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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6854461 - 08/13/17 12:08 AM Which die set? Deciding today!
elephantman Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Cedar Park, Texas
So I'm getting set up to handload,I've got a Redding T7 turret press and would like some recommendations for dies. Starting off with 30-06,30-30, 243, 223. Hornady, RCBS? Other? Anybody know anything about the new Hornady Match Grade die sets? @ $80 are they worth it or that much better? And what's with the "sold separately" bits? The match grade looks like it has something like the microjust seating stem on it...

Also open to suggestions for "indispensable bench items"...

What bullet puller do you like?

Thanks guys

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#6854502 - 08/13/17 05:56 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
patriot07 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1676
Loc: Royse City, TX
I'll leave the die discussion to folks with more experience with different brands. However, I will say that the RCBS collet bullet puller works really well. I recently pulled several hundred rounds with mine and it was quick and all of the components were use-able.

I have had good experiences with my RCBS dies as well, but I'm sure Lee, Hornady, etc. all make good ones.

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#6854544 - 08/13/17 07:23 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
Smokey Bear Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 226
Loc: Texas
Elephantman, welcome to the reloading addiction. I like the Hornady dies. Particularly their seating die. The micrometer on the seating stem is cool but I would buy their standard die set. I think they call it custom grade. Should be $35-$40. With a little patience and a set of calipers you end up with the same thing. You will need to buy a shell holder separately. The shell holder you need will be printed on the end of the box. There is a place inside the box to store it. I wish it was included with the set. They have been offering 200 free Bullets with their die sets. $60-$70 worth of free Bullets has been the tie breaker for the last several die sets I have bought. They also come with some of the better locking rings available.

Edit: offer is now 100 free Bullets or about $30.


Edited by Smokey Bear (08/13/17 08:45 AM)
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#6854552 - 08/13/17 07:31 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
FiremanJG Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 21345
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension is the first dies I try to find. I see if they exist in the cartridge I need them for, ad if they are in stock. I always buy bushing FL dies, and am not too particular about the seating die. After Hornady, I look at RCBS and Redding, as I feel all three are of equal quality, but the Hornady tend to be less expensive.

Hornady has created the best lock rings I've ever used. No matter the die brand, they wear Hornady lock rings, which are available for sale in packages of 6, I believe.
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#6854560 - 08/13/17 07:44 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
spg Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 1287
I've been swapping over to Whidden FL bushing dies for seating dies any competition die with a micrometer but I find whidden to be the best.

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#6854570 - 08/13/17 07:54 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
WileyCoyote Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 5200
Loc: The Dogwood Capital of Texas
Re: Hornady Die Set Lock Rings...

I bought 2 extra lock rings @ $3.99 each to replace the always worn out RCBS lock ring set screws with, when I placed my Swede & 7mm Mauser die set order with Graf's on Friday. Set of 6 Lock rings are at $24, or $3.99 each....plus the usual $7.95 Order Fee that covers Insurance and FedEx Ground shipping.

I guess I need to double check the Free Bullet Offer form too...I thought it was a single 100ct box of caliber appropriate "Best Seller's" that HORNADY had already selected per each Die Set purchased and Rebate Applied For, with a downloaded Rebate form completed with the purchase info....
Ron
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#6854577 - 08/13/17 08:05 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
pertnear Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/31/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Kingsland, TX
Originally Posted By: elephantman
...Anybody know anything about the new Hornady Match Grade die sets? @ $80 are they worth it or that much better?...

The answer to that question depends on your rifle set-ups & your intentions. It looks to me like you have the common "hunting battery" & are not a formal competitor. If that's the case, start with standard die sets. Use the money you save on components & shooting. My personal choice is always RCBS first but Hornady & Redding both make excellent products & also have excellent service.

Welcome to handloading. Be careful, it can become a new compulsion!
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#6854588 - 08/13/17 08:36 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
Smokey Bear Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 226
Loc: Texas
Coyote. You are correct on the 100 Bullets. Last set I bought was the end of 2016. I just checked and it has changed to 100.
Elephantman, make that now about $30 worth of free Bullets.
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#6854590 - 08/13/17 08:39 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
cmorsch Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/16/11
Posts: 1571
Loc: Midlothian, TX
I use either the redding competition die sets or the redding body and competition bushing neck die with the forster competition seating die. And the Redding competition shell holders always to allow me to control my shoulder bump. As for the bullet puller I prefer the Hornady Cam-Lock puller. I hate the inertia hammers and will never buy another one for the reloading room.


Edited by cmorsch (08/13/17 08:40 AM)

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#6854606 - 08/13/17 09:06 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
pertnear Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/31/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Kingsland, TX
I'm fully invested is the RCBS bullet puller with a collet for every caliber I load. It works fine. But, although I've never tried one, Hornady's cam-lock looks like a better way to go, especially if you need to pull a bunch.

If you ever seat a bullet too deep, the inertia puller is ideal to back the bullet out just enough to re-seat. They are cheap enough, so I say it is handy to have one around to complement a collet puller.
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#6854621 - 08/13/17 09:29 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: spg]
Judd Offline


Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 11332
Loc: Sachse, TX
Originally Posted By: spg
I've been swapping over to Whidden FL bushing dies for seating dies any competition die with a micrometer but I find whidden to be the best.


+1

Although, I use a Wilson inline seater.
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#6854633 - 08/13/17 09:41 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
jeffbird Offline


Registered: 03/09/09
Posts: 2266
Forster is my first choice, followed by Redding.

Keep a Wilson seater to use at the range to adjust seating depth working up loads.

Forster's FL sizing dies consistently produce near zero runout with a bit of attention during setup.

Have not tried Whidden, but the reviews are consistently good.

RCBS and Hornady will work fine, but Forster more consistently produces less runout.

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#6855510 - 08/14/17 07:38 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
spg Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 1287
Realistically you should be fine with any quality die listed above, the rest will depend on you and the gun. What can be better than any tool is to constantly check consistency.


Edited by spg (08/14/17 07:39 AM)

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#6855653 - 08/14/17 09:08 AM Re: Which die set? Deciding today! [Re: elephantman]
patriot07 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 1676
Loc: Royse City, TX
Is there any benefit to the viewing window on the RCBS competition seating die? Do any other makers use this? Anyone have one and like it, or not like it?

On the Hornady dies, is the microjust seating stem worth looking at? Appears to be an upgraded dial that will work with their custom grade (lowest end) series.

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