setting a lock ring setscrew but I find set screws (RCBS) are notorious for coming loose and to keep them from doing so you have to run them in so tight it boogers the threads or strips the set screw.

    I guess I just like the way LEE dies are set up.
  7. 1LoneWolf75

    1LoneWolf75 Member

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    Lee does sell lock rings fer this reason. The way I read the catalog there is supposed to be two nuts and you set it then run the bottom nut down then the nut with the o-ring down to it to lock it. to remove you back off the bottom only and the whole die come out. I may be wrong as I just got the press and can't order dies till next week, but the breechlock is cool.
  8. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    none of my lee dies i just got have any lock rings or 2nd rings. just the 1 with oring.

    I personally don;t want to trust the dot method. I wouldn't trust I got it colse enough. maybee on a pistol it won';t matter.. but on a rifle I'm crimping for.. IMHO.. it will.

    on my rcbs rings.. I do use some loctite green on the set screw and the ring.

    I also use the actual rcbs wrench to remove the die/rings. works great. way better than a palin spanner or a pliers set.. :) for me anyway.
  9. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Oh I understand. I have done it for so long it is second nature. Sometimes I will be setting my dies up while I am listening to the talk radio or talking to someone and when I am done I realize that I was on automatic pilot. Then I have days where for some reason they fight me and it is usually because I am suffering from HUA syndrome.
  10. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    I replaced the crimp die in the Dillon with a Lee Factory Crimp die for .45 Colt. I like these crimp dies.:)
  11. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    that o-ring retainer for the lockring is about the only beef I've had with Lee dies.

    I replace them with the Hornady split-ring type lock ring that also has two wrench flats on the ring. Makes em a lot easier to keep locked in adjustment.
    I replace the RCBS rings with the brass setscrew with these split-style rings too.
    Midway, Grafs, etc, put em on sale every now and then and I buy a bunch at a time so I've got enough on hand to outfit at least two sets of dies.
    BUT...every now and then I have to readjust them anyway depending on if I switch presses (I've got an RCBS single-stage, a C-H 3-station, and a Lee hand press).
  12. PA_RIFLEMAN303

    PA_RIFLEMAN303 New Member

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    I think the breech lock set up is one of the most stupidest ideas ever but the price on the kits is nice. in the past 5 or so years I've learned that the breech lock and Lee's version of the lock ring make for a serious variance problem all the way down to round to round level.

    My solution to the breech lock is JB weld the bushing into the press. this removes the variances in bullet seating depth and if you use collet dies, that too is affected by the roaming bushing.

    My solution to the Lee lock ring or lack there of is to toss them out and buy real lock rings. I suggest Hornady sur-locs as they have a set screw to tighten it but they were smart enough to realize that running a screw against the treads on a die is stupid.

    I am a comp shooter and I take handloading seriously.
  13. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Wow competition shooter using Lee equipment??? Oh man WHERE is LD??
  14. PA_RIFLEMAN303

    PA_RIFLEMAN303 New Member

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    Lee is just fine.......... as long as you rework it a little or at times a lot :D

    I can load the same quality ammo on Lee equipment as i can with RCBS, Dillon, Lyman Etc. it just takes some changes to the Lee equipment to get it up into top line status.
  15. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Somebody, I think one of the members here suggested on the RCBS dies to remove the set screw and put some lead shot pellets in the hole (just a couple depending on the size you have) and then replace the set screw. The lead forms to the treads on the die and holds better. I have done that and it seems to work fine. I only have one set of Lee dies .45 Colt and I replaced the rings with some RCBS rings off some old dies I no longer use.
  16. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    The first thing I do with a new Lee die set is pitch their lock-ring and put on a Hornady ring.
  17. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    I use all Lee gear - I have a separate turret for each caliber and the Lee o-ring holds the dies in alignment just fine - once hand tight they do NOT loosen up in use. For my single stage each die is set in its own breech lock bushing. Again, once hand snug they do not wander from the setting.

    If memory serves Lee is now also selling a split ring "lock" ring similar to the other makes that are locking on the die threads. I could easily be mistaken - lol
  18. al45lc

    al45lc New Member

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    Use the same Loctite green or blue you use for scope screws. Problem solved.
    I've used Lee for 20 + years, no problems. And I take my reloading seriously too.
  19. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I use a Lee progressive set up, and once I have my dies set up, I just swap out the collet with the dies I want, no adjustments at all. If I want to reload .357, I just slap in that collet, and go. If I want to load .38's, I just swap out the collets form .357, to .38, and go. When I first started out I would readjust the dies each time for these two calibers, but I got lazy, and just bought another collet, and another set of dies. Now I just swap out collets.
  20. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I would rather have 2 lock rings vs the lee or RCBS hex screw system.

    I will say the Lee FCD is the best thing they produce. If I have an extra spot on my 550 I would use it. But as I have a powder cop die on it I seat and crimp all in one.
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