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Posted: 8/18/2017 1:39:31 PM EST
First - the folks at Lee (with the exception of one call) have been pretty good to deal with, but so far, I've not made any progress with them on this front.  They have flat out told me that they will not change the mandrel unless they hear from a lot more people. . . I told them that as more people adopted Lapua Brass, they would certainly hear.

Bottom line (after having sent the die back twice to Lee) is that the Lee Collet die not work with your Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass.  This is for two reasons (one of which is much more significantly detrimental than the other, in my view):

1) The diameter of the decapping pin is greater than the diamter of the flash hole.  As a result, the die will expand your flash hole.  I know there's debate around the diamter of the flash hole, so please leave that for somewhere else.  I'm just pointing out facts:  One trip through the die, and your flash hole will forever be expanded.

2) The base (I'm using this term imprecisely) of the case is too thick to allow the case enough vertical movement for the case neck to get "inbetween" the petals to be sized.  If you try to apply "just a bit more pressure" (never cam over with this die!) you'll end up "bottoming out" the mandrel on the case web, and you'll get non-concentric sizing at the top.  Even with the 1/8th turn approach, I was getting almost 10 thou runout measured using my concentricity gauge.

What's the solution?  Well, one must either a) abandon Lapua Brass, or b) remove the decapping pin from the mandrel AND THEN grind off additional material from the bottom of the mandrel to allow concentric resizing.  

It's no bueno from my point of view, so I'm hoping that more and more Lapua Brass shooters will let Lee know that this isn't ideal.

Please, please refrain from telling me about additional ways to neck-size brass.  I am aware of them, and have more than likely tried all of them as well.  There are some real benefits to the Lee die.  I suggest you all look into it if you're not using it already.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 4:23:10 PM EST
You have your right to you views!  In the end....Bushing bump dies are much better option for neck sizing brass any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

You could always switch to Hornady, Nosler, Starline, Peterson, or Kinetic brass with the standard flash holes!
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 7:41:59 PM EST
I'm using the Lee dies. Every die you buy will need the decappimg pin ground down. It's not unique the Lee.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 8:44:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: Reorx] [#3]
You can try using the Lee Universal Decapping die as a decapper.  I use it on every piece of brass that goes thru my single stage press - pistol and rifle brass.  I decap first and then tumble before going on to lube & size.  The universal decapper is cheap (LINK).  You might also order a replacement decapping pin (LINK) or maybe the hardened steel version (LINK) if you are "hard" on pins...

If you can use the Universal decapper you might be able to take the decapping part of the sizing die out and leave it out...  If the decapping rod also has an expander on it that you want to use, you may have to modify the rod by taking a grinder to the decapping end (assuming it is 1 piece) and grid it to a length short enough to no longer be a problem...

ASIDE:  You know...  you are in a "Precision Rifle" forum...  your "precision" 6.5 CM was probably not cheap...  you were wise enough to pick arguably the best brass manufacturer and their brass is not inexpensive either...  If Lee dies aren't making you happy, step up and get some dies that will make you happy - you might have to bite the bullet (so to speak) on cost but you know what they say...  when you get quality stuff, you buy once and cry once.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:15:20 AM EST
There is really no reason to use that die.  That most consistent And reliable ammo is made from FL sizing and just bumping the shoulder back.  Neck only sizing you eventually will have to bump the shoulder and you risk difficulty closing the bolt 
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 3:55:00 PM EST
Honestly, probably most of the people that buy Lapua brass are not buying Lee dies(not that it isn't a decent die).

I have a Lee Collet sizer for .308, never use it, the Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing die is a better die.

Recently I tried a batch of Norma brass which has thinner neck wall(than Lapua) so my bushing was too big and would let the bullet fall in, found this out after they were primed.
So I get out the Lee Collet sizer snap off the decapping pin, sanded down the mandrel and it worked great. It's a $20 die, modify as needed.

I do all my decapping with the Lee universal decapping die, get my 6.5Grendel Lapua brass which has a small flash hole well the Lee pin won't fit through so I grind the pin down, now it works for everything. It is a $13 die, modify as needed.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 1:15:50 PM EST
After having very poor success with loading Hornady 6.5 brass, I am switching to Lapua SP brass

Using a Redding universal decapping die(has special pin for small flash holes)
Then a Redding S die with expander removed.
Followed by a Sinclair mandrel.

I ordered everything last week, only thing that's missing is Sinclair oversized mandrel.

Will post results as soon as I get everything

All will be loaded on a 550 using two toolheads. One for prep, one for final loading

I shoot fieldcraft shooting, so I need to bump my shoulders back as it's a very dirty environment, and I need to be able to work bolt fast.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 4:20:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: ocabj] [#7]
Regarding the comment about using a Lee universal decapping die, I use one of these for everything, but I turned it down several years back when I started shooting 6mmBR. Lapua 6mmBR brass uses a smaller diameter flash hole just like their 6.5mm Creedmoor brass. It's not that difficult. I had a spare in the cabinet for years because I never broke the original pin, and I just chucked it a drill press and ground it down little by little. A lathe would be far better, but I don't own a lathe.

Note: My Redding 6.5mm Creedmoor dies came with 0.0565" diameter pins, which is a bit odd since they claim only PPC dies come with the undersized pins.

As far as not using Lapua brass because of the undersized flash hole, I don't think this is a justifiable reason to not use Lapua brass. Lapua brass is simply that good. Either acquire new decapping pins or turn down your pins accordingly.

I finally got Hornady brass to shoot well in my gun, though, after I went down from Berger 140 Hybrid to the Berger 130gr AR Hybrid.

5-shot groups typically look like this, even with Hornady brass

But my gripe with Hornady brass is that after only three firings, I can tell the primer pockets are getting loose.
Link Posted: 10/21/2017 9:06:48 PM EST
I'm shooting a factory barrel on a Savage rifle, so fired brass comes out measuring .295 at the neck.  Since sizing down more than ~0.004" with a bushing seems to induce run out, I've been neck sizing with the Lee collet die, and then using my FL bushing die minus the bushing to bump the shoulder.  When I switched to Lapua brass, I chucked the mandrel up in a drill and ground the decapping rod down to fit the small flash hole.  I didn't have any problem with the mandrel "bottoming out", but I did notice that the decapping rod had a significant taper to it, so I had to take off a lot more material near the top of it.  Typical run out has been <0.001" with the Lee collet die; with a bushing, I was getting >0.003".  I'm certain that guys with match chambered barrels loading neck turned brass get perfect results with their bushing dies though.
Link Posted: 2/2/2018 4:39:25 PM EST
I know this is way late, but there is a good reason to use this die.  I don't use "just" this die. . . I use it in conjunction with a Redding Body Die.  I used to use the Redding neck sizing dies (which are fine), but this is actually a better way to do it, and it doesn't extrude your case necks.
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