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October 19th, 2022

Smart Tips for Neck-Sizing Cartridge Brass Using LEE Collet Dies

LEE Precision Collet Die

For those who prefer to neck-size their brass (rather than full-length-size), the LEE Collet Die is a popular, inexpensive option. It works by having collet tangs or “fingers” press the neck against a central mandrel. The benefit is that you get a very straight neck, which is sized consistently from top to bottom. Canadian shooter Jerry Teo explains: “LEE Collet Dies produce sized cases with very low runout (measured runout is under .001″ using a Sinclair concentricity gauge). You also don’t get the build-up of brass at the base of the neck, as can happen with bushing neck dies. The neck-shoulder junction stays nice and crisp.”

NOTE: For most handloading, we recommend FULL-LENGTH sizing of cases. You should always have a good Full-length sizing die for your brass. But there are some situations where neck-sizing may be useful. This article explains how to neck-size effectively with a LEE Collet Die.

Here’s a good video that explains how to use a Lee Collet Die to Neck-Size .243 Win brass:

LEE Precision Collet DieTIP ONE — Adjusting Tension
LEE Collet dies don’t have a specific mechanical adjustment for neck tension. But you CAN easily modify the die to provide more or less tension. If you want to adjust the neck tension using a Lee Collet die, you can simply chuck the mandrel in a drill and reduce the diameter with some sand-paper (to increase neck tension) or you can order a mandrel the next caliber larger and turn it to whatever diameter you want (the larger the mandrel diameter, the less the neck tension). You can also order custom mandrels from Lee sized to any diameter you want.

Regarding neck tension, Boyd Allen makes an important point: “The only way to properly get more neck tension with collet dies is to either reduce the diameter of the mandrel, or order a smaller-diameter mandrel from Lee. I remind folks that adjusting the die position to have more toggle at the top of the ram stroke (not the factory recommended method), or leaning on the press handle with more force than recommended will NOT increase neck tension.”

TIP TWO — Polish and Tune for Easy Case Removal
Some users have complained that their Collet Dies grab the case-neck too firmly, making the case hard to remove. There are solutions to this problem. First inspect the collet fingers and smooth the inner surface up a bit with polishing compound or an extra-fine sanding pad. Second, you can open up the fingers a little bit. LEE recommends that if your Collet Die is sticking, take a steel punch and tap the fingers apart a little bit so that the natural “unloaded” position is wider. Lastly, you should lightly lubricate the outside of the collet fingers (see arrows) before you re-assemble the die. This will ensure they slide smoothly. Also, to prevent the collet fingers from closing too tight, never load up the die with your press without putting a case in place first. Without a case neck between the collet fingers and the mandrel, the collet can clamp itself too tight as you raise the ram.

TIP THREE — Always Have a Case Inside When Operating Collet Die
Our friend Boyd Allen tells us that you need to follow directions and NEVER operate the die without a case inside. Boyd explains: “This is because doing so will spring the quadrants of the collet inward so that they interfere with the insertion of a case, and the user will have to figure out how to undo the damage if the die is to operate properly. This advice would not be needed if everyone read the instructions before using the die…. but many times, they don’t. Another thing that I tell new users is to take the die apart so that they will have a better chance of understanding how it works.”

Lee custom neck sizing collet diesTIP FOUR — Size Twice and Spin Your Case 1/8th Turn
After reaching fully “down” on your press handle, withdraw the case about an inch and manually rotate it about 1/8th (NOT 1/4 or 1/2) turn while still in the shell-holder, then size again. This will place the die’s collet petals on the four “high spots” of the case neck and will result in a rounder, more evenly-sized neck with slightly more bullet tension. This takes only about one second more per case and is well worth the slight extra effort. (We thank reader Stonecreek for this smart tip).

Get CUSTOM Lee Collet Dies for Your Brass
Yes LEE does make custom collet neck-sizing dies! LEE Precision currently offers Custom Collet Neck-Sizing Dies, made from two of your fired cases. LEE offers custom standard-thread (7/8×14) collet dies for $100.00 (plus S/H) and custom large-thread (1¼x12) collet dies for $300.00 (plus S/H). This is a good option if you run wildcats or have unusual chamber dimensions.

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October 19th, 2022

Zombies in the Heartland Match on Shooting USA TV Today

shooting usa tv zombies in heartland grand island nebraska hornady

Shooting USA will broadcast a fun episode today, October 19, 2022. Today’s show covers Hornady’s Zombies in the Heartland multi-gun match. This popular event, hosted in Nebraska, is one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation. Held this past June, the Zombie Match attracted hundreds of shooters from throughout the nation. One nice thing about the match is that it’s not just for top-tier multi-gun shooters. There are also divisions for novices — first time shooters with pistol, rifle, and shotgun are welcome.

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska Hornady

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central. If you miss the regular broadcast, you can stream the show at any time on Vimeo for $0.99 per episode.

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska Hornady

The 10-stage 3-gun match was fun and challenging. A wide variety of reactive zombie targets kept shooters engaged and entertained. In years past one stage had a parked pickup truck where shooters were required to turn the steering wheel to see targets.

Zombies in the Heartland on Shooting USA TV

shooting usa tv zombies in heartland grand island nebraska hornady

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska HornadyPandemic: Zombies in the Heartland
Every year Hornady hosts the very popular Zombies in the Heartland event. This “Pandemic” 3-Gun fun match, one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation, took place June 3-5, 2022 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. Traditionally this Zombies in the Heartland match features a rich prize table worth over $150,000. Prizes include pistols, rifles, shotguns, scopes, AR uppers, gun parts, and gear of all kinds.

The Pandemic is a veritable theme park for shootists, with many fun stages and innovative targets. Many unique, reactive zombie targets have been developed specifically for this match. The use of paper targets has been minimized — so it’s mostly “bang and clang”.

There were ten multi-gun stages this past year. Rifles, pistols and shotguns are used on most stages. There were also fun side-matches. We highly recommend you watch the video below to see highlights from a past Pandemic.

Zombies in the Heartland Highlights Video. Guys, this well-made video is WORTH WATCHING! This video offers Shooter’s POV views of many stages including full auto:

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

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October 19th, 2022

NRA Provides $1 Million in Range Improvement Grants in 2022

NRA Range Improvement grant funding application

The National Rifle Association has distributed one million dollars to fund range development and improvement projects in 2022. Both public and private ranges have receive grants for a variety of projects including: construction of berms, range covers, lighting systems, and pavilions. Funds have also been provided for the purchase of trap machines. The funding was distributed via the NRA and NRA Foundation.

“To ensure a robust future for recreational target shooting and the shooting sports, gun owners need a place to learn, train, and compete,” said Joseph P. DeBergalis, Jr., executive director of NRA General Operations. “Thanks to the generosity of NRA members, NRA Foundation donors, and those who attend local Friends of NRA events, NRA is able to provide the resources sought after by clubs and public agencies to build, expand, and improve ranges in their communities.”

How Your Club or Facility Can Apply for NRA Grants
Range funds are available for request in a variety of ways. First, through the Range Development Committee, NRA-Affiliated Range Funding is offered to 100% NRA membership-affiliated clubs for the acquisition, development, and improvement of shooting facilities. Second, funding is made available through the NRA Public Range Grant Funding program to city, county, state, and federal units of government to improve, enhance, and build public ranges. Third, there is the NRA Foundation State Fund Capital Improvement Grants program, which offers funding to government agencies and non-profit entities.

public range grants nra

NRA Range Services offers an online course to prospective and current range owners and operators detailing best practices in range development, safety, and environmental concerns. To complement the course, NRA has authored The NRA Range Source Book, a premier technical source book for planning, construction, design, and maintenance of shooting range facilities. On the public policy side, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has been instrumental in protecting access to shooting ranges by promoting and supporting Range Protection laws throughout the country, prohibiting anti-gun units of government from forcing the closure of shooting ranges through onerous regulations.

Links for More Information and Grant Applications
To learn more about NRA’s support for public and private ranges, please visit Information about the NRA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and its grant application process can be found at

NRA Range Improvement grant funding application

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