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Old December 15, 2008, 01:01 PM   #1
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Best precision .223 dies?

I've recently started reloading .223 ammo for the best accuracy possible, and it's becoming an obsession. I currently have Lee dies, and I'll continue to use those on my Turret press to load plinking ammo, but I want to get a single stage press and some high quality dies for loading precision .223 rounds.

What dies would you guys recommend? I guess I just need a good full length sizer and a competition style bullet seater, either from Redding or Forster? I don't know what crimp would do to accuracy, but I've crimped all the .223 rounds I've made so far just because I've been told it's a good idea to crimp rounds meant for use in an AR.

Thanks guys
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Old December 15, 2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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I use and love Redding dies... That said, I use Lee collet dies when I'm neck sizing as I get better accuracy with them. I still Use Redding for seating and FL.
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Old December 15, 2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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I have a Forster benchrest seater for my .223 loads , all I have ever used for my .223. Many very accurate loads produced using this seating die.

For full length I have a Redding standard die with a carbide neck insert.

I use Lee collet dies when I'm neck sizing as I get better accuracy with them
A few years back I decided to try out the Lee Collet , I figured for money , about 17 bucks - why not? Some of the most accurate loads I have ever fired were neck sized by the Collet die.
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Old December 15, 2008, 04:09 PM   #4
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Yeah I was already leaning heavily toward the Forster seater with the micrometer. The neck sizing die isn't an option, however, since these rounds are for use in an AR.
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Old December 15, 2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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I have been using the RCBS Competition FL die set for my .223 AR-15. I have had great results with it, consistently placing in the top 3 in my last few matches. The micrometer bullet seating die is great and easy to use.
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Old December 16, 2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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If you are going to be loading for an AR There is no die that can compete with the Forster FL sizer The expander ball is set near the neck rather than below near the decapping pin.

For a good explanation of the advantages of this see the Forster site.

If you are going to spend the money on a precision die, then do not negate it by buying a "C" or "O" press. You'll want a press that floats the case.

Forster and Corbin presses do this.
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Old December 17, 2008, 04:11 AM   #7
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+1 for Forster.

I have sets of the Redding and the Forster. Both are great. But the Forster is less expensive. Tom.
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Old December 17, 2008, 07:18 AM   #8
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I too think the Forster dies are about the best you can get. That said, if you have a Lee collet die and want to use it for your AR it will work great, just follow it up with a Redding Body die. The Lee die will give you the most concentric brass you can get and the Body die will size the case body, bump the shoulder back without affecting the neck. If you don't want to do the two step sizing, get the Forster.
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Old December 17, 2008, 08:33 PM   #9
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Redding Type S FL Die with bushing appropriate for your brass.This allows you have control over the neck tension. You need the bushings for your brass being used. An alternative is to get a Redding FL Sizer Die with carbide expander ball

Redding Competition Seater die, or Forster Ultra Seater Each of them are great, the Redding will not work in the Forster Coax Press as it sits too high. They work well if you are loading VLD type bullets for single loading.
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