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Old September 5, 2012, 08:49 PM   #1
danny42984
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need recommendation for 223 dies

Hello, I am just getting started into reloading and am going to pick up a Hornady Lock n Load AP Progressive press tomorrow and wanted to find out what are some of the better die sets out there to choose from. I will be shooting the.223/5.56 thru an AR15 semi auto only. I dont mind paying a few extra bucks where needed but dont want to waste money better spent elsewhere. I will be using a wide range of brass and some do have crimped primers. So what dies would be good for anything I might run across? I want to go ahead and buy them so I can refer to them and play with them as I am learning. I will be doing other calibers but dont want to have too many questions going on in one post. I have read a lot here and found great info but some of it is older and maybe not up to date. So any recommendations on a good solid set of dies that would serve ALL my .223/5.56 needs? or even a mix n match recommendation? Thanks very much! this would be soo much harder without all the years experience on this great board!
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Old September 5, 2012, 08:57 PM   #2
zxcvbob
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A cordless drill and a countersink bit for the crimped primers. Or a Dillon Super Swage.

I've been happy with Lee dies, and in .223 I just their cheap "RGB" 2-die set (I didn't need a shellholder.) If you need a small-base die you'll have to spend big bucks for another brand.

You'll also need a case trimmer. I use a Lee, with the cutter/depth_gauge chucked in a drill press, and hold the cases by hand while I run the depth gauge into the table. If you don't have a drill press, chuck the Lee trimmer case holder in the previously mentioned cordless drill and hold the cutter/depth_gauge by hand.
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:15 PM   #3
TheTinMan
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IMHO Forster's Benchrest Seater die simply is a better mousetrap. The inside of the die replicates your chamber and is spring loaded. I am confident that it does a better job of lining up the bullet with the case mouth and ensuring concentricity.

Redding's Competition Seater is very similar. I've read that Redding actually uses the expired Forster patent, but there seems to be a slight difference in how the dies are made. The Redding costs a lot more.

The RCBS X-Die sizer also is a better mousetrap. With .308 Win in an M1A, I used to have to trim almost every case every time. With the X-Die, I trimmed once and have 2-3 more reloads per case before they have to be pitched. Not as big a deal in an AR-15, but working the brass less and making it last longer isn't bad.

All that said, you'll probably be fine with any 2-die full length sizing set from Forster, Hornady, Lyman, RCBS or Redding. (I don't have direct experience with Lee dies.) You didn't say if you were shooting competitively, going for accuracy from the bench, or just having fun. If just fun, buy the Hornady set and enjoy the savings.
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:36 PM   #4
Jeff H
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Quote:
I've been happy with Lee dies, and in .223 I just their cheap "RGB" 2-die set (I didn't need a shellholder.) If you need a small-base die you'll have to spend big bucks for another brand.

You'll also need a case trimmer. I use a Lee, with the cutter/depth_gauge chucked in a drill press, and hold the cases by hand while I run the depth gauge into the table. If you don't have a drill press, chuck the Lee trimmer case holder in the previously mentioned cordless drill and hold the cutter/depth_gauge by hand.
___________

+1
That is mostly what I do and get great results. No issues, and rounds chamber every time as long as I don't screw something up. Accuracy is very good at around 1.5ish MOA from my 16" barrel using decent but not match bullets. (fmj bullets will be worse and SMKs will be better, of course.)
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:40 PM   #5
mrawesome22
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Hornady.

They come with the best rings and bullet alignment sleeve standard with the seater.

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Old September 5, 2012, 11:21 PM   #6
oldreloader
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I have both an older Lyman set and a new Lee Deluxe set. They both load good ammo. I use the Lyman on a Rockchucker and the Lee on a Classic Turret. I'd go with the Lee.
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Old September 5, 2012, 11:38 PM   #7
Jimro
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I've been using Lee dies, RGB and the three die set that came with my Pro 1000 press.

Been able to get some very good accuracy from those dies, and no feeding issues in a Colt HBAR or my buddies White Oak upper with Krieger barrel.

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Old September 6, 2012, 01:39 AM   #8
mohr308
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I use the RCBS .223/5.56 AR series 2 die set, comes in a black box. I also use the Lee case trimmer and a RCBS deburring/chamfer tool. I load Nosler Varmageddon 55 grain metallic tip bullets with CCI41 primers. I fire this round out of my RRA ar-15 16" barrel 1:9 twist. I average about a .800" group or less @ 100yds. Im currently trying to tighten that group down to .500" with a new powder.
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Old September 6, 2012, 12:38 PM   #9
danny42984
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Thanks for the info!
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