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Worn Out Die?

Sizing some 223 cases with a Lee Die.After sizing the necks are too large for the bullet.Used a set of newer RCBS dies and everything is fine.I have had these Lee dies for years and sized thousands of cases through them. A few years ago I sized a 5 gallon bucket full of 223 cases with these dies.I replaced the decapper/sizer pin but still the necks don't seem to be resizing.I have never seen a die wear out but I guess they can.Any ideas on something I could be doing wrong?


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    bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,664 ✭✭✭✭

    Back many years ago I chatted with a commercial reloader. He expected about a million rounds out of steel dies and many millions out of carbide dies. You may well have worn the die out by the lube carrying dirt up into the neck area and scrubbing it away until the tolerances were exceeded.

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    navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭

    I suppose it is possible to wear out a die. But first I would take measurements of all the contact points of the case and compare them between the Lee and RCBS dies. Also the measurment of the inside neck sizers. I think you are dealing with very small tolerences that may be fixable. Good luck.

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    Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,601 ✭✭✭✭

    as navc130 states:

    I would start with the sizing spud itself. If the spud checks ok comparing it too the RCBS remove the spuds from both and size a hull and compare the OD and ID of the two hulls.


    contact lee and send them you die.

    That is one reason I use RCBS stuff. I've called them (or emailed) about similar stuff and they just send me replacements.

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    bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,664 ✭✭✭✭

    Lee products are fine as long as you follow the instructions for warranty consideration. It is best to call first. The the shipping costs with PROOF of failure are too high to warrant the return. I had a BAD .458 mold. The bullets were twenty thousandths out of round with a visible offset to the mold. I was told to send it back with example bullets and the mold to prove it. When I checked into shipping costs and shipping was more than 1/2 cost of the mold. I threw it away and still buy LEE molds. They are good for about 10K bullets then are shot.

    Buy another die and see what happens, if you want top quality get a RCBS or Redding. The Redding dies are not cheap but they are top of the shelf stuff for everyone except insane benchrest shooters.

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    truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,998 ✭✭✭✭

    Do you anneal the necks? I've had that problem with annealed brass. The expander button opens the neck after sizing, but the annealed brass can be too soft to partly spring back as it needs to.

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    JustCJustC Member Posts: 16,056 ✭✭✭

    if it is a Lee collet die (3 die set with a sizing mandrel in the neck die) the die has to be set to have quite a bit of cam-over pressure to adequately resize the necks. When it is set correctly, you will feel like you are going to break the press or the die. They work quite well, but that particular die has to be set with a lot of cam-over force required.

    Also, you can remove the sizing mandrel, chuck it in a drill, and spin it while applying sand paper for metal. That will effectively and accurately size it down to provide a better neck tension.

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    buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 5,260 ✭✭✭✭

    These are old Lee RGB dies.They cost about 11 or 12 dollars when they were new.I will try tip about the sizing mandrel. Thanks

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    elubsmeelubsme Member Posts: 2,007 ✭✭✭✭

    To quote Joe, "C'mon Man!" Ya sized thousands of cases plus a five gallon bucket full at a later date with a set of $15.00 steel dies and you don't know why they don't work like new ennymore? You wore 'em out bud, buy a new set.

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