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Old July 30, 2011, 05:57 PM   #26
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"My question is what's the difference is between die manufactuers?"

Looks and cost; like with women the pretty ones don't work any better but they are more expensive. Dies are all made to produce ammo to SAMMI specifications and that's about all we can ask. Some folks like one small thing (like lock rings) and others like the opposite, but, fact is, on average, a talented loader can make excellant ammo with any of them while a poor loader can't make good ammo with any of them.
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Old July 30, 2011, 06:43 PM   #27
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I have a bunch of Lee dies. Thier lock nuts are OK by me, in fact, I buy extras to use in certain circumstance (crowded turrets, ...). I get an FCD for most any caliber I work with. I do NOT buy any of thier sets anymore.
That false economy statement rings Sooo true. The Lee shellholders fit like crap, for that matter the RCBS shellholders can live somewhere else also.
Hornady is the go-to for shellholdes & seating dies. I really like the Hornady sliding guide seating dies. I bought thier New Dimension 30-30 set.
I got a nice price on a Lyman Argentine Mauser set, but would probably not spent for the brand otherwise.
I have many RCBS sets, and trade out most positions for other brands as I find preferance.
I expect to spend too much on a Redding 2-carbide .45Colt sizer before long.
I also am going for the Dillon 2-carbide .357 Sig sizer.
Those last 2 calibers will be mix & match for all die positions.
No brand loyalty here. What ever gets the best job done for reasonable cost (in most instances anyway).
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Old July 30, 2011, 09:49 PM   #28
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How could I forget the 390? (slapping forehead). FE motors rule, had a couple myself. Damn few folks can tell a 360 from a 390 (or a 352, don't get me started on the 361, 391 and 428). Call it what you want, I won't tell.
And yes, our choices are influenced by tastes and experience. I hesitate to say I don't like Lee dies because I'm a big fan of so many of their products and Richard Lee's reloading manual is a must-read for serious loaders, IMHO. Some folks love their dies and I'm OK with that. I just happen to prefer RCBS and Redding dies. Almost any die will last forever and I can afford to spend a little more to get dies I like.
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Old July 30, 2011, 10:18 PM   #29
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I think any brand will get the job done. Each one seems to have their own preference. When I started off I bought the brand I grew up on and never switched, I am one of those loyal ones to the brand and thats all I buy and they do their job and the brand is RCBS.
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Old July 31, 2011, 01:12 AM   #30
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I prefer RCBS ,no issues with them,I bought 1 Lee die set and had nothing but trouble(Lee customer service just tried to insult me and wouldn't admit that it could possibly be their die, which all mfg will have from time to time),I have a Hornady 357Sig set that I like (more than the RCBS set).May buy more Hornady's in the future.
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Old July 31, 2011, 08:36 AM   #31
Peter M. Eick
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After a lot of dies and a few replacement dies, I have come to the following conclusions.

Pretty much you can make reasonable ammo with any manufacturers dies.

The difference is the ease and pride of ownership with the different manufacturers.

I find it "easier" to get good ammo right off the bat "in general" with say Redding, RCBS and some Herter's dies. I find that with Lee I have to overcome some of their "features" to get good ammo and sometimes I have had to replace dies multiple times to get the right "features" I wanted. For example I have 3 sets of 357 Sig dies. I found the RCBS did not resize the case enough but had a great seater. I found the Dillon was carbide and resized the case. The Lee expander worked great in the sig, but that was replaced by the Hornady expander and powder drop. I do use the lee FCD in the sig but I yanked the die lock ring off so I could put on a hornday clamping ring.

So buy the tool that makes you happy and then learn to work with it.

Dies are cheap. I no longer even adjust mine much. It is easier to just by another set and adjust them once. I have a set for 38 special, another for 357 magnum and a third for 357 maximum. Why reset them when for $40 you can get another set and adjust them just so and lock and leave them alone.

I will add this. I find Lyman dies to be very roughly finished. They work but they do offend my sense of quality. Their "M" die is good though.
10mm and 357sig, the best things to come along since the 38 super!
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Old August 1, 2011, 09:02 PM   #32
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I have Lee Collet sets for all my bolt guns. Neck sizing 303 British with Sierra 174 bullets will make an Enfield SING. Could not believe the accuracy improvement. They are good stuff IMO.
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Old August 2, 2011, 02:53 AM   #33
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That false economy statement rings Sooo true. The Lee shellholders fit like crap, for that matter the RCBS shellholders can live somewhere else also.
I couldn't agree more, with the Lee shell holders. They are the least consistent, least concentric, pieces of crap I have in my shell holder drawer. I only keep them around, because I have some very old brass, that doesn't always work in shell holders designed to handle SAAMI spec brass. (Really says something about Lee's tolerances and "precision"....)

But... As you said, RCBS isn't too far ahead. They work, but are still inconsistent.

I, too, have found Hornady shell holders to be my go-to brand. They are consistent, concentric, fit the case better, and fit the press better. However, they often have a small lip around the decapping/priming bore hole. It has to be ground down (or polished), if you don't want it marring case heads.

I haven't used enough Redding or Lyman shell holders to decide where they fit in the food chain.
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