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 Which 223 die set, RCBS, LEE, Dillon????
beltfedMGs  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 10:59:18 AM EST
New to reloading and theres soo many options, which is best to use for a Dillon 650xl? Its mainly for blastin out of M16 but also for bolt gun. I see Lee makes a 3 die set that says no lube needed, is this a good one or not?
Thanks
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beltfedMGs  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 11:07:57 AM EST
I see that Redding is very expensive, are they worth it? Not particularly worried about cost, just want it to be done right, be able to cranke them out fairly quick without havin to worry about them comin out of adjustment and to last, oh and easy to work with like the no lube needed like lee claims sound nice too.
COSteve  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 11:08:29 AM EST
All .223 dies, whether carbide or not, require lubing to work properly. I think if you call Lee about their Deluxe Rifle die sets you'll find that they say you don't need to lube them if you are collet sizing them. As you should full length resize your ammo when used in an auto loader (AR), that die needs lubed cases to work correctly and smoothly.

There are many good die sets. I use Lee Deluxe Carbide die sets for all my pistol calibers but found that I liked the Dillon steel die set for .223. However, you'll likely get a vote here for every brand of dies made.
ShakenNotStirred  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 11:10:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By beltfedMGs:
I see that Redding is very expensive, are they worth it? Not particularly worried about cost, just want it to be done right, be able to cranke them out fairly quick without havin to worry about them comin out of adjustment and to last, oh and easy to work with like the no lube needed like lee claims sound nice too.


The Redding competition seating die is well worth the cost. As for sizing . . . that's the worst part of reloading 223/5.56 and the part where the die really doesn't do much but what it's supposed to do. I have an RCBS X-Die and it works fine.

I really need to get a Giraud trimmer . . .
beltfedMGs  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 11:14:42 AM EST
I have absolutly nothing but the press for reloading 223 yet, not even the know how. I see in the tutorials it lists all the things i will need but the dies are confusing, i want to buy a set that i know will do the best, last, and not have to be screwed with every 200 rnds. I have been reloading for about 2 weeks and nothin but 45acp and i love it, its like a new hobby in itself but i want to do 223.
COSteve  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 12:38:37 PM EST
Well, my Dillon dies have processed close to 10,000 .223 and I've never had to readjust them. Every 3-4K rounds I take the toolhead off, turn it upside down and squirt some brake cleaner in each die just to keep any gunk from forming.
beltfedMGs  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 12:48:57 PM EST
So Dillon dies are the way to go then or is the caliper dies that much more helpful, and if i get it right, the claims Lee puts that their dies dont need lubed is BS, i still have to lube them?
AeroE  [Moderator]
8/1/2008 1:25:04 PM EST
LEE makes collet sizers in addition to regular full length sizing dies. Collet dies do not need lube because the collet is squeezing the case neck against a mandrel, and the body does not get sized.

The collet dies size the case neck, not the body, and should not be used for cases that will be used in an auto loader.

A regular full length sizer set of Redding dies is about $55, maybe a little more. They are nice dies that will work forever if you take care of them. You do not need neck bushing dies or dies with mikes on top unless you want to load to the most precision possible, but that means doing all the other steps for case prep and so on, too.

For .223 Remington, I recommend you get a two die set with a full length sizer from LEE, Redding, Hornady, Lyman, or Forster. One of these -
www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=184923
www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=434975
www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=592925
www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=440144
www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=507896

and if you insist on crimping and buy one of the two die sets, add this -
www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=456506

Dillon are okay, too, but I'm not going to look up a link.

If you can find an old RCBS set, buy that, but I've seen a bunch in the last few years that have piss poor interior surface finish. The top of the die body has the year the dies were made.
beltfedMGs  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 1:33:50 PM EST
Aero, thanks for the links and info, I dont HAVE to crimp 223? Did i read that wrong?
Brander  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 2:38:46 PM EST
No, you don't have to crimp 223. In fact, I think you will find here that most people don't crimp.
AeroE  [Moderator]
8/1/2008 2:44:00 PM EST
Crimping is optional, and everyone has to decide for themselves whether they will.

Unless you find a crimped load that shoots better in your bolt gun, you definitely do not need to crimp .223 Rem. Now a heavy elephant cartridge is another story.

Zillions of .223 Rem reloads are shot every year in high power competition, and only the tiniest percentage is crimped. I don't know anyone that would, but there is bound to be an aberration out there. You can bet that if a crimp was needed for reliable function or accuracy, a competitive shooter would add it.

ma96782  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 2:50:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By beltfedMGs:
Aero, thanks for the links and info, I dont HAVE to crimp 223? Did i read that wrong?


It's NOT written in stone that YOU have to crimp or not.

YOU do, what YOU want to do.

The military specs a crimp. Their ammo has to under go some very harsh treatment.


To crimp or not?


www.scidetroit.com/bulletseating.htm


_______________________________________________



Re-loading Crimp or Not

More reading on crimps......

Q.
The rifle bullet I'm loading has a crimp groove, but the cartridge length recommended puts the groove out of the case. Should I change the seating length to make the crimp groove line up.

A.
No. Not all rifle cartridges require crimping. The groove on the bullet is positioned for those that need the crimp. If the recommended seating length puts the crimp groove above or below the case mouth, we determined that crimping was not needed. Having the crimp groove above or below the case mouth has no adverse effects on accuracy or performance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q.
I'm reloading 30-30 ammo for my lever-action rifle. Do I need to crimp the bullets.

A.
Yes, crimping is mandatory for ammo to be used in any rifle with a tubular magazine. The pressure of the magazine spring and the vibration of recoil can cause the bullet to "telescope" into the case, resulting in poor feeding and increased pressure. When loading for a tubular magazine rifle, always select a bullet with a crimp groove, and one that has a flat point to prevent in-magazine firing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q.
I bought a reloading die set and there’s a note with the dies that says something like, “Speer does not recommend using their bullets with these dies.” What’s the deal?

A.
Speer never made such a broad recommendation. Speer’s recommendation is: Do not apply a crimp to any bullet that does not have a crimp groove. The die company in question markets a die to produce a “factory crimp” and recommends it be used on any bullet. Speer’s tests, and those by another bullet maker and an independent gun writer, show that crimping a bullet that doesn’t have a crimp groove degrades group size by an average of 40 percent. Other than the crimp die, we have no problem with our bullets in that firm’s dies, although our preference is for RCBS® products.
We express ours thanks to the die maker for allowing us to make contact with so many new SPEER customers.

Taken from.......

www.speer-bullets.com/default.asp?s1=5&s2=30




For a beginner.......I'd say...........

IF the bullet has a cannelure.........crimp it.

IF the bullet doesn't.........then, don't.

LEARN how to use your equipment, first.

Then, after you've gained some experience........I would add.........

Handloading, is part experimentation.

Try doing some rounds with and without a crimp. Find out, what's best for you.

Aloha, Mark



ma96782  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 3:00:42 PM EST
As for die thoughts......

IMHO, they (major mfns) all do an adequate job of producing a product. The DIFFERENCE is mainly with the features.

And.......every MFN can have a "bad die."

I worte this awhile back.........just as a to comment the de-capper/re-size dies.......and you KNOW that bullet seater dies also differ.



It's the design difference between the various mfn that sells or detracts from their product.
______________________________________________

LEE......as was mentioned......is suppose to slide up when the de-capper hits a tough primer. The de-capper rod can also be used as a stuck case remover. The de-capper rod is one piece......you don't have the ability to change pins or just the expander button.

So, If and/or When it breaks or bends.........well buy a new one. Or, call LEE cause you want to use the guarantee (IIRC, 2 years). You will have to wait a couple of days for a new one to arrive in the mail.

Maybe, you should have a spare.........just in case.
_____________________________________________

RCBS and Redding (and some others).......will have a threaded de-capper rod and the pins are just "pins." The pins are held in by friction fit, tightened by the expander button. The pin breaks or gets stuck.......it pulls free of the de-capper rod. Install a new pin. Pins are like $3 for 5 (your actual price may vary). Or, you could go to the hardware store and buy a rod and cut your own.

Then, there is the new "headed" pins......you figure that one out.

The downside is........once in awhile the de-capper rod may end up bending.......nothing lats forever. Especially when you're trying to de-cap a BERDAN case with the rod built for de-capping BOXER primers.

But, there are some folks that complain to RCBS (or whomever) and try to get a FREE replacement. Whatever, it's RCBS's decision (or whomever the manufacturer) to replace parts or not. Limited guarantee or not.

Spare RCBS rods can be purchased for back ups and IF you wanted a carbide expander, they are available as an assembly (from another mfn).

Humm......I don't recall seeing any mfn that offers a carbide expander for the LEE rod.
_______________________________________________

Choose, how you like to do things and which mfn you'll buy from. Choose wisely.




Aloha, Mark
perimedik  [Member]
8/1/2008 4:52:03 PM EST
My Lee FullLength Sizing Die/Decapper has broke twice in a matter of weeks. (Small flash hole breaking the pins). All set up properly. I'm sending it back to LEE for replacement.

Anyone make Titanium Dies/decappers?
AeroE  [Moderator]
8/1/2008 6:05:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By perimedik:
My Lee FullLength Sizing Die/Decapper has broke twice in a matter of weeks. (Small flash hole breaking the pins). All set up properly. I'm sending it back to LEE for replacement.

Anyone make Titanium Dies/decappers?


You don't want a titanium die. You'll get to enjoy all sorts of galling.

And, a ti pin won't necessarily help. The steel pins are probably heat treated to higher strength than possible with titanium, and the stiffness is better by a factor of 2.

The pin in the LEE die should push inside the stem instead of breaking.
threefeathers  [Team Member]
8/1/2008 8:33:32 PM EST
I've loaded 7K of 223 this past year alone for 9 AR's, 4 different makes. From experience I use the RCBS X die small base for sizing. I use a Redding seater for my match Berber bullets, and the Lee seater for my drill and trigger time loads. I also use the Lee crimp for all loads with a cannelure.
p-joseph  [Member]
8/1/2008 8:42:35 PM EST
Get the lee die set, with the collet die(3 die set). You wont need anything else. It is the best general purpose die set out there, it is tougher than all of the other makes. If you want a crimp, get their crimp die its cheap. I have all of the other dies from rcbs to the redding, they have their place but I find using the lee die 95% of the time.
spqrzilla  [Member]
8/2/2008 4:59:46 AM EST
I've seen that beginner reloaders have trouble on frequent occasion with correctly adjusting the collet die - causing frustration and jammed dies - and don't recommend that for beginners as a result.
JonLSU  [Member]
8/2/2008 5:06:04 AM EST
I don't want to jack this thread, just wondering, I only see a couple posts that say use dillon dies. Do many people use them, are they worth it compared to the others?
cuate  [Team Member]
8/2/2008 5:30:42 AM EST
Been reloading .223 quite a while, even before getting an AR, Used Lee full length dies but found chambering problem with Ruger Ranch Rifle (.223) so began to size using ECBS X die and cured problem. The AR didn't chamber cartridges well before I started using the "X" die, Now no problem in any of my rifles chambering,

I have read here on Afr.com that the Dillon die is super, but on the expensive side so I never got around to buying one, I just resize with Lee's and then run them through the
RCBS X die, trim case and no problems.
ShakenNotStirred  [Team Member]
8/2/2008 5:38:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By cuate:
Been reloading .223 quite a while, even before getting an AR, Used Lee full length dies but found chambering problem with Ruger Ranch Rifle (.223) so began to size using ECBS X die and cured problem. The AR didn't chamber cartridges well before I started using the "X" die, Now no problem in any of my rifles chambering,


How much do you find you need to trim (if at all) with your X-Die? I loaded RVOW-prepped USGI brass, and reloaded it once. Will I have to trim before I load it again?
barrysuperhawk  [Member]
8/2/2008 9:17:48 AM EST
I have 4 3 sets of .223 dies now, and hers's what's in my 550 toolhead(s):


Brass processing toolhead:
Lee decapping die with the pin/expander from the .223 size die installed, RCBS lube die, Hornady RCBS X-die Size without decapper installed, Dillon trimmer

Loading toolhead:
Dillon Carbide sizer, Dillon powder drop, either Lee or Hornady Bullet seater [depending on the load] Lee Factory Crimp.

Unknown brass goes through the processing toolhead, brass I fired does not.

If I were to do it again, I would just buy the Dillon set+ carbide and be done with it. Maybe I would add the Lee Factory crimp, but the Dillon crimp works ok, and I don't use the Lee as heavily as I could. All Strange brass would be boxed up and sent to Robert McLeod for processing...
AeroE  [Moderator]
8/2/2008 1:52:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By JonLSU:
I don't want to jack this thread, just wondering, I only see a couple posts that say use dillon dies. Do many people use them, are they worth it compared to the others?


Dillon steel dies are just like any others, they work fine. Their carbide dies for bottleneck cases are very expensive and the only thing they offer is slightly smoother operation. Cases must be lubed anyway.



Originally Posted By p-joseph:
Get the lee die set, with the collet die(3 die set). You wont need anything else. It is the best general purpose die set out there, it is tougher than all of the other makes. If you want a crimp, get their crimp die its cheap. I have all of the other dies from rcbs to the redding, they have their place but I find using the lee die 95% of the time.


The collet die is not good advice for sizing cases for auto loaders. The LEE deluxe set includes the full length sizer, a collet die, and a seater, so it is a pretty good choice for loading auto loaders and bolt guns with different sizing operations.
dryflash3  [Team Member]
8/2/2008 8:33:57 PM EST
I already had RCBS and Hornaday 223 dies when I got my 550.

One set for AR, other for TC pistol.

Bought the Dillon 223 dies with the 550.

1. I never wanted to take them off the 550.

2. Dillon press, Dillon dies just made sense to me.

The Dillon dies have worked just fine, and I'm glad I got them.

Got a Lee decapper today, works great for the cases with smaller than normal flasholes.

Have a batch (400?) of 1K 07, 223 cases with small flasholes.

First 150, the Lee decapper has worked great.
pdg45acp  [Team Member]
8/3/2008 4:21:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By beltfedMGs:
New to reloading and theres soo many options, which is best to use for a Dillon 650xl? Its mainly for blastin out of M16 but also for bolt gun. I see Lee makes a 3 die set that says no lube needed, is this a good one or not?
Thanks




I always match dies to shellholder.

Dillon shellplate=dillon dies.
Brander  [Team Member]
8/3/2008 5:20:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By JonLSU:
I don't want to jack this thread, just wondering, I only see a couple posts that say use dillon dies. Do many people use them, are they worth it compared to the others?


Dillon steel dies are just like any others, they work fine. Their carbide dies for bottleneck cases are very expensive and the only thing they offer is slightly smoother operation. Cases must be lubed anyway.



Originally Posted By p-joseph:
Get the lee die set, with the collet die(3 die set). You wont need anything else. It is the best general purpose die set out there, it is tougher than all of the other makes. If you want a crimp, get their crimp die its cheap. I have all of the other dies from rcbs to the redding, they have their place but I find using the lee die 95% of the time.


The collet die is not good advice for sizing cases for auto loaders. The LEE deluxe set includes the full length sizer, a collet die, and a seater, so it is a pretty good choice for loading auto loaders and bolt guns with different sizing operations.


The collet die is fine for auto loaders, as long as you FLS first. Using the collet die after FLSing can make the neck tension more consistent.
AeroE  [Moderator]
8/3/2008 5:59:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Brander:

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By JonLSU:
I don't want to jack this thread, just wondering, I only see a couple posts that say use dillon dies. Do many people use them, are they worth it compared to the others?


Dillon steel dies are just like any others, they work fine. Their carbide dies for bottleneck cases are very expensive and the only thing they offer is slightly smoother operation. Cases must be lubed anyway.



Originally Posted By p-joseph:
Get the lee die set, with the collet die(3 die set). You wont need anything else. It is the best general purpose die set out there, it is tougher than all of the other makes. If you want a crimp, get their crimp die its cheap. I have all of the other dies from rcbs to the redding, they have their place but I find using the lee die 95% of the time.


The collet die is not good advice for sizing cases for auto loaders. The LEE deluxe set includes the full length sizer, a collet die, and a seater, so it is a pretty good choice for loading auto loaders and bolt guns with different sizing operations.


The collet die is fine for auto loaders, as long as you FLS first. Using the collet die after FLSing can make the neck tension more consistent.


beltfedMG's is loading blasting ammunition for his M-16. You're right, but now we're talking about an extra unnecessary step for his needs.

If he shoots the M-16 like he did his 1919, he really does mean blast; hold the trigger down until the cases and links are too deep to walk through.

beltfedMGs  [Team Member]
8/3/2008 6:09:56 PM EST
Aero, thats how i shoot the M16 as well, i like to melt gas tubes. HA I like meltin barrels on the 1919.
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