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hughie
August 1, 2013, 12:54 PM
What is the advantage of bushing dies over standard dies and are they worth the extra cost

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Grumulkin
August 1, 2013, 01:09 PM
They allegedly, and it may be true, give more consistent neck tension and maybe better bullet runout. I can't tell you if it's true because I've never tried them. I do, though, get very acceptable bullet runout with my dies and given the tremendous forces at play in getting a bullet down the bore, I highly doubt that a little inconsistent neck tension will make much of a difference. In addition, if you don't have a gun with exceptional accuracy potention, it's unlikely you'd notice a difference between loads with bushing dies versus other dies.

steve4102
August 1, 2013, 01:34 PM
What is the advantage of bushing dies over standard dies

In theory the bushing die can produce less bullet runout as the neck diameter is set with desired bushings and the expander button is not dragged back through the case neck causing unwanted neck and bullet runout.

This theory is correct if the necks are very consistent or have been turned. With inconsistent necks, just the opposite is true. The imperfections in the neck are transferred to the inside of the neck where the bullet is seated and runout is increased.
Redding recommends turned or perfectly uniform neck when using bushing die without the expander.

Walkalong
August 1, 2013, 01:35 PM
Expanders were invented by evil Gnomes who hate case necks. Bushing dies are much easier on necks, and unlikely to pull them forward like an expander, and, in general, concentricity is going to be better with bushing dies.

The downside for bushings is in mixed brass, or just bad brass, where neck wall thickness varies a lot, as this will result in differing neck tensions.

Bushing dies are best used with brass that is all from the same lot of quality brass, or neck turned brass where neck thickness will be more uniform.

I use both types, but when using expanders I use a carbide button on all but one I cannot get one for. I still use a tiny bit of lube.

USSR
August 1, 2013, 01:58 PM
Expanders were invented by evil Gnomes who hate case necks. Bushing dies are much easier on necks, and unlikely to pull them forward like an expander, and, in general, concentricity is going to be better with bushing dies.

+1. The concept of reducing neck diameter below what you want, and then bringing it back up to what you want with something as imprecise as an expander ball defies logic. Just take it down to exactly what you want. With my Garands I create ammo with about .003" neck tension, and my match rifle ammo gets .001" to .002" neck tension. Have used bushing dies for about 14 years now, and have found no downside to them other than price.

Don

witchhunter
August 1, 2013, 09:33 PM
And they are so smooth ......

rfwobbly
August 2, 2013, 10:04 PM
Expanders were invented by evil Gnomes....

Is there anyway to get in touch with these guys? I have some special jobs for them now that they've finished inventing expenaders.

USSR
August 3, 2013, 08:37 AM
Quote:
Expanders were invented by evil Gnomes....

Is there anyway to get in touch with these guys? I have some special jobs for them now that they've finished inventing expenaders.

Afraid you're gonna have to wait a few more years, rfwobbly. They are currently employed by and working very hard for the Obama administration.

Don

fguffey
August 3, 2013, 09:35 AM
I have gold medal and competition seating dies from RCBS, I do not have the sizing dies offered with the sets. There is something about starting over every time something new is released. I went by and talked with Dillon about their 550B, we just got started when they tried to sell me on the ideal seating on one position and crimping on another was the way to go and that is the reason I needed their dies. I purchased the press, I did not purchased their dies, rational? I was not starting over with another set of dies, they said it was OK to use my dies with their press and there were a lot of reloaders that do that. I will not load on a progressive press without a lock out die and or a powder die. For those that are keeping up, the 550B has four positions meaning there is no room for the lock out die when seating and crimping with separate dies.

The 30/06 seating die body is used for the 308 W, by changing the bullet guide the same die body can load 8mm06, the price of the 30/06 seating die price with the addition of an extended shell holder and bullet guide made the combination affordable.

Precision when seating bullets has to do with the alignment of the bullet with the neck of the case. I have a Weatherby die set that does that with 257, I have a Universal 7MM Lyman that works for all 7MM, I do not have a lot of Hornady die sets , I do believe the Hornady seating die aligns the case with the bullet before the ram gets high enough to tilt the bullet as with other designs.

Then there is the sizer ball being pulled through the neck etc., and causing it, the neck, to be pulled out or off to one side and on and on etc. And I ask, has anyone ever ‘actually’ measured before and again after? My opinion, the story is repeated over and over etc., because no one has put any thought into what is going on when the sizer ball is pulled out of the neck.

Neck tension or interference fit. I am the fan of bullet hold, I do not believe a case maintains the same bullet hold through 5+ firings, neck tension, snap back, jump back or spring back or memory etc., etc.. Too much for a reloader to keep up with?

F. Guffey

USSR
August 3, 2013, 09:46 AM
Neck tension or interference fit. I am the fan of bullet hold, I do not believe a case maintains the same bullet hold through 5+ firings, neck tension, snap back, jump back or spring back or memory etc., etc..

+1. I have found I have to use a slightly smaller bushing when brass necks become work hardened. Even if the expander ball in your standard die is not causing run-out, the reduction in the amount of work hardening of the case necks by using bushing dies, makes them worthwhile having.

Don

fguffey
August 3, 2013, 10:09 AM
USSR, for a moment I thought there was a "forced conformity of thoughts". A borrowed quote from Clark.

F. Guffey

ranger335v
August 4, 2013, 04:11 PM
"What is the advantage of bushing dies over standard dies ..."

Not much. And most of that is hopeful theory.


"....and are they worth the extra cost?"

Depends on how much you're willing to pay to try a hopeful theory. Not many of us fall for hopeful gimmicks, that's why so few of us have bushing dies.

Bushing dies were invented by serious Bench Rest competitors shooting multi thousand buck rigs with chamber necks so small cases had to be turned to a specific thickness to even chamber. Given thin but highly consistant neck thickness made bushings that would work the necks of their precious selected and highly prepped cases makes sense to increase their life but few of the shooters claim any improved accuracy.

Few of those who leaped onto the bushing fad because "it costs a lot so it must be better" have such rifles. The bushings certainly work but they do little or nothing for normal cases used in normal rifles with SAAMI chambers.

I generally FL size in a standard sizer and I much prefer Lee's collet neck sizers for the few rifles I neck size for. I get less average run out than my buddy who "luvs" his costly and fussy to use bushing sizers. ??

(None of those observations are meant to insult anyone who is convienced neck bushings automatically cut their groups in half, etc.)

USSR
August 4, 2013, 04:32 PM
Depends on how much you're willing to pay to try a hopeful theory. Not many of us fall for hopeful gimmicks, that's why so few of us have bushing dies.


No, actually the reason is, so many are too cheap to spend the extra money for something that has been proven at the 1,000 yard line to produce the most accurate ammo. Almost to a man, all the guys I shot with used bushing dies, and few if any turned their necks.

Don

dagger dog
August 4, 2013, 04:56 PM
You have to have a rifle with a custom reamed chamber to get the full advantage of bushing dies.

Custom reamers leave minimal room for neck expansion, so any brass that has excessive neck thickness has to be turned down to keep that extra thickness from raising pressures.

Once that brass is fire formed in the custom chamber, you want to disturb the brass as little as possible,a bushing die is one way, a collet die is another, partial sizing the neck in a die without an expander ball is another.

If you have a off the shelf rifle with a SAAMI or CIP chamber you probably won't get the full value from bushing type dies.

Walkalong
August 4, 2013, 05:12 PM
+1. I have found I have to use a slightly smaller bushing when brass necks become work hardened. Even if the expander ball in your standard die is not causing run-out, the reduction in the amount of work hardening of the case necks by using bushing dies, makes them worthwhile having.Agreed, especially if the necks are expanding to a standard chamber. If you are turning necks to fit a tight necked chamber it is not as bad, but still has an affect after enough firings.

ranger335v
August 4, 2013, 06:43 PM
USSR: "No, actually the reason is, so many are too cheap to spend the extra money for something that has been proven at the 1,000 yard line to produce the most accurate ammo."

Not to make an argument, but what percentage of shooters do you suppose shoot in 1,000 yard competition? I'll take your word for how many 1,000 yd competitors in your neighborhood use bushing dies but I do question your assertion that bushings are "proven" to produce the most accurate ammunition - I mean, there are quite a few things that go into accurate ammo and if that IS actually true, why don't ALL of your shootin' buddies use bushing dies? After all, they really don't cost all that much do they?

I'll just add one note for my "fad" device observation. Just a few years ago I was reading on the web that 'everyone who knew what he was doing' and winning matches was shooting molycoated bullets; have you seen many of those "proven" more accurate bullets being used today? Meaning only that many factors are in play with line accuracy and simplistic 'proofs' based on winning matches often don't rise to justify the claims.

Assuming an accurate rifle and equally well developed charges, the shooting skills, good eyes and wind judgements of the rifleman are likely much more significant for winning 1K events than what die was used to reload the ammo but shooters do tend to follow after the illusions of 'winning' rainbows.

USSR
August 4, 2013, 07:42 PM
You have to have a rifle with a custom reamed chamber to get the full advantage of bushing dies.

Custom reamers leave minimal room for neck expansion, so any brass that has excessive neck thickness has to be turned down to keep that extra thickness from raising pressures.

By far the biggest fallacy concerning the use of bushing dies is that you need to turn your necks to use them. As I said previously, I knew no one who turned their necks.

Not to make an argument, but what percentage of shooters do you suppose shoot in 1,000 yard competition? I'll take your word for how many 1,000 yd competitors in your neighborhood use bushing dies but I do question your assertion that bushings are "proven" to produce the most accurate ammunition - I mean, there are quite a few things that go into accurate ammo and if that IS actually true, why don't ALL of your shootin' buddies use bushing dies? After all, they really don't cost all that much do they?

Just looked online at MidWay, and a Redding Competition Die Set in .308 Winchester was $222. Yikes, they were about $135 when I bought them years ago. Why don't all my shootin' buddies use bushing dies? As I said earlier, few people will shell out about 3 times what they can pay for a set of dies that work. It's the same reason so many people buy Lee dies, they save $20 over buying RCBS or similar dies. Yes, there are quite a few things that go into accurate ammo and these things are all done by LR shooters, but the starting point is straight necks and minimal neck tension, and most LR shooters will not pull an expander ball through their necks.

Don

Walkalong
August 4, 2013, 09:52 PM
Assuming an accurate rifle and equally well developed charges, the shooting skills, good eyes and wind judgements of the rifleman are likely much more significant for winning 1K events than what die was used to reload the ammo but shooters do tend to follow after the illusions of 'winning' rainbows.I agree that reading the wind is 90% of Benchrest, which is what I competed in, but you better have ammo that can shoot zeros and ones when the conditions are right, and 99% of the shooters used semi custom or custom bushing dies both for sizing and seating.

I lost an aggregate by .011 one time. Every little bit counts when competing at a high level.

I have posted numerous times that there is more to making accurate ammo than neck turning by its self, or using a bushing die by its self, or etc etc, and that wind is 90% of the game, but folks are going to copy what the top shooters use, and what people say works, so people neck turn and nothing else, and expect much improved groups, or neck size because folks say it's more accurate, but it doesn't always work that way.

I use expander dies with carbide buttons for hunting ammo, and some of it can shoot pretty well.

I never saw a sizer with an expander at a Benchrest match. Never.

The bigger question to me is do you need the extra small amount of accuracy bushing dies or neck turning or neck sizing might bring, can your rifle shoot that well, or can you shoot that well?

I love the Forster Competition seaters, but I am not going to buy one for my .30-30. Heck, I have a one die set (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=176292&d=1355794635) for .308 hunting ammo and another die set (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=176289&d=1355794205) for my FN SPR.

USSR
August 5, 2013, 09:31 AM
I have posted numerous times that there is more to making accurate ammo than neck turning by its self, or using a bushing die by its self, or etc etc, and that wind is 90% of the game, but folks are going to copy what the top shooters use, and what people say works, so people neck turn and nothing else, and expect much improved groups, or neck size because folks say it's more accurate, but it doesn't always work that way.

+1. I took LC M72 Match brass and match-prepped it in every way, including neck turning, and I still got better accuracy from out-of-the-box Lapua brass.

Don

steve4102
August 5, 2013, 01:36 PM
"What is the advantage of bushing dies over standard dies ..."

Not much. And most of that is hopeful theory.


"....and are they worth the extra cost?"

Depends on how much you're willing to pay to try a hopeful theory. Not many of us fall for hopeful gimmicks, that's why so few of us have bushing dies.

Bushing dies were invented by serious Bench Rest competitors shooting multi thousand buck rigs with chamber necks so small cases had to be turned to a specific thickness to even chamber. Given thin but highly consistant neck thickness made bushings that would work the necks of their precious selected and highly prepped cases makes sense to increase their life but few of the shooters claim any improved accuracy.

Few of those who leaped onto the bushing fad because "it costs a lot so it must be better" have such rifles. The bushings certainly work but they do little or nothing for normal cases used in normal rifles with SAAMI chambers.

I generally FL size in a standard sizer and I much prefer Lee's collet neck sizers for the few rifles I neck size for. I get less average run out than my buddy who "luvs" his costly and fussy to use bushing sizers. ??

(None of those observations are meant to insult anyone who is convienced neck bushings automatically cut their groups in half, etc.)


This is about as Spot On as one can get. Great assessment of the Bushing Gimmick.

Thanks for posting this!

USSR
August 5, 2013, 02:03 PM
Quick question: How many of the guys calling bushing dies a "gimmick", have actually owned a set? Ah, I thought so.;)

Don

Walkalong
August 5, 2013, 02:39 PM
The Lee collet die works, although I did not like the four marks along the case neck it made from the cuts in the collet, but the bushings are more versatile and can be matched to different neck wall thicknesses, not to mention changed to make up for brass hardening. Size .xxx bushing will size soft brass down more than work hardened brass. Either anneal often, or change bushings. Just like a sizer will push the shoulder back on soft brass more than it will work hardened brass. If you adjust a sizer to push the shoulder back on soft brass to a slight crush fit in a bolt gun, it won't be long before they start getting hard to chamber because the shoulders are not getting pushed back as far anymore.

higgite
August 5, 2013, 08:20 PM
If I owned a custom, tight chambered, BR rifle and turned my case necks, I'd probably own a bushing die. But, I don't, so I don't.

As for being a gimmick or not, check out the Merriam-Webster.com definition at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gimmick. Can't copy and paste it due to forum copyright rules, but a couple of definitions that caught my eye are:
(1) an ingenious or novel mechanical device;
(2) a trick or device used to attract business or attention.

Now, surely, we can all agree that bushing dies are a gimmick... of one sort or another. ;)

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