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Lee Loader Neck Sizing

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303N5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 19 2020 at 6:38pm
Hi
I have a Lee Enfield No 5 and have only shot factory PPU 174gr ammo. I recently bought a Lee Loader to try reloading the PPU brass. Testing out a dummy round (no powder or primer), I found that after putting the cartridge through the Lee Loader neck sizing die, the shoulders seemed to be pushed out. The dummy round would not chamber. Inserting an empty cartridge (before putting it into to the Lee Loader), that chambers ok. Taking the same cartridge and then neck sizing it, it does not chamber.

Am I doing something wrong ?  The brass is just once fired. It was trimmed before neck sizing and the length of the cartridge with bullet was within the the tolerance.

I also just neck sized the cartridge (did not seat a bullet) and tried to chamber that. No go.

It seems I need to full size it but I would not be able to do so with the Lee Loader (whack-a-mole-type).

Not sure if it is normal and if I need to buy a normal press (which I am trying to avoid).

Adding to the post:
The shoulder of the cartridge seems to be pushed forward and that seems to be why the cartridge did not chamber. The brass was trimmed to 0.218 inches before it went into the Lee Loader die. The brass that came out of the No. 5 seems to have a more sloping shoulder.

Thanks in advance


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303N5 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303N5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2020 at 9:57am

Pictures of the 303 PPU brass. Left: Brass after coming out of a No. 5. Right: Brass after going through the Lee Loader Classic Neck Sizing die. Note that the shoulder seems to be pushed forward
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2020 at 10:16am
That's the infamous Lee Enfield "Generous Chamber"! Originally designed to fire dirty, muddy ammo.
A couple of hings to check.
1: Is the die's 2 parts set up correctly for YOUR chamber?
2: is there a very slight "bulge" at the shoulder of the right hand case or is that a trick of the light?
Can you post a pic of the fired but NOT resized case?

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303N5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2020 at 2:09pm
Hi Shamu
Thanks for your response.
1. The Classic Lee Loader  die comes in one piece with the brass going in one size to resize, and the bullet going in the other to seat (and crimp). I could not see any other settings except for the collar to get the bullet seating depth.
2. You are correct that the brass on the right seems to have a slight bulge.  The left brass is a fired brass but NOT resized.  The one on the left (fired but not resized) fits the chamber. The one on the right, fired and resized, does not.

Not sure if I have a bad Lee Loader die.

The original plan was to ease into reloading without investing a boatload of cash.. Smile

Any advice would be appreciated.  Posting a picture of the die used below

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303N5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2020 at 2:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303N5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2021 at 10:47am
Update on the shoulder issue. I returned the neck sizing die to Lee Precision, Inc., and included some fired brass cases. It turns out that my No.5 has a longer head-space than the Lee Loader neck sizing die. Based on the fired brass, Lee Precision is machining the die to fit the chamber. Extremely pleased with the service from Lee.

Using factory PPU 303 and MEN (surplus) 83-6 303 ammo did not appear to have any problems. Still get reasonable groups at 100 and 200 yds
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2021 at 1:18pm
Lee is a great company to deal with.  Glad they will sort this out for you.  

You might want to consider getting a press like the Lee Classic, and the three die set.  Their collet die is the most useful die made for resizing .303 British cases in my opinion, it will let you rapidly resize the neck with no need to lube the cases and minimizes work hardening of the brass.  But, you will eventually have to full length resize the case, after 10 or so neck sizings.  I’ve reloaded cases 50 times with this die, partial length resizing with the Lee F/L die every 10 to 15 reloads.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303N5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2021 at 1:49pm
Thanks Britrifles.

That is good advice. I'll start slow and work up to something like a hand press
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2021 at 3:24pm
Firstly, sorry I didn't reply, I missed the new post notification completely!
Second the Lee "Whack-A-Mole" is a great reloading tool, bear with it & you have the right idea.
I have a mountain of reloading stuff, but I still keep a Lee "Whack-A-Mole, for every caliber i have. It will never become "useless".
Example:
You're working up a load, you do everything except charge the case & then seat a bullet & you're at the range testing this unknown load.
You have your lee loaded so you can "on the fly" change bullet seating depth & seat projectiles right there to see if a change is good or bad.
Wink
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2021 at 3:43pm
Works for me.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dragunov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2021 at 4:43am
If you do decide to get started with the conventional loading dies, I highly recommend the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I do not think it is included in the set of standard dies. This die places a very strong grip on the neck and no worries ever about bullets getting compressed deeper into the case, thus raising pressures. I was given a small sack of .310 diameter AK fmj bullets once that would, on various cases take a deep plunge into the case. This Lee die ended that problem for good.
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