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Anyone ever have a set of custom dies made?

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,545 Senior Member
Im looking at actually having a set of dies made for my little .458 and am wondering if anyone else has had custom dies made and what their experience was like.  I have been talking to Lee about this and its looking like the $170 setup fee plus $42 for a 3 die set.  I have no clue if they will make a "factory" crimp die as well though.  I am waiting to hear back on the crimp die.

I have been working with modified .45-70 dies and a .458WM sizing die, and it has been working fine so far.  However, I like having the proper tool for the job and not a mix and match set of stock and modified parts.  I also have a family friend that might be interested in the same cartridge and I know he wont want to deal with modifying dies to work.  My dad has shown great interest in this little .458 and I suspect he is planning one for himself as well.  He does still have the reamer after all.

For those that have gone this route, if anyone here has, what have your experiences been?

Replies

  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,871 Senior Member
    Contact CH4D
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,603 Senior Member
    Hornady does that too
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    I have a couple sets of Hornady dies and have been less than impressed with them.  They are not bad, but the Lee dies seem to work better for me.  

    I am still waiting to head back on the option of a "factory" crimp die.  I dont really want to have to keep using the modified crimp die I have been using.  It works alright, but I think I need to take just a tiny bit more material off the bottom of the sleeve to move the crimp down just a little more.  The problem is that if I go a little too far I now have to start from scratch on a new crimp die.

    I dont think I have ever heard of CH4D.  I will have to take a look at them as well.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,313 Senior Member
    Seems like a pistol 45cal taper crimp die would work. More caution would be needed during adjustment than the Lee FCD but it may give greater versatility.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #6
    I have been using a modified crimp die from a .45-70 set.  It has been leaving a nice roll crimp.  A taper crimp wouldnt give me the warm fuzzies with the hotter loads using 300-350 gr bullets. Since I dont headspace on the case mouth, the crimp wont change headspace at all.

    I'm not sure how well a .45 caliber pistol taper crimp die would work on a .458 rifle cartridge either.  I have never tried.  I might see if I have a .45 acp crimp die and just see if it would even have a chance of working.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    Lee makes a 458 FCD.  FCDs aren't cartridge specific.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #8
    jbohio said:
    Lee makes a 458 FCD.  FCDs aren't cartridge specific.
    I thought they were fairly cartridge specific. Overall cartridge length would play a part I think, since they use the top of the shell holder to operate the crimping "cam over" operation and the crimping area of the die has to be lined up with the case mouth when the shell holder actuates the crimp.  So they'd have to have a 458 die set up for the same OAL to get the crimp right.

    My guess is that a custom FCD, if possible, will be a little pricey, due to the moving parts of the die and the cartridge length requirement.  Seems like if the 47-70 die is crimping fine, I'd just use that with no seating stem in it and call it a crimping die.  Would be a bit more picky about case length than a FCD.  
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #9
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    Custom Lee FCD is going to run me $27.  That's the least expensive part of this.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,953 Senior Member
    Well heck, that's easy.  After posting and looking at the cutaway pic of a FCD, I got to thinking all they'd have to do is adjust the length of the crimping part on an existing 458 die to match your cartridge.  So guess that's an easy one.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,371 Senior Member
    I have a set of custom dies for my 30BR. They were designed to be used with a simple arbor press. A set of custom dies that are used in your typically commercially available reloading press probably don't offer any advantage over a set of standard Redding dies.

    Redding makes dies that usually work well in normal presses. But, if you're buying  a set of custom dies, buy a Harrels press ($90 +/-) or you'll likely be wasting your money on custom dies.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    Jay said:
    Well heck, that's easy.  After posting and looking at the cutaway pic of a FCD, I got to thinking all they'd have to do is adjust the length of the crimping part on an existing 458 die to match your cartridge.  So guess that's an easy one.
    All I have to do for the custom crimp die is to send them a dummy round.  I have been using a cut down .45-70 crimp die, but I really need to remove just a tiny bit more off the bottom of the collet.  Unfortunately, if I go just a tiny bit too far the die is scrap and I have to start over.


    cpj said:
    I have a set of custom dies for my 30BR. They were designed to be used with a simple arbor press. A set of custom dies that are used in your typically commercially available reloading press probably don't offer any advantage over a set of standard Redding dies.

    Redding makes dies that usually work well in normal presses. But, if you're buying  a set of custom dies, buy a Harrels press ($90 +/-) or you'll likely be wasting your money on custom dies.

    Mike
    His custom dies need to be custom made because it’s a wildcat. 
    Yep, that is the only reason for a custom set of dies.  A family friend may be interested in the cartridge as well, so I will probably have two sets of dies made.  If a second set is ordered later it will require the same setup fee and lead time.
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 675 Senior Member
    CH4D usually have a pretty quick turnaround time on custom dies. As mentioned Hornaday will also do custom dies. 
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,371 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    I have a set of custom dies for my 30BR. They were designed to be used with a simple arbor press. A set of custom dies that are used in your typically commercially available reloading press probably don't offer any advantage over a set of standard Redding dies.

    Redding makes dies that usually work well in normal presses. But, if you're buying  a set of custom dies, buy a Harrels press ($90 +/-) or you'll likely be wasting your money on custom dies.

    Mike
    His custom dies need to be custom made because it’s a wildcat. 
    Missed that somehow.
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    not "custom".  but i did buy some from the RCBS custom shop.  the 500 Linebaugh was out and they offered dies, but had to be special ordered.  thats as close as i got.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,203 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    I have a set of custom dies for my 30BR. They were designed to be used with a simple arbor press. A set of custom dies that are used in your typically commercially available reloading press probably don't offer any advantage over a set of standard Redding dies.

    Redding makes dies that usually work well in normal presses. But, if you're buying  a set of custom dies, buy a Harrels press ($90 +/-) or you'll likely be wasting your money on custom dies.

    Mike
    His custom dies need to be custom made because it’s a wildcat. 

    I shoot one wildcat cartridge, my 338x284.  I figured I would have to have dies made, but I was able to order them from Redding.  They work just fine with my RCBS Rock Chucker press.  Might be worthwhile to check with Redding to see if they already have them available.

    FWIW, I was surprised that the specs for my wildcat were readily available.  The gunsmith just looked them up in a book of his, ordered the reamers, and we were off to the races.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    The .338-.285 at least has some data and information out there.  It seems to be at least a minimally accepted wildcat by the general shooting population.  This .458x1.8 is at best known of by a few and actually played with by a whole lot fewer.  I have managed to send messages to 3 people that have played with it before.  Of those 3 only 2 responded.  One response was to flat out refuse to offer any suggestions or help, and the other was to only say what powder and bullets were used, but absolutely no other information.  

    A 4 die set from Lee will run me around $250 by the time it gets to my door.  I have not heard back from Hornady yet.  I still need to look into CH-4D.  I am inclined to go with Lee since I know what I should expect for quality and I have been using Lee dies so far, even if I did have to modify them some.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    Due to work and other priorities the dies ended up on the back burner but I ended up going with Lee for several reasons.  My cases arrived there today.  Now I just have to wait for the dies to make it to my door.  It will be nice to finally have a proper set of dies instead of a cobbled together set.

    Never heard back from Hornady or CH-4D.  It is possible that the email was lost along the way.  Oh well.
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,143 Senior Member
    I'm looking at alternatives for the 6.5 06, have Redding in mind but can't get them out here from Midway  who have them in stock, can get them from Brownells who don't have them in stock and I've waited a month so far for confirmation of back order 
    I've emailed CH4D, waitng yet for an answer but it's only been a few days and have been in discussion with Lee as I have been a fan of their collet neck die.
    They will happily make a custom set but need fired cases which wouldn't be a problem [ when I get the rifle back] if I had a set of dies
    I've been given an old set that needs an expander ball. so the quest continues.

    When it all comes together I may get lee to make a collet neck die, however the cavet is I have to have a whole set made.
    So the quest continues.


    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
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