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New lock nuts from Lee

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RealGun, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I have no problem with the "old" rings, I set them and forget them in separate turrets. They haven't loosened up yet. Some require channel locks to remove. The O ring is what holds them tight.
    So much to do about lock nuts?
     
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  2. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Lock nut concerns are valid if routinely removing dies from ones press. I am another with most cartridges done on a turret press with turrets either dedicated to a caliber and load or finding no great task in resetting dies for different bullets or trim lengths. Then the quick release of the O-ring dies can be an advantage. Again yesterday I needed to adjust a die with a lock nut that had a set screw, and of course the screw head was where I couldn't reach it or even see it. The set screw is a valuable reference point that I need to hold while backing the die out enough to get the Allen wrench on the set screw. I can accomplish the same thing with a Lee nut if careful, since the nut is quite snug on the threads and is not quick to move. Someone else offered that the die and the nut need to be held together when screwing the die in or out.
     
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  3. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    I’ve never had an issue with the Lee Lock nuts that have been on all the Lee dies that I have for years.
     
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  4. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    It depends on what equipment you load on, whether lock nuts effect your hobby big or little. Speaking of big or little, for an old thread a couple of years ago, I took the following picture:
    IMG_2625_1.jpg
    Left to right top: Current RCBS with the brass set screw; really old RCBS for a uniflow; Forster split ring.
    Left to right bottom: Hornady split ring, Old RCBS with ugh steel set screw; and Lee's with the "O" ring. (some people even drill Lee's out and add a set screw.)

    I don't have a Dillon nut.....but they win the minimum size contest....but have no set screw or "O" ring.
    All of these rings work for set once and leave it alone. Some not so well for when readjustments are necessary....as RealGun already pointed out.

    For single stage, even the steel set screw and buggered threads work if you set once and never change it.......in that scenario the Lee works just as good until the rubber deteriorates, but you can't have a brain fart and loosen on the die barrel...you gotta touch only the nut. Their new split ring with screw version remove that gotcha for people like me who may forget it's a Lee nut under there. :oops:

    For progressives it's another matter. The big round ones, including Hornady's with the sides flattened, can be hard to readjust on press. LnL bushings make it a little easier on the Hornady ones, but try to get channel lock on a populated die plate.....in fact the big Forster ring can't even be used on some, certainly not on my green 7-station progressive...stations are too close together.

    For the Pro Chucker 7, RCBS rings barely work, better sized for it is the Lee, and even better the Dillon...but you can't repeat on the Dillon if you have reason to remove a die.....cleaning comes to mind. So yes, lock nuts are a big deal for some of us.;)

    Thankyou RealGun for measuring! I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that the new Lee rings are even smaller.....and that Lee gives you a choice to buy a split ring version......that and the little wrench that allows grabbing the nut from almost any direction of the compass is awesome. It just may become the ring I replace all my others with. Ordering a pack soon......:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    Phlier and Demi-human like this.
  5. 2011redrider

    2011redrider Member

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  6. 10wt308

    10wt308 Member

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    I’m going to try flipping them and tighten them down
    Don’t like the o ring


    If frogs had wing they wouldn’t bump their ass when they jumped!
     
  7. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    The ones I have with a set screw but no wrench flats will not come loose of the die, but the whole thing loosens and backs out of my turret, usually a seat/crimp die. Some rounds will have to be rechecked, run again. Dies with a Lee nut with O-ring simply stay put. So-oo, it is more than a matter of the die setting.
     
  8. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    All of my Hornady, RCBS and Lyman dies have the Hornady split locks on them. All the Lee dies have the Lee o-ring style locks and all dies have Hornady bushings attached as they are used on a LNL and Rock Chucker that has been converted for them. Non of the Lee lock nuts have ever come loose and if in doubt I tighten them with a wrench. Some of the Lee dies have been set for several years, have loaded 1000’s of rounds and never moved.
     
  9. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    While I have and use this wrench myself and it comes in way handy.....such a wrench isn't worth a darn on a nut holding down a Uniflow or Hornady Powder Measure, or even just its base, only having the lower linkage clamp on it. ;) Those happen to be the most ornery devices to which after adjusting it just so, the "flat" on the Hornady ring is usually where you can't use it....so you have to adjust the powder measure lower linkage clamp's rotation too.

    IMG_1916.JPG
    Both lowers are pictured. As you can see, I use both... Oh! and talking about "O" rings.....notice the cracks on the one on the Hornady bullet feeder die......that's the first sign.....eventually they break. (oxidation) Haven't had a Lee one go bad yet.....but probably will.......so....maybe finding a replenishment supply of that size "O" rings might be wise.
    IMG_1915.JPG

    I think I'm going to like the little Lee wrench.....but then I may wish it had a longer levered handle at times. Wheels turning.....drill another hole and add some handle, maybe??:) What do you think? I'm thinking a stud closest to the Lock Nut and a bolt/wingnut on the end.
    Lee wrench.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Right, if you mount dies in a die plate with the old Lee lock rings, when tightened correctly, then lock ring will not lose their position or let the die get loose.

    But, if you remove dies from then press or die plate, it is easy for the lock rings to move and you then lose your setting. This is why I do not use the old Lee lock rings.

    If the new rings really are split lock rings, then they have some interest for me. I can lock the ring to the die so that the ring does not move and the o-ring will keep the die in position when the die is installed in the press or die plate.
     
    Catpop likes this.
  11. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Time to be reminded that if a die adjustment must be preserved, one way is to put alignment marks on the die parts or on the nut.
     
    kcofohio likes this.
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I must be the only person who likes O-rings on the locking nuts. It keeps the die and locking nut from backing out without having to do any crazy level of tightening down. Finger tight holds great.

    As for the lack of repeatability... what, are you guys cleaning and lubing the die threads?
     
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I have always liked Lee's lock nuts better than the other companies'.
    These look even better for turret presses.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    It is not the o-rings that are the problem, it is the lack of positive locking on the old Lee lock nuts that I do not like.
     
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  15. Phlier

    Phlier Member

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    Exactly.

    Looking forward to buying a pack of the new ones for a trial run. But I still like the old RCBS grub screw into the threads method, even if it did result in messed up threads.

    The Hornady nuts hold their lock well, it's just a bugger trying to orient them all on a turret head to where you can get a wrench on all of them if you need to.
     
  16. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Hmmm. Well they look neat at least.
    Me likey the rcbs flavor of lock rings myself.
    Must say not a huge fan of the older Lee lock rings, maybe new ones are better
     
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