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Which dies to choose?

glockmattglockmatt Member Posts: 129 ✭✭
I recently decided to get into reloading. I bought a Lyman turret press kit. I'm starting with .40 and .308. I see many dies on the market (Lee/Lyman/Hornady, etc.) They all have compatible threading. Some sets come with the appropriate shell holder. This is helpful because I have none. Which die set to choose?


  • CubsloverCubslover Member Posts: 18,601 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    For the 40, go with the Lee Carbide Pistol Set, none better.
    Half of the lives they tell about me aren't true.
  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    If you are loading for a 308 bolt gun go with Lee collet dies. If you need to bump the shoulder back you can always get a full length sizer later.
  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    I agree with cubslover on the pistol dies. However, I prefer Hornady rifle dies. The reason is two-fold. First, is the sliding bullet aligner. It hangs out of the die and slides up while holding the bullet in alignment. This allows for the seating of non-boattail bullets without having to hold the bullet until it is all the way into the die. Second, is the tapered expander.
    One of the biggest downers with Hornadys used to be the fact that they used a collet to hold the spindle in the die and they had a tendency to slip. Now that they have the "Zip Spindle" which is threaded it removes that problem.
  • glockmattglockmatt Member Posts: 129 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    for the .308, I plan to reload for a bolt gun at first. I then plan to reload for a semi-auto (M1A SOCOM). SA does not recommend reloading for semi's, I believe it may even void any warranty. Is it still safe to do if done correctly? Is a certain manufactorer preferred for both bolt and semi use?
    Thanks for the helpful info so far.
  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    Which dies you use shouldn't matter whether it is for a bolt gun or a semi. The reason that SA tells you not to use reloads is that most reloading manuals give data using slower powders which gives you a pressure curve which is detrimental to the firearm. It will end up causing damage to the operating rod. There are a couple of threads around that discuss this in detail. You can reload for the M1A, but you have to do it correctly.
  • ww2buff9067ww2buff9067 Member Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey, I'm new here but have been reloading for years. In most instances you can find out what powders the military used for their rounds, this will help you more closely duplicate the standard pressures of the round. To echo the last post above, yes it can be done if done correctly. Happy loading, it's a lot of fun and pretty darn rewarding.
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