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I just acquired an RCBS Rock Chucker and am looking to get a few die sets. What are the best dies to get for the RCBS. I know RCBS makes their own die sets, but there are also other companies out there so I was wondering which ones to go with. Also is it better to go with regular or carbide dies? Thanks for any help.
 

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Lee dies work very well for me. Go with carbide if possible. Regular steel dies will soon scratch the brass even when used with lube. When you need lube, like with rifle shells, Hornady One Shot works great.
 

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RCBS and Redding are the two best die brands out there. They might cost a little more than the cheap ones but anyone who says the cheap ones are just as good never used anything else. I did - once - because I couldn't find RCBS or Redding in the caliber I needed and sold them after one use. And that was a struggle as I posted them on two forums, including this one, for half-price and eventually sold them for next to nothing on GunBroker.com. RCBS and Redding dies I have no longer needed sold quickly.

You bought a very good loader; don't settle for less quality in your accessories.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RCBS and Redding are the two best die brands out there. They might cost a little more than the cheap ones but anyone who says the cheap ones are just as good never used anything else. I did - once - because I couldn't find RCBS or Redding in the caliber I needed and sold them after one use. And that was a struggle as I posted them on two forums, including this one, for half-price and eventually sold them for next to nothing on GunBroker.com. RCBS and Redding dies I have no longer needed sold quickly.
You bought a very good loader; don't settle for less quality in your accessories.
Ed
Ed, would you consider Lee to be a "cheap" die? Thanks for your help.

Jesse
 

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I just checked and I use RCBS for all my rifle dies. The "Small Base" die in .223 is ideal for AR-15's. I also use a Lyman single die press for the rifle stuff. For pistol I use a Lee Load Master with Lee carbide dies. I also use a Lee 6 cavity mould for lead/linotype cast bullets. I shoot a fair amount of 40 S&W.
 

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Ed, would you consider Lee to be a "cheap" die? Thanks for your help.

Jesse
As a matter of fact, yes. In reloading tools, the old adage about getting what you pay for usually holds true. It's been a while since I bought that set of dies and as stated I only used them one time, but one of them would not hold adjustment and there were other things about them that were noticeably inferior to RCBS and Redding.

I also have four sets of Hornady dies and they work well with the exception of that sliding "Zip Spindle" decapping rod that has to be tightened beyond what feels like "normal" or it slips out of adjustment. Also the bullet seating stem has a rubber washer holding it in adjustment that has to be tightened so tight that it is being squeezed out of its channel or the setting can be inadvertently changed while screwing the die into or out of the loader if you accidentally turn the die by the top of the seating stem. Otherwise, they are good dies.

Dillon dies are great, too. I do my handgun reloading on a Dillon 650 and have five complete tool heads for it, including their dies. They have some features that are attractive when used on a progressive loader but not so much on a single-stage machine like the one you and I use.

Almost all reloading equipment you can buy will work. Some just works better than others and some offer features that may not be a great benefit for you. It pays to shop, compare and ask other experienced handloaders for opinions.

Ed
 

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All RCBS dies for me. I too have a Rock Chucker on my table that will never leave. Great quality.

Not to mention they have great customer service and replacement parts on ALL products they offer.
 

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Redding dies are very high quality and their duel ring carbide pistol dies, do what no other pistol dies can do size the case neck properly for correct bullet retention, and the base properly without overworking the brass case. They also make a high quality push through die for those Glock bulged cases. Rcbs small base dies are a good bet if you load for multiple semi auto rifles in same caliber to insure your ammo will function in all weapons as chambers vary some.
Aloha
 

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Everything thing that i reload with is RCBS. Have the Rock chucker supreme press. All my dies are Rcbs. Range master 750 scale. Digital caliber. Uniflow powder measure. Auto case prep. My 12ga. Loader is The Grand. Literally a sea of green.
I think you be happy with yours !!
 

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Ebay is your best bet and I would stay with the RCBS dies. As far as all the variety it depends on just how anal you are going to get about reloading and accuracy. Read your manual to get a good understanding on what your getting into, Full length dies should be fine but if your only using one gun of the same caliber you can neck size the fire formed brass. Lots of options but if you don't shoot a lot keep it simple. And keep a log book on every load etc.
 

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When I was a serious PALMA competitor, I had several different dies sets for the .308. So I took the Full length sizing dies from Lyman, RCBS "Competition", Redding, and for snickers, I put in a cheap LEE Sizing die. I took it to a friend who worked in the tool and dies shop at the plant. Not only was he a tool and die man, but he was the lead man in the temperature controlled clean room where the most precise of all measuring is done. Along with a SAMMI Spec print, I asked him to find the closest to perfect. A few days later he returned the dies with a report. None of them were outside of SAMMI specifications. The LEE was the closest to perfect spec in all dimensions, AND the best interior finish. The Redding was pretty good, the RCBS "Competition was third and the 4o year old Lyman set was the worst but still within spec. even with obvious wear.

The Bullet seating die from Redding is a design where a precision sliding cylinder holds the bullet in perfect alignment to the case mouth and maintains that relationship while the bullet gets seated. This design is easily proven superior round after round with a "V" block and dial indicator showing less than .003" total (.0015 off axis) radial run out and many under .001"total. In comparison Federal Gold Metal Match, a hallmark of quality match ammo, was showing between .005 and .010" total (.0025 to.005" off axis)

I spent the rest of the time full length sizing with the LEE die and seating the bullet with the Redding. Crimping is not needed where you have proper neck tension and a powder giving you 100% case fill. Plus, Sierra MatchKings and Berger VLD bullets are not designed to crimp and the manufacturer warns against it. Any special need you have Redding is more than happy to make for you, but make sure your checkbook is full.

The beauty of the premium Redding sizing die system is that you can custom tune the neck tension with interchangeable carbide neck bushings and interchangeable carbide stem balls. These are available in .0015" increments if you have that need for a perfect neck tension control in a precision heavy bench rest rifle.

Can you make quality, accurate, consistent ammo that will function in a rifle (or pistol) with a factory spec chamber with any of them? YES!
LEE does a heck of a good job making the no frills dies. Just spending more money does not buy you more unless you understand exactly what you are paying for. My RCBS "Competition" dies were certainly good, but all that extra money really just got me fancy micrometer looking knobs on top rather than a locknut. Even at that, I have plenty of RCBS die sets as they are a good quality product.

I use the pinch bolt design Hornady locking rings an any dies I have no matter what brand as the hold my preset adjustments without slipping or damaging the threads.
 

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To some extent, I agree with what Leo said. Years ago, one of my technicians competed at the Original Pennsylvania 1,000-yard Benchrest Club and loaded his ammo with standard RCBS dies so I never bought into paying extra for a micrometer adjustable seating die. All of my rifles, and I load for probably 20 calibers, shoot well under one MOA groups with many capable of even better like these recent two from a .22-250 REM.



Consistent exact powder charges are key as is a primer that ignites all the powder and at the same point in the barrel. For that reason, I use magnum primers in some non-magnum cases with powders for which magnum primers are not usually recommended, like these 6.5-.284 Normas.



The now-discontinued IMR4007SSC is not a powder for which magnum primers are required but they made the load more consistently accurate and since I was not near a maximum powder charge, there was no danger in trying the hotter primer.

Ed
 

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To some extent, I agree with what Leo said. Years ago, one of my technicians competed at the Original Pennsylvania 1,000-yard Benchrest Club and loaded his ammo with standard RCBS dies so I never bought into paying extra for a micrometer adjustable seating die. All of my rifles, and I load for probably 20 calibers, shoot well under one MOA groups with many capable of even better like these recent two from a .22-250 REM.



Consistent exact powder charges are key as is a primer that ignites all the powder and at the same point in the barrel. For that reason, I use magnum primers in some non-magnum cases with powders for which magnum primers are not usually recommended, like these 6.5-.284 Normas.



The now-discontinued IMR4007SSC is not a powder for which magnum primers are required but they made the load more consistently accurate and since I was not near a maximum powder charge, there was no danger in trying the hotter primer.

Ed
Your load of 38.0gr of H380 is the recommended accurate load for the 22-250 using that powder. That is how the powder got its name.
 

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Ed, those 6.5x284s look wicked.
I've loaded and shot about 25 calibers, but that's one on my bucket list.

I've tried about every brand of dies out there.
I like RCBS, Lyman, and Redding most, with RCBS first choice.
Lee are good for the price and I've loaded sub .5 MOA with them.
Hornady are the worst I've tried. Their decapper wouldn't quit slipping, even with next lubing.
George
 

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Leo, spot on! Alignment and Consistent neck tension are the tough ones when it comes to dies, Redding does a nice job in this area. It comes down to what you want to achieve with you reloads. Some are just happy to load cheap and they go bang when they are suppose to. Others want to achieve the highest repeatable accuracy and performance. The nice thing is that if you desire to sell, fairly easy to find a buyer so you can try other stuff. Alas I'm a hoarder, and never sell. I'll wager most long time loaders here have a variety of die brands as for myself I'm always looking over the fence for something new and improved as well as the classic stuff like Lyman 310s, old style lee priming tools, Hollywood and Texan presses, and of course who doesn't have a few Lee Loaders lying around? Hell, I still have a big box of once fired Blue Magics and some Activ hulls stashed away. LOL It's a great hobby with many aspects to it. Enjoy!
Aloha
 
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