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Reloading Die Precison

browninghunter86browninghunter86 MemberPosts: 351 Member
Currently have the LEE RGB 223 dies and am wanting to possibly upgrade to better dies. What would be a good brand to look at? RCBS vs Redding(basic dies not the competition) or the Forster dies?

Also have the LEE Deluxe Set for my 308 and think I am going to keep my Collet Die and add a Redding Body Die and am looking at adding a better seating die. Any thoughts on good seating dies under $100?

Thanks once again for input/advice
Andrew

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    If you're looking fron a straight-up, non-competition level seater, Redding is an excellent choice. I use RCBS as well and they make great ammunitiion but, in general, I like Redding's turn screw top better than the slotted top on the RCBS dies.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,210 Senior Member
    I like Redding dies and have loaded some TOP NOTCH accuracy ammo with them. I am also quite fond of Hornady's seating die arrangement. (and have loaded some super accurate ammo with it too)
    Lee are "okay" dies, but they aren't held to the same tolerances some of the other brands are IMO.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Better dies. I have been using RCBS dies from the get go and I make some very accurate ammunition. If it makes you feel better buy the most expensive dies you can find. Although I don't think it will help with accuracy.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    One day when I know that my load is perfect, and I am as close to perfect as I can be pulling the trigger, I want to try some more expensive dies. My Lee dies are producing 1/2 inch groups with my AR. I really would like to see if there is a difference.

    I actually produced pretty good ammo with my Lee dies in 6mm Remington. My beef with them was more from a repeatability standpoint in that seat depth was always tricky to re-establish. I didn't care for that rubber ring in the base of the locking nut in lieu of a standard flat-bottom locking nut with a set screw like RCBS/Redding feature.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    One thing I really like about the interchangeable turrets on my Lee press is that unless I change bullet weight or brand, there's no need to ever remove the dies from the turret. I've probably got at least 20 turrets, with dies set up in most of them.
    Jerry
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    It's funny you say that, Teach: the newer Lee presses are the one thing I REALLY like tfrom them. The older ones were fairly craptastic, but the Classic Cast and Turret presses are extremely good values with tough, repeatable actions. I may have to pick up a Classic Cast Turret Press someday for the very reason you described.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    I like Redding dies and have loaded some TOP NOTCH accuracy ammo with them. I am also quite fond of Hornady's seating die arrangement. (and have loaded some super accurate ammo with it too)
    Lee are "okay" dies, but they aren't held to the same tolerances some of the other brands are IMO.

    :agree:
  • browninghunter86browninghunter86 Member Posts: 351 Member
    well like six-gun stated I think they work decent but repeatability is not there unless I am doing something wrong....I do not want the most expensive dies just a great set that will repeat and hold up

    I also know shooter error influences groups but eliminating issues from the onset will only help.
    Andrew
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,089 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    I like Redding dies and have loaded some TOP NOTCH accuracy ammo with them. I am also quite fond of Hornady's seating die arrangement. (and have loaded some super accurate ammo with it too)
    Lee are "okay" dies, but they aren't held to the same tolerances some of the other brands are IMO.

    I agree completely. I love RCBS and Redding dies. I also like Hornady seating dies, but I've had issues with thier sizing dies. I've had no problem with Redding dies. A perfect combination to me would be a Redding sizing die with a Hornoady style seating die. I just haven't been able to get into Lee dies.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,963 Senior Member
    Agree with about all said. I do use some Lee dies for some rifles, and am happy with them, but they do have a couple little things that my RCBS and Redding dies don't. I love the neck sizing collet die for my 22-250. That certainly made a difference in the way the loads shot. I also like their factory crimp dies.

    If I had to pick a brand, I'd choose RCBS or Redding. One shouldn't let the cost scare you away. Buy a $40.00 or $50.00 set and be done with it for good.

    JMHO
    Bellcat
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,089 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    One day when I know that my load is perfect, and I am as close to perfect as I can be pulling the trigger, I want to try some more expensive dies. My Lee dies are producing 1/2 inch groups with my AR. I really would like to see if there is a difference.

    It's worth a try. I've shot .3's with my (not very impressive) .243 several times using Redding dies. I'm not all that great of a shooter or reloader and my gun isn't as capable as yours. And I never tried Lee dies with this one before. Is .2" worth $50?
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,812 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    One day when I know that my load is perfect, and I am as close to perfect as I can be pulling the trigger, I want to try some more expensive dies. My Lee dies are producing 1/2 inch groups with my AR. I really would like to see if there is a difference.

    My feelings exactly. I'm not a die-hard (giggle) Lee fan, but most of their equipment is worth what it costs, and their dies and presses are not the weakest link in obtaining the precision standards I strive for. Half-inch groups will smoke most of the competition I will ever come up against in my little shooting world. In fact, most of the folks I know think I'm silly for even setting ~MOA as a standard for hunting rifles.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    One thing I really like about the interchangeable turrets on my Lee press is that unless I change bullet weight or brand, there's no need to ever remove the dies from the turret. I've probably got at least 20 turrets, with dies set up in most of them.
    Jerry

    I did the same thing when I had Lee re-roading equipment.... That what I started out on. I like Lee. Although I know now, that RCBS, Dillon, Redding, probably better quaility, and more precise, but then again to each his/her own. The Lee equipment worked just fine for what type of shooting I did.. When I had my .300 win.mag. I borrowed Mile High Shooters dies, I don't remember what they were but man o man were they some good dies!!!!!!!! Correct me if I am wrong Mile High Shooter, but IIRC I think they were RCBS????
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    I like Redding and I love Forster. They lend themselves to my proclivity for anal retentiveness without completely turning into 'Rain Man'.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    It's funny you say that, Teach: the newer Lee presses are the one thing I REALLY like tfrom them. The older ones were fairly craptastic, but the Classic Cast and Turret presses are extremely good values with tough, repeatable actions. I may have to pick up a Classic Cast Turret Press someday for the very reason you described.

    Yep, I have a Classic Cast Turret press and love it. Lee does have some good innovative stuff. Their neck-size only Collet dies and Factory Crimp dies are examples. Buy the Deluxe set and you get both the regular resizing and collet dies. Most of my reloading dies are Lee. I do have a set of Redding dies for my 7.5X55 Swiss because it sets the shoulder angle to the proper degree for my K-31 and Lee dies reportedly set it for the older Swiss rifle chambers

    I have a variety of brands of reloading equipment. I like the Uniflow RCBS powder measure and using loading blocks when reloading most rifle calibers. I use my Dillon 550B when I want copious amounts of ammunition like in .223 or handgun like .45 ACP or .44 Spl. I have some RCBS Competeition dies in my FLA garage in .223 and maybe .308 I inherited and an electric RCBS case trimmer I may try someday.

    I sometimes use a Hornady Concentricity Gauge/Tool to correct bullet run-out, which is about the same size as a hand cranked case trimmer.

    So I think it's a matter of personal choice on what brand of reloading gear you buy, there are pros and cons to them all. Over the years I've had RCBS/Lee/Lyman/Redding/Dillon products which all have qualities I like and dislike.

    Bottom line is, Lee dies work and are a good value for the $$$$. Of course, the sky is the limit and you can go far beyond what the "Average Joe" reloader uses and finds acceptable and take it all to the max Nth Degree of choice and what your budget allows or somewhere in-between, like I do.

    Good luck in your reloading endeavors browininghunter86. :guns:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • jwv2001jwv2001 Member Posts: 126 Member
    Currently have the LEE RGB 223 dies and am wanting to possibly upgrade to better dies. What would be a good brand to look at? RCBS vs Redding(basic dies not the competition) or the Forster dies?

    Also have the LEE Deluxe Set for my 308 and think I am going to keep my Collet Die and add a Redding Body Die and am looking at adding a better seating die. Any thoughts on good seating dies under $100?

    Thanks once again for input/advice

    I think your rifle and set up will have more to do with accuracy than which dies you use. What do you think Redding or RCBS could do to make their dies any better or straighter than your Lee dies?
    If you are shooting an off the rack rifle, what makes you think that Redding or RCBS dies will make it shoot any better?
    If your quest is accuracy, then your money will be better spent upgrading your scope, trigger, front and rear rest, maybe even your rifle, than switching dies.
    Like Big Chief said, Lee makes some innovative stuff, their collet die being one of them. That, in conjunction with their seating die will produce some very accurate ammunition. If you replace the ring on their seating die with a locking ring as on other dies, you will get positive consistent set up.
    You will be better off to save your money, buy plenty of components, load lots of ammo, and shoot it in an effort to make yourself a better shot.
    BTW, I personally would never buy another Redding product again. RCBS, in my opinion, is the only company to deal with. They will be with you in the long run. They are excellent to deal with, always.
    .....if evil men were not now and then slain it would not be a good world for weaponless dreamers. --Kipling
  • browninghunter86browninghunter86 Member Posts: 351 Member
    jwv2001: That is why I hit the forums trying to get advice from people who have or use more than one brand die to see if they are better than others or make a difference in the ammo they make. I guess I was just wandering if other company die sets make more concentric/repeatable ammo than the LEE dies. New to reloadin(less than a year) and just trying to read up on as much stuff as I can and hit forums to get tips/advice from more experienced reloaders.

    And yes I have a factory DPMS Oracle AR15 and a factory Savage 10 FXP in 308
    Andrew
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,866 Senior Member
    I use Redding, but I use their comp dies.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I don't think for a hunting rifle you are ever going to notice a difference. I do like my Forster straight line bullet seater die and I do like my one and only Redding Die set. But as for accuracy you can't beat RCBS either. However, the most accurate precision ammo I ever loaded was with an old Lee Zero Error Die that you used with a mallet and no press. You drove the brass up into the die with the mallet, then you punched it out with the depriming tool. The Zero Error had a micrometer adjustment and was held to extreme tolerances. It also had a neck reamer that made all the necks about the same, which contributed to tight groups. As for a Lee Press and conventional Lee dies, I've never tried them, but I've never heard any complaint. Lee makes some great reloading equipment in my opinion.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    A quick note to the OP. I got an email from Widener's yesterday and they have their RCBS group A FL die set in .308win on sale for 30.00.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,225 Senior Member
    Are you a serious bench rest competitor?

    If you got the rifle, accoutrements, mix your powders, measure each primer, bullet, & case, load each individual cartridge at the bench, then you might be able to notice the difference between rounds loaded with different dies. I think you will have to go to a real expensive brand such as Forster, or one of the boutique makers. You will probably have to upgrade your press, powder measures, etc, also.

    My drawer holds RCBS, LEE, Hornady, & a couple of older discontinued brands that I do not remember the name, but more LEE than anything else.

    I used to be an RCBS man, then I tried some LEE dies and I couldn't tell the difference in the final product. Used the saved some money to buy more components, and shoot more.

    Shooting is mostly a mental game. If you will be more confident with ammo loaded with a different brand of dies who am I to argue.
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    A quick note to the OP. I got an email from Widener's yesterday and they have their RCBS group A FL die set in .308win on sale for 30.00.

    Fishheadgib, I have bought several two die RCBS sets lately, the last being for my 30-30. I have not paid over $35 for any of them from Midway and two of them are for exotic or more rare cartridges such as my .257 Bob AI and my .250 Savage. I don't know how cheap Lee dies are, but I wouldn't think they're that much cheaper than RCBS where you would save a lot of money.

    However, I would still consider buying Lee dies or any Lee product. Most of my auxilliarary loading equipment is Lee and I have a lot of respect for their products.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • browninghunter86browninghunter86 Member Posts: 351 Member
    thanks for posts. I am still debating. Guess I should have known I would start cheap equipment and just naturally want to "upgrade" to "better" more expensive stuff
    Andrew
  • philinchaosphilinchaos New Member Posts: 5 New Member
    Hey All,
    I can afford to buy any dies out there, but Lee dies and there Perfect powder measure work perfect for me. I neck size only, and trim the the neck to concentric and seat my bullets to .001 off the rifling. I also have a 2 pound trigger and weigh every case from the same maker, and shoot from a lead sled. If it's not windy I can shoot 1/4" MOA all day long. The key in reloading is not your dies...it's always being consistant. I now this is not possible with an AR 15, chamber forming and auto loaders don't get along and the bullets probably won't fit in your magazine. If you are getting 1/2 MOA with your bullet jumping over a quarter inch to the rifling and a case that fits any other AR 15...you are doing as good as anyone can do, changing dies is not going to make a difference. Be proud. Just my 2 cents, philinchaos
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,812 Senior Member
    thanks for posts. I am still debating. Guess I should have known I would start cheap equipment and just naturally want to "upgrade" to "better" more expensive stuff

    "Better" equipment won't buy you anything, if what you are already using is good enough for the kind of shooting you do. I had the same attitude when I bought Lee equipment. I started reloading in 1972 with a Rockchucker and all RCBS equipment and made some good ammo for my rifles. I let all of that get away when I lost my guns in a burglary, and couldn't afford to replace them. So, when I started back, a few years ago, I bought what I considered 'entry level' Lee equipment, and intended to upgrade it gradually. Lee was so much cheaper, compared to all the others, that I decided it was worth the risk. Of all of the stuff I bought, the only thing I have retired was the cheesy scale, and even it was accurate enough - just a pain in the butt to use.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,812 Senior Member
    ...The key in reloading is not your dies...it's always being consistant. I now this is not possible with an AR 15, chamber forming and auto loaders don't get along and the bullets probably won't fit in your magazine. If you are getting 1/2 MOA with your bullet jumping over a quarter inch to the rifling and a case that fits any other AR 15...you are doing as good as anyone can do, changing dies is not going to make a difference. Be proud.

    'Sounds' right to me. My 0.4 100 yard group is still holding up pretty well at 300 yards - well under MOA on a still day, when everything else is working for me. From a factory built semi-auto with a plain old 20" heavy barrel, this is a perfectly acceptable level of precision, I think, and the goal should be improving skills and increasing consistency.

    I refuse to obsess over wringing out that last little ounce of precision, when there are so many other useful things that I am sure I can do to make this level of performance more consistent.
  • temmitemmi Member Posts: 230 Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I like Redding and I love Forster. They lend themselves to my proclivity for anal retentiveness without completely turning into 'Rain Man'.



    When I want the best I get Forster dies.

    Else RCBS

    Snake
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