RCBS vs. Lee carbide dies - Page 2
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:54 PM   #11
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Nothing wrong with Lee dies they will produce the same shell as an RCBS. The RCBS has a nicer outer finish, to me that's the only difference, I have RCBS, Lee, and Hornady dies. They all do the job, if I buy new I usually look at Lee RGB dies, they are cheapest.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:37 AM   #12
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"...im wondering what is the "real" difference."

Valid question. Truth is, ammo is made inside the dies and the 'feel' - nice surface polish, neatly cut knurling, etc - is on the outside. If 'quality' amounts to feel and external apperance any are 'better' than Lee; if 'quality' means how the finished ammo performs there is no average difference between brands. I have dies from all makers and they all work fine but none give the value of Lee's. And Lee has, single handedly, held the 'big' boy's prices down a BUNCH; imagine what they would charge if there was no Lee option!

RCBS and Dillon offer 'free' lifetime support for most of their products but it isn't 'free' at all, the intial purchaser pays for it up front if he ever needs it or not. Any real manufactoring defect will show up inside a year or two so the value of lifetime support depends on how often the owner busts his tools. In nearly 50 years of loading I've had to replace a half dozen decap pins, one decap rod and a ram/shell holder "C" retainer spring; the costs were quite small so the makers got a LOT of my money for those 'free' parts!

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:08 AM   #13
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For general reloading Lee dies are just as good as anyone else.I've been using them for over 30yrs.
I also have dies from RCBS,and Redding.
For competition use,there are better sizing/seating dies than Lee's,but they sure get pricey.

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis

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.

Don <><
Im going to look at a melting pot sometime this week. I know i will be casting my own bullets within a year, im just trying to piece everything together and trying to save a little money. I found a Lee meltig pot on craigslist and the guy said he has 10lbs of lead for $40. So i will hopfully have one by wendsday.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:00 AM   #15
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You will be happy with that Rock Chucker. I have one. I have loaded tens of thousands of rounds on mine. Lee dies are as good as anything else. I have dies from just about everybody. Some are a little better than others. But not worth the diference in price. Thats my opinion anyway. Now presses are a different story. I have a Lee Progressive. I have to constantly baby it. You have to watch the powder to make sure it is always working. It will skip primers. Sometimes it even puts them in upside down.

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Old 10-06-2012, 04:18 AM   #16
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The price really wasnt as bad as i thought it was gonna be. Dont get me wrong it was more than buying online but i had never seen the rock chucker in person and for the info i got from the guy at the gun store plus he said he would help me set it up if i needed it. It was more than worth the extra $30 and im all for supporting locally.

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #17
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Because RCBS stands behind a QUALITY product. Not some halfassed machined chrome bumper that Lee calls a reloading die. Been to the RCBS factory and they are great people who all love to hunt, shoot fish and take PRIDE in producing the best quality equipment they can.

FLAME ON.....

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Old 10-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #18
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Ive got a mix of lee rcbs redding dillon dies. The dies i buy depend on availability. Loading dies are typically a one time purchase. Some differences can be in extras like in the 7.62x54r rcbs dies come with both expanders for 311 and 308 lee only 311. Lee dies are for 7.62x53r rcbs x54r. Slight diff in case mouth belling and requires all brass trimmed to the shorter length.

When you start looking at rounds like the 458socom neither lee or rcbs offer a good die for that caliber.

Lee offers a better wider choice in some calibers like the 45-70

I personally dont really like the lee decapping setup. But thats personal pref. Nor do i like the lee locking rings. They are cheap. I replace the lee rings and the rcbs rings with dillon lock rings so i can just use my dillon wrench on everything. The lee storage boxes i find too fiddly to get open and arent clearly marked so i use a sharpy to label them.

Honestly you arent going to wear out either lee or rcbs in a lifetime unless your lubing cases with steel shavings. You need to know what your buying and for what purpose before going on a lee vs rcbs rant.

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Old 10-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #19
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I have a mix of Lee, Lyman, Hornady and RCBS dies, carbide and steel,
I do not use the lyman dies any more because the decapping pin is too
delicate. The rest all work as expected with no issues. Most of my dies
are Lee. I have carbide set for .45 ACP and .357 Magnum.

I will agree with JonM the Lee Locking rings are a little cheesy but they
do work. I am slowly replacing mine with a split ring style like Hornady
has. I turn my own on my lathe.

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #20
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I agree with most of what has already been stated. I use RCBS, Hornady, and Lee dies. They all do a fine job. Without a doubt the I can tell the difference in the apparent quality of the brands, but not in the resulting ammo. Recently I did have to replace a set of 9 mm Lee dies as I wore out the carbide sizing die after something like 50,000 rounds. I figure I got my money's worth out of them. I strongly agree with getting the Rockchucker press though. I've been using mine for over40 years and it' s just about broke in now.

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