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Old 12-03-2010, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default RCBS Competition dies

Are the comp dies worth the extra money? Looking at getting into reloading and was wanting opinions on the comp dies set with the full length sizer die. My other thought was to get just the comp seater die and the normal neck sizer die.

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Old 12-03-2010, 04:07 AM   #2
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my opinion nt for the beginner. wait till you get a few years of loading before you add another level of complexity. i used to shoot long range 308 in local comps against lots of good shooters and held my own with standard dies. its mor important that cases are uniform with all the same case capacities sizes wall thickness etc. bullet uniformity is very important. it can get quite grognardish if you drink too much of that kool-aid.

standard dies will turn out excellent highly accurate ammo (far better than factory) with a little bit of experience.

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Old 12-03-2010, 05:49 AM   #3
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Gotta agree with JonM here. Until you get to the point where you are checking case neck and bullet run-out, and ogive jump to the lands, just use the heck out of a standard set of dies and you'll be fine.

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:16 AM   #4
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+1 on the above.
Proper case prep such as trimming and cleaning flash holes and making sure the case is properly sized without too much bumping of the shoulder as well as insuring the exact same amount of powder is being thrown in each case will do far more for you than Comp dies ever will.

Learn to do it right and you will get some darn good groups.

If you have a rifle that needs the bullets crimped, buy the Lee crimp die. About $12.00 per caliber or round, but they put the nearest thing to a factory crimp available. Just don't over crimp. They do help accuracy and are a must for semi auto, tube fed or hard kicking rifles with mags. They are about the only thing I'll buy from Lee.

Buy good equipment and it will last a lifetime if taken care of.

Buy the Book ABC's Of Reloading and get a reloading package from RCBS or Hornady. They will save you $$$ and come with just about everything you will need to get started.

if getting a reloading set up mail order, buy from Graf & Sons. They are a little more expensive then some, but charge only a $4.95 handling fee, it will save a bunch in shipping expenses. They have a good catalog.

Natchez shooters supply has some great prices, but you will pay shipping.
Always check the total price between those two places as well as others with shipping included. You will save on one or the other.

Buy powder and primers locally if possible, one box of primers and one pound of powder or 50 pounds of powder, you ar going to have to pay a $24.00 haz mat shipping fee on top of shipping costs.

Don't use max loads. very seldom are they the most accurate and they not only put extra wear on your gun, but leave a lot less room for error.

You may need to try several different powders and a bunch of different loads to find the one that really shoots.
I'll give an example. I have a modified Mini 14 that's kind of fussy on loads. The best 5 shot groups at 100 were about 1.5 inches and it took a lot of experimentation to get to that group size.
I bought a new IMR powder. At 21.5 grains, my groups looked like a shotgun, went to 23.0 grains and shot consistant .9"'s. 23.8 was the max load, so be patient.


I've been loading for 35 years and still love it.
John K

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Old 12-03-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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I have rifles that shoot amazing groups and I still use standard dies.

JonM is right on on this one.

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:30 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. Been around reloading alot over the years just never had to need to get into it but decent 22-250 ammo has become so hard to buy localy I'v had enough. Only thing I liked about the comp seater die was the window to get the bullit in and the mic. adjustment to set the depth seems like it would be alittle more accurate/easy to tune the ammo to the gun, or I might just like it cause Im a machinist and it reminds me of a micrometer.

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
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I wouls save the cost of the comp seater and go get a Hornady L-n-L Cartridge OAL gauge. You can set the OAL with any die you just have to move the die in very small increments.

Once you add OAL to your reloading specs you are opening up a huge can of worms. That has so many more variables it is not funny. It will drive you batty.

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