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Old 10-04-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default RCBS vs. Lee carbide dies

I just bought a press and everything else needed. And when i went to look at dies the Lee dies were $30 and the RCBS dies were $60. Why such the big jump in price? I bought the Lee die because they were out of .357 mag in RCBS but im wondering what is the "real" difference. Figured i would ask people that use them rather than whats on there websites. Thanks.

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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I have some sets of rcbs and some sets of lee. The rcbs ones just have a better feel to them. As in, cases go in and out more smoothly and with less effort than the lee. However, i lube all of my cases, even pistol, even with carbide dies. They work much smoother that way. A 15 minute tumble in corncob after theyre loaded removes all of the lube and puts a nice shine on them.

So differences in die performance: rcbs is nicer.
Differences in function: none
Differences in loaded ammunition performance: none
Differences in price: lee wins

When used my way, lee dies work just fine. In some instances, theyre preferred

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #3
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IMHO
I think it is a case of name. RCBS has established snob appeal while Lee are used by us commoners in most cases. Same as Colt and S&W vs Ruger. Hope this doesn't ignite a fire storm.

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fupuk View Post
I just bought a press and everything else needed. And when i went to look at dies the Lee dies were $30 and the RCBS dies were $60. Why such the big jump in price? I bought the Lee die because they were out of .357 mag in RCBS but im wondering what is the "real" difference. Figured i would ask people that use them rather than whats on there websites. Thanks.
I've used plenty of Lee dies for over 40 years. Not a thing wrong with them. Just be sure to get the carbide set so you don't have to lube the cases. Now the Lee Turret presses are another matter. Had all kinds of them. They took time, patience and constant adjustment. Now I use the Dillon 550B. What a dream ! ! ! ! !

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ryguy00 View Post
I have some sets of rcbs and some sets of lee. The rcbs ones just have a better feel to them. As in, cases go in and out more smoothly and with less effort than the lee. However, i lube all of my cases, even pistol, even with carbide dies. They work much smoother that way. A 15 minute tumble in corncob after theyre loaded removes all of the lube and puts a nice shine on them.

So differences in die performance: rcbs is nicer.
Differences in function: none
Differences in loaded ammunition performance: none
Differences in price: lee wins

When used my way, lee dies work just fine. In some instances, theyre preferred
I agree with this...

RCBS sets are nicer, for example I have a gun that shoots 9x19/9x21/9x23.. RCBS was the only company to make a die set that did all 3... Lee did 9x19 and I read you could get away with doing 9x21, but no 9x23...
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for responses, i bought the RCBS rock chucker supreme because ive been doing quite a bit of reading on it, and when i looked at them it felt like it was built well. So the guy at my local gun store got out everything i would need to reload and they have the presses bolted down to the counter so you can see what your buying. I was there for almost two hours with the same guy and he actually let me make my own round. There was no primer and no powder but i liked that he took the time to show me how to set it up and let me make a round. He said the RCBS dies are what he uses but he said the Lee dies are a great choice also. The only thing else i need to get is a bullet puller and a couple more reloading manuals to read and i will be in business.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for responses, i bought the RCBS rock chucker supreme because ive been doing quite a bit of reading on it, and when i looked at them it felt like it was built well. So the guy at my local gun store got out everything i would need to reload and they have the presses bolted down to the counter so you can see what your buying. I was there for almost two hours with the same guy and he actually let me make my own round. There was no primer and no powder but i liked that he took the time to show me how to set it up and let me make a round. He said the RCBS dies are what he uses but he said the Lee dies are a great choice also. The only thing else i need to get is a bullet puller and a couple more reloading manuals to read and i will be in business.
Congratulations on your fine purchase and welcome to the wonderfully rewarding world of "hand-loading". You won't save any money, but you'll be able to shoot a heck of a lot more for less money. That alone will improve your marksmanship skills. Go to youtube and do a search on "handloading" and "reloading". You'll find a ton of reloading vids there. Just ask the forum if you have any questions.

Enjoy the journey, happy shooting, and be safe!

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:50 AM   #8
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I didnt get into reloading to really save money but when i buy ammo i usually buy bulk online and it comes out to be around $21 for 50 rounds. If i can make my own for a fraction of the cost plus knowing whats beeing shot through my gun is a plus for me.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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RCBS. For quality, not snob appeal.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:34 PM   #10
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i usually buy bulk online and it comes out to be around $21 for 50 rounds.
I reclaim and recycle my lead from my shooting range to cast my own bullets. So my only recurring costs are for powder and primers. I can reload any pistol ammo for $2.00 a box. I hand load for 38 special, 357 mag, 44 mag, 40 S&W.

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