Seating Dies

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by samson, Apr 10, 2003.

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  1. samson

    samson Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2003
    I am currently using a standard RCBS seating die and am looking to get a bit more accurate. Do seating dies make that much difference? and if so, which ones do you prefer. Thanks
  2. dwm

    dwm Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    I would have sent this in an e-mail, but that option is not available, so here is my two cents ...

    (I am sort of new to all of this, so listen to the pros.)

    A lot of guys will tell you to get a Redding Competition Seating die with the micrometer top for adjusting the seating depth.

    Hornady also sells a seating die that has almost the exact same design as the Redding Competition and a micrometer top is available for that also.

  3. Holmes

    Holmes Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2002
    In my experience, the Redding competition seating dies cannot be beat. Very well machined, excellent cartridge support, and the micrometre is very precise.

    Spendy, but lasts a lifetime.

    And they really look cool in your press [​IMG]

  4. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    I wish I could get a Redding Competition seater die for the new 30/338 Lapua Imp, Neil Jones is doing up an inline seater for it instead. At least I'll be able to seat bullets at the range though. I've never used inline dies before so I'll have a few things to learn I'm betting. I hope it's a nice one, as I don't know what makes one inline better than another but all Neil's stuff looks top notch. He doesn't strike me as a person that does much of anything half----.


    I just got the new Sinclair catalog last night and see that Redding is making the Cometition seater die for the 300 Ultra now. Are you using one of these, or will you be? The thing I like about them more than the micrometer top is the tight fitting sleeve that hold the case inline before even seating the bullet. Right now I seat bullets 1/4 to 1/2 way down and spin the case 180 degrees and seat the rest of the way, best I can do.

    Anybody know if Redding will make a custom spec'd Comp seater for a price? It would be nice to have one for the Dillon when loading at home.
  5. Randy in Va

    Randy in Va Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2002
    Brent, the advantage that an inline seater gives you is better feel (in case something is not right) and the ability to change seating length at the range. This is huge when working up for a new rifle.

    You will love it. I only use conventional dies for forming or bumping.
  6. Holmes

    Holmes Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2002

    I copied the following data from Redding's web site. It may well be worth your time to make an email query to see if they would do a comp seater for your application.

    Their emaill address is as follows:

    [email protected]


    Custom Made Dies
    Custom made dies are not kept in stock and are made to order only. Our Series “C” and Series “D” listings contain many obsolete and wildcat calibers normally considered “custom” by other manufacturers. We try to maintain limited quantities of factory inventory on these. If you do not find the dies that you need after consulting the die caliber reference charts on pages 13, 14, 15 and 16, we can usually custom make them for you.Please keep in mind, the die reference chart is only a partial listing. We have made custom dies for hundreds of chamberings that are simply too numerous to list.

    Some cartridges with a very unique design and/or unusual shoulder angle may require a tooling and engineering charge to partially cover our expense for making up special tooling. In the event such costs are required, they will be quoted separately. To get a firm price quote, send us your chamber reamer drawing, including all dimensions and the shoulder angle.

    As an alternative, you can simply send us three (3) fired cases from your chamber for examination on our optical comparator. Package them carefully to prevent damage in transit, and do not forget to include clear instructions as to exactly what your needs are, i.e. dies to form the case, full length die set, neck sizing dies only, etc. Your fired cases will be returned upon request. Because of the nature of work involved in making custom dies, advance payment is required with the order. No COD’s please. Delivery usually takes from 12 to 14 weeks after your order has been received.

    Custom Two Die Sets $ 126.00
    000w/optional tapered size button $ 132.00
    Custom F.L. Sizer or Neck Sizer $ 83.00
    000w/optional tapered size button $ 89.00
    Custom "Type S" Neck or F.L. Sizer $ 108.00
    000w/optional tapered expander $ 114.00
    Custom "Type S" Neck Die Set $ 225.00
    00w/optional tapered size button $ 231.00
    Custom Deluxe Die Set $ 195.00
    00w/optional tapered size button $ 201.00
    Custom Three Die Set (straight wall cases) $ 141.00
    Custom Seating Die $ 72.00
    Custom Taper Crimp Die $ 61.50
    Custom Form Die $ 61.50
    Custom Trim Die $ 75.00
    Special Price Group (*) $ 144.00
    Special Shell Holders (*) $ 15.00
  7. 4mesh063

    4mesh063 Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2002

    My brother just got a WSM Forster Seater W/Micrometer Top from Sinclair for <$50. They have a lot of the standard calibers listed.
  8. James D.

    James D. Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2002
    I ordered the Forster Ultra seater and F/L sizing die. For .338 Lapua, both dies were around $77. If you send the dies into Forster with $10 and three fired cases they will hone the dies to match.

    Lee also offers a sweet die which they call their "Collet" die. $50 and custom made with fired cases if you can't find your caliber listed. I haven't heard anyone trash talk Lee dies so it might be worth it.

    Redding is nice I suppose, and Wilson now has a bushing die available too. The choices are endless.
  9. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    This may go against the grain of some but this is based on my experience. Don't start looking for "better" seating dies until you check what you already have.

    If your loaded rounds show runout above 5 thou, start by looking at the sizing die. This is the biggest area for problems and is mostly due to the expander rod and ball. Switch to a Lee collet or bushing die. Most of your runout problem is solved.

    If runout still does not reduce, it should, then look for a seating die where the die body and case are a very close fit. Most seating plugs are machined true to the die body so this is not the problem. The area of problem is if the case is not supported while the bullet is seated and "bends".

    A specialty die will only help if it addresses this problem. The Lee custom die set at $50 is hard to beat. Just ask that the seating die be only a couple of thou bigger then the case. Voila perfect dies.

    A quality gunsmith inline die set does the same thing, just for more money.

    I have been lucky that I have been able to find commercial dies that were a good fit with the cases/chambers I have in my rifles. The bullets are seated straight. Take a fireformed case with you to the store and try it in different dies. You will see that some are a much better fit then others irregardless of brand or price.

    The Forster BR die is also good. Although the Hornady die has a moving sleeve, the dimensions of that sleeve are usually very generous so don't help much. If you can machine a better fitting sleeve, awesome dies for little money.

    The micrometer adjustment tool only serves to help you adjust OAL - an expensive widget. I prefer to lock down my adjustments using the standard nut.

    Check or change your sizing die and most of your issues should get resolved...

  10. JustC

    JustC Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2002
    I kinda did the same thing as Jerry Teo has suggested. My new 300RUM is in it's finishing stages at the gunsmith, and I had the smith order redding competition dies with the micrometers, but with the support sleeve blank (un-cut). He will be using the same reamer to make my support sleeve as he used for the chamber. This way, I payed less for the die blanks than a finished set from redding, and the gunsmith labor to cut the sleeves to match the chamber, only pushed them slightly above the normal finished price from redding, all while maintaining a perfect fit.