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View Poll Results: Favorite Reloading Dies
Redding 10 7.30%
RCBS 35 25.55%
Hornady 8 5.84%
Lyman 3 2.19%
Dillon 6 4.38%
Forster 6 4.38%
Lee 69 50.36%
Voters: 137. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 31, 2012, 02:21 PM   #26
jaguarxk120
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When I set the Lee, RCBS, and the Redding dies and compare them, I have

no problem spending the extra money for the RCBS or Redding die sets.

I've spent a lot of cash on nice rifles and hand guns, there's no way I will cut corners on tooling.
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Old January 31, 2012, 04:44 PM   #27
Twillia43
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I'm new to reloading an bought 99% of my stuff second hand from one man, everything I own is less than 2 years old, I have 3 sets of lee dies, 2 sets came from the man I bought all my used stuff from they are 9mm luger & 44 mag, I did purchase a new set of .270 dies, none of these dies have any plastic in them, and I love the simplicity of lee dies, I also have 2 sets of hornady custom grade dies for 357mag and 44mag, I will never buy hornady custom grade dies if I can find lee dies for the caliber I need, I'm not sure if hornady dies are that hard to use or if their instructions are just that unclear? Can't speak for RCBS I don't have any of their dies but if they are like the rest of RCBS stuff they would deffinetly be worth the money
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Old February 1, 2012, 08:27 AM   #28
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The plastic piece on the seating die was standard in the early eighties. I had two sets with the plastic piece. I still have one. I still use it. Lee also changed the length of the threaded portion on their dies.

My favorite dies are my Pacific Durachromes. My least favorite are my Hornady New Dimemsion dies. I don't like junk hanging out of my dies. It looks like the seating die is about to "drop one" on my press.

Add Durachrome to the poll so I can vote. Make sure it says Duracrome and not just Pacific. The regular Pacific dies might as well be Lymans.



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Old February 1, 2012, 10:14 AM   #29
Edward429451
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I believe the plastic part was factory, that sounds like something Lee would do, lol. There are so many ways to make dies that it's not funny. I have three generations of RCBS 44 dies, each set differing in operation from the others. (in one set, die #1 resizes only, die #2 decaps the primer and expands the case mouth, #3 is a seater).

I have a good assortment of brands, I suppose I like RCBS the best because its what I have the most of and use the most. I also have Lyman, Lee, Hornady, Dillon, Pacific Durachrome, and C-H.

Tool and die maker...plastic. Tool and die maker...plastic. That aint right!
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Old February 1, 2012, 10:24 AM   #30
Brian Pfleuger
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Hm. Guess I lose my bet! Good thing I didn't bet much! :-)
Still, 30 years ago, not anymore.
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Old February 1, 2012, 12:01 PM   #31
jimkim
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Sorry Peetzakilla. I just had to post that. I felt David was kinda getting the short end of the stick in this discussion.

Someone please tell me how to shrink my pictures.
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Old February 1, 2012, 12:22 PM   #32
Brian Pfleuger
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No need for apologies! When you're wrong, you're wrong.
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Old February 1, 2012, 12:24 PM   #33
woody wood
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have used hornady for a while and decided to try lee once-lee is the ony one i will buy now.i bought lee factory crimp dies for all my other hornady dies.i use the hornady seater and back out the crimper so it does not get used-as i like the lee crimper better! i use it in the last station i have open on my progressive hornady press.
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Old February 1, 2012, 01:02 PM   #34
Sevens
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I'm wrong, too!
My first set of reloading dies were Lee-- .38/.357, Carbide, purchased in early 1988. They look exactly like all of the rest of my dies, so I may have just missed the plastic seater by a few years.

Good to have the mystery solved -- I'm still curious about that REALLY short flare die with the philips metal screw in the top of it. Was that an early version of a Lee flare die?
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Old February 1, 2012, 02:12 PM   #35
jimkim
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Quote:
I'm still curious about that REALLY short flare die with the philips metal screw in the top of it. Was that an early version of a Lee flare die?
To be honest that looks like a modified RCBS die to me. that one, I haven't seen. The closest thing to it would be the powder through expander die, but it doesn't have a solid top. I'd like to see some pics of it from different angles.
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Old February 1, 2012, 04:58 PM   #36
David Bachelder
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Here are four close ups of the LEE Die.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lee die 1.jpg (37.4 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg lee die 2.jpg (51.1 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg lee die 3.jpg (43.4 KB, 34 views)
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I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357Magnum, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 300 AAC, 243 and 30-06
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Old February 1, 2012, 04:59 PM   #37
David Bachelder
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The last of the four photos.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lee die 4.jpg (45.4 KB, 33 views)
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I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357Magnum, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 300 AAC, 243 and 30-06
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Old February 1, 2012, 05:05 PM   #38
David Bachelder
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The screw may have been added by a previous owner. I took it out and it appears to be a stainless steel screw about an inch long. It holds the expander plug in place.
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I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357Magnum, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 300 AAC, 243 and 30-06
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Old February 1, 2012, 08:35 PM   #39
Poodleshooter
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Mostly Lee dies on my bench, with one Redding set and an RCBS X-die set to round it out.
I'm all single stage though, so I really place very limited demands on my die sets.
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Old February 1, 2012, 09:35 PM   #40
primerman
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How many dinosaurs does it take to pull a covered wagon loaded with those dies?
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Old February 1, 2012, 11:05 PM   #41
dickttx
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Don't know, but the Lee expander die David pictured may be a Lee expander before the Powder Thru Expander. If so, the screw may be to keep the stem from coming out.
I was into reloading and then out before Lee made dies. Just started again about a year and a half ago. Had RCBS, and Lyman before. They were good dies. When I started again I soon gravitated to the Lee Classic Turret. Then I soon bought all Lee 4 die pistol sets for the way they worked in the LCT. They are doing the same thing as my RCBS/Lyman dies did. Just at half the price.
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Old February 1, 2012, 11:40 PM   #42
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Yeah, I’ve got at least one of those Lee Plastic Fantastic dies also. I know I’ve got one in 44 Mag for sure. Bought it new a while back, the 80’s, or earlier. It was a three die carbide set. Came with a de-capper/sizer, belling die with a hook up for a powder measure and the now famous plastic parts seating die. If I remember it had a bunch of aluminum parts in it too.
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Old February 2, 2012, 10:16 AM   #43
wncchester
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"Yeah, I’ve got at least one of those Lee Plastic Fantastic dies also."

Just out of curosity, what is the objection to a very low stress part such as Lee's excellant and unique seating die cap being plastic? Or aluminum for that matter?
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Old February 2, 2012, 10:21 AM   #44
Brian Pfleuger
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It's TimAllen- itus.

Don't matter if it works. It's got to be faster, stronger, more powerful!

AR, AR, AR!!
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Old February 2, 2012, 10:25 AM   #45
Sevens
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Quote:
Just out of curosity, what is the objection to a very low stress part such as Lee's excellant and unique seating die cap being plastic? Or aluminum for that matter?
It's just... different. It stands out. Likely doesn't make a lot of difference, but it still looks cheap and it doesn't inspire confidence.

You could call Lee and ask them why they changed it. Obviously, they felt there was a reason to quit using that plastic plug, maybe they'll share.

It's not all that different than the plastic MSH that some companies are putting on 1911 pistols these days. (Colt, Kimber, others?) I don't care for it there, either, but it definitely does work properly.
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Old February 2, 2012, 10:26 AM   #46
dunerjeff
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Here we go AGAIN. More, Lee is great ,Lee is best ,Lee is #1, and when someone says something bad about them, Look out ,here comes the fists..
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Old February 2, 2012, 11:12 AM   #47
SL1
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I like what works best.

My favorite dies are the ones that work best for me in my particular loading processes. That means that I use an assortment of Lee, Hornady, Lyman, RCBS, Forster and Redding dies in various MIXES for each cartridge that I load.

I like the Hornady straight-line seaters, the Forster/Redding straight-line seaters, the Lyman, Redding (and some other) "stepped" expander plugs, the Redding Titanium carbide sizer rings, the Lee collet sizing dies, the bodies to the Lee pistol Factory Crimp dies (for their carbide rings), and various types of dies for actually crimping, including some from Lee, Redding and RCBS, depending on the cartridge. Of course, I often "make do" with dies that are not my absolute favorite, but are adequate, so that I do not have to purchase another die.

The "best looking" dies I have are from Redding. But, I do not have a single Dillon, so nothing that I wrote here should be taken against Dillon.

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Old February 2, 2012, 11:12 AM   #48
Sevens
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Don't lose any sleep over it, Jeff. Lee is doing a-ok in this thread, just fine in this poll and judging by their sales, they are doing quite well in the market.

You needn't fight about them or on their behalf.

Ya gotta ask yourself what you were expecting in a thread where people are asked to talk about their favorite brand...?!
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Old February 2, 2012, 11:24 AM   #49
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I do remember those RCBS and Lyman dies I started with in the late 60's. The lock rings were a nightmare. The lead shot with a set screw. Once you set it, you had better not want to change it. Have several where even the small screwdriver blade required to turn them broke one side of the slot.
Have a new, never used set of C-H .243 dies. I thought they had a great idea at the time--the bodies were hex shape. After using the Lees with the rubber O-ring, don't know why you would want them so tight you would have to use a wrench.
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Old February 2, 2012, 04:42 PM   #50
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I like Forster full length dies for bottleneck rifle rounds because the expander ball is mounted high on the die stem where it is is harder to bend out of alignment. I like Lee collet neck sizing dies in general and the Redding S bushing neck sizing dies when trying to match the sizer to a particular chamber. I like the Forster seating dies for bottleneck rifle round because of the floating die chamber.

Having typed all that, I use RCBS, Lee. Forster, Lyman, Redding and Herters dies and they all work well.


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