How To Select A Die Set?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Troutslayer, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Prices vary wildly, what do I get for paying $100s more? Just getting started reloading for the .300RUM and .300Win if that matters. The Winchester is more of a "truck gun" and the REM is a LR rig.

    Greater degree of precision?

    Thanks
     
  2. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

    Messages:
    1,497
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    what you get in your high end reloading dies is things like micrometer seating dies and interchangable neck bushings and others. a standard RCBS full length sizing die can do alot of things for you once you become a experinced reloader, but the level of precision and ease of reaching that level of precision (getting that .001" bullet seating depth or adjusting that neck tension to the .001" mark) that is what you get with a precision reloading die.


    steve
     

  3. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Hey troutslayer

    I have a lot of dies in a drawer that contributed to a learning process before I settled on the dies that I try to have in each caliber (dependent upon availability)

    1. Lee Collet Neck Sizer - easy to use and does not introduce runout like the expander ball type dies. Allows you to neck size only until you develop a crush fit and have to resize the case body and push the shoulder back. $17.00
    2. Redding Body Die - Will resize the case body and push the shoulder back when you develop a crush fit, use in conjunction with the Lee Collet Neck Sizer. $22.00
    3. Redding, Forster or RCBS Competition Seater - Much better at seating to the exact same depth everytime which is important. Reduces runout. Average $80.00
    4. Lee Factory Crimp Die - Optional but provides slightly better accuracy and slightly higher velocity with better bullet grip. $9.00

    On one caliber I use a Redding Bushing Neck Sizer because the Lee Collet is not available. But I absolutely refuse to use dies with expander balls that jerk the neck around and where you have to use lube inside the neck!
     
  4. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Messages:
    4,803
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    One of the best die sets for the money is the Forester Bonanza BR sets for half the Redding or even less. Hornady Custom sets are fairly new and absolute top quality for very little money.

    BH
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Woods, you and I have setteled on exactly the same die "set" for exactly the same reasons!

    Bounty, I agree with you for a more conventional approach. Forster makes excellant dies and gets little attention except from those who know the score! And Forster's CoAx press is the top of the heap, bar none.
     
  6. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    I think that ammo can be loaded on RCBS standard dies that is more accurate than I can shoot, but...

    I still like to buy Forster and send the full length sizer body back to the factory for honing out to .003" smaller than my loaded ammo neck.

    Then I back the die out a turn and do partial neck sizing.
    This has been giving me great accuracy in .223, 257 Roberts Ackley Improved, and 7mm Rem Mag.
     
  7. faucettb

    faucettb Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    I've been stuffing cases now for nearly 50 years and most all the dies on the market do a good job. I'm kind of partial to the Lee deluxe die sets that come with both a full length sizer and the collet neck sizer. Have several different makers dies on the bench, but seem to gravitate to the Lees mostly. Good service for the money and like was said all make accurate ammo.
     
  8. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,731
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Alot of it is trial and error and some is word of mouth...I started out with RCBS 25 yrs ago because that's what Dad used and was mostly readily available...Through the years I have tried all except Forster and currently have at least one from all the big name mfg.
    I have settled on Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension dies due to the repeatability of their seating dies. Micrometers are available for the seating dies but I don't need one to tell me how to adjust bullet depth. JohnnyK.
     
  9. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    The bushing sizing dies allow for better case life with minimal case neck distortion, giving longer case life. The expander button is not necessary during the sizing operation. The sized cases have less run-out in the neck area.

    The micrometer-head seating dies are useful when adjusting the distance of the bullet off of the lands. If you're loading to magazine length, the micrometer feature has little utility outside of ease of use.

    The other feature of the better seating dies is the alignment sleeve that locates the bullet while it's being seated. Redding has this feature in their micrometer-head seaters. The Forster seaters both have the sleeve, the sole difference being the micrometer. Hornady has a partial sleeve in all of their seating dies, making them my choice for pistol calibers.

    The other deluxe feature of Redding and Forster dies is the in the finish, particularly their level of internal polish. Forster has the better designed locking ring.
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  10. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    I must be looking at the wrong die sets? The prices seem pretty similar. Are these the ones you guys were recommending?

    Here's the REDDING die sets I found in my caliber (7mm wsm):
    80265 full length die set &78.
    84265 deluxe die set $124.50


    And the FORESTER sets:

    U04420 BENCH REST® & ULTRA™ MICROMETER DIE SET $123
    004420 BENCH REST DIE SET $88


     
  11. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    The redding full length die set does not have the alignment sleeve. Redding only offers that with their micrometer adjustment, which is in the deluxe set.

    The only difference between the ultra micrometer and regular Forster seater is the micrometer adjustment screw. Both are the same on the inside, and include the alignment sleeve.

    Andy
     
  12. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    so it sounds like I could get the alignment sleeve without a micrometer adjustment for $88 from Forester p/n 004420, which is why its a better deal? Still, its not half the price or even less. Am I on track now, or still missing something?
     
  13. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    wait, I just found it on natchez for $54.95. thanks!
     
  14. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    I'm not sure where your original prices came from, but there are better deals available (more in line with what you found at natchez).

    It pays to shop around, or if you're going to pay premium $, by all means support your local gunshop and have them order it if necessary.

    Andy