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newbie with die questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sydandpaigesdad, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Hi all new to the forum, and learning about reloading every chance I get. My newest question is regarding dies. When looking at lee dies for instance there are the rgb 2 die set, the pacesetter set and deluxe rifle sizing set. For someone who is going to be a beginner what are the advantages of the progressivly more expensive die sets (rgb<pacesetter<deluxe). I am going to start reloading .308 for a mossberg atr 100 and .270 for a rem. 700, mostly for target shooting at my club and also hunting. I am not going to get serious about target competion just kinda against myself(and maybe my dad) but would like to get as accurate as possible when I get to the point I need to worry more about it. Also before anyone mentions manuals, I have a lee and sierra ordered and on the way. Thanks in advance and God Bless.
  2. Strongbad

    Strongbad Well-Known Member

    They're all virtually the same with the addition of a die for the Delux and Pacesetter sets. The Pacesetter set has the factory crimp die, which really isn't going to do much for you (most bottleneck cartridges don't need a crimp). It also has a dipper and shellholder. The Deluxe is the the RGB + plus the collet neck sizer. Which while a nice bonus, isn't necessarily required either. I've also heard the collet neck sizer can be finicky, however I've never used one myself. That's only what I've heard.

    I've got the RGB sets for 300 Win Mag, 22-250, and 30/30. They work just fine for all of my needs. Any time I'm going to be loading for friends etc. and I don't want a bunch of money tied up in dies for a gun I don't have, I go with Lee. No regrets.
  3. ty

    thanks for the info, first of many I will probably have.
  4. CU74

    CU74 Well-Known Member

    I reload with a Lee Turret press. I use the Lee Deluxe 4-Die sets for handgun rounds. For rifle rounds I use the Lee Pacesetter 3-Die sets plus the Lee Rifle Powder Charge Die (.22-.308 caliber).

    The Deluxe 4-Die sets include a Decapper/Sizing Die, an Expander/Powder Loading Die, a Bullet Seating Die and a Crimping Die. The Pacesetter set does not have the Expander/Charging Die, which is why I add the Rifle Powder Charging Die.
  5. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    I load all my rifle (except .223) in a Lee turret press with the two-die set and a rifle charging die in the third hole in the turret. Make sure you use some good case lube, sparingly, and you'll be ****ing in high cotton for .270 and .308.
  6. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Lee stuff:

    RGB comes with a full-length sizing/decapping die and a seating die only. RGB does not come with a shellholder. You have to buy it separately. If you already have shellholders, this is one of the best deals in rifle reloading, period. Hands down. Use case lube with these dies. [Note: When you get good enough, you can use these dies for neck sizing only, which is a method for custom sizing cartridges already fired in a particular rifle chamber. Or you can full length size so your cartridges fit in any rifle chamber so you and Dad and others can share them amongst yourselves. Read more about this when your manuals arrive.]

    Pacesetter set includes shellholder and Factory Crimp Die, along with the full length sizer/decapper and seating die. This is probably the best deal for you as a beginner (and hunter) if you don't have the right shellholder. The FCD (Factory Crimp Die) is very handy for crimping a rifle bullet so it doesn't move in the case during rough handling and discharge, and it crimps very gently without damage to the bullet. Maybe not necessary in long-range match competition, but very handy for casual shooting and deer hunting. Use case lube with these dies.

    Deluxe set includes a collet neck sizing die. Given your accuracy goals and friendly competition with Dad, you probably won't ever need a collet neck sizing die unless you just got to have every toy on the block. Lee advertises that you don't need case lube with these dies, but I don't know if that applies to the the collet neck die only or if it also applies to the full length sizing die. Deluxe set is geared more toward match competition.

    Go here http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi to confirm this advice for yourself. Word to the wise for beginners: Always go to manufacturers and/or published manuals to confirm advice you get on the internet. Our ranks are peppered with contributors who don't know what they are talking about. Seriously.
  7. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    My suggestion would be to go ahead and get the Lee Deluxe die set for rifles. Initially you may not need the neck sizing die, but soon enough you'll get enough experience that you'll be able to make use of the neck sizing die to gain additionally convenience/accuracy/brass life savings in your bolt action reloads. The cost in the Lee die sets to gain this advantage is minimal and well worth it.


  8. CU74

    CU74 Well-Known Member

    NOT to disagree with Dave for bolt-action applications, but I get the Lee Pacesetter Die sets because they include the full sizing die. I agree that neck sizing "works" for bolt-action, but full sizing is preferable for semi-automatics. While I do have some bolt-action rifles, the bulk of my reloaded .30-06 and .308 rounds are shot from semi-automatic rifles (Garand, M1A1, SAFN-49).
  9. thanks for the reply

    All my rifles are bolt action, I will look at the deluxe set but also a set from rcbs. I have heard some bad things about the o-ring locks, anyways if anyone uses the rcbs dies chime in and let me know, thanks, God Bless.
  10. WNTFW

    WNTFW Well-Known Member

    You can also get the Lee & change to a different lock ring. I got some used equip set up that way.
    The O-Ring type are a little funky the work in the pistol rounds I've done. They don't have the positive feel to them.

    The clamp type split Lock nuts stay put. (Hornady?) I have not used the set screw type.
  11. WNTFW

    WNTFW Well-Known Member

    Taken from the Lee site:

    "If you're like most reloaders you have a ready source of empty cases that were fired in another gun. In the past, you had to purchase a full length resizing die set separately to use this brass. Not any more - the Deluxe Die Set includes the full length die. And all this for less than others charge for a standard die set."

    I know you guys that have been doing this a long time probably bought your dies before this change took place.
  12. swiftak

    swiftak Well-Known Member

    I use RCBS and Lee dies. While I do not own the 2 die Lee set I, own the pacesetter and deluxe dies. They are as good as RCBS. Or is RCBS as good as the Lee dies. I think they are both good.
  13. CU74

    CU74 Well-Known Member

    WTNFW - Thanks for the info. Wouldn't you know, the only dies I haven't bought yet are for my bolt-gun calibers...:banghead::banghead:.
  14. WNTFW

    WNTFW Well-Known Member

    To be honest all the different Lee sets can give you a headache to figure out which one to get. Then you finally make a decision & "OUT OF STOCK"
    Same on case trimmers, tumblers, primers, powder . . . . combined with conflicting advice and customer feedback and reviews.
    Reloaders have a lot of decision to make.

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