Originally Posted by tlk
OK, on the topic of the dies I am confused: how are you sizing your brass? Seems most of you are using multiple brands at different stages, but I canot get a handle on what the process is.
For your Lapua brass, the only preparation the new brass should need is to be passed over an expander mandrel or have an expander button run through the necks to round them out. Check to be sure you have a good inside chamfer (VLD is preferred).
When loading for a factory chamber, many prefer to use the Lee collet die in conjunction with a Redding body die; the body die is used to bump the case shoulder when chambering becomes difficult. Using a bushing neck die in conjunction with the body die will achieve the same end.
Another approach is to have an FL die's neck sized (Forster performs this service for their die)) to the dimensions of the particular brass/bullet combination. This is used to partially FL sizes the case (bumping the shoulder back a thousandth or two). A bushing FL die accomplishes the same.
The choice in seating dies is influenced by the comparative dimensions of the chamber and the magazine. If your loaded round length is confined to the magazine's length, a micrometer seating die has limited utility. The Forster BR (standard) seater has an alignment sleeve and is a preferred choice. If the bullet's seating depth is loaded to throat dimensions, either the Forster or Redding micrometer seaters are choices.
Have you considered the need for a run-out gauge?