What dies to buy

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by rgvt4, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. rgvt4

    rgvt4 Member

    Jan 28, 2013
    Just orders the Lyman turret press. Going to load for .223. And 300 wsm what dies should I get? Also large magnum rifle primers for the 300wsm? My rifle likes 165 gr factory ammo (1-11 twist tikka) also what powder does everybody like for the 300?

  2. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    "Going to load for .223. And 300 wsm what dies should I get?"

    You'll need a Full Length sizer and Seater for each bottle neck cartridge you load for, all conventional die sets include both.

    Many people have most favorites and least favorites for a variety of reasons that may be different from what you'll prefer. Advocate hype/slime aside, they all work quite well no matter their price. They are all made to the same average manufactoring (SAAMI) tolerances and there's as much average internal variation in the specific measurements from any maker as there is between makers. Thus, the limiting factor to what you can reload with any average set of dies will depend on you and how well you develop your loads, not the color of your die box.

    I've never known what powder or bullets or primers or cases "everybody" likes. Nor do I care, I have to use what's available to me and make it work as well as my rigs can shoot. I pick a powder for any new load by what my manual says gets the highest velocity for my bullet weight and start load testing. If that powder won't shoot well enough, I'll try the next faster burning rate. If that won't work I'll get another bullet and start over; bullet match is more critical than the powder for good accuracy in most rifles anyway..
  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    I prefer RCBS brand....Everyone has their preference.

    For the .300 WSM, if it is a bolt-action rifle, I would go with a Neck-Sizer die set.

    And for the .223, RCBS makes a nice small-base (or SB) die set designed to shrink the base for flawless cycling in AR-style rifles. They come in a black box.

    If you have a bolt-action .223 then a neck-sizer die set will also be recommended.

    Also, be sure to get you a reloading manual for every brand of bullet you plan on shooting. It tends to make life ALOT easier. I started out with 2 manuals, and now have 3. And I'm sure if I stray from these 3 brands, I'll be buying a 4th manual for whatever brand of bullets I try next.
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    I've used RCBS, Redding, Hornady and Forster dies and they have all worked well. IMO, FL sizing dies are the way to go. I started out Neck sizing only for the WSM and eventually you will have to use a body die or FL die once the brass expands too much to chamber. When you do that, you have changed the shape and volume of your case and the cycle starts over again which is contrary to the idea of consistency in your reloading. If you want a neck and body die for the WSM, I've got a set that I'll sell you. Your technique in sizing matters more than which die you use, I've been able to keep neck runout to about .001 +/- .0005 by using Imperial sizing wax (not too much or too little) and working the press SLOWLY.

    Seating dies are not all equal. The competition dies are the best, like Redding and Forster. I have been able to get good results with standard seating dies by starting the bullet into the neck, then lowering the ram spinning the bullet 1808 and finishing the seating stroke... once again SLOWLY. I have been able to keep my runout to about .0015 to .002 for the most part. It's also good to use VLD type seating plugs if you are seating long VLD type bullets.

    There is enough load info online that I no longer use hardcopy loading manuals. There is no published load data for most of the powder and bullet combinations I use.

    Good shooting
  5. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    I agree with MontanaRifleman on the competition seater dies for bolt actions - they work great. I am partial to Redding dies for their high-end seaters and neck sizers, but like Boomtube I can't tell a difference in end result in any of my different "conventional" sets.

    My 300WSM likes IMR4350 and (believe it or not) Superformance powder behind 165gr pills. I think all rifles are a little different in their likes/dislikes. As stated earlier I think bullet type and seating depth is more critical. I have only used magnum primers.
  6. Spuds

    Spuds Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    I use H4350 with 180's. Velocity is probably better with other powders, but my rifle shoot good with H4350 and its an extreme powder. I've tried both magnum and standard primers and I haven't seen any difference. As for dies they are all fine, but after using Redding dies they are all I buy now. I just like the way they are built, and you can get a comp seater for VLD style bullets.
  7. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2005
    Suggestions for full length sizing dies are the best. Benchresters switched from neck only to full length sizing dies a few years ago. Such dies have always produced the best accuracy. Those with bushings and no expander balls best center and make straight case necks on case shoulders; a definite key to best accuracy. No neck only sizing die does this as well as full length dies with busings; they don't support the case body when sizing the neck down.

    With such fired case sizing dies, most bullet seaters will end up making ammo with bullet runout on the loaded round less than 1% of bullet diameter; good enough for 1/2 MOA at 1000 yards. Both Redding and RCBS make the ones with the best price-performance ratio the buck spent and ammo quality.

    But you'll need a case headspace gauge such as the Hornady LNL or RCBS Precision Mic to measure how much the fired case shoulder gets set back when full length sized. No more than .002" is best for case life and accuracy.