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Competition dies

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Grassman, Dec 12, 2008.

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  1. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    Had a question about competition dies. What are they? Are these better? Why aren't we all using them then? Or are they for a different purpose?
     
  2. fineredmist

    fineredmist Member

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    Competition dies are more precisely made, very expensive and for most shooters a waste of money. Unless you are into bench rest or extreme long range shooting they are over kill. Most shooters with even accurate rifles will not see any marked improvement, if your rifle is capable of .375" @ 100 yds can you see the difference if it shoots .355"?
     
  3. ~z

    ~z Member

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    If you are running a factory barrel, I doubt you see much improvement. If you have a quality barrel, and want to wring that extra bit of accuracy out of it, it is a worthwile investment. Doubt you will see much more improvement than stated above at short range, but that will magnify into inches once you step it out beyond 1K
    ~z
     
  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "Most shooters with even accurate rifles will not see any marked improvement, ..."

    Sad, but true. I mean, if you get a large improvement with the expensive dies it is more likely to mean you had a very bad conventional die set!

    I use the BR/Comp dies but it's more for confidence than any proven results. Good loading methods and technique did more for my accuracy than the expensive dies.
     
  5. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Grassman,

    Generally (but not always), they are micrometer adjustable dies that allow for easily setting up the die for different load criteria, such as switching to a different brand of bullets or cases. Are they better? Sure. Why aren't they used more? They are much more expensive.

    Don
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I was shooting sub MOA in .223 and 308 with ammunition loaded on Lee Dies. The least expensive dies I could find. I know I earned my first and second legs, one a silver at Camp Perry, with ammunition loaded on Lee Dies.

    I did purchase competition seating dies. I like the precision depth adjustment. For my match ammo, I am now using small base dies, and shooting sub MOA when I am in a groove.

    [​IMG]

    I really doubt that there is much of a difference between the tolerances held by standard dies and competition dies. I mean everything comes off computer controlled machining centers. It is not like you have some guy cutting these things out with a hand reamer. It is possible that the cutting tools for standard die start off larger and end up smaller (longer production run) but given today's ISO 9000 production envirnoments, that may be a bad assumption.

    I believe the competition die movement is just advertizing induced behavior. The idea that you can compensate for poor shooting skills by buying things. Really expensive things.

    All you really need is good bullets, good barrels, and good bedding. And a lot of practice.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Reloading Dies

    Most standard dies size the neck down way more then needed, by as much as .010"+ Then the expander button opens the neck back up to the correct inside diameter. This works the brass more than needed. So there is a need for competition dies that use bushings. I use this die in 243win. http://www.midwayusa.com/Eproductpage.Exe/showproduct?saleitemid=676249 When you add the cost of 3 bushing @ $20 ea. it can get costly. As said above, your accuracy improvement may be small, but you dont know till you try. If you need a fulll set and like to neck size only, try this set> http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=227507
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  8. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Member

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    The good thing about Wilson and Redding dies is that they use the same bushings. The Forster dies do not use the same bushings.
     
  9. zeke

    zeke Member

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    Apparently contrary to most of the above opinions, competiton seating dies can be an excellent investment. Alot easier to ensure the bullets are seated straight, and enables bullets to be seated straight in tight interference fit.

    Bonanza has them without the calibrated depth adj, for a reasonable price.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Ditto. The plain jane Forster Competition die set is very good for the money.
     
  11. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Mr. 243 made a very good point: being able to control neck tension can make a real difference in accuracy if your gun is up to it. And minimal resizing will make those carefully match-prepped cases last a good bit longer.

    And the one factor that I have found to make a very significant difference in almost all rifles is seating depth. Finding a seating depth that your rifle likes is usually one of the most critical aspects of rifle accuracy. Micrometer seating dies make finding -- and returning to -- the seating depth "sweet spot" much easier.
     
  12. ken22250

    ken22250 Member

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    competition dies are usually made to tighter standards, and inclupe a micro-meter bullet seater, they woult do you any good w/o a very accurate rifle, also, custon dies are very useful in a custom rifle, you send a die blank to the rifle maker, and they use the chamber reamer to make a die that is the exact size of your rifle chamber.
    ken
     
  13. Envisaged

    Envisaged Member

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    The Forster micrometer die is very nice. I use that to load my match .308 bullets. The adjustment is so precise that when using the Berger VLD it is easy to get it to seat on the lands for very precise ammo.
     
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