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Old September 20, 1999, 11:07 PM   #1
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I just recently bought a Savage Scout in .308 and now I need to get set up to reload for it. I currently have a Lee Turret Press and a Lee Reloader Press. The only thing I have ever loaded before is .38 Special. I also have a set of scales and a couple manuals and that is about it. What do I need now so that I can also reload .308s? I guess I am asking at a minimum what kind of dies to buy. The Natchez catalog I am look at lists (all made by Lee) RGB Dies, 3-Die Set w/ Fact. Crimp and Deluxe Rifle Die Set as well as a Collet Die Neck Sizer and a Factory Crimp Die. It also say "No case Lubrication required." under the Deluxe Rifle Die Set. True? Thanks for any help.

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Old September 21, 1999, 12:30 AM   #2
Paul B.
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Monty. I am not familiar with the Lee die sets, but as far as I know, the only dies that need no lubrication are carbide dies and neck sizing only dies. Neither of us can afford a carbide rifle die, and to be frank, I don't even know who makes one.
You can get away with neck sizing for a while, but after 4 or 5 reloads, you will have to full length size as the brass will have expanded enough so as to be difficult to chamber. When that happens, lube the cases and full length resize away. If you load hot, you may have to full length size after only 2 ot 3 reloads.
Frankly, just get a set of RCBS, or Hornady, or Redding dies, your choice, set them up properly and forget all that other stuff. I have been using an RCBS 2 die set for .308 Win. for almost 25 years now. It's all I've needed.
Paul B.
PS. The .308 Win. is a great cartridge, you'll love it.
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Old September 22, 1999, 07:08 AM   #3
Join Date: April 2, 1999
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Are you going to start with virgin brass, or brass from rounds fired through your rifle? If it's new brass, you need to full length size, check for trim length and trim if necessary, reprime with Large Rifle Primers (probably no need for Magnum unless your load specifically calls for them), charge with powder, seat a bullet, crimp if desired.
Like Paul said, you can just neck size after that, but you need to check trim length after every firing.
Everybody makes good dies, I own Lyman, RCBS, and Lee and wish they all were Lee. Buy the three die Pacesetter .308 from Midway or Natchez for about $20. It has a separate crimp die, so you'll never worry about bulging the shoulder of your cases by seating and crimping with the same die. It will include load data and a neat little dipper for starter loads.
I use the Lee auto-prime for priming but any priming tool will work.
I use Lee case trimmers, it's two parts, the cutter and lock stud (about $6) and the shell holder and guide (about $6.) The cool thing about it is it tells you if your shell is too long and then you can trim it. I lhave a Lyman universal trimmer and wish I had never bought it.
Natchez seems to be your best bet right now for powder, I use 4064 for .243, .308, .30-06, but there are plenty of good powders.
I am seriously thinking of getting one of those Scouts from Savage, so please let us know how it shoots. The best price I've been quoted is $439-is that in the ballpark?
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Old September 22, 1999, 12:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the good info. Sometimes it is a little hard to tell from the catalog if a die set includes all that you need. Will probably start with brass that has already been fired thru my rifle but will probably move to new brass once that brass is wore out so thanks for the info on when to full length resize vs neck resizing.

I bought my scout used (said 40 rounds thru it, no reason not to believe him from the excellent condition of the rifle) with a Burris 2.75X scope on it for $400 (he wanted $450 but I had $400). Think I got a pretty good deal on it.

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Old September 23, 1999, 05:35 PM   #5
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Carbide and Titanium Nitride dies for straight-wall cases require no lubrication more from their short bearing surfaces, than from the low-friction nature of the carbide or Ti-Ni.

I've used a .30 Carbine carbide die and trust me, if you don't lube the cases, you'll have one stuck within 10 repetitions of the exercise.

If you get carbide or Ti-Ni dies for full-length sizing a bottleneck cartridge, count of using case lube. You'll need less, and it will be easier to cycle the handle (a bit less friction).

If your .308 dies have neither a carbide neck expander, nor a long cylindrical type, you will also need a neck lube device. The button-type expander balls can pull the entire neck forward a few thousandths (changing the angle of the last bit of the shoulder) if the friction gets too great.

The collet die truly works without lube because it applied radial pressure inward after all insertion motions (into a roomy collet) have ceased. Totally different mode of operation.


Feel free to post additional questions. The crew here at TFL will keep you in the ways of truth and righteousness.

[This message has been edited by Cheapo (edited September 23, 1999).]
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Old September 28, 1999, 11:40 AM   #6
Alan B
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Lube the cases, It beats having to knock a stuck case out of the die after its got stuck and you have riped the rim off the case. Its also means not risking a bent depriming pin on a lee since it also can be used as a stuck shell extractor. I like the spray on lube from RCBS or Dillion. buy the three die pace setter.
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Old September 28, 1999, 01:15 PM   #7
Bill Hebert
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I tried the Dillon spray lube Saturday night for the first time. I've used several products before such as the Lee case lube. Believe me - the Dillon stuff is the greatest. I'll never use anything else. It's fast and coats the entire brass with next to no effort. I have Dillon and Lee dies and so far the Lee die are hard to beat for the money -but here in a humid environment they rust pretty easily. The Dillon dies have yet to have a speck of rust.
Good luck and happy reloading.
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Old September 28, 1999, 07:23 PM   #8
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Best to ALL!
1. You will not ever be able to full length size with no lube.

2. You will stick a case at the worst possible time neck sizing with full length dies.

3. Carbide rifle dies are great if you use them for their intended purpose.

4. If you use Dillon DCL "I do" make sure that you wait at least the five minute obligatory period.

5. Since this is going to be your first rifle
reloading venture get something and work with it and have fun!

Pay attention, read, ask questions, have fun and most of all be safe!

Hank Lampe
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Old September 29, 1999, 10:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. I'll be back after I receive my order and am ready to get started.

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