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Best pistol dies?
 Moderated by: woodsman777, klallen Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Thu Mar 25th, 2010 03:29 PM
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abigdiesel
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Everyone has their favorite dies and for their own reasons, I prefer lee rifle dies myself.  I was wondering though what dies are considered the top of the line for pistol though.  I am not talking about dillon stuff either, just standard 7/8-14 dies.  I have been using RCBS carbide 45 acp dies with no real problems and would like to hear what everyone is using and why. 




 Posted: Thu Mar 25th, 2010 04:11 PM
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Plainsman
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Why not Dillon stuff?

I use RCBS, Lee, Redding, Dillon, and other makers. No problems with any of them.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 25th, 2010 05:13 PM
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7mmdrops-em
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Well I have used just about every Mfg of die and don't realy see any diff. In them other than how they function like the seating dies.

Rod



 Posted: Thu Mar 25th, 2010 10:48 PM
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woodsman777
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like any other tool we use ,get to know it,

tweek it to your puposes and your good to go ,

they are all quality made these days



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 Posted: Thu Mar 25th, 2010 11:15 PM
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OldStuffer
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7mmdrops-em wrote: Well I have used just about every Mfg of die and don't realy see any diff. In them other than how they function like the seating dies.

Rod


Pretty much same opinion here, biggest "difference" one mfr. to another is in what they do for seating/crimping dies.

I own dies from Lee, Hornady, RCBS and Bair, and have no real heavy favorites. I pretty much bought what was available to me where and when I wanted a die set for use X.

I do like the sliding bullet seaters on my Hornady New Dimention set, seems pretty pointless for handgun ammo tho (mine is in .45 Auto/Auto Rim/Colt). To negative that, the above mentioned set is a roll crimp die, fine, but I only use it for .45 Auto which I HAVE loaded thousands successfully with, but it is simpler with a taper crimp die.

Seems pretty universal fondness for Lee's Factory Crimp die, although I do not have one, and I DO have a Lee Taper Crimp Die for .308. My main deer-hunting bullet has no canelure, and the roll-crimp seating die does nopt work well in that aplication.

 

I select dies primarilly on desired features vs price ("value"), availability, and not on which color box it comes in.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 26th, 2010 01:14 AM
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abigdiesel
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Kind of nice to see everyone has more of a "run what ya brung" kind of attitude than the "my chevy will kick your fords butt" attitude.  I have seen similar posts elsewhere on the net and notice most people are one or the other dies, not what ever works. 

Why not Dillon stuff?
I wasn't trying to knock the dillon dies.  In fact when I first was introduced to dillon stuff, it was just the progressive system and I did not know they even had regular dies for the standard presses.  I have since educated myself on this since I posted this earlier, seem like nice dies.  I think their seating die also has a sliding seater similar to the hornady.  


I guess it is like everyone says: learn it, use it,  tweak it, and run with it!



abd



 Posted: Fri Mar 26th, 2010 02:51 AM
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BigJakeJ1s
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Dillon dies are designed to work well when installed in Dillon tool heads and left there. The lock rings do not have a cross-bolt, set screw, or even an o-ring, so they are completely loose as soon as you remove the die from the press or tool head.

Dillon pistol seater dies come apart easily without tools for cleaning, and go back together again without affecting the seating depth. They do not crimp, and they do not have a sliding alignment sleeve. The entire die body has to be screwed in and out of the press or tool head to adjust seating depth.

Hornady seating dies have sliding alignment sleeves, no-tool disassembly for cleaning, reassembly without affecting the settings, crimp rings, excellent cross-bolt lock rings, and optional micrometer seating depth adjustment.

I like Redding or Lyman M-type expander dies, especially for lead bullets.

Most carbide or titanium nitride pistol sizing dies work fine, except for differences in lock rings. Dillon sizing dies are widely belled at the bottom of the die for easy functioning in a progressive press. However they do not size the brass as far down toward the case head as others do.

Whatever dies you use, cross-bolt lock rings are available from Hornady or Forster, and they work better than o-rings or set screws for keeping lock rings tight and square to the die body. Lyman also sells aftermarket cross-bolt lock rings, but includes set-screw lock rings with their dies.

Andy



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 Posted: Fri Mar 26th, 2010 06:25 AM
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jjb2
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  i like the lee pistol speed dies real well as i load off two single stage presses.... i do kinda like the tinkering around with taking the die apart for each step and putting the whole die set in one spot in one box when i'm done..... 

 

   LIFE IS SHORT..... 



 Posted: Fri Mar 26th, 2010 10:18 AM
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OldStuffer
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BigJakeJ1s wrote:
Whatever dies you use, cross-bolt lock rings are available from Hornady or Forster, and they work better than o-rings or set screws for keeping lock rings tight and square to the die body. Lyman also sells aftermarket cross-bolt lock rings, but includes set-screw lock rings with their dies.

Andy


A great big Yes Indeed!

I have never had any "trouble" with RCBS' setscrews, at least theirs are brass, My BAIR set is steel screws. :sad: I long ago learned how to deal with the Lee O-ring setup, which works well enough, BUT, it's not nearly as nice as Hornady's split-lock-ring. 6 of those are on order in the mail right now for instalation on some Lee and RCBS dies.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 26th, 2010 10:23 AM
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OldStuffer
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I rarely re-adjust dies once set. The places the non-split type locknuts have "annoyed" me the most are my RCBS Swager (always changing for either 7.62Nato or 9mmPNato work), the Lee Auto-Prime II, and intend to put a set on the Lee 7.62 Russisn Rimmed dies, so they will be "set and forget". Lee's Univ. Expander too for my upcoming SABOT round work.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 26th, 2010 04:00 PM
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3006 user
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To adjust lock rings, I remove the lock ring set screw to see if it bears directly on the die threads. If it does, I drop in a #6 shot and replace the set screw. To adjust the lock ring, hold the die in your hand, back off the set screw and give the ring a sharp rap with a plastic hammer in the area of the lock ring..  Inertia will loosen the lead shot enough to turn the lock ring by hand..

Most of you have probably done this, but it may be of interest to someone..:thumbs:



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 Posted: Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 05:21 PM
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Sig Al
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The Hornady Loc rings are great. I have all RCBS dies and the only thing I hate about them is the ring lock set screw. It's cheap and strips out pretty easy. I bought a set of Hornady loc rings and I will definitely get a few more sets.



 Posted: Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 07:25 PM
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BigBill54
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I agree with what has been said. I started with Lee Dies. That became the standard by which I measure all others. I was setup to drop powder through the case neck flaring die - that saved a step.

When I upgraded from a single stage press to a progressive RCBS Pro2000 setup, that was not an advantage. I use Lyman, RCBS, and Lee dies now.

It's also important to keep them clean and lubricated. Even though I clean and polish before resizing, the resizing/decapping die needs to be swabbed out every 200-300 cartridges. Watch the bullet seating die. Sometimes lube from lead bullets can buildup and change your cartridge overall length.

BB

Last edited on Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 07:29 PM by BigBill54



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 Posted: Sun Sep 26th, 2010 06:32 PM
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budman461
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if i need dies and  lee make's 'em, that's what i buy. i don't care about prestige, just what makes good ammo without gouging me price-wise. in 40+ years of collecting reloading equipment i have a hornady, redding, rcbs and lyman equipment...lee takes a back seat to none...their dies include a shell holder, stuck case remover capability and, usually, a factory crimp die for less $$$ than the competition.

budman

ignorance is fixable, stupidity is forever



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 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 06:17 AM
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noylj
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If I was buying dies separately, I would buy a Hornady or Lee sizing die, an RCBS or Hornady expander die, whatever works best with my powder measure (Lee PTE die, Hornady with PTX, or Dillon with their powder funnels), Lee or Hornady seating die (possibly with a custom seater stem for whichever I bought), and a Redding Crimp die (either the profile crimp for roll crimping or a taper crimp die).
I would buy the Dillon sets if I was loading lead bullets that got bullet lube all over the seating stem.
Thus, for most of my shooting, I would buy the Dillon (I shoot LOTS of lead bullets and most have LLA tumble lube on them) or Hornady set and then buy any specialized die I felt I needed or wanted. Both the Dillon and Hornady seating dies can drop the seating stem out without removing the die from the press.



 Posted: Fri Oct 29th, 2010 08:20 PM
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undrpsi
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My opinion is from a newbie point of view. I have only been reloading for about 3 months now but spent a year deciding what I wanted to use. Went with the Lee Breech Lock Challenger single stage. Lee carbide dies in .32 S&W, .40/10mm, .45ACP, and (just recently) .50AE. Two weeks ago a friend gave me an old RCBS Rock Crusher with 9mm dies. The RCBS are not carbide and I am on midwayusa.com right now ordering a set of Lee's.
I spent time with some reloading friends, most of who had progressive or turret presses from Dillon. Then another friend who also had a single stage showed me his Lee. He took the time to show me the pro's and con's of all the designs. He also helped me find and order my initial load out of dies, primers, powders..etc.

Here's my 'lab'....


lab1 by jayraxter, on Flickr


I chose Lee because they are simple, reliable, accurate (enough for me), and inexpensive. My initial setup was 3 carbide die sets, the Lee Anniv Breech Loader set, #5 and #9 powder, small and large primers..etc came to just a little over $300 bucks. My buddy paid almost double that for just his Dillion press. I don't load GOBS of rounds...past Saturday I loaded 400 of .45 and 250 of .32 then tumbled, deprimed, re-tumbled a bunch of brass. Whenever my buddy is reloading he always has the wrong die hung on his Dillion (Murphy's reloading law?). He has to futz with it some to get all the stages working together...then he's off to the races. He can, once it's setup, really pump out some ammo. I can do no where near the amount he can but my switchout and adjustment time is very very short. Since I am only relaoding a few hundred at a time...the Lee is all I need for now.

Just my newbie input!

Jay




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 Posted: Sun Nov 7th, 2010 10:37 PM
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Lee S. Forsberg
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abigdiesel wrote: Everyone has their favorite dies and for their own reasons, I prefer lee rifle dies myself.  I was wondering though what dies are considered the top of the line for pistol though.  I am not talking about dillon stuff either, just standard 7/8-14 dies.  I have been using RCBS carbide 45 acp dies with no real problems and would like to hear what everyone is using and why. Why do I use the dies I use, they work. I still use the Pacific dies that came with my first reloading set-up. I like and use dies from most die makers because they do what I need done.  





 Posted: Mon Nov 8th, 2010 12:12 AM
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wheezengeezer
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I shoot mostly cast in all my centerfire handguns.I prefer an expander such as the Lyman "M" die.I also have Lee,Hornaday,RCBS,Pacific and I think Herters handgun dies.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 8th, 2010 05:35 PM
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daboone
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Wheeze has got it RIGHT!

I used Lee's universal expander for a long time for cast bullet. After discovering M-Dies, I bought the stem for ever caliber I load.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 8th, 2010 06:49 PM
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trickywoo
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I think if it works well for you and your comfortable and confident with the dies your using, no matter the brand, that is YOUR best dies!



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