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  #1  
Old 08-10-2018, 6:32 PM
allsy allsy is offline
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Default I want new pistol dies, tell me about Redding or Dillon

I want new pistol dies but cant pick a brand, I have Lee, RCBS and Hornady but have likes/dislikes about each usually all manageable concerns. I would like to know about Dillon, Redding or another suggestion, specifically 9mm, 10mm and 45acp. Most of my loading will be cast powder coat bullets but I will use almost anything when prices are good or certain ranges/shoots require something else. I am also moving into 357sig and while my Hornady dies for that cartridge work I am curious about Dillon dies there. I reload at least one round in every caliber from .25acp up to 308 rifle right now so any experience or recommendations are appreciated. I am not looking to troubleshoot dies just brand suggestions and experiences to go with them, Thanks.

If you want to know some of the why I want new dies see below...

My experiences: Lee dies typically are too short for my Hornady press and leave only a few threads for the lock ring. I like the RCBS flare die but have had past drama with the sizing and seating die. My Hornady dies are my least favorite right now! My 10MM expander is out of round and flares case mouths wildly off to one side, the tapered crimp die has not worked well to crimp the Lee 175gr. TC bullet I am using for 10MM and I had to add a Lee factory crimp die to close the mouth down .001 below Saami spec. Last the 10MM sizing die right out of the box leaves nine deep scratches all the way down the length of the brass (lubed cases, despite carbide). The sizing die is going back to Hornady Saturday and they will ship a new expander die but its time waiting I don't want to spend.

Yes I have ran through all the troubleshooting, tips/tricks etc. and most of the time find a workable solution for all of my Lee and RCBS dies but I am tired of sending things off to Hornady for repair. This includes my single stage press that is going back again... it is becoming normal for me to send items back to Hornady for service. Most recently my Single stage press, they replaced the frame and the ram and now I cant get dies to seat in the proprietary bushing so its going back again. Don't get me wrong they have been great with support and repairs but its getting tiresome.
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Old 08-10-2018, 9:53 PM
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Don't dillion dies require a dillon press?
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by inyocountymark View Post
Don't dillion dies require a dillon press?
No, standard die 7/8.
I have both Dillon and Redding. Both are good. No issues. I use the dillon for .40 the redding for 10mm.
I like the sizing redding sizing die. But like the seperate seat and crimp feature of the Dillon.
Cant go wrong with either.

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Old 08-10-2018, 11:18 PM
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I have never known Redding to build or price anything cheap.

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Old 08-10-2018, 11:31 PM
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I have never know Redding to build or price anything cheap.
How is the quality?
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:36 PM
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Excellent.
A lot better then my spelling I assure you.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by inyocountymark View Post
Don't dillion dies require a dillon press?
Only dillon's square Deal press has proprietary dies

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Old 08-10-2018, 11:54 PM
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I've had such bad experiences with hornady dies and their service I've sworn them off

I love my redding dies but I prefer rcbs seaters for pistol dies.

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Old 08-11-2018, 12:24 AM
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I took a look at Midway's site and could not believe the number of sets they have for 40/10. I also found Redding has half a dozen sets themselves and they even go as far as making 10mm specific dies? I'm intrigued by the premium handgun die set. It's over kill and expensive for cast lead shooting but it sure looks the part and I like the micrometer seating die. I have to agree,I think I'm over Hornady, it was nice that they are stocked locally but it might be time to order better quality equipment.
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Old 08-11-2018, 6:50 AM
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sorry but it's not new dies you need it's a better examination of your setup. My first clue was the "My 10MM expander is out of round and flares case mouths wildly off to one side", Yeah thats not going to happen unless your ram is so grossly out of alignment with the die that it forces the expander off center. the only other reason for this would be very poor brass uniformity and neck wall uniformity. that is more likely. As for crimping .001" under saami spec to get the case to close. You are probably over crimping with the tapper crimp as lead don't spring back the way brass does. You failed to mention trimming or sorting brass by length. Carbide scratching your brass?? Nope. Either your brass is not clean or it's too clean due to SS media or you have deposits on the carbide ring. But it is impossible to have a burr or other defect in the carbide ring that was manufactured in.

All i'm seeing is lack of proper trouble shooting skills. Walk away for a minute come back and take a good hard look at whats going on. I've never had dies I couldn't make work. and that used, abused and new, I fixed the problems and made them work. I've had 30-06 dies that hated military brass. neck expander plug would squeal being pulled out. Found out that was just crappy brass. because cleaning and annealing didn't help. Pistol brass not flaring properly? thats mismatched brass length. I have setups for 9mm, 38 super, 40/10mm, 38/357, 44 mag, 45 ACP, and 45 colt. I load on one of four presses that are open, two RL550's and two RCBS's so variances in set up, presses, and feel are all there. I Have dies by Dillon, Lee, RCBS, Redding, Lyman, Hornady, Forster, Versco, and Pacific (both the original pacific and the company that Hornady bought out) Sorry again I'm just seeing a whole bunch of impatience and lack of proper trouble shooting.

Last edited by kcstott; 08-11-2018 at 6:53 AM..
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
sorry but it's not new dies you need it's a better examination of your setup. My first clue was the "My 10MM expander is out of round and flares case mouths wildly off to one side", Yeah thats not going to happen unless your ram is so grossly out of alignment with the die that it forces the expander off center. the only other reason for this would be very poor brass uniformity and neck wall uniformity. that is more likely. As for crimping .001" under saami spec to get the case to close. You are probably over crimping with the tapper crimp as lead don't spring back the way brass does. You failed to mention trimming or sorting brass by length. Carbide scratching your brass?? Nope. Either your brass is not clean or it's too clean due to SS media or you have deposits on the carbide ring. But it is impossible to have a burr or other defect in the carbide ring that was manufactured in.

All i'm seeing is lack of proper trouble shooting skills. Walk away for a minute come back and take a good hard look at whats going on. I've never had dies I couldn't make work. and that used, abused and new, I fixed the problems and made them work. I've had 30-06 dies that hated military brass. neck expander plug would squeal being pulled out. Found out that was just crappy brass. because cleaning and annealing didn't help. Pistol brass not flaring properly? thats mismatched brass length. I have setups for 9mm, 38 super, 40/10mm, 38/357, 44 mag, 45 ACP, and 45 colt. I load on one of four presses that are open, two RL550's and two RCBS's so variances in set up, presses, and feel are all there. I Have dies by Dillon, Lee, RCBS, Redding, Lyman, Hornady, Forster, Versco, and Pacific (both the original pacific and the company that Hornady bought out) Sorry again I'm just seeing a whole bunch of impatience and lack of proper trouble shooting.
KC, no need for sorry, your advice is sound but I have been down those paths. everything you posted makes sense and I would be inclined to agree with all of it, if it had not already been investigated. What you did post that I will look into is cases being "too clean" because yes I do use stainless media, however I have only had issue with case scratches in my 10MM die. As for the case mouth flare, its not a brass issue. I sort by headstamp and trim where required 10mm and 357sig included. The case expander has been replaced by Hornady now and the new expander was used to troubleshoot my concerns. With regards to the crimp, the .001 under is arbitrary as you pointed out since I am loading cast. The reason I needed the crimp was because the Hornady taper crimp die failed to remove the bell when used with cast unless I really crimp into the side of the bullet and that is not what I wanted. The die works fantastically on plated and jacked bullets. For some reason it leaves the case mouth @ 0.425 vs 0.423. with the lead bullet and it won't "case gauge/drop in" my Glock 20 barrel. The inability to close the flare could be the bullet itself but the lee factory crimp picked up the slack and I am OK with that. Finally the carbide sizer, I never thought "too clean" could be the issue perhaps it is and I need lube even with carbide, I will have to dig into that one. But, this carbide die has an issue... Its new right out of the box and the scratches started with case number one after cleaning the die! I spent a great deal of time on the phone with Hornady over this die and what we found was the carbide may not have "fit" the die body correctly during manufacturing as the carbide insert can be pulled in/out of the die body about 3/32". The carbide insert should be rock solid, its not. I have always been able to diagnose a die issue and on some occasions needed to seek help from those kind enough to offer, such as yourself and for the most part it always worked out in the end. The Hornady 40 S&W/10MM dies not so much.

You also note that the press would need to be "grossly out of alignment" well before I started loading 10MM that was case. My Lock-N-Load classic press just came back from Hornady where they replaced the ram and frame due to a misalignment. A perfect storm, while rare, appears to be what I have.

On a side note, since I wanted to offer some evidence you did encourage me to learn how to post photos so please see the "off center expander plug and scratched cases below



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Old 08-11-2018, 10:23 AM
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Allsy
Daaannggg. So much for quality control.
I wet tumble as well. I clean the cases, dawn water no pins. Dry, case lube, process brass. Wet tumble with pins, final rinse with car wash, dry.
10mm and straight wall pistol cases I trim.
I had some issues with 10 brass that I ran through a lee fcd, that was a fail. Got simular results as you.

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Old 08-11-2018, 11:13 AM
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dkonrai,
I use the same process for cleaning but I have pins in both times, maybe I don't need to. I started using Meguiar's Ultimate Wash And Wax from another users suggestions and my 45acp look and reload beautifully.
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Old 08-11-2018, 1:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dkonrai View Post
No, standard die 7/8.
I have both Dillon and Redding. Both are good. No issues. I use the dillon for .40 the redding for 10mm.
I like the sizing redding sizing die. But like the seperate seat and crimp feature of the Dillon.
Cant go wrong with either.

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Old 08-11-2018, 1:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bumslie View Post
Only dillon's square Deal press has proprietary dies

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Thank You, I should have clarified that I have the square deal reloader, my apologies to the OP, not wanting to hijack your thread
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Old 08-11-2018, 5:40 PM
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I use a combination of dies.

Mighty Armory Decapper die
Redding sizing Die with decapper pin removed.
Redding expander die
Redding competition seater die
Lee sizing/crimp die.

I used to use the Lee Undersize die to resize my brass but since buying a roll sizer for my brass I realized it was an overkill.
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Old 08-11-2018, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by allsy View Post
...Finally the carbide sizer, I never thought "too clean" could be the issue perhaps it is and I need lube even with carbide...
I use Hornady One Shot lube. You'd be amazed how much smoother resizing is even with carbide dies.
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Old 08-11-2018, 6:57 PM
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Dropped off the single stage press and 40/10 sizing die for a FedEx trip to Nebraska. Perhaps I need a new single stage press as well, Turners did just open a new store in Fresno... On the bright side I got some range time and some more info.

I spoke with a gentleman at the range today, (a Dillon 550 purist, he beat me up a bit about my Hornady stuff). He has also had similar concerns like mine with 10MM, 357sig and 9X25 Dillon in the past. He loads almost exclusively now with Dillon dies and loves them for 9X25 but they were a Christmas present or he claims he would not have paid for them. He tried Redding dies for 10MM but said his experience was that they sized at Saami minimum and he felt the brass was excessively over sized, (squeezed too thin at the base). He feels his Dillon 40/10 dies work well but indicated 2 or 3 out of 100 rounds fail to gauge with mixed range pickup brass. While he would recommend Dillon dies He suggested something I did not expect; a post he found on the Brian Enos forums using Lee U-dies, he said after changing his sizing die to a Lee U-die all of his 40 cal base cases now reload and gauge with ease he thinks his fail rate is now 2 or 3 per thousand. His suggestion for my press was as follows:

Step one: (if required)
Range pickup/hot loads run through a Redding G-RX carbide base sizer

Step two:
Hornady A-P setup
station 1. Lee 40/10 U-die
station 2. Lyman 40cal M-die
station 3. powder drop
station 4. Hornady taper crimp seating die, No crimp, just seat
station 5. Lee factory crimp die.

I like the idea and after reading the Enos forums myself I see this is not an isolated concern. Dozens of posts regarding 40 cal cases with issues (granted mostly Glocks). The two dies are $36 and I keep my Hornady seating die so I don't feel like I wasted money there. When the order comes in I will see how they run.
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Old 08-11-2018, 6:59 PM
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Mostly I use Redding and Dillion dies....why because thats what I use. I have some Lyman, RCBS, and Lee dies and have never had an issue with any of the.

I do love the Redding Comp seating die.....it is my first choice.
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanks View Post
I use Hornady One Shot lube. You'd be amazed how much smoother resizing is even with carbide dies.
I use One Shot and like it, I think I will try your suggestion and run the next round of 10MM with new dies and One Shot since I don't have to remove it like my Imperial sizing wax.
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:02 PM
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It seems like getting an empty case clean and ready for resizing takes half of all time spent on Reloading. And after the case is resized you want me to clean it again! Geezzee.... Trim? Oh yeah, no problem.

I would say match your personality & purpose to the brand, not X-Brand to unknown person.

If the expander stage is no bueno don't forget to make sure the case head is in proper position sitting in the shell holder.
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mjmagee67 View Post
Mostly I use Redding and Dillion dies....why because thats what I use. I have some Lyman, RCBS, and Lee dies and have never had an issue with any of the.

I do love the Redding Comp seating die.....it is my first choice.
That seating die is why I thought Redding would be a winner, I might need it for Christmas if I can fix my sizing and press woes.
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:14 PM
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To those who re-clean brass after re-sizing I have a question for you.

Am I the only one who knows that Lee sizing lube is water soluble? Meaning it's 10x easier to clean off then my favorite Imperial sizing wax is. It is amazing the things you can do with a free solar oven your neighbor gives you when he moves out.

Didn't mean to thread-jack, but we were having a great conversation with experience Reloaders I just had to mention this.
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:43 PM
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I’m a lanolin user. Been so for close to 30 yeare. I did try unique sizing lube, not a fan. I also tried RCBS lube and a lube pad, not a fan. I’ll stick with my lanolin and IPA
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Old 08-11-2018, 8:15 PM
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For progressive presses I prefer the Dillons. For some rounds I switch out the crimp die for a lee factory crimp(some call it a collet crimp) die. Not sure on the Hornady vs Dillon presses but I know I feel I use RCBS dies (which I do often) on my xl650 I usually need o put the lock ring on the bottom of the die which wouldn't be an option with the quick change on the Hornady, I am not sure Redding would or wouldn't be the same but I would say Dillon dies should surely solve that issue. I've never had many issues out of any dies except Hornady and Lee. I still use Lee but wouldn't use Hornady dies if they were free, and I'm cheap so that saying a lot. I do prefer the newer Dillon dies that the seater has the clip on top. Very easy to switch from RN to FP for different bullet profiles. If money were no object a micrometer seater would be nice on a progressive to make seating depth changes quick, but like I said I'm cheap.

For rifle dies on my Forster I like the Redding dies. The full length bushing sizing die is top notch for hunting rounds and micrometer seater is also good but I tend to like the Forster micrometer seater more.

For .357 Sig I use a RCBS die set. Haven't seen any reason to pay so much more for the Dillon set but I also don't load much of it. If I load 500 rounds that easily lasts me a year because I prefer 9mm.

Unfortunately I think either way you will end up with a mix match of dies. Lee's universal decapper is cheap and simple so I have six or seven of them around, for neck sizing their neck collet die is very consistent for neck tension and the factory crimp does well crimping and not being dependent on case length. Some of my progressive sets are still RCBS but I am switching out to Dillon as I find them for decent deals.
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Old 08-12-2018, 4:47 AM
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First thing to do is make sure your bullets are no more than .001 larger in diameter than the jacketed spec, because the dies are typically designed for jacketed diameters and can present issues with larger lead. Be prepared to resize even coated.

Secondly, each die should be best of breed for cartridges that present reloading issues, most especially 45 ACP. My setup is Redding Dual Ring sizer, Lyman M-die expander, Lee seat, and Lee FCD. Be sure the seater has the best shape plug to match the bullet nose. I have not found a good setting for the seater die to also do the crimp, and the FCD is needed anyway to iron out any anomalies, some of which come from bullets that are not seated dead straight. The Hornady sliding sleeve seat crimp might help with that, but there is little bullet length to help with ensuring alignment. The proper shape seater stem is critical for more uniform bullet alignment.

Before anyone starts with the FCD screed, I don't finding any bullet distortion with the typical hardness levels of purchased lead bullets. The variable could be thickness of brass, so sort head stamps and tune the setup for each, if you expect a low reject rate of finished rounds. My recent batches have had no rejects.

Note that 45ACP can be run through a bulge buster the same as 40/10, given the right size FCD. Redding does not offer that, only 40. All my pick up brass has been conditioned through the Bulge Buster. I shoot 45 ACP through both a 1911 and a revolver, so I want high standards for ammo that will run in either one.
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Old 08-13-2018, 8:13 PM
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I ordered the Lee/EGW sizing die and Lyman M-die for expanding, they should be here by weeks end. I had a few recommendations for Redding dual carbide dies but Redding confirmed via email they only make that die for 40 S&W not 10mm. I am still a bit worried about the Lee U-sizing die as they are a bit short when used with the Hornady bushing system. I think if it wasn't for that bushing the Lee die would be more than acceptable.

Also, while I did not plan to troubleshoot anything there was so much positive information I could not ignore it.

#1 Lube/sizing , The U-die is on the way and regardless of carbide it seems like lubing for 10mm and 357 sig are appropriate despite many recommending using a 40 die first for 357 sig. Ill try it and It seems like lanoline is the winner on almost every post I look at. I added some to the Amazon cart for the next order. I found lots of various recipes for mixing, I'll have to try a few as I prefer spray lubes. The only catch is do I want to load in two passes or one. With Lanolin I have to clean the cases before dropping powder don't I?

#2 Expanding - The Lyman M-die should clear this up I hope. I have a replacement Hornady expander but I'm just not happy with it. It is just one radius, I like the M-die better, its similar to the plug on my RCBS 9mm expander.

#3 Seating - I think I am okay here, the Hornady seater seems to work well using the flat punch and the Lee 175 TC bullet, I have been able to maintain OAL. Plated bullets have been an issue as the Ogive and the Hornady seating stem don't match. I get a line pressed into the plated bullet where the stem meets the Ogive. Switching to an RCBS seating die cleared this up.

#4 Crimp die/Bullet size - I don't think I have an issue here since my problems started with the case sizing operation but it is worth looking at since it is an important step in the finished round. I have read that the Lee factory crimp die might be sizing the lead bullet in the case as well as crimping the mouth hurting accuracy. I have not seen any issue here as my bullets are sized 0.401 and pullets bullets remain @ 0.401. Regardless I ordered a Redding crimp die to take the "bulge Buster" out of the equation. My 10mm recovered/fired bullets mic approx. 0.4005 diameter with borrowed Starrett calipers, these are fired not slugged and I am not an expert here so take this with a grain of salt. given that number I think the 0.401 bullet should be okay for my barrel. I don't have any leading issue yet.

Additionally since I am waiting on new 10MM dies I loaded up ten Speer nickel plated 357 Sig cases with Hornady dies and a Lee 357sig Factory crimp die, CCI SP Primer, 124gr. XTP's and 9.7gr. of Blue Dot. I ran all cases through a Redding G-RX die first and then with Hornady One-Shot into the steel sizing die, sizing was smooth. I still really dislike the Hornady case mouth expander and think using an RCBS expander would result in a better outcome. The rounds came out nice and I cycled all of them though my gun five times without any change in OAL. Chronograph results from a five inch Lone Wolf barrel showed an Avg. of 1438fps. I am happy with the results but still not fond of the Hornady sizing or expanding die. The only thing I noted about the Hornady dies with 357 sig is that I can't push the shoulder far enough back to meet Saami spec. but since they chamber that should be a topic for another post.

At this point with the bad expander replaced and a new sizing die on the way I suspect it has to be personnel preference for brands as the dies I have do perform as they should or very close to it with attention paid to setup (when they aren't defective). Once the new 10MM dies arrive I will convert back to Large Pistol primer and try again.
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  #28  
Old 08-16-2018, 8:30 PM
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9mmepiphany 9mmepiphany is offline
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The Redding Competition Seating dies are worth the additional coin.

I have them for use in .38Spl and 9x19mm. They are especially useful if you switch between bullets as you can dial the seating depth in quickly...measure and make an exact adjustment...and change back easily.

The Redding Dual Ring Carbide Sizing die works great on straight wall cases addressing neck tension.

Redding copied the Lyman "M" die contour for their expanders to create the perfect seat for coated bullets. I don't have one as I went with the Pro Set for progressive presses...so I'm still using my "M" die.

I was going to get a Lee FCD for .38Spl...which I'm using for 9x19mm...but after using the Redding Profile Crimp die, haven't found a need (I credit the Dual Ring Sizing die)
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  #29  
Old 08-20-2018, 7:49 PM
allsy allsy is offline
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Unfortunately UPS sent me an email saying my new U-Die and Lyman M-die will be delayed due to weather in the midwest/south so I'll say a prayer for any who may need it and wait a bit longer to get back to my 10mm.

I do see another vote for the Redding seating die, it sure looks like a nice die. I put the micrometer on my 357 Sig Hornady bullet seater and it sure made things a lot easier to dial in.
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Old 08-31-2018, 6:03 PM
tandmsimmons tandmsimmons is offline
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Default Dillon Dies

I've been using Dillon dies for pistol for over 30yrs on a Dillon 550. For pistols I buy the complete 4 die set, sizer/deprimer, powder feed/neck expander, bullet seater, crimp from Dillon. If you don't have a Dillon the powder die is useless to you. For rifle I like the Dillon carbide dies for sizing/depriming as a single stage operation. Any die set will get you started. Buy some case gauges and caliper.
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Old 08-31-2018, 6:59 PM
jfk jfk is offline
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I use Dillon dies for pistol calibers. Forster and Redding for rifle caliber. The only issue I have with my Dillon die/550 set-up is the last tiny bit near the rim needs to be squeezed back down on 9mm rounds. I use a Lee die in 9x18 Makarov to squeeze it back to size. I believe it's due to being used in guns with unsupported/less supported ramps.
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