Precision Micrometer die sets - your recommendations

DWier

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May 16, 2019
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Orlando, Florida
I use Whidden dies but I think the important thing to take away from this is use CBTO, not COAL as dok7mm said. COAL varies even in factory ammo.
 

Svashtar

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Dec 8, 2019
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69
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Central Coast, CA
Great thread, thanks. As far as comparators, the Sinclair hex nuts seem to get the most use, but I also have comparator bodies from Hornady (good), Sinclair (about the same, maybe a little nicer, and they have an XL one with longer body to check the base to shoulder measurement on loaded ammo, as well as cartridge cases for headspace), and Whidden GW (also longer body, superb workmanship). I use inserts from Hornady and Sinclair in all of them which fit interchangeably. You can also have one on each caliper blade if you want to measure and sort batches of bullets by measuring bearing surface. It doesn't matter which insert is used, as long as you're consistent, so I usually use the Whidden body with the Sinclair inserts. Whidden also sells their own bushings for their body, but I didn't bother.
 
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mike06

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Aug 29, 2010
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Louisana
I am fairly new to reloading and I am currently trying to find that "best" recipe for Hornady's 143 ELD-X for my Savage 6.5 CM. I have learned that the "standard" out of the box stem in the bullet crimping die is no good for the ELD-X round. The bullet bottoms out in the stem causing the plastic/nylon tip to crush and become deformed. So with a little help, I found the appropriate die stem that stops on the Ogive. Yet I am still having issues getting my rounds loaded to a consistent COAL using the standard Hornady die along with the new stem. It could be my measuring - but I think it is ultimately the plastic tip and how it compresses under the micrometer when measured - even so slightly. Do any of you employ a precision bullet seating die - and if so, what particular die, model, etc. - and why? I have seen online a few manufacturers of the precision dies with micrometer settings - but I do not want to throw more money down the tube unnecessarily. If a precision die would do the trick, I am ready to spend the money for the right alternative. Your suggestions and your own research would be greatly appreciated.
I just got the complete set of Wilson from Bruno's Shooter Supply they are second to none. Have been using them about a month now in my new Savage 110 6.5 Creedmoor BTW they are not my 1st set of Wilson Dies
 

L.Sherm

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Jul 26, 2017
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Obviously you have not met my wife!
My wife doesn't care what I have nor do I care what she has.
I'm the only one who has a combo to my safe and its staying that way.
She asked me one time how many guns I have i said what does it matter our grandson gonna get them all one day, end of discussion.
 

Hunter ken

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Aug 4, 2020
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Location
Colorado
I use the Forster ultra micrometer seater die with great results. I use them for three calibers one of which is 6.5x284.
 

Magnett

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Dec 16, 2012
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29
I am fairly new to reloading and I am currently trying to find that "best" recipe for Hornady's 143 ELD-X for my Savage 6.5 CM. I have learned that the "standard" out of the box stem in the bullet crimping die is no good for the ELD-X round. The bullet bottoms out in the stem causing the plastic/nylon tip to crush and become deformed. So with a little help, I found the appropriate die stem that stops on the Ogive. Yet I am still having issues getting my rounds loaded to a consistent COAL using the standard Hornady die along with the new stem. It could be my measuring - but I think it is ultimately the plastic tip and how it compresses under the micrometer when measured - even so slightly. Do any of you employ a precision bullet seating die - and if so, what particular die, model, etc. - and why? I have seen online a few manufacturers of the precision dies with micrometer settings - but I do not want to throw more money down the tube unnecessarily. If a precision die would do the trick, I am ready to spend the money for the right alternative. Your suggestions and your own research would be greatly appreciated.
I have both the Custom Grade dies and Match Grade Dies from Hornady and both are very good. When I added the micrometer seater to my Custom Grade bullet seater I can seat the bullet to within .0005" base to ogive. COAL will vary sometimes but, as long as the BTO is consistent and you can seat within your magazine you will be ok. You must make sure the seating stem is the correct stem (call Hornady and discuss with them, they are very helpful) for that bullet. If the stem is touching the tip of the bullet it is the wrong stem. The seating stem should only touch the ogive of the bullet. If the stem leaves any marks on the bullet's ogive polish the inside of the seating stem with a Q-tip chucked in a drill using flitz polish. Good luck.
 

WYO300RUM

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Mar 23, 2011
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Wyoming
Man there's a lot of testosterone excreting itself all over this post, I think we should do our best to honestly answer the questions as posed, most else is not helpful. I've been loading for about 45 years, in the '70's I used a Lee Target Loader with a mallet, shot a three round .24 group at Bailey's House of Guns with my Remington 788 in 22-250 using the same case and reloading it at the bench each shot. All that to say that well made dies are important, I haven't found Hornady dies to be well made from a tolerance perspective. I have Wilson, Forster, Redding and 40 year old RCBS dies that when set up properly produce some excellent results. I shot a .12 group with my Wilson's in a .308, using my Forster's I've shot .2 groups at 200. I was going to send some cases to Whidden for my 6.5x55 AI but bought Redding and saved $200. They work just fine. If I were still competing I would get some Whidden dies built for a specific chamber for that anal 'nth degree and be very content with my purchase. Cost is relative, if I feel something has enough overall value for me, I don't worry about cost. I've come to like Forster benchrest dies over most others, I find that they size the web a littler better and the finish excellent. I don't find the micrometer that helpful (I have some Redding Competition dies) so I don't buy them but would never be critical for someone liking them and buying them as they do reduce repeated measuring for COAL. I saw one comment on this post where the contributor said that COAL was not important, I say that it is because that's where consistent jump comes into play. Your personal goals are also a very important component of this post, if you want to shoot tiny near caliber sized groups in competition it's one thing, if you want accurate hunting ammunition it is something else that requires no where near the time and money. Remember that all of these comments, including mine are people's opinions and should be weighted accordingly. Good luck and enjoy!
I also started out with a Lee loader and plastic mallet 45 yrs ago. I'm 63. I used it for my first centerfire rifle . A Rem. 788 in 22-250. Wish I still had that rifle...
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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5,585
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Northeast
Having used most of the usual suspects over the years, have had my best results with the Redding micrometer seating die that is included in the competition set. Very low runout, consistent seating depth, and very accurate micrometer for recorded settings when switching bullets.
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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2,276
I, too, use both Redding and Forster Micrometer seaters, very happy with both.
I modify or turn my own seater plugs for the Forster, as the standard one’s are too thin and lend themselves to flaring at the mouth. I either turn/grind them down or make new one’s to suit my bullets.
There really is no need to have the plug go as deep on the bullet as the Forster does.
I would like to try Whidden for my new 6.5SAUM I’m building, but getting them to Australia is ridiculous.

Cheers.
 

Kpknifemaker

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Joined
Sep 28, 2018
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32
Location
Roseburg Oregon
I use the Redding Premium Series Deluxe 3-Die Set for my 6.5 CM and the Hornady ELD-X. I use Hodgon Superperformance powder, Fed Match primers, and Sig or Hornady brass. Had this Tikka about 2 months. I am sure it was me on that 5th shot outside the green. I also found the Berger EOL 156 gr using same recipe as the others. Definitely should be using OGIVE measurement. I also found a large variation in bullet weights with the Hornady. I mean 0.5 grain difference between high and low. So I sort all the bullets by weight.
20200728_092734.jpg
20200728_090627.jpg
 

Kerryt38

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Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
41
You also need to
Make sure that you are seating your primers consistently. Inconsistent primer seating will give you inconsistent OAL.
 

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