What dies should I buy?

338 dude

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Buy the FL bushing die. Then if you want to neck size only buy Skip Otto's shims from Sinclair. They come in various thickness and allow you to keep the die set to FL; the shim you use determines how far down the case will be sized.

View attachment 181652
Another way to accomplish the same thing is with redding competition shell holders don’t have to unscrew you die just pop in a different shell holder
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Savage 12BVSS

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Let me give you a personal example of die selection that happened to me at the beginning. I was dumb as a rock and listening to my mentor and friend every step of the reloading way. He was smart and experienced and I wasn't, everything he suggested was spot on except die selection. He was of the opinion that they were all pretty much the same and suggested hornady dies, I went right out and bought three sets for my cartridges. I won't bad mouth them cause they must please some loader's but the words I used were not good. They were not the choice for me, I read up and chose a set of forster benchrest die's. They were eighty something and the hornady's were about forty. Soon as I tried them with spindles that didn't pull out and sizer's that really worked I knew all was not the same. I Gave the hornady's to my friend and bought two more sets of forster's, I told him how grateful I was for his teaching and help with reloading. But when it comes to dies do your homework as you are doing now on this forum and make an informed decision. Don't spend money twice to get what you will use for many years and will be the heart of your ammo accuracy. Dave
 

sturner

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I am preparing to reload for a CZ 527 Varmint MTR in 6.5 Grendel. I am looking at dies sets, and have already decide on neck dies instead of full length resizing. My question is: Is the price jump from standard the standard Redding Neck die set to the Type S match die set worth it? For someone like me who is a relative novice at precision shooting and reloading, shooting a factory rifle.
Forster or Redding but I wouldn’t just decide on how or how not to size until you have tried both ways to see what works best for your rifle
 

Wolf76

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If you want high quality + consistent ammo, it comes at a price.
Forster and Redding are worth the money. This is a lot like buying scopes. Look at the price differences for a 4-12 power tasco, Bushnell, Leupold, Swarovski. If they were all equal, only tasco would still be in business. There's a reason some companies can charge more. In the big picture, will an extra $30-60 mean much over the next 600 rounds you load? And could the accuracy you get from more concentric ammo ultimately save you money.

Fwiw... I get terrible run-out from Hornady, rcbs, and Lee dies(except the collet die).
 

Pizzaman1

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myrtle beach south carolina
I am preparing to reload for a CZ 527 Varmint MTR in 6.5 Grendel. I am looking at dies sets, and have already decide on neck dies instead of full length resizing. My question is: Is the price jump from standard the standard Redding Neck die set to the Type S match die set worth it? For someone like me who is a relative novice at precision shooting and reloading, shooting a factory rifle.
Are you reloading for bench or match? Or accuracy for hunting? If just for hunting accuracy- Redding Premium die set. Comes with a neck, FLS dies and a micrometer seating die- you might want to look into a seating stem for those long bullets
 

JASmith

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As one who has used all the dies mentioned except Forster, I can say that they all work well. I can also say that the only motivation for going with Lee is that one does not have the cash to buy a different brand.

My recommendation is Redding, and then RCBS followed by Hornady. Forster has a fine reputation but my budget has not yet been stretched enough to try a set.

As an aside, Hornady has a floating bullet guide that helps align the bullet when seating.

Have used several presses, but I very much like my Forster press, partly because it is designed to allow the case to align with the die rather than with the press.
 

David Urasky

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For years all I’ve ever used were standard dies from RCBS, Lee, Redding, and Hornady. I’ve never had a problem with these giving me consistent accuracy and velocity. Bushing dies give you more control on neck tension, which can improve your accuracy and consistency. I don’t think bushing dies are required for 90% of shooters and hunters. A lot of guys use them because they give you the ultimate control in sizing and many feel they’re the best on the market.

One thing I have found that’s considered as good or better than bushing dies, is using a Sinclair mandrel die. The die is like $35 and universal, and you can buy the mandrels for around $15-20 a piece and they are .001 or .002 under bullet diameter to set your neck tension. 21st Century makes them that fit the Sinclair die and they’re in .0005 increments. They take an extra step, but I don’t mind. I haven’t yet completed my testing on them, but preliminary results look good. The bullets seat with more consistent and better feel. And the limited velocity testing I did and runout testing showed the mandrel sized cases were a little better than just standard sizing dies.
I think you are right on. I don’t use a mandrel, but I turn all of my necks. Without consistent neck thickness neck tension will be all over the place using a neck bushing. You’d be surprised at the inconsistency in neck thickness even using top brand brass. I used to use the expander ball, but didn’t need that after turning the necks.
But withthat said, be sure to lube the inside of the necks before using a mandrel. If you don’t it can push or pull your shoulder position. My son had a problem with this in his FTR gun. Every so often he would get a round that chambered real hard. We found that it was the ball pulling the shoulder forward.
I don’t want to have to clean out the necks after sizing so I would recommend using SPL. It’s a product sold by Tod Kindler at the Rockchuck Den in Ohio. I started coating my bullets with it and they seat so consistently and it reduces copper in the barrel. I’ll shoot 150 rounds in a weekend match and clean the barrel with maybe a dozen parches. So lube the inside of the neck with SPL and leave it. Give it a few hours or over night to dry and powder won’t stick to it and your bullets will seat real smooth. Oh, another benefit, group size tightens up.
 

blacktail 8541

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Sep 13, 2014
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I think you are right on. I don’t use a mandrel, but I turn all of my necks. Without consistent neck thickness neck tension will be all over the place using a neck bushing. You’d be surprised at the inconsistency in neck thickness even using top brand brass. I used to use the expander ball, but didn’t need that after turning the necks.
But withthat said, be sure to lube the inside of the necks before using a mandrel. If you don’t it can push or pull your shoulder position. My son had a problem with this in his FTR gun. Every so often he would get a round that chambered real hard. We found that it was the ball pulling the shoulder forward.
I don’t want to have to clean out the necks after sizing so I would recommend using SPL. It’s a product sold by Tod Kindler at the Rockchuck Den in Ohio. I started coating my bullets with it and they seat so consistently and it reduces copper in the barrel. I’ll shoot 150 rounds in a weekend match and clean the barrel with maybe a dozen parches. So lube the inside of the neck with SPL and leave it. Give it a few hours or over night to dry and powder won’t stick to it and your bullets will seat real smooth. Oh, another benefit, group size tightens up.

What is SPL and does Tod have a web site?
 

Jud96

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I think you are right on. I don’t use a mandrel, but I turn all of my necks. Without consistent neck thickness neck tension will be all over the place using a neck bushing. You’d be surprised at the inconsistency in neck thickness even using top brand brass. I used to use the expander ball, but didn’t need that after turning the necks.
But withthat said, be sure to lube the inside of the necks before using a mandrel. If you don’t it can push or pull your shoulder position. My son had a problem with this in his FTR gun. Every so often he would get a round that chambered real hard. We found that it was the ball pulling the shoulder forward.
I don’t want to have to clean out the necks after sizing so I would recommend using SPL. It’s a product sold by Tod Kindler at the Rockchuck Den in Ohio. I started coating my bullets with it and they seat so consistently and it reduces copper in the barrel. I’ll shoot 150 rounds in a weekend match and clean the barrel with maybe a dozen parches. So lube the inside of the neck with SPL and leave it. Give it a few hours or over night to dry and powder won’t stick to it and your bullets will seat real smooth. Oh, another benefit, group size tightens up.
I also have started turning my necks. And I do lube my mandrel and the inside of my case necks. I ruined a few pieces of brass by not lubing the mandrel. I learned fast not to keep doing that haha. I honestly use Hoppes #9 and dab a Q-tip in it and lightly brush it inside my case necks and rub the mandrel every few rounds with it. Sounds crazy to some, but it mostly evaporates by the time I’m done sizing all of my brass. I’ve done this for years to reduce the expander ball from dragging in my necks. I’ve never had a problem using Hoppes haha. I’ll look into that SPL though. Thank you
 

msmith57

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Nov 9, 2015
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western Montana
I am preparing to reload for a CZ 527 Varmint MTR in 6.5 Grendel. I am looking at dies sets, and have already decide on neck dies instead of full length resizing. My question is: Is the price jump from standard the standard Redding Neck die set to the Type S match die set worth it? For someone like me who is a relative novice at precision shooting and reloading, shooting a factory rifle.
when I started reloading 40 years ago I was using the Lee hand Loader, my rifle was a Savage model 110 - 22-250 and I shot 1" or less at every from 50 to 1000 yards the best thing is to find the best bullet and powder mix for your gun and make sure you find the Exact powder load and use it every time.
 

dhois

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Apr 3, 2011
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Rescue, CA
I know it’s petty, but I had the issue with a Redding seater where it got damaged by seating bullets into >100% capacity 223 Rem loads and am still displeased with Redding for what I consider a cheap component. Redding expressly warns against this and I paid the price, that is I bought the Forster microseater and haven’t looked back. I still use Redding dies but going forward since then (late 1990s) I’ve only bought Forster or Whidden dies.

just adding an additional thought on the OP: don’t look for “best value” dies. 30 years from now you care that you save $100 on a particular die selection. Diminishing returns are still returns. Just buy the dies you are confident will load to your purpose like Long Range hunting, or hunting short distance, or match/competition and move forward. “Buy once, cry once”.
 

65WSM

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Nov 24, 2007
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Near Mt Rainier
Benchrest shooters use Wilson neck dies with their bushings. Wilson bushings are honed inside and are tapered a half of a thousandth. They can be flipped over to change the neck tension a half of a thousandth. The design of the die is to partial size the neck, about 3/5 down, without an expander. If you are serious about neck sizing, these are the dies.

If you want to full length size with an expander, I agree with others that Forsters design and performance is the best. If you do not find that that you get the desired shoulder bump or need a different expander, Forster will customize the die to fit your needs and chamber. Big Ed P-51 credibly presents the Forster difference.

Bruno Shooters Supply has the best daily price. Sinclair and Midway often have some on sale. Used dies are common to e-bay. $60 for a new stainless die.
 
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