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Old April 15, 2008, 04:03 PM   #1
brockgl
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New to reloading, looking for precision!

I just bought a Redding Big Boss loading press because I found a good deal, and now I am wanting to start loading my own ammunition. I am a total newbie to loading, so forgive my ignorance if this question is stupid in some way . I will be loading a number of calibers of ammunition, however the main reason I wanted to start loading my own is to load .30-06 rounds. I want to know if anyone has any suggestions on which brand of dies yield the greatest precision for a reasonable (but not cheap) price. I've looked at Redding dies, but they are pricey. I was wondering if Hornady or RCBS are comparable quality-wise? Essentially, I don't want the most expensive thing out there, but I don't want the cheapest die either. I will probably buy cheaper dies for my handgun loads, because I am not as concerned with perfect accuracy as I am with my .30-06. With the .30-06 I am wanting to keep my groups really tight at very long distances, so I am concerned about the quality of the dies.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!
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Old April 15, 2008, 04:38 PM   #2
DEDON45
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Redding dies are quite good (a friend has some for his 6.5-06)... for your .30-06, you might want to look at the RCBS X-die... no trimming of the brass after the initial trim. Hornady makes nice dies as well.
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Old April 15, 2008, 04:41 PM   #3
scsov509
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Everyone has their own preferences in terms of reloading equipment, and certainly some equipment works better in some applications than others. But generally speaking, component selection is a lot more important than equipment selection when it comes to loading for precision. So with the average die set it is really more a matter of preference than one having a clear advantage over the other in the area of precision. Now, if you do want to drop the big bucks on a set of precision dies (like $80+ for a seating alone), then I really like the Redding Competition dies. Personally, I use mostly Lee and RCBS dies and have never found them lacking for my purposes.
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Old April 15, 2008, 04:59 PM   #4
Sevens
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I'd agree that component choice and technique will likely have a greater effect than brand of dies, but if you want the best dies, buy the Redding and don't look back.

(in case you are REAL newbie and you don't know what "component" means, we're saying buy quality brass rather than a bucket load of mixed range pick-ups, and buy a good, name brand bullet)

I will also second that notion that you don't need painstaking precision for most typical handgun loads. And many of us have had excellent results with the Lee Carbide 3-Die set.
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Old April 15, 2008, 05:10 PM   #5
rwilson452
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As others have suggested, it's not the dies. any of them can make excellent ammunition. Your choice of components and attention to detail are much more important. Sadly what will give you the best in your guns may not work in someone else's and vs a vs. I don't know what you call very long range. for some that is anything over 100 yds for others 1000+ If accuracy is you only goal I would suggest The Sierra SMK bullets. powder, primers, and cases it's a crap shoot. you can buy real good brass or you can buy moderately costing brass and weed out those that don't fit your needs. cost wise it works out about the same. Reloading for extreme accuracy is an art form that entails a lot of trial and error.



Quote:
New to reloading, looking for precision!

I just bought a Redding Big Boss loading press because I found a good deal, and now I am wanting to start loading my own ammunition. I am a total newbie to loading, so forgive my ignorance if this question is stupid in some way . I will be loading a number of calibers of ammunition, however the main reason I wanted to start loading my own is to load .30-06 rounds. I want to know if anyone has any suggestions on which brand of dies yield the greatest precision for a reasonable (but not cheap) price. I've looked at Redding dies, but they are pricey. I was wondering if Hornady or RCBS are comparable quality-wise? Essentially, I don't want the most expensive thing out there, but I don't want the cheapest die either. I will probably buy cheaper dies for my handgun loads, because I am not as concerned with perfect accuracy as I am with my .30-06. With the .30-06 I am wanting to keep my groups really tight at very long distances, so I am concerned about the quality of the dies.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!
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Old April 15, 2008, 05:20 PM   #6
wncchester
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Dies come in two grades.

Forster/Redding BR/Competition dies are tied for first, all others are tied for second. The second tier dies are almost as good as first tier, meaning that they all do a good job and few factory rifles can tell the difference.

In fact, the "precision" differencies in manufactoring tolerances between dies of the same brand typically exceed any differences between brands. All you get for extra money with most of them is a nicer exterior finish, the quality of ammo they produce is much the same, for a given level of reloading skill.

Precision reloads require precision loading techniques and personal skill much more than any color or cost of the tools. No beginner will ever achieve that for some time. It's just a fact of life; it takes time to gain the experience and understanding needed to assemble precision loads and there is no magic formula to speed it up. Just get in and shoot some, your desired precision goal may come eventually but it won't be this year. And it's not going to be from precise weighting/measureing powder charges and coping any book's OAL either.

Relax and enjoy your new hobby, let time get you where you want to go.
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Old April 15, 2008, 05:21 PM   #7
the_right_reverend
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I have reloaded on and off years... and this year picked up a new varmint and a savage f/class. So now working on accuracy vice the past spray and prey. looked at all the match and competition dies by all manufactures. some were a little more then i wanted to spend but personnelly i am more then happy with the RCBS Competition 2-Die Sets

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=723681

that little window to drop the bullet in is one of the greatest ideas ever.....

another sweet item that is worth the money to me was the Satern Powder Funnels, set it on the case and it stays there STRAIGHT

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=924093

along with the redding completion shell holders
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Old April 15, 2008, 10:02 PM   #8
TexasSeaRay
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Quote:
as I am with my .30-06. With the .30-06 I am wanting to keep my groups really tight at very long distances, so I am concerned about the quality of the dies.
Shrug.

Don't know what to tell you, but with my 30-06, I get groups just off the x-ring at 100 meters all day long that measure less than .5" On days where my caffeine intake has been lowered and the wind isn't blowing, I can get those groups down to a quarter of an inch.

Do it with Lee dies, a Lee single stage, a Lee powder measure and RCBS scales.

The world record for accuracy shooting stood for seven years, and was done with a 30-06 loaded on a Lee handloader.

Jeff
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Old April 15, 2008, 10:21 PM   #9
amamnn
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If you are loading for a typical factory off the shelf rifle there is no need to spend a lot on your dies. I load for match and for fun, using the best press and dies I could (not really--I used my visa) afford, mostly Forster.


I also still have the Lee deluxe die set I bought years ago for use in a .30-06 hunting rifle. They make perfectly good hunting/plinking ammo still. You do need to take a little extra care with them to avoid rust. If the Lee collet neck die is not the best design for a neck sizing die for use in non-match ammo, I don't know what is. I do use bushing dies in match ammo so I am not forgetting them.
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Old April 16, 2008, 07:03 AM   #10
qajaq59
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I have dies from various companies but the ones I prefer were made by Lyman. And strangely enough you rarely ever see Lyman mentioned in the forums.
As for loading accurately, the better your logs are the more accurate your ammo will be. It's all in the details.
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Old April 16, 2008, 07:15 AM   #11
Sevens
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Quote:
As for loading accurately, the better your logs are the more accurate your ammo will be. It's all in the details.
This needs to be said more than once.

Anyone who's as foolish as I am and spent years reloading with decent results but kept very poor records, raise your hand.

Getting serious about reloading in the last few years was almost like having a many year skill set, but never having done it before, EVER, because there was nothing to build from. Like starting from scratch.

It's more rewarding now, but it's a slow process if you can't get to a range frequently.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old April 16, 2008, 07:52 AM   #12
Leeman
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Easy way to get best accuracy.

1) This tip applies to bolt action rifles only.
Cases fired from your gun fit the chamber perfectly. Any sizing makes the fit less than perfect. Size only the neck

2) Use a starting load rather than the maximum. A lower pressure load reduces the barrel vibrations and by nature is more accurate.

3) Apply a firm factory type crimp. This get the fire going before the bullet starts to move and provides a more uniform pressure curve.

Last edited by Leeman; April 17, 2008 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Missed a word
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