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Old November 26, 2012, 06:55 PM   #1
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Buying dies

I was browsing a gun show a couple of weeks back, and saw lots of die sets, new and used, some at reasonable prices. They looked similar to the Lee dies I have for my Classic Turret press, but many weren't Lee dies. I know nothing about the other brands out there. What other die sets will work with my Lee press? And if I buy used dies, are there any things I need to look out for?
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Old November 26, 2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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As in all things you buy used, condition is everything. If the die is dirty, it cab be cleaned, rust, bad threads or mistreated locking rings are something else.

I would look for Redding first, then RCBS, and Hornady die sets.
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Old November 26, 2012, 10:12 PM   #3
Lost Sheep
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Pretty much, yes.

There are a few, but very few dies that will not work in anybody's press. Pretty much the entire industry is standardized on the same thread size.

Lyman tong tool uses a proprietary die and one of Dillon's presses uses a particular die set which will not fit any other press, but all the other Dillon presses and dies comply with the rest of the industry.

Now, some die sets do the loading steps slightly differently than others, so if you are going to mix brands within a single set, be sure.

Happy bargain hunting. (Note, even rust can be cured, if it is surface rust. Deep pits or bad sizing die scratches are something else altogether.)

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Old November 27, 2012, 03:07 PM   #4
F. Guffey
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I went to the Dallas Market Hall gun show last week end, I made it worth my time, a dealer had purchases a boxes of reloading equipment, in one of the boxes he had a few die sets, he allowed me to go through one box, I found a die set, opened it and ask “How much?” , he responded with “$5.00 because of condition, anything that looks that bad is $5.00”, I did not need the dies but they were RCBS 44 Remington Magnum dies complete with the washer spacer and two seater plugs, of the three dies the only part of the dies that contact the case is the carbide ring in the full length sizer die, do not have all the small lock nuts broken loose yet. After cleaning the inside of the dies with a towel on a dowel the dies look new (on the outside), a friend offered to sand blast them, I told him I was going to apply the leaver policy, I was going to leave them like I found them.

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