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Old April 15, 2007, 08:54 PM   #1
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30'06 dies

Midway has pretty limited customer comments on dies for 30'06, and the prices are pretty wide. I will reload for Garand. I have Redding, Lee, Lyman and RCBS for other calibers, but I am new to reloading this round. What dies do you think are good value? Also, any pet loads for Garand and let me know. Thanks
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Old April 15, 2007, 09:02 PM   #2
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I have used Redding and RCBS for 30-06, both are good, I think the Lee is not bad, anyway, I use their crimping die. I seen then both selling a new dies on eBay for about $30, if that is a good price these days? Most of mine are at least ten years old.
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Old April 15, 2007, 10:15 PM   #3
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I use RCBS and Lee dies for my .30/06. Never had a problem with either. For the Garand I always full-length size. 47.3 grains IMR 4895 with a 150 grain FMJ bullet in Lake City brass is my standard load for M1 Garand. Good for about 2650 fps over my chrony.
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Old April 15, 2007, 11:49 PM   #4
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I'm very happy with Lee dies.
I bought the .223 factory crimp die. Very nice. So I got the .308 win. dies. Full length, bullet seater and the Factory crimp die. $ 17.00 on E-bay.

Just checked e-bay. $ 15.99
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Old April 16, 2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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I've used just about every die available over the last 40+ years.

Today, and for at least the last 15 years, Il buy nothing but Redding. To me, at least, they are MORE than worth the extra cost.

Redding is to reloading equipment what Schmidt & Binder is to scopes.
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Old April 16, 2007, 08:03 PM   #6
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I like RCBS equipment, and their service is great. Whatever brand you choose be sure to go with a "Small Base" resizeing die for the loads that you will be using in your M1 Garand to reduce the chance of a "Slam Fire". HTH


Last edited by ConRich; April 16, 2007 at 08:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 20, 2007, 11:41 PM   #7
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All I use is lee dies no complaints yet. That factory crimp for the 223 is nice
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Old April 21, 2007, 12:10 AM   #8
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You'll need to full length size only for the M-1. I've been using regular RCBS dies for eons with no fuss. Buy dies in your local gun shop. No shipping charges.
The .30-06 loves 165 grain hunting bullets or 168 grain match bullets with regular large rifle primers(you do not need CCI #34 "military" primers) and IMR4064. IMR4064 gives more consistent accuracy than IMR4895.
The rifle was designed to use .30 M1 ammo with its 174.5 grain bullet, not .30 M2 ammo and its 152 grain bullet. So 175 grain Matchkings would be good for distances past 600 yards too. Mind you, match bullets ain't cheap. Any good 150 to 175 grain bullet will work well with IMR4064 or IMR4895.
Slam fires are caused by poorly loaded ammo. Usually high primers. If you use milsurp brass, you'll have to remove the primer crimp before you can re-prime. Use a chamfering tool, it's a one time thing. You'll need the chamfering tool after trimming anyway. There is a primer pocket swager too. You'll have to reduce the load by 10% due to the slightly thicker brass too.
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Old April 21, 2007, 03:12 PM   #9
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Note on the Garand

It is a fine piece of machinery, but is built to operate within a fairly narrow range. DO NOT attempt to make a magnum out of it. Do not use extremely slow powders, and use fast powders with caution. Do not use 180gr and heavier bullets.

Use medium burning powders, and moderate loads. 172/174gr match bullets are the heaviest that should be used. Do not use modern sporting (hunting) ammo, as it is loaded heavier than the original GI ammo. It will work the action violently, and could result in damage.

Full length resizing is a must, but you may not need small base dies. Some guns run reloads ok without small base resizing, others don't.

Stick to GI ammo (ball or match) or handloaded equivalent. Heavier bullets, slower powders, etc. change the gas port pressure and can result in damage like bent op rods or worse. If you want to get the most from a .30-06, use a bolt gun. For the Garand, use what it was built for, only.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old April 23, 2007, 11:31 PM   #10
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What are "small base" dies anyway? I've never heard of them in other calibers.
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Old April 25, 2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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been using the Lee 30-06 springfield for the wifes Garand. came with the factory crimping die. no matter what make you buy, get the Lee Factory Crimping die!
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Old April 25, 2007, 11:38 PM   #12
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I see we are going to have fun trying to figure out what dies to get and if you need a FCD.

I bought a Winny F/W in '06 and the wife hated to see me spending $12.50 on a box of 20 every time I wanted to shoot. She suggested I start reloading. I bought a RCBS kit which came with a set of RCBS '06 dies....back in the early 80's.

A few years later I picked up a DCM Springfield M-1 and used the same dies without problems. Then I had it tuned for a match service rifle in 308. One day it dawned on me I no longer had a '06 M-1 so I ordered a Springfield from the CMP about 3 or 4 price changes ago. (I fricking wish I had bought at least 1 each H&R, IHC and Winchester then too) Any ways I still use those old RCBS '06 dies for the CMP M-1.

Heres a rub though. I shoot John C. Garand matches with my stock CMP M-1. Some matches allow any safe ammo. You can bet I load my own for these matches. I have won money and matches with my reloads.....using those old RCBS '06 dies. Granted a service grade M-1 is not a match service rifle by any stretch and I've also won money and matches when I've had to shoot issued GI ball, but the point count is always higher with my reloads.

There are a couple of things a guy can do to help GI brass shoot a little better. First you will need to swage or cut the primer pocket. I prime with a lee hand primer in order to get good feel. I've found I like the feel of a swaged pocket rather than a cut one. RCBS has a press mounted swage tool for $20 something. If you are going to do a lot of GI brass, the Dillon Super Swage is the only way to go. Lots more $ but worth every penny. (I shoot GI 45, 308 and 223 as well.)

The next thing to do is uniform the primer pocket. I'm old school and have a hand turned uniforming tool, thank goodness they only have to be uniformed once and I'm pretty much done after a 100 rounds or so.

You will need good lube. Imperial sizing wax is good, but I use RCBS case lube 2 as it wipes off with a damp rag. I played with setting shoulders back .002 to .003 on both the 308 match service rifle M-1 and the '06 M-1. I found the best results was to just set the bottom of the die against the shell holder so there was some resistance or cam over on the press when cycling the handle.

I have a Forster trimmer mounted next to my press and after I've sized, I give the trimmer handle a couple of turns and the brass is trimmed to length. I have shot bullets with a crimp groove in '06 and got good results, but I find I'm more likely to use 155 SMK's or the "Palma" bullet. I would expect the 150 SMK would shoot very well too but I have not tried them yet. The SMK's do not have a crimp groove so neck tension alone holds the bullet in place and does so without problems and without a Lee FCD. I've shot Speer 130 gr. HP's in a couple of matches with good results out to 200 yards. Cheap and shot well, still no crimp groove and no need for a FCD.

I use IMR 4064 but I'm going to try some Varget soon. I use standard CCI primers. Stay away from Federal match primers unless your firing pin is sprung. (it's not unless a gun plummer does it) No matter what primer you use, you will see a "dimple" on the primer of a chambered and then ejected round. This is normal and is the reason not to use the Federal's. (By chambered I mean chambered like they are supposed to be chambered and not with the op rod handle eased down like it's going to break or something and not go fully into battery.) Another thing to remember is GI brass is thicker than Comm brass. GI brass in '06 is worth about 2 less grains of powder over Comm brass. GI brass should go 10 reloads without too much trouble but keep an eye on your brass.

If you want the very best in dies, I would then suggest Forster with the Forster Ultra match seating die. The Forster and Redding match seating dies are the same idea but the Forster is built like a truck in a good way.
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