Certain companies dies better for specific calibers?


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Lucky Strike
November 26, 2008, 04:23 PM
Getting ready to buy dies as a newbie putting together his first reloading setup. I have a Dillon 550 and was likely going to get Dillon dies (to just stay consistent) or RCBS (if i get Sportsmens Warehouse gift cards for christmas since that's mostly what they sell). Just had a thought though that maybe certain companies dies work better for certain calibers (i'm going to start out with .223 and .45acp).....maybe it's a stupid question but i figure the fine folks at THR would let me know.

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jwr747
November 26, 2008, 04:57 PM
think you gonna find out,like lots of things in the "reloading sport" things work for some folks,and the same thing won't work for others.people swear by RCBS,Redding,Foster,and a few more,swear at Lee.Lee are "cheaper made,but for me and some others, certain Lee dies work better than the hi $$$ ones.I have some of every brand of die made,they all do the job.and for me,using a sizing die from maker "A",and a seating die from somone else for a given caliber,isn't unusual. jwr

Walkalong
November 26, 2008, 05:07 PM
It is hard to answer that question. I have all brands and use all brands.

For Pistol:

I like Lee sizers, but really don't like their expanders, although they work fine. I have a couple of complete Lee sets for .32 ACP, .32 Long, and .38 S&W, because of the cost factor. I have 4 or 5 sets that have either a Redding, RCBS, or Lee sizer, a Redding two step expander, a Hornady seater, and a Redding, RCBS, or C&H crimp die. I have one Redding Competition seater for .45 ACP and it's the cats meow, not only working great, but allowing me to dial back to settings for various bullets. I plan on getting one for .38/.357 one of these days.

For Rifle:

I have Redding and Forster, and that is what I would buy in the future. I retired my Lee set, but it worked well.

or RCBS (if i get Sportsmens Warehouse gift cards for christmas since that's mostly what they sell).
Very good stuff, it will serve you well..

ranger335v
November 26, 2008, 07:00 PM
All our die makers reamers adhere to SAMMI specs. There is virtually no difference directly attibutible to the brand name. You will find as much difference between size dies of the same maker as there is between makers.

Chose your dies by the user features, not the brand.

243winxb
November 26, 2008, 07:07 PM
The primary feature of Dillon's size die design the long, tapered carbide ring with a radiused opening When using a Dillon 550, Dillon handgun dies have a bevel cut into them that lets the system work better. When the case starts to enter the flrs die, the dillon and redding tapered die help in feeding the case.

Steve C
November 26, 2008, 07:15 PM
The main difference in the dies is the little things. If you buy Dillon Dies the end the case enters is more generously relieved (chamfered) to guide the case into the die even if there is a small misalignment with the case being fed into it. This is more important with progressive presses as there's more movement of the brass, the operator doesn't guide the case into the die by hand and allows the machine for work better.

Hornady progressive press works better with Hornady dies than say RCBS or LEE.

The progressives will work with other die sets but maybe a little less smoothly.

The rest is just personal preference, they all seem to have some features better than another. I really like the Hornady bullet guide in their seating dies, I like the Lee Collet dies and their factory crimp dies and RCBS makes a good die set too. I've got a mix of die sets over the years for different calibers and they all work well.

243winxb
November 26, 2008, 07:21 PM
All dies in the set have a special large radius at the mouth for easy case entry, a necessary feature for progressive machines. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=736556

ranger335v
November 26, 2008, 10:33 PM
"When using a Dillon 550, Dillon handgun dies have a bevel cut into them that lets the system work better."

That may be true but it isn't "caliber specific", is it?

Of course they are made that way because the fit of the case to dies on that turntable device has sufficent slop that it needs a funnel to guide the case in. It works too. But if you don't load on a Dillion 550, or similar progressive press, it's irrelivant. And that was sort of the point of buying dies by feature, not brand.

;)

Idano
November 26, 2008, 11:26 PM
When it comes to rifle dies I recommend RCBS X-dies unless you like to trim your brass all the time or maybe you have one of those Giraud or Gracy trimmers want to use or justify. Pistol dies, like everyone else said are basically the same with a few variance like Dillon's beveled open for better feeding or Hornady's bullet follower in the seating die to keep the bullet lined up with the case.

Otto
November 26, 2008, 11:58 PM
Getting ready to buy dies as a newbie putting together his first reloading setup. I have a Dillon 550 and was likely going to get Dillon dies (to just stay consistent)...

That's what I would do if I were starting out with a Dillon press.
Dillon dies paired to a Dillon press makes for a better investment and has a higher resale value.

jpwilly
November 27, 2008, 12:00 AM
I have only Lee dies and am making ammo that is to spec with no problems on my Lee Classic Cast Turret Press. If I was using a Dillion I'd get their dies because it will run smoother. I like the lee bullet seating die because depth can be turned in or out without tools and the decapper doesn't break or bend pins. My handloads shoot as good as the most pricey factory loads. But haven't beaten Federal Gold Metal Match performance yet in my 308 loads.

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