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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about getting a set of dies for a 45 Colt pistol

Plan on loading cast Flat Nose bullets .7 to .755 long.

Any suggestions welcomed
 

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Glad you asked that question.
Forty years ago I bought some Lyman dies, they were a bit sloppy. So I bought a seat of RCBS dies, they were better, much better, but the Lyman M-die was better then RCBS's expander die, so I had a workable set up. Then I bought a set of Redding dies, retried both sets of the other dies and hava lived happy ever after.
The Redding dies work wonderfully on my Dillon.
In a word Redding for any caliber.

Jim
 

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Selecting a set of dies is like choosing between a Ford or Chevy as all of the major brands will do the job. Certainly, the higher priced dies will exhibit a better appearance, can arguably work better, and come with better customer service to justify the additional cost.

My preference in dies has always been RCBS as they've been in business a long, long time, have great customer service and yet, they are not the most costly of the popular brands. My set of dies for the .45 Colt is RCBS so I am naturally biased when I recommend them.

Others will undoubtably recommend other brands and in the end, it's your decision on what or what not to buy. It's a matter of personal choice as all of the major brands will do the job.
 

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My preference in dies has always been RCBS as they've been in business a long, long time, have great customer service and yet, they are not the most costly of the popular brands. My set of dies for the .45 Colt is RCBS so I am naturally biased when I recommend them.
i agree i also use rcbs everything
 

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Redding or RCBS dies. You get what you pay for, go cheap and you get cheap dies. You can't make good reloads by using "trick" dies to correct faults started by improper sizing or seating dies.
 

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I use RCBS .454 Casull dies for my .45 Colt loads, don't know about the expander die?, my Dill0n 550 powder funnel expands the cases, I can't complain on any of the shells I've sized with the RCBS dies, whatever brand you decide on get the CARBIDE ones, they're twice the price but ten times better! and I also recommend roll crimping in a separate operation than the seating step, it can be done in the same step but the results are MUCH better with the added step.
 

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I like the Lee Precision 4 die set - it is highly rated as are the others mentioned. I like it because in includes the factory crimp die and it is the best deal for the $$$
 

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I like the Lee Precision 4 die set - it is highly rated as are the others mentioned. I like it because in includes the factory crimp die and it is the best deal for the $$$

+1
Every set of dies I own are Lee, short of one OLD set of Bonanza dies for the thutty-thutty.

The lee dies have NEVER failed
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Great input! I have dies for rifles and did a lot of looking in the past. I have always used RSBS but knew some of you had done a lot more experimenting than I had. Plus I have never bought a set of straight walled dies.


Thanks for all the input and I will definately check out these ideas and any that follow.


Right now I am leaning toward RSBS or Redding in CARBIDE. Thanks again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But again the Lee 4 dies set with a separate crimper sounds real good too
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Lee 4 die carbde set is looking good - I do not need a Redding competion grade where one dies can be twice the price of 4 Lee Dies.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I like the Lee Precision 4 die set - it is highly rated as are the others mentioned. I like it because in includes the factory crimp die and it is the best deal for the $$$
Thanks

I did a little checking and the Lee 4 die carbde set is looking good at around $70,

Do you now where I could get them at the best price?

I do not need the Redding competion grade where one die can be twice the price of 4 Lee Dies, but am I missing the point about Redding dies?
 

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+ another for the lee 4 die set. There is a reason that the other manufacturers copied them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here it is for $39.99 but there are many other sources, Cabelas, etc etc including a web based seller specializing in Lee Precision products. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=706882 'Factory Sales" has 4 die set for $33.28 - shipping and/or tax may make one better than the other but $33.28 is an amazing deal.
Now, I just need a turret press - a used one. I should be able to buy one for the price I will save on dies.


Any reloading press ideas? I currently barrow a RSBS Rock Chucker but with four dies it seems it is time to get a press.
 

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Another vote for the Lee Carbide 4 Die set. $70 dollars is about twice what you should pay. i got mine from MidwayUSA a few years back for under $35.

They work great whether loading 250 grain RN lead or 325 grain lead wide flat nose. Never a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Another vote for the Lee Carbide 4 Die set. $70 dollars is about twice what you should pay. i got mine from MidwayUSA a few years back for under $35.

They work great whether loading 250 grain RN lead or 325 grain lead wide flat nose. Never a problem.
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I use different brands of dies for different purposes, even on the same cartridge.

Anybody's carbide or Titanium Nitride pistol sizing die will work great.

Lyman and Redding have great M-type expander dies are best, especially if you use lead bullets. They have a stepped expander profile that gives you a small area that is expanded enough to start the bullet by hand, then a smaller section that is sized for proper neck tension.

Hornady has a great seating die, especially for handguns shooting lead (non-jacketed) bullets. They pull apart for cleaning while still on the press, and go back together with the previous settings for seat and/or crimp still intact. They have a sliding sleeve that helps straighten up a tilted bullet before it gets pressed into the case neck, and an optional micrometer adjustment screw. They come with two seating stems for different bullet nose profiles. And they do a great job of roll-crimping while seating the bullet.

If you want a separate roll-crimp die, the Redding Profile crimp die starts with a gentle taper, then finishes with a roll, for a nice smooth trouble-free crimp. I have a Lee carbide FCD for my 45 colt, and it is awful. The crimp ring is oversized, letting the case mouth slip by without finishing the roll crimp. To make matters worse, the inside is very rough, which puts deep scratches in the outside of the case mouth. The collet-type Lee FCDs for rifle and bottleneck pistol cartridges are a whole different design, and work great. Anybody's conventional taper crimp die works great.

Lock rings on die brands vary a lot. There are three basic types. The most common is a simple knurled or hex nut with a set screw. Lee uses an o-ring that, when under pressure, clamps down on the die threads. I like cross-bolt lock rings from Hornady or Forster, they lock securely and squarely to the die body without marring the threads. Set-screw hex rings are next best. I find Lee lock rings particularly worthless. They only keep the setting on the die if you remember EVERY TIME to remove the die from the press by the lock ring, not the die body. And once the die is out of the press, the Lee o-ring is no longer compressed and does not hold the lock ring firmly in place anyway. Give me a firmly locked ring that will not move unless I loosen the set screw or cross-bolt, in or out of the press.

Don't overlook the other details on the dies. Good fit and finish, at least in the right places, gives you more consistent results, and allows smoother operation which lets you know if something is wrong as you are doing it (something doesn't "feel" right). In my experience, Lee dies have consistently poorer fit and finish, especially on the inside where it counts, than other brands of dies. That said, occasionally all brands will let a stinker out the door.

If I had to choose one brand for the entire pistol die set, it would be Hornady for the great seater die and lock rings, and reasonable price.

Andy
 

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IME, Hornady makes some really nice dies as does Redding but RCBS is usually my first choice in terms of quality, price, and customer service. But RCBS does not have the best dies for .44 WCF as there isn't enough support for the bullet during seating so bullets can be seated out of alignment with the case axis resulting in chambering difficulties. For .44 WCF, I prefer to use the Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension die set with it's sliding sleeve bullet guide in the seater die which costs a bit more than the RCBS but does a much better job of bullet alignment. Would like to pass that on to anyone reloading for the .44 WCF.

Appreciate the fine report, Andy! Thanks!
 
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