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EGW U die vs Lee U die


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I've been having problems with range brass not chambering in my STI barrel and I'm pretty sure it's due to bulged brass. Approximately 15-20% of reloads will not chamber, of that 15-20% I can run them back through the Lee FCD and half of them will then chamber. I would like to get this percentage down quite a bit or completely get rid of it. From reading on here it looks like the least time consuming option is to install an EGW U die. While browsing Midway for some other items I need I saw that Lee makes a U die also but it's labeled "Lee U Carbide Small Base Sizing Die 40 S&W". I understand the Lee make the die for EGW but is the Lee die the same thing or does EGW do something else to their die? I don't mind ordering direct from EGW but I thought I would cut down on shipping by ordering from one source. I've searched and can't find anything definitive on this. Thanks for any help

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I know this is not as easy as just putting a die in your existing progressive press, but putting a push-thru .40 die, like a Lee FCD on a single stage press, will solve all your issues. Loading with the U die can be a real pain.

Good luck with whatever you decide

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Lee makes them for EGW. The dies are one in the same.

My EGW udie says LEE U die right on it.cheers.gif

Using the Udie is not a pain at all. You will have to use some one shot case lube because it is noticably harder to pull the handle on the press. As you have already determined the Udie does keep you from having to do things twice. The GRX type push thru dies have to be set up on another press and all your brass gets run through it THEN you do it again on your actually loading press.

Edited by Sarge
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Lee makes them for EGW. The dies are one in the same.

They are not the same.

From EGW's site:

A must for the serious reloader: EGW offers custom designed, carbide sizing dies that are 0.001" smaller in diameter than typical dies. Not only is it smaller in diameter, the bottom corner is radiused which sizes the case further down. This helps prevent feed failures from cases that bulged near the base during reloading- which is typical of brass fired in Glocks and other loose chambered guns.

Why does my die have Lee packaging? Lee Precision, Inc manufacturers the dies to our specifications, meaning these dies are made solely for us. The Lee dies you can buy from other suppliers are not the EGW undersized dies.

http://www.egwguns.com/undersized-reloading-dies/undersized-reloading-dies/

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Lee makes them for EGW. The dies are one in the same.

They are not the same.

From EGW's site:

A must for the serious reloader: EGW offers custom designed, carbide sizing dies that are 0.001" smaller in diameter than typical dies. Not only is it smaller in diameter, the bottom corner is radiused which sizes the case further down. This helps prevent feed failures from cases that bulged near the base during reloading- which is typical of brass fired in Glocks and other loose chambered guns.

Why does my die have Lee packaging? Lee Precision, Inc manufacturers the dies to our specifications, meaning these dies are made solely for us. The Lee dies you can buy from other suppliers are not the EGW undersized dies.

http://www.egwguns.c...reloading-dies/

I'll have to email LEE again one of these days. I deleted an email from them stating their Udie was the same. It was a few dollars cheaper than the EGW but shipping was a few bucks more so I just bought it from EGW.

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The description on the Midway site for the Lee U die states that the die is undersized .002-.003 while the EGW says .001. The Midway description also states that The solid carbide insert inside of these dies is ground to a special contour that does not leave a belt mark on the case. So it seems that both have a special contour or radius cut on the bottom. Seems like I'm back to square one. I would be interested to know if EGW does something else to the die once they recieve it from Lee.

I'll have to email LEE again one of these days. I deleted an email from them stating their Udie was the same. It was a few dollars cheaper than the EGW but shipping was a few bucks more so I just bought it from EGW.

Sarge, didn't see this part the first time I read it. Maybe they are the same.

Edited by Who Knew
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Personally I would order it from EGW. I have since learned they are much bigger supporters of our sport than LEE or midwayusa. The cost comparison is almost a wash.

As a matter of fact you might be able to find a used one on here. I bought a .40 EGW for $20 last year from a shooter who hated it.

How about it? Anybody have a 40 EGW Udie they would like to sell?

Edited by Sarge
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I've been having problems with range brass not chambering in my STI barrel and I'm pretty sure it's due to bulged brass. Approximately 15-20% of reloads will not chamber, of that 15-20% I can run them back through the Lee FCD and half of them will then chamber. I would like to get this percentage down quite a bit or completely get rid of it. From reading on here it looks like the least time consuming option is to install an EGW U die. While browsing Midway for some other items I need I saw that Lee makes a U die also but it's labeled "Lee U Carbide Small Base Sizing Die 40 S&W". I understand the Lee make the die for EGW but is the Lee die the same thing or does EGW do something else to their die? I don't mind ordering direct from EGW but I thought I would cut down on shipping by ordering from one source. I've searched and can't find anything definitive on this. Thanks for any help

That tells me that your have either a crappy sizing die or a crimp/bullet seating issue. The FCD is a very large sizing die. It's not a good sizing die so if it fixes the problem it's likely not only a sizing issue. The standard Lee sizing die sizes down just as low and sizes much smaller then the FCD. I would try a standard lee sizing die and look at your bullet seating die to see if the bullets are a little tilted as they are seating.

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I would try a standard lee sizing die and look at your bullet seating die to see if the bullets are a little tilted as they are seating.

I'm currently using a Lee sizing die adjusted down to the shell plate until I can barely see light from a flashlight betweeen the two. I will check and make sure the bullets are seating straight but I think they are. When I chamber check using the barrel the ones that don't fit will go almost all the way leaving approximately 1/8" out of the chamber. You can visibly see what seems to be an area that is bulged. When I run them back through the FCD I do it one at a time (which is so SLOW).

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under size die kinds of suck...

I had serious problems with mine.

with 180gr bear creeks it was turning out lots of

bullets seating crooked, and the mouth of the cases would get stock on the belling stem (and i run mad lube)

and make the press hard to work, and sometimes prone to spilling powder.

i then switch to a GRX die and a cheap single stage press..

works great but introduces a new brass prep step to the process...

i recently switch to just using a shaved down Dillon die..

I've only loaded about 800 rounds with it, but it's seem to work great.

I'm not sure what impact it will have on the quality of the ammo.. the GRX was definitely turning out some sweet ammo..

anyway, to answer your question.. i do think they are the same..

the one i had was an EGW.. if you want I might be down to make you a deal :)

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I had kind of a love/hate relationship with the U-die. I don’t load for .40, but do for .38 super and believe some of this will translate over to the .40. I had been using a Dillon or a modified RCBS sizer for years with good results but got a bunch of JHPs and wanted a tighter neck to avoid setback (in case of nose dive) and got an EGW U-die. It worked, but sometimes would leave hard ring with a ledge where the sizer stopped on the case– no bueno. So I ground the die down about .050 or so and that helped as it got the sizer past the point where the typical bulge is, but I discovered that on occasion it would push brass into the extractor groove which would cause a failure of the gun to go into battery. These bad cases gauged OK, but the extractor groove had shrunk and hit the extractor stopping the slide from going into battery which is a frustrating jam. I would use the die occasionally, but wasn’t completely sold. Talked to my brother and he suggested getting a 9mm case, .308 case, and some lapping or rubbing compound to open up the dies and put a better lead-in on the die's carbide insert. I started off with the 9mm case chucked in a drill and dupont #7. Opened the sizer up about .0005 using the tapered .9mm case, and then used the .308 case and dupont #7 in a drill to put a nice mild chamfer on the lead in of the sizer, polished it up with a dremel and some Mother's and it was GTG. After doing this it works like a whole new die. I don’t get the rings with the hard ledges, I don’t get brass pushed into the extractor groove…and nearly all of my brass is coming out at .382 max OD which is good for reloaded .38 super. Maybe a 2% failure rate with the gauge now where as before it was closer to 7 or 8% for well used brass. It has earned a permanent place in my reloading head. Anyway, that is my long-winded u-die story and I’m sticking to it. I may get a lee u-die just to see if it is indeed different from the EGW as I am curious about that, also.

Edited by Bamboo
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I would try a standard lee sizing die and look at your bullet seating die to see if the bullets are a little tilted as they are seating.

I'm currently using a Lee sizing die adjusted down to the shell plate until I can barely see light from a flashlight betweeen the two. I will check and make sure the bullets are seating straight but I think they are. When I chamber check using the barrel the ones that don't fit will go almost all the way leaving approximately 1/8" out of the chamber. You can visibly see what seems to be an area that is bulged. When I run them back through the FCD I do it one at a time (which is so SLOW).

Your Lee sizing die is about .005" smaller then your FCD. So the idea that the FCD is fixing a sizing issue better then your sizer makes no sense. Size 40 cases and see if they fit the gauge. Also get the sizing down till it touches the shell plate. The gap idea is not good, if the shell plate is empty and it touches then when you put a case in the setup it will move away just a little. As long as you don't crank it down hard it will not break.

Edit. Check your crimp. FCD can solve poor crimp setup. Are you using the FCD as your primary crimp die as well.

Edited by 98sr20ve
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I recently switched to .40S&W in what nearly everyone considers a "Limited gun". As part of the conversion I bought a Lee FCD, a Lee Bulge Buster base sizing kit, and a Lee Reloader single stage press from Midway for $61. Considering that I bought into Limited major for $2800, an extra $61 was easy to spend to get things right.

It does suck to have the extra sizing step, but I am well over the 1K mark with zero issues. I've tried non-debulged brass in my chamber, and it doesn't work, which merely validates further the extra step. Surely you can quit doing something unnecessary to spend time making sure your ammo is perfect. It only takes an hour to debulge 2500-3000 brass.

There is no point in using shitty ammo. The failures need to be all yours.

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surprised to hear of problems with the EGW .40 U-dies. 99% of what I've been feeding my Limited STI's over the years is 1x fired Glocked brass. I dont bother with a push through die. I just use the U-die instead of the regular size die. Probably loaded close to 20k rounds without any problems that werent caused by operator error. Once in a great while I'll get a jam which I can trace back to either an oversized or misshaped moly bullet or just crappy brass. absolutely no issues with jhps.

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Is there any difference when looking at the EGW and the Lee U-die? Are they marked differently?

My .40 procedure is as follows...

1) Quick clean thru the tumbler, usually a couple of hours.

2) lube the cases and run them thru the GR=X die.

3) Tumble for a final polish and to clean off the lube.

4) Load on my 550 with the Lee/EGW U-die as the first die.

5) The last die is a Dillon or RCBS taper crimp die.

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I have had two different dies in two calibers. The EGW, and the Lee. One of each in 9mm and .40. The two older ones I got here and elsewhere worked and still work like a champ. The two newer ones I bought suck and I never use. The newer ones shave brass which I think creates range brass out there that is dangerous as its wall is diminished considerably.

All these dies came in the Lee red case if I remember correctly. I just use the old ones and they work like a charm. I can even get relaods to chamber in my HiPower with a Barsto barrel in it. That thing is tight! So I don't know if there was a change in their manufacturing process, but if I was to get another die like that, I would go with the push-through instead. But they look the same in my cabinet, just one box is marked with obscenities and the other says "good dies". :)

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Your Lee sizing die is about .005" smaller then your FCD. So the idea that the FCD is fixing a sizing issue better then your sizer makes no sense. Size 40 cases and see if they fit the gauge. Also get the sizing down till it touches the shell plate. The gap idea is not good, if the shell plate is empty and it touches then when you put a case in the setup it will move away just a little. As long as you don't crank it down hard it will not break.

Edit. Check your crimp. FCD can solve poor crimp setup. Are you using the FCD as your primary crimp die as well.

98sr20ve, I think you found my problem. I had a little time this afternoon so I've been messing around trying some of the suggestions. I first lowered the sizing die all the way down and sized a few which all fit the chamber, some were close but I would say they're good for practice. Next I tried loading some with jacketed bullets instead of the moly coated I've been using. They still wouldn't chamber so I pulled the Lee Seating/Crimp die and started all over with it. After a little experimentation I finally got 20 bullets in a row that passed the chamber check. Funny thing is that I only had to turn the crimp die down 1/4 turn from where it originally stared, which I thought I had already tried.

Carlosa offered my a superb deal on the EGW die so I'm hoping that will help fix the few cases that were a little close when I was testing just the sizing die. Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Maybe my problems will be gone and I can start enjoying this gun a little more.

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  • 2 years later...

+2 I have a lee u die and use it for my STI Apeiro and Edge and have had 99.9% of my ammo chamber without issue. I load outside SAMMI spec for COAL to 1.200 and and use a redding taper crimp to get a diameter of .422.

I've had the die for 5 months and have easily loaded and fired 6000+ Rounds without issue. The only issue I did have had nothing to do with the die as I double charged a case.

The down size of u dies is the stress placed on the case as you are compressing it outside of SAMMI specs; as a result, I spend lots of time on case prep and inspection.

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  • 7 years later...
On 6/28/2012 at 4:15 PM, diehli said:

Late to the dance, but for clairification:  the EGW and Lee undesized dies ARE the same in all respects (see copy of email from EGW).  Also, both dies have a reduction of .003.

Al.jpg

 

Al (Evolution Gun Works)

Sep 6, 2022, 11:22 EDT

Hello,
Thank you for contacting us.  There is no difference between the Lee die that we sell and the Lee die that Lee sells.
 
thank you,
Al

EGW Inc.
52 Belmont Ave
Quakertown, Pa 18951

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  • 3 months later...

I love my EGW U dies. I honestly couldn't tell if they were different from the Lee dies, but the price was a wash with the difference in shipping, and I know EGW makes a good product and supports the shooting sports.

 

They do make your press harder to work since you're literally making the brass smaller. You will also have to make your bell wider in order to keep your bullets straight. You can't just change one thing on your press and expect not to have to change the other things too. All the parts fit together. 

 

The easier brass to process with the U die is either already roll-sized or previously run through a standard sizing die. It's much smoother. I often deprime my brass on a single stage press before I clean it, and this brass is much easier to load.

 

I do also have a bulge buster. I know that ammo that case gauges in my hundo will run in my gun. If a round fails case gauge, I throw it in a box. Once I get around to it, I run all of it through the bulge buster until it either makes case gauge or becomes apparent it won't (tilted bullet, usually). Sometimes you have to run it through more than once to smooth it out if it's really bad. Most of the time, all this ammo usually still goes in my practice bin just in case the brass has gotten too thinned out, because I definitely wouldn't want a case head separation during competition.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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