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Old June 23, 2012, 08:20 AM   #1
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new dies

I am looking to buy some new .45acp carbide dies now the question is which one so I thought I would ask some of you guys here for input from what you already have good bad or indifferent
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Old June 23, 2012, 08:38 AM   #2
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Dies are dies. Loud personal opinions aside, there isn't enough average difference in how any of them work to matter. And I don't think any new non-carbide .45 ACP dies have been made for the last 30 years or so.
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Old June 23, 2012, 08:46 AM   #3
Misssissippi Dave
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If you are loading on a progressive press Dillon and Hornady dies probably will work better. They have a bit of a taper to reduce problems you can run into with a progressive. That aside, if you load with a turret or single stage, just about any carbide die set should work just fine.
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Old June 23, 2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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Hornady has the best lock rings, the sliding bullet sleeve is a great feature, and the TiNi coating on the sizer makes sizing even the 454Casull effortless.

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Old June 23, 2012, 09:12 AM   #5
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I have Lee, RCBS, Hornady, and Lyman dies, they are all fine, but I usually get Lee when buying new just because they are almost half the price of the others. I do not like my RCBS 454 Casull dies because the bullet seater puts a huge gouge in lead bullets. The same bullets used in my Lee 460 S&W dies go in without any mark.
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Old June 23, 2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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They all make good ammo but there are differences. It will take your own personal experience to decide which you ultimately like best. Unless you are a follow the crowd type guy nobody else can make the choice for you which is "best". As far as dies being all the same...laugh hard.

My preference is Lyman. They have the multi stage expander and provide two bullet seats...flat and round nose. Sure, FN & RN work in either seat but its nice having the correct seats. This make bullet insertion easier and lines up the bullet straight in the case for seating. In my experience the 32 caliber pistol rounds are less tedious with this type expander...not critical for quality ammo but it makes MY reloading easier. Hornady Stage II dies have the floating seater that lines up the bullet but their expander is a one stage like most others. The last set of Lymans I bought 3 weeks ago (Lyman in & Hornady out) has a one piece decaping pin instead of a seperate pin screwed/clamped into a shaft. The solid appears to be way stronger than others. Haven't used them yet so can't speak from experience with this decap.

There's a difference here but it depends on whether you appreciate the features or not. I happily pay the upcharge for Lymans (and others) compared to the cheapest dies. If reloading the cheapest way possible is your guidline, Lee is your only choice.

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Old June 23, 2012, 07:25 PM   #7
William T. Watts
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(1st) I purchased RCBS dies, the sizing die was steel (purchased a Hornady carbide sizer). The seater was supposed to seat and crimp (didn't work), I purchased a Redding crimp die. When you add up the extras my set of 45 ACP dies turned out to be quite expensive. If I had to do it again I wouldn't purchase RCBS dies for my 45 ACP 1911, apparently I discarded the steel sizing die, no date on the other dies, best guess 15 years old + or -. FWIW I would suggest a separate crimp die, do not try to crimp and seat a bullet in the same operation.. William

Last edited by William T. Watts; June 23, 2012 at 07:48 PM.
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Old June 23, 2012, 10:29 PM   #8
Lost Sheep
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Here's why

I like Lee. Partly because they supply a shell holder with the die. I think it shows class. I don't know what they think.

I also like the powder-through case mouth expander die which operates the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure. The linkage to operate the measure is simple in the extreme.

Since I use a Lee Turret press, the round die boxes the dies came in are nice to have. The dies in their turret, fit in the box along with the shell holder, which, then, is unlikely to be mislaid.

The price is a good incentive, too, but less meaningful to me than the other points.

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Old June 24, 2012, 06:49 AM   #9
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On my 550, I prefer the Lee sizing and seating dies from the 3 die set, with Dillon lock nuts. The sizing die removes any case bulge. The Dillon die doesn't. The seating die has a fine adjustment knob for better adjustment control.
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Old June 24, 2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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The powder thru dies are a "must have" on my bench. Lee definitely is ahead of the others offering this as a standard in their die sets. The shell holder is another plus for sure. I use a turrent and mount RCBS Uniflows on the powder thru.

Again I prefer Lyman's powder comes with the multi stage expander for 7 different calibers and two different length drop stems. They are tall and no adapter is needed to raise the powder measure to clear other dies. Fits most powder measures without an adapter. The Lyman lets you upgrade other die sets without buying addional powder thrus. The downside is you have to change expander calibers (2-3 minutes) and adjust the die between caliber changes. If Lee had the multi stage expander I would consider buying their powder thru die...but they don't. Its another example of paying more and getting more with the Lyman.

Something I didn't post earlier is the die knurling. Lee is the only die mfg I can think of that doesn't do it (-$). Pet peeve for me but others may relate. When I was a single stage reloader and changing dies often, the dies without knurling aggrevated me because at times would slip out of my hand or make adjusting just a little more tedious. Not really an issue with my turrent dies that stay put, but it bothered me enough to appreciate the non slip feature of knurling. I've never see anyone post about this so maybe I'm the only one on the planet who has dropped a slippery die and bounced it off the shop floor.

I give Hornady the thumbs up for ease of adjusting...wrench flats instead of nuts.

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