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Thread: Lee press not giving consistent OAL.

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bluehorse View Post
    Truthfully, I agree with you completely. I actually own quite a bit of Lee stuff, including a couple presses. And I have to admit, I was just "trolling" to goad the tiger.. Not a good thing to do I know, but sometimes it's just fun...
    I could tell! Some folks just get so worked up with the my stuff is better than your stuff that at times it gets old. Really. I don't care what anyone else uses as long as they are using it safely and not trying to do something with a tool that it was never meant to do. For me the whole purpose to hand loading is to enjoy myself and relax.

  2. #62
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    It disappoints me in a community like this, to have someone say, "what's going on with my Lee?" only to get an answer that sounds like' "Yer problem is ya bought junk!"
    My ancient Lee single-stage 3-holer turns out ammunition for my M700 30-06 that shoots sub-MOA groups with boring regularity: Average 3/4", personal best: 3/8"@100 yards. From a rest. Imagine how small those groups might be if I knew how to shoot.
    I love my Redding but I see no reason to scrap my Lee.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    It is also a daily occurrence that some fanboy tries to apologize for Lee when he has little experience with other brands.
    Lee makes both good and not so good stuff but many people cannot admit there are some stinkers.
    Example
    Metals have a property property called the endurance limit.
    With steel or cast iron if you stay below that limit the tool can take practically an infinite number of cycles without fatiguing and breaking.
    Aluminum does not have that shape of endurance limit so Lee has to put the stop on the handle to try to prevent over stressing the press. With enough cycles sooner or later the aluminum will break. Lee does not understand this material property. He will keep having this problem until he gets a professional mechanical engineer to design the highly stressed components out of something besides A356 die cast aluminum.


    Attachment 190497


    Attachment 190498

    Mostly I blame Lee for not understanding the need to test his products especially the presses so they reach a satisfactory number of cycles in a life span.
    During the design of a new product he should be able to test it to insure a reasonable life before marketing it to the public. That could be done with a test fixture that exercises the press with a hydraulic cylinder for 10,000 or 100,000 cycles - what ever he wants to warrant the press for.
    What can you tell us about the picture of the press? Is that your press or is it a picture you found on the internet?
    So many guns, so little time
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  4. #64
    Boolit Master 1bluehorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    It disappoints me in a community like this, to have someone say, "what's going on with my Lee?" only to get an answer that sounds like' "Yer problem is ya bought junk!"
    My ancient Lee single-stage 3-holer turns out ammunition for my M700 30-06 that shoots sub-MOA groups with boring regularity: Average 3/4", personal best: 3/8"@100 yards. From a rest. Imagine how small those groups might be if I knew how to shoot.
    I love my Redding but I see no reason to scrap my Lee.

    What is a Lee single stage 3 holer..? Never seen one. I know you're not talking about the old three hole turret press (had one) I didn't think it would handle an 06' round. If it is the 3 hole turret please tell me the secret to your success. I do all the brass prep, turn necks, primer pockets, flash holes, check run out (nothing more than 2 thou allowed) loaded with Forster BR dies on a co-ax and can't make a 3/8in group at 100. That is very good shooting. Guess I just can't shoot very well.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bluehorse View Post
    What is a Lee single stage 3 holer..? Never seen one. I know you're not talking about the old three hole turret press (had one) I didn't think it would handle an 06' round. If it is the 3 hole turret please tell me the secret to your success. I do all the brass prep, turn necks, primer pockets, flash holes, check run out (nothing more than 2 thou allowed) loaded with Forster BR dies on a co-ax and can't make a 3/8in group at 100. That is very good shooting. Guess I just can't shoot very well.
    It is the three-hole turret press and with longer bullets I do have feed the nose into the seating die before slipping the cartridge base into the shell holder, so yeah, it's a little short for the '06.
    I don't think I'm doing anything special. Neck-sizing only, once the cases have been fired in my chamber. I also seat and crimp separately, segregate brass, weigh every charge, seat the bullets .003"-.005" off the rifling, all that normal stuff.
    For the record: The previous owner had the rifle bedded and floated into a late '80s Bell & Carlson stock (some sort of gun shop package deal if I recall) and I replaced the Weaver scope (Ocular lens had been cracked somehow) with a Leupold 3x9. It doesn't look like any work was done to the action or the bore, other than me scrubbing some copper out after I bought it.
    Also, the groups fired from an Outers Varminter rest, not prone and definitely not offhand (not even in my wildest dreams).
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  6. #66
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    It's good when newbies buy good equipment. That's how I got a Reloader Special press, Uniflow Measure, 505 0r 510 scale, 3 sets of dies and a Lee hand primer for $50 about 4 years ago.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master
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    Just going by the title of the post, unless the press is made of rubber, the PRESS is not the determinate of COL--that goes to how you measure it and whether the bullet has a consistent ogive and meplat. Some have postulated, without doing any testing, that the O-ring that keeps the die locked on Lee dies could have some flex that could effect COL. Well, by the time the die threads are compressed to the press threats, I doubt the the o-ring has any effect any more (and, that would the lock ring and not the press).
    Now, a really weak C-press that has flex could have an effect on COL, but, even then, the effect would seem to be same from round to round-same force, same flex.
    So, if you have some real COL problem, look to the bullets and, for progressive presses, look for shell plate flex (I always tighten the shell plate until it won't move and then just loosen it until it moves smoothly--though not easily).
    However, if you really think that you can control COL to less than 0.010" spread, you just haven't been measuring COL for very long or you have some method that should be published.
    So, the OP should answer the following:
    1) what is bullet length average and S.D.?
    2) taking factory ammo, what is COL average and S.D.?
    3) compare to your reload COL average and S.D.
    I find that most of my COL variation is due to (1) and is the same or less than (2).
    Last edited by noylj; 03-18-2017 at 05:05 AM.

  8. #68
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    Assuming the equipment is clean enough and tight enough to rule out mechanical causes and that operator error isn't the problem, I'd look at ogive consistency (somebody else already brought this up). Shouldn't be hard to do with a bullet comparator or something like it. I have a dozen die sets and only two of them have punches that would actually contact the tip of the nose. All of the others ride a little ways down the side.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    Shouldn't be hard to do with a bullet comparator or something like it. I have a dozen die sets and only two of them have punches that would actually contact the tip of the nose.
    So I got out my trusty caliper and measured a handful of "Match Monster" bullets (190 grain .308 FMJBT made by Nosler) from Midsouth. Overall lengths varied by +/- .012" That surprised me but it won't have anything to do with your COAL. Then I measured bullets (not cartridges) using the comparator and found the distance from the base to the ogive varies by +/- .001" Much better and a lot more relevant.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master
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    I don't mean to maul this thread but I decided to measure a coulpe of other .30cal jacketed bullets:
    SMK 168gr OAL +/- .006" Base to ogive +/-.003"
    Hornady Interlock 220gr. RN OAL +/- .0025" Base to ogive +/- .0025"
    The Hornady is a soft point hunting bullet so I expected it to be the least consistent but the ones I measured held a tighter tolerance than the so-called match bullets.
    If your punch has a flat nose or a large radius you might get a more consistent COAL because the bullet type/style won't matter. If your punch has a long taper to guide the bullet and never touch the tip your COAL can vary quite a bit but the good news is you'll probably have a more consistent length relative to your throat.

    I did not measure any cast boolits since alloy, casting conditions, and users are too variable.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  11. #71
    Boolit Mold
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    I would replace the original lock ring. As others have stated that the o ring is the problem. I like Lee dies, but I always replace their lock ring with a different companies lock ring. Once that is done you have metal again metal when you tighten down the dies. Then it comes to being consistent with you leverage pressure when you crank down on the handle.
    Good luck

  12. #72
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    I've replaced other lock rings with Lee lock rings ,we're all contrary creatures��

  13. #73
    Boolit Master
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    Is this happening at high tide or low tide? Or maybe it's just the position you're standing at while at the bench.

  14. #74
    Boolit Mold
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    You can bash Lee all you want, I personally used a Lee turret press. Loaded over 12000 rounds, from.380 to .308. Had no problem. I personally love Lee products for casting and reloading, why spend more for the same results. Just like a friend of mine shot his Hi Point 9mm over 10000 rounds with less than 3 failures to fire. Everyone has good and bad experiences.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  15. #75
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    Some here on this thread I'm sure must drive a Rolls Royce as their daily driver!
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  16. #76
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    I have drilled and tapped my Lee rings (after removing the rubber o ring) and screwed a grub screw into it and use like RCBS rings. Cost a few cents per ring, but they lock down the right way now.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  17. #77
    Boolit Master 1bluehorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcwit View Post
    Some here on this thread I'm sure must drive a Rolls Royce as their daily driver!


    Actually I drive a 15 year old Dodge diesel pickup. Not even a 1 ton, just a measly 3/4. But I do use a Forster Co-Ax press for rifle loading and I have an RCBS Pro 2000 for progressive reloading. Between what the two of them cost it wouldn't pay for a set of tires for said truck. You'd have to throw in a Dillon 550B to make the difference. The tires will last about 40,000mi, for me that's probably around 5 years. The presses will last for decades. So what's your point ? IMO the couple hundred "extra" bucks for the "better" quality doesn't mean much in the long term...I also like good cigars, Crown Royal or Bulleit Bourbon in lieu of Black Velvet, and I don't buy "cheap" beer. Cheap is cheap. If some folks are good with that it's fine with me, but as far as I know I'm only gonna get one go round' here so I'm going to enjoy things as best I can. Of course YMMV...as we all do things our own way.

  18. #78
    Boolit Master
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    boy this thread has really deteriorated. what's next?

  19. #79
    Boolit Master 1bluehorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmw1954 View Post
    boy this thread has really deteriorated. what's next?


    You're absolutely correct and I apologize to all for my bad manners.

  20. #80
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    At the big car auction in Phoenix a month or two ago, there was a very nice Rolls Royce that looked perfect that went for only $15000. If I had bought it, it WOULD be my daily drive.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check