replacing bullet seating dies

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Jinx-), Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    Currently I use RCBS and Reading bullet seating dies for my reloads, I have seen both Reading and RCBS competition dies, simple question is it really worth it? With regular dies I usually keep sub 1/2 MOA from my loads, so what's big deal about competition dies and which are the optimal? I'm thinking either
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    Forster Bench Rest Seater Die


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    Redding Competition Seater Die
     
  2. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    If you're getting good results with what you have it's not likely you would see any improvement with the more costly types.

    IF you should decide to get a "better" seater do get a Forster or Redding (no difference) but the RCBS "Comp/Gold Metal" dies aren't even in the same league with them for concentricity.
     

  3. merll284

    merll284 Well-Known Member

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    I use a Forster Ultra Micrometer die for my 7mm Rem Mag. It is great for seating VLD bullets. It allows quick and presice adjustment of seating depth.
     
  4. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Almost every BR Shooter I know including myself use Wilson Dies and an Arbor Press.
     
  5. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    So the only thing I will get is time I spend on adjusting one, I see, thanks!
    Wilson dies require different press or I have to smash them with some hammer, the whole idea seems odd specially not having FL die to deal with. From what I understand Wilson only offers neck and seating die, well I am after good and consistent seating system, something that will exclude guess and tries with a bullet puller. So seating dies with micrometer attached is the way to go.
     
  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    I was speaking of the Seating die. I would tend to agree that your level of knowledge in handloading would be better served by the continued use of screw in type dies.
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Buy both.... seat a few bullets with each... measure the runout... keep the one that works best and sell the other... You might also look at the Hornady New Dimension seater, you can get a micrometer stem with it.

    One thing I have heard is the Redding Micrometer is more accurate in adjusting actual depth than the Forster. I have Redding Comp seaters for my 300 RUM and 300 WSM and they are dead on when I make an adjustment.

    -Mark
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "One thing I have heard is the Redding Micrometer is more accurate in adjusting actual depth than the Forster."

    What you have heard is incorrect.

    The Hornady seaters are almost as good as the RCBS seaters, neither are as well designed and made as the Foster/Reddings.

    It takes a lot more than a micrometer stem to make a better seater. All the stems do is make it a little easier to set the OAL to some specific point, they do nothing for concentricity and that's the goal.
     
  9. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    I have few buddies claiming that Lee seater is the best thing reloading world had come up with, I tried Lee before and I think it is very inconsistent, it was reason why I switched to Reading and RCBS.
     
  10. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

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    Redding and RCBS competition series, and Forster and Hornady seating dies all have a sliding sleeve that aligns the seater plug and bullet with the case mouth prior to inserting the bullet into the case mouth. Redding and RCBS comp series only come with micrometer adjustment, Forster and Hornady give you a choice. As said above, the micrometer is for convenience in setting the seating depth, and has nothing to do with concentricity of the finished cartridge.

    However, the RCBS comp and the Hornady seaters' sleeve does not enagage more than the neck and top of the shoulder. The Redding comp and Forster both engage most of the case body too, in order to better center & align the case to the bullet and seating plug.

    Andy
     
  11. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "I tried Lee before and I think it is very inconsistent, it was reason why I switched to Reading and RCBS. "

    Lee's seater design is perhaps the best of the conventional priced dies, IMHO. But everything made has tolerances in each of its pieces. IF the tolernaces stack in the wrong direction it reduces the precision of the item, if they stack correctly a "cheap" seater can do as well as the best specialty die. You seem to have lucked onto a very good seater, and sizer too for that matter; it takes both of them to allow the accuracy you quoted. And all that is independant of the brand, on AVERAGE I've found as much variation between dies of the same maker as between makers.

    Jake is absolutely correct; the Forster full sleeve seater design (copied by Redding when the patents ran out) is the very best of the screw-in dies.

    Few of us would ever see any benefit from Wilson hand-type dies. Our rifles and bullets are not sufficently consistant for the tiny potential advantage to make any useful difference and obtaining that little would be a royal PITA for most of us. Stick to Foster/Redding seaters. And maybe a Lee Collet Neck Sizer for the best possible case necks for factory rifles, no seater can seat well if the necks aren't straight.
     
  12. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    Lee's Collete Neck Sizing Die is perfectly fine nothing wrong with it I love it, maybe the lines it lives on the neck when it squeezes brass is the only disadvantage I noticed. The Lee seating die in contrary its inconsistency was mostly due to the adjustment knob movement while seating bullets, depends how hard I press this knob is moving up a bit so it keeps loosing its zero. I think it has to do with material this knob is made of, sort of aluminum and the thread doesn't have tightly fit, there are no feature to lock position of the adjusting knob.
     
  13. torjy

    torjy New Member

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  14. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Salazar: "This article describes a brief but useful test of bullet seating dies ...Read this article for what it is: a brief test using the dies that I happened to have and which shows a way to test rather than producing any absolute results. This is a limited, hobby time test which I conducted for my own information an entertainment. Enjoy"!

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    RCBS - Hornady - Redding - Vickerman - Wilson

    Mr. Salazar is a good man. He recognises that his test is brief and is NOT a valid statistical appraisal of the dies he uses any more than an "accuracy" test of single bullets in multipule rifles could be. We should too.

    None of us use Wilson hand dies in our presses, Vickerman seaters haven't been made in decades so he is only testing RCBS, Hornady and Redding. A single tested item of a manufactored tool has no statistical meaning at all. Other than telling HIM which of the five seaters he owns is best but, other than his method, his test means nothing to the rest of us.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010