Best .243 Win Dies, Misc. Equipment?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by beezaur, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. beezaur

    beezaur Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I have the basics: RCBS RockChucker press, old powder balance, trimmer, priming tool, etc. from days gone by. I used to do a lot of loading, but never specifically for accuracy. It has been long enough that I have even forgotten a lot of the brand names.

    I don't have dies for .243 Win. I would like to get a good set for accuracy-minded loading with match bullets like Berger VLDs.

    Would you guys recommend a good set of dies, and any other tools that might be useful? Maybe a better measuring tool than a dummy round and a sharpie for seating depth? Is neck turning worth it?

    Scott
     
  2. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

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    Scott
    I use Redding or Forster dies for all of my reloading and both produce excellent ammo. While I am accuracy minded I don't shoot competatively, so I just use the standard full length sizing set.

    You might also want to pick up a comparator for measuring overall length, it will definitely help with consistency.

    Chris
     

  3. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Beezaur ,

    get a set of Lee collet necksizing dies . No lube needed , low runout , longer case life ( I think 20 bucks or so buys the deluxe Lee die set that includes the neck sizer die , a full length sizing die ( for when you need to bump the shoulder back a smidge) and a seater die .

    Ask around on this site you will find a lot of guys that are verry knowledgeable ( the extra r is courtesy of Wild Bill /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif )

    Hey , good fortune on getting back into the game, you will find that there is a lot of help here .

    Jim
     
  4. beezaur

    beezaur Active Member

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    Thanks, guys.

    Yes, I am happy to be shooting again, and am very glad to have found this site. A tremendous resource!

    Scott
     
  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Having preceeded you by about six months of getting back into the shooting game, I will say that my biggest mistake was waiting a long time to buy a concentricity gauge. It is just too embarrassing to say how much runout my "precision loaded ammo" had when I finally got the guage and checked myself. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    Ignorance is bliss. That is why I was such a happy fellow. Now I can't sleep at night /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    A decent enough gauge to cause you to lose sleep will cost about $65.00.
     
  6. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    I just recently bought a 243 for paper punching and prarrie poodles. I'm kind of an all RCBS guy with neck and full size dies for all my calibers

    I have a case trimmer and digital calipers to keep the cases = length and seating depth.

    I have a piller V block and dial indicator to measure bullet run out.

    I have the RCBS digital dispenser and scales to greatly speed up the case filling.

    My twist is optimized for 105 SPB for paper time. I've been using 70 gr. speer TNT-HP or sierra 70 gr blitz for vaminting. These are very explosive rounds when loaded to nearly 3500 fps. enough so that I shame my buddy with his 22-250

    CCI 200 primers and H4831 for the 105s and h-414 for the 70's
     
  7. hvyw8t

    hvyw8t Well-Known Member

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    I think redding sizing dies and forester seating dies are top notch.
     
  8. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. beezaur

    beezaur Active Member

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    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?

    Scott
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Scott,
    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.
     
  11. Aussie

    Aussie Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. beezaur

    beezaur Active Member

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    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.

    Scott
     
  13. CPorter

    CPorter Active Member

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    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.

    http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Track/9062/shooting/index.html