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Old 04-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default OK....which Dies would you buy.

I have been loading shotgun for 30+yrs, and just recently figured that I better start reloading for my pistol and rifle. Yeah I know I should have started before now, but I was just buying ammo from a police distrib, who now has limited ammo.

So I have a Hornady L-N-L (wife just surprised me....), and a Rock Chucker.
(2 questions)
1) which Mfr dies would you favor buying, that are solid but not cost you a fortune.

2) Should I just just get basic dies. The 2 or 3 set dies, where 2 set dies are a sizing die and a seating die, and the ones with 3, same as before, but with a crimping die? I have read all my books, but get confused when I see stuff like Collet dies, bushing dies, neck dies, shoulder bump dies, etc. What do I really need as a must?

Will be loading pistol and rifle for hunting and plinking(.223, 7.62x39, 30/06, 9mm, 38/357, 40, & 45).
Thanks to all you wise reloaders.

Best,
Jim

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Old 04-23-2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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I got a Lee 4 hole turret press when I got started a couple of years ago. I've been very happy with it, it's consitant, easy to use and will work on a very wide range of pistol and rifle cartridges. I only use it for my pistols though so I can't say how it does with rifle but I imagine it would be the similar. Since I only have one rifle at the moment which I only use for hunting I got a lee hand loader to do the 30-06. Takes a little longer but I'm not going thru hundreds of rounds so I'm not worried about it. I practice enough to stay proficient and keep my scope sited and thats about it.

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Old 04-23-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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For the rifles that will be used through a self loader, I recommend a Lee factory crimp die. If it will go through a bolt gun nothing extra need be done. WTS, 2 die sets are fine and get the factory crimp die extra.

For the handguns it depends. For the auto pistol cartridges like the 9mm you need 3 dies for basic loading but you should crimp as a seperate operation. Most die sets for auto pistols have a taper crimp feature built in to the seating die. Seating and taper crimping should be done seperately so you may find getting a seperate taper crimp die is easier. For the .40, I seat with a .45 ACP seater and use the .40 seat/crimp die w/the seater stem removed for crimping. The revolver cartridges need a roll crimp. That can be done at the same time as seating so nothing extra needs to be done.

RCBS, Dillon, Lyman, Hornaday, Lee all make good quality dies. For rifle I prefer the Dillon or Lyman because they have a long tapered expander that does not stretch the brass as much. For pistol, go with carbide.

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Old 04-23-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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I prefer Hornady dies and RCBS. Again I am not a fan of lee dies or any lee reloading equipment at all. They are not quality products nor do they have the level of customer service and or support that Hornady or RCBS does.

I love the Hornady dies for rifle reloading. The floating seater plus is a god send and keep you from pinching your fingers all the time. That design eliminates almost all run out from reloads.

Dillon pistol dies are to die for they are specially made for fast moving progressive reloading and have a wider smoother bell on the carbide ring.

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Old 04-23-2009, 09:18 PM   #5
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Thx guys....some good advice.

Jim

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Old 04-24-2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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"I love the Hornady dies for rifle reloading. The floating seater plus is a god send and keep you from pinching your fingers all the time. That design eliminates almost all run out from reloads."

I wonder, did you confirm that bullet run-out is reduced with a concentricity gage and, if so, by how much?

I measured quite a few seaters on a gage and haven't found Hornady's seaters to be any better, on average, than others but the short sliding sleeve is easy to seat bullets in, if a conventional seater is difficult.

In my tests, the most common cause of bullet run-out has been from non-concentric necks out of conventional sizers.

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Old 04-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Lee dies are the cheapest at about $25 for a 3-die set including a shell holder and load data/instruction sheet. Lee is the only company that includes a factory crimp die with their 3-die set, making it the best deal on the market IMO. I have used them for almost 20 years without incident, although I am more into accuracy now and will be buying Reading Competition Seating Dies soon. Bullet seating concentricity plays a bigger part in accuracy than I had previously thought. As much as .5" at 100yds. can be gained from proper seating which is impossible with standard dies.

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Old 04-25-2009, 01:13 AM   #8
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"As much as .5" at 100yds. can be gained from proper seating which is impossible with standard dies."

That much easily. But a bigger problem is the sizing die. No seater can make concentric ammo in a bent neck. Lee's collet neck sizer is the best thing I've run into since I got my concentricity gage!

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Old 04-25-2009, 02:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
"As much as .5" at 100yds. can be gained from proper seating which is impossible with standard dies."

That much easily. But a bigger problem is the sizing die. No seater can make concentric ammo in a bent neck. Lee's collet neck sizer is the best thing I've run into since I got my concentricity gage!
Maybe I'll try the Lee Collet die. Necks should not be "bent" after they are sized, at least not if the sizing die is made correctly - I believe the problem is with neck wall thickness variations, which can only be corrected by "turning" the necks and uniforming them. I have never tried this, but I'm not a real bench rest competitor.
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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If you want the best dies Get Redding or Forester. You could also have a custom sizing dies made by your gunsmith who puts a new barrel on your rifle.

IF you want good dies at good prices get RCBS and Hornady.

If you want a die that comes with stuff you think you need is not up to the quality standards of those above buy a Lee.

Everything lee I have ever owned SUCKED. Presses that snapped in half reloading a freekin hornet. Primer seater that broke within 6 minutes of starting to use it. Shell holders that didn't hold shells unless I beat them in with a hammer. every time I have called about a manufacture defect in their product I got the run around and told that it was my fault because I was abusing their equipment. I will not deal with a company that does that to me. Hornady and RCBS have top of the line customer service. I called Hornady because I got a case stuck in my 223 die I had to beat it out with the decapping pin. I fully expected to pay for a replacement part and shipping because I CAUSED THE DAMAGE. I got a very nice lady on the phone that looked up the part talked to me about how I liked the Hornady products and then told me that it would be on my door in 2 day at the most. I asked how much the damage was she said oh sir there is none. I kept her on the phone another 5 minutes trying to pay for the product.

Lee never ever came close to that. So I don't buy their products and I don't recommend them either.

Every Hornady redding and RCBS dies crimps unless you set it not to. It is not a whole lot of crimp sut enough to make sure things are correct.

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