Rifle Dies - Help Me Decide


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Triumph
March 24, 2013, 09:40 PM
I am trying to decide which way to go for rifle dies. Forgive me for asking a similar question in a separate post but that post was specific to the CoAx. I know now that doesn't matter & just need general advice on rifle dies.

I read through the following thread:
Brand names for reloading dies... does it matter?
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=704958

From Walkalong on the above thread:


These days, after years of buying some of everything, I look at RCBS first for standard pistol dies, and Forster first for standard FL rifle dies.

I'm not interested in match grade accuracy - just good dies to have a long time. I'm tempted to duplicate his preferences & get the following dies.

1. Die Set 308 Small Base Sizer & 308 Win Seater Die (for 308 bolt & Garand)
2. Die Set 30-06 - Full Length Sizing Die & Seater Die (for 30-06 bolt & Garand)
* Forster does not have a small base FL & I can't figure out which RCBS is the right set.
3. Die Set 270 Win - Full Length Sizing Die & Seater Die
4. Die Set 243 Win - Full Length Sizing Die & Seater Die

One advantage of the Forster is that they come with the compatible lock rings. I know some of the other lock ring will work but it seems pretty easy.

Do these look o.k.? Any flaws in my thinking?

Thanks Much

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45lcshooter
March 24, 2013, 09:49 PM
RCBS or Redding FL dies. Redding are a little better quality.

I reload a lot of different calibers, so I have dies from Lee to Lyman All American to RCBS to Redding. All the dies that are made in the past 20 years are great. There were some fly by high die makers and press makers, they are prolly good but not good enough to stand the test of time.

So for a FL die set, RCBS or Redding.

Tolkachi Robotnik
March 24, 2013, 10:07 PM
I believe you will be happy with RCBS dies. If you are not happy get a hold of them and they will make you happy.

I do not have any Forster or Redding, they are no doubt good products. I understand they are maybe a little premium priced. RCBS is higher than some others but I have been very pleased with their form, finish, and function.

Triumph
March 24, 2013, 10:26 PM
So for a FL die set, RCBS or Redding.

Can you explain the Redding Series A dies? Is the Series A their economy line?

dsm
March 24, 2013, 10:40 PM
No brainer...go all Forster.

Strongbad
March 25, 2013, 12:16 AM
Can you explain the Redding Series A dies? Is the Series A their economy line?

The Redding Series designation has nothing to do with quality. All of the Redding dies are made to the same standard. The Series has to do with commonality which is why the cost of the Series A is lower. They make more 308 Winchester, 30'06, etc. so more volume, thus less cost.

Here's a quote from Redding's website -

The Reloading die sets listed in this category re p resent the most popular dies that we produce. Although all Redding Dies are made to the same high quality standards, Series A is the lowest price, due to the efficiency of higher production.

For stuff that I want good accuracy out of but I'm not really concerned with match groups, I find myself buying more and more Lee dies these days due to cost. That said, I still have more RCBS dies than anything else, and as far as standard dies go I consider RCBS the standard by which everything else is judged. For my target/precision rifles, I choose Redding.

jstein650
March 25, 2013, 01:20 AM
I've been using Lee Neck Sizing collet dies forever. In my case I have only 1 rifle per caliber (all bolt actions). I think the uniformity is better, less messy/much easier to do, a heck of a lot easier on brass too. Neck size and check to see if they need trimming/deburring and I'm done. Use in .223, 7x57, .303 Br., and 30'06. In something like the .303 there is a bit of increased case capacity and definitely less case stretching. Plus, they're cheap!

Doug b
March 25, 2013, 02:29 AM
Only flaw I see are those other lock rings may work but are not compatable with the CoAx press.The die self centers in this press,it needs to move.There is a spring loaded ball detent that keeps it from moving to far.Those other lock rings aren't large enough in dia. to make this stop and will wrinke cases.I strongly urge you to use the Forster rings.This design may sound funky but it sure gives great run out numbers.

Grumulkin
March 25, 2013, 03:24 AM
I have RCBS, Redding, Forster, Lee and Hornady dies. They're all satisfactory but I like RCBS dies the best. I don't like RCBS, Lee or Redding lock rings though; I discard them and use Hornady lock rings instead.

stargeezer
March 25, 2013, 07:25 PM
I have a few of all of them, but all the ones I buy for my progressive are Dillion dies. They are about three turns longer, which helps with adjustments.

lightman
March 25, 2013, 07:52 PM
You won't go wrong with any brand made. I do not think you need the small base dies for your Garand. The standard full length set will serve you fine. Lightman

kludge
March 26, 2013, 12:08 PM
If I'm going to pay more than Lee prices, I buy Redding.

+1 for not needing a small base die... if you do end up needing it, just by one separately.

ArchAngelCD
March 26, 2013, 12:29 PM
I have tried several die sets over the years from a few companies and I have settled on RCBS dies although the new Hornady dies aren't bad either.

In reality any name brand company will deliver good dies which will produce accurate ammo. Some, at a higher price, will deliver slightly more accuracy. You will have to decided how much you want to spend and how much accuracy you require. Most shooters, especially for hunting ammo won't be able to tell the difference between ammo made with one company's dies over the other.

I like RCBS because they are priced fairly, produce good uniform ammo and their CS is unquestionable.

Triumph
March 26, 2013, 12:29 PM
Doug b Only flaw I see are those other lock rings may work but are not compatable with the CoAx press.The die self centers in this press,it needs to move.There is a spring loaded ball detent that keeps it from moving to far.Those other lock rings aren't large enough in dia. to make this stop and will wrinke cases.I strongly urge you to use the Forster rings.This design may sound funky but it sure gives great run out numbers.

I plan to use only Forster lock rings.

The prices I am seeing on the die sets are as follows:
RCBS $35
Redding $39
Forster $68
Of course if I buy the RCBS or Redding I have to buy 2 $5 lock rings which moves that price $10 closer to Forster.

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