Share information about reloading the 22 TCM cartridge
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By swmp9jrm
#2645 I've got the Hornady .22TCM die set, as it is the only thing I could find when I first planned to reload the TCM. I see that ASW now has a Lee 3-die set that's a bit cheaper than the Hornady. My press is a Lee and all my other dies are Lee, so I'm trying to decide whether it makes any sense at all to get the Lee set and sell the Hornady. So far, I have not seen any comparison of the two die sets. Has anyone used them both so as to offer an opinion on which is the best set? As in easier to use, producing the best 'fit' round, etc.
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By digitcontrol
#2647 I have the Hornady die set and found that I really do not need to use the Neck sizer/mouth flare die since the decapping sizing die does the job fine. Seems to me that adds the additional expense to the Hornady die set.
I did purchase the Lee factory crimp die & case sizing gauge (special order item) which work great.
Seems the only gain that might have some use to you going with the Lee die set is the powder thru die & if your already loading TCM then you probably have that covered.
IMHO there is no real gain to be made switching from what you have & the Hornady locking rings are a nice advantage over the Lee o-ring lock nut.
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By Jesse Heywood
#3076 I am sold on the Hornady dies. Never owned a set before. The big advantage I see is the bullet alignment feature. I use the separate expander, necks are very tight with the company brass and bullets. I'm using a RCBS turret press with 6 stations. If your press only has 3 or 4, the Lee dies will help.

As for the FCD, I don't have a need for it. I'm applying a minimal taper crimp that sets the mouth in .001.
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By sandog
#3108 I will be needing dies before too long. I have about 300 rounds of empties so far, with about 700 factory rounds left to fire. So no big hurry, but I do want to get dies so I have them. I never have been too impressed with Lee stuff, having almost all RCBS gear. If you feel you need to get rid of your Hornady dies and get the Lee's, swmp, I would buy the Hornady's from you.
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By swmp9jrm
#3113
sandog wrote:I will be needing dies before too long. I have about 300 rounds of empties so far, with about 700 factory rounds left to fire. So no big hurry, but I do want to get dies so I have them. I never have been too impressed with Lee stuff, having almost all RCBS gear. If you feel you need to get rid of your Hornady dies and get the Lee's, swmp, I would buy the Hornady's from you.

PM sent.
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By Jesse Heywood
#3278
swmp9jrm wrote: Has anyone used them both so as to offer an opinion on which is the best set? As in easier to use, producing the best 'fit' round, etc.


Sounds like you will be able to provide a report. ka boom
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By DanM1
#4970 I have a lot of Lee die sets, and have had no serious problems with any of them. Actually, the only problem was easily corrected. Hardly any of their rifle seating dies will apply any crimp to the case. They are too long, so I usually trim a little length off the base end and re-chamfer. The crimping ring is in there but Lee makes their bottle neck rifle seating dies a little too long to use it. Maybe they do this to encourage use of their FCDs, which do the job very well, but requires an extra step in the loading process, unnecessary when loading for bolt rifles. I haven't been able to shoot enough of my TCM reloads to know if extra crimp from the FCD is helpful in the TCM pistol beyond just closing the cast bullet bell.
So far, I don't really like the Lee TCM seating die. It works fine, but the stem must be cranked nearly all the way down to the very bottom to get a good seating depth. I would much rather have at least a few threads of unused adjustment to play with if needed. Like their rifle dies, it doesn't apply any crimp, or even close the case mouth bell that I need for my cast bullets. As usual, the FCD does that job well, but I may end up shortening this die like I do with their rifle seating dies.
My rule on crimping is to do as little as possible. Usually, just closing any bell that I have put on the case mouth is plenty, and the FCD can be adjusted to do just that. Rough feeding semi autos need more crimp, but I don't think the TCM falls into that category. Haven't been able to shoot enough of my reloads to draw any conclusions yet, but it looks like the 33gr Speer HP 'Plinker' will be a favorite. I may buy a Hornady die set just to see if I like their seating die any better. The Lee dies do work, so maybe not.
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By kmrra
#11850 I got my Lee dies just after Christmas and Im contemplating sending them back , I have 22 different size Lee die sets and the TCM is the roughest and hardest resizing die that I have , My 270 or 308 dies full length size easier than the TCM Im thinking the may be a tad undersized, Ive never had a problem with Lee equipment but in December alone I have got a bad Lead pot , A bad Mold and now I suspect that the dies are not quite right .
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By KMM696
#13684 I got the Lee dies, as I was impatient and the Hornady's weren't available at the exact instant I was looking. I prefer Hornady, but I've got 8 different caliber Lee rifle sets so it's not like I hate them.

In any case, I had a few problems loading up the TCM for my Contender. One definitely my fault, the other might be the sizing die. For those who haven't reloaded for a Contender before, they are very intolerant of headspace running long. If the brass is too big for the chamber, either the barrel won't lock (and won't fire) or the barrel will lock but not enough for the sear to work, and won't fire. Of the 25 I tried this weekend, 4 wither wouldn't fire, or wouldn't lock.

I may have contributed to this by forgetting to chamfer the case mouths of the once fired brass I was using. I'm used to loading 5.56 with boat tails, and never chamfer that brass, and I'm afraid that assumption bit me. Realized the problem when I tried seating the first bullet and it didn't want to sit straight in the case mouth. It seated, but must have fallen over on the way up as the seater die put a gouge on the jacket. This is where I got lazy and didn't dump out the other 49 cases and chamfer as I had already measured out powder in 5 different loads for them.

Knucklehead.

There's a good chance that either the gouges in some of the bullet jackets or distortion induced in the neck or shoulder while forcing cocked off center bullets into the brass of those four no-fires wasn't allowing the Contender to close on them. I was still under the max brass length.

The other possibility is that the sizing die isn't sizing enough, I suppose. I've got the die run all the way down to the shellholder. I was surprised by the amount of effort resizing took - more than I expected on a case this size. I'll load another set without the bullet seating problems that I caused before I confirm the die needs work, but in any case I wasn't entirely happy with the seating adjustment being almost at it's end of travel or the sizing effort.

More work to do..... or should I just buy the Hornady set and see if that's any better?


Kevin