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From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Subject: Re: Reloading Dies For Single Stage Press
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Fort Collins Site

E. Michael Smith ( wrote:

: As a 'counter point' ... I VASTLY prefer my LEE dies to my RCBS dies.

Mr. Smith's counter point is well taken.  Lots of folks prefer their Lee
dies, etc., to others.  Here's more reasons why I prefer RCBS dies:

  * Full-length sized cases are rounder.

    In measuring the sized case for roundness at the neck, shoulder and
    pressure ring area, RCBS dies consistantly produce cases that are
    more round.  Keep in mind that using a conventional micrometer or
    dial/digital caliper to measure roundness ain't kosher.  A v-block
    with dial indicator perpendicular to the `V' is the only thing that
    gives correct information.  This is important for accuracy.  As
    most chambers (including match ones) are not perfectly round, it's
    important that a very round, full-length-sized case be inserted if
    any shot-to-shot repeatability is desired.  If out-of-round cases
    are used, accuracy can degrade by 1/8th to 3/4ths MOA.

  * Metallurgy is better.

    RCBS dies (Redding, too) keep their inside surface finish for a
    much longer period of time before they need polishing to remove any
    micro-scratches from micro-abrasives some cases have on 'em.  And
    there ain't no outside (or inside) cosmetic plating to chip off.

  * Die-to-die dimensional uniformity is better.

    Having measured several makes of dies using correct tools and gages to
    check diameters, RCBS dies vary over a smaller range.  This is a good
    thing if you use several full-length sizing dies with their necks
    lapped out to different sizes.  You can depend on the case body to
    be quite uniform regardless of what die you use.

    And the 7/8ths by 14 thread on RCBS dies is a better fit in my RCBS
    Rockchuckers and Junior presses.

I think the first objective of a sizing die is to produce usable, accurate
cases.  All other objectives the maker chooses to meet and market is IMHO
a long way back in second or lower place.  I could care less about how the
die is boxed.  Nor is the lock ring's mechanics important.  Fixing any
shortcommings in usability is easy; I want uniformly sized cases.  It's
a lot like ball vs. extruded powder; sure, ball powder meters easy from
a powder measure, but I'll put up with having to weigh extruded powder
charges to get better accuracy off the shoulder.  But other folks can
sure set their priorities and objectives as they wish.

With a properly aligned and adjusted decapping assembly, I've never had
a pin break with RCBS dies.  On each of those few occasions where a pin
broke, analysis of exactly what happened identified one of these causes:

  * Flash hole not centered in base of case.

    This happens more often with military cases than commercial ones.

  * Primed case not completely put in shell holder.

    The decapping pin encountered the case base just off center and did
    not enter the flash hole.  Evidence was the bright dimple next to
    the flash hole.

  * Decapping pin not aligned with the flash hole.

    I think the best way to align the decapping pin is to:

       1. Find a case with a perfectly-centered flash hole relative to
          the case head; not the primer pocket that might be a tad off
          center.  A case with its flash hole on the small side is best.

       2. Back the decapping assembly up to where the pin won't go into
          the case when the ram is all the way up.

       3. Insert the case in the shell holder, then raise the ram to put
          the case fully in the die.

       4. Reposition the decapping assembly to where the pin enters the
          flash hole well centered and far enough to push out a primer,
          then lock the decapping assembly in place.


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Subject: Re: Reloading Dies For Single Stage Press
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Fort Collins Site

Toby Bradshaw ( wrote:

: Now, how about a thread on the merits
: of the Lee "factory" crimping die :

Goodness, gracious.  This is easy.  Lee factory-crimping dies have one
merit; they reduce the waistline dimension of non-cannellured bullets.
Kinda like a bullet's `slim-fast' program.  Perhaps the analogy is
something like `Tiny waists means tiny groups.'

At a big highpower match last weekend, this subject came up.  Someone
mentioned that Messers Berger and Cartiruccio had got phone calls and
letters asking if their bullets would shoot more accurately if they
were installed using a Lee factory-crimp die.  Seems that the local
paramedics in their respective locals made emergency calls as both
went into severe cardiac arrest.  And both their associates were reported
to have traced down the folks asking such questions; they ain't quite
able to ask such questions any more.


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