Sometimes you get so accustomed to things you have a “double take” when they change. That was my reaction when I recently unboxed a LEE Pro 1000 reloading press. I noted several changes with the press, most obvious was the new die lock rings that came with the press. In this article, I’ll introduce you to three new styles of LEE die lock rings!
New LEE Basic Die Lock Rings
The new LEE “basic” or “default” die lock rings (LEE calls these “Self Lock Rings“) are very similar to the traditional hex die lock rings LEE has been using for decades, but now featuring splines around their circumference that offer:
- Enhanced grip when tightening by hand
- Compatibility with LEE’s new die lock ring wrench (see below)
These die lock rings use the same O-ring design to seat against the press (and the die threads, preserving the die setting when removed from the press).
Here’s what the new LEE die lock ring wrench looks like (works with all new LEE die lock rings):
NEW LEE Ultimate Die Lock Rings
LEE’s new Ultimate Die Lock Rings are a step up from the basic lock rings, with two improvements:
- Anodized finish
- Split ring design allows the ring to be clamped securely to die
Available as a set, this package includes three ultimate die lock rings, and a plastic die lock ring wrench:
Kind of makes you smile, eh?
NEW LEE Die Lock Ring Eliminators
The new lock ring eliminators from LEE are a new concept, something unlike I’ve seen before. These new die accessories marry the following functionality into a single assembly:
- Quick change bushing (LEE’s Breech Lock system)
- Die lock ring with splines (works with LEE lock ring wrench)
- Clamp to preserve die depth setting
You’ll need a press that has LEE’s Breech Lock system installed to use these lock ring eliminators. You can update most presses to use LEE’s Breech Lock system with an inexpensive conversion kit:
Available at Midsouth
I just looked, and Midsouth Shooters Supply currently has all of these products in stock, and the prices are VERY reasonable! (convert to Breech Lock for under $10.00 for example).
Here are some Midsouth Product links:
Self-Lock Die Lock Rings (basic splined lock rings)
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