question on garage sale find?


July 16, 2013, 10:54 PM
Was out hitting garage sales with the wife when I ran across a table with a bunch of reloading dies priced at $6 bucks each. So I picked up 4 but have some questions..... First has anyone heard of Bonanza dies? good/bad they looked in good shape.

Got a couple of RCBS dies one in .38 and one in .357 also off the table. Both say SWC on label. I'm guessing they are not just set up for loading semi wad cutters? I should be able to reload any type of bullet with these correct?

As always thanks for your help.

pics added....

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July 16, 2013, 11:00 PM
Bonanza evolved into Forster Products. Either bought out or a name change. Not sure which but I have a few Bonanza products and they are of first class quality.

July 16, 2013, 11:15 PM
Note: Those are not carbide sizers. You'll have to lube the cases.

July 16, 2013, 11:17 PM
On the RCBS dies. You have to change the center piece between round nose and flat tipped bullets. The box I have came with multiple ones. Mine look just like this set.

July 17, 2013, 12:02 AM
For the RCBS dies just call RCBS customer service and tell them you bought a used set of dies and that they are missing whichever seating plug. They will put one in the mail that day, no charge. Great service.

July 17, 2013, 07:21 AM
The RCBS dies for SWC will have a flat truncated shaped seater stem. It will not work particularly well with RN. You should be able to get a RN stem from RCBS. They look like the old style set with a steel sizer, a decapper/expander, and a seater die. It's probably the same setup for the Bonanza.

July 17, 2013, 07:32 AM
RCBS sent me the adapter and de-capper assembly to move it to the sizing die.

July 17, 2013, 12:09 PM
I've found that decapping with the expander is not a problem, just different. What works, works.

Jim K
July 17, 2013, 01:08 PM
The bullet seater should be suited to the bullet shape. If it isn't, the bullet may be marked by the seater. In most cases, the only difference will be cosmetic, but in extreme cases the bullet might be distorted enough to affect accuracy.


July 17, 2013, 04:37 PM
Forster purchased Bonanza from Clarence Purdie, in 1984. It was a local company in Fairbault, MN. Clarence's son Keith was the President of Gopher Sporting Goods in Fairbault for 20 years. Don't know if I have any Bonanza products left but I sure spent a bundle of money at Gopher. Met both of them through the years.

Forster got their start making model airplane engines in the late 40's. Always wanted one but they were Cadilacs and I was on a Chevrolet,(no horse and buggy) income.

July 17, 2013, 04:39 PM

Jim K. the 1943 Mauser receiver is setting on an assortment of seater plugs,

one of the other assortments have sizer die parts.

The heavy one has case gages, trim dies and powder measure parts including drums for the Uniflow, large and small.

F. Guffey

Jim Watson
July 17, 2013, 04:40 PM
The 38 Special die set was made before the 357 Magnum set, unknown to RCBS the 357 Magnum die set was not necessary, all that was necessary to use the 38 Special seating die when seating bullets for the 357 magnum was to raise the die up and adjust the die to crimp the taller case. RCBS added a spacer to raise the die and added 357 Magnum to the top of the die and box

I always suspected them of wanting you to have to buy two sets of dies.
I have seen some of their older sets without enough adjustment to allow for case lengths or widely varying bullets.
Glad to see they have straightened out.

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