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Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

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Unread 11-04-2005, 12:15 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

I believe I have a new set of Wilson dies, neck sizer/decapper & bullet seater that I'd consider trading. You'd need an arbor press , arbor press base and probably a neck bushing (unless I had an extra in the correct size).

Wilsons are a fairly good setup, not very fast but plenty good on precision.
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Unread 11-04-2005, 03:11 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 32
Re: Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

I have a vague recollection of using neck turning equipment to make better cases from larger ones.

For example, suppose I want to have tight-tolerance neck walls that better fit my factory .243 chamber. Can I neck down .308 Win brass to get more material to work with, then turn them down for a better fit in my chamber? Or am I better off with thinner walls from turned down (to uniform thickness) .243 brass?

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Unread 11-04-2005, 08:58 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

I will go along with "hvyw8t" and "winmagmag" as the Forester die to use. I know other reloader's will say Redding and a few others are good too.

I have sold all my Redding and RCBS dies now and everything is strickly Forester.

Neck turning is not needed unless you are shooting a <font color="blue">tight neck</font>throat.

I think some one mention a <font color="red">comparitor</font>, which is well worth getting.
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Unread 11-05-2005, 05:23 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 250
Re: Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

Be sure to buy Lapua brass . It is much more consistent in weight and has drilled flash holes .
I have Redding dies for my .243 AI but also have and like the Lee collet neck die . If I were you I would buy a collet neck die , Redding body die and seating die .
My Lee seating die (for .22 Hornet) is rubbish and I have a Redding on order.
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Unread 11-05-2005, 01:18 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 32
Re: Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

I gave Sinclair International a call and ordered some Lapua brass and -- not that I need it for this rifle -- an arbor press kit with the stainless dies. (I guess pulling your stuff out of a decade of storage will cause you to lean toward stainless when you can.) The main reason I went with the arbor press is to be able to load at the range without having to lug around my Rock Chucker press and a suitable stand. I will still need a set of regular dies though, for some later time when I set up my production equipment.

As an aside, it is unbelieveable how things have changed. Back in 1992 or so I had reams of tables, hand-drawn trajectory curves and wind drift charts. I had to invent all kinds of rangefinding methods using survey techniques and maps and aerial photos. I had piles of clippings from shooting magazines and precious notes from conversations with those who knew valuable little tidbits. Now I have a ballistics program on my PDA, a couple for my computer, a laser rangefinder(!), and an utterly vast amount of information and advice on this forum. None of that existed for me before.

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Unread 11-08-2005, 02:18 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Collin County Texas
Posts: 27
Re: Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

I've been shooting and loading for .243 for many years. I don't do a lot volume although I've managed to put 2500 rounds down my Rem 700 VLS in the last 3 years.

I started off using a friends Rock Chucker and RCBS dies. Loading back then was more about how much powder would fit in the case without blowing primers. Thankfully I lived through that ok. I now own a Lee anniversary kit and use the press, scale and priming tool regularly. I bought a set of Stoney point comparators to fit on my digital calipers for measuring the cases, bullets and loaded rounds. I also have a set of outside micrometers and an RCBS casemaster. Don't like the v block, you can see brass on it after checking cases and you have to hold the case on the block while measuring. Changing finger pressure changes the runout indicated. Think the concentricity guages with a case holder and ball bearing may be a better idea. I've transitioned from my RCBS full length dies to Redding competition neck dies with the carbide expander and titanium nitride bushing. Also use the competition bullet seater. You may also wish to invest in a quality digital scale. I bought a Dillon but after they changed from CED to Ohaus manufacture. I found the single post design of the new model to be less than accurate. I measured the same bullet over 100 times and got +- .5 gr. I got a new CED pocket scale from RSI and like it better. The same test was +-.1 gr. I use the digital to check my drops after trickling them on the Lee balance. My eyes aren't as good as they were and the balance doesn't have a mirrored scale to eliminate parallax error. I also bought a CED Millennium chronograph and recently the SW Products Pressure Trace. Both tools reveal things that I'd have never known otherwise but the chrono is the one I think necessary for long range shooting. The pressure trace is good for finding double pressure spikes from too slow a powder and checking optimum barrel timing. I'm not sure if OBT works yet. I use a Forester neck turner. It works ok but the mechanism that sets the depth has a lot of backlash and that makes it difficult to set properly. A K&amp;M or Pumpkin neck turner may be a better idea. IF you can get a titanium nitride pilot do so. If you are concerned with concentricity, accuracy and all you WILL need to turn necks regardless of having a tight necked chamber or not just to get uniform thickness. Forming cases from .308 cases might not be a bad idea. Most .243 cases come short and most factory chambers are cut long. You mentioned having software already. I use RSI Shooting Lab to keep track of my reloads and Quickload for researching new ones.

If had money to buy new gadgets I'd get a hood press and the Wilson dies. I'd also look into getting a good borescope and a good ball micrometer.

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