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Old July 13, 2012, 04:18 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Die recommendations for .308. Goal: accuracy and consistency

I have a Lee Classic Turret.

I soon plan to buy a .308 bolt action. Shooting that anywhere near regularly will require reloading!!

I also want to try my hand at longer distance shooting so my reloading will need to be more precise and consistent to acheive any semblance of accuracy!! But I don't know which dies would be best, if any...

For example, I recall hearing that a brand called Redding has some micrometer equipped bullet seating dies, etc. Handy? Or overkill?..

Which dies would you recommend I get to make my .308 reloads that bit better?
(either sets or individual dies: as long as they fit a Lee turret)
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Old July 13, 2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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For a .308 in a hunter rifle... it ain't so much the brand of dies as the precision in which they are used.

One way to go is, a combination of neck size or neck size/shoulder bump die from Redding or Forster that uses interchangeable neck sizing bushings (and no sizing button)... and the occasional and mild use of a inexpensive Redding body die, used every 4-6 loadings... when cases start to feel a little snug.

The ideas here are to:
1. Have total user control over the amount of neck tension on the bullet... for repeatable, +/- .0001" consistency.
2. Control case (radial) fit in the chamber, concentricity... and eliminate the extremes in expansion and excessive resizing.
2.a.. Use the absolute minimum amount of case manipulation necessary to produce a loaded round.

I have no dog in this hunt as far as dies go... I don't care what you use. However, I was a competitive benchrest shooter for over 15 years... so I know a few things about accuracy and consistency.
I can explain all this in a excruciatingly long and detailed, benchrest quality process... but no point in going to extremes if you're not interested in going there too.

Cheers,
C
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Old July 14, 2012, 10:46 AM   #3
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
know a few things about accuracy and consistency.
I can explain all this in a excruciatingly long and detailed, benchrest quality process... but no point in going to extremes if you're not interested in going there too.
Whilst I wouldn't want to demand of you 6.4hrs of typing, I'd be more than happy if you'd give me any basic pointers that would help in that department.

I hope to learn and practice longer range shooting (1000m) in the future and so any ways I can improve accuracy and consistency from my reloads would be welcome!!

However, don't feel obliged to if you'd rather not be writing all afternoon!!
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Old July 14, 2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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No additional writing required on my part... it's already written. Post 3 will probably be of the most interest to you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Have fun,
C
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Old July 14, 2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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There is precious little difference in what can be done between die brands, as such. And no difference at all unless the user is both a highly skilled shooter as well as an excellant reloader. On average, there is as much difference between any two die sets of the same brand as there is between brands.

No one wants less than the best possible accuracy and we all have our favorites but favorites vary because while we may prefer this or that feature or look or feel, our rifles couldn't care less what brand of dies made the ammo.

Meaning, buy what ever you prefer to try and know that - on average - what you get will do a very good job if you do a very good job. IF you get one of the very rare defective dies that they all let out occasionally, the maker will correct or replace them for you IF you let them know about it.

After a few years of loading and shooting you will have the experience to know if you want to up grade your dies and what features appeal to you without having to ask a bunch of faceless posters on the web.

Good luck!
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Old July 14, 2012, 08:02 PM   #6
30Cal
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The micrometer simplifies making adjustments to the die. That's all it does.

Ditto what the poster above said. The dies are deep down in the noise.
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Old July 14, 2012, 10:20 PM   #7
lll Otto lll
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Consistent accuracy doesn't happen by accident. Expecting a $30 set of Lee dies to perform as well as a $150 set of Reddings is unrealistic.
Despite what some will tell you, there are vast differences in die design and quality. Some dies size the neck using a collet, others use bushings and some use an expander. Competetion seater dies (with the micrometer) offer greater precision and less run-out over conventional seaters.

Question is: does your rifle have the accuracy potential to benefit from expensive dies, components, etc.?
I suggest buying a couple of boxes of Federal Gold Medal Match ammo and find out. If your rifle won't shoot sub MOA with Federal GMM, you're likely not going to improve on that by purchasing expensive dies.

If your rifle does shoot tight groups with Federal then you might want to consider a set of Reddings like these...http://www.midwayusa.com/product/271...308-winchester
or these http://www.midwayusa.com/product/792...308-winchester
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Old July 15, 2012, 03:11 AM   #8
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A few tips... Fire form your new brass before loading your target ammo.. That is, just load it and shoot it. 2nd time around brass is always better when it's fire formed to your chamber.

LEE makes a collet die, very handy for keeping case concentricity.

Make sure all your cases are the exact same length. After you trim, make sure there are no brass burrs in the neck by using a chamfer tool inside and out.

I personally prefer thr RCBS bench rest bullet seating die. It ensures perfect bullet alignment and has a micrometer for OAL adjustment.

Hodgden BENCHMARK is a great powder for lighter bullets in the .308


...just a few things that come to mind...

Last edited by Fastercat; July 15, 2012 at 07:13 PM.
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:37 PM   #9
Bill Daniel
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Die recommendations for .308---

For my two cents ?pence?? I use the Lee collet as above and a Redding Body only die with a Redding competition seater. I can full length size the brass and bump the shoulder with out messing with the neck and use the collet to size the neck without messing with the concentricity.
All the best,
Bill Daniel
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Old July 15, 2012, 08:19 PM   #10
wncchester
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I personally prefer thr RCBS bench rest bullet seating die. It ensures perfect bullet alignment ...

"It ensures perfect bullet alignment"? I assume you don't have a concentricity/bullet runout gage yet.
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Old July 15, 2012, 10:37 PM   #11
Fastercat
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Quote:
"It ensures perfect bullet alignment"? I assume you don't have a concentricity/bullet runout gage yet.
You're right. Maybe I would have been better to say " ensures straight drop into the case"
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