Die shortage


February 13, 2013, 11:24 AM
I guess I should have seen this coming, but when I went to order some dies today on MidwayUSA, THEY ARE ALL GONE.

Even for not-so-mainstream calibers like 44 Magnum.

I couldn't even put a set together off mixed single dies, because there weren't any sizing dies in 44 magnum in stock, period.

Hope the backorder doesn't take too long. The 300 AAC dies I've got on order, have been on backorder for over two and a half months now. And I put a backorder in on 357 dies last month that still hasn't shipped.

With all these NEW reloaders swarming to snap up everything they can get their hands on, thanks to the ammo shortage, components are going to be in short supply for quite awhile, I fear.


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February 13, 2013, 11:28 AM
And if you look on eBay, there were 223 die sets going for as much as 225 dollars. Normal steel die sets for example 38spl and other standard calibers have gone up a few dollars here and there. 9mm 40 and 45acp, die sent have gone up in price and holding steady hat those higher prices.

February 13, 2013, 11:29 AM
I've seen how you've done people on this board very right (I think even free) when they were caught.. if I had some extra .44 dies, I'd do you right. you deserve it

February 13, 2013, 11:30 AM
225 bucks asked for a used set of 223 dies! Oh, good grief. :banghead:

February 13, 2013, 11:45 AM
i noticed the same thing yesterday! Talk about madness

February 13, 2013, 11:48 AM
If you can/will use Lee carbide dies, Natchez has .44mag 4die (+ factory crimp) set IN STOCK:



February 13, 2013, 12:44 PM
Have you tried local shops? I can find just about any die locally except .223, 9mm, or .40.

February 13, 2013, 12:48 PM
I have a set of 41 or 44 (can't remember which) that have been sitting around. Drop me a PM and I'll look tonight.

February 13, 2013, 01:04 PM
Once the new reloaders finally find some dies, they're going to be scrounging for primers, powders, and bullets. I expect bullet molds are going to be scarce, too, though I haven't gone looking for any, yet.

February 13, 2013, 01:09 PM
I was looking around at some new 45 cal molds I'm thinking about.
A few vendors were out of some, didn't seem much different than the last time I bought molds.

February 13, 2013, 01:12 PM
Trent, I sent you a PM.

February 13, 2013, 01:13 PM
I've watched this roll through like a tsunami. First the popular cartridges, then brass and bullets, then components. I've just hurried up and bought some reloading tools I'd been holding back on for years. Got a new Lee cast iron press and a very nice powder measure, but I expect the waves to start hitting even there shortly.

Ditto the idea of checking smaller stores for some of these items. I found small base 5.56 dies for regular price a few weeks back just sitting on the shelf.

One bit of good news--the CAST bullet supply for .38/.357 appears to be doing OK. I just bought a batch of 500 from Midway. I think cast rounds can be turned out pretty quickly so that's one place to look. Or cast your own, too.

February 13, 2013, 01:19 PM
And if you look on eBay, there were 223 die sets going for as much as 225 dollars.

I know it is frustrating to get a new firearm and then can't get the reloading gear for it.

I went through this in 2009 when I got my first USGI M1 Carbine in the middle of the shortages. I was willing to wait until I could get dies at the normal prices.

February 13, 2013, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the offer James! I've got my backorder through on MidwayUSA for a set, will check with them on an ETA. If it's going to be a long time (like those 300 AAC dies I'm waiting for), I'll scrap the order and drop you a line! I don't mind rolling my casings on a lube pad, carbide or not doesn't matter.

And yes, I've checked ALL local gun shops, including the big box stores like Big R, Bass Pro, and Gander Mountain. They're picked clean. It's worse than I've ever seen it before, the ONLY components I can find are shotgun components.

I bought two pounds of powder last month and felt bad because there was only one pound left (I will NOT clean a place out, period). But, 2 pounds doesn't last all that long in 7.5 Swiss, which is the rifle I got it for.

The day Sandy Hook happened I just happened to be out shopping and picked up a case of each type of primer, because I *knew* what was going to come down.

Which is why I don't mind parting with some components to local Central IL folks (bullets, primers, and shellcasings only - I don't have a ton of powder set back, so don't ask about that).

If you're in my neck of the woods and desperately need something, shoot me a PM and I might be able to help.

February 13, 2013, 03:47 PM
I was frustrated as well. I was trying to find 30-30 dies. Couldn't believe how hard it was to find a decent priced set. Took me a good week after I gave up my search at local stores to find a set online.

February 13, 2013, 04:21 PM
No shortage, “I guess I should have seen this coming”, I saw it coming, rather than talk about how bad things are going to be I was busy. seems most found me and wanted me to have the equipment and components.

F. Guffey

February 13, 2013, 04:57 PM
I too have a set of .44 mag dies sitting around. If interested shoot me a PM.

February 13, 2013, 06:20 PM
With all these NEW reloadersIt was even worse in 2008. We had a ton of folks start reloading then. It kept us all hopping here trying to help everyone. :)

February 13, 2013, 07:41 PM
Anyone have a factory crimp 44 die they don't need?

I got lucky with 223 dies. I still have a set on back order from midway showing delivery in 2 weeks. If mine get here before yours you're welcome to them for the Midway price plus shipping. I usually use flat rate boxes and I'm pretty sure a small will work.

February 13, 2013, 07:46 PM
Have you tried Craigslist. Maybe it's just my area. But there are always dies for sale. The price is usually high for used dies but nowhere near the eBay level. Usually at new MSRP for a used set.

I'd also look on other forums. There have been two large lots from estate sales pop up on one of them. We're talking over 400 die sets on top of random singles. It pays to look everywhere you can right now.

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February 13, 2013, 08:05 PM
I'm one of those new reloaders but only by happenstance. I was planning on buying a press after taxes but my dad and brother beat me to the punch 2 days be for the ct stuff. So here I've been trying to find stuff in the middle of a storm that I handy planned on being in. For the most part I haven't had a hard time getting stuff. A223 die took me several tries to find. I eventually found a Lee RGB set at frs. How I don't know bc they were gone by that afternoon. Of all places I got a good deal on a 223 FCD on eBay. Otherwise their prices have been outrageous for dies. All my other sets have come from the local cabelas. The only place locally that sells Lee dies. I have 9, 45, 270, 223, 44 and a 30-30 set on order from Natchez. So I guess in short I haven't had too hard a time getting what I need. Locally primers bullets and powder have been ok to get. May take a week or so for it to show up but if you keep an eye out it gets here. One store in particular has had a plethora of primers and no limit on buying. Honestly the worst here is new brass and rifle bullets. 30-30 had 0 selection. And .224 forget about it. I've found most calibers of brass at gun shows for reasonable amounts. Got lots of 45 this weekend 5 bucks per hundred.

Check the local guys. I've had excellent luck doing that.

February 13, 2013, 10:29 PM
My local gun shop has several sets of RCBS X dies for 50.99. I thought that was high, but then I noticed they were the X dies.... be glad to turn you on to them.

February 13, 2013, 11:03 PM
walkalong, just wait. once all the new guys finally get components the questions will start flying fast and furious. Hopefully they will watch a youtube video and read a manual before they ask, so we get intelligent questions.

(I don't mind helping, and I've asked plenty of questions myself, but sheesh, do a modicum of homework first. EX: read the stickies, or at least the literature that comes with the equipment)

February 13, 2013, 11:32 PM
No shortage, “I guess I should have seen this coming”, I saw it coming, rather than talk about how bad things are going to be I was busy. seems most found me and wanted me to have the equipment and components.


I was prepared for everything EXCEPT buying a new gun. (Many would say OVER prepared, especially my wife...)

After all this started, I couldn't foresee that I'd be buying a 357 in December, or 44 mag in February. The 357 was my first wheel gun purchase, I needed to learn revolvers to get NRA instructor certification. Then the 44 mag happened because I found out I really like wheel guns. :)

So, prepare all you want, but when you suddenly find yourself picking up a new caliber, you gotta start from square one all over again with it. Except for primers, which I have in abundant supply, and powder, which in adequate supply, I have to source brass, bullets, and dies.

You guys have been especially helpful in this. I'm going to call Midway tomorrow to see if there's an ETA available on the dies I put on backorder today. If NOT, I won't feel bad cancelling my order. (I don't like backing out on a deal, even if it's over the internet with a big company.)

February 14, 2013, 01:07 AM
trent, I don't know you, but seeing the support of other folks offered and your willingness to help... I think I saw some at the local gun store today, they actually have a large selection of dies and components there (it's way out in the mountains)...

anyhow, if you have no luck, drop me a line and maybe I can work something out with you to get you the dies here... I am a new reloader by accident, certainly not a "panic buyer" and folks on this forum have been very helpful, an hour or so of my time and some gas to run to the store is no problem. They were RCBS brand btw...

as someone else stated, bullet molds are non-existent right now. I may or may not have gotten some molds for my .41 magnum, when I called to check the order (since I used a friend's card) i was informed that they had sold me dies that they did not posess, after a firm yet polite email, I got a shipping confirmation... hmmm, anyhow, whatever I'm getting in the mail is supposed to be here tomorrow, we'll see if it's a box of nastiness or my bullet molds :) after my email, I figure it is one of the two.

anyhow, if you can't find any, drop me a line and I'll try to get you those dies as a last resort.

February 14, 2013, 09:55 AM
Thanks guys!

If anyone who has helped me, or has offered to help me, up to this point in this thread is in dire need of 223 or 308 projectiles, lemme know. $0.09 each on SS109, $0.20 each on 147 or 168gr. Shipping $5 (USPS flat rate). I have a finite supply, no more than 500x 223 or 250x 308 each.

February 14, 2013, 10:13 AM
no worries brother, I don't really need that stuff myself. I have enough to load most of what I need to until this blows over.

anyhow, there was only one left there, if you think you might want it let me know and I'll give them a call. Heck, they might even mail it straight to you and you pay them over the phone, can't say for sure but they are pretty nice folks over there although a little run ragged during all this mess.

They actually have full shelves of ammo too!

February 14, 2013, 10:55 AM
I've been run a little ragged to. A lot of people know I had an FFL and a lot of people know I "retired" from the business with a lot of stuff. So my phone has been ringing a lot lately.

Last night I spent 3 frigging hours after work meeting up with people. Sold an AR-15 receiver to a friend for $135, 1000 rounds of 40 S&W ammo to another guy, etc.

I haven't posted anything up for sale on here because A) I don't have enough quantity to cover a public offering (nor any ability to order anything new in), B) I'm already getting enough calls and my free time is saturated, and C) shipping ammo or any hazmat item is extremely troublesome as I have to drive two hours, round trip, to the UPS or FedEx distribution points to send anything off.

But bullets, those are just chunks of metal, I can stuff in a USPS flat rate box and send off. :)

March 1, 2013, 03:43 PM
38 Special dies shipped.

300 AAC dies arrived in stock at Midway today. (FINALLY!)

Also got 30-06, 30-40 Krag, and 303 brit dies delivered this week.

Looks like manufacturers are starting to catch up!

March 1, 2013, 04:17 PM
My local Bass Pro has all but 1 or 2 LEE, RCBS and Hornady dies in stock. Just don't ask for powder or primers :P

March 1, 2013, 11:02 PM
I'm thinking that tools will catch up long before components will. Glad your stuff is starting to ship. Lightman

March 2, 2013, 12:26 AM
I guess I'm very fortunate, about 2 weeks before the CT deal went down, I messed up a .38 de-cap die, I ordered one from Midway, while I was on the web, I saw the universal de-cap die, so ordered that one too, never know when they might be needed. Now I can de-cap 38's, 44's or whatever with the universal, also have respective de-cap dies for the mentioned calibers. Lucked out getting some powder, could only buy 2 lb.s at a time, plus I happened to be in the right spot at the right time, got 3K of SPP too, more than I'd paid previously, but they're mine now! Did get some lead bullets from Midway about a month ago, no problems there, just trying to find some more powder and SRMP's, like frog fangs, not to be found. Good luck guys !

March 2, 2013, 02:05 AM
Ooh! Just got another e-mail from them, the 44 mag dies are in stock now too!

March 2, 2013, 02:47 AM

March 2, 2013, 02:35 PM
If you don't need fixings for 223 or 9MM things are coming back around here some but are still hit or miss. IMHO dies are not something that one buys lots of so the stores that had them did not stock them deep and ran out quickly. Now the makers are catching up on demand some and as such dies are starting to be available beyond back orders. Wish this was the case with primers and propellant now.:scrutiny:

March 2, 2013, 04:29 PM
I just sent a email complaining to Lee no 40 cal.dies for over a month a 1/2!.

March 2, 2013, 04:40 PM
I'd imagine 40 cal were hit pretty heavy by the run.

Oddballs are easy to find, the 30/40 Krag, 30-06, and 303 brit were in stock on Midway and shipped the same day. :)

March 2, 2013, 06:55 PM
This is why I buy dies and components when I decide to acquire a gun chambered in a new-to-me cartridge. Even before I have the gun.

I got some criticism at the the time, but not recently.

March 2, 2013, 08:01 PM
LGS here got a shipment of 4 die 9mm and 3 die .223 sets last week. The 9 was running about $60, the .223s were a little cheaper. If anyone's needs those, holler. Actual cost plus a flat rate box. I can hit the store Monday at lunchtime.

March 2, 2013, 08:03 PM
I've been watching reloading equipment on evilbay lately. I've seen lots of die sets go for around $60 $70 and shipping. If you get a 9mm Luger set for under a hundred, you did good.

March 2, 2013, 08:07 PM
Try FS Reloading, they've got Lee carbide, 3 die sets in stock for $32.78 + shipping.
If all else fails, shoot me a PM, I'm pretty sure I've got a set of RCBS non-carbide .44 Mag/.44 Special dies out in the reloading shack somewhere...


I've dealt with them in the past and they seem to be good folks.
The only problem I ever had with them was when I'd ordered a couple thousand M-80 ball projectiles and they refused to ship them in a USPS flat rate box because "shipping ammunition by mail is illegal". I finally just gave up and paid the UPS shipping fee. When the bullets arrived they were in far better condition than advertised.

March 2, 2013, 08:09 PM
Give it six months. The scare will die down, hoarding will stop, new buyers will find reloading too time consuming or difficult compared with buying factory. Predict reloading sets on eBay and Craigslist for below cost.

March 2, 2013, 08:10 PM
44 mag is all I'm waiting on now, but I have enough loaded to last me a while. I can be patient until the Midway order is filled. :)

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