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Thread: Am I cheap and ignorant? "best" dies for precision?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    For threaded reloading press dies, my preferred setup for rifle is a Lee collet neck sizer die and a Forster BR seater.
    I think it's tough to beat a Forster BR seater, I don't really see a need for the micro-adjust style.
    But you probably want a FL sizer die for the LRR.
    I've tried a lot of dies and the best that I have found is,

    Lee collet neck sizer
    Redding full length body die.
    Forster BR seater

    The RCBS full length sizer will work pretty good but pull the de priming rod and expander ball. Use a Lyman M die to open the necks back up. All that expander ball does is stretch cases and pull the necks crooked. This is what I was doing before I switched to the above dies. I full length size every time. Do yourself a favor and full length every time, about .002 measured bump on the neck, good lube and 10 seconds of dwell time.

  2. #42
    Boolit Bub
    jakemo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    West Coast of Florida
    I like RCBS and Forster but as others have said, and I agree, it mostly has to do with the guy pulling the handle. Consistency is the name of the game. For precision reloads, I like my Forster Co-Ax press.

  3. #43
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    If you plan to get into long range competition with a factory rifle I suggest a set of dies that have a standard full length sizer and a straight line seater. I personally like and use Redding dies for this and their Master Hunter Set contains these 2 dies. Forrester also has a set like this and I think Hornady does. I'm not a fan of bushing dies unless you get into neck turning. I do use bushing dies for my tight neck custom rifles that I have to neck turn for. The micrometer tops are nice, and they look cool, but I could do just as well without them.

    I can load ammo with a standard RCBS or Redding die set that shoots better than factory ammo. This includes LC Match, Black Hills Match and Federal Gold Metal. Skill and attention to detail do more than more expensive equipment. As a Highpower shooter, you know how important reading the wind is.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    South Western NC
    Quote Originally Posted by rca View Post
    I like rcbs sizing dies ,never had a problem with them.
    What sizer dies did you have problems with?

  5. #45
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    90 miles North of Texarkana 9 miles from OK in the green hell
    I don't shoot competition , but I probably have an unreasonably high expectation crime my rifles regardless of origin of cost , I have 4 the average Joe , or at least I can't anymore , afford to have built . Its because of the standard , base parts , and care in assy . I also have a couple of low grade farm guns that I'm still trying to find a bad load in .

    I have dies from circa 1961 forward to 2016 from Lee , Lyman , Pacific , RCBS , CH , Redding , Bonanza/Forster , and Lachmiller from 380 ACP to 12 ga with stops along the way for standards and the mildly exotic .

    I've had die induced confidence quite literally shot to pieces , and asked out loud why in Lucifer's name would anyone spend that much retail for a die set with so little to offer that made me do extra prep ? A tool for job that's does the job , is why there are so many tow balls around with pipe wrench knerling . I won't run down a particular brand because to date I've had one die I should have sent back out of probably 20 or more new sets . I instead dumped the set with full disclosure and replaced the Lee carbide with a steel RCBS set . I also just don't see the other $40 + for a production set of Redding over RCBS , the 45-70 set made me work for the 100 pieces of brass my buddy saved me they're fine for mine into mine not so much for 1x in someone else into mine . I've rolled a lot of rounds looking for visible run out . Unless there was another visible defect there just wasn't enough enough to get all spun up about . I loaded 264 WM with a 3.30 OAL and it was visible on the roll test but there's .8" of bullet sticking out of case over an inch from the shoulder contact so .0005 really isn't all that far off where the bullet makes contact and it went mostly away in fire formed brass neck sized . I do have a brand new to me set of dies to re-evaluate the situation . That rifle shot under MOA out past 300 yd right off so I don't know that I can improve on that . With paper patch and a table spoon of Unique it delivered 5" for 5 at 400 yd .
    I can't see the value in high priced tools for even a competition shooter until you reach the level of buying 3 reamers to build a rifle and a .0005 run out on bore center to bolt face matters and you can actually see the results on target not caused one of 100 others data points then go for it .

    A Wilson or Forster inline seater might make a little difference or it might just be a confidence building tool . Check what you're producing with the tools at hand if the cartridge needs to improve take steps as you see fit .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18

    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

  6. #46
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Dies are down the list of importance of things needed for best accuracy, like below what bullet but are above what press they are in.

    With a good rifle, optic and bullet/load, I can get to 3/8 MOA with even Lee dies, to get that rifle to .1's though, I use custom made dies for the chamber.

    The micrometer adjustments are handy at first or if you like to change things all the time but I generally find where everything likes to be and don't ever fiddle with them after that.

    I made this little fixture that works on pretty much any die that makes it easy to make precision adjustments. Even with the cost of the indicator included, it was cheaper than adding the micrometer feature to a single seat die and I can use it on any die.

  7. #47
    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    I am not seeing any mention of,
    1. Case runout
    2. Magazine to chamber loading

    Direct from any of the manufacturers, everybody has some cases that have excess runout, the end result even in excellent dies is still a banana-round. Making a simple collet to hold the unprocessed brass and check runout is by far the best cheap tool for accuracy of long brass, IMHO.

    How you transition the loaded round to the chamber is also important, a dent that deflects the air will change the trajectory. Roll your window down when driving 70 and place your hand flat into the wind and see how stable it is then pitch your hand just 1 degree and see how much force you need to use to stabilize your hand.

    I got laughed at when shooting my Mini-14 at a 300 yard target some 20 years ago by an old codger with a bolt action. He had his ammo in plastic boxes, standing proud with the bullets protected with a thin sheet of soft foam for transportation. He loaded them one by one with great care and was shooting MOA groups while me and my fancy ARS barrel were running minute of barn!

    "Slow down, load a round by hand and slide the bolt home, try a shot and see if it improves."

    Sure enough, minute of pie plate groups just from not stripping the round off the magazine at an angle into the chamber.

    Just my opinion of course but the die is the very last of my worries.

  8. #48
    Boolit Buddy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Well, I guess I let my contrarianism override my cheapness (a little), as brown Santa delivered my Hornady 544655 Match Grade die set yesterday. Now if the rest of my company and customers would go back to work in the office, maybe my workload will slack off a bit from almost 24/7/365 and I can start working up loads for my new TC LRR. Fingers crossed.

    So, I now have 2 sets of Hornady dies - I haven't cleaned the factory oils off the Hornady .22TCM dies yet, for the same reason above - no time (and still have a good supply of factory .22TCM ammo on the shelf).

    Thanks for all the discussion - appreciate it!


  9. #49
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Pleasant Hope MO
    I have been buying some of the new Hornady dies and have been happy with them I think you will be also.

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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