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Rifle Die Selection - Forster CoAx

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Triumph, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

    Rifle Die Selection

    I need to shop for some rifle dies for the CoAx.

    Calibers to reload:

    308 (Bolt and Garand)
    30-06 (Bolt and Garand)

    A few questions:

    1. I have read that I do not necessarily need small base dies for the Garand. However, since I don't have dies yet should I just get small base anyway?

    2. If I do get small base is it o.k. for the bolt guns?

    3. I assume all the dies will work with the Forster CoAx & Lockrings. Are there some that fit better than others?

    4. How about the RCBS X Die Set?

    Sorry for all the questions - just need to make a decision.

    Thanks Much
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  2. dsm

    dsm Well-Known Member

    Sinclair makes stainless locking rings that work with the Forster. I hate the phillips head cross bolt in the Forster lock rings. I replaced all mine with cap heads.
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Any dies will work well in the Co-Ax press but I do like the round locking rings better than the others for use in the Co-Ax press.

    I have never heard anyone needing small base dies for the Garand and IMO using small base dies will overwork the brass for no good reason.

    RCBS X-Dies perform as advertized. You will limit your brass trimming when you use X-Dies. But, only you can decide if they are worth the additional 40+% in cost.
  4. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

    I have the new Forster lock rings with the Allen key adjustment.

    Not worried about the extra cost of the X dies - just want to get one good set that works for Garand & Bolt.

    So - How about RCBS small base X dies for the 308 & 30-06 (since one Garand is 308)?

    How about the other calibers (270, 243 & 7mm-08) - Forster, RCBS, Dillon, Redding - advantages & disadvantages?
  5. rg1

    rg1 Well-Known Member

    I've loaded for 4 Garands, AR's, Rem semi-auto's, and bolt guns with Hornady, RCBS, and Redding full length standard die sets with no issues. I do recommend a headspace gauge such as Hornady's Headspace gauge set or the RCBS Precision Mic. The Garands normally will have a generous headspace while your bolt guns will have a shorter chamber. Garands could have up to .008" while your bolt guns could be as tight as .002". Some loaders separate loads for bolt action and Garands but if you want to shoot the same loads in both you'll have to adjust your sizing dies to push the shoulders back to fit your shortest chamber. I use Forster's lock rings on most of my dies but some brand lock rings work ok in the Co-AX. I'd recommend standard full length dies along with a case headspace gauge. Nicest thing about the Hornady set is that it works and will measure most all case calibers. You'll have to decide if you keep loads separated for bolt and Garands and if you do it will increase case life and if you don't be particularly careful watching for possible case stretching signs.
  6. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

    rg1 - Since I'm new can you help me out and let me know which Hornady dies & headspace gauge?

    I am not interested in competition or fine tuning for long distance. The Hornady sounds like a good middle of the road option.

    Thanks Much for any help.
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    If you have Lee dies, give the much-maligned Lee o-ring lockrings a try before you spend money on more rings. They don't look like it, but they work good in a Co-Ax.
  8. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

    I have no rifle dies yet. I've read 3 - 4 manuals, have all my pistol components ordered but I'm still flummoxed by which rifle dies to shop for. I don't need anything match grade.

    I'm not familiar with the advantages of one brand over the other.
  9. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    Do you have 2 thread going on this? Might want to get them merged.

    Buy a set of Lee "RGB" dies, or the Lee 3-die deluxe set, for the .243 or .270 and see how you like them. They are cheap and they work. You don't need to buy all 4 sets at once, and they don't all have to match.
  10. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    Not all the lee rings work. Only about 75% of the ones I tried will fit.

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