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Any recommendations for new dies. Looking at the Lee set for a 454, but I am cautious about the crimp die. Do I need to buy the extra crimp die, or does the seating die in the 3 die set work fine. Hornady, Redding, and RCBS all have dies as well and I have not counted them out, I just like the price of the Lee dies. Any advice??
 

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Hey lost,
I let the major answer of this post go tho those with actual experinence with the .454. I like Redding dies, but I don't think that those of other mfg's are inferior.

What I will point out, however, is that it is best to complete bullet seating and crimping in a seperate step. My advice, whatever brand of dies you use, would be to seat and crimp in a seperate step.

The Lee factory crimp die seems to be very popular here, and I have never used one, so I'll not argue with the voice of experience. I have personally used the Redding Profile Crimp die with very good results. The use of this die doesn't offer the flexibility, in terms of seating depth with no relation to crimp groove or cannelure, of the Lee die. I opt to use the exisiting cannelure or crimp grooves.

I think the Lee, RCBS, Hornady, Redding, etc, etc, etc, dies would all be a good choice. I would let your finances dictate the choice and seat and crimp in seperate steps. I think your procedure will make far more difference than the brand/cost of your dies.
 

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My advice for the 454 is to seat and crimp separetely. It requires a heavy crimp and is much easier to do them one at a time. Seating/crimping in one step tends to shave bullet material and force the projectile off center. I prefer the Hornady dies but use Lee dies with satisfaction. If price is the deciding factor look at Midsouthshooters.com, the Hornady dies are around $ 20. The Lee factory crimp die is excellent , I have them for several calibers.
 

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By all means, when reloading the .454 you should seat and crimp in different operations, even if you have a crimp built into the seat die. Freedom Arms recommends using RCBS dies with their revolvers, which I do, as RCBS uses a specially formed crimp in their dies for the .454. But, FA and RCBS both say to seat the bullet first, back off the seat stem and then crimp in a separate opperation. I do not care for Lee stuff in general, but their crimp dies are the best in the world IMO. Don't worry about the extra step and rest assured that after you crimp you ammo is going to fit. That's the neat thing about the Lee crimp die, if you crimp too much and cause the case to bulge, the die will resize the case to "close enough" dimentions when you pull it out of the die. Unless you have a very tight chamber (like the FA) the Lee die will make sure you do not overcrimp to the point that you rounds will not chamber.
 

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I use the Lee carbide die set plus the Lee factory roll crimp die. I load 454 Casull for a new Ruger Super Redhawk. I am extremely satisfied with the results so far during my brief history of reloading.

I don't know how I would seat and crimp the 454 in a single step, since the seating die is backed out so far to get the proper OAL.

See the threads "Rookie Reloading" and "Rookie Reloading pt 2" for my tale. They are in the "Handloading Procedures" forum.

By all means, get the factory crimp die. Set the die so that the base of the die just almost or barely touches the shell holder and back out the crimper all the way. Insert a case with seated bullet and screw down the crimp adjustment until it just touches the bullet (you'll feel it). Remove the round and turn the adjustment screw 1/2 to 1 turn more.

1/2 turn is a light crimp. Recently I used 3/4 and 7/8 turn and they look good. I also used 1 1/2 turns in the past, which resulted in overcrimping, poor case wear and difficult extraction. I do not believe that more than 1 full turn is required, and then only on the stiffest loads. We'll see next time I go out.

On my pictures page you can see my first reloading setup, which I borrowed from a friend, and the overcrimped loads up close. You can also see the reloading stuff I bought off of Ebay and the more typical crimp I applied.

http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/sgtsearoy/lst?.dir=/Reloading&.view=t
 

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I use RCBS carbide dies for the 454 Casull, they work great, I finish the job with Lee Factory crimp...I must say the RCBS crimp worked fine also. Lee factory crimp, its uniformity you can beet. This will play in with your accuracy, everything counts when your rolling your own. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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I'd like to second the advice of those who advocate separate seating and crimping. I use RCBS which does both in the same operation. I finally got the crimp to my liking but it took a lot of tweaking.

Now, I like RCBS and use them a lot but wouldn't suggest they are the best choice for the 454.
 

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Searoy said everything that needs to be said about Lee dies, I got mine for $10 and bought the factory crimp die, they work great and are inexpensive and my Encore throws some very accurate rounds.
Selmer
 
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