reloading die questions


PDA






chris93555
October 16, 2011, 11:44 PM
I'm new to forums and decided to give it a try, let me know if I'm doing something wrong. I have made the first step to starting reloading. I have been hand loading with the Lee classic kit and have decided to step in up. I have bought a new Lee single stage press, and I'm confused on which dies I need for each caliber. I'm going to buy Lee dies but not sure which one to get as I don't know the differences in Lee deluxe and pacesetter 3 set dies set. Do I need the collet or crimp with these I will be only using the reloaded ammo for plicking and target shooting. These are the calibers I will be reloading:

Pistol
9mm, 40 S&W, 38 sp. 357 mag and 45 LC

Rifles
.223, .243, & .308

Thanks for your help

If you enjoyed reading about "reloading die questions" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
cfullgraf
October 17, 2011, 12:25 AM
For handgun cartridges and straight walled cartridges you will need a three die set. The first is the sizer die, second expands the mouth of the case and the third seats the bullet and applies the crimp.

Some folks, like me, like to crimp in a fourth step instead of during the bullet seating step. Crimp dies are made this purpose.

With bottle neck rifle cases, only two dies are needed. First is the resize die and the second is the seater die. Many rifle cartridges do not need crimping although crimping can be done in the seater die or with a separate die.

Lee sells a variety of die sets that have the above listed dies as well as some extra, special dies. The most common is the Factory Crimp Die which performs differently for handgun and rifle cartridges. The Factory Crimp dies applies a crimp in an extra step.

Another set has a neck sizer die for rifle cartridges. The neck sizing is useful for bolt rifles but not suitable for semi-auto, slide action or lever action rifles.

Sorry, I do not know the specific Lee nomenclature for their die sets.

There are other, specialty dies offered by various manufacturers which are evolutions of the basic dies listed above. Bushing dies offer certain advantages for case sizing, small base dies have use with some semi-auto and slide action rifles. Competition seater dies usually have a micrometer adjuster for the bullet seater.

Hope this helps.

HOWARD J
October 17, 2011, 12:30 AM
Take a run thru Lee's catalog & instructions

http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Hand-Gun-Dies/

loadedround
October 17, 2011, 08:54 AM
Chris: Being an long time reloader, I would suggest you spend a few extra bucks and buy the carbide pistol dies. With a carbide sizing die, it is not necessary to lube your cases, so much easier to size them, plus no mess to clean up afterwards. Sorry but carbide dies are not available for rifle cases and they will have to be lubed. Good luck in your new venture.

Ditchtiger
October 17, 2011, 09:13 AM
Chris: Sorry but carbide dies are not available for rifle cases
Dillon sells carbide .223 and .308 rifle dies
But they recommend that the cases still be lubed.
Rather hard to justify $150 each if you still have to lube them.

g29guy
October 17, 2011, 09:16 AM
I second loadedrounds advise on the carbide dies. they are a few more dollars but will literally last forever and will make reloading easier and cleaner.

chrome_austex
October 17, 2011, 01:26 PM
cfullgraf is correct.

I use the normal Lee dies w/o issue.. Just use the wax on the rifle brass and skip the spray-lube and you'll be fine.

The 3-die sets with the neck sizer, bullet seater, and full-length resizer are nice for bolt rifles, where you can skip the full-length resize and just resize the necks the vast majority of the time.

For autoloading rifles, you'll need the full-length resizer and the bullet seater, but just those two dies are enough.

Crimping is optional, and basically unneeded for target/plinking rounds. Since you have a lot of calibers to buy, I'd just go without the crimp dies.

Woody3
October 17, 2011, 08:44 PM
Chris,
Sent you an off topic PM.


Keep your head low and your powder dry.

Hondo 60
October 18, 2011, 12:46 AM
Good advise so far on pistol dies.

On the rifle dies - if I'm not mistaken, pacesetter dies are for bolt action or other single shot rifles. They're designed to neck-resize only as the cartridge is sized in your chamber by firing.

full-length resize dies are for semi-autos.
That's what I've used (very successfully, I might add) on my AR15.

mgmorden
October 18, 2011, 11:41 AM
I second loadedrounds advise on the carbide dies. they are a few more dollars but will literally last forever and will make reloading easier and cleaner.

Absolutely. Several times now I've tried to save a few dollars by getting (sometimes used) steel dies for something I only occasionally reload. Every time I've later ended up buying a carbide sizer after getting tired of lubing cases - eliminating any "savings" in the cheaper dies.

Start out with the carbide dies and don't look back.

On the rifle dies - if I'm not mistaken, pacesetter dies are for bolt action or other single shot rifles. They're designed to neck-resize only as the cartridge is sized in your chamber by firing.

The Pacesetter dies include the full-length sizer that can be used in any type. Their collet sizer dies are included in their Deluxe 3-die sets and are neck-size only to be used as you described. All of their neck-size only sets come in yellow boxes whilst the full-length sizing dies come in red.

They also put out some 2-die sets (they used to be called RGB dies and came in green boxes - literally for Really Good Buy. I think they've switched to red on these now though and renamed them to something less comical). Those are just a FL-sizer and a seater/crimper. If you don't want to use the FCD then that 2-die set is a heck of a bargain. Back when I first got into reloading I got a set of them for .308 and I still use it. I think with a C&R discount at Midway the set was around $12. They didn't include shellholders but so many cartridges use the same ones that after you get a few you don't need new ones with every die set.

stonecutter2
October 18, 2011, 12:11 PM
I got the Lee Carbide Deluxe 4 die set for 9mm. It has the usual 3 dies (decap, powder through/expanding, bullet seat and crimp), plus the factory crimp die.

I find the factory crimp die to be pretty helpful as a new reloader - even though it doesn't often do much, it does smooth out the crimp, and on random occasions I've felt it do "something" to a round that apparently needed a little more done.

The FCD is an extra step, but one I take as a precaution that my rounds will feed more reliably.

It's up to you whether you want the factory crimp die. I got it for 9mm and 45ACP and it makes me more confident in my reloading - generally it doesn't do much, but when it does you feel it on your press...and that's potentially one less round at the range that might feed wrong, or do who knows what.

chris93555
October 19, 2011, 01:03 AM
Thanks for all your help guys, I understand what I need to get:)

chris93555
October 19, 2011, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the advise loadedround, I got carbine dies for the 9mm and love them.

jcwit
October 19, 2011, 01:18 AM
A light coating of spray lube on the straight walled handgun cases while not needed will make life alittle easier. One can even use Pledge spray furniture polish for this.

If you enjoyed reading about "reloading die questions" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!