Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

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Larry B
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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by Larry B » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:27 pm

I guess I go against the grain and use the lee collett die in my dillon 550 because I am lazy and don't want to lube cases when I reload. I have formed over 2K of 5.56 to 300blk using Lee dies on a single stage press to form. I find some brass harder to form than others and come out a .001 or so larger than the brass that forms easily. Spring back? When I have one that is hard to form I just run it through the forming die another time or two and it is the same size as the brass that formed easily. After that I trim and remove crimp and run them through thr dillon 550 using the Lee collet die for subs and supers with no chambering issues. They don't drop into the chamber like a factory round but a small push will seat them. Fired a couple thousand rounds with very few issues and none related to not chambering all the way. Running a Diamonback complete 16" upper. Guess I am one of the lucky ones.

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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by plant.one » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:55 pm

Larry B wrote: After that I trim and remove crimp and run them through thr dillon 550 using the Lee collet die for subs and supers with no chambering issues. They don't drop into the chamber like a factory round but a small push will seat them. Fired a couple thousand rounds with very few issues and none related to not chambering all the way.
Guess I am one of the lucky ones.

i hate to break it to you, but having to push a round into the chamber is called a chambering issue. you should never have to force a round into battery for ANY reason.


neck sizing collet dies are for bolt/single shot style guns. there's a reason AR's use full length sizing dies, and many run small base dies as an added measure. out of spec ammo can not only lead to stoppages but it can also be a safety concern. while a slam-fire ignition due to a free floating firing pin is rare - having it occur when the round is not in battery and is getting held up by an out of spec peice of brass being sized as it chambers could be catastrophic and lead to serious injury to yourself and those around you.

reloading is not a game. always remember safety first!
Reloading info shared is based on experiences w/ my guns. Be safe and work up your loads from published data. Web data may not be accurate/safe.
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Larry B
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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by Larry B » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:36 am

When I say gentle push I mean just slight finger pressure. After a couple thousand rounds I think I am OK. If an AR can drop the hammer out of battery then something wrong with the gun and you have a bigger problem than a fat ctg.

Back in the early 70's when I was in Uncle Sam's employ for a few years when we (200 of us) went to the range we had lots of guys crud up their weapons some would go as far as to beat on the forward assist with the butt end of their bayonet then try to fire with the weapon almost in battery. I saw some REALLY STUPID stuff by the bolo's and I never saw an M16 fire out of battery.

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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by Spike » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:13 pm

At risk of necrothreading, Johnny's Reloading Bench just did a video comparing Lee, RCBS, and Forster sizing dies. This thread is the first hit when Googling for Sizing 300 Blackout Lee Dies so I thought it was worth adding to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx84P7q2JgI

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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by TreeTopFlier » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:17 pm

Spike wrote:At risk of necrothreading, Johnny's Reloading Bench just did a video comparing Lee, RCBS, and Forster sizing dies. This thread is the first hit when Googling for Sizing 300 Blackout Lee Dies so I thought it was worth adding to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx84P7q2JgI
Johnny does a good job on his videos but I'd have to call him out on trying to get his case length right prior to forming the cases. That's just not a good idea. When the cases are formed they will get longer/grow and not the same amount every time. Also if you cut just a little longer you will have room to trim and perfectly square the neck.
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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by ThreeHundredBlackout » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:00 pm

Figured id add my 2 cents.....

I formed all my brass that i made with lee dies and at first had a chamber problem, but i just screwed the die down against the shell plate as low as it would go and it fixed all my problems.

That said i recently switched to trying my hornady dies ive had a few months now, havent formed any with them though. But the hornady seater i like better than lee, ( one of tbese days ill get a micrometer for my hornady or get a redding or forster mic die.)

But back on topic, my lee dies have done well, ive sized over 1000 cases with my hand press......next move will be a progressive press, Lol !
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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by Spike » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:39 pm

TreeTopFlier wrote:
Spike wrote:At risk of necrothreading, Johnny's Reloading Bench just did a video comparing Lee, RCBS, and Forster sizing dies. This thread is the first hit when Googling for Sizing 300 Blackout Lee Dies so I thought it was worth adding to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx84P7q2JgI
Johnny does a good job on his videos but I'd have to call him out on trying to get his case length right prior to forming the cases. That's just not a good idea. When the cases are formed they will get longer/grow and not the same amount every time. Also if you cut just a little longer you will have room to trim and perfectly square the neck.
From what I remember he acknowledges that he messed up there and should have cut them longer.

In my case when I used the Lee die for forming the cases (Lake City) wouldn't drop all the way into my lyman headspace gauge. When I formed them with a RCBS die they fit the gauge perfectly. If the Lee die is working for you, that's great. I think the point of the exercise is that if you are looking to buy a die for forming 300 blackout, you may as well get something else to avoid potential issues.

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Re: Do not buy lee dies to reform 223 5.56 to 300aac brass

Post by Curlyfries » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:37 am

Had the same problem. Turns out some brands of .233/5.56 brass have thicker walls. If you find some that don't fit a Sheridan case gauge after sizing with the lee dies (or any other brand), then you will need a reamer (I got the forster set up from midway) to get rid of the excess case wall at the mouth. Then run it through the sizing die again. It should then fit the case gauge.

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