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Discussion Starter #1
What is a sizer carbide die? I've seen the boxes before, but never paid that much attention. I was looking on ebay and they have a 357/38sp sizer carb die set. Is it just what they are calling the carbide dies now? I have a 38sp die set, (yes I know it can be used with 357, but it doesn't say so on the box) and a non carbide 357/38sp set. I use the carbide die to resize the brass for both and that leaves me sets I don't have to adjust. But I don't know why they are called sizer carbides now?

Just remember the only dumb question is the one unasked:D
 

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Sounds like folks that think steel pistol dies are still popular are trying to talk up the value of something they know nothing about.
 

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Keep in mind that in a "carbide dies set" only the sizer die (resizing/decapping die) has the carbide insert in it. It is normally called a carbide sizing die.
The rest of the dies in the set, seater & expander, are still just plain ole steel dies.

Also keep in mind the source too. It's always fun to browse the flea-bay listings to see the creative spellings and descriptions of items.
Some of my best bargains have been from typo'd listings. A lot of folks don't search for mispelled items so many times those listings get fewer views and thus fewer bids.
Next best source is from listings of stuff that the seller has absolutely no clue what it is or what it is worth.
 

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To answer your question:

Regular steel sizing dies are made of tool steel. When you use them they need a sizing lubricant (RCBS, Hornady, Etc.) or the case will stick in the die which is very difficult to get out.

Carbide sizing dies are tool steel but have a carbide ring in the base of the die that does the sizing. For pistol calibers (straight wall cases) no lube is required. This makes reloading go much faster.

Today carbide dies are the norm for virtually all straight walled pistol calibers.Rifle sizing dies gain nothing with the use of carbide because the cases are not straight walled and the top part of the die does some shaping of the case. To make the entire die out of carbide would be too expensive. Only Dillon makes a rifle carbide sizing die and it still has to use lube.

My first reloading experience was in the early 1960's. The pistol dies were plain steel. I did not reload again until the mid 1980's. In that interval carbide dies had become the norm for all straight wall pistol calibers. Almost without a doubt any non-carbide pistol dies you see for sale today are very old (40 years or more).

In addition the older pistol dies, as I recollect, did not give a tight fit of the bullet to the case (no neck tension). Only the crimp held the bullet in. Today's die sets use neck tension and the crimp to hold the bullet in . This gives a more complete ignition of the powder as the bullet resist initial movement more than in the older designs. That increases the accuracy.

LDBennett
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so its just a regular set then. Thats kinda what I thought. When I started reloading about 6 or 7 years ago, I bought my 2 sets off ebay. The first set was a 357/38sp set and found out the hard way they were plain old steel. Then I found a 38sp set (thats all it says on the label) that was carbide. Both RCBS green boxs on both. I use the carbide die from the second set to resize both so I don't have to lube anything. and then leave both sets set up for the bullets I used the most with each caliber.

While I was on ebay last night, I found a RCBS "sizer carb" set in a gray box. I figured that it was a regular set just newer, but wanted to be sure
 

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I picked up a set of 38 spl dies off flea bay. The picture showed an old green box but you could still make out the part #. I looked it up and found that they were steel. I got the 3 die set for 7.50, shipping included. They're a bit different than my carbide set, the decapper and belling stem is aluminum and in one die and the sizer is alone. My carbide set has the decapping stem in the sizer and the belling stem in the 2nd die.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I picked up a set of 38 spl dies off flea bay. The picture showed an old green box but you could still make out the part #. I looked it up and found that they were steel. I got the 3 die set for 7.50, shipping included. They're a bit different than my carbide set, the decapper and belling stem is aluminum and in one die and the sizer is alone. My carbide set has the decapping stem in the sizer and the belling stem in the 2nd die.
yep, thats the set I have. OLD. size first, then decap and bell. I think my set was upgraded though. The sizer is carbide and does say 38sp/357mag on top of it. and it has threads that the decap could have been screwed into. My 357 set is all steel, and same set up. size then decap and bell.
 

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As long as I have been actively reloading (since about 1986) pistol dies have always included the depriming pin. But I am aware that it was done differently earlier than that. I have no idea when they changed (??).

LDBennett
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As long as I have been actively reloading (since about 1986) pistol dies have always included the depriming pin. But I am aware that it was done differently earlier than that. I have no idea when they changed (??).

LDBennett
It does have the depriming pin, just in the ball expander die. Just goes to show, how old my dies are
 

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Whenever I've bought used dies, I'll always ask to see a pic of the sizer die first. You can distinctly tell the carbide insert ring if it's carbide. The RCBS pistol dies in the grey boxes are all carbide sizing dies to my knowledge. The older green boxes would state CARB, CARBO or CARBIDE on the label if the set had a carbide sizer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Whenever I've bought used dies, I'll always ask to see a pic of the sizer die first. You can distinctly tell the carbide insert ring if it's carbide. The RCBS pistol dies in the grey boxes are all carbide sizing dies to my knowledge. The older green boxes would state CARB, CARBO or CARBIDE on the label if the set had a carbide sizer.
Well sure, now you tell me:D Where were you 6 years ago when I didn't know my @$$ from a hole in the ground? Wait, I still don't know:D
 

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Appliancedude:

Sorry but I meant that the de-priming pin was in the sizing die in my first dies from about 1986 so that you would size and de-prime in one step.

As an aside the Dillon family of progressive presses, whose lineage was the RL450 through today's RL550B, could not use die sets where the de-priming pin was not in the sizing die since the first station is the priming station. The Dillon's design requires you de-prime and size on the down stroke of the handle and seat a new primer in the sized case on the up stroke, all in the first station. I've had an RL550B new since about 1986. The RL450 was before it so I assume it was from the 1970's (??). That makes me believe the change in sizing dies occurred between the late 1960's to the late 1970's. I have no idea who started it or why. It is hard to believe that Dillon at the time forced RCBS and others to this new design (de-priming in the sizing die). Perhaps it was the turret presses of an even earlier era that forced the de-priming into the sizing die (??). The turret presses design is much older than progressive presses.

LDBennett
 

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yep, thats the set I have. OLD. size first, then decap and bell. I think my set was upgraded though. The sizer is carbide and does say 38sp/357mag on top of it. and it has threads that the decap could have been screwed into. My 357 set is all steel, and same set up. size then decap and bell.
I'm curious as to what the threads are for in the sizing die. Mine is the same just steel.
 

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I'm curious as to what the threads are for in the sizing die. Mine is the same just steel.
to thread the decapping pin into
 

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to thread the decapping pin into
My decapping pin is in another die with the belling stem. The sizing die does just that but has threads in the top of it.
 

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My decapping pin is in another die with the belling stem. The sizing die does just that but has threads in the top of it.
I follow you; you may have two dies from different sets, or they may have made it to switch if you did want to decap with the sizer as is most usually the case. Never can tell with some of the older dies.

Do you mind posting some pics, alot of folks may not have seen what you're describing.

Thanks HnM
 

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I follow you; you may have two dies from different sets, or they may have made it to switch if you did want to decap with the sizer as is most usually the case. Never can tell with some of the older dies.

Do you mind posting some pics, alot of folks may not have seen what you're describing.

Thanks HnM
I don't know how to post pics but if you go to this link, these are identical to what I have. The only difference is on the box in the pic it has an 08 on the bottom right side of the tag and mine say97. It's been so long since I've used these that after pulling them out I remembered that the body of the die that has the decapping pin and belling stem, is aluminum.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCBS-38-Spe...887?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2323eae897
 
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