3-die or 4-die sets

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by RedBengal, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. RedBengal

    RedBengal New Member

    9
    0
    0
    New reloader here, still getting my gear together. I haven't bought dies yet. Does it really matter if I get a 3-die set instead of a 4-die set? I'm going to start with 9mm and .380 auto. Might eventually reload 38.

    Thanks
     
  2. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

    1,115
    0
    0
    The fourth die is a factory crimp die, that I've never had a reason to use. I reload all the calibers you listed, plus a few more. I've been reloading for years and all my rounds go bang and cycle just fine. BTW, I use nothing but Lee dies and equipment. good luck and enjoy your new hobby
     

  3. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

    560
    0
    0
    You can buy the 4 die set and have all the dies for that caliber, or buy the 3 die set and spend a lot more on the 4th die later.

    Your choice.
    Jim

    And I do use the 4th die all the time.
     
  4. RedBengal

    RedBengal New Member

    9
    0
    0
    Does it add a lot more time? I've ordered the Hornady LNL single stage press.
     
  5. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

    3,852
    0
    0
    It's always better to crimp separately from seating. Go with the four die set. If your loading on a single stage, obviously time isn't a factor.
     
  6. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

    944
    0
    0
    First a 4 die set from Lee adds the factory crimp die. This is hands down the best crimp die on the market for pistol ammo. 3 die sets have the crimp built into the seating die on all pistol dies (Unless you order the 4 die set).

    As far as the "I never crimp anything" BS. If you load rifle ammo and don't back the seater die out 1/4 to 1/2 turn then you are putting a roll crimp on your rifle loads. If you are loading for pistol whether revolver or semi you better be crimping. To function properly all semiauto rounds like the 9mm, 380acp, 40 smith, 45acp etc.... HAVE TO have a taper crimp. When reloading 9mm or others in the semi auto category Your first step should be resizing and depriming then comes flare and powder if you are using a progressive, then the bullet is seated then crimped (Both at the same time if you have a 3 die set). If you are loading for revolver you need to roll crimp into the canlure on every revolver bullet out there. 357 and 44 mag revolver will set the bullets back in the case from the recoil with no crimp. That is unless you use one of the very FEW bullets that don't have a canular.
     
  7. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

    1,115
    0
    0
    You need to read my post again. I crimp all my rounds. I just don't use the factory crimp die. I crimp and seat at the same time.
     
  8. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

    944
    0
    0
    With a progressive it will not add any time.

    Resize deprime down stroke it will prime the case then advance it to the next station where it will add powder and slightly flare the case. Then advance them to the next station where you where you will either seat and crimp or seat. Then advanced it again and it will crimp. YMMV.
     
  9. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

    944
    0
    0
    My apologies good sir.
     
  10. mseric

    mseric New Member

    4,171
    0
    0
    I agree cept for the last few words.

    The 4 die set is the same as the 3 die set as the Seating die will taper crimp for both. The 4 die set gives you the option of seating and crimping with the seating die, or Seat and crimp with separate dies.
    The 4 die set is by far the better option of the two.
     
  11. noylj

    noylj Member

    270
    1
    18
    If you are shooting jacketed or plated bullets and want to separate seating from crimping (best technique), then the 4-die set is what you want.
    If you ever want to shoot lead bullets, then a 3-die set and a separate taper crimp or Redding Profile Crimp die (for roll crimping) should be purchased.
    If you are going to seat and crimp in one step, then the 3-die is the way to go.
     
  12. mseric

    mseric New Member

    4,171
    0
    0
    Why? Why buy a three die set, then purchase the fourth separately? If you don't like the carbide ring in the fourth die, just remove it. Then you have a regular, ordinary, run of the mill Crimp die, without the added expense of a separate purchase.