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Old 03-18-2005, 06:18 AM   #1
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Why don't they make carbide rifle reloading dies?

Why don't they make carbide rifle reloading dies? I need some suggestions for dies for .308 for a M1a.....
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Old 03-18-2005, 06:53 AM   #2
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carbide is not so much smoother than steel. It would do no good to coat the entire inside of the die with carbide, you would still need to lube it. carbide dies only use carbide on a ring at the base of the die, that keeps friction down so you don't need to lube. that does not work with bottleneck cases. except that you can get carbide neck-size bushings if you neck-size only, or the lee collet dies will neck-size without lube.

you will notice that carbide dies are available for use without lube only for truly straight-wall cases, i.e., .30 carbine, .40/10mm, 38/357, 44, 45ACP, etc.

For a M14-type you will need to full-length size, so you must lube. The dies you want depend on several things; why you reload, your personal preference, and how much you want to spend.
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:21 AM   #3
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Thanks the explanation.....I appreciate it. All of my reloading has been done for both economics and to produce reduced power loads for cowboy shooting in the past. Thus, it's all been straight wall pistol cartridges (45 colt, etc.)

Anyways....my goal for my m1a is to produce affordable "Match" grade ammo that will equal or surpass Fed Gold Metal Match 175 gr ammo in the accuracy dept.

Plus...I just like to reload..lol. Any super high dollar dies are probably out.....but I do want good quality. I've read that small base dies are necessary. for the M1a...? How do I know which ones to get..? Also, my machine is a progressive press, so what do I do for a through powder die? I see most rifle die sets don't come with a powder die.....

As far as the progressive goes.....I usually weigh every 5th charge just to double check. It's just a habit from reloading with my dad when I was a kid....he weighed every charge..lol.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:05 AM   #4
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Dillon makes a FL Carbide sizing die for .223 and .308, but you still need to use lube. It does take a lot of the grunt work out of sizing though. The die runs ~$85.

You probably won't need SB dies. Just use an FL die. If you run into problems, go to a SB.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:08 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I just recently went thru this same search myself. I was torn between the RCBS X-dies, and the Forster Bench Rest dies.

I shoot NRA Highpower, so I go thru a lot of ammo. The nice thing about the RCBS X-dies is that supposedly, the brass only has to be trimmed once and after that, the dies are supposed to prevent any addition case stretching. They are available in small base for $32 from Midway.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.e ... mid=843696

The nice thing about the Forster dies is that you can order them with the neck opened up to whatever dimension you request. This will reduce the stress on necks. If you know exactly the dimension req'd for you brass, you can remove the expander. If not, you can still reduce the amount of compression that is done on the necks before the expander opens it back up. The dies are available in small base buy you have to order them direct from Forster and mention it to whomever takes the order. 308 is the only small base die forster makes. Direct from Forster, the custom sizing die was $56.50 including shipping.


I elected to go with the X-dies for now. I will probably still order the Forster in the future.

For a seating die I went with the Forster Micrometer Seating Die. It fully supports the bullet during the seating process and that should help accuracy. The other nice feature is the micrometer adjustment makes it easy for me to return to previous settings when I seat different bullets to different depths for the various yard lines in highpower.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.e ... mid=395095

If you don't often change settings, a very similar die is available without the micrometer for a little less money.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.e ... mid=202919

Theres my 2 cents anyway,

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Old 03-18-2005, 01:45 PM   #6
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I asked a Speer factory rep this question about 15 years ago.

The amount of surface area involved in a full length resizing die would still require lubrication so there's no benefit there.
Prohibitivly expensive to manufacture to the necessary tolerances because of the shape of the case. Straight wall carbide dies are easy to make and the entire insert is at the mouth of the die where it is supported by the die body and the press body.
Another correspondent with a lot of experience in carbide cutting bits thought that the forces exerted on a full length resizing die could be enough to crack a carbide insert in some of the larger cases.

I asked him about nitride coated dies which were just beginning to hit the market and he said they were looking at them.

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