Trouble with my Lee Classic Turret- help!
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Thread: Trouble with my Lee Classic Turret- help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    52

    Angry Trouble with my Lee Classic Turret- help!

    Hi Fellow Reloaders!

    My Lee Classic 4 die turret has made about 1400 rounds of 40SW since purchasing it from MidwayUSA in March of this year. That's the only caliber I currently reload.

    Mostly I've been using Once Fired Brass (mixed) from OnceFiredBrass.com . It's been very clean and always in good condition. Recently I've purchased Starline brass just to try out. I've loaded about 50 so far. Nice, but expensive for me.

    So here's the problem...(yeah Joe, get on with it)... After the very first few hundred rounds, I've noticed the case gets snagged when removing it from the Powder Thru Expander (PTE) die. At first I thought I may have made the flair too big and it may have been hitting the die on the way out. So I reduced the flair as much as possible yet still big enough to receive a bullet. Yet as I withdraw the case, it still catches on the die at the very last bit just before it clears the die. And I mean it catches and you've got to give it a good tug to pop the case out of the die.

    It hasn't caused any damage to the case. At least nothing that I can see. And all rounds fire just fine.

    But in the last four hundred or so rounds, it has been hanging up SO tightly that it takes two hands to pull the handle up and get the shell out. Doing so shakes my reloading bench and everything on it! Like an earthquake. This should not be happening.

    Today I called Lee Precision and spoke with a gentleman named Peter. He recommended I disassemble the PTE die (once again) and sand down the insert which may be collecting brass on it causing it to stick to the cases. He made a comment about Starline brass being a little smaller in diameter than other brands and that could also be the problem. But this has been happening with Winchester brass and other brands so it's not a problem isolated to just Starline brass.

    Suffice it to say the problem still exists tonight and it was all I could do to make 50 more rounds before getting too frustrated to continue.

    Just so you know, I've removed and reset all my dies, multiple times. I've cleaned them at least 3 times that I remember over the course of loading 1400 rounds. Nothing has been abused.

    Has anyone here experienced this kind of problem and could offer advice on how to solve it? I'd really appreciate any constructive help you can offer.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    Joe

  2.   
  3. #2
    I would say to polish the outside surface of the insert that expands the case mouth inside the die. It is more likely that that insert is sticking inside the case mouth rather than the outside of the case sticking against the inside of the die body. You can also try lubing either the inside of a few case mouths with case lube on a q-tip and/or lubing the expander insert.

    Are you tumbling the brass before you reload it? You might also drop that die insert in your tumbler with the next set of brass to polish it some.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
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    Hi NavyLCDR,
    The tech at Lee Precision also recommended polishing the outside surface of the insert at the point where it goes inside the case. I did that already and I'm also using brand new Starline brass cases. So no need to tumble them. But it still sticks. I think you're right, that's where it's sticking and not some part of the exterior of the case getting caught. Maybe I need to lube the insert. I'd rather not have to lube every pistol case since the turret doesn't require that additional process when it's all functioning properly. I'll buy some lube and try it on the expander insert.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Joe

  5. #4
    Have you checked the diameter of the bullets? Maybe the bullets are too big, requiring you to have to expand the case mouth too much. Also, try expanding the case mouth less and less.... when I reload .45ACP the bullet won't go into the case by hand, but it goes in just fine in the press.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  6. #5
    I too have the same issue. I thought it was the flare being too much as well. I have noticed it sticks on every kind of brass I have put through it EXCEPT Remington brass, in 45acp that is. For the 380 I load Remington and Fiocchi seem to work nicely. I agree you shouldn't have to lube pistol brass, especially if you use the carbide die set. I haven't takin apart the die itself yet, I recently got all the dies locked down and where I like them and don't feel like messing with it again right now.

    Surprised nobody has chimed in to say "get a Dillon" by now.
    Be cool and eat fruit!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cataw. Co. NC.
    Posts
    135
    The case has already been sized, De-primed and it is hanging up during the flare and Re-priming stage. The problem might not be in the die. Check the mechanical operation of the press. Something might be loose.

  8. Get a Dillon. (Couldn't help myself)

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    52
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
    I've checked the function and alignment of the press. Everything seems right on as far as adjustments, alignments and movements.

    Berry's plated RS bullets are all checking out at mostly .400 with 1 in 10 coming up at .401. So they are 40 cal right on the money. Nothing too big.

    I have the flair set as small as possible to where the bullet just barely starts into the case. If I go any smaller, there will be no flair at all. So I don't think it's a matter of the flair being too large. I really think it's the die itself.

    MidwayUSA told me today that I'm past their 90 day warranty so they recommend I contact Lee direct and ask for a replacement die as it appears to be defective. I'll call them tomorrow and see if they will replace it, or ask me to purchase a new one.

    Rats, I'm down to just 300 rounds in my stockpile and I don't know how I'll make it through this weekend!!!


    As for the Dillon, ....maybe next year!
    Last edited by JRM; 09-15-2011 at 11:41 PM. Reason: added Dillon comment

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cataw. Co. NC.
    Posts
    135
    It could be that the expander is sticking to the inside of the case. If you have a nylon case neck brush try very lightly lubing the inside of the case neck. [Too much case lube can foul the powder.]

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