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  #1  
Old 04-05-2021, 05:53 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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Default The new Lee die lock rings (lock nuts), What do you think

I hadn't bought any dies or accessories in quite a while until I recently started loading for 30-30. My new dies and a couple other things I picked up came with a new style lock nut (called a die lock ring by Lee). Personally I really like them. They're easier to adjust and the o-ring looks like it's sitting in a groove instead of being loose. Makes hand tightening much easier. I was just wondering what others think of them (I must be bored).
7/8-14 Self Lock Ring (3) - Lee Precision

Last edited by 1sailor; 04-05-2021 at 06:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2021, 06:30 PM
Ruger 1,3 Ruger 1,3 is offline
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I don’t like either the new or the old Lee lock rings...........I get replacement lock rings from Fastenal for all of my Lee dies.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2021, 06:32 PM
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They look like they should work. I never had any problems with the old lock rings on Lee dies. I have seen where others complained about them.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:45 PM
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I always liked the old ones. Those look like they’d work well too. I appreciate the fact I don’t need to hunt an allen wrench to change dies.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:58 PM
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I hate them! You need a special little wrench to loosen them once tightened. The old ones locked down fine and were easily loosened by hand.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:05 PM
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I found that any locking rings with a rubber base is a bad idea, especially a bullet seating and/or a crimping die. I never knew how tight is tight enough and could never feel a solid stop when adjusting. I picked up a bunch of Hornady Sure-Loc Die Locking Rings for under $4.00 each and can get the same exact bullet seating depth and crimp each and every time I install the dies.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:04 PM
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I have mve a mostly older Lee rings and a few Hornadys. I like the Lee better.
Have a turret for each caliber and for .38 special a have a ring in place on the die for wad cutter bullet seater so I'm always ready to go with no adjustments
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:06 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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That o-ring is one of the biggest changes I see on them. Being recessed it compresses enough to allow the nut to seat fully against the turret on my turret press. They don't have the flex I got with the old style. I have to admit though that I never had any problems with the old style at all. Just like the new ones better.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:08 PM
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What's not to love?
Got them on me Xmas Gift 9loadmaster) from my lovely young bride this past December. The spanner wrench works, they keep the dies where you set them.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:28 PM
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I tossed them all due to inconsistent die setting. Replaced them with Hornady lock rings. Set 'em and forget 'em.
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Old 04-05-2021, 10:32 PM
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I throw them directly into the garbage and install Dillon hex rings.
Done.
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Old 04-05-2021, 10:43 PM
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I don't use anything Lee....it's not worth saving a few bucks on subpar equipment. That costs you much more in the long run.
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Old 04-05-2021, 10:49 PM
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At $4.00 a piece for replacement locking rings that's $12-$16 added cost per pistol die set, making the Lee dies not that cheap.

Don't get me wrong, they work for the most part, but it always seems I'm adding something or replacing something to get them to work. I'll use them, but only if I have too.
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:13 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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When I first posted this I though I likely wouldn't get any responses due to the somewhat boring nature of lock nuts. Looks like there's lots of serious feeling out there though. And of course all the people who have never used Lee products always jump in to say "If it ain't Dillon it ain't worth havin". This is always expected of course.
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:01 PM
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The o-ring allows the die to float and self center in the press threads. And both the old and new Lee lock rings can be finger tight. You can also put a reference mark on the die and press to see if they move.

It is possible to lock the expander and the die body off center and tilted in their threads. In the old Speer No.9 reloading manual has a good section on this and how to set the dies up.

The Forster Co-Ax press allows the dies to float and self center. And adding the o-ring to your dies does the same thing.

O-Rings on Dies May Reduce Run-Out
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:47 PM
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These are no sweat after I made my own spanner wrench to tighten them. I couldn't get my fat fingers down inbetween the dies on the turrent to tighten them snuggly. I discovered after I made the wrench it really didn't take much to snug them up. Took me aout 10 minutes with a scrap aluminum strip to make the spanner. Haven't had any back off once I snugged them up. The ole cheap Lee stuff works pretty good.

Dan

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  #17  
Old 04-06-2021, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigedp51 View Post
The o-ring allows the die to float and self center in the press threads. And both the old and new Lee lock rings can be finger tight. You can also put a reference mark on the die and press to see if they move.

It is possible to lock the expander and the die body off center and tilted in their threads. In the old Speer No.9 reloading manual has a good section on this and how to set the dies up.

The Forster Co-Ax press allows the dies to float and self center. And adding the o-ring to your dies does the same thing.

O-Rings on Dies May Reduce Run-Out
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That may be, but I doubt the Lee dies offer anywhere near as much "float" as a Co-Ax. The Lee rings still don't lock to the die. Of course you can solve this with more money to Lee (surprise!) and buy their "Breech Lock" bushings for each die.

Or go to the hardware store and spend a dollar on O-rings for any brand of dies.

The "Breech Lock" bushings is the dumbest thing I've ever seen on a single stage press. It saves very little time and costs more (surprise!). If they just gave you a locking die ring in the first place all this complicated bushings, locking bushings, replacement lock rings would be unnecessary. It's my one gripe with Lee.
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2021, 01:54 AM
PapaWheelie PapaWheelie is offline
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My last set of Lee dies came with the new style rings and I absolutely hated them. Up till now, I've never had any issues with Lee equipment, they meet my modest needs well. The dies did not come with a wrench so I had to tighten them by hand which I found to be painful. Sharp edges dig in fingertips - what a poor design, and there was no reason to change from the old one. Yes, I know there is a wrench but no one around carries them and they don't include them with die sets. Rather then wait to add one to an order for other supplies I just bought some Hornady locking rings. I emailed Lee to politely tell them what I thought of the new rings but never heard back.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:39 AM
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I have replaced all my lock rings with Foster ones.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:43 AM
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I have a few sets of Lee Dies that were given to me by an older Gentleman no longer in the sport. The ones he gave me are the only Lee Dies I own and quite honestly, I do not like them! The lock ring doesn't really hold the adjustment precisely, and they don't fit my Dillon very well. I really only use two sets and those two get used on my RCBS RC. My Dillon Dies are the best with the RCBS Dies coming in second. The Lee's are dead last - at least for me.

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Old 04-07-2021, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
At $4.00 a piece for replacement locking rings that's $12-$16 added cost per pistol die set, making the Lee dies not that cheap.
Excellent point. I suffer with the standard Lee lock rings but I do not like them. An erasable marker allows me to repeat my settings.
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  #22  
Old 04-07-2021, 01:53 PM
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On the Lee site they are $5.00 "per set". So, not 12 to 16 dollars a set. Since they come with the new dies there's no extra cost. I might whine about Lee myself if I had paid out the nose for other products. The fact is I've been reloading and using almost exclusively Lee products for years and have loaded (honestly) tens of thousands of rounds on Lee equipment and have never had a problem with them. The people who seem to have the greatest issues with them are the guys who don't actually use them.

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Old 04-07-2021, 04:27 PM
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I dislike any die that uses the ultra small allen wrench for the use of getting
the lock nut tight.
The head will get mared and stripped over time if you use too much force
or don't get the wrench in far enough or off angle.

I got one that was stripped out of the die and replaced it with a threaded bolt that had a standard screwdriver head,
end of problems, for me.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:16 PM
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Don't like 'em, like others I replaced them with the Hornady lock rings.
Otherwise I have no problems with Lee dies but they aren't my first choice for calibers I load the most.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:33 PM
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Not too long back I was loading up some 9mm, mixed brass. Using my Lee dies because my RCBS are on loan. I had quite a lot of variance in seating depth. I also had varying neck tension due to the mixed brass. Swapped the lock rings out and solved most of my problem. The only other thing that could possibly be moving is the rubber ring on the seater plug.

I just don't like the lock rings.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:04 PM
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What happens with the o-ring nuts is when the ring hits the press the die will still turn. Same thing taking it out if the nut is tight to the press the die will turn first........The ALL your precision setting are gone. The split rings that lock down are the best.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAROMAN View Post
I throw them directly into the garbage and install Dillon hex rings.
Done.

+1

me too

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Old 04-08-2021, 02:10 PM
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After reading all the responses to my post I can only guess that I am an extremely lucky individual. Somehow I have managed to use lee equipment for years without destroying the entire world while somehow managing to reload safe and accurate ammo. After thousands of rounds I have to say, "Boy, that was sure a close call". Beside this forum I am also on a couple of Harley forums and it's the same thing over there. There are some brands that just irritate the heck out guys who spent a fortune on theirs.

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Old 04-08-2021, 02:28 PM
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Well, there is okay and good--will get the job done, but then there is better.
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Old Yesterday, 07:37 AM
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More expensive doesn't mean better.

I own dies from Redding, RCBS, Lee, Hornady, and Lyman.

I own presses from Lyman, RCBS, and Lee.

I can tell you things I like and dislike about all of this stuff.

I just had a new Hornady sizing die come out of the box with a bent spindle. The thing is "spindly" thin and flimsy. I'm not bashing the brand. I have a lot of other hornady stuff I like, some I consider junk.

Being familiar with how each product works makes a huge difference. The vast majority of reloaders that I know today don't read directions with each die set.

Many of today's loaders have never read a manual. They setup by a video and look at data, but never have actually read a manual.

Personally, I couldn't care less which color/brand anyone uses. I do know if Lee Precision didn't exist we would all be paying a lot more for all the hardware we buy.

Cost has little to do with what I like. Color has nothing to do with what I like. Some want to use wrenches for tiny adjustments, great. Some want things that float, some don't. Use what you like.

For those that load only one bullet with their seating die, then weld it in place. I change bullets way too often do think of such. If I want, I buy extra seating die for each bullet type. With my .308 Win loads, I do have multiple sets for different applications. On .223 I have no less than 4 die sets. Each caliber uses a dukes mixture of dies for each loading.

I have 3 sets of 45 ACP, 3 .38/357, 2 .38 Super, 2 .45 Colt.

One thing all these handgun caliber die sets have in common is the Lee Powder Through Case Mouth Expansion Die. I have a pile of these, and love them!

Features I like and performance I expect are what I shop for. To each his own.

I guess brand bashing grinds my gears worse than anything on a load forum. I'd like to be able to say I'm sorry if it shows. I'd like to, but I'm not.
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