Whats the big difference here?


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Tomekeuro85
December 15, 2005, 06:10 PM
Theres some Lee .308 dies on midwausa for $11, and another set by forster for $77. Whats the difference, and will it improve accuracy?

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Fumbler
December 15, 2005, 06:20 PM
Not trying to be rude, but if you have to ask if it will improve accuracy then you probably won't be able to tell the difference.

I know i can't. I use Lee dies for my 308 (Deluxe set) because I don't have much money and I have never had any problems.
When I get the time (more like range time) to really experiment then I might move on to other brands as I chase those small group sizes.

The difference is the more expensive ones are held to tighter manufacturing tolerances and are generally finished a little better.

The Lee dies will fork fine for you. They're cheap anyway, so it wouldn't be a big loss when you buy a nicer brand down the road.;)

RyanM
December 15, 2005, 06:49 PM
Lee has some kinda guarantee that their dies will produce the most accurate ammunition or your money back, or something like that. They're still in business, so they can't be too bad.

donkee
December 15, 2005, 08:58 PM
I have had good results with LEE dies. I did pickup a set of RCBS in 30-06. I intend to also pickup a set of LEEs in 30-06 so that I can do a side by side with them. It will be after the first of the year, but I'll post results. If the RCBS dies, using the same recipe, will allow me to shoot better groups, then I'll dump all my LEEs for RCBS. If not, I'll have enough ammunition ( pun intended) to counter the LEE haters! :D

Berek
December 16, 2005, 04:44 AM
Theres some Lee .308 dies on midwausa for $11, and another set by forster for $77. Whats the difference, and will it improve accuracy?

"What's in a name? A rose by any other name should smell as sweet..." Actually, I hate the smell of roses, but in this case it comes down to name. IMHO, I get Lee or RCBS. Lee because of cost and I've had good CS from them. RCBS because of cost and only if they don't have Lee and I'm having an "I WANT IT NOW!" tantrum...

BigSlick
December 16, 2005, 08:06 AM
and I'm having an "I WANT IT NOW!" tantrum...

Truer words were never spoken :D

I use Lee with some pistol rounds because they don't have as large of a radius at the opening. This helps remove the guppy belly from range brass I use for plinking loads.

Other than that, I don't use Lee (so far).

Forster, Redding and some Hornady dies have a noticably better fit and finish overall. RCBS is considered by many to be the industry standard, with more or less expensive dies available depending upon your needs and budget.

I have a good shooting buddy that uses Lee dies with rifle loads. He can outshoot me hands down with a couple of his rifles.

I imagine Lee is as good as anyone else for general loading needs. Mic dies, or BR dies are another matter.

Try the Lee dies and see what that gets you. You can always upgrade later if your skills allow and your needs change.

BigSlick

Matt-man
December 16, 2005, 12:54 PM
To directly answer the question:

The seating die in the Forster set has a micrometer depth adjustment and is an "inline" die. The micrometer allows you to easily set your seating depth in .001" increments without a lot of trial-and-error. The inline design holds the bullet in line with the case as it is being seated to ensure good alignment. Seating dies such as this are very popular for competition rifles. I use the Forster for my .260 and the similar Redding in .308 and have very good results.

The seating die in the Lee set is a plain-Jane die, and hence the lower cost.

ScreamnEagle
December 16, 2005, 01:51 PM
I always use RCBS...If you ever going to get serious about paper punching save your money and get a good set of RCBS.

My Suggestion: http://www.rcbs.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=4&s2=8&s3=70

Berek
December 19, 2005, 04:12 AM
The seating die in the Lee set is a plain-Jane die, and hence the lower cost.

Yup, and I have yet to have any alignment issues. Everyone has their preferences and their reasons. If your livelyhood is based on shooting (competition, not criminal. :D ) then, yeah, I would prolly buy the more expensive stuff.

If you're reloading for hobby, then some of the bells and whistles may not matter to you. Keep shopping, and when you feel comfortable with your choice, buy it. Keep listening to our advice, but take it all, including mine, with the grain of salt that we all have our preferences and opinions.

taliv
December 19, 2005, 10:20 AM
berek, have you actually measured concentricity? what kind of variance do you see with various lee dies/calibers?

Grumulkin
December 19, 2005, 10:39 AM
I have dies of different manufactures for different reasons.

1. I use RCBS dies for autoloaders and lever actions that I have to full length size because of their lifetime warrenty and I like the box they come in. I used RCBS dies to load ammo for a Remington 742 .308 Win. autoloader and got excellent groups (my best 5 shot 100 yard group wiith it measured 0.55) so I believe it will load accurate ammo.

2. I use Lee Collet Dies for guns I don't have to full length size Contenders, Encores and bolt action rifles when possible. You don't have to use any lube on the cases and thus have much less of a mess. Also, only neck sizing, reduces wear on the case. They also load accurate ammo but only have a 2 year warranty. I don't like the round boxes they come in since they're not easily stackable and don't close securly enough for my taste.

3. I also have Hornady dies for some odd calibers others don't make which work fine.

I would use the most economical dies that will do what you want them to; they should all be adequate unless unless you're into very serious bench rest shooting.

snuffy
December 19, 2005, 12:12 PM
I'll answer your question with a question to the lee haters out there; Who besides Lee, makes the only collet neck sizer, and the only factory crimp dies??? Answer, NOBODY! Who else makes dies that all you need is a hammer, powder, bullets and primers to load for your rifle? Again, NOBODY! Who else makes a hand operated press that doesn't need to be mounted on a table, that takes standard dies, and can full length resize most rifle/handgun brass? NOBODY BUT LEE! I could go on about the first handheld priming tool, aluminum molds, bullet lube and sizers, turret presses that come close to progressive output, case trimmers that are THE cheapest and work better, but why bother.

Point is Lee is inovative and has quality products at bargain prices. Some of their stuff is made too cheaply and breaks if you get rough with it. They will gladly replace it, and are constantly updating the weaker points.

LotI
December 19, 2005, 02:02 PM
I have dies of different manufactures for different reasons.

1. I use RCBS dies for autoloaders and lever actions that I have to full length size because of their lifetime warrenty and I like the box they come in.

Neither affect accuracy. I too dislike the boxes that Lee includes. The round ones don't stack and the flat ones' hinge wear out. I have replaced most of mine with Hornady die boxes from Midway, they're the dogs bollocks. Every time I have needed something from Lee it is just given to me. They're a little over an hour from my house and gladly exchanged two decapping pins and a handle for the Lee hand prmer...no receipt asked for.

I've decided that, as a starting reloader, I am buying Lee dies to
a.) support my local economy
b.) save me some money
1.) use saved money to buy more raw materials
c.) get a foothold in the hobby

If I need to spend more, so be it. But I need a good reason.

Berek
December 19, 2005, 03:42 PM
berek, have you actually measured concentricity? what kind of variance do you see with various lee dies/calibers?

I have had less than 10 out of several hundred .300WSM rounds measure more than .1" off center at the tip. And that was because I rushed. I don't tend to measure my handgun rounds, but I do on my .300WSM and .45-70. The .45-70 I worry less about as they have a flatter tip, so I don't measure as much.

I can pretty much say that the reason for this is the care I take in seating my bullets.

taliv
December 19, 2005, 04:07 PM
interesting. i agree with you about the pistol and 45-70. i don't have a 300wsm, but for .308 and .223 with LE Wilson and Forrester dies respectively, I typically get variance of about ~.0001". on .223 on my dillon press with dillon dies, i get ~.0015"

.1" seems like an awful lot. i'd think you could see that as crooked without using a gauge.

Berek
December 21, 2005, 02:51 AM
interesting. i agree with you about the pistol and 45-70. i don't have a 300wsm, but for .308 and .223 with LE Wilson and Forrester dies respectively, I typically get variance of about ~.0001". on .223 on my dillon press with dillon dies, i get ~.0015"

.1" seems like an awful lot. i'd think you could see that as crooked without using a gauge.

Well, I was just being honest. Not including my screw-ups, it is closer to .0001 and less. My last measure was on my friend's CNC tolerance machine (I don't know what it's called...). According to it, I had a 3 round average of .000063. Kept the print out.

Of course, there was the .30-06 with the auto-bullet feed that my friend put in upside down... :D

Berek
December 21, 2005, 02:53 AM
Now that I think about it, I did order a replacement seating plug... I drilled one out to fit the .308 180gr. GameKing bullets. I guess I can't call it a "factory" die... Sorry all...

taliv
December 21, 2005, 03:33 AM
oh, i understand. yeah, i've stuck some in cockeyed myself. i thought you were saying that was worst case but still more or less representative.

.000063 is pretty sweet.

honestly, i've never been entirely happy with the concentricity gauges. i can't tell whether i'm actually measuring runout or how out-of-round the bullet is. (i suspect both) I'd be interested to hear how the cnc machine does it.

caz223
December 23, 2005, 01:26 PM
Yeah, CNC comparators are awesome.
I wouldn't go out and buy one just to measure bullet runout, but if you have access to one......

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