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Old February 21, 2005, 06:25 AM   #1
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your choice for dies in .223

I'm thinking about reloading for my AR and can't make up my mind on which

dies to buy for my Dillon 550B. I'm sure Dillon's dies are good, but are they

worth the price? I see others that say they cause very little case stretch

(less trimming would be a good thing) don't know if these would be ok for a

semi-auto. This is not (nor will it ever be) a national match gun. Just looking

to reload training/plinking ammo.

OL guys/gals, help narrow down the confusion.
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Old February 21, 2005, 10:33 AM   #2
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I don't know of any other source for CARBIDE .223 dies

than Dillon. It pained me to do it (especially because, while I hemmed and hawed, the price went up), but I coughed up the bucks for the Dillon sizing die.

I already had a full .223 die set; if you haven't gotten any dies, a full Dillon set may be even more efficient. Anyhow, I use the carbide die in the Rock Chucker to size and deprime the cases. It's an extra step, but really reduces case stretch and wear. I also use the spray sizing lube sparingly; no messy lube pads for me! Even carbide needs some lube on rifle cases.

I then run the cases through the 550, using the conventional die set and a Lee crimping die, set rather light.

Good luck!
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Old February 21, 2005, 01:11 PM   #3
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I have a set from redding. The set came with a full length S type resizer and a compation seater. I use a titainum bushing at about .241" I've put moly fusion in the die so now all i do is clean the case in a tumbler and size them with out lube and works great. I have been doing this for about a 1000 cases without even coming close to getting a case stuck in the die. As for the seater, the numbers on it make it very easy to switch to a different bullet at a different seating depth. There customer service is great. The decaping pin and rod got bent, and i just emailed them and they sent my a new rod and about 6 pins. There the only brand i'll use from now on. Oh, did i mention that they make accurate reloads? ha
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Old February 24, 2005, 07:54 PM   #4
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I have the match Hornady set. The match sizer/decapper has a neck bushing like the Redding. The sizer ball is eliptical so it is very smooth and easy on the case necks. The seater acepts Hornady's micrometer seating stem. This allows you to adjust the seating depth by .001 increments. and the seating stem can be used in other Hornady seating dies. This makes experimentation and setup pretty easy. The advantage for the Redding sizer/decapper with the neck bushing is that Midway stocks them. Redding makes nice dies (except for their worthless locking rings - another advantage to Hornady dies, their lock rings are much nicer) so I think either would be good choices.

I'm not familiar with Dillon dies. I don't know if it applies to their rifle dies, but I've heard that some don't like them because the mouth of the die is too open so it doesn't size as far down the case as it should. A carbide rifle die does sound nice.

Good luck!
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Old February 25, 2005, 12:14 AM   #5
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I prefer the Redding "Pro" series dies to the Dillon dies in my XL650. Redding makes these dies especially for progressive reloaders, and IMHO, Redding dies are the best production dies that can be had.

I've tried them all over the last 41 years, and now I buy nothing but Redding. Having said that, I must admit that Lyman, RCBS and C-H also make excellent dies. I just like the Redding dies better.
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Old February 25, 2005, 12:50 AM   #6
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I have the RCBS and couldn't be happier.
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Old February 25, 2005, 08:04 AM   #7
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your choice for dies in .223

My choice for dies in .223, in order of preference:
I kept getting STUCK CASES with the Hornady sizing die. It went back to Hornady, was polished and now is "OK"?
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