Need .308 die buying help


June 1, 2010, 09:49 AM
Not new to reloading but I am new to rifle cartridge reloading.

I'm looking to reload .308 for my Rem LTR bolt gun in order to develop some accurate loads.

My question is should I buy competition dies w/ built in seating depth micrometers, 3 die sets, standard 2 die sets, shoulder sizing, etc.

I would consider buying up and getting features I might use when I get more proficient and my OCD kicks in. Price isn't a huge concern but is always a consideration

I'll be using a single stage press.

What do you guys use and why.

Brands you like?

Thanks for any and all responses.

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June 1, 2010, 10:01 AM
RCBS standard dies & Redding type S Bushing Dies, no custom seaters. For a factory rifle, the best way to go is, send fired brass to die maker, have custom dies made. I think RCBS & Redding do this, maybe others. Only draw back is if the neck wall thickness changes a lot on newer brass, bullet tension might be lacking. Here Bushing dies rule, as they are adjustable, different bushing. I find FLRS is more accurate than neck only. IMO

June 1, 2010, 10:19 AM
Very happy with my standard Redding FL die set. RCBS is great as well. If you want a better seater, get a Forster or a Redding sleeve type seater.

The difference between the match type sets and standard sets as far as accuracy goes is small, but definite.

You will make much bigger differences in group size with a good load and proper technique.

If you are shooting big groups with standard dies, you will with match dies. When standard dies can't keep up with your shooting, get the match type.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 1, 2010, 10:52 AM
Unless your gun is accurized, I also would go with standard dies. I use all RCBS and I use some Lee Factory Crimp dies for dedicated crimp, however you should not need to crimp a .308 for a bolt action.

If your gun is HIGHLY-ACCURIZED, then that is a different story and possibly worth spending the extra $$$ for the more expensive, more exacting-adjustible dies.

Just being able to work up an accurate load using standard dies is typically all it takes to get groups down to less than 1" at 100 yards. Depending on your particular rifle, trigger, bedding, free-floating or not, etc, "your mileage may vary."

More important than die selection is the question - is the gun receiver glass bedded and is the barrel free-floating? Also is there some kind of trigger work that has been done to make the trigger a nice clean break when firing, with very little pull necessary to fire?

If the answer is NO to any of the above, rather than more $$$ on dies, I would begin with the aspects of the rifle I pointed out, plus even more things you can do to make the rifle accurate - all this BEFORE you even work up a decent load (crown the barrel, pillar-bedding, etc).

June 1, 2010, 12:20 PM
The rifle is bedded, free-floated, trigger work has been done, I have shot 1/2 " 5 shot groups with FGMM 175's.

I am looking to create some nice cartridges, just not crazy nice.

I'd like to recreate the FGMM 175's!

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 1, 2010, 12:24 PM
In that case, you are up there in "class" and it might profit you to get the better dies.

I'm sorry I cannot help you with anything over RCBS Standard dies, as that is all I use with an occasional Lee Factory Crimp Die where I need a real accurate firm grip to prevent bullet jump in my 500.

June 1, 2010, 01:14 PM
"..I have shot 1/2 " 5 shot groups with FGMM 175's."

That is the single relivant criteria saying you would do well to get a set of Forster BR or Redding Competition dies. Save getting anything else until after you actually learn to use the basic set to it's limits. IF you wish to neck size, get a Lee Collet neck die.

June 1, 2010, 02:24 PM
I agree that Forster or Redding is they way to go.

June 1, 2010, 08:25 PM
Ticket to loading 308 Win.
Redding Standard Seater
Redding Body Die
Redding Type S Neck Die with 336 bushing for Lapua Brass Nothing Else comes close
175 SMK
RL15 or Varget with BR2 primers

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