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Old March 27, 2010, 08:48 PM   #1
Jbotto
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Dies for a .223??

I am getting my beginner reloading equipment, set up, and I'm lost on dies. Again, with such a wide selection I've come on to pester you guys with another newbie question. What dies? I'm thinking towards RCBS 2-Die Neck Sizer Set. I like the price and I'm pretty much sold on the idea of neck sizing. Am I wrong with the notion that I don't need sizing lube with this set of die or am I misled? Thanks in advance, for all the help.
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Old March 27, 2010, 08:51 PM   #2
DiscoRacing
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neck sizing works best when used in bolt action rifles.. and no you dont need lube if only sizing the necks.
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Old March 27, 2010, 08:59 PM   #3
riverwalker76
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Go with a Lee die set. Get the one with the 3 dies in it. It's Decapper/ sizing die, bullet seater die, and factory crimp die. Those are the best bang for the buck. I think I paid $20 for mine last year at a gun show.
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Old March 27, 2010, 10:00 PM   #4
SL1
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Jbotto,

Are you shooting the .223 in a bolt action or an auto-loader?

I ask because, if it is a bolt action (which is where neck-sizing works well), then you probably don't want to crimp your cases. So, the Lee 3 die set that Riverwalker76 suggested is probably not what you need. Lee has ANOTHER 3 die set that includes a full-length sizer AND a collet sizer, plus a seater die. The collet sizer is a really good way to produce accurate ammo with an inexpensive die. It is a neck-sizer that works by squeezing the neck on a mandril. So, you don't need to worry about bushings to fit different case neck thicknesses. And, you can use the full-length sizer when you need to bump the shoulders back or you are starting with cases fired in somebody else's gun. And, the seater is designed to work with the cases as they come from the collet die.

On the other hand, if you have an auto-loading .223, then you probably need the full-length sizer, seater die and factory crimp die, because neck sizing usually doesn't work that well in autoloaders. There are often feed problems with cases that have not had their bodies sized.

SL1
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:19 PM   #5
Jbotto
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I knew I forgot to post something... I shoot a Stevens 200. That's why I was leaning towards a neck-sizing die to size brass. I looked at the Lee 3-die set. I like the idea, that if I ever buy brass to reload, I have that option with the full length sizer. Thanks guys!
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:29 PM   #6
Jim243
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If you are going to do full lenght resizing, get some case lube or you will need to get a stuck case remover.

Jim
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:42 PM   #7
Jbotto
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Thanks, I have no plans as of yet to do any full length resizing. As of now I have a good supply of once fired brass that has came through my rifle. I will have the die from the Lee 3-die set, if I ever come across a good deal on brass. At that point, I will have case lube and a lube pad, as it's on my 'wish list' at Midway as we speak!
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Old March 27, 2010, 11:51 PM   #8
Mike1
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Go with the Lee set that includes the collet, or get someone's full length die set and a neck sizer. Or, do what many do, i.e. adjust the sizing die to only do the neck. There will still be some work further down on the case, but not as much as full length sizing. Neck sizing is great due to less work on the brass. However, at some point, maybe after firing 3 - 6 times, the brass will no longer chamber. At that point, you need to full length size.
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Old March 28, 2010, 12:00 AM   #9
rg1
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Go with the 3 die set that has a full-length and a neck sizer die. You will have to full length size neck sized brass after a few firings or they will get too tight in your chamber. Plus if you find range brass or buy once-fired brass they will need to be full length resized or they may not fit your chamber. Get a 3 die set or be prepared to order a full-length sizer die later.
I've got a Redding 3 die set. Or order a full length 2 die set and purchase a separate neck sizing die.
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Old March 28, 2010, 08:37 AM   #10
Sevens
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Quote:
Thanks, I have no plans as of yet to do any full length resizing. As of now I have a good supply of once fired brass that has came through my rifle. I will have the die from the Lee 3-die set, if I ever come across a good deal on brass. At that point, I will have case lube and a lube pad, as it's on my 'wish list' at Midway as we speak!
I'm with SL1 here. Get the Lee 3-die set, no factory crimp die, but the collet neck-only size die. It's the only die like it made.

And I wouldn't go ahead and buy dies without at least someone's full length size die. Eventually, you WILL need it, so don't start without it.

I would also skip the messy lube pad and RCBS lube and get a tin of Imperial case sizing wax and use that if/when you full length resize.

But the Lee collet neck-only size die is a TERRIFIC piece of equipment and if you buy it separately (it is offered) than you pay more than you need to. Get the 3-die set.
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Old March 28, 2010, 08:43 AM   #11
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Why don't you all like the Factory Crimp Die? It works a lot better than the standard crimp die. With the Factory Crimp Die you don't have to worry about pressures spiking because of the crimp.
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Old March 28, 2010, 10:47 AM   #12
Sevens
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I'm guessing it's because most of us don't bother crimping a whole lot in bottle neck rifle rounds. Not that you should never -- just that many of us don't. That makes the FCD a superfluous purchase.

My point was not to avoid the FCD, but to simply make sure you don't miss out on getting the collet neck-only size die in the 3-die set, where you get the most bang for your buck.

I could probably last another 20+ years at the bench without any kind of FCD, be it rifle or the much different carbide FCD for handgun calibers.
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Old March 28, 2010, 11:03 AM   #13
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There is no one brand of rifle reloading dies I like best.

I like Forster FL dies with the raised expander ball. Most others are a close 2nd, especially if you normally neck size anyway. I've heard the Redding FL bushing die is excellent, but have not tried it.

I like Lee Collet Neck dies, for all the reasons stated above. Great die, except the lock ring.

I like Forster Benchrest seating dies. The Ultra-benchrest (micrometer) version is up to you, but the insides is what counts and they're both identical on the inside. They have an internal sliding sleeve that aligns the bullet with the case mouth prior to insertion into the case neck. The micrometer seating depth adjustment is convenient, but just that, it does nothing for accuracy or consistency. The Redding Competition seater has the same interior design, but does not offer it without the micrometer adjustment, and at much higher price than the Forster Ultra.

I like the Lee collet type FCD for rifles loads that I crimp. But put a better lock ring on it.

No matter what die it is, it will wear a Forster or Hornady cross-bolt style lock ring. They lock in place securely and squarely on the die, and do not mar the die threads. Lyman also makes an aftermarket cross-bolt lock ring, but does not include it on their dies. I have not tried it.

I suppose the economy version of above would be to get the three-die Lee Deluxe set (FL, neck & seater dies), add the Lee FCD, the Forster benchrest (non-micrometer) seater, and three Hornady or Forster lock rings.

Andy
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Old March 28, 2010, 11:33 AM   #14
riverwalker76
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Well, I like the Factory Crimp Die because it enables me to crimp the neck of the round without damaging the brass. It also ensures that you don't get a bullet that decided to fall down into the case due to improper neck over sizing.

When you shoot out of magazines ... you should always crimp your rounds.
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Old March 28, 2010, 05:16 PM   #15
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One caution about mixing and matching dies from different manufacturers when you are neck-sizing. Sometime of the seater dies will need full-length sized brass. For example, for years I "neck-sized" my .270 Winchester cases with an RCBS full-length die turned-out so that it did not size all of the neck, and used a Bonanaza (now Forster, I believe) seating die with the sliding sleeve. It worked fine. But, I just HAD to try the Lee collet die, so I bought one and, when I went to seat the bullets with the Bonanza die, the cases got stuck in the sliding sleeve. I used the seater that came with the Lee dies, and it handled the cases sized with the collet die just fine.

So, for a new reloader, I suggest NOT mixing and matching dies when you first start. It would be too hard to diagnose a problem when you don't know that the dies are actually incompatible.

And, for all you guys who read this and ask "Which works better, the Lee collet die or the RCBS full-length sizer turned out with a Forster seater?" the answer is the Lee die set. Probably because of the expander ball in the RCBS full-length sizer pulling the necks a little out of alignment.

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Old March 28, 2010, 05:59 PM   #16
5R milspec
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and when you get your die you should really read the directions good.and to add you can polish the two matteing parts of the die.the collet its self and the cone that the collet is pushed into.this will help out a whole lot.for me I just twist the parts in some 320 sand papper.and after the tooling marks are gone I'll blow them off with compressed air and put just a little grease on top of the collet.this will keep the two parts from sticking together if you run the ram up without a case in the shell holder.

trust me you do not want to do this.because if the collet gets stuck it will cause a neck to be pushed down into the sholder area.then the case is scrap.

and if you want one better than just getting case lube for the FL die.just go to Wal-Mart and get you a can of Mink oil shoe polish.it comes in a bigger can and cost less.but works just as good as imperial wax to me.

and yeah you will love the lee collet die.thats after you get use to adjusting it.been loading with them for about 15 years now.wouldn't have any other die in my book.but this in my opinion.
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