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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #1
I voted on Marshall's Die Poll and voted for RCBS.  I've never used anything but RCBS since I got a package deal on a Rock Chucker, dies, etc...  When I am lucky enough to end up with a new rifle or handgun (few and far between), I've always just picked up another set of RCBS dies.  They've worked well for me in the past, so why change?

Now, I have noticed in the poll that RCBS is trailing in popularity.  Because I've had blinders on I would like to know what I'm missing.  Are the RCBS dies not as good as the others, are the others more economical, etc...  Any comments are sure appreciated.  I guess I come from the old school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", so I just buy what has worked for me in the past.  Guess I've got a bit of tunnel vision.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I've got a lot of RCBS die sets but want to check out the Lee Collet dies and factory crimp dies.  So even though I have a perfectly good set of RCBS .30-06 dies I am planning on picking up one of the Lee sets for this caliber at the next gun show.

You are apparently still fortunate enough to be in the 'reloader' stage where one die set per caliber is enough!  Some of us have fallen into the 'tinkerer' or 'gun crank' stage where we can't leave well enough alone, and have to constantly mess with stuff that is already plenty good enough.

I have RCBS, Hornady, Lee, Lyman, and Redding dies in various calibers and to tell the truth have gotten good results wih all of them.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #3
I do have to admit that I spend a little less time at the reloading bench than I probably should.  I usually pick up Ken Water's booklet for loads of a particular cartridge and experiment with those till I find something the rifle likes for it's intended purpose.  Then I leave it at that, provided the animals being shot respond appropriately, of course.  One of those "leave well enough alone" type things I guess.  One of my downfalls is our long cold winters and my shooting range being in somewhat of an avalanche zone.  Sub-zero weather is not a good temperature to try to crank out new load info for hunting season.  Winters are long sometimes.  When the snow melts and the salmon start running, well, its time to start filling the freezer with salmon, halibut, cod, rockfish, etc...There's also the camping trips, hiking trips, trout fishing etc...that keeps me terribly preoccupied until hunting season rolls around.  Then there are work related projects that take me into the out and beyond for weeks at a time in the summer too.  So many fun things to do, so little time, so my tinkering and reloading suffer.  Oh yeah, I'm married too, and am working on my master's in engineering.  Something has to give and it ain't going to be my marriage, our future, hunting or fishing, so it has to be reloading, I guess.  I'm amazed you guys find enough spare time to develop these loads and garner all this info.  I guess I'm a cheater and use what you guys work so hard to accomplish without sweating it out myself.  Thanks Mike, now I feel really bad.  ;-)
 

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Chuckle
I bought Lyman dies for my 243, 45-70 and 45 Colt 25- 30 years ago. I thought I had all that I needed.
Then I had a chance to use a set of RCBS dies for 44 Spec., Tungston carbide. Well that got me to buy a set of Rcbs dies, TC, for the 45 Colt. Those two die sets proved to me that I needed to replace the Lyman dies.
At the same time I started out buying bullet molds and the only game in town was Lyman. RCBS came out with bullet molds and I gobbled up a bunch of them, because the Lyman products were not as accurate as RCBS, or so it seemed to me. RCBS became my supplier of dies and bullet molds for a number of years..
I had a rifle built, a 375 Whelen and the gunsmith recommended Redding/Saeco to build the dies. I got the catalog and ordered the dies and begain ordering the bullet molds for various pistol calibers  in four cavity molds.
So now as time goes by I get new dies for my favorite calibers from Redding. I've got a drawer full in the loading room of dies, Lyman and RCBS that some day my grandsons will inherite.
I believe that the Redding dies are more accurate then the older Lyman and RCBS that I had already.
Jim
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Jim.  Any reason in particular that gunsmith recommend Redding over anyone else?
 

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I can only speak for myself, but to me the Redding dies are just made better.  Much smoother to use, closer matching between the threaded parts, better finish.  The overall die speaks of better quality and QC.  I also like their competition seater die much better than the RCBS, which has the bullet opening in the side of the die.  Maybe a little more convenient, but I like the die to be solid all the way around.  
  Same with my favorite die, the CH4D series of dies.  While I would rate RCBS on a grading scale of 94%, Redding rates a 99% and CH4D got the extra credit for 105%.   Handle the three dies side by side and you'll see what I mean.
  Do not interpret this to mean RCBS dies are junk, far from it and I own dozens of sets and have only had a problem with one set (and that was most likely a problem with the brass being too thin), but they were gradually being replaced with Redding dies, and now CH4D.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Big Bore.  I'll definitely take this into consideration on my next purchase.  All of you have been very helpful.  I'll definitely check those mentioned out.  I probably won't replace what I have now, they seem to work for me really well.  Now if I can find a way to slip another rifle past my wife...
 

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If you dig through my stack of RL550 toolheads you would see that I have 2 sets of Hornady dies (both pistol),  3 sets RCBS, 4 sets of Dillon, 1 set of CH4D that I haven't used yet (.500 Linebaugh), along with 3 Redding Competition seating dies.  Dillon makes a very good die set (at least in the handful of calibers they make them for).  I have found that I like the Hornady pistol dies a lot better than I do the ones from RCBS, and my RCBS 45/70 dies seem to be getting replaced one piece at a time with other brands.  If (when) I buy any more rifle die sets they will be from Redding; their stuff seems to be made with a greater degree of precision than RCBS.
Mark
 

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Interesting question; funny this came up as I just finished an inventory of 23 years worth of reloading equipment I have accumulated.  Figured if my garage ever burned down that I would never remember everything I owned so I had better count up!  Amazing how much money you can spend on reloading in 23 years.

I found that I have 1 Forester Ultra Micro Seating die, 4 sets of Hornady New Dimension dies, 1 Lee Factory crimp die, 2 sets of Lyman dies, 16 sets or individual specialty RCBS dies, and 9 sets or individual specialty Redding dies.

From a quality point of view I see the RCBS and the Redding as equivelent products.  I have had service issues with both products, and both companies are equal in outstanding service.  I usually choose between which brand is less expensive on the particular die set - in example Redding currently sells their full length set of .225 Winchester dies for half the price of RCBS, but RCBS charges about 30% less for a new set of carbide pistol dies.  I also choose on availability - that is how I ended up with my Hornady sets - I was ready to load for a caliber and they where the brand in stock at the time.  I think Hornady makes very good quality dies, but I just do not like their "floating guide" bullet seater die for lead bullets.

From my own experience I think customer service and quality in the entire reloading industry is the best that I have seen in any industry - bar none.

Odessa
 

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alyeska338

The reason the gunsmith gave was Redding would be faster and more then likely more precise. I gave the gunsmith's phone nymber to Redding and I gave my contact persons name. at Redding to the gunsmith.
The dies were perfect and the rifle was perfect.
Jim
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting.  Geez, I was hoping this was going to be as dull as , "aw, well, RCBS are more expensive, or these Redding dies sure are purty", guess not.  Redding sounds like a very good product and maybe if that 300H&H comes my way we'll see.

Thanks for all the info.  Please if anybody else has any other comments, add them.
 

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Several years ago I found an article explaining that the most of manufacturers of reloading dies for rifle cartridges are making them in a batches with single roughing reamer for one family of cartridges. For example: 30-06, 270, 280 etc. The finishing operation(s) is done with next set of reamers for specific cartridge. The writer pointed that this method, compounded with others less than quality procedures, does not produce top quality dies.  He even specified that inadequate quality of reloading dies is the main culprit why some of the calibers have reputation as not so accurate as others. He singled out 270 Win. as a typical "victim". Once, when he obtained quality reloading dies, even "stubborn" 270 became tack driver.
 
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