Lee Loader headscratcher

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  • Last Post 03 April 2023
JeffinNZ posted this 26 March 2023

Recently I became the owner of a Lee Loader in .30-30.  After looking up the instruction on Lee's site I found an issue.

A sized .30-30 case comes out of the die with a neck ID of .300; rather tight I would have thought.  OD is .3215 on PPU brass with .010 thicks neck walls.  

When a .308 bullet is seated (with great effort) the cartridge becomes stuck in the die requiring a lot of effort to liberate it.  

Below is where a sized case stops when inserted into the die again.  Sitting in the shell holder this is perfect.  Seating a bullet into the case will jam it at this position.

Below is where a loaded round stops when inserted into the die.  A full .230 further out. 

 

Cases are in spec at 2.030 OAL.

Any ideas?  This rig is not really usable unless I make a new base unit (something I can do if necessary).

 

Cheers from New Zealand

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Urny posted this 26 March 2023

My .22-250 Lee Loader has a similar problem, sizing so small that seating any jacketed bullet both collapsed the neck and damaged the bullet base, even when some old .222 diameter. 22 Jet bullets were tried. Perhaps lapping the neck portion of the die work, not something I have tried though.

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Hornet posted this 26 March 2023

The micrometer adjustment markings and the base with the extra ring to go around the outside of the die body look like I would expect on a Target Model Lee loader. The die on that was made to size the necks small to be reamed (with a supplied reamer) to provide uniform wall thickness. Without the reaming operation, the inside of the necks will be too small to seat a bullet easily. You could probably turn the case necks a little thinner and get the die to work. I wasn't very pleased with the actual uniformity of the wall thickness after reaming on any of the ones that I have. The taper on the outside of the casenecking section of the die along with a straight reamed hole gave a varying wall thickness and left the case neck tapered after a bullet was seated that may or may not match what was in the chamber. I don't recall seeing a Target Model in .30-30 before.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 March 2023

... a reamer is not the best tool for creating a hole concentric with a center-line.  the reamer tends to follow the original hole .. path of least resistance.  

but of course ... with  factory chamber clearances. ... reaming for wall thickness as mentioned held in the Lee sizing die will probably give you a very adequate fit, with further tweaking not any noticeable advantage .

for a tight chamber or just to feel better the next step would be to turn the od of the necks around a centering stud ... on a lathe or little hand turning gadget .

I try to wind up with a sized neck inside diameter about 2 thousandths smaller than the bullet ... this for an uncrimped cartridge that i can carry in a shirt pocket.   if i load for a serious hunter i further add a very light crimp..   

just some thoughts ... ken

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Larry Gibson posted this 26 March 2023

That is not the traditional Lee Loader but, as mentioned, the sizer is from a Lee Target Loader.  With the case sized ito the sizer a reamer as provided in the complete Target Loader is meant to be used  one time to ream the inside of the necks to a very uniform neck thickness.  After that initial reaming the bullets will seat as they should.  Not reaming the with that body is the problem as the sizer is NSing the necks too much.  

BTW; Lee Target loaders (I have 4 of them) load extremely concentric ammunition.  

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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delmarskid posted this 27 March 2023

I went to my junk stash and found the decapping rod to my 30-06 collet sizing die. It measures .306” . If you can find something like that you may get by after knocking out primers with it.

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JeffinNZ posted this 27 March 2023

Ah ha!  Thanks guys.  Looking online at photos of the target sets I can see what you mean about the reamer etc.  

Not sure I want to neck turn my .30-30 brass just to use this.  Seems that I have a perfect situation now loading .312 inch cast into fired brass with stellar accuracy.

Cheers from New Zealand

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barra posted this 29 March 2023

Well I’ll be.

 Never seen or heard of one in 30-30.

seems to size then down quite a bit.

 I was thinking you could make a stepped neck to finger seat a cast bullet but the brass would be awe full thin.

 

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Hornet posted this 29 March 2023

The problem with neck turning cases for standard chambers is that you increase the clearance between the case neck and the chamber. This supposedly reduces the alignment of the cartridge in the chamber unless you increase bullet diameter to compensate. I recall reading an article in Handloader several years ago where the author (Stan Trzonic (sp?) maybe, can't find that issue now) reported that he did experience larger groups with neck turned cases with jacketed bullets in a standard chamber and got best results by sorting cases with a tubing micrometer to get uniform wall thickness without increasing the clearance by thinning the necks.

It would seem to me that there would be some tipping point where shoving increasingly larger bullets down the same size groove diameter would also reduce accuracy or create other problems.

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barra posted this 30 March 2023

If you load them like this in just fired cases you don’t need the seater or sizer.

 

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Idahocaster posted this 30 March 2023

Not to steal the thread, but what kind of rifle is that in Barra's photo?

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Urny posted this 30 March 2023

That looks like a Mauser M1871, sporter or sporterized from the military variant. The straight bolt handle maybe suggests sporterized.

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barra posted this 01 April 2023

Husqvarna #35 in 30-30

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Urny posted this 01 April 2023

I was wrong on that one, but the Husqvarna is even better! We used to see those at gunshows some years back, but the supply has dried up. Should have bought one then.

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JeffinNZ posted this 02 April 2023

Husqvarna #35 in 30-30

Same as mine that is an absolute tack driver with .311-312 bullets in unsized brass. Which is why this loader is going to be of no use to me. I would have to thin neck walls to .007 inch.

Cheers from New Zealand

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delmarskid posted this 02 April 2023

You might find someone to open up the neck on that die to a size you can use.

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RicinYakima posted this 02 April 2023

One of the clerks at the LGS tried to sell me one in 9mmX57 for $250 twenty years ago. Should have bought it anyway. 

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dbarron posted this 03 April 2023

Shoulda woulda coulda.

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