Dies?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by rferguson61, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. rferguson61

    rferguson61 New Member

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    So im looking at getting dies for my new .380 and I noticed that Lee dies are almost half the price of RCBS dies.

    I also heard about a die that the set tool makes sure that the bullet is pressed in straight whereas with the RCBS if you set it in crooked it will press it crooked. But the person I was taking to didn't remember which brand they were that did that.
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    You may want to look into whether reloading .380 is cost efficient.
    Lee dies are fine.
     

  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Lee dies work fine, I use them for rifle all the time, but for pistol I prefer carbide or Hornady titanium nitrides, they cost more but they work good and I don't use lube with them. I believe the Hornady nitrides may be the ones your buddy is talking about with the bullet seating. Whats a box of 380s going for now at the store? I know I haven't bought any in awhile because they were expensive so I tend not to shoot the 380 much. They are definitely worth loading if the price is still up there.
     
  4. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    Straight seating demands the bullets be given a good start into the case mouth; Lyman developed their excellant "M" expanders with a two-step body and flare that helps good starting. In fact, it's so good that Redding copied it and, I think, RCBS too. Other than that, Lee's dies load ammo as well as any others and the average difference in accuracy with a .380 would be so small as to make no effective difference. The only non-carbide/nitride handgun dies made to day are the RCBS' Cowboy dies, IIRC, so that's not an issue.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  5. fmj

    fmj New Member

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    Never had an issue with my Lee Carbide Dies. All i ever do is set the bullet on the case mouth, sometimes crooked and they always seat fine.

    I see NO reason to buy the higher priced dies when Lees work just as well for half the $$
     
  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i have many sets of older RCBS dies and when i add a new caliber, i usually buy the Lee's. after comparison, the Lee's work just as well as the RCBS's, but are just a little easier to set up. i have Lee pistol dies and RCBS pistol dies, and i can't see any difference in the finished ammo.
     
  7. rferguson61

    rferguson61 New Member

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    Thanks for the help guys!

    Yeah its cost effective. 50 rounds is $18 for the cheapos.
     
  8. noylj

    noylj Member

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    .380 ammunition has been hard to find and will generally run at least $0.40/round.
    You can get 95gn FMJ bullets for $389/4500 from Montana Gold, or $0.086/bullet.
    Cases should be free--you have saved your cases, right?
    Primers are about $28/1000, or $0.028/primer--and, boy, does that hurt.
    Powder: take a simple load of 3.0gn 231/HP38 for the 95gn bullet. HP-38 is running about $16.00/lb. 7000gn/lb means a 3.0gn charge is 0.0004286lbs, or over 2300 rounds/lb of powder, for a maximum cost, if you don't spill a lot of powder, of $0.007/round.
    Total component cost: 12 cents/round.
    Next, let's consider cast lead bullets...

    Lee dies will do EVERYTHING you want. Unless you have a target grade gun that can keep 5 shots in less then 1" at 50 yards--and I haven't seen the .380 Auto yet that can come close--any special target-grade dies would be a waste of money (if they aren't to begin with). If you shoot lead bullets, you may want to get a Lee taper crimp die rather than the Lee factory crimp die that can swage over-sized lead bullets down in diameter.
    PS: that was a hint above. Order a LARGE quantity of known excellent bullets so you can save on the per bullet cost and have enough for the future. Even if you buy too many, it's not that hard to re-sell them.
     
  9. Staestc

    Staestc New Member

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    And then let's consider casting lead bullets! :D
     
  10. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    +1 on that.
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get a separate taper crimp die.
     
  12. rferguson61

    rferguson61 New Member

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    why do you suggest that?
     
  13. Staestc

    Staestc New Member

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    I too would like to understand why so many folks recommend a separate crimp step. I am loading straight walled cartridges for pistols and it seems that, once set up, I get proper seating and taper crimp in a single step. Have not tried roll crimping yet on my .357 stuff yet.
     
  14. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    You are correct, you have to set them up properly, but once done you should be able to achieve a factory similar crimp from your dies for your reloads. I reload .380 and 9mm, as well as, .38 and .357 Mag.. The taper crimp on the .380 and 9mm rounds is a piece of cake and it takes just a little more effort to get the roll crimp on the .38 and .357 Mag's, right but it's not difficult.

    I probably reload about 10 different calibers from straight walled pistols to bottlenecked rifle rounds and all my dies are RCBS. They just work and if you ever have a problem with them RCBS has a no questions asked guarantee that I love. Their Customer Service is outstanding. :cool:

    ETA: I do have a Lee Factory Crimp Die that I use on my 7mm Rem. Mag. rounds I reload. I had some pulled military surplus 7mm bullets that didn't have a cannelure that wouldn't stay in position with just neck tension, but the Lee FCD did the job nicely of locking them into position.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  15. Dan308

    Dan308 New Member

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    get the LEE Factory Crimp die, It's a collet type crimping die. Set it to just barely touch the case mouth. You can even use it on a bullet with no cannelure. This die won't buckle the case like a roll crimp die can. It's a collet so it squeezes from all 4 sides.
     
  16. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The roll crimp will work on bullets with a cannelure if the die is set up properly and the cases are all the proper length. I use a lot of bullets with no cannelure and the taper crimp does not damage the bullet.
     
  17. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    Lee's FCD for straight wall handgun cases is not a collet type crimper.
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    Lee has two different types of crimpers, the factory roll crimp and the taper crimp. i buy the seperate crimp dies for all my pistol calibers.
     
  19. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "Lee has two different types of (handgun) crimpers, the ... roll crimp and the taper crimp."

    And neither are collet types.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  20. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    you're correct, the rifle calibers use the collet type crimp die. lack of sleep and too much caffeine. :eek: