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Thread: Lee Bullet Sizer - My Regret - Should have gotten NOE

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    The best money I ever spent was on a Lyman 450 lube-sizer.
    Set a gas check in the die, boolit on top of check , lower nose punch onto boolit , pull down handle , then tweak lube supply handle , raise handle...boolit is lubricated , sized , gas check is crimped on (if needed) and the boolit is ready to be loaded....fast , easy and clean.... No Regrets.

    You might consider saving up for one...they is sweet !
    Gary
    This is the quickest recipe for a crooked gas check. I still use my 450, it's a good sizer, but it is limited in what it can do. I like to seat checks by hand if possible, or use the Lyman "blocker" to seat checks if more force is needed, then size. Dropping a check in the die first might work if your shank is small enough that a gas check just falls on.

    I've ran bullets forward and backwards in Lee dies, they crimp gas checks on just fine. I'm as ham fisted as they come, and I can't even remember the last Lee product I broke. Anything I broke more than likely got dropped and stepped on. My sizing dies are plenty round. I've never put a micrometer on them, but my bullets measure round from a calipers, under .001".

    I'm still confused why people have problems with the Lee dies? Whether its a Lee push through, NOE push through, Lyman die, Star die, or anything else. You push a bullet into a die, and it gets sized/crimped onto the shank. Where is the problem?

    I'm sure the NOE sizers are good, and probably the better way to go long term. The Lee dies are good dies though.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    I've never had any trouble putting on gas checks with my Lee sizers.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

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    Funny to hear about all the problems with gas checks and push-through dies.

    I usually hand seat the gas checks (I want to hear it 'click'), then crimp it on in a push-through sizer. I have a few each of Lee and NOE. They both work.

    Then I'll lube in a Lyman 45, if it's not a tumble-lube design.

    It's the easiest way I've found, for me, to do it.
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Lee Hater rant...

    I'm really glad I found a forum that can talk about Lee products without the Lee Hater baloney, and it ain't cast boolits (https://www.lee-loader.com/index.php). So much plain old horse pucky is tossed about by some who have never used or researched any Lee product, or cannot operate anything more complex than a bottle opener. "Lee Philosophy: cheapest is best." How can anyone say that, truthfully about any leading manufacturer? I'd like to see a machined part, like a sizing die, have an oval bore (55 years as a machinist/mechanic). "Sintered metal"? Does the Lee Hater know sintered metal (an involved process using powdered metals and compressing, with heat) is much more expensive than plain cast, conflicting with his "cheap" idea?

    Lee's biggest "problem" stems from those that do not/will not read manufacturer's instructions, and those that can't operate simple tools (some have no idea how to properly use a hammer). I have used Lee products since 1969, from dies to casting equipment, and probably because I understand how simple machines work and how to use them I have had no more problems with Lee than I've had with RCBS, Lyman, or the other half dozen manufacturers I use. I have never broken any Lee press (I have owned three), and the only problem I've had with a die was a short expanding stem for my 45 ACP powder through die, I didn't get enough flare for my cast bullets. My Lee molds cast round bullets, just like my Lachmiller, and Lyman/Ideal molds, once I learned what they like.

    Yeah, I'll get called "Lee Boy" and that's fine. I just have more sense than to develop emotional problems over inanimate objects, nor do I just parrot other hater's ramblings about a specific manufacturer. Yep, I'm pretty mechanically inclined, maybe that's why every Lee tool is simple as pie for me.

    I'll prolly get slapped on the wrist for this, but I have a right to say good stuff for every Lee lie...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  5. #25
    Boolit Master


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    I an not a Lee hater.
    Otherwise I would not be waiting for a Lee 6cav mold I just bought.

    My beef with Lee is the quality of their products.
    They have some of the best idea's in the Reloading business.
    But I'd be willing to pay 10-15% more to get every Lee product I buy to work right the FIRST time.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    Lee Hater rant...

    Yeah, I'll get called "Lee Boy" and that's fine. I just have more sense than to develop emotional problems over inanimate objects, nor do I just parrot other hater's ramblings about a specific manufacturer. Yep, I'm pretty mechanically inclined, maybe that's why every Lee tool is simple as pie for me.
    Well said. Lee's reloading tools are no more complex than a pliers but some people ....

  7. #27
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    There is a saying fast, cheap, powerful pick two. In molds Lee uses less expensive aluminum, still good quality but certainly with a less bulky profile than other manufactures. Less bulk means less weight and lowers the cost. They can have minor issues with finish on some items. I use a flat stone to touch up the sprue plate on them but other than that and cleaning generally don't do anything to the molds. Once in a while I have used a toothpick to rub the edges of a cavity that I suspected of having a micro burr. I did once use abrasive and a screw to spin a cast bullet in a die but that was my need more than the dies shortcoming. The dies lack some set screws found on more expensive molds or wear protection counter sunk screw where sprue plate handle bumps the mold for molds with lever action sprue plate like the 6 cavity. That said they prices, especially for the two cavity with handles makes casting an affordable hobby to get into and allows those already casting to try different weights and profiles for almost nothing. Are NOE or MP molds "better" yes I would say they are better quality but comparable in value for the dollar. Lee cost less and has less value, NOE or MP cost more but provide more value. Just a matter of what works for you at the time. You won't lose either way.

    On the push through sizers or trim dies or reloading dies I have literally done nothing other than clean them from time to time. I do snap the gas checks on the base first, and did have some get messed up when I ran them through nose first. Once I switched to base first almost no problems. I may at some point decide to polish the inside of the push through dies but certainly have not felt a need to do so.

    When I hear of scraping PC off the bullet I would suspect either the bullet is off or the PC is not properly adhered. I can pound bullet flat in any direction with a sledge hammer on an anvil without the PC coming off the lead. So scraping that removes lead under the bullet would be the only way I would expect PC to be removed. Those would appear as bright shiny smears of lead. There is a problem there with something if that is happening worthy of its own trouble shooting thread. My first thought is I had trouble if I PC'd before setting gas check. Putting a gas check on a shank distorted by PC didn't work well, I do think I may have seen some bright shiny scrapes on the driving bands when I did that but the gas checks also didn't appear seated correctly and it was too hard to push them on by hand. So my checks go on before PC now.

    I would try running the bullet through base first with gas check pushed fully on before applying the PC. I push bullet down against piece of wood on bench to seat fairly well before running them through the sizer base first so I would suggest that approach. Sometimes one has to use a tool the way it wants to work rather than how one thinks it should work. No different than the right load for a firearm is the one that works best in your firearm not the one the manual or some post says is the best. If it keyholes or is more of a pattern than a group one has to change what one does, not expect the firearm to change how it works.

    I also use an NOE outside chamfer tool to lightly clean the base before applying gas check and after PC to remove any flashing around base. I use a hand tool but one might want to consider the one NOE makes that can be used in a drill or power screwdriver for higher volume production. Revolvers and bolt guns hand tool works for me.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  8. #28
    Boolit Bub Eddie1971's Avatar
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    I have a lot of Lee products, a lot are great, a lot are not. Regarding this sizer issue, somebody mentioned sizing the head first without the check, then running again with it. Maybe that will work. I'll give it a try and see.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy
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    if you're smearing the pc and caving in the gas checks, my guess is that you're sizing too much. I had the same problem and realized I had cast about 5-6 thousandths over final sized dimensions and this caused too much resistance while sizing. try a little lube as someone else mentioned or change the alloy to make the cast size smaller (what I did).
    depending on other factors (gun's chamber size) you could also polish the inside bearing surface of the lee sizer and make it smoother and bigger. I've done that as well. I have both the NOE and lee sizers (about 20 of them) and they work equally well.
    hope that helps

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    I do understand the Lee users, cheap is as cheap does, the best method to seat checks for me is on the Star sizer, checks are hand seated first, if that is not possible bases are corrected with the NOE kit.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I admit I didn't read every post all the way through but want to say that as far as SEATING gas checks the Noe dies made just for that purpose work very well. You still need to crimp the checks on with either the Lee or Noe sizing die but the checks are seated tight and square 99%+ of the time. Best system for installing checks I've ever used. Gp

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    I do understand the Lee users, cheap is as cheap does, the best method to seat checks for me is on the Star sizer, checks are hand seated first, if that is not possible bases are corrected with the NOE kit.

    So crimping gas checks on a Lee die is a no go, but works great on a Star? Both are a nose first, push through dies. It's just a hole you push a bullet through! How is one "cheap" and the other great?

    Must be the gravity helping the star push down.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master


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    One last Lee rant.
    They have removed so much Aluminum from their 2cav molds that keeping mold temp balanced is next to impossible.
    I won't buy another.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master



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    Everyone has to buy at least one Lee sizer to get the red plastic boolit catcher/holder. Then buy one from NOE. They’re great, with a lot of sizes and in the end a lot more economical.

    I only gas check one caliber, 6.5mm. I push through nose first and have never had a problem. PCed or not. I see the logic in base first being better, but never thought it was required.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    So crimping gas checks on a Lee die is a no go, but works great on a Star? Both are a nose first, push through dies. It's just a hole you push a bullet through! How is one "cheap" and the other great?

    Must be the gravity helping the star push down.
    C'mon man......with the Star you seat the check, size the bullet, and lube it, all in one press of the handle. The dies are perfectly round and of the right size, of course there must be enough resistance going through the die to seat the gas checks

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    I think it is getting and using the right tool for the job considering each tool has pros & cons.

    I cast, PC and shoot mainly handguns so speed of sizing is a big plus for me. For pure speed I haven't found anything to beat the push through nose first Lee sizing dies. However, if you want absolute accuracy in sizing then Lee is poor as all my Lee sizing dies are slightly oversize. The die sizes are also limited if you want something that is not standard.

    For accuracy go with the NOE bushing system or the 450 Lyman. If either says it is .356" then is .356". Problem is if you only want a single size die then the NOE costs more because of the separate pieces, but if you are needed sever different sizes then NOE is less expensive than Lee and way less expensive than sizing dies to fit the 450 lube/sizer. The NOE sizer works either way nose first or base first. My main problem with NOE is the bushing holder stands proud in the press about 1". That 1" takes up work room and it does not allow me to easily add on my bullet feeder.

    The Lyman 450 operates base first and is accurate, but it is the slowest of all. Altering the 450 to a push through speeds sizing up considerably. For seating gas checks the 450 is definitely the best way of the three.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    I have applied gas checks base first using Lee push though die. The boolits were flat nose. I didn't like how this makes the bottom of the gas check dome shaped and not flat.

    Has anyone else noticed this or has noticed an accuracy issue because of the domed base?

    Motor

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Used to to use a lubesizer ,now I tumble lube and use Lee push through sizers never had a problem fitting gas checks this way .pb boolits I just shoot as cast .use Lee molds as well .

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    I use Lee push through sizers to gas check bullets for 15 calibres and have never had a problem.
    ukrifleman

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Everyone has to buy at least one Lee sizer to get the red plastic boolit catcher/holder. Then buy one from NOE. They’re great, with a lot of sizes and in the end a lot more economical.
    That sounds like me. I was 0 for 2 with Lee sizers getting the size of the hole to be what was on the label. In both cases, it was undersized. From all the helpful advice about how to open up a Lee sizer on this forum, it is not uncommon. I do use a red Lee container to catch sized boolits as they come out of the NOE sizer.

    Went NOE and have not gone back. Sizes are exactly as specified, and more economical in the long run. The only knock against the NOE system is that it sits too low in the press stroke so not all available press leverage can be utilized.

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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