.308 dies

chris matthews

Well-Known Member
May 14, 2001
Urich, MO
Hey guys! I'm brand new to this site and all this stuff so forgive me if this has been asked before or seems pretty basic. But who makes the best dies for the .308? I worked up three really good loads for my Savage 10P with my father-in-law but now buying my own stuff so I need all the help I can get. Many thanks.
RCBS is the dominant brand and you can not go wrong with their equipment. They make a variety of loading dies, including a competition set that is supposed to produce more accurate ammo. Worth it? Probably not when a person is starting out.

For standard presses many serious shooters lean toward the Redding Competition sizing dies with the bushings - they are very well made and fairly pricey. Same deal - does a person starting out really need them - probably not. Main difference between competition seating dies and standard ones is that the competition dies have a micrometer on top to adjust seating depth and provide repeatability, nice but not essential.

My advice is not to worry about brand X or brand Y at this stage. Get into reloading so that you can shoot more - then shoot as much as you possibly can. It takes a heck of a rifle to really require bench-rest precision in reloading, try to get your skills and knowledge up before worrying about that.

Try to learn from the shooting that you do. Much of what we do is repeatable and it ain't magic - just takes a lot of shooting and learning.

If you check out an issue of Precision Shooting you can find some ads for excellent books on long range shooting - that would be a starting point also. When you can, try to take a long range shooting course or find someone who has taken one and get info from him. Best of luck.
I've got both Hornady and Redding comp. for my .308 win (10FP). I use the Reddings cause they make straighter rounds.

Good shooting,
C'ya. Jeep.

I use RCBS stuff. Why? I guess something initially attracted me to them, and I now have no reason to change.

I use the Competition dies that Ian mentioned. Very nice. Precise control over the length, etc. A bit more money, but to me at least, worth it.

If you don't have any equipment yet, here's a suggestion. Buy the RCBS Rockchucker set. Comes with the press, scale, a set of dies (?), and some other odds & ends stuff that you'll need to get started. Check out the various catalogs & on-line sites to find the best deal. The Rockchucker is the only press you'll ever need. You can add stuff & fine-tune later, as you get more involved & see what you do (and don't) need.

Have fun, & let us know how things work out.
I have some Competition sets and the one thing that bugged me was not being able to read the scale on the micrometer - black numbers on a black background. I took some white paint and ran a white strip around the micrometer section of the seating die, then wiped it off carefully so that white paint stayed in the numbers. Now I can read them easier.
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