Carbide or steel dies?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Victor1Echo, Dec 27, 2009.

?

Are carbide dies worth the cost of not lubing?

  1. Yes, lubing is a mess.

    111 vote(s)
    91.7%
  2. No, lubing is easy w/One shot

    6 vote(s)
    5.0%
  3. Only 2 thousand rounds? Not worth it. Just lube.

    4 vote(s)
    3.3%
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  1. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

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    Bear in mind that I have never reloaded, and will be using a basic Lee single stage press. I will buy some dies later this week, and I have been doing my research. The main benefit of carbide dies is that you skip the lubing part--right? Well, I have read many posts where people still lube becasue it makes easier on their shoulder. The only reason I did not want to lube is because it seems messy, and I can be messy. Also, I could buy about four Lee dies for the cost of one Dillon carbide set. So my question is:

    Are carbide dies worth the cost of not lubing?

    Well, that depends on what I reload right? and how much?
    .45auto, 32sw,.308, .223
    I am not sure how much I will reload, as I have never done it--but lest say a total of two thousand a year?
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The carbide dies for pistol are relatively cheap and well worth not having to lube. IMHO

    Rifle is a different game. Very few carbide dies out there for rifle. They are very expensive and you still have to lube. Not worth it IMHO.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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  4. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    For the pistol calibers buy the Lee carbide dies. Then buy the Lee Deluxe rifle dies. This will get you going without a huge expense.

    You will still have to lube rifle brass, unless you want to mess with stuck cases. Its not that messy and thats what they make soap for. Personally I use spray teflon, which I spray on the brass while in a spread container, it drys and is not messy at all. I use it on both rifle and pistol brass as it makes sizing easier, I'm old and weak. Can barely push these keys on the keyboard.

    There's a better answer on the carbide rifle dies from Lee.

    Thanks Walkalong, I was using the old Natchez catalog from 2007
     
  5. mallc

    mallc Member

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    Dillon Spray Lube

    I lube everything with Dillon spray lube - carbide or not. Takes an extra 15 seconds or so.

    Scott
     
  6. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Get the carbide dies for the pistol rounds and a couple cans of Hornady one shot. Put 50 rounds in your loading blocks and give a light spray down one side. This will lube every 5th round through the die. The residual lube on the die gives out by the 4th round, so when the next one goes in lubed and starts the whole process over. Easier on your press, easier on your dies, and easier on you. With this method a single can of one shot will last a long, long time. And it's a dry lube so you don't have to wipe the brass off or tumble them to clean off extra lube.

    As for rifle dies, I've never found a way to skip lubing, and since I have to lube anyway, the expensive carbide dies are not worth the extra money.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    By all means lube rifle cases, and by all means get carbide pistol dies and lube them too just a little.

    I am not a big fan of spray lubing in the loading blocks.
    Because it makes a holy oily mess of the reloading blocks that you are going to use later for powder charging.

    I use an old mixing bowl, dump the cases in, spray them while stirring them around with my hand, and continue stirring while the spray lube dries.

    That insures all of the cases get lubed down near the base, which is the most important part.

    If they are setting in a loading block, the part in the block is covered and gets no lube at all.

    rc
     
  8. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    Carbide dies are for straight wall cartridges. They are well worth the cost, all of my pistol dies are carbide.
    As said above you will still need to lube rifle cases. I would not reccomend one shot, I have talked to several people and including myself that have had stuck case problems when using it. I like the RCBS lube and pad.
     
  9. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    Yeah, get lee carbide pistol dies, and you won't need lube. You will need lube for rifle loading, so carbide doesn't matter. However, at least in my dies, one-shot is not enough for rifle case lube. Get actual case lube and graphite for the neck. It's easier to buy once than deal with a stuck case. Case lube and graphite are cheap and they go a long way.
     
  10. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I haven't lubed a pistol case since 1977.
     
  11. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    +1 except I wouldn't load pistol without a carbide (or similar) die.
     
  12. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

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    SO to most of you lubing is not a big deal and some of the products spray on and dry. What lube products do you reccomend?
     
  13. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    +1

    • New cars DON'T HAVE to be tuned up for the first 100,000 miles according to the EPA. That doesn't mean that a set of new spark plugs at 50,000 miles won't make them run a whole lot better, and get much better fuel economy.

    • Wives DON'T HAVE to have to get flowers, chocolates, and card every Feb 14, but it sure beats sending a check to "support" her in Tahiti where she'd be shacked up with her lawyer, who by-the-way took all your guns and reloading equipment!

    • Just because you DON'T HAVE to lube, doesn't mean it doesn't make the job go easier.



    I like to put a very light coat of Imperial on using a RCBS lube pad. By "light coat", I mean just barely enough to leave a fingerprint. If lubing 5 cases at a time is "slowing you down" then you're reloading on a reckless pace in my book.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, although my pistol cases still don't get lube for carbide dies, the wife does get flowers etc by surprise on occasion. I ain't dumb! :D

    If I ever run off a batch of 500 or more .44 mag cases, I'll lube them. They are tougher than most by a bit. So far it has been 100 or so at a time. Even then it would be easier lubed. They are the only pistol cases I have considered lubing when using carbide sizers.
     
  15. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    AS stated earlier I lube with spray teflon, right now I'm using Blaster brand that I bought at Menards for $1.00 a 12 oz. can. It dryes totaly in 3/4/5 seconds, in other words REAL fast. I do not use my loading block for spraying the cases, I use a 3 lb. butter/spread bowl, and shake it a little. gets the teflon all over and doesn't containment the tumbling media.
     
  16. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Member

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    You want to reload .45acp? Get carbide dies. I use carbide, and I'm glad I have them.

    As for rifles, if your talking bolt action, just use collet dies.
     
  17. hydraulicman

    hydraulicman Member

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    for straight wall pistol carbide is a must. the cost difference is nothing. NOW GET LOADING.
     
  18. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

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    Lubing is a pain in the butt. I lube rifle cases but I don't reload that many. I wouldn't consider using anything but carbide dies. Having to lube slows things way down too. Don't even think about using steel dies for handgun calibers.
     
  19. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Lubing is not a pain in the butt if done with a spray teflon. I use a 3 lb butter/spread bowl and spray 2/3 hundred at a time. The spray dryes within a few seconds and makes sizing much easier. This is of course for pistol brass. Pistol brass does not have to be lubed if using carbide dies, just makes things easier.

    Rifle brass of course has to be lubed whether or no.

    Using this method leaves no mess as the teflon dryes, all of the carrier evaporates.
    Clean and easy, no fuss, no muss.
     
  20. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Blaster brand as in PB Blaster?

    I'm always looking for a good, inexpensive lube for bottlenecks.
     
  21. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Buy steel dies, that way when you finally get a carbide set you will have the proper appreciation for them.

    With rifle bottle neck cartridges you don't have any choice but steel.
     
  22. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I have a .223 carbide die.
     
  23. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

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    JCWIT--that's what I'm looking for--a spray that dries fast.

    Based on the information I've gather here-Thanks all-- I will start off with a steel die for my 223. I will see how that goes. Payday is later this week-so now I need to find some primers, powder, and a few other things. Some people look forward to vacation--I will look forward to reloading.
     
  24. USSR

    USSR Member

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    +1. Almost all stuck die scenario's begin with "...after spraying the brass with One Shot...".

    Don
     
  25. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    I agree - DON'T USE ONE SHOT. Most people cannot understand that lube needs to get INSIDE the necks of the cases as well, and that spraying only on one side of a case generally doesn't work too well. It's just too difficult a concept and it causes too many problems.

    And not only is lubing a pain in the bottom, so is having to weigh charges and check what's being dropped automatically by your powder dropper. Almost all blown up gun stories begin with "....I reloaded some ...."

    No, I'm not picking on anyone, I'm trying to make a point. The tools are as good as they are used, no better or worse. If used correctly, one lube is about as good as another. The difference in how they work is how they are used. Reloading, in my not very humble opinion, is not a speed contest. If you're not willing to work at it a bit, whether it's lubing, weighing, or whatever, it's not worth the time or hastle. Quit now before you purchase any equipment.

    Don - I used your post to make my point, and I appreciate your being a good sport about it. I'll buy the next round.:)
     
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