Re: die selection for 308
I also wanted to become a smart reloader and sold all my Hornady, Lyman and RCBS dies sets. I then baught the Redding Deluxe sets. Very good dies, but their lock rings is crap. I had them all replace with Foster lock rings. Another disadvantage is that the sizer die does not have a vent hole like all the other brands. Why I do not know? So you must be extremely sparingly on lubing the necks since dented shoulder is eminent. Furthermore I used to dip the case neck in the Imperial Wax and thereby lubing the inside of the case neck as well as the outside. This has worked well with Lyman, Hornady and RCBS. But with the Redding die, there was a terrible sqeak when you extract the case from the die through the expander ball. I was advised that I should use a brush to lube the insides of the neck - another additional step in my reloading process. In the end I got the carbide expander balls from redding at nearly half the price of a die set. It works well now. Then I had a few nickle plated cases which I did not want to throw away and which I still wanted to use one more time. I decided not to use my expensive Redding die sets for this. So I bought a Foster FL die in .222Rem and .270Win. The Foster die had a vent hole on the shoulder of the sizer die and the expander ball worked extremely smooth using my dip and size method above. Even sizing the nickle plated cases which is generally regarded as hard to size, was extremely easy. So if you ask me today what is good value for money, I can say the Foster is a good option which I would definitely explore more in the future. RCBS will definitely see me again, but the Reddings I got will be the only Reddings for the future. With Redding the add-on's is making it too expensive (lock rings, carbide expander balls etc) and there is too many hickups with the lube process.