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Die recommendations for bolt rifle, Please

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by nofishbob, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. nofishbob

    nofishbob Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Copper Canyon, TX

    I am gathering components to start loading for a bolt action rifle that will be a target/range gun (338 Lapua)

    I have experience in loading for revolvers, semi-auto pistols and rifles, and lever guns, but this will be my first foray into bolt-action reloading.

    I am used to full length resizing for the above guns, but would like to explore the pros and cons of neck-only sizing.

    1. In order to do this accurately and safely, will there come a time when I will HAVE to full length re-size or bump the shoulders back?

    2. The instructions I have for determining the neck bushing size all say to start with a loaded round. This is a chicken/egg type thing...I don't have a loaded round! Is there a way to figure bushing size other than to buy a bunch of bushings?

    3. The simplicity of the Wilson arbor press dies appeals to me- is there a reason that I should not use them?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. James2

    James2 Member

    Nov 27, 2009
    Northern Utah
    I recommend getting a standard 2 die set of rifle dies for starters. Yes, you will need to bump the shoulder at times. Yes, you will need to full length size if you pick up any brass that did not come out of your bolt rifle. You may need to full length size any way. It will depend some on your particular rifle.

    You can neck size only using the full length sizing die by just leaving a slight gap between the die and shell holder with the ram in full up position since the case is tapered it won't size the case and by not going in all the way it won't bump the shoulder. It will size the neck.
  3. soloban

    soloban Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Madison, AL
    I recommend Redding Dies...spend the extra $... you are already dropping coin on a .338 Lapua, get the Redding and you wont be sorry.
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Get a set of Niel Jones hand dies, set them to bump the shoulder and hold it at bay, and you might get away with not having to use threaded dies. It all depends. No reason not to use hand dies and an arbor press. I just bought a Wilson seater die for .308 for use in my arbor press. I also bought a threaded Forster Match seater. I'll be trying both.
  5. Nalgi

    Nalgi Member

    Jan 23, 2013
    James2 is right on!
  6. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    Central of the Commonwealth of PA
    Go with RCBS competition dies or Redding competition dies.

    Just get full length dies because as soon as the decap pin is in side the case and the pilot his the neck it will size it, just need to turn your die up in the air(out of the press). You spent the money for the gun don't go chinsy on the dies.

    Just like a scope. Don't put a 50 dollar scope on a 900.00 gun. Doesn't make sense.

    Good luck with the 338.
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    Unless you are shooting competion, a standard 2 die set is plenty. Although I use neck dies, and FL when shoulders need re-setting, ( I hate the term bumped). But for me it really isn't about accuracy, but more about the life span of my brass, because FL sizing does work the brass more. Groups I get from a standard FL die will easily maintain Sub MOA and shoot more accurate then I can, when done properly.

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