The best reloading dies


January 8, 2008, 03:15 PM
What has been your experience with wear, tear, and durability, of Reloading Dies, used on high production progressive machines

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January 8, 2008, 03:38 PM
Buy carbide dies only feed them clean brass and they will outlast you.

January 8, 2008, 06:06 PM
My experience in the past had been the same. Carbide was the only qualifier. However, just bought some TiN Hornady dies. Only time will tell.

January 8, 2008, 06:54 PM
I'll probably catch a little heat for this post but since you asked, I'll answer. I've got dies from every major manufacturer in the market place. Dillon, Redding, RCBS, Hornady, Lee and the list goes on. I've had very little problem with any of my die sets. I see a lot of bad posts on Lee's reloading equipment. That said, I've become quite fond of their dies sets. I like their lock nuts better than any others on the market. They are arguably the best value out there. For volume loading of pistol cartridges carbide dies are the only real choice.

Vern Humphrey
January 8, 2008, 07:02 PM
I like Lee dies. Their "unbreakable" decapping pin saves a lot of frustration and heartache. The Lee Factory Crimp Die is head-and-shoulders over anthing that preceeded it. The Lee Collet Die is the only answer to some reloading problems.

January 10, 2008, 02:52 PM
I use only Lee Carbide dies for my pistols. they are outstanding AND affordable. Great combination. As for my rifles, I have come to really like the Hornady new dimension dies. Check them out.
good shooting

January 10, 2008, 02:59 PM
I guess the Lee O-ring "lock" rings must be an acquired taste.
I simply hate them!

Every time I buy another set of Lee dies, I either throw away the stupid rings and replace them with clamp rings, or drill & tap them for set screws & a lead shot.

Once I adjust a die for my press, I have no desire for them to ever move again until I decide I want them too.

Those Lee flexi-flier rings have a mind of their own every time you change them out in the press.

January 10, 2008, 03:36 PM
+1 for Lee O-Ring lock rings being worthless. I replace them with Hornady lock rings.

January 10, 2008, 03:42 PM
I've loaded huge amounts on a progressive press using Lee carbide dies. Zero problems. Haven't had any problems with the locking rings, either--but can definitely see where some folks wouldn't like them.

I like them (the locking rings) because I load several different makes of bullets for .38 special and need to adjust the seating/crimping die every time I switch bullet makes. Same for .45 ACP and my .44 magnum/spcl rounds.


January 10, 2008, 03:49 PM
For rifle work their competition seating die with the micrometer adjustments is the easiest to adjust, and more importantly, easiest to duplicate adjustment system that I have ever used.

lee n. field
January 10, 2008, 03:59 PM
+1 for Lee O-Ring lock rings being worthless. I replace them with Hornady lock rings.

Except that you kind of need to use them (or something their size) if you're using Lee's 3 hole turret (Pro 1000).

January 10, 2008, 04:18 PM
RCBS lock rings will fit I think.

January 10, 2008, 05:12 PM
While Lee and RCBS dies are decent dies along with the others, the best dies bar none are those made by Redding. They cost a little more but the quailty of these dies are something to experience. Once you reload with a set of Redding dies, nothing else will satisfy you...I compare them to a bottle of 30 year old single malt Scotch! JMHO :D

Down South
January 10, 2008, 05:29 PM
I use RCBS and Lee. I love the Lee Dies with the exception of the lock ring.

January 10, 2008, 05:32 PM
I love the Redding Competition seaters. they are great for calibers where you load several different bullets. Just dial it back to a recorded setting and go. Loads rounds straight too.

I have many more Hornady seaters in pistol calibers because they work great and are much less expensive.

I have had two out of four, maybe five, carbide rings come loose from Redding sizers. I have never had that happen with Lee or RCBS and I have had more of those. Go figure.

I like the Redding two step expander that they copied from Lyman because it does not bell the brass excessively and I believe it helps bullets seat straighter.

My 9MM, .38, .357, & .40 die sets have Redding or Lee sizers (Yep-Redding replaced them), Redding expanders, and Hornady seaters. My .45 ACP set has the Redding Competition seater. I load several different bullets in .45ACP.

I really like RCBS dies and have some full sets, .45 Colt is one, 400 Corbon is another I can think of offhand.

I have Lee sets for .32 ACP, .32 Long, .38 S&W, that I can think of anyway.

For rifle dies I like the Forster sizer with the elevated expander ball, although Redding & RCBS sizers work great as well. I like the Forster seaters and the Redding Competition seaters. I don't have any Redding seaters myself, but have used them. I bought Forster seaters long before the Redding Competition seaters came out.

January 10, 2008, 09:01 PM
I use both Lee and RCBS. Both are great and will serve you a long time if taken care of. I thought lee were just a little more forgiving though.

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