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Dies

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by spectra, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Ok I know everyone has there own opinion so lets here it. I just purchased a SS press and now am looking for dies. I know what I have heard already but looking for more info.
     
  2. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    If you are looking for economical and functional... Lee dies.
    If you are looking for whatever works... RCBS & Hornady are the most readily available.
    If you are looking for the best... Redding.

    I'm sure some will agree with me on these points and equally sure they will dissagree, but this is my opinion based on 25+ years reloading experience FWIW.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    ^^This^^
    My 30+ years of handloading tells me the same thing.
    Oddly enough, I've known it for years, but only bought my first Redding dies a few years ago.
    I was not disappointed in the least.
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I'm up there with you in the "years of experience" but I've got to tell you, the new Hornady dies are looking like they'll give Redding a real run for their money if not a kick in their butt.

    I dumped a couple of Redding dies in favor of Forster. Needed a die set in a hurry one day and picked up a set of Custom Grade New Dimension Hornady dies. This die set was actually better than any Redding or Forster Die I've previously owned. What a pleasant surprise for a change. It's amazing what can happen when patents start expiring. A $30 die SET that performed as well if not better than just ONE die from one of the "Best Die makers" that cost 50% more for just the single die.

    BTW, the opinion is based solely on the quality of finished cases and loaded ammo, not cost, appearance, or "hype".
     
  5. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I own all of the above mentioned dies and have just a couple of comments.

    The comments about Lee may be true, but if we're talking straight wall handgun cartridges, they are my favorite dies. I do have one set of Redding for my 45 ACP and really like them, too. But, they are expensive and I received them as a gift. Every other handgun die set I have (or at least use) are Lees. I've been using one set for over 20 years and couldn't be happier. All of the dies sets I am referring to have carbide sizer dies.

    I had 2 sets of the Hornady New Dimension dies. One set worked perfectly and was sold with the rifle. The other set didn't resize the case correctly until I removed material from the bottom of the sizer die. Also, for some reason I wasn't able to resize just the neck with the Hornady dies, like I can with the RCBS. I absolutely love the Hornady seater die, though.

    Deadshot, if you have a trick up your sleeve about neck sizing with the Hornady die, I'm all ears.
     
  6. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    The Hornady new dimension dies are pretty good, better than the older versions of Hornady dies for sure, but I still think the Redding dies outclass them. I really do not care for the Hornady pistol dies, I don't think they use carbide, rather some other type of metal that does not require case lube. I noticed that with the Hornady new dimension pistol "carbide" type dies that they really require much greater force to resize the case and seem to gall the case walls and leave marks. I returned 2 sets of Hornady carbide type dies that I was dissatisfied with and exchanged for RCBS carbide dies which seem to be much smoother in the resizing operation.
     
  7. traderpats

    traderpats MILWAUKIE, OREGON Member

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    IF you're going to be reloading any lead vs plated or jacketed then consider Dillon dies. They're way easy to take apart and clean without removing the die body from the press or losing your tweaked settings.

    I pretty much use the Dillon dies for exactly this reason except for precision .223 I use a Forster Micrometer set. For general depriming you simply can't beat a Lee Universal Decapping die...
     
  8. Tim K

    Tim K Colorado Member

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    It would help to know what cartridges to plan to load. Plinker rifle, precision rifle, big bore pistol, etc?
     
  9. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I just ordered a SS press and got a set of Redding dies in .308 as that is my main reloading goal. Going to be shooting both a AR10 platform and also a bolt gun. Still want a good load in the AR even though it is an AR. To me there is not really a plinking gun in .308:laugh: I do not want to shoot crap ammo through any of them that is why I want to reload.

    Also looking at the 300 AAC Blackout round. That is the real reason for the thread. I can not find any dies from Redding at the moment. I can find dies from Lee. Have not looked into RCBS yet but will. This will be a fun gun just to shoot a bunch and have fun. Along with my 7.62x39 AR (pattern here I like .30 cal:laugh:) but I have plenty of surplus of that for now:paranoid: Might have to look into reloading that in the future.

    Thanks for the info so far:thumbup:
     
  10. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Don't forget that in Redding, there is the basic std. die set which is quite good. Even better is to be alble to dial in your reloads by going to the bushing sizer system. Dial in that neck diameter to the 5/10,000 of an inch with replaceable bushings either full length or neck sizing. Then seat to .001 in. fine adjustments with their competition bullet seating die; perfectly concentric. Yah, a few extra $$, but you're replacing some very expensive factory ammo these days. Seems $1 to $3(some calibers more) a shot is fairly spendy, so the potential savings will cover any level of precision you want. Pistol dies: Dillon, no question.
    Bought my first reloading set 48yrs ago: so with this advice you can leap ahead and avoid alot of bubblegum in your loading!
     
  11. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I cannot speak for the quality of Redding dies but if they follow a pattern of quality as their other products then they must be good.
     
  12. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Could not find any Redding dies for the 300 AAC so purchased a Forster set. I think in the end I will be happy. Well as happy as I can be not having a blue press:laugh: Some day I will own one!
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I just get out my Forster Shoulder Bump/Neck size bushing die and pretend it says "Hornady". My Hornady CGND dies are F/L sizing des and I use the Forster for precision Neck Sizing/shoulder bumping.

    I've never had a die I had to modify to size a case properly, so far. If I did, the first thing I'd do is make sure it's truly a die issue. The die manufacturers leave the door open for sizing die issues by not selling them with a shell holder (except LEE). If you have a shell holder at one end of the tolerance scale and a die that was reamed to the other end of the allowed tolerances you have a recipe for error.

    As for "neck sizing", are you trying to do this with a ND bushing die, or a ND F/L sizing die? If neck sizing is what you desire, it's best done with a proper die. Otherwise it's like just using a crescent wrench instead of the proper tool.
     
  14. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    With the RCBS dies and in a different caliber (30-06) it's super easy to just not run the case all of the way into the die and the neck can be sized down to where it almost meets the shoulder. Works very well in the several different rifles I've owned.

    The Hornady die I had/have trouble with is in 7mm-08. A new round will chamber in the gun. A fired case will chamber in the gun it was fired from. If you tried to use the die to size only the neck, it had already worked the body enough that the shoulder had moved forward and it wouldn't chamber (can not close bolt). If you ran it far it into the die until the shell holder kissed the base of the die, it would chamber, but barely. Once the die was modified, the cases would chamber in the gun.

    It's possible there was a stack up of tolerances between the Hornady die and the RCBS shell holder, but just the way the die works the case turns me off. I think it's working the brass much more than it should. Like I said, I love the Hornady seater die, so I'll probably buy a different sizing die for this caliber.
     
  15. tcs#1

    tcs#1 oregon Member

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    I was having this discussion with a friend of mine just the other day, we both agreed that Redding was probably the best, RCBS dies work and I grew up with RCBS so 90% of my dies are RCBS..I have tried 2 sets of hornady and had nothing but problems with the sizing die so I avoid them now..Lyman, like the RCBS dies work but the finish is not all that great the sets I have inspected showed a lot of tooling marks..The last 2 sets of dies I bought were LEE and I really like these dies..I'm using the deluxe set in 45ACP right now and that extra crimp die works like a dream..I agreed that the lock rings on the Lee wasn't the best but I change all my lock rings to fit my Forestor co-ax press anyway so that wasn't an issue for me and the LEE lock rings do work
     
  16. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    I'm a fan of the Redding die sets. Have a few rifle and pistol sets. If I had the chance I would trade out all my RCBS for Redding in a heartbeat. I like the finish quality of the Redding over the RCBS, not to mention the Redding customer service is amazing! Not saying that RCBS isn't, because it is. The one Lee set I have came with a lot of reloading supplies and they are as good as garbage to me. I'm just keeping them just in case I wanna turn them into something else some day:D
     
  17. kburr64

    kburr64 Milwaukie, Or. Member

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    I started out with RCBS dies (loading .243) and quickly discovered , imho, they are junk. Especially the bullet seating die adjustment, I tried out a set of Hornady's and I think they work much better. RCBS makes some good products but their dies need help........
     
  18. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    I like to use several brands in a setup. Each manufacturer has their pros and cons.
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For that reason I've pretty much stopped buying "Sets".