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Thread: best 223 dies?

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    best 223 dies?

    I'm just getting started in reloading, have put together some really nice 223 rounds so far (thanks to this site!) Now, I have a stuck case in the Hornady die set that I've been using...after doing some research on midway, I found that alot of folks have had the same trouble with this set...What would be the best selection for a replacement set? RCBS, Redding, etc...? I'm still learning, so they can't be too complex...Thanks in advance!

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I am useing RCBS to deprime and FL size all my 223 as well as 308, Granted I have gotten stuck cases in them, as well.
    might not even be a die issue, but more of a lube issue. What are you useing to lube the cases?
    I am useing RCBS slick case lube pump sray. Throw the cases inside an ammo can spary shake and spray again. No stuck cases.
    memo

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I use lee dies for my 223 with Hornday One Shot case lube. If you throw about 20-30 rounds in a baggie and spray the hell out of them and toss them around, they feed like a dream. I wouldn't cash out on the dies just yet, there are ways of removing stuck cases.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Changing dies is not going to change the stuck case problem. That is a lube issue.

    I run RCBS dies mostly with some redding and forster mixed in. All can/will have stuck cases if not lubed properly.

    There should be a thread on the hide somewhere on how to remove a stuck case. RCBS (and others) make a kit for removing stuck cases. It includes a drill bit, tap, socket head screw and spacer to fit over the base of the die (but large enough for the case head to fit in). If you have a tap a little larger than the primer pocket, a drill bit appropriate for the tap size, a washer, a small socket, and a small bolt, you can remove the stuck case. About $6 in parts, or less.

    Hope you get the case out. I have had good luck with all three brands I own. Redding is touted as better than RCBS, but both load quality ammo. And I like my forster with the Ultra micrometer bullet seater. I don't think it will be as much of a die brand issue as where or not your processing of cases/reloading them keeps the runout at a minimum.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I have been using the hornady one-shot case lube, and so far it has worked like a dream-until the LAST case (isn't that about right?) I use a RCBS single stage press, and am thinking of buying a set of dillon dies-will they fit into my press? I'm gonna send the hornady ones back to the factory and see if they will remove the case for me-it's worth a shot-and keep em for a backup set...On midway USA I noticed alot of reviews with folks having stuck cases...I thought that the Ti-N dies from dillon might help-but I will still lube the cases...Any thoughts?

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    one other question--I am used to these "2 die" sets, why does the dillon set use 3 dies? what's the second one for?...I'm guessing the 1st is decapping, and the third is for bullet seating-standard stuff...just wondering about the second one...thanks!

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    are you loading for semi auto or bolt
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    One of the Dies will deprime an full length size, the other will seat the bullet. the third on will deprime an neck size only.



    quick video on removeing stuck cases.
    memo

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Redding Competion and nothing else
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I have dillon dies for 223 and 308. I only use them for AR platforms, with lots of rounds. The third die in a dillon three die RIFLE set is for crimping.

    Note - i only use them on my dillon 550.



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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I talked with the folks at dillon, they said that their dies work in a single stage press, and that the third die is for crimping...should I use the crimp even if my bullets don't require it-they don't have a cannelure? Also-I am reloading for both a bolt and semi-auto...

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I used Dillon dies for years loading 223, but have just recently changed to RCBS for decaping / sizing. The resized brass wouldn't chamber in my new bolt 223, just a bit fat in the lower body to chamber. Granted the chamber is tight, but not an issue with the RCBS dies that I already had on the shelf.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I use a Forster FL die set and Imperial Sizing Wax lube.
    Great ammo with zero problems for me.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: crackerbacks
    Redding Competion and nothing else


    Agreed.

    Can't recommend these highly enough. The OAL of my .308 Scenar rounds at the ogive are consistent to the hundredth of a millimeter every single time.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    just checked midway, they have SO many dies-it's kinda hard to tell which is which...looking for the redding competition...

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Dillon dies will work in a single stage press, but beware the lock rings have no set screw or other locking feature, so every time you swap dies, you have to re-adjust them. You can either replace the lock rings or use a QC bushing like the Hornady LNL.

    Forster offers the same seater design as the Redding Competition seater (Redding copied it from Forster after the patent expired), for much less money. Forster also offers it without the micrometer seating depth adjustment for even less $$. The Redding micrometer has better contrasting markings than the Forster Ultra Benchrest. Some users have reported durability problems with the Redding Competition seater on compressed loads. I have not heard any similar complaints about Forster seaters.

    As said above, the Hornady dies are most likely not the cause of your stuck cases. Change dies if you want, but fix the problem or you'll get stuck cases with whatever die you use.

    Andy

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Thanks! I'm gonna try sending in the Hornady's...& change how I lube the cases...but I'm gonna also gonna get a new set...there are so many out there-thanks!

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Correct, in Dillon 3-die sets you get:
    Die#1: FL resizing/depriming, Die#2: bullet seating, Die #3: taper crimp.

    Do you need to crimp? Really depends on your shooting, your chamber, etc. As a 3gun competitor with a 5.5.6 Wylde chamber, I have seen many of my reloads that I've extracted w/o firing that the bullet has been slightly pushed back into the case (esp with VLD bullets which is all I shoot). Not good as clearly this will raise pressures. So now, I do an ever so slight taper crimp to where I can't push the bullet into the case by hand.

    As others have reported: I use Hornady OneShot to lube. Has always worked well for me. And I use the Dillon Carbide dies and have had good success with them (Note: I'm loading in a Super1050 progressive though).

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I've used RCBS 223 dies most of my reloading life until I got tired of decapping pins breaking. Swithed to Lee dies a few years ago no more broken decapping pins and no change in the groups size of my reloads. I do however use a Forster Ultra Micrometer seating die.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I agree that your problem was the lube(or lack of) and not your dies.I would not change dies,I would buy a stuck case remover,or the tools needed to do it yourself.This will happen again,sooner or later.If you really think your dies caused this,you can polish the sizer with a bore mop,a drill and some polishing compound.I personally don't see you improving your situation with a different brand of dies,even though I favor RCBS and Redding. Pete
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Thanks for the info...I use the Hornady oneshot case lube...

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I did a long experiment on groups of brass, a handful of dies, and my [I guess I forget how many 223s I own].

    I measured the headspace of each rifle. The factory rifles had a lot of heapspace. The ones I barreled have only about .001" over SAAMI min chamber. If ammo is shared between rifles, the long head space rifle stretch the brass, and the die must be adjusted down far enough so the ammo will fit in the short head space rifles. This makes brass grow fast.

    What did it all teach me?
    1) Hot loads and full length resizing to push back the shoulder far enough to fit in any of the rifles, results in fast case growth. One or two shots and they need trimming. When trimming must be done, for real, not per some manual, involves how far the firing pin can push the case forward in a particular rifle.
    2) Redding "S" die cost the most, looked the best, and performed the worst.
    3) Lee collet neck die cost the least, looked the worst, and performed the best.
    4) Life is so much simpler if the brass stays with one rifle. The single shot rifles [not the ARs] can get 20 shots of WAY hot loads without trimming.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I use Forster dies and have never had an issue.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I thought hornady dies did not require lube? A friend of mine just purchased some hornady 223 dies and cant press them on a rock chucker with out using lube, or getting a case stuck.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: rweaver
    I thought hornady dies did not require lube? A friend of mine just purchased some hornady 223 dies and cant press them on a rock chucker with out using lube, or getting a case stuck.


    I have never heard of any rifle dies not needing the cases lubed.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    i thought hornady titanium nitride dies were lube free but only the three die sets are lube free

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Dies for your bolt gun?

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    http://www.lewilson.com/home.html

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    The back of the Latest Handloader magazine has a advertisement for RCBS "AR Die Series". Supposed to be for AR platform rifles and othe semi-auto Rifles the ad reads. Small base sizing die and a Taper Crimp seating die. They are made in all the popular AR calibers from .204 Ruger up to .338 Federal. I'm seriously thinking of getting a couple of them .204 Ruger and .223 for my die collection before long. Midway has them in stock for around $40 dollars a set not counting shipping and tax so I will be buying them one at a time over the next few months.
    I like the idea of small base sizing die anyway, don't crimp mine much even though I know its to keep the bullets from moving in and out of the cartridge in the magazine from the shock of the bolt from moving back and forth and slamming the cartridge home in the chamber. Never been an issue for me so far.

    I had to use the RCBS Stuck Case Remover a couple of times. Usually not enough lube or forgot to lube.

    I really like Dillon Spray case lube the best but now we started to make our own which is 99 percent Isophoral Alcohol and Liquid Lanolin are the main ingrediants of Dillons spray lube. Make a lot and still come out a little cheaper.

    Not sure about Titanium Nitride Dies being lube free or not but the only ones I was aware of of not needing lube was Carbide pistol dies. Rifle cases have a lot more surface area and usually tapered walls to grip good to the insides of rifle sizing dies hence lubing them.

    Food for thought!

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I am planning to buy dies for reloading for my AR-15.

    I will shoot all rounds from the mag and no single loading will be done. Rifle has a .223 Rem chamber andf barrell is LW 1:8 SS Medium Heavy 20" barrel.

    My plan: Redding Small Base S-Type FL sizer + appropriate neck bushing. Which size is recommended ? The seater willbe Forster Ultra.

    Do I need a separate taper crimp die ?

    What do you think about RCBS AR-dies ?
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    IIRC the neck bushing model is there for people who turn the necks on their brass. 99% out there don't do that for AR loads. I would go with a small base sizer from your choice of manufacturer.

    Also unless you're shooting cannelured bullets I wouldn't bother with a crimp. Regular seating dies are fine.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I dont think Redding makes a small base Type "S" die.

    I use the Type S FL dies for all of my AR's and they work great. I do turn the necks for my 6.8 but even for .223 with none turned brass the bushing die works the neck less during sizing so your brass will last longer before needing annealed if you keep that close track of your brass.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Redding hands down. I didn't see a huge difference between Lee and RCBS but with the Redding the difference was amazing. The customer service is top notch too.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: EWP
    I dont think Redding makes a small base Type "S" die.


    They do, 60$ on Midwayusa.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=137496

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I like the Redding Full length sizing die with a carbide button and a Comp seating die. It's my favorite combo for hunting and comp rounds. I use them in my Forester press and always have great repeatability.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    RCBS FL dies. Used them until I switched over to the RCBS X-dies.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    I reload for my match ARs (all have Wylde chambers). I went with the Forster seater over the Redding due to apparent issues with compressed loads with the Redding. The Forster die works very nicely.

    I used a standard Redding sizer and just switched to the standard Forster sizer (for not particular reason other than I had the die from the Forster Ultra set and wanted to try it out). As someone said above, I do not believe that many people reloading for ARs use bushing sizer dies.

    You shouldn't need a taper crimp die unless you are loading bullets with a cannelure (like 55 gr fmj).

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: rweaver
    i thought hornady titanium nitride dies were lube free but only the three die sets are lube free


    The are lube free but the Nitride dies only come in pistol dies not rifle, all rifle dies need lube even Dillon's carbide rifle dies.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: BCP
    Originally Posted By: EWP
    I dont think Redding makes a small base Type "S" die.


    They do, 60$ on Midwayusa.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=137496



    OK, I was thinking of another caliber where they only make std FL bushing dies. I use the std FL Type "S" bushing dies in .223 for my AR and they work great but they are on the large side so the SB may be a good ideal for .223.

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: Clark
    I did a long experiment on groups of brass, a handful of dies, and my [I guess I forget how many 223s I own].

    I measured the headspace of each rifle. The factory rifles had a lot of heapspace. The ones I barreled have only about .001" over SAAMI min chamber. If ammo is shared between rifles, the long head space rifle stretch the brass, and the die must be adjusted down far enough so the ammo will fit in the short head space rifles. This makes brass grow fast.

    What did it all teach me?
    1) Hot loads and full length resizing to push back the shoulder far enough to fit in any of the rifles, results in fast case growth. One or two shots and they need trimming. When trimming must be done, for real, not per some manual, involves how far the firing pin can push the case forward in a particular rifle.
    2) Redding "S" die cost the most, looked the best, and performed the worst.
    3) Lee collet neck die cost the least, looked the worst, and performed the best.
    4) Life is so much simpler if the brass stays with one rifle. The single shot rifles [not the ARs] can get 20 shots of WAY hot loads without trimming.


    What problems did you have or what did you just not like about the Type "S" dies?

    FL or neck die?

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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: EWP
    I dont think Redding makes a small base Type "S" die.


    Yes they do. I had an S-Type FL Small Base dies for 308 Win and they do have a similar dies also for .223.

    77323 223 Remington Small Base Type S Full Die $95.70
    77355 308 Winchester Small Base Type S Full Die $95.70

    I like the changeable bushing because I can tailor the neck tension depending on the brass used.

    I am not going turn necks for .223 but I will have to trim them anyway as they have a tendency to "grow" when shot out of an AR-15.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    Originally Posted By: TA

    77323 223 Remington Small Base Type S Full Die $95.70


    That was my "looks best, cost the most, performs the worst" die in my testing for concentricity and case growth in populations of 223 brass studied over time.
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    Re: best 223 dies?

    The SB dies make the cases grow even more, I stopped using my Hornady FL dies because the size the base more than needed and cause the case to grow an extra .010" in length compared to my Redding std Type S FL dies which size just enough at the base for reliable chambering and the case hasn't grown any on the last 2-3 reloads.

    I was thinking about my 6.8 Redding dies where they do not make a SB Type "S" FL die even though it's mainly an AR caliber.