Are all dies created equal?

Discussion in 'Guns, Ammunition, and Reloading' started by QCDually5.9, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. QCDually5.9

    QCDually5.9 Well-Known Member

    Just running down some prices on afew die sets that I need and noted a range in pricing. Which brings me to wonder. Do any of you note a difference in the various die manufactures? One any better then the other? Not comparing carbide to non-carbide, just set for set. Is there a need to invest in the more expensive sets or is that an area where one could cut the costs of reloading? :shrug:
  2. Wes Ramsey

    Wes Ramsey Well-Known Member

    I don't know if one metal die is really much different than the next, but one thing you pay for with the more expensive ones is customer service. RCBS has top notch service. They will replace lost or broken parts, no questions asked. Scratch your die? They'll tell you how to polish it out or let you send it in to be polished out. Trust me - if you're new to reloading you'll understand why this is important in the very near future. If you're already a reloader then you already know! :up:

    Oh yeah - that said, I don't care for the RCBS lock ring. The little brass machine screw gets deformed too easily and doesn't hold well. I really like Lee's o-ring lock ring. They grip well. When I get a little more free time to reload I'll probably replace all my RCBS rings with Lee's. Just because they're cheap doesn't mean they don't have some good features!

  3. dirtdart

    dirtdart Well-Known Member

    I have two sets of Lee dies. They were both left at my shop by friends who later bought RCBS or Redding. They're not bad for a back-up.

    I love Redding and RCBS dies. I have one set of Hornady .300 WBY Mag "Custom" dies that aren't bad that I bought in a pinch and one set of Lyman .280 Rem dies that were thrown in with a purchase. They were both replaced with RCBS but still on my die shelf.

    That RCBS set screw in the ring is a relatively new thing. Most of mine have a split ring with a screw that draws the ring to the die. You can replace those new-style with old style rings and be better off.

    Redding and RCBS will spoil ya at the bench. No more collet-style button sizers to deal with or yellow powder scoops littering the bench.
  4. Rifleman75

    Rifleman75 Well-Known Member

    RCBS about the best customer service you can get. Had the same problems with the lock rings Wes Ramsey talked about. RCBS customer service sent me new set screws and some small lead shot to put under the screws at no charge. The lead shot lets the screw lock to the die better and you don't have to tighten it as much, so you won't deform the screw.
  5. Lab

    Lab Well-Known Member

    RCBS is the only way to go. The lock rings are there weak link on a otherwise great product.
  6. Wes Ramsey

    Wes Ramsey Well-Known Member

    Seems like I've heard that fix mentioned before. I've got a little shot around and may have to try that before I go replacing all my lock rings! Great idea!
  7. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Well-Known Member

    I've used several different brands of dies including RCBS, Herters, Lee, and Hornady.

    I find that Lee products are at least as good and sometimes better than other lines.
  8. factory909

    factory909 Well-Known Member

    i also give RCBS a thumbs up.
  9. MtIda

    MtIda Well-Known Member

    You may find some dies are as good, but you won't find any better than Wilson or maybe Redding.
  10. Wes Ramsey

    Wes Ramsey Well-Known Member

    I've never used Wilson dies, but if they're anything like their trimmer then they should be TOP NOTCH. That's the best-engineered piece of equipment on my bench.