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Full Length Sizing Dies

So I just dropped some cash on both 223 and 308 RCBS matchmaster seating dies. I really liked the seating window /bullet holder that they have on them as well as the micrometer settings. But this got me to thinking about sizing dies. Is there that much of a difference between brands of standard sizing dies? Seems as though they will all be set to saami specs and its just adjusting them for headspace. Reading online seems the general consensus is that most sizing dies are about the same as long as you get a "good" one. I haven't had any issues with my Lee pacesetter dies as of yet.

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Most will do the job. Sometimes there are differences in the sizer button shapes/contours that can help to keep the case straight.
Most sizing dies are fine but I recommend getting rid of the expander ball/stem and expand in a separate step. You can turn the ball down or get an undersize replacement. I got rid of the whole stem and now size, decap, and expand in separate steps. It's more work but I think it helps reduce runout and it seems a little gentler on the brass. I also recommend polishing the inside of the sizer.
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The RCBS dies use a softer metal for the expander ball. It is of a good design. When you polish the ball you must use a finer grit or you will reduce the diameter in a hurry.

Redding dies have an expander ball that by far has the most amount of bearing surface. If you don't use plenty of case neck lube they come out of the die with a thang. If your case is slightly out of straight or your expander ball is not perfectly centered you will "tweak" your case if not properly lubed.

The Forster is my favorite design. It has a tiny little expander ball. It is really a ball. The metal is very hard and will not disintegrate away when you polish it down with any reasonable method or material.

I also like that the ball is designed to be up higher. In theory the case is slightly more supported in the die the higher up it is. That again in theory reduces the tweaking action as your case is pulled down. The true expander ball set up is much more forgiving to the occasional case that does not have sufficient case lube in the neck.

In all cases you need to keep that expander ball loose during set up. Pull a dummy case down until the expander ball is in the middle of the neck holding the system straight. Then tighten it down. In theory again, and if done right your expander ball and stem "should be" be straight. It "will" make a difference in accuracy at longer ranges.

I have never owned a Lyman, Lee die or other brands . I would not hesitate to.

I really like all three that i have tried just fine. If i was going to going to shoot "no holds barred" for competition my choice would be the Forster FL sizing die and the Redding competition seating die.

Of course there are more fancy brands from smaller shops out there. 1/2 - 1.0 inch MOA is absolutely fine for me in all cases.
I use all the brands out there in various sizers. I prefer the Hornady because of their coatings. I also like the Reddings. They seem to give nice results. I use very few Lymans as I had some bad ones years ago. Old habits/dislikes die hard.

Honestly for my best work I have gone to bushing dies almost across the board when I want to seriously tweak something nice and small.



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27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
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