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Thread: Should I avoid 'Lee' Loading Dies?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Oyeboten's Avatar
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    Should I avoid 'Lee' Loading Dies?

    I am wanting to be loading .455 Webley, and I am not seeing much in the way of any variety for Loading Dies for this Cartridge, other than "Lee" Dies.

    Seems like I have come across mentions of people feeling disappointed with Lee Dies ( or maybe, it was some of the Lee Molds, like for .41 Magum ) so I am feeling hesitant to buy 'Lee' Dies for this worry.

    When I called 'Lee' the other day to ask about their .45 Colt Dies, and whether they offered them for use with .454 Bullets, they said they offer only an optional expander component in .454 but the rest of the 'set' is the usual .452.

    I asked them how a .452 Crimping Die or 'resizer' die, is supposed to work over a .454 Bullet or over a .454 Bullet accepting Cartridge Case?

    They did not have any opinion...it was just 'an awkward silence' sort of moment.

    I should call them to find out whether their .455 Webley Dies are actually ".455", or if they are .'452' ( which of course, I would not want ).

    I'd prefer to find a set of the old Lyman "310" Dies for .455 webley, but so far no luck with that.

    Anyone here have some experience with the 'Lee' Dies and .455 Webley?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    The cartridge, no. But I have a lot of Lee dies. I buy them first. If they don't work I buy another brand. The last time I had to do this was w/ 358 Win dies. But to be fair I was using them to case form. Actually this is the only time I've had to buy another brand of dies to perform a task. The Lee dies I own produce ammo w/ acceptable run out. I can't ask for anything more.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Lee dies yes, .455 Webley not much. I think I have only fired five or six rounds of .455 Webley in my life.

    The Lee dies I have had have all worked, it is just that other makers dies worked better. I should note that I haven't bought any Lee dies for several years, and the rifle two die sets work as well as any other brand. I don't particularly care for their seating die, but it does work.

    On their Carbide pistol caliber dies, I have owned them for both the .32 H&R Mag and .45 Colt. Both were replaced by Lyman and RCBS respectively. Resizing brass seems to take less effort, whether it is due to a smoother finish or a slightly larger carbide sizing ring, I am not sure. I do know that I don't like their expanding die.

    If they are the only thing I can find, I will buy Lee dies, but I may look round a bit more before buying. If it is a caliber that I don't plan to reload more than a box or two per year, the Lee dies work fine, more than that, and I look harder.

    Robert

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I currently load 7 calibers with Lee dies and get ammunition as accurate as that loaded by any other brand. Lee not only does the job, they do it cheaper. I have been using Lee dies for decades and have loaded thousands of rounds with no problems. I have never had an issue loading or crimping oversize cast boolits in any of the calibers I tried them in.
    Calibers loaded on Lee dies now and in the past---9mm, 38 special, 357 mag, 40S&W, 45 Long Colt, 223 Rem, 243 Win, 243 Ackley Improved, 308 Win, 30-06.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It seems to me that if the Lee dies are sold for .455 Webley, they will load .455 Webley ammunition. If not, return them.

    I've used Lee dies for many years and have been very happy with them.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    No problems at all with Lee dies or molds.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy mike69's Avatar
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    I use almost all lee dies and load 45 colt with them using .454 bullets with no problems

  8. #8
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    I load .456" with Lee 45 Colt dies without issue. I made my own expander to use with this boolit, and I load these for only one Uberti with .4565" throats in the cylinder. The rest get loaded witih .452" and the Lee expander, on the same 45 Colt dies.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Cowboy_Dan's Avatar
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    I'll one up everyone on the Lee .45 Colt dies. I have used the seater with .4585 boolits for an unthroated, oversized .45/.410 (I did use a .458 NOE expander). They were a bit touchy, and I had to seat and crimp seperately or else it would start "crimping" in the bottom grease groove. I don't do it anymore because it doesn't leave much space for bullet relase, and I think that may have been raising pressure. That said, I think the Lee dies will work just fine for your Webley.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Oyeboten's Avatar
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    Okeydoke...

    Thanks everyone!

    One last question, are 'Lee' Pistol Cartridge Dies usually giving a taper crimp or a roll crimp?

    Or would one Order them one way or the other?

    I'd like to have the roll crimp if I can.

  11. #11
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    Standard dies usually do a roll crimp. Usually have to order or buy a separate taper crimp die.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  12. #12
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    I basically buy what I want for loading and don't care much about cost. that said I like and use a lot of lee handgun dies. As good as any. Sure you can get a bad one once in a while but its rare. For rifle loading I like a bit better die and use a lot of redding and hornady
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I have nothing but Lee dies, and no problems.

    There are some little tricks you learn over time that help. Like if you are seeing a ring around the nose of your boolit after it goes through the seater turn the seater around and use the flat side.

    Necks need to be flared first before trying to seat cast boolits. Stuff like that.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    Standard dies usually do a roll crimp. Usually have to order or buy a separate taper crimp die.
    It's cartridge dependent. 357 Magnum dies will will roll crimp. 9mm dies will taper crimp. "Standard" is what the cartridge calls for. Lee may or may not make a taper/roll crimp die for the cartridge if it's not what it calls for. And they may or may not make collet factory crimp die for it, including some pistol cartridges.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Lee gets a lot of bad press, mainly because they are inexpensive and the "tool snobs" aka, Lee Haters, like to bad mouth them. I started with Lee equipment in 1969 and have used Lee dies since '80 when I got a bench press. In that time, and 11 sets of Lee dies I've only had one problem (flaring/powder through die for 45 ACP wouldn't flare the case enough for my cast bullets). I also have RCBS, Herters, Pacific, and one or two other die sets I can't remember off hand, and the Lee Dies produce ammo as good as any (but I am partial to Redding Profile Crimp dies for my revolvers)...

    You need to bee careful of "forum experts'" skewed opinions and research for yourself, not making decisions solely from what you read on forums...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    Their rifle products are priced that way for a reason, fit and finish leave a lot to be desired. However their bottleneck case collet dies work great once you've worked them over.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    You will find a lot of Lee defenders and apologists around the net that started loading about the time Lee began producing dies. These guys buy cheap and often know little about other loading tools. They will not tell you that used Lee tools are at the bottom of the demand barrel. There is a reason some of the other brands bring as much used as Lees bring new.
    However for an unobtainium cartridge Lee dies usually are much better than nothing.
    EDG

  18. #18
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    Looked at the die rack over my reloading bench: Hmmm...Bonanza, Dillon, Hornaday, Lee, Lyman, and RCBS...all have worked pretty much the same for me. Yeah, I admit that I've had to 'touch up' a couple sets of Lee dies but, then too, I can recall sending a set of Lyman back to the factory TWICE!

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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use Lee dies for my .455 and they work. If you are of the 310 mind set get in touch with the 310 shop. I have worked with him in the past and he does great work. The link below takes you to his site.

    http://www.cnyauctions.com/the310shop.htm

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Should I avoid 'Lee' Loading Dies?

    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    You will find a lot of Lee defenders and apologists around the net that started loading about the time Lee began producing dies. These guys buy cheap and often know little about other loading tools. They will not tell you that used Lee tools are at the bottom of the demand barrel. There is a reason some of the other brands bring as much used as Lees bring new.
    However for an unobtainium cartridge Lee dies usually are much better than nothing.
    Lots of broad strokes painted in this post. I will admit that it's a friendly bashing of Lee products. I can afford to buy any brand and any tools I want. My room is full of every conceivable brand. At last count I was loading for twenty-three different cartridges. I should have found a need to buy a brand other than Lee at this point. But the fact of the matter is that Lee dies produce ammo w/ little measurable run out.

    People like to bash for many reasons. When it comes to Lee dies I think a lot of it is because they're mad they spent more than they had to. Lee dies aren't the prettiest ones available. But it's not a beauty contest and the only thing that matters is results on target

    Buy whatever brand you want. But disparaging others because they choose a brand other than your preference is quite foolish.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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