reloading dies

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by .308 shooter, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter Member

    May 3, 2008
    Okay..... here's the next question of the day. I just bought Hornady the Hornady .308 dies. I went looking for the RCBS competition dies with the micrometer adjustments.

    My question..... Being a complete newbie, should I spend the extra money for the competition dies as ultimate accuracy is my goal, or will the standard dies work. I can take the Hornady dies back as I've not opened them yet.

    What's your opinion..... worth the extra money or not?
  2. jinn

    jinn New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Personally, no. If you are truly a newbie, I suspect you are being misled by someone who sells stuff. Pay close attention to your headspace, first, and accuracy will follow. .308 is inherently a pretty accurate caliber. If you start with used brass, especially GI-fired in full-auto weapons, well........

  3. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter Member

    May 3, 2008
    Thanks...... Do you know anything about the Hornaday dies? Should I consider the standard RCBS over the Hornady?
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I have dies from all the manufacturers you can think of and have only had problems with Lee dies (the only set of dies out of 30+ die sets from various manufactures to rust????).

    But I would buy the RCBS first, simply because their stuff is generally the better choice for cost and quality. If I want a "more precise" die set then Redding or Forester, but frankly, I can not tell the difference between ammo made on any of these dies nor can the guns I have. Maybe othesr can ???? If you gage all your ammo as some do for concentricity and varoius length measurement you may be able to detect differences but for most of us that is not really necessary to get guns accurate enough. I don't shoot bench rest competition so I generally don't employ their techniques. I have tried them but felt I could not benefit all that much with the limits of my shooting abilities and the limits of the guns I own. But mostly because those efforts can be so time consuming for so little gain, at least for me. More practice shooting off the bench would probably gain me more than time spent employing bench rest super detail reloading techniques.

    Each manufacturer has his "thing" in his dies. RCBS offers a line of X-Dies that eliminate regular trimming requirements after the initial trimming. Hornady has an eliptically shaped internal sizer button that makes the sizing effort less (it says here??). Lee has their collet neck sizing die that squeeze the neck on to a mandrel that supposedly makes the loaded ammo more accurate and a sloid depriming rod that is supposedly stronger than the rest of the field. Redding and Forester are expensive and some have a built in micrometer in the seating die for setting up the bullet seating depth. They all make excellent ammo and I see no advantage to one over the other except for my long time criticism of Lee's choice of materials for their innovative products.

    Go with the Hornady's die set.

    I think you may be getting ahead of yourself with your goal of making accurate ammo. That is a fine goal indeed but I think you need a nearer goal of just making ammo consistently that goes bang every time. Once you get to the point that you understand all the details of reloading and how they effect accuracy, and you can make consistent ammo with every reloading session, and what you can do to the ammo to make it better, it is then time to get serious about improving accuracy substantially. "You got to walk before you can run", as they say.

  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    As already stated, you've already got the Hornady dies so go ahead and use them. I've had just as good of luck with Hornady as with RCBS, Redding, and even Lee. Most of my dies are Hornady with a few of the other brands thrown in. I'll buy whatever brand is available as long as the price is right.

    Personally, I kinda prefer the long elliptical expander that Hornady uses and I've outfitted a couple of my RCBS dies sets with the conversion to use the Hornady expander too.
  6. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter Member

    May 3, 2008
    LDBennet.....Thanks, if there's no big difference between the RCBS and Hornady, then I will use the Hornady. They have a rebate program where I get 500 free bullets with a qualified Hornady purchase, which the dies are.

    As far as walking before running......... I'm actually interested in crawling correctly first, but can't wait for the day I get to run. :)

    Thanks Bindernut... I think I'll stick with the Hornady's. Since both of you had the same opinion.
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