Reloading Dies???


Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2008
I was just wondering how many of you guys use some sort of competition reloading (ie rcbs gold metal dies) dies when working up a load for your long range rifles. Right now I use standard rcbs dies for both my 243 WIN and 300 WSM, and they seem to work pretty good, but I do notice that there is a little variance in COAL when I am seating my bullets. I think that a more precise seater die would take care of that, soo...

Are the dies worth the $160 price tag?
Are the dies worth the $160 price tag?

Haven't ever paid that much for dies. Yikes.
Maybe I don't see the need or maybe I'm just too cheap. :D

I'm still using Redding dies. they work well. It's easy to make adjustments.
No surprises. I also use a neck size die most often.

JM .02.
What the better seating dies do is make straighter loads, i.e., less run-out. The variance in COAL would be due to differences in bullet shape/length and is inconsequential. Your rounds should be measured from ogive to base. There are tools available that are used with your caliper to make the measurement. If you don't require the micrometer, Forster's standard seating die is a bargain.
I use Lee Collet Die for neck sizing - ~ $20
Then Forster Competition Seating Die ~ $60
USe whatever full length sizing die you have or is reasonable.

I got mine from MIDWAYUSA

You can more easily change seating depth while looking for the sweet spot as well.

I think it is worth the extra $$$$ in time and hassle.
IMO go with Forester Bonanza micro seater first and then Redding. Both are equally good, but the Redding is 3x higher in cost.

You are going to need either Redding Body bump die ($25)or a FL die to push the shoulders back. Now you can use a NS type die but every 3-4 x firings you are going to have to FL size especially if it is a magnum.

I either go with the complete forester sets, have Jim carstenson make a custom FL die from a body die or a custom set.

I agree with all the suggestions regarding the Lee Collet die and the Forster (non micro seater). If need be also a Redding Body die. The Forster comes in a big enough plastic box to put them in! :D

How are you measuring COAL - if you don't use some form of comparator to measure OAL to the ogive you will see variances to the bullet tip. This is not a problem, variance to the ogive is.

Variations in neck tension are potentially another problem in OAL. The idea of "dead length" in seating made this seem impossible to me, but it certainly seems to be the case.
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