General Advice Requested On OEMs Of Reloading Dies

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by bigblue, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. bigblue

    bigblue
    Beaverton, OR
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    Hey All:

    Background: I am a fair to midlin' reloader, heretofore focusing on pistol rounds on a Dillon XL 650. All my loading gear to this point has all been from Dillon.

    Current situation: I just picked up a lovely Marlin 336 in 35 Remington, pre-Remlin and NIB. First thing I did was to contact Dillon and they informed me that - in their infinite wisdom - they do not make any shell plates in 35 Rem for the 650. They suggested I purchase a 550 .... uh, no thanks. So this means I will have to buy an additional press for the 35 Rem (and also for 30-30 Win) (if you have not figured it out yet, I love lever guns). I have decided to go simple and get a single stage - single turret press for these low production volume rifle rounds, probably a Hornady LNL (still TBD). I now also have to get new dies, from where-ever.

    Question: There are a bunch of vendors who make dies .... Dillon, RCBS, Redding, Lee, Hornady, etc. They all market their die sets as the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have no clue as to which is "best" and why.

    Any recommendations? I am looking for specific buying factors. Thanks.
     
  2. 3MTA3

    3MTA3
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    I don't think there are any bad ones. Ive mostly used RCBS, Dillon, and some Lyman carbide pistol dies. They all work, they all last. Id have no reservations about using Redding, Hornady, or Lee, either.
     
  3. Dyjital

    Dyjital
    Albany, Ore
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    Have no issues with the Lee, RCBS or Honesdy dies that I own.
     
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  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    The hornady LNL is a progressive press, not a turret press. And Lee dies work as well as any.
     
  5. bigblue

    bigblue
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    Actually, there is the LNL AP progressive press and the LNL Classic and Iron turret presses. I am looking at the Classic and Iron presses. Thanks.
     
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    The LNL classic is a single stage O press and what's the "iron turret"?.. the LNL progressive?
     
  7. bigblue

    bigblue
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    The "Iron" model is a newly released version of the Classic model. This beast is US made of cast iron, weighs 26 lbs all by itself, has an ambidextrous lever pull thingy that allows you to position the throw lever for either left-handed or right-handed folks, and a redesigned top upon which you can mount various stuff for easier and faster access to tools, dies, and what-not. Pretty much all else is the same. Except for the price, which is roughly twice as expensive as the Classic model. I am not sure if it is worth that price. It is so new that there are no current YouTube reviews yet, but I think you can buy Iron kits from some online sources.

    So now we have the Classic, the Iron, and the AP progressive models. All under the umbrella of the LNL brand. Confusion reigns supreme. :)
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    I hear you. I heard you say turret though.. and Hornady doesn't make a turret press.
     
  9. bigblue

    bigblue
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    My error.
     
  10. nammac

    nammac
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    I give my vote to Lee dies, been running their pistol carbide dies for over 30 years, no issues what so ever...

    Gotten more than my money's worth out of them, that's for sure...
     
  11. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
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    RCBS fan here. For no real reason other than I started with them. Never an issue!
     
  12. ogre

    ogre
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    I have recently aquired a similar, older rifle in that same caliber and will also start reloading for it. I usually go with the green but Lee dies have never failed me either. As far as specific buying factors go Lee is generally less expensive. What type of bullet will you reload?
     
  13. bigblue

    bigblue
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    I am going to go with the Hornady 200 grain FTX (#35105) over Hodgdon-Hornady LE powder.
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    I'm not real familiar with the 30-30 or .35 out of the Marlin but I am with the Savage levers and high pressure cartridges.
    Many find they need to use small base or even ultra-small base resizing dies to work well in those springy actions with some cartridges.
    anyway, good luck
    Oh, and as a rule, I've only ever used sb or usb dies when I actually had to.
     
  15. motoman98

    motoman98
    Gresham, OR
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    Favorite dies: Redding, hands down the best production dies out there. Pay a little more, Once.
    Favorite bullets: Sierra, accuracy cannot be beat.
    IMHO, of course!
     
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  16. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent
    Fairview, OR
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    Some fellas who have single stage presses don't care for the Lee dies because the lock ring uses a rubber O ring to secure the lock nut to the top of the press instead of a set screw. I guess when the ring wears out It's difficult to get the die locked in. I haven't had any issues with mine being used on a turret because they rarely get removed. Other than that I have Redding, RCBS, and Lee and they all work fine. I am partial to the Lee dies for pistol stuff because they work well with the Lee Classic Turret.
     
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  17. ogre

    ogre
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    That will require to use the Hornady LEVERevolution brass only, won't it?

    I'm going to try something from this guy: http://www.accuratemolds.com
     
  18. bigblue

    bigblue
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    To my knowledge, 35 Rem is a SAAMI-certified cartridge. Therefore all factory rounds will use identical SAAMI-spec cases. Hornady brass should be the same dimensionally as Winchester, Federal, Remington, whatever.

    The secret sauce in Hornady LE factory rounds are not the cases or primers, but are the proprietary bullets and powder. And since both my Marlin 336's absolutely LOVE their factory LE rounds (30-30 and 35 Rem) far and away more than any another factory rounds I have used (Federal, Winchester, Remington) I will stick with the Hornady stuff when doing my own loads.
     
  19. ogre

    ogre
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    Good for you! However Hornady DID shorten it's LEVERevolution brass in it's 45-70 loadings.
     
  20. bigblue

    bigblue
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    I have run the Hornady brass through my Wilson case gages, and they appear to be the same as all the others.
     

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