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Thread: Are Cowboy dies worth getting

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Are Cowboy dies worth getting

    Do Hornady or other brand cowboy dies work better with lead over plated or jacketed bullets?

  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrier View Post
    Do Hornady or other brand cowboy dies work better with lead over plated or jacketed bullets?
    I don't know but the ones from RCBS look cool!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    They do look cool. I have three sets. But the NOE solutions make them sub-optimal. Get the best sizer you can, and the the NOE expnders, and whatever seating die that makes sense, and whatever crimp die you see fit. And there you go. My last few sets have been mix and match dies with the NOE expanders.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man wbrco's Avatar
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    Use the Lee dies and just don't use the factory crimp die. Adjust the seating die to apply the crimp (read the directions).

    http://www.titanreloading.com/die-qu...die-adjustment

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Why no Lee FCD ?

  6. #6
    Boolit Man wbrco's Avatar
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    Tends to swage soft lead bullets in the case.

    Sent by that pygmy wack job Kim Jong Un

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    If you want to reload lead cast bullets, they are one of the best things going.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Isn't it basically just a .001" bigger expanding die in a 3 die set using combined seat/crimp?

  9. #9
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    Pure BS and they rust easily. Buy a Lee FOUR die set. I load 32, 38, 44 and 45 cast boolits with ZERO problems.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjjpdc View Post
    If you want to reload lead cast bullets, they are one of the best things going.
    Agree. IIRC, the main difference is the ID of the dies that allow for"oversize" lead bullets...

    FWIW, a Lee FCD die for hand gun cartridges is just a coverup for problems from prior steps (case bulges). My FCD now resides in a landfill somewhere in So. Oregon, because it swaged down my perfectly sized bullets and when I removed the carbide ring, I got unsatisfactory crimps. I went back to a plain old roll crimp...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    All that is needed from the Cowboy dies that makes any difference is the expander. The RCBS Cowboy expander plugs are a larger diameter for setting a larger inside diameter of the case necks. If you already have a standard RCBS expander die, then you just need the Cowboy expander plug. About $7 at Midway. Or, RCBS might send one for free if you ask. I've received a couple of them this way, and ordered others from Midway. I like RCBS handgun dies, and the M style expanders that they sell.

    Yes, the NOE solution is fine too, and they have +/- sizes so you can hone in on the perfect neck ID.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man Morgan61's Avatar
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    I have a 3 die cowboy set and find myself using only the bullet seating die.
    I prefer to use my Lee neck sizing die for sizing and a regular RCBS expander die because I can get an expander plug that gives a neck size that's closer to what I want.
    Last edited by Morgan61; 04-18-2017 at 02:13 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Is the Hornady expander larger than their normal ones?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Put the word 'Cowboy' in front of the name of the die set and the new reloaders will flock to them. It's a PR gimmick IMO. All my dies except for the odd ball calibers are LEE and the odd balls are CH4D - because they are the only one that make dies for those calibers
    Regards
    John

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    Put the word 'Cowboy' in front of the name of the die set and the new reloaders will flock to them. It's a PR gimmick IMO. All my dies except for the odd ball calibers are LEE and the odd balls are CH4D - because they are the only one that make dies for those calibers
    That may be so but is the expander any different?

  16. #16
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    Yes, expander is larger for cast.

  17. #17
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    If you shoot a Rossi in 45LC the RCBS sizing die is a must.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmort View Post
    Yes, expander is larger for cast.
    jacketed bullets can resist being squished to undersized by a tight case, our softer lead cast bullets can not. Larger expander insures that the case won't swage (squish) the lead bullet down to undersized.

    NOE makes expander plugs to size case and flare mouth to a precise size suitable for your bullet. Lyman has a die for doing the expanding called a "M" die. Think I have heard of other brands too but those are the ones that get mentioned most often. Can say that using the NOE I can feel the seating of the bullet is smoother and more consistent than without it. Am guessing from the comments of others that the Lyman M dies provide this same consistency.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Hi...
    I have one set of RCBS Cowboy dies.

    I bought a set of them for .44Special when I bought my Lipsey's flat top BlackHawk back when they were first announced.
    I believe they are excellent for loading commercial cast bullets which is all my .44Specials are fed.

    Well pleased with them.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I started reloading when the only jacketed handgun bullets were FMJ in autopistol and military rounds. The JHP and JSP bullet simply did not exist. Lead bullets were use in all civilian revolver rounds. All reloading dies made in these times were for loading cast bullets. They do just a good now as they did then.

    Three weeks ago, I bought a set of RCBS NOS dies (1961) for the 45 Colt round that cost me $17.00 on Ebay. I didn't need them, but they are not made any more. I see no purpose in purchasing far more expensive "Cowboy" dies when good vintage dies are available on the cheap.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check