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JRR -

You are right on the money.  Carbide size dies are great time savers, but most will not reproduce tapered cases.  Although usually described as "straight" wall cartridges, most pistol cases do have a taper.  If you full-length resize with a carbide die, the bottom ends up the same as the top, no taper.

Some don't think this is a problem, but I do.  Mostly because of the point you make about over-working the brass near the head.  There are two solutions to this "problem".

Solution #1 is to use steel dies.  I buy steel dies for pistol calibers, but this is getting harder to do.  Hornady doesn't even make steel dies anymore, RCBS only puts carbide sizers in sets, but does sell steel dies individually.  I think Redding has also standardized on carbide.

Solution #2 is to partial resize using carbide dies.  I had occasion recently to talk to Redding technical support.  During the conversation the tech said this whole problem is RCBS's fault!  RCBS has trained the world to setup a size die by bottoming it out against the shell holder.  He said not only do you not need to do this with carbide dies, but that you shouldn't!  According to him, carbide dies should be set to size only the poortion of the case that will be holding the bullet.

I used to use carbide dies, but switched to steel due to this concern.  If, in the future, I was forced to use carbide dies, I would set them as the Redding tech is describing.

Hope this helps.
 
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