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Old March 3, 2011, 09:02 PM   #1
Join Date: October 21, 2008
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 45

I noticed RCBS now is making some die sets specifically for the AR platform. I have regular RCBS and Lee dies in 223/5.56 and they seem to work with no problems for my AR. Anyone have any thoughts on these new dies? Anyone tried them yet? I'm wondering if its worth the investment. They state that they would be good for a progressive press, it just so happens I'm waiting on my new Dillon 650 to arrive and this has got me thinking.

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Old March 3, 2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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Like yourself, I use regular dies for the AR et al and have never had a problem ever. Been loading the 223 for over 30 years on the same dies.

I too noticed the "New" AR dies. Personally, I just dismissed it as a sales gimmick.
Not knocking RCBS as much of my reloading stuff is green, other than
my Dillon. Congrats on the Dillon, once you get started on it, you will enjoy it.
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Old March 3, 2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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They feature a Small Base sizing die. In many cases some people have needed the small base sizing die for their brass. If you never had the problem you wouldn't understand how important of a die this is.

This die is one of the first things I suggest when you are having problems with your brass fitting the chamber in your AR.
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Old March 4, 2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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Not a sales gimmick, but also not necessary for all AR style rifles and their associated reloads. If your reloads chamber well already, using regular dies, then don't worry about small-base dies. But if they don't work so hot in your rifle, then the AR dies (or small-base dies) are heaven sent.

RCBS has provided the Small-based die sets for years, and they are made for non-bolt action rifles...(pump, semi-auto, and lever actions)...which have chambers within spec, but on the smallish end of the spec. Using them correctly, you will never have chambering problems no matter what your rifle brand is.

I think the "AR" designated dies are an attempt to publicize the purpose for their small-based dies, as well as to preempt problems and lessen the need for call-back support for AR owners using their regular dies. I have to use a small base sizer in my particular Remington R25 (DPMS built) .308 AR. I find that the "overworked brass" accusation is unfounded. We are talking .001" to .002" extra is all, and that's all it takes to make my reloads chamber easily in a gun with a minimum sized chamber.

There are those who advocate grinding a regular sizer's base shorter to allow the case to go in farther...which also sizes the bases smaller...but it also bumps the shoulder back a lot more. To get .002" smaller base that way, the shoulder bumps .004". That extra bumping works the brass more than any small base die, IMO. If your gun needs that much bump, fine, but my chamber sure doesn't.
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Old March 4, 2011, 07:34 PM   #5
Join Date: October 21, 2008
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 45
Thanks for the input everyone. I don't think that I will need the small base dies. I guess some folks do and they are a welcome addition to the bench. Oh by the way I had a nice large box with blue writing on it waiting for me on the porch this evening when I got home from work.....The Dillon has arrived. Assembly will begin first thing in the morning!
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