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Thread: Preferred die maker?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master

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    The only Lee die I have is a universal decapping die but I do use their trimmers some. You should try them before selling them, they work ok. I only use trim dies when I'm forming cases and have a lot of material to remove. My bench is inside and using the trim die in the press is kind of messy.

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks, all, for taking time to share your opinions and experience.

    Have a nice cast.
    PBSmith

  3. #43
    Boolit Master and Dean of Balls




    fatnhappy's Avatar
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    Redding and RCBS grace most of the boxes on my desk. I like Hornady dies with a caveat, they can be a pain with cast. The seating sleeve is perfect for jacketed but often requires honing our for fatter boolits. If you hone it out, you’ve defeated the advantage the sleeves bring for jacketed.

    I like Lyman dies. I have 1/2 dozen sets.

    They all work.


    Ymmv
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
    No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

  4. #44
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatnhappy View Post
    Redding and RCBS grace most of the boxes on my desk. I like Hornady dies with a caveat, they can be a pain with cast. The seating sleeve is perfect for jacketed but often requires honing our for fatter boolits. If you hone it out, you’ve defeated the advantage the sleeves bring for jacketed.

    I like Lyman dies. I have 1/2 dozen sets.

    They all work.


    Ymmv
    fatnhappy, I was wondering about that seating sleeve. Thanks for your note.

  5. #45
    Boolit Grand Master

    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    This question is simple for me. Buy Lee dies, if they donít work buy another brand. Iíve had to do this only on a few rare occasions. There are advantages to certain features that brands use exclusively. But Iíve found I can load accurate ammo w/ Lee dies. If I was truly concerned about squeezing every bit of accuracy out of a cartridge I would start down the benchrest route which doesnít involve a reloading press.

  6. #46
    Boolit Man

    Ranger 7's Avatar
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    For me, HORNADY is the best choice by far. Have the Dimension dies in: .380ACP/9MM/45ACP/.38/357.
    They stand up 100% on their products, provide accurate & friendly advice.
    Great manufacture!

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    Loading little pistol rounds is not very demanding nor is making pistol dies very difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 7 View Post
    For me, HORNADY is the best choice by far. Have the Dimension dies in: .380ACP/9MM/45ACP/.38/357.
    They stand up 100% on their products, provide accurate & friendly advice.
    Great manufacture!
    EDG

  8. #48
    Boolit Master


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    Yesterday I just went to use a set of Lee dies for .32 Smith & Wesson that I bought last summer. The shell holder won't fit in my 40yr old Rockchucker. The Yellow dipper is a 4.0 CC, way too big. Big enough to fill a .45acp case to the mouth.
    The seat/crimp die is different from the instructions & I can't seem to get it to seat & crimp right. Called Lee today to ask about it. They blew me off.
    Since I can't find the receipt, I have to pay to send back the die set & pay for a replacement seating die & then pay to have it sent back to me.

    "Great" customer service.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatnhappy View Post
    Redding and RCBS grace most of the boxes on my desk. I like Hornady dies with a caveat, they can be a pain with cast. The seating sleeve is perfect for jacketed but often requires honing our for fatter boolits. If you hone it out, youíve defeated the advantage the sleeves bring for jacketed.

    I like Lyman dies. I have 1/2 dozen sets.

    They all work.


    Ymmv
    Had the same seating sleeve dia. problem with 30-06. Went back to RCBS, problem solved.

    On dies, 40+ are RCBS, next is Redding, Dillon then Lee. Last is CH4D with one die set and a bunch of expanders. Dislike the Lee based on the o-ring "lock" ring but have several odd ball, low volume cartridges in Lee simply because of price. Can't justify paying the asking price for the odd ones from RCBS/Redding/CH4D.

    Forgot the half dozen Lyman m-dies, they work great for the standard calibers.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Computer Error
    Last edited by DonMountain; 01-24-2019 at 12:21 PM.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Computer Error
    Last edited by DonMountain; 01-24-2019 at 12:22 PM.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Of my 30+ sets of dies I prefer the design and quality of engineering and machine work of the Hornady die sets with the sliding bullet seating dies. These sliding inserts are much more gentle when seating soft cast lead bullets, orienting them straight to the case before insertion. Also the shapes of their tapered expander work far better than other makes, especially when reshaping brass to another caliber. Other die sets I have and are good quality are RCBS and Redding. Unfortunately the couple of Lee die sets I have purchased have been poorly designed and their machine work is not very good. Their rubber O-ring lock rings don't lock anything and I replaced them with Hornady's that I can tighten up. And their expander buttons are so rough they need polishing before using, and their tapered angle is too abrupt to use when reforming cases. So I have replaced most of my Lee die sets.

  13. #53
    Boolit Buddy
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    Have dies by RCBS, Lyman, Hornady, Lee and Eagle. Only sets used as a set are the RCBS for 243 and .223 and Hornady for 30/06 for jacketed loads. My cast sets for 30/06, 30/40 AI and 243 are a mix of neck sizers, Lyman M dies and the old Lyman precision alignment (PA) dies for seating. Older members will remember the Lyman PA dies, were dropped years ago by Lyman but I have found them to be the best (for me at least) for seating cast bullets. Lee's are the universal decapper and expander. For 45 ACP use Hornady and their taper crimp. Have a mix of Lyman and RCBS for 38/357 and 44 Mag on the shelf as I no longer load these at this time. Have a set of CH dies for the 30/40AI if I need to FL size but haven't needed to use them yet.

  14. #54
    Boolit Bub Big Wes's Avatar
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    I have one 9mm Lee size die, and all the rest of my dies are Dillon
    "Hollow Points"-"From Those Who Care Enough To Send The Very Best"


  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy engineer401's Avatar
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    My dies are RCBS and CH. I’ve used Hornady in the past and they work well. I’ve tried Lee and don’t really care for them.

  16. #56
    Boolit Buddy Static line's Avatar
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    RCBS or Redding for me. I tried the others.

  17. #57
    Boolit Bub
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    In my opinion, For the average pistol reloader on a single stage or Lee Classic Turret, Hornady seem like the best bang for the buck. The seating sleeve in the Hornady dies is a nice feature that is only found on more expensive die sets.

    Lee's are a great value for what you get. The lock rings with the O rings are a little underwhelming

    RCBS dies to me, are no better made than the Lee, but have much better customer service than Lee if you have a problem.

    If you are running a progressive press, then it's hard to beat the Dillon dies, as they seem to let the press work smoother than the others.

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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