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Which Die brand do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Wildbillz, Oct 7, 2011.


Which brand of reloading die do you prefer?

Poll closed Nov 6, 2011.
  1. RCBS

    60 vote(s)
  2. Hornaday

    20 vote(s)
  3. Lee

    98 vote(s)
  4. Other

    42 vote(s)
  1. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Well-Known Member

    Hi All
    I am thinking about picking up some spair reloading dies as trade stock. If you were looking at a gunshow table and had the chose to pick from, RCBS, Lee, one of the other brands which would you prefer and why?

    Thanks for your in put
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I have RCBS, Hornady, and Lee on my bench. I bought the first two before I discovered Lee. I like Lee dies and really like their price.
  3. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Well-Known Member

    How is it possible to have a poll on dies and not have Lyman listed? BTW i find Lee dies better for most, but not all of my loading.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Using dies for trading stocK?
    Now that right there is a new one on me!

    If I were doing that I would always pick older RCBS dies.
    So I voted RCBS. But Redding should not be ignored either.
    But I have about as many sets of new Lee's as old RCBS.

    The quality of RCBS & Redding dies back in the day was second to none.
    And used $60 MSRP dies are always going to be worth more in a trade then used $30 MSRP dies.

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  5. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    The best dies for use on a single station press are the Redding dies bar none. For a progressive press, Dillon stands alone. My opinion after 40+ years of reloading.
  6. thomis

    thomis Well-Known Member

    I have a hard time discerning quality differences between brands. I use them all.
    But I do think RCBS and Redding customer service is better than Lyman.
  7. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    I prefer Redding dies. But have RCBS and Hornady as well.

    When I start loading a new cartridge, if Redding dies are not available, I'll buy one of the other two to get me in business.
  8. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    Lee dies are far and away the best value for your money, but just like a Hi Point or S&W Sigma, they aren't the best items for commodity trading. Their best value is to the one who is using it.
  9. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Anything but Lee. Most of my dies are Reddings, but I have several RCBS and Lyman dies as well.

  10. rikman

    rikman Well-Known Member

  11. sellersm

    sellersm Well-Known Member

    Overall I'd say Redding. But it all depends. Some of the RCBS dies are useless for various handgun calibers and functions. I generally mix-n-match the sets for various purposes.

    For only price, Lee wins hands-down!
  12. A Historian

    A Historian Well-Known Member

    I have Lee, RCBS, and Lyman.

    If you forced me to pick, I'd probably say RCBS... But, I just know that I would not buy Lee again.
  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

  14. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    There are 3 or 4 excellent die manufactures. Since I started with RCBS over 30 years ago, I have stayed with them. Excellent quality and customer service. There have been several times that I needed replacement part and they were very quick in sending it to me.
  15. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Redding for rifle / single stage, Dillon for progressive press.

    I Have some Hornady dies in my LNL and I have already broken parts on them that had to be replaced, not so for my dillon dies in my 550 which have loaded 100x as many rounds.

  16. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "I have a hard time discerning quality differences between brands. I use them all."

    Ditto. In fact, I've found NO consistant difference in effect by brand alone. Features change some functions, a little, but that's a personal preference thing having little to do with what can be done with the dies. Some are a lot more costly and prettier than others but the ammo does't care about that!

    On average, I find as much difference between dies of the same brand as between brands. And, after some 46 years of reloading and currently have some 50+ dies sets in about ten brands in some 30 calibers (all the current brands except Dillon, some no longer made, and have owned several more sets over the years) that I have actually measured the output from both sizers and seaters, I think I have a solid base to say that.

    Only way I can suggest anyone can get a 'better die set' is to buy as many sets as possible for whatever cartridge and measure what each die does; keep the best single individual dies and sell the rest; you sure can't do it by buying your dies in a special color box! But, if it's any comfort to you, you can also be sure the output of any average die set will do very good work if you do your part.
  17. Snowbandit

    Snowbandit Well-Known Member

    I voted Hornady because they are the best value for the money when you take the free box of bullets they give you into account. RCBS, Dillon, Lymon and Redding also make quality dies. They're just more expensive. I'll buy any of those five brands.
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    But, the OP's question wasn't which was the best brand of new dies to reload with yourself.
    Or which was the best value when you buy new dies.

    The question was, which brand of used dies you find on a gun show table would make the best trading stock later on.

    I still say it is older RCBS, or Redding.

  19. S&W610

    S&W610 Member

    After 40 years or reloading and thousands of rounds, my wife and I both shoot IPSC,ICORE,ACTION STEEL, AND 3 GUN.
    My rock chucker has RCBS dies. I have several sets of Dillon dies sitting in boxes on the shelf. All the tool heads for my 550 run Lee dies.
  20. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Any brand in calibers for which dies are no longer made or are hard to find or for which ammo is no longer factory loaded.

    When the factories have all stopped making ammo for your favorite old 303 British bolt action, and all the dies are snapped up or outrageously expensive, you won't very much care what make the dies are when you finally get a chance to snag some.

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