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Thread: Die Types

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    Default Die Types

    Hi.. I reload a little,mainly for my 45-70 and .300 magnum and was curious about something. Whats the difference between carbide dies and regular dies. Is one type better and does it make that much of a difference to a reloader who does a limited amount every year? Thanks,DAN

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    Default Carbide dies vs tool steel

    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    Hi.. I reload a little,mainly for my 45-70 and .300 magnum and was curious about something. Whats the difference between carbide dies and regular dies. Is one type better and does it make that much of a difference to a reloader who does a limited amount every year? Thanks,DAN
    Just as Trix are for kids (if you remember the old commercials), carbide dies are for straight-walled cases only (don't ask me why, I don't know) .

    Because carbide is harder than regular tool steel, the case lube you need for tool steel is not necessary except for really tough sizing jobs, like the 500 S&W, according to the instructions my friend has with his 500 dies. I believe the same applies to the titanium nitride dies as well.

    The tungsten carbide dies are not solid t-c, just a small ring press-fit into the mouth of the sizing die. I believe (again) the titanium-nitride dies are regular steel with a thin coating of the abrasion-resistant nitride coating.

    I understand you can get a carbide expander button for bottleneck rifle cases which eliminates the need to lube the inside of the neck, but do not take my word for this. I am remembering something I read 20+ years ago.

    Short answer: Carbide dies eliminate the need for lube (and lube cleanup) on straight-walled (mostly pistol) cases. The convenience of not having to lube and then clean the cases is well worth the extra $10 or so they cost.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 07-06-2008 at 00:28. Reason: Add a little

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    Default

    You're right Larry, mostly.

    Carbide dies are for straight walled cases that is cases without much taper at all. Pistol and revolver and 30 carbine. The 30 carbine and 9x19 are slightly tapered and they need a wider ring of crabide and are generally more expensive. There is a difference in carbide, RCBS uses a ring of tungstun carbide (tc) and Redding use titanium carbide. The Redding is advertised to be smoother but probably not as hard as the RCBS stuff. Other companies use various substances for their "no lube dies" Titanium Nitride for at least one company. I have used the RCBS and Redding extensive with out any lube including the 500 S&W. I have a few custom TC dies and they are expensive. That is the reason for no t-c rifle dies, they could be made but are very expensive.

    This ring of carbide is epoxied and crimped into the die body and can be knocked out or broken if it is adjusted so the ram hits the die. You should always have a space between the die bottom and the shell holder to prevent this. Also dropping them on the basement floor will shatter the carbide ring. It was replaced free of charge though.

    I use the carbide expander buttons and don't lube inside the case necks, that was a great invention, but is about $20 just for that little button.

    There is no doubt the carbide is a better way to go if available or if you can afford it. They are kind to the cases also.
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    Thumbs up Carbide Dies

    Best thing about Carbide dies no lube is required on the case!

    I am very fond of Hornady Dies....really like their seater die!
    Alaska

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    Default

    Gee, somebody should tell Mike Dillion that carbide dies are only available for straight wall cases. I have them in .223 Remington and in .308 WINCHESTER. He never did get me my 30-06 die for me when he first started to do the carbide. That's been like over twenty years ago.

    It's a mistake not to use some lube on your cases when using carbide dies. Try a little lanolin, you will like it.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6

    Default a few

    Big Al, you are correct that Dillon makes bottle-necked carbide dies, but they are very spendy
    if memory serves and he is one of the very few who do. Yes, I lube about every third case and things go easier.

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    Thank goodness for mass production. I was Mike's guinea pig. I paid 225.00 or 250.00 for the first dies. Last I checked they were 150.00.

    For the high volume loader they are the best way to go. In my opinion.

    I had to give up his vary first case trimmer for a swap, I wore out the bearings, they gave me a new one, and refused to just change the bearings and give it back. (I get attached to tools that work well) Of course the fact that it was Mike's prototype had a part of wanting it back.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Gee, somebody should tell Mike Dillion that carbide dies are only available for straight wall cases. I have them in .223 Remington and in .308 WINCHESTER. He never did get me my 30-06 die for me when he first started to do the carbide. That's been like over twenty years ago.

    It's a mistake not to use some lube on your cases when using carbide dies. Try a little lanolin, you will like it.

    OK Al. I have at least a dozen sets of dies with carbide sizers including Mike Dillon's but it is rare that they are even listed in a catalog. I didn't say they aren't available but that they were pricey. I think they will cost your $200 or over for the carbide sizer for your 30-06.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    OK Al. I have at least a dozen sets of dies with carbide sizers including Mike Dillon's but it is rare that they are even listed in a catalog. I didn't say they aren't available but that they were pricey. I think they will cost your $200 or over for the carbide sizer for your 30-06.

    My posting was not listed as a rebuff of what you wrote Murphy. I asked Mike for a 30-06 die when he was doing the prototype dies for the .223 and the .308. He told me would get me one. That never happened. I would not care if the die was 2 or 3 hundred. I paid for the first prototypes for the .223 and the .308. They were more than 200.00.

    As to cataloged or not, I have no idea. My association with Mike goes back to his days of working out of his garage in Scottsdale. I followed along with all three of his moves to where he is today. Much of what they produce today was just word of mouth when I got mine from Mike.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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