OK....which Dies would you buy.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by JimGiven, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. JimGiven

    JimGiven New Member

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    I have been loading shotgun for 30+yrs, and just recently figured that I better start reloading for my pistol and rifle. Yeah I know I should have started before now, but I was just buying ammo from a police distrib, who now has limited ammo.

    So I have a Hornady L-N-L (wife just surprised me....), and a Rock Chucker.
    (2 questions)
    1) which Mfr dies would you favor buying, that are solid but not cost you a fortune.

    2) Should I just just get basic dies. The 2 or 3 set dies, where 2 set dies are a sizing die and a seating die, and the ones with 3, same as before, but with a crimping die? I have read all my books, but get confused when I see stuff like Collet dies, bushing dies, neck dies, shoulder bump dies, etc. What do I really need as a must?

    Will be loading pistol and rifle for hunting and plinking(.223, 7.62x39, 30/06, 9mm, 38/357, 40, & 45).
    Thanks to all you wise reloaders.

    Best,
    Jim
     
  2. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I got a Lee 4 hole turret press when I got started a couple of years ago. I've been very happy with it, it's consitant, easy to use and will work on a very wide range of pistol and rifle cartridges. I only use it for my pistols though so I can't say how it does with rifle but I imagine it would be the similar. Since I only have one rifle at the moment which I only use for hunting I got a lee hand loader to do the 30-06. Takes a little longer but I'm not going thru hundreds of rounds so I'm not worried about it. I practice enough to stay proficient and keep my scope sited and thats about it.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    For the rifles that will be used through a self loader, I recommend a Lee factory crimp die. If it will go through a bolt gun nothing extra need be done. WTS, 2 die sets are fine and get the factory crimp die extra.

    For the handguns it depends. For the auto pistol cartridges like the 9mm you need 3 dies for basic loading but you should crimp as a seperate operation. Most die sets for auto pistols have a taper crimp feature built in to the seating die. Seating and taper crimping should be done seperately so you may find getting a seperate taper crimp die is easier. For the .40, I seat with a .45 ACP seater and use the .40 seat/crimp die w/the seater stem removed for crimping. The revolver cartridges need a roll crimp. That can be done at the same time as seating so nothing extra needs to be done.

    RCBS, Dillon, Lyman, Hornaday, Lee all make good quality dies. For rifle I prefer the Dillon or Lyman because they have a long tapered expander that does not stretch the brass as much. For pistol, go with carbide.
     
  4. Rimfire McNutjob

    Rimfire McNutjob New Member

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    I prefer Hornady dies and RCBS. Again I am not a fan of lee dies or any lee reloading equipment at all. They are not quality products nor do they have the level of customer service and or support that Hornady or RCBS does.

    I love the Hornady dies for rifle reloading. The floating seater plus is a god send and keep you from pinching your fingers all the time. That design eliminates almost all run out from reloads.

    Dillon pistol dies are to die for they are specially made for fast moving progressive reloading and have a wider smoother bell on the carbide ring.
     
  5. JimGiven

    JimGiven New Member

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    Thx guys....some good advice.

    Jim
     
  6. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "I love the Hornady dies for rifle reloading. The floating seater plus is a god send and keep you from pinching your fingers all the time. That design eliminates almost all run out from reloads."

    I wonder, did you confirm that bullet run-out is reduced with a concentricity gage and, if so, by how much?

    I measured quite a few seaters on a gage and haven't found Hornady's seaters to be any better, on average, than others but the short sliding sleeve is easy to seat bullets in, if a conventional seater is difficult.

    In my tests, the most common cause of bullet run-out has been from non-concentric necks out of conventional sizers.
     
  7. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Lee dies are the cheapest at about $25 for a 3-die set including a shell holder and load data/instruction sheet. Lee is the only company that includes a factory crimp die with their 3-die set, making it the best deal on the market IMO. I have used them for almost 20 years without incident, although I am more into accuracy now and will be buying Reading Competition Seating Dies soon. Bullet seating concentricity plays a bigger part in accuracy than I had previously thought. As much as .5" at 100yds. can be gained from proper seating which is impossible with standard dies.
     
  8. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "As much as .5" at 100yds. can be gained from proper seating which is impossible with standard dies."

    That much easily. But a bigger problem is the sizing die. No seater can make concentric ammo in a bent neck. Lee's collet neck sizer is the best thing I've run into since I got my concentricity gage! :D
     
  9. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Maybe I'll try the Lee Collet die. Necks should not be "bent" after they are sized, at least not if the sizing die is made correctly - I believe the problem is with neck wall thickness variations, which can only be corrected by "turning" the necks and uniforming them. I have never tried this, but I'm not a real bench rest competitor.
     
  10. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    If you want the best dies Get Redding or Forester. You could also have a custom sizing dies made by your gunsmith who puts a new barrel on your rifle.

    IF you want good dies at good prices get RCBS and Hornady.

    If you want a die that comes with stuff you think you need is not up to the quality standards of those above buy a Lee.

    Everything lee I have ever owned SUCKED. Presses that snapped in half reloading a freekin hornet. Primer seater that broke within 6 minutes of starting to use it. Shell holders that didn't hold shells unless I beat them in with a hammer. every time I have called about a manufacture defect in their product I got the run around and told that it was my fault because I was abusing their equipment. I will not deal with a company that does that to me. Hornady and RCBS have top of the line customer service. I called Hornady because I got a case stuck in my 223 die I had to beat it out with the decapping pin. I fully expected to pay for a replacement part and shipping because I CAUSED THE DAMAGE. I got a very nice lady on the phone that looked up the part talked to me about how I liked the Hornady products and then told me that it would be on my door in 2 day at the most. I asked how much the damage was she said oh sir there is none. I kept her on the phone another 5 minutes trying to pay for the product.

    Lee never ever came close to that. So I don't buy their products and I don't recommend them either.

    Every Hornady redding and RCBS dies crimps unless you set it not to. It is not a whole lot of crimp sut enough to make sure things are correct.
     
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    That's a roll crimp you're referring to, not a taper crimp. All seating dies will apply a roll crimp if adjusted down enough. The Lee Factory crimp die is a taper crimp. The difference is a roll crimp canot be applied to a bullet not having a cannelure, a taper crimp can. Also a roll crimp should NEVER be used on cases which headspace on the case mouth. The Lee factory crimp die is equipped with a carbide sizing ring, which sizes the cartridge again after the final crimping, as well as applying the correct style of crimp. This eliminates any bulges or out-of-roundness. I've never had a problem with anything I own made by Lee - I have broken decapping pins, but that has always been my fault - trying to decap crimped-in primers with the standard die instead of a hardened decapping tool (which Lee sells and I now own). I would stay away from their scales, powder measures, and ram-prime system because for powder measuring & weighing I prefer the accuracy and quality of Redding, but for priming nothing beats the Lee Auto Prime tool which I have used for almost 20 years. The Ram-Prime uses the compound leverage of the reloading press, and IMO that's not good for seating primers, which should be done by "feel".
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  12. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    As you can see we all do not see eye to eye on this. I know RL and trust his judgment. There are a lot of reloader's on here. I go by what I have seen and done. So does RL and everyone else.

    What you need to do is go to the local store and look at the dies and then pick the ones you want. They are all dies they all do the same thing. If you want to spend $200 on dies then do it. If you want to spend a little as you can because you are not sure you are going to like reloading rifle and pistol ammo then get the lowest cost ones you can find (Not always Lee dies).

    reloading is like cars no one likes the same exact thing as the next person does.
     
  13. shoez

    shoez New Member

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    I also have used mostly Lee products, from over 20 different calibers of dies, presses, bullet molds, powder measures, and lead pots. Never, ever a single problem. Have reloaded over 50,000 rounds in the last 12 years. One set of RCBS dies and one set of Lyman. Not impressed and paid twice as much, and still had to buy a shell holder. The Lee factory crimp die is the best crimp die available, and won't crush the shell if you try to crimp too hard. I'm sure Hornady equipment is good, but I have never had any reason to look any where else for equipment. For me, Lee has never let me down, and the best price.
     
  14. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    CPTango is correct - it's more personal preferrence than anything else. I also own Hornady and RCBS dies but never use them because they take more time to set-up and accomplish the same thing. SHOEZ is correct in that Lee is reputable and cheaper. IMO you can't get a better deal than Lee, but if you want top of the line dies for competition, get Redding if you can afford $80+ for a two-die set. Redding powder measures are the best in the world - and expensive! You get what you pay for, but it's not necessary to spend a lot to get good results.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  15. JimGiven

    JimGiven New Member

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    Thx guys....certainly a wide view of dies....thought most would agree, but see many differing opinions. Helpful though.

    Jim
     
  16. Bolosniper

    Bolosniper New Member

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    I use the bushing style Redding dies primarily, but also have dies for a couple of different cartridges from Forster Precision and Wilson. I prefer the bushing style dies for obvious reasons.
     
  17. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

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    Die choice?

    Most reloaders, with a lot of handloads under their press will usually agree that you get what you pay for. I started with some Lee dies, moved up to some RCBS dies, and moved up (as far as handgun dies) to Dillon Dies. I still use Lee decap dies, and their Factory Crimp Dies. RCBS for most rifle loads. Dillon Dies for most handgun loads. I think each handloader has the systems that work best for them.:D
     
  18. J3ff3r50n

    J3ff3r50n New Member

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    I have a question for our experienced reloaders?

    I just purchased a Lee Breech lock challenger kit, mainly because it was affordable and I like the idea of checking a case or round after every step. But every time I go to flare the bullet seat (which it is supposed to do in the decapping process) it pushes the deprimer pin (which also has the flareing area built in) back out of the dye. I tightened it so tight once that I almost didn't get it loose. But it still pushes it out the top. Could I please get some advice from someone who knows about this. It's the die set for the .270 Win. Lee Pace Setter dies. And yes sir I am new to the whole reloading bit. Thank you and God Bless.
     
  19. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    PM sent..........