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I'm new to this forum, and relatively new to reloading, so pardon me if this topic has been discussed previously.  I'm looking to pick up some .45-70 dies, and was wondering if a particular brand was preferrable in terms of quality, performance, longevity.  I've already read here that the Lee crimping die is a worthwhile buy, and I noticed that some Lee die sets come with the crimper.  Any thoughts or tips on the subject appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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In my experience as a handloader for slightly under 18 years- oh boy, what a revelation!- Lee dies are as good as any other. Back when I started loading, their rifle dies sometimes weren't the best. But that hasn't been the case for at least ten years. I've used die sets for pistol and rifle cartridges from Lee, Hornady, RCBS, and Redding. I always come back to Lee. FWIW
 

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Right you are, Bill.....As I have stated before, I started using Lee's dies as a fluke! But, now I order them first and really like the collet crimp die for both jacketed and cast. Also the neck expander on the carbide pistol dies is a somwhat modified "M" die. Dollar for dollar, I don't think you can beat these new Lee's. Also you can by them off the web and that helps us out in the "boonies". On their collet neck sizer dies, for &#3612 they will turn you an extra pin what the size you want
Best Regards, James
 

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My opinion slightly differs, but to each their own.  That's why so many people make dies.  Best-CH4D, followed by Redding, RCBS, Lyman, Hornady, all of which are very good dies.  These are the ones I have direct experience with.  The Lee Factory Crimp die is an absolute God send, especially for straight walled cases like the .45-70 and the .458 Win.(custom order), but for me to comment on Lee dies in general would be inappropriate since I have never used them, except for the crimp die.  I started loading over 32 years ago, before Lee was making dies and I have never felt the need to try their dies as I have always been satisfied with the other maker's dies.
 

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I've been reloading since it took six guys to roll the boulder into the catapult.
I've used Lyman 45-70 dies for a couple of years. Then I bought a set of RCBS dies and used them. I finally used a combination of both companies die sets for a goodly number of years.
I bought a set of Redding 45-70 dies last winter. The Lyman and RCBS went into the die drawer to never be seen again.
I am convinced that Redding is the best die made. I use 45 Colt, 375 Whelen, 25-06 ,44 Spec, 45 ACP all made by Redding.
Jim
 

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This is a bit of a funny situation for me. I usually end up combining dies from different manufacturers to make up a set of dies.

I'll usually use a Redding sizing die, a Hornady Seater (floating type) and assorted expanders from different manufacturers depending on what I'm loading.

I'll also use RCBS sizers, some Lee sizers and the Hornady floating seaters can be used with a number of cartridges in the same caliber. I also have a few CH/4D sizer dies and taper crimp dies. I've gotten to the point that I'll buy just what die I need to accomplish loading a cartridge if I can use other ones I have to finish the project. Especially with some wildcats and experiments. I have a tool box with a homemade rack made from aluminum with 7/8" holes punched in it for my orphan dies to sleep in.

Makes life interesting.

Regards


:cool:

(Edited by Contender at 11:29 pm on April 9, 2001)
 

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OK....Let's go back to the original question the man asked...Were Lee dies OK! Now all of us, that have been loading for years use various combos we like, but this is a new reloader...We all have our favorites, but for the money Lee dies will work for this man and that's what he asked.
Best Regards, James
 

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Gee, Didn't mean to ruffle anybody's feathers with my post.


Jeedle, by all means, get the Lee dies. You won't go wrong with them. Most company's dies are of very good quality these days. As you become more experienced, you too will have your preferences as to what brands of dies you will like to use. That's part of the fun of handloading.

Remember, always consider safety above all else and you'll have a rewarding hobby to persue and a lot of fun doing it.

Regards



:cool:
 

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Friend Contender...There are no ruffled feathers and your last answer was right on the mark. I have not been loading since catapult days, but did begin in 1952 with an old set of Lyman nutcrackers and 310 tools. Over the years I used RCBS and felt they were the best, now I use Lee because I like what their dies do. Now I think we should worry less about the maker and be concerned if they make into their dies certian things we like..Ex. Collet crimp dies, etc.
When we address a question from a new reloader we must stay focused on what he asks and try to direct him toward equipment that will work best for him. In fact, all of the dies I use for my custom rifles I had made from 7/8x14 thread bolts. Set up in a lathe and reamed with the reamers from the chamber, lapped, and then surface hardened with Kasenit. The seating dies were made with the throat reamer.
The one thing I must always tell myself, and others, is: "Quality is as the customer Perceives!"
Best Regards, james
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, gentlemen. for the fine advice.  I'll be back again!  

My best regards,
 
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