Author Topic: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?  (Read 11099 times)

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« on: November 04, 2009, 11:48:46 AM »
Alright, so I was given some reloading stuff with about 300 large pistol primers...  well since I can't get more primers for the life of me, I'm thinking about reloading the 9mm Luger with the 1000 small pistol primers I was able to get!  So I have brass and primers and I'll need to buy dies, powder, and bullets...  

I went to Bass Pro the other day and started looking at dies... they all seem to run about $40-$60 for a set of dies... I was really tempted to get the RCBS (that's what everybody seems to like)- BUT THEN I SAW IT! http://www.hornady.com/get_loaded.php

Buy a set of dies and get FREE bullets!  Can it get any better?  I should do that now!  

Then genetics kicked in and I started to think about whether or not I was about to buy the "best" dies... (My father researches things for months, if not years, before making his decision)  

I read through the thread on who uses what brand of reloading equipment (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=7.0), but it was old and didn't seem to tell me much about dies.  I guess the big question is that when it comes down to dies, does it make a big difference which company I buy them from and why is there such a wide price range?

(I justify this and other posts with the attitude that others will come after me and are likely to wonder about the same things... hopefully we can all leave a trail of answers that will make thins easier for those to follow)

~CRCJ
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 11:51:49 AM by CountryRootsCityJob »

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 09:51:45 PM »
I have some Hornady .243 Winchester dies, and have never had much trouble. I also have RCBS dies in a few calibers.

I mainly use the Lee dies, which have worked well for me from the get go. At less than 25.00 a set from Cabelas, they are hard to beat. I currently load more than 12 different calibers with Lee dies.

There are some other dies mixed into my Dillon setups, like the seating die from Hornady for my .243, and an RCBS 30-06 sizing die in my 30-06 setup. No real reason tho.

If you are looking at a pistol die, go for the carbide dies. You dont have to lube the cases when you use them, but it dont hurt it to do it either.
Good luck.
How did your 1911 bullets turn out?
RipT


Offline chris

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 10:59:17 PM »
I've used both Lee and RCBS reloaders, and have Lee, RCBS, and Dillon dies. All have worked flawlessly every time. I've never used a Hornaday press, but they make great bullets.  :)

Offline ubergeek

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 12:42:45 PM »
Yeah, honestly I don't think I've ever heard of a bad set of dies. I have lee, rcbs and dillon and have been happy with all of them. Some die sets don't include crimping dies, so that's something to keep an eye out for. Also, make sure you get carbide dies for pistol, not really necessary for rifle IMHO since you're going to have to lube the case anyway for bottle neck cases.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2009, 09:43:41 AM »
So it sorta sounds like you guys are telling me it doesn't matter what brand of dies I get... So more specifically, can any of you think of a reason NOT to buy the Hornady dies?  If I do get them, they'll give me 100bullets for free... that's attractive!  Thanks, its appreciated!

~CRCJ

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 11:20:39 AM »
Myself, I would weigh the price of the die set with free bullets, against a Lee Die set and buying a box of bullets. Then I would go with the cheaper of the 2 options.
DM

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 07:18:12 AM »
Myself, I would weigh the price of the die set with free bullets, against a Lee Die set and buying a box of bullets. Then I would go with the cheaper of the 2 options.
DM

Well I looked at bass pro, their price was $45- then I'd get 100 .45acp HP bullets valued at $30, so they say.  This would supposedly knock my purchase down to a total of $15 + $5 for a shell holder = $20... http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10202606____SearchResults

Then I went over and looked at the Lee dies... http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1257862013.2257=/html/catalog/dies-pistol.html 
They cost $55 and come with the shell holder and it is a 4 die set, I am assuming the difference in a factory crimp die... 

I'm not going to start a new thread, but can somebody start talking about why Lee feels the need to provide a crimping die? 

If you look at the link above, I could also spend $40 to get that set without the crimping die...

This gives my decision a difference of: $55 Lee w/ crimping die vs $40 Lee w/o crimping die vs $20 Hornady ($45 dies - $30 in bullets + $5 for the shell holder)

This decision wouldn't be nearly so hard if there was only one option :D

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 08:06:59 AM »
Look at the Lee dies thru Midway USA. Buying direct from Lee is much more expensive.
 http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=140349

Price the Hornady bullets there too, as if you would be buying them outright, to make your comparison.

Not trying to sway you either way, but 50.00 for something you can get for 27.00 elsewhere......

DM

Offline ubergeek

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 05:26:25 AM »
As far as crimping, I crimp pretty much everything except precision rounds that I'll be shooting single shot. The last thing you want is recoil making bullets move in the case. If they move forward they could potentially not chamber, if they move back they could increase pressures to dangerous levels. If you ask me, crimping is a good thing and should be done. There are definitely two schools of thought on the matter, but that's mine.

I roll crimp handgun or tube magazine ammo and I taper crimp semi-auto rifle like .223 or .308. If building 308 for long range precision, I don't crimp, but I also don't load more than one round into the gun at a time. If I want to fill the box mag on my LTR, then I'll taper crimp, therefore I will also crimp my hunting rounds.

It definitely pays to shop around when it comes to dies. Big box stores like Bass Pro will typically be more than ordering from somewhere like midwayusa, but you also get shipping with midwayusa, so I usually make sure it's a good sized order to offset the shipping costs.

I've also bought a lot at gun shows, which will usually be online prices in person.

Hope that helps.

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 08:30:52 AM »
I second everything UberG said about crimping. Everything I load gets a crimp, unless its bench ammo, but thats a rarity for me.
DM

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 02:54:36 PM »
I roll crimp handgun or tube magazine ammo and I taper crimp semi-auto rifle like .223 or .308.

Okay, so maybe this should be a new thread, but since its still about dies, good enough!  Now, I've read in my manual about taper crimp and roll crimp, but I still don't know how it is performed.  Okay, I do know that taper crimping is done with the bullet seating die- at least for the die set I do have... eh, I'll have to check that one!  I assume it just squeezes the case mouth down a little bit to re-size it... is that correct?  

The roll crimping I guess is also done with a die... but how do I know which one the die will do?  I've heard there are dies that will taper if screwed down a little extra and roll crimp if screwed down even more... does that sound correct?

On another note- If I can ever get my buddy to invite me to his parents place, I'll test out those 45's and figure out if I need to crimp those and lets hope I have the right dies!

Thanks again,
~CRCJ
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 02:57:02 PM by CountryRootsCityJob »

Offline ubergeek

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2009, 04:38:22 PM »
IIRC correctly there are some seating dies that will crimp after seating, however I typically use separate dies for seating and crimping, that just feels better to me, and I reload with a Dillon 650 which has a spot on the tool head for a crimp die, and I believe their dies come seperately. I think it might be the lee dies that will do both, but I've been doing it my way for so long I can't remember. I don't know that I've ever seen a seating die that will taper crimp, just the ones that roll crimp. Doesn't mean they don't exist, just means I don't have any experience with them.

Offline Duc1

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 10:49:57 PM »
I use Hornady, Redding, Lyman, and RCBS.  My favorites are the Redding.  I damaged my spindles in my Hornady dies while first learning to reload and I called Hornady to buy new ones, to my surprise, they mailed me new ones for free.  It was a good business move because I like their bullets and will try to use them exclusively. 

Offline AGreyMan

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2009, 10:23:09 PM »
I am sold on the Lee Factory Crimp die. I think it's the best invention since pockets. I am convinced it provides a consistant crimp that I desire for rounds used in my semi automatic firearms.

Stay Safe
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Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2010, 12:54:41 PM »
I am sold on the Lee Factory Crimp die. I think it's the best invention since pockets. I am convinced it provides a consistant crimp that I desire for rounds used in my semi automatic firearms.

Stay Safe
AGreyMan

Hey, could you enlighten me/us as to why you feel the need to crimp at all?  I still have yet to figure out why/if there's any benefit to using it when loading for semi-auto's... thanks!
~CRCJ

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2010, 12:57:46 PM »
I dont know if it really matters, but it seems to me that the smoother the round is going over the feed ramp, the better off you are. It may or may not matter to 1911s, but some guns are finicky that way.
RipT

Offline Stein

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010, 12:36:45 PM »
Here is more information than a guy probably needs.

http://www.realguns.com/Commentary/comar64.htm

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 04:32:03 PM »
Hey, could you enlighten me/us as to why you feel the need to crimp at all?  I still have yet to figure out why/if there's any benefit to using it when loading for semi-auto's... thanks!
~CRCJ
Especially for handgun cartridges, a proper crimp is essential. Roll crimp for rimmed handgun rounds, taper crimp for rimless handgun rounds.

First, it holds the bullet in place, sometimes using the cannelure in the bullet, so it does not shift around due to recoil, handling, etc. Second, the crimp removes the bell from the case mouth as the bullet is seated. Third, a proper crimp yields a uniform tension on the bullet for more consistent powder ignition, velocity, etc.

Most important for rimless cartridges is that they headspace on the mouth of the case. Too much crimp and the cartridge will go too far into the chamber. This could cause failures to fire which is aggravating on the range or life threatening at a moment of need.

Not enough crimp, the cartridge will not fully chamber. Hopefully, the gun does not fire out of battery, which can be catastrophic anywhere at anytime.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 06:44:52 AM »
Here is more information than a guy probably needs.

http://www.realguns.com/Commentary/comar64.htm

Hey, that was a good article!  And after reading it... I still don't think I am going to crimp for my .45acp... but if the day ever comes when God blesses me with the opportunity to reload for something bigger... like say that 30-06 I've been dreaming about... I just might go for it!

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2010, 08:15:55 PM »
Load .44 mag and don't crimp. Then after the first 2 shots, you can reload your unfired rounds.

I use Lee dies, and in my Redhawk I have recoil-hammered the bullet out enough to stop cylinder rotation.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2010, 05:52:04 AM »
Load .44 mag and don't crimp. Then after the first 2 shots, you can reload your unfired rounds.

Eh... are you suggesting that after two shots the bullets will dis-lodge and you'll have to re-load everything you didn't shoot already?

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2010, 07:29:08 AM »
The uncrimped rounds can do that, and also can bind up your gun if the bullets jump too far forward. A crimp is a good thing in a heavy recoiling revolver.
RipT

Offline DaneBerg

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2010, 01:59:48 PM »
Generally, I buy RCBS dies. I have about 10 die sets I use from them on my single stage press. For the Hornady turret press I have, I use the same dies but have substitute sets as well. I own a number of Lyman and Lee sets. In fact, I tend to use the Lee set on my 7.65 Argentine much more than the RCBS for simplicity sake.

Offline r1kk1

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2010, 04:21:45 PM »
Dies that I own:

CH4D - great company and can make anything you want.
Dillon - dies come apart for easy cleaning but limited to a few pistol calibers and a couple of rifles
Forester/Bonanza - great benchrest dies and make the best single stage press in my opinion
Hornady - have them for a few wildcats
Lee - love their collet dies but older die bodies are a little short, love their bullet sizing dies
Lyman - love their 'M'-die for case expansion and dies for BPCR shooters
RCBS - customer service leader like Dillon and great company
Redding - can make anything and have the Profile crimp die that really works
Other Custom - special purpose with no complaints.

For the .380 auto Lyman states the crimp should be 0.373. This would be a taper crimp.

take care,

r1kk1

Offline dicko

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2010, 01:00:00 PM »
Okay, so maybe this should be a new thread, but since its still about dies, good enough!  Now, I've read in my manual about taper crimp and roll crimp, but I still don't know how it is performed.  Okay, I do know that taper crimping is done with the bullet seating die- at least for the die set I do have... eh, I'll have to check that one!  I assume it just squeezes the case mouth down a little bit to re-size it... is that correct?  

The roll crimping I guess is also done with a die... but how do I know which one the die will do?  I've heard there are dies that will taper if screwed down a little extra and roll crimp if screwed down even more... does that sound correct?

I answered these questions in some detail on the thread on trimming to length.

Offline dicko

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2010, 01:11:27 PM »
I have used most makes of die.   I have in my own kit RCBS, Simplex and Lee.   They all work well in my experience, I've had no problems with any.   Lee are cheaper than most but not at all inferior.   In fact I like them and consider them as good as any.   Why four dies ?   In general, three dies does the job well enough, but a separate crimp die does a better job, and is occasionally essential.   I loaded some 40S&W for a friend for his Para Ordnance which had a tight chamber.   About one in five would not fully chamber with three dies, but we got 100% reliable chambering with the fourth (Lee factory crimp) die.

Forget about 100 free bullets, they won't get you far, will they ?    For regular reloading you should be thinking cast bullets.

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2010, 04:19:06 PM »
As far as dies, I've got some from almost every manufacturer, and I don't believe I've ever had any bad ones.
If you're gonna reload a lot of pistol rounds I would spend the extra bucks for RCBS carbide dies.
Just my opinion. I mean, if you're gonna use them alot.... ;)

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2010, 05:53:30 PM »
Eh... are you suggesting that after two shots the bullets will dis-lodge and you'll have to re-load everything you didn't shoot already?

A 44 mag with too light a crimp will absolutely knock bullets out far enough to stop the cylinder from rotating. Done it several times. I have also done this with 357mag, if loading heavy / hot rounds.

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2010, 11:48:06 AM »
I had to start crimping more than normal when I load 300grain XTPs in my 44mag too.
They didn't move far enough to lock up the cyl, but they did move.

Offline Stein

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Re: Dies and Brand Names - Does it matter who makes it?
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2010, 10:14:53 AM »
If it were me, I would by the economical Lee dies then use the leftover money to buy bullets from Montana Gold.  Otherwise you end up with expensive dies and expensive bullets.  For the same $30 you can get the equivalent of three times the number of bullets plus save on the cost of the dies.