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Seating Dies

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Unread 04-11-2003, 12:22 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 93
Re: Seating Dies

I ordered the Forster Ultra seater and F/L sizing die. For .338 Lapua, both dies were around $77. If you send the dies into Forster with $10 and three fired cases they will hone the dies to match.

Lee also offers a sweet die which they call their "Collet" die. $50 and custom made with fired cases if you can't find your caliber listed. I haven't heard anyone trash talk Lee dies so it might be worth it.

Redding is nice I suppose, and Wilson now has a bushing die available too. The choices are endless.
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Unread 04-11-2003, 09:48 AM
Writers Guild
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Seating Dies

This may go against the grain of some but this is based on my experience. Don't start looking for "better" seating dies until you check what you already have.

If your loaded rounds show runout above 5 thou, start by looking at the sizing die. This is the biggest area for problems and is mostly due to the expander rod and ball. Switch to a Lee collet or bushing die. Most of your runout problem is solved.

If runout still does not reduce, it should, then look for a seating die where the die body and case are a very close fit. Most seating plugs are machined true to the die body so this is not the problem. The area of problem is if the case is not supported while the bullet is seated and "bends".

A specialty die will only help if it addresses this problem. The Lee custom die set at $50 is hard to beat. Just ask that the seating die be only a couple of thou bigger then the case. Voila perfect dies.

A quality gunsmith inline die set does the same thing, just for more money.

I have been lucky that I have been able to find commercial dies that were a good fit with the cases/chambers I have in my rifles. The bullets are seated straight. Take a fireformed case with you to the store and try it in different dies. You will see that some are a much better fit then others irregardless of brand or price.

The Forster BR die is also good. Although the Hornady die has a moving sleeve, the dimensions of that sleeve are usually very generous so don't help much. If you can machine a better fitting sleeve, awesome dies for little money.

The micrometer adjustment tool only serves to help you adjust OAL - an expensive widget. I prefer to lock down my adjustments using the standard nut.

Check or change your sizing die and most of your issues should get resolved...

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Unread 04-11-2003, 12:54 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 453
Re: Seating Dies

I kinda did the same thing as Jerry Teo has suggested. My new 300RUM is in it's finishing stages at the gunsmith, and I had the smith order redding competition dies with the micrometers, but with the support sleeve blank (un-cut). He will be using the same reamer to make my support sleeve as he used for the chamber. This way, I payed less for the die blanks than a finished set from redding, and the gunsmith labor to cut the sleeves to match the chamber, only pushed them slightly above the normal finished price from redding, all while maintaining a perfect fit.
You try to get closer to the target,..and I keep trying to get further away.
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