I have used Hornady, Lee and RCBS dies for years, as far as I'm, concerned all three work well. Have never had any problems with any of them, just make sure you use case lube with them when resizing your cases.
The Hornady seater has a partial alignment sleeve in the seating die, a feature most standard dies don't share. There is also a micrometer head accessory option. The die lock ring is excellent and is used as a replacement for rings that are not a split design (like Redding's). In the past few years, the expander in the sizing die has been modified to make it better lock in place; also, it is advertised as a floating expander design. The expander button is elliptically shaped, very useful if a lesser-caliber case ever needs to be sized up.
The finish of the standard dies doesn't equal that of Forster's and Redding's products, nor that of the Hornady Match Grade dies. The aforementioned sleeve in the seating die doesn't fully engage the case neck and shoulder as the Redding Competition and Forster seating dies do.
Being standard dies, they're more affordable than the premium Redding Competition and Forster products to which they've been compared here. If I were looking for the best dies, though, I would select from the other brands mentioned.
Last edited by Winchester 69; 05-23-2009 at 02:57 AM.
Reason: Expanded the dissertation.
I have always used RCBS dies unless they were competition dies (Much more expensive)
but had them build me a set of custom dies and was very pleased with the way they were
built and the way they performed .
So I decided to try there new dimension dies and was also very pleased ,and the cost was
competitive with other dies. (Except competition dies ) And I really like there expander shape.
I necked up 300 375 rum cases to 416 and did not loose one.
I would recommend these dies and consider them at the top of the standard dies .
I too consider them top-notch, affordable dies. I get excellent accuracy from my reloads using Hornady's Custom Grade New Dimension Dies. I have bought several over the past 10 years and they have all given me great service with no flaws in functionality or workmanship. It's the only die I buy for reloading for my rifles. JohnnyK.
In a word, YES. I buy dies by features, not brand but Hornady has a few features that are unique and some buy them just because of that.
Hornady has an excellant die locking ring, perhaps the best available.
Their rifle seaters also have a sliding alignment sleeve that holds the bullets as they lift to the seating punch. I can find no reason to suggest the sleeves are helpful so far as straight seating goes but they are easy to use.
Hornady also offers a simple to use accessory (extra cost) "micrometer" seating stem. Again, it doesn't do a thing for accuracy but it does, or at least can, make tracking bullet seating for a specific OAL a little bit easier.
The eliptical expander button can be helpful too, somewhat better than "conventional" expanders anyway.
Hornady's aren't my personal favorite dies but that's a personal thing having nothing to do with their general quality.
Buy them, you won't be sad lol. They're great for all of the reasons listed. I have the custom A-MAX bullet seater sleeve and the micrometer attachment (very accurate, impressive). I also bought a bunch of their lock rings for my other dies. Hard to beat for the money as far as I'm concerned. Not really impressed with the RCBS standard dies tho, their quality went down (I have some "old" ones and some new ones).