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Thread: New Die Set, State-of-the-art, or not?

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default New Die Set, State-of-the-art, or not?

    Just ordered a new rifle for my oldest son, went .243 and in Tikka T-3 Lite Stainless Synthetic,
    Now, I'm not going to be BR shooting as I reload, but I have a feeling this may have the greatest potential for accuracy of any rifle I've loaded for, so thinking to maximize that potential.
    So, while I'm waiting, I'm looking for "THE" reloading Die set to buy for .243,
    Should I go State-of-the-art, or maybe not, as in, it could be overkill for my needs ??

    Got online and found Redding Competition Neck Die Set, with Competition Seating Die, etc.
    Holy Toledo, it's $204.95 !!!
    Now, as much as I'd like to get the micrometer adjustment stuff, that's a third of the cost of the rifle.

    So there's also Redding standard Neck sizer, seater, etc. for $35.50
    Forster NS and Seat (labeled as bench rest) for $77.00
    and RCBS Competition NS, Seat, And FL for $77

    and what do you guys think of the body die,
    (for 100% Neck Sizing vs. a Full Length die to be used only now and then ?)

    Anybody who has gone for the "Competition," label for reloading dies and found either,
    "Not that big a deal, Not worth the expense,?" or, "Yeah, ya gotta have 'em ?"


    PS gonna go either Norma or Nosler for Brass, so kinda commited to excellence
    anybody a BIG believer in Lapua, to the exclusion of these others?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  2. #2
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    PS gonna go either Norma or Nosler for Brass, so kinda commited to excellence
    anybody a BIG believer in Lapua, to the exclusion of these others?
    Rumor has it that Nosler is made by Norma, I have no personal knowledge if it's true or not.

    I loaded 50 rounds of 30-06 yesterday with a box of Nosler, it's very nice brass. Just for grins I weighed all 50 pieces and they ranged from 186.1 - 186.7, very closely matched set of cases. After prepping and trimming to the shortest one in the batch the weight difference came down to 0.3gr difference between the 50 pieces.

    I have Lapua cases for my .308, they are very nice but not as close in weight. I can't say which one is best but they are both very nice examples of quality brass.

    I've had really good results with Hornady Match cases for that same .308. The Hornady cases appear to be a prepped and polished version of Winchester brass. They weigh the same as Winchester and are quite a bit lighter than the Lapua cases. My rifle likes both but with a 0.4gr difference in charge to get the same velocity.

    I also load Lapua cases for my 338 Lapua Magnum and have experienced good case life so far.

    I think you will be fine without a competition die set for your hunting rifle. They are really for tweaking neck tension with bushings in custom chambers. Your production chamber will be well suited for a SAAMI spec die set.

  3. #3
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Thanks Marshall,
    I went with Nosler, to compare with the Norma stuff I am currently working for the .270.
    I really like the high end stuff, very noticeable difference in every dimension, etc.
    So, that's interesting that maybe Nosler is the same company, should be great.

    Appreciate the detail on what those competition dies are for, clarifies it perfectly for me.
    I'll go Redding just cause I've heard so much about them,
    and probably go with the "Deluxe Neck Sizing set" (includes an NS, FL, and Seat) for $60.

    Probably be happy for the kind of shooting I am capable of anyway.

    The one thing that is frustrating me a bit about my .270wsm work is the standard RCBS seating die inconsistencies,
    I can't, for the life of me get it perfectly the same through a batch of twenty.
    I'm talking 1000ths here but I'd sure like to say this is 2.93000", and have them all exactly 2.93 vs. 2.934, then 2.931 etc.
    then I am measuring COAL also, so maybe it's bullet tips differences ? (not using RN's tho, it's same on Accubond Tips, etc.??)

    Way to picky, eh? but it bothers me to no end, so was thinking to eliminate that with the Comp die, maybe later when I have extra money around, (grin)
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  4. #4
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    The one thing that is frustrating me a bit about my .270wsm work is the standard RCBS seating die inconsistencies,
    I can't, for the life of me get it perfectly the same through a batch of twenty.
    I'm talking 1000ths here but I'd sure like to say this is 2.93000", and have them all exactly 2.93 vs. 2.934, then 2.931 etc.
    then I am measuring COAL also, so maybe it's bullet tips differences ? (not using RN's tho, it's same on Accubond Tips, etc.??)

    Way to picky, eh? but it bothers me to no end, so was thinking to eliminate that with the Comp die, maybe later when I have extra money around, (grin)
    You're not to picky, just trying to do your best, that's a good thing.

    The 50 cases I loaded up were for a friend and he assisted in every step. He had a similar question about COAL and his issues.

    I grabbed 10 bullets out of the box, Nosler Accubond 165gr and showed him that they differ by up to .006 from tail to tip. When you seat them with a typical seating plug the plug rests against a portion of the ogive and pushes the bullet into the case. The result is a COAL that will differ by a few thousands but a distance from the lands that is very close to exact between all loads seated.

    Personally I use a comparator to establish the seated distance so that all are the same from the lands. I don't worry about the small variance in COAL created by the small differences in each bullet length.

    You can adjust each bullet to an exact COAL or each one to an exact distance from the lands. I think the second option is more accurate if you have taken the time to find the sweet spot for your load.

  5. #5
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    Default Prcision dies

    How about the Lee collet dies? They advertise them as "the best" with a money back guarantee. I haven't tried them myself yet but it could be worth a shot (no pun intended ).

    I think the rest of the dies you mention would pretty much be a waste on money unless you are into competitive shooting. I've shot and seen too many good groups from ammo loaded with standard old RCBS and other standard die sets.


    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Just ordered a new rifle for my oldest son, went .243 and in Tikka T-3 Lite Stainless Synthetic,
    Now, I'm not going to be BR shooting as I reload, but I have a feeling this may have the greatest potential for accuracy of any rifle I've loaded for, so thinking to maximize that potential.
    So, while I'm waiting, I'm looking for "THE" reloading Die set to buy for .243,
    Should I go State-of-the-art, or maybe not, as in, it could be overkill for my needs ??

    Got online and found Redding Competition Neck Die Set, with Competition Seating Die, etc.
    Holy Toledo, it's $204.95 !!!
    Now, as much as I'd like to get the micrometer adjustment stuff, that's a third of the cost of the rifle.

    So there's also Redding standard Neck sizer, seater, etc. for $35.50
    Forster NS and Seat (labeled as bench rest) for $77.00
    and RCBS Competition NS, Seat, And FL for $77

    and what do you guys think of the body die,
    (for 100% Neck Sizing vs. a Full Length die to be used only now and then ?)

    Anybody who has gone for the "Competition," label for reloading dies and found either,
    "Not that big a deal, Not worth the expense,?" or, "Yeah, ya gotta have 'em ?"


    PS gonna go either Norma or Nosler for Brass, so kinda commited to excellence
    anybody a BIG believer in Lapua, to the exclusion of these others?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I have been reloading for a 243 for over 40 years now. The rifles were a Savage 110 and then Winchester md 70's. I have use RCBS dies for all of them. I am not a bench rest shooter but but shoot ground squirrels in the lower '48', deer, caribou, black bear and varmints. I have been able to shoot 5 shots into 1/2" at 100 yrads all day long as long as I did my part. I know that there is always lots of talk about what is best but things all change. What was my 'to go' load 20 years ago are not the same now. Alot also depends on the rifle and ho9w it is set up. A lot of things come into play for how good one shoots.
    For the money I do not think that one can go wrong with RCBS dies. But all of the 'major' companies make good dies. Just what you want to pay. No matter which dies you end up with have the son shoot and shoot some more. Lots of practice is where it is at.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've used Forster BR dies and the std redding 2 die set for the .243. I'm kicking myself for having sold the forster dies, as I'd gotten a pretty good deal on them, and ended up getting my son a .243 not that long after selling the dies.

    The competition seating dies are nice as it's really easy to dial in the seating depth. As far as sizing, I generally prefer a std fl sizing die, ammo always chambers with ease, and I just haven't seen the accuracy benefit or neck or partial sizing.

  8. #8
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Murphy introduced me to reloading, he recommended Redding competition dies. I have been using them for everything except my 325WSM and would have a set for it if they made them. Had to buy a Forester set for the 325WSM. I really like the competition seating dies, must be my aircraft mechanic background, have to measure everything. He also recommended that I change out the standard size button with carbide ones.

    Steve
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  9. #9
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    I am not sure if this is of any use to you or not.

    I did some modifications to my redding seating die to give it a micrometer like abillity to set length. Not as good as a real competition die with there aligning features but makes adjusting lenght much faster and repeatable.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ons?highlight=

  10. #10
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    I have mostly RCBS but more recently I've been buying Redding for no particular reason. I buy the full length set and use their competition shell holder set. I think this set is really worth looking into. You start with the 0.010 shell holder, size a case, and then check if it will close in your rifle. Continue until you find the first on which will close freely and you are basically neck sizing with your full length set, and you never have to adjust your sizer die again, just record the shell holder you used.
    As for bullet seating, I generally keep a round of things I'm likely to load again. I back off the seating plug, run the loaded round into the die, and then screw down the plug until it touches, then back off 1/2 round. I then fine tune the seating depth by measuring COAL with a micrometer. I always keep this data in my reloading log. I have the fancy competition set for 308 but just prefer my method.

  11. #11
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    I have several sets of dies with the Redding Competition seater. I usually buy the neck sizer, either collet or standard and a body die. The body die is useful for every third loading or so to bump the shoulder back and of course f/l size just the body. It doesn't touch the neck. A little tip, the body die can be used to size loaded rounds that won't quite fit the chamber. Not recommended, of course, but dimensionally it works. I still think neck sizing is beneficial for best accuracy and the Competition seater is supposed to make a more nearly perfectly concentric cartridge. I believe it is better than standard seaters. They are very expensive. I am able to buy them wholesale direct, which is a good break with the dollar. I've also loaded a lot of very good ammo with standard dies.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Just ordered a new rifle for my oldest son, went .243 and in Tikka T-3 Lite Stainless Synthetic,
    Now, I'm not going to be BR shooting as I reload, but I have a feeling this may have the greatest potential for accuracy of any rifle I've loaded for, so thinking to maximize that potential.
    So, while I'm waiting, I'm looking for "THE" reloading Die set to buy for .243,
    Should I go State-of-the-art, or maybe not, as in, it could be overkill for my needs ??

    Got online and found Redding Competition Neck Die Set, with Competition Seating Die, etc.
    Holy Toledo, it's $204.95 !!!
    Now, as much as I'd like to get the micrometer adjustment stuff, that's a third of the cost of the rifle.

    So there's also Redding standard Neck sizer, seater, etc. for $35.50
    Forster NS and Seat (labeled as bench rest) for $77.00
    and RCBS Competition NS, Seat, And FL for $77

    and what do you guys think of the body die,
    (for 100% Neck Sizing vs. a Full Length die to be used only now and then ?)

    Anybody who has gone for the "Competition," label for reloading dies and found either,
    "Not that big a deal, Not worth the expense,?" or, "Yeah, ya gotta have 'em ?"


    PS gonna go either Norma or Nosler for Brass, so kinda commited to excellence
    anybody a BIG believer in Lapua, to the exclusion of these others?
    I have the Redding bushing neck die and body die and comp seater for my 300 Ultra and it works fine. Having said that I'm going to sell the neck and body die and get the FL bushing die and FL size just enough to allow the case to easily chamber for each loading for consistency and simplicity. I 've got some New Dimension dies (my first set) on the way for a wildcat project (because Redding doesn't make comp dies for wildcats) and I'll see how well they work. My die sets will all be FL Redding or Hornady New Dimension match grade bushing dies.

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