Does anybody make carbide RIFLE dies...

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by polishshooter, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Started shooting my new RRA AR, and am about to start reloading...

    But with the AR, I can contemplate shooting (and having to reload) almost as many rounds as I did with my .45, rather than any of my rifles.

    Single stage presses, and loading 20 rounds at a time my be GREAT for a bolt gun, but I envision loading 100 or more rounds at a time, and shooting as many...

    Does ANYBODY make carbide dies for the .223/5.56 so I can use my turret press and not have to lube the cases like I do with my other rifle dies?
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Yes, someone makes them but they do not alleviate the need for sizing lube so their usefullness is questionable. They might make sizing easier but there are few rifle cartridges that I reload for that I think take excessive pressure to resize. The case shoulder makes carbide dies tough to make and expensive. Handgun carbide dies for straight walled cases only have a ring of carbide at the base of the die whereas rifle carbide dies might have to be solid carbide or some other design that is really too expensive for popular consumption. The ones available are expensive and really meant for automatic reloading machines for wear reduction purposes, not lube free reloading as with handgun cartridges. At least that is my understanding.

    The trick is to make lubing an easy task. I use the old fashioned RCBS pad and RCBS liquid lube. I pickup the brass to be reloaded, roll it across the pad for one revolution and place it in the press for sizing. I tried spray lubes and they are messy and don't work for me. The RCBS lube is water soluable so each finished case is wiped down with a damp rag and rolled on a dry towel. That step allows me to inspect each finished round during the wipe down.


  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    +1 to LD's advice, i use lymans 'ink' pad as i like to call it, and lymans case lube. I lubed that thing with a 2 oz. bottle of case lube over a year ago and its still wet and lubing cases, a little goes a long way.
  4. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Pacific NorthWest

    I had no idea my Lee rifle dies were not carbide...

    I've been reloading the 30-30 cases in my lee full length resizer dies,
    and not lubing them at all, just do a cleaning of the case.

    None got stuck though and they seemed to go in and come out really easy.

    Did I just get lucky?

    Or are 30-30 cases just much easier to resize than other cases?
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Yikes! :D

    The 30-30 case has a good taper to it and yeah it'll resize pretty easily in a good solid press...even if you forget to lube. The taper works such that once it's fully seated in the die it doesn't have far to back off enough to freely come out of the die. You were still lucky though.

    Yup, I've forgotten to lube a case or two before...and the only one I've stuck so far was a 25-06 which has a lot less taper than the ole 30-30 does. Knock on wood! :eek:
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    YIKES AGAIN!!! try that with a .30-06 or a 7.62X54R you will be beating it out with a punch and a hammer...
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    A couple of years ago, my neighbor borrowed my 30.06 dies. This was his first try at reloading rifle rounds and did not know you had to lube them. The very first case got stuck and he had to heat the die and use a punch to get the case out. I was at work and did not know until he asked me a couple of days later why that would happen.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  8. qajaq

    qajaq New Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Wow!!! With your kind of luck you should be playing the lottery. Or maybe whatever you're cleaning them with is quite slippery? I would definitely start lubing them though.
  9. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Pacific NorthWest

    For my 30-30's I have the Lee Deluxe die set.

    It has the collet sizer, full length sizer, and bullet seater.

    On the instructions, it specifically says "No case lube required"

    So, are these carbide?

    Taken from the Lee Precision website:

    No case lubrication required
    Reduced or eliminates case trimming
    A ten times increased case life
    Unmatched speed and convenience
    Minimum bullet runout
    Most uniform neck tension

    I know I spent more for these, as well as having to get the
    factory crimp die and mouth expander dies seperately.

    I had Lee case lube, but I thought I remembered not needing to lube the cases.

    For my 7.62x54r when I start reloading those, I'll definitely be lubing up
    the cases before I start using the RCBS dies.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    OK! Collet dies are completely different. They size only the neck and they do NOT do it by forcing the brass into a smaller hole and pulling it back to size with an expander button like RCBS dies and the full length sizer you got in the same Lee box.

    A collet die sizes by squeeze horizontally in on the neck agains a rod in the center of the die. There is no pushing and pulling of the brass case in a small hole. The collet just pushes the case in against an undersize rod. The brass case then springs out, as brass does, to the correct size. NO sizing lube is required with the collet die.

    The collet die works fine but it only sizes the neck. You may eventually find that after many reloadings the cases no longer fit the chamber easily and you will have to use the Lee full length sizer die WITH lube. Also ammo reloaded by neck sizing only MAY NOT fit other gun's chambers, so it should only be used for one gun's ammo.

    The collet die is an excellent design and only the materials, that Lee chooses to use, make it less stelar. Since they apparently use exactly the same alloy of steel in the die body and the collet, at least in the 20 year old versions I have, the two gall each other and eventually the die becomes balky in allowing a case to be reloaded into the collet. All it takes is a bit of stoning to remove the galling but the correct choice of materials would have made my collet dies meet their design criteria over time. Later dies MAY have overcome that problem (??). Other Lee collet designs like the Lee Factory Crimp die suffer the same problem, at least my early examples do.

    Note: Like materials gall when run against each other. Any engineering student should know that.

  11. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    I don't know of any full length resizing rifle dies that don't require lube, I wish somebody could make some. There are some options like the RCBS lube die that will lube the cases for you and the X-die that will only require you to trim the brass one time and not have to trim again. I have never used those two dies but have seen some good reviews on them. I use the Lee Pacesetter dies set. It has a FL sizing die, bullet seater and factory crimp die. I also load 223 for a RRA AR 15. I load on a Lee classic turret and after case prep can load around 250 per hour. I have been using Hornady One Shot spray lube without any problems.
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