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Redding Dies Worth It?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by G11354, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. G11354

    G11354 Member

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    Are Redding reloading dies worth the extra cost over Lee reloading dies? Im a casual reloader, do it more for fun than out of a need for extreme precision.

    I currently reload .223/5.56, .300 Blackout, .40S&W, may start .44 Magnum and .44 Special down the road.
     
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    On eBay, for the same money as Lee, yeah probably. For calibers that no one else makes dies for, certainly.

    These days, I buy die features, not brand name. Lee makes the FCD, so I buy Lee FCDs. RCBS makes the best micro-seaters, so I buy theirs.

    Buy the features, not the brand. When you're squeezing the last 0.25MOA out of a cartridge, then we can talk about brand differences.
     
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you are happy with what you have now, I would say no.

    The micrometer adjustment can be nice but that can be accomplished with any die.

     
  4. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    Good advice here!

    I do the same. Most of my dies are Hornady, but I buy Lee FCDs, and Lyman M-dies to cover features that my basic dies cant do.
     
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  5. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    I use Redding National Match dies for match grade .308. The micrometer bullet seating die is a nice easy to use feature. I also like the separate taper crimp die that was included. The real attraction for me was the floating carbide neck button on the resizing die. This makes sizing much easier and requires little to no lubrication inside the case. Just the thing for hard to resize military brass. The de-priming pin is beefier than the Hornady or Lyman dies I have in that caliber.

    That said, I don't think I would go to the expense of Redding dies for everything. This was a special use case for me and helped to solve some specific problems that I was having.

    I think an often overlooked topic in these die discussions is that the press the die is installed in plays a big role in the resulting consistency of the operation. Slop in the press will create variances. The variance may be small but could effect overall outcomes.

    .40
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  6. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    For what you are reloading, and the typical expectations therefore, especially considering your statement of “do it more for fun than a need for extreme precision,” you’d never notice a difference, and never need more than Lee dies will deliver. Horses for courses - if you’re loading precision built rifles for precision shooting, the difference is worth it. If you’re shooting a home brew AR on a weekend to enjoy yourself, the money not spent on expensive dies means more ammo to shoot.

    For the 44mag, I would recommend you get the Lee carbide set, 4 dies so you can seat and crimp in separate steps, and knock the carbide sizing ring out of the FCD.
     
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  7. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    For 223, I like the Redding sizing die with the optional carbide expander, over the Lee sizing die. For 44mag, I see no reason not to use the Lee dies, but I will say that I prefer their collet crimping die over the normal FCD.
     
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  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I do not like the o-ring lock rings on Lee dies since I do not store my dies in a tool head. It is too easy to loose the setting. Also, I do not care for the Lee storage boxes.

    So, by the time I have replaced the lock rings and the storage box, the cost of Lee dies are getting close to a set of RCBS dies.

    Otherwise, I've had no issue with Lee dies except the handgun FCD dies.

    That said, Redding dies are my dies of choice with RCBS dies second when I cannot find the Redding dies in stock.
     
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  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I load target rifle ammo on Redding.
    Otherwise, it is Dillon, Lyman, Hornady, Lee, even CH.
     
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  10. YBOT

    YBOT Member

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    Please, did you make your mount for the dial indicator or is it available at an online shop? Really like your approach to getting the adjustment you're looking for.
     
  11. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    Keeping in mind that for most of us this is a hobby.

    Personally I wouldn't go out and wholesale replace any make dies, Lee or others with Redding but if you want high quality, Redding is the way to go. I have replace a few calibers with Redding for reasons that are personal and once you use them a few times you forget the cost.
     
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  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    In the last couple of months, I've swapped out one of my Lee seating dies (9x19) for a Redding comp seating die... I will say that it has reduced instances of the bullet not getting started straight and kicking a little bulge into the cases down to zero. The micrometer is a nice addition, too. But I only made a few (tens of?) thousand rounds that worked just fine with the Lee die!

    You're definitely paying 50-100% more for something that is a relatively small improvement.
     
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  13. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    I think so. For rifle, Redding competition micrometer die sets. set 9mm and .45, I think the competition micrometer bullet seater is worth it. Just got a Redding dual ring sizer in .45 ACP, but have not used it yet.

    Russellc
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  14. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I have a mix of Dillon, RCBS and Redding dies. Because I like quality looking tools. I seriously doubt that I load better ammo on them than I would if I used Lee dies. I'm talking standard dies. If you throw competition seaters and bushing dies into the mix then my answer would be different. But thats not even close to a fair comparison. My Lee universal decapping die is stronger than my much nicer looking and more expensive Sinclair decapping die.

    Something else to consider. If you don't like Lee lockrings and want to replace them and if you want a box for your Lee dies and buy a box for them then Lee ain't cheaper anymore. Personally I don't like the "O" ring on Lee's lockring and I do want a flat storage box. Another thing about Lee dies is that they come with a shellholder. Thats another $7 or $8 if you buy another brand.

    I have seriously considered buying 1 set of Lee dies just to do a comparison with my RCBS or Redding dies. But a sample of one won't prove very much.

    I guess the short answer is to buy what you want, learn to use them and trust them.
     
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  15. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    If Forster makes the die you need for your cartridge .... They are As good as the Redding ...the Micro seater are As good as Redding ... most times somewhat less expensive too ....

    Even their standard dies are top shelf quality .....

    Many folks don't even know about Forster dies ....
     
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  16. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    All the products available from the prominent brands are first rate for their product niche. Now, you must understand that Lee's product niche is "value", while Redding's product niche is "premium quality". Like Fiat to Ferrari, there's simply no grounds for direct comparison.

    At some point in your shooting career you may get into a competition that requires more precise ammo. Then you may wish to upgrade your dies within that single caliber, because you are simply not finding the features you require. So I'm with edwardware on this. Let your decision be feature driven.

    Until you need those features, you won't be able to appreciate the difference. It'd be like buying a Mercedes for a 15 year-old to take driving lessons. o_O
     
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  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I made it, 3 pieces of 1x1/4” aluminum screwed together with another hole and setscrew for the indicator.

    I am another that doesn’t like the Lee lockrings, if I use them I generally flip them over and throw the O-ring in a drawer.
     
  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Count me on this list as well. RCBS lock rings also. Forster and Hornady split rings are what I use. I’ve gotten all of mine from Cabela’s for “free” with their credit card points, like most things I “buy” there, so I don’t bother much that I spend a few bucks more to make Lee dies more functional for my use.
     
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  19. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I own both a Redding Big Boss II press and Competition powder measure. Both first class products. Money well spent. The Redding powder measure is a pleasure to use, and with a cast iron body, will never wear out. That said I only own Lyman, RCBS, and Lee dies. The Lyman dies are older carbide ones, little used and perhaps 30 years old. Very well made back then. The RCBS ones are a mix of standard and carbide ones, and well made.

    The only Lee set I own is a .38/.357 Carbide set. While this set is also well-made, it has some peculiarities that the others don't. The powder through expanding die required a learning curve to set up compared to the other conventional expanding dies, but it works. I prefer the others though. The aluminum plug and O-ring adjustment on the seating die works but I prefer the lockable adjustment on my other dies. I worry that the aluminum plug will loosen up and wear. As far as the steel in the dies, I don't think that there is much difference from RCBS.

    It's a personal choice really. If you intend to use the dies frequently I would go with RCBS or Redding.
    For less frequent use then the Lee dies will be fine.
     
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  20. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    I love my .45 acp competition seating die. My Lee FCD resides in the container that it came in, and I make better ammunition with it than before with stock RCBS dies and the FCD bandaid.

    Money well spent IMO. That being said, its the only Redding die that I own. But I'd consider getting others based on the quality of that die.
     
  21. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    I purchased RCBS dies for many years, and had to send several sets back to the manufacturer due to defects (warped sizing die, 7-08 die labeled .243, etc. etc.). Other RCBS items too, but since I started buying Redding products I haven’t returned one item. Features are great, as is low cost, I understand that. But not being able to load because the product is “in transit” for weeks wastes time I will never get back.



    .
     
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  22. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Gents
    I’m reading a lot of good discussion on this topic, for myself I’m looking for a Die that produces minimal body sizing .002 is about right IMO
    I’m also looking for Dies that do not require modifications nor custom shell holder to set headspace.
    I have found such products in Harrell’s F/L bushing die for my 6BR
    And Wilson F/L bushing dies for a 308 I’m currently working with, neither of these Dies incorporate an expander ball system rather a decapper pin only.
    Concentricity issues are non existent as well.
    I do own other brands of Dies however I’ve found these to outperform them.

    Regards
    SPJ
     
  23. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    That's what lock rings are for.
     
  24. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Not exactly “
    Lock rings secure your Die in the desired location so you may remove said Die and reinstall to the same setting without re establishing the original position.
    Just my experience of course
    J
     
  25. murf

    murf Member

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    welcome to the forum, spj.

    will those dies work with unturned necks? can you give us a reference regarding die purchase?

    murf
     
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