What dies are the best?

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What dies are the best?

Post by moosetraxx on Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:41 pm

What reloading dies are the best quality? (45ACP) Thank you

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Re: What dies are the best?

Post by AllAces on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:40 pm

Redding & RCBS

More opinions will be along soon.

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Re: What dies are the best?

Post by Dave C. on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:06 pm

Dillon or Redding.

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Re: What dies are the best?

Post by rob5r on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:08 pm

Nothing beats Dillon for reloading non-jacketed lead. They are designed with a quick release clip so you can clean the excess lead out easily, without removing the entire die. I used one today with ease. 1900 rounds of .45 completed in under 3 hours using a Dillon 1050.

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Re: What dies are the best?

Post by noylj on Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:43 am

Just my opinion:


Lee dies are about as good as any.


1)
Sizing die: I think the Hornady New Dimension
sizing dies are the best. They go down further on the case and the TiN insert
makes for smooth resizing. I have not tried the Redding, but it would have to
be close since it also using a titanium ceramic insert (though I think it might
be TiC), but may not size down as far. After that (Lee, RCBS, Pacific, Dillon)
are all about the same, except the Dillon goes down the least.


2)
Expander: RCBS is excellent and the Hornady is
almost as good, though some prefer the Lyman M-die for cast lead bullets. The
M-die has the virtue of being able to supply custom sizes for those of us using
oversized lead bullets.


3)
Powder-Through Expanders: Here, it all depends
on the powder measure being used. I prefer the Hornady L-N-L measure and their
PTX inserts. I find that it is more repeatable then the Dillon and easier to
get a specific charge weight. The Dillon is an excellent measure and the powder
funnels are excellent. However, like the Lee Auto-Disk, it can lead very fine
powder and it seems to take a LOT of back-and-forth adjustments to lock in a
specific charge weight. The Hornady also has the advantage that for $10 you can
replace the metering assembly and keep the one you have set on the shelf for
when you go back to that specific powder charge again. Makes a lot more sense
to me than buying a micrometer head assembly and still having to fine tune it.


4)
Seating die: First, and amazing enough, I went
through just about every seating die brand I could find trying to work out the
best .38 wadcutter loads for my S&W M52s. The two best seating dies, only
in terms of the average group size based on at least five 5-round groups, were
the Lee and Hornady New Dimension. For the Lee, I had a custom seating stem
made for $12 that has a center cavity so the “nub” at the top of the Remington
148gn L-HBWC was not flattened. Anyone with a lathe could do the same in about
1 minute. Rounds made with the RCBS and the Dillon seating dies were, on average,
about 0.5-1.0” larger than with the Lee and Hornady.


5)
Crimp die: I have never found any difference in
results with different manufacturer’s taper crimp dies and use Lee because they
are as good as any for less money. For roll crimps, the Redding Profile Crimp
dies are superior to the Lee FCD or the Hornday, RCBS, or Dillon crimp dies. I
have not evaluated and seating dies for crimp and don’t plan to ever do both
jobs at the same time.


For lead bullets, both the Hornady
and Dillon dies have the advantage of being able to remove the internals for
cleaning without disturbing the die body. The Dillon is the easiest to use,
with a large and easy to use clip at the top of the die. Also, I have to give
the Dillon additional points for having two different seating plugs in one, so
you can load RN and SWC or full WC just by pulling the guts out and switching
over.


After over 45 years, I have never
had my COL move more than maybe 0.002” due to lube on the seating stem. A
decent seating stem has somewhere for the excess lube to go. Also, I have never
seen any advantage to using too much lube, so I have never suffered that
problem—except when I first used Lee Liquid Alox.


I ran a bunch of tests back in the
late ‘70s and found that shooting as-cast bullets was more accurate than sizing
them. Using a Lubri-Sizer at the time, I got sizing dies either the same size
as my cast bullets or 0.001” larger than the nominal bullet diameter. Then, I
went to pan lubing for all my pistol bullets and put the Lubri-Sizer away and
have not used it since. Then Lee introduced LLA. Of course, like everyone else,
I was used to being able to SEE the lube so my initial bullets came out a nice
toasty golden brown. I had no trouble with my seating stems, but the smoke was
enough to choke me (I didn’t notice the smoke shooting, but my lungs didn’t
like breathing it). I then learned to use so little lube that during the
tumbling, all the bullets had was a wet/shiny look and when dry looked the same
as before lubing. This let me to mark every box as being “just cast” or “tumble
lubed” so I would know what was in the box.


I expect that those who have a
problem with lube build up on the seating stem have 1) a poorly designed stem
with no cavity for the excess lube to flow into and 2) improperly expanded (or
none expanded) cases that squeeze the bullet down and force lube out of the
lube groove.


Too many reloaders, from what I
read on the forums, think that case expansion ONLY refers to belling/flaring
the case mouth and miss the fact that the case ID needs to be expanded to be
0.001-0.002” less than bullet diameter.

noylj

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Re: What dies are the best?

Post by BE Mike on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:46 am

For pistol shooting, as long as they have a carbide sizing die in the set, they all are good enough to produce high quality match ammo. I find the Dillon dies seem to work slicker in the Dillon presses, but I have also used Lyman, RCBS and Lee. I really like the dies that the old Star presses have, but they are made of unobtainium.

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Re: What dies are the best?

Post by Steve B on Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:31 pm

BE Mike wrote:For pistol shooting, as long as they have a carbide sizing die in the set, they all are good enough to produce high quality match ammo. I find the Dillon dies seem to work slicker in the Dillon presses, but I have also used Lyman, RCBS and Lee. I really like the dies that the old Star presses have, but they are made of unobtainium.

Unfortunately, they're almost unobtainable.

I've used Redding & RCBS dies with good success. I'd recommend getting the seating stem altered to fit your bullet's profile however. Your seating depths will be more consistent if seating off a SWC's shoulder.

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Re: What dies are the best?

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