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Collet Die

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by robinsok, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. robinsok

    robinsok

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    May 9, 2007
    I currently am using RCBS full length sizing die, have been reading about using a collet die in place of the full length resizing die. Is it worth me switching? They are expensive, here is what i've been looking at. http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=LEE90712

    This is for my 6.5x55, will be for target shooting and deer hunting. How much can i expect my brass life to improve?
     
  2. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    The Lee collet dies are cheap and work great. I don't know if they make one in your caliber. Neck sizing rules.
     


  3. steve4102

    steve4102

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    The Lee Collet die is IMO about the best Neck sizing die you can buy. It is not expensive by any means, in fact it is cheaper than any other Neck sizing die on the market. What more can you ask for, the best for the least.
     
  4. robinsok

    robinsok

    950
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    May 9, 2007
    Like the one i linked to? Is that the set you are talking about?


    Anyone know if i can expect an increase in accuracy by switching? Or is the main advantage of collet dies in general that they reduce brass wear?
     
  5. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    Jan 24, 2004
    Midwest
    The collet sizer is best used in conjuction with a rifle designed for accuracy. I've used it for well over 20 years in bolt action and single shot rifles. For anything that needs robust handling like hunting loads or for semi-autos, I used a full length die with a standard seater crimper.

    The collet die set is the sizer which definately extends brass life, almost eliminates (not totally) trimming and your brass gets more accurate to your rifle on each load because the brass itself is becoming custom made to your particular chamber. The bullet seater in that set is called "dead length" and doesn't crimp. This allows the seating to occur by running your shell holder to the bottom of the die and thereby increasing COL accuracy a great deal.

    The deluxe set is simply the collet die set, but also includes a standard sizer which requires lube. It's so when you get new brass, you full length it the first time to ensure it fits your gun, then use the collet die after that provided you don't use that brass in another gun.

    I once bought an arbor press and Wilson dies because that was supposed to be everything you could do. It may be with a benchrest gun, but with stock, I found that the setup didn't give me any better accuracy than my collet dies did.
     
  6. robinsok

    robinsok

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    May 9, 2007
    Sorry, I meant to type that they aren't expensive.
     
  7. dkf

    dkf

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    Do you have to mark your cases so you put them in the guns chamber in the same spot with only neck sizing? Or do you only have to do that for very worn chambers?

    The Deluxe set looks like the best deal. Your basically getting a full length sizer die for like $4 more.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  8. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Yes, that is the die I was talking about. I didn't bother to check your link because you said "expensive" and I figured it was for some type of high-end BR tool.

    I can't speak to accuracy improvements because the only rifle round I load is 30-06 for two different rifles and neither are BR guns. The only rifle sizing die I own is the Lee collet in 30-06. My Stevens 200 will put 5 shots well under an inch with the only load I made for it.

    I have picked up plenty of range brass shot in other guns, neck sized them with the collet die, and chambered and fired them in my two rifles. Some were a bit snug the first go-around, but once fired, they were fire-formed to my gun. I have also used brass from one rifle to the other.
     
  9. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    Jan 24, 2004
    Midwest
    Not unless you have an out around chamber and that is very rare.

    I agree - seems like a no brainer for me.
     
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Not the best as alluded to, but a good product, one of the few Lee actually does well IMO. You may need to tweek the rod size to get good results, easily done w/ a drill press & some 600 grit. At some point you will need to bump the shoulder back, so don't get rid of the FL dies.
     
  11. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Why do you have to bump the shoulder back? They are fire formed. I'm up to 5 full power loadings and they chamber like they were custom made for my gun. Oh wait, they are!
     
  12. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    Because you get some thickening in the shoulder area as brass flows forward. Depending on your chamber, you may or may not have to bump the shoulder back a tiny bit to get smooth chambering. It will depend on the brass, how much it springs back after sizing. It's not every rifle, but some. I have a match chambered 260ai, it needs a bump at 10x reloaded. Yes, my brass will last that many times w/ full power loads w/ neck sizing.:supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  13. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    I agree with you on this - pretty rare, but every once in awhile, a shoulder bump does put things back in order.

    What I don't agree with is that it is necessary to modify the mandrel. As I understand it, they are sized .002 less than the bullet diameter for the caliber. You figure a 50% spring back which gives you .001 tension to hold the bullet. Taking the mandrel down further in my opinion won't give you any more tension, but a greater chance that the bullet must push out the weak side of the neck upon entry into the case. You then have a good chance of losing the concentricity that the die was designed for.
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    DOn, Lee even notes that a slight reduction in the mandrel size may be req'd. depending on the brass you use. It's why I think the Redding neck die is a better tool, but more expensive for sure. I am happy w/ the Lee neck dies I use for my 260ai. They do produce an accurate round.
     
  15. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    When I initially got my collet die for 30-06, I had poor neck tension and was tempted to reduce the mandrel as per the instructions. I was using it with the Lee hand press. When I got a RCBS bench mounted SS press that allowed much firmer "pressing", my loose necks went away. The collet die requires a substantial amount of pressure on the collet to do it's job. That's why I wasn't sure how they would work in a progressive when that subject came up in another thread.