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Old 01-09-2009, 17:27   #1
Calculated
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Tell me about Lee Pacesetter v. Deluxe dies

Looking for some dies for a few rifle calibers and I am a bit confused. What, if any, is the advantage of the Lee Deluxe Rifle die set and the Pacestter die set? The Pacesetters are in stock most everywhere but the Deluxe set isn't.
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Old 01-09-2009, 20:12   #2
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Pacesetters give you the full length sizing die, a standard seating/criming die and in most calibers, a factory crimp die. There are also limited production pacesetters which are two dies sets with the full length sizer and the standard seater/crimper - these are normally for calibers that a more rare.

Deluxe Rifle dies include a full length sizer, a Collet sizer and a Dead Length bullet seater. There is no provision for criming a case with this set and therefore are really meant for target / single shots. The idea is to use the full length sizer (which requires lube) to initially size the case, then shoot it. After that, you can use the Collet sizer which requires no lube, but only sizes the neck. The seating die is dead length which means that it makes full contact with the shell holder. This is more accurate because it is the same reference with each case regardless of irregularities in case length. Because they are not crimped, it doesn't make any real difference provided they are not excessive length and need trimming. The bullets stay in the case through neck sizing tension which is about .001 because the die mandrel is roughly .002 less than the diameter of the bullet - there is normally 50% spring back leaving you with the .001.

I know the explanation is probably clear as mud, but I've been using them for years. If you buy a Deluxe set and then a separate factory crimp die, you then have every possible combination of sizing / seating and crimiping that you need.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:21   #3
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So, the deluxe set is superior to the Pacestter....correct?
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Old 01-10-2009, 15:38   #4
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So, the deluxe set is superior to the Pacestter....correct?
If you are loading for a bolt gun then yes. IMO if you are loading for a AR15 then the Pacesetter set is better. You won't need the collet neck sizer for the AR and the FCD is great to smooth out the case mouth to help eliminate any feeding issues.
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Old 01-10-2009, 16:58   #5
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Thanks for the knowldege fellas!
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Old 01-11-2009, 22:23   #6
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Uncle Don, I have been reloading for about a year now with pacesetters in 270, 30-06, & 264 Win Mag. I am considering the Deluxe set for my .223 to give neck sizing a try. My question is, with the Pacesetters the FL sizing die does the deprime function. Does the collet die do the same or do I need to get a separate tool or die for depriming only?
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Old 01-11-2009, 23:05   #7
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No, the collet die deprimes while neck sizing just as a full length die does. Is your .223 a bolt or single action rifle? If not, you may need to stick with full length sizing.

I also recommend full length sizing even for bolts if you are hunting because the neck tension that holds the bullet is not sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of hunting. They are really just for target shooting.

I've used them since the late 80s on several rifles, but most recently, I shoot a K-32 in milsurp compentitions now and then and I love the collet dies - even for lead bullets. By loading them into the rifle one at a time, I don't worry about any setback and my groups predictably shrank immediately because each time they are shot, the case becomes more of a custom case for your particular rifle. You'll also find that you'll almost never have to trim and your cases will last nearly indefinately.

Last edited by Uncle Don; 01-11-2009 at 23:12..
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Old 01-12-2009, 19:51   #8
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Thanks Uncle Don. Its a single shot .223 that I use occasionally on paper and once in a while on the local fox and ground hog population. That's why I thought the collet die might be a consideration since its not a heavy duty hunting situation. My other rifles I have multiple rifles in those calibers so I stick with the full length sizer.
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Old 01-14-2009, 20:27   #9
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Uncle Don,

That is by far the best description of Lee dies that I have ever read. It is a shame that their marketing department is unable describe them half as good as you did.
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Old 01-14-2009, 21:19   #10
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Wow - that was a very nice thing to say. It's also good to meet on the same thread again. It's been a long time, hope things are well with you.
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Old 01-14-2009, 21:51   #11
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Things are going well for me.

I am glad that you are still posting in this forum. Your knowledge continues to be a valuable asset.
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Old 02-19-2010, 20:07   #12
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I also recommend full length sizing even for bolts if you are hunting because the neck tension that holds the bullet is not sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of hunting. They are really just for target shooting.
What about the .204 neck sizing die in a bolt gun used for groundhogs and coyote? I don't even think there is a crimp die for it, is there?
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