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Which 223 Dies?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by batex, Jan 2, 2009.

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  1. batex

    batex Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Hi all,
    I've been reloading for handguns for a number of years (38 spl, 44 mag, 45 colt, 45 acp, etc.), but never for rifle up til now. I've decided to start reloading for my new Remington R-15 223 AR. However, I'm already stuck on which dies to buy. I was originally going to go with RCBS, but I've heard others recommend Hornady and Redding. Another strongly suggest Redding "S" dies due to how they resize the neck. Can anyone tell me which would be best? I prefer to buy once. Also, the Remington AR has a 223 chamber, not 5.56. Does this matter for the dies I buy? I mainly intend to reload for shooting targets in the 100-300 yard range. I currently use a Dillon 550 press. There sure seems to be more things to consider when reloading for rifles...

    So, which 223 dies would you recommend?

  2. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    I use a set of Lee .223 on my 550B for mass consumption in an IMI Galil ARM. They work fine, and I have never found the need for an SB style die set. If you initially thought RCBS, that seems a sound enough choice to me, and I'm sure *if* you needed an SB die, RCBS would help you out. If you load and work up with .223 data, you will have no problems whatever chamber you have.

    Have fun, and the 550B is a .223 works very well, with great speed. To keep things smooth and consistent, I strongly reccomend you try a ball powder (with mag primers), and I have had really great luck with H335, WW748, and AA2460. They all flow like water, provide optimal loading density, and are plenty accurate for me at the ranges you mention.

    Good luck!
  3. evan price

    evan price Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    Lee RGB dies are less than $20, iirc MIdway has them on sale in the Xmas flyer.
  4. neal7250

    neal7250 Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Upstate South Carolina
    All of the dies that I have seen, will do a nice job, but my own preference is Dillon.
  5. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    As long as the sizer die is a full length die, any make will do.
    "...more things to consider..." A bit less actually. Fewer steps.
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Are you going to be loading for accuracy with quality bullets, or just informal target shooting/plinking/blasting with cheap bulk FMJ bullets? 300 yards eh.

    All dies are .223, no 5.56 dies, so no worries there. I really like Redding or Forster for .223. but they all work just fine. Lee are generally cheaper than everybody else if low price is the main concern. Their collet die set actually works very well for accuracy.

    Accuracy? Strongly consider the Forster or Redding Competition die set.

    Plinking/general shooting with cheap bulk bullets? Any die set will work, and actually do quite well with quality bullets as well, it's just the Competition die sets are better.

    Since you want to shoot targets up to 300 yards, I assume you will want good groups and be using good bullets, so get a Competition die set. It won't cut your groups in half compared to the standard sets, but it will help, and you won't be wondering if you should have bought them in the first place once you shoot a group or two. :)
  7. shameless

    shameless Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    RCBS. Lee collet dies are fine also, but my #1
    are the RCBS.
  8. Doug b

    Doug b Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    NW Ohio
    Collet dies are fine if your press is not compound linkage.
  9. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Arlington TX
    Forster or Redding Competition seaters have a sliding alignment sleeve for better bullet alignment with the cartridge neck. The internal guts are the same on the micrometer and non-micrometer Forster seaters, not so with Redding, only the competition (micrometer) seater has the alignment sleeve. Hornady seaters also have this feature, but it does not engage as much of the case body as the sleeves on the Forster and Redding Comp dies. The sliding sleeves also make it easier to put/keep the bullet on top of the case while you operate the press. RCBS Gold Medal Seating die has a window in the side that you put the bullet in. Unlike their similar Competition windowed seater, the Gold Medal seater works on progressive presses.

    Forster, Redding and Hornady all offer bushing type Full Length resizing dies, but depending on your accuracy needs (in a stock Remy AR), standard FL dies from any maker will work fine.

    I'm not a big fan of Lee seating dies. They use one seater plug for several different bullet calibers, and it just flops around on the inside of the die. The quality of the machining has been sub-standard on the Lee die sets I've tried, particularly on the internal parts you don't see. And their lock-less rings stink. Their collet type factory crimp dies are excellent if you decide to crimp your cartridges; just change the lock-less rings to something that works, I like Hornady or Forster clamp style lock rings.

    In the middle are RCBS and Lyman, both have serviceable seater dies. Since you have a progressive, the RCBS X-die may work well for you, since you only have to trim your brass once with it.

  10. mallc

    mallc Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    FFL in Muscatine, Iowa 52761
    You get what you pay for...

    I shoot about 250 rounds of .223 per month - year around. Redding dies are far superior to LEE.

    A lot of folks swear by LEE...folks who use Redding don't swear...they shoot farther and straighter. Folks who use Redding almost always have a few sets of LEE dies they'd love to sell. (Anyone wanna buy a set of LEE 303 British?)

    I even replaced the .223 seating die on my Dillon 650 with a Redding Competition Seating die.

    Low price does not always equal value. Why step up later? Buy the best now and be done with it.

  11. Idano

    Idano Member

    Oct 2, 2006

    Regardless of who's' seating die you go with do yourself a favor and buy RCBs Resizing X-Die. Like BigJakeJ1s said you will only ever have to trim your brass once and since it doesn't work the brass as much as other resizing dies your brass last longer. Also, I wouldn't recommend going with a small base die either.
  12. bonza

    bonza Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    Inland NW, USA
    I've bought a few different brands of reloading dies over the years, but have always been happiest with RCBS.
  13. lgbloader

    lgbloader Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    My Main set for 223 REM is a Carbide sizer die, A Competition seater, and a crimp die.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
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