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Old December 26, 2000, 06:44 PM   #1
DAL
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Quick questions: Does it really matter which shellholder I use with any given set of dies? For example, would there be any problem using an RCBS shellholder and Redding dies?
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Old December 26, 2000, 07:07 PM   #2
sw627pc
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Normally no. I have mixed and matched without problems (as long as the die is adjusted to the shellholder you are using). I have seen some priming setups that did matter though as they were designed with a specific height in mind and might not work properly with someone else's holder.
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Old December 26, 2000, 07:13 PM   #3
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DAL,

The short answer is not really. I do that all the time.

Now a precision benchrest shooter will no doubt take issue with that but, that is only because of the extreme precision and tolerances they are trying to maintain when loading their ammo with regard to headspace and the like.

For the average reloader, basically they are referred to as "Universal Shellholders" and that's the way I think of them.

Redding is currently making benchrest type shell holders with different top rim thicknesses for regulating shoulder position (headspace) in a given bottleneck cartridge. It creates the same affect as some reloaders do by grinding the die bottom down to shorten the shoulder to head length(headspace).

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Old December 26, 2000, 08:16 PM   #4
Jorah Lavin
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Glad to see this thread...

I've got a similar question which didn't rate its own thread.

Thus:

I ordered an RCBS hand-held primer tool. I didn't realize that I needed a shellholder with it!

I spent pretty much all the disposible cash I have for the next three months ordering the reloading press and components, so I'm not eager to plonk down more at the local shop.

I should be seeing my second-hand SDB sometime next week... will there be a shellholder on the machine which I can use on the primer tool? Should I just sell the primer tool or put it in storage and go ahead and use the Dillon for priming? I've heard from several reloaders at the range that they prefer to hand-prime because of the better "feel" they get in seating the primers.

looking forward to your comments...

-Jorah


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Old December 26, 2000, 08:54 PM   #5
sw627pc
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DAL,

Unfortunately the SDB, like most progressives uses a shell plate rather than a standard shell holder. The RCBS prime tool should use standard shell holders (unlike the LEE unit). These run around $5.50 so it shouldn't break you. I prefer hand priming but it isn't really practical if you're going to use a progressive as it requires you to stop at each stroke and remove the case to prime. I would tend to use the SDB for priming. Since I use a single stage press I can size and entire block and the prime them before continuing.
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Old December 26, 2000, 09:37 PM   #6
Jorah Lavin
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Thanks, Bob

I just dropped back over to the RCBS site, and realized that I'd mis-read the price list; http://www.rcbs.com/equipment/list.html I was reading the price for a Shell Holder Ram, at 20.95... the shellholder itself is only $6.

Looks like I'll be storing the primer tool until I get a single-stage for doing a few rifle shells somewhere along the line.

-Jorah

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Old December 26, 2000, 09:47 PM   #7
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All of my dies are RCBS and so are the shellholders EXCEPT for the .45 Colt. When I bought the dies they had no shellholders for that caliber in the local gun shop, however there was another gunshop nearby that had a Lyman shellholder. It works like a champ, with the RCBS dies, but of course a .45 Colt isn't a match rifle, but then again with the size of the chunk of lead it throws each shot hole in the target is almost a 1/2" group!
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Old December 26, 2000, 10:14 PM   #8
Keith J
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WARNING!

If the cartridge you are reloading is a rimless bottleneck, use the same brand of shellholder unless you have a headspace gauge and adjust the die accordingly. The height of the shellholder can be different causing either not enough set-back (won't chamber) or too much headpsace (blown case, damaged firearm etc.) Another sure sign is fiired primers protruding out of the base with starting loads. The brass will grip the chamber walls but never place enough force on the head to restrain the primer.

In my experience, if you are reloading for one bolt action rifle used for non-dangerous game, do not ram the case all the way into the die. This overworks the brass and requires more effort. One can see if the shoulder is being set back if one uses Lee case lube and allows it to dry on the neck. The lube will remain as a chalky-white covering on any part of the case not touched by resizing. Just resize until the brass chambers, no more.

My AR15 will gladly chamber a neck sized only round (modest powder charge) and is most accurate reload to date. I resize to swage only 1/2 the neck and load the rounds by hand (80 gr Sierra's won't fit the magazine).
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