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View Poll Results: What best dies out there?
Forster 8 34.78%
Lee 6 26.09%
RCBS 9 39.13%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 21, 2010, 09:24 AM   #1
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Forster Dies ???

Ok Iam getting into rifle shooting. I have loaded some high power stuff mainly 7mm-08 with lee dies. Now i have built a custom 243. Need to get setup to load for it. I was thinking off getting better dies than just the plain old Lee dies. Are Forster dies worth the money I will also need a new single stage press. should I still with Lee or go for something else?
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:31 AM   #2
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It really depends on what kind of die you are looking for. If you are just looking for normal dies then RCBS is the way to go. If you are looking for Target type dies then thats gonna change things. I have a forster seating die that tries to ruin my bullets by cutting a ring around them.
If you need bullets for reloading give my website a look.
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:58 AM   #3
Dave P
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forster is very good equipment.
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Old July 21, 2010, 10:12 AM   #4
William T. Watts
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Forster bench rest dies are probably what your referring to, and yes I think you get what you pay for. My personal opinion is there isn't much difference between the standard die sets I.E. RCBS, Redding, Forster, Lyman, you need to spend the extra bucks and go to bench rest quality to tell the difference. William
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Old July 21, 2010, 10:15 AM   #5
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Yes I will be doing mostly target shooting. Out to about 500 yards so trying to get all i can out the rifle.
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Old July 21, 2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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I assume you will be doing neck sizing for maximum accuracy? For that, get the Lee Collet Die. A British target shooting rag did tests that showed it is least prone, among all brands of neck sizing dies, to pulling the case necks off-axis of all the neck sizing dies. (To be fair, the new Redding sleeved neck sizing die was not available then. I don't know how it compares?) Lee may not be much on finish, but their products are often innovative and can work very well. The Collet Die yields straight neck-sized cases mainly because it uses a mandrel to for the neck to. That also prevents formation of the "dreaded donut" so you never need an inside neck reaming tool to clean out donuts.

Get a Redding Body Die to use in conjunction with the Lee Collet Die to push the shoulders back 0.001". That improves accuracy by giving the case just a little bit of self-centering room. You will need a case comparator gauge (either the Hornady LNL or an RCBS Precision Mic) so you can see the amount of shoulder setback you get as you make your adjustments.

Get either a Forster or Redding Competition type seating die. The latter is the only one I have experience with and it significantly reduced finished cartridge runout for me. I understand the less expensive Forsters will, too, but don't have personal experience with them.

If you are not planning to switch to an arbor press die system, like the Wilson, then consider getting a Forster Co-ax press. It has immense commonality among match winners who reload. It floats the dies to let them self-align with the case, which tends to produce very straight ammunition, whatever dies you are using.

If you are full-length sizing for magazine feed, the Lee sizing dies are something you should hang onto. They are the only ones I am aware of that are final finished by honing, which makes them perfectly round. I like to polish them with Dico Stainless Steel type buffing compound, then soak them 72 hours in Sprinco's Plate+ Silver to add a semi-permanent lube.

For primer seating, the cat's meow, IMHO, is the K&M Markel tool with gauge option. I don't know any other system that lets you feel a definite anvil contact in the bottom of the primer pocket, then measure the compression of the primer pellet afterward. Federal recommends 0.003" deeper than anvil contact for large rifle primers and 0.002" for small primers. This sets the bridge across the pellet between the cup and anvil to a nominal value. I find this practice produces lower velocity extreme spreads than the standard benchrest practice of merely touching the anvil feet down on the bottom of the pocket. This matters mostly to long range shooting.

If you haven't done so yet, read Dan Newberry's site on a systematic approach to finding best loads. Newberry will tell you that you don't need any of the special equipment just mentioned. That's usually correct, but I've found exceptions. You can usually get a gun in good condition down to 1/2 moa without the special gear. Once you try to get smaller than that is when it starts to tell. Again, though, there are exceptions.
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Last edited by Unclenick; July 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM.
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Old July 21, 2010, 11:33 AM   #7
Tex S
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Don't forget about Redding dies.
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Old July 21, 2010, 11:45 AM   #8
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Forster, Redding and RCBS all make high-end BR dies that will work very well
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Old July 22, 2010, 02:41 AM   #9
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I have not tried the collet type dies and will concede there may be something for me to learn.
Ilike Forsters because the expander ball is high up on the decapper,near the case shoulder.This maked pulling the case over the ball effortless,as the press leverage is better.IMO,it also better controls concentricity as the case is more supported and the ball is on a more rigid,centered part of the stem.
I also like the Forster sleeve seater.
I personally think Reddings are a higher quality conventional die set,,and they offer exotics,like bushing dies and micro seaters with sleeves.
But,frankly,the cheapest Lee set will make fine ammo,no problem.
RCBS is just fine,and one advantage they have is distribution.bend a decap pin or spindle,you might find a spare at wally world.
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Old July 22, 2010, 10:55 PM   #10
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My favorite process is Lee Collet die to de cap and size the neck.
Then seat a bullet with a Forster seating die with the sliding sleeve.

Sometimes I have to full length size.
I like Forster FL dies with the neck honed out to my specification by Forster.
I can hone necks, but they have Hardinge collet lathes, and all I have is gunsmithing lathes.
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Old July 23, 2010, 03:43 PM   #11
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"Get a Redding (or Forster) Body Die to use in conjunction with the Lee Collet Die .... either a Forster or Redding Competition type seating die."

Ditto. Nothing by any other threaded die maker is worthy of consideration for those with a truly accurate rifle.
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Old July 23, 2010, 09:10 PM   #12
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Just make sure they wear cross-bolt lock rings like Forster or Hornady.

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