Friday, January 2, 2009

Lee Carbide Pistol Die Set Review

I've loaded something like 10000 rounds of 9mm with these dies, and about 500 rounds of .45ACP.

The decapping pin has never broken on me, knock on wood. The sizing die does a really good job of ironing out bulges, going almost down to the rim.

The flaring die holds onto cases, which shakes the press and causes erratic charges when using a powder measure. The amount of shake varies depending on the brand of brass, and whether the brass is plated, but it shakes the press a lot when used with Remington 9mm brass, which I get a lot of.  I've started using a little bit of Hornady One Shot case lube, the aerosol, which makes sizing and flaring a lot smoother.

The seating/crimp die works well, and doesn't seem to mark up any bullet that I've loaded. I stopped using the Factory Crimp Dies after hearing that they resize the bullet. The seating die does a good job of crimping.

The lock rings don't work all that well with Hornady Lock-N-Load bushings. I imagine the same goes with the new Lee quick-change die bushings. When turning the bushings to remove the die, sometimes the die unscrews a bit, and then you have to reset the die because there's nothing to hold the lock ring in place on the die. I've replaced a couple of the lock rings with Hornady rings, and drilled and tapped all the Lee rings for set-screws.

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