High End Die Face Off: Forester vs. Redding vs. Whidden Dies

High End Die Face Off: Forester vs. Redding vs. Whidden Dies

  • Forster

    Votes: 106 40.0%
  • Redding

    Votes: 114 43.0%
  • Whidden

    Votes: 45 17.0%

  • Total voters
    265

arm017

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In general, what is your preference in die manufacturer for higher end reloading dies and why?

For the sake of universal accessibility and applicability, we are talking commercially available dies from some of the larger online retailers available off the shelf, without having to custom order, etc.

So what is your choice of high end die set?
 

918v

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Redding makes the best body dies and competition shell holders.
 

arm017

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So for a bit more substance,

I have been working with Redding Type S Full length and neck sizing dies and have some thoughts on them.
Overall, I have been happy with them and found them to be quite good.

Pros:
-Very adjustable, well machined
-Lowest priced set out of this group in question
-Readily available from many fine retailers
-Bushing system floats which theoretically provides more consistent neck tension as it is able to adjust and center to the exact location of the case
- Micrometer seating system quite accurate when adjusting bullet depth.

Cons:
-Was not able to adjust the neck sizer down far enough to actually bump the shoulder back. - see a representative photo where a slight bit of neck is left unsized. Now I don't know the true significance of this, but it did result in me having to full length size more often in my 6.5 CM bolt gun.
-To extrapolate this point a bit more, it could theoretically overwork the brass a bit more than needed. Some have said that this small area of unsized neck is beneficial as it can improve concentricity.
- White marks on the competition seater easily got tarnished and harder to read.
- Need to buy alternative lock rings, because the Redding lock rings are sub par.


All in all, very happy on these dies, but as I am moving to a new primary caliber, I think I am going to give the Forster or Whidden dies a go, but am open minded.

ts260rawshoulderx600.jpg
 
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918v

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So you were not able to bump the shoulder with a neck die? This is a con? Neck dies are not meant to bump the shoulder.

The significance of a two step neck is less neck friction on the bullet shank. This can be a positive or negative depending on the type of gun. For example, people who jam their bullets into the lands can exploit the reduced bullet pull. Semi auto users, on the other hand, will struggle to get enough neck tension to prevent bullet setback.

I have always gotten worse runout with bushing dies than FL or collet. I use Redding body dies with Lee collet neck dies with better results.

 

proximo

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I can say that on the whole my 6.5Creedmoor Forster Micrometer Bench Rest seater consistently seats a Hornady 130gr ELDM with far less runout (1-2/1000 vs 5-6/1000) than my 6.5x55 Redding Competition Seater seats a 142gr Sierra Match King on the same Forster Coax press. I have other Redding sizing dies (non-competition) where the decapping pin scribes a circle if you rotate it in your hand. The pin was not bent so the decapping rod appears to have been bent from the factory. And I always replace the Redding locking rings with the cross screw variety (Hornady usually) to save my die's threads.

In general, I've been happy with Hornady dies for day to day reloading and, so far, Forster (and some Lee ;) dies for match work.
 

maggitas

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I like the Redding S sizer dies and the Forster micrometer seating dies. I prefer to full length size every time and Forster does not make such a die that will FL size and control neck tension. I have had a set of Forster National Match 308 dies and I still have the set of forser 223 dies. But now have a Redding S die FL 308 die with Forster 308 micrometer seating die.
 
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arm017

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So you were not able to bump the shoulder with a neck die? This is a con? Neck dies are not meant to bump the shoulder.

The significance of a two step neck is less neck friction on the bullet shank. This can be a positive or negative depending on the type of gun. For example, people who jam their bullets into the lands can exploit the reduced bullet pull. Semi auto users, on the other hand, will struggle to get enough neck tension to prevent bullet setback.

I have always gotten worse runout with bushing dies than FL or collet. I use Redding body dies with Lee collet neck dies with better results.

Yeah I hear you; Caveat emptor. I should have read the fine print a bit closer before I purchased. I bought the Redding competition set after seeing the 6.5 guys' video on it -watching how they would measure headspace and adjust accordingly after measuring the ogive, headspace, etc. I guess I was under the impression (incorrectly) that the Redding type s neck bushing die would have the ability to bump the shoulder back a few thousandths especially since their competition sizing die has the micrometer adjustment markings. But in retrospect, this is why Redding sells their set in a trio with a body die that sizes the body and will bump the shoulder.

But I agree that not bumping the shoulder is not necessarily a con- so long as the headspace is proper, but in my Redding experience, I ended up having to FLS or use the body die nearly every other reload to maintain reliable chambering. Maybe this is more a function of crappy tolerances in an RPR, but regardless, I was overworking my brass.

The reason I list it as a con is that, given the options present, Forster sells that 'impossible' die you speak of - a bushing neck bumping die that will bump the shoulder back. Thus prolonging brass life so that I can shoot an entire season with the same lot of brass, which would have a lot of inherent benefit to me dropping coin moving to a new caliber instead, since I don't own a collet die and would be buy a new caliber regardless.

Why do you think you are seeing more runout with bushing dies? Proponents of them say that the floating bushing is supposed to allow the case to self center, thus improve concentricity? I have heard this from other folks too how a FLS/ collet/ honed die can result in less runout.



 
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padom

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    I like the Redding S sizer dies and the Forster micrometer seating dies. I prefer to full length size every time and Forster does not make such a die that will FL size and control neck tension. I have had a set of Forster National Match 308 dies and I still have the set of forser 223 dies. But now have a Redding S die FL 308 die with Forster 308 micrometer seating die.

    You can have Forster hone any of their FL dies to whatever neck tension you desire. A bunch of us have been doing it for years. If you buy the die from Forster, you can tell them the sized neck diameter you want or you can send in a dummy round and tell them you want say .002 neck tension. They will hone it and ship it to you.

    I use Forster FL sizing dies with honed necks for .002 neck tension on all my calibers. I have them all, Redding, Whidden, Forster and Forster is all I use now. They have provided the least amount of runout (virtually none). Not so much with Redding and I was not impressed at all with the Whidden dies I have.
     
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    black5.3

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    I have slowly started putting my other dies in the corner to collect dust and leave the forsters out where i can easily grab them. My typical set up now is forster FL sizing die to decap, bump the shoulder, and set neck tension. Then after case prep, seating primer, and powder the bullet gets seated with the forster micrometer bench rest seater.. i dont typically check runout anymore because its always .001-.002 these days.
     
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    918v

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    Why do you think you are seeing more runout with bushing dies? Proponents of them say that the floating bushing is supposed to allow the case to self center, thus improve concentricity? I have heard this from other folks too how a FLS/ collet/ honed die can result in less runout.

    Because bushings themselves have runout and the case expands more in one direction due to uneven wall thickness and/or poor alignment in the chamber. A rigid die that forces everything into place just works better.
     

    RampedRaptor

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    I've used Redding, Forster and now 2 sets of whidden dies. I'm disappointed in quality/control of the whiddens and also the seating stem on the micro seater. Customer service is top notch.

    Moving forward I think I'll run Redding type S FL bushing die with a whidden bushing and the Forster micro seater.

    I've never tried a Forster FL die but would be tempted to have them hone the neck for a specific neck tension and try it out.

    disclaimer: I've never noticed a difference in my targets and I don't have the equipment necessary to test the runout of the finished rounds each die makes. I'm an average shooter who admires quality.
     

    Milo 2.5

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    I've never tried a Forster FL die but would be tempted to have them hone the neck for a specific neck tension and try it out.

    In reality, over the coarse of brass life, the properties of brass change, and the gripping power of the necks will be the first indicator. I don't give 2 shits if you anneal or repeat every step to the "T", it changes. A honed neck IMO is good for a certain span of the brass life. Either a bushing change or collet die can control this.
    Now 918V says a bushing die setup not rigid enough to control some aspects, where a concentricity gauge could very well prove him wrong. A guy needs to take into account as to what point does concentricity really affect downrange accuracy.
    Now onto Whidden quality control, I've had an out of spec die myself, minor fight, after they measured it, it was promptly replaced with an apology concerning the phone call. But, switching from Redding type s to Whidden bushing dies, my runout was cut in half in every instance I did so. Like .0015" to .0007" just like clockwork. I can say this much, most cannot out shoot .002" runout, myself included, we can chase the dream, somethings just don't warrant it.
     

    Juggerxxx

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    I like the Redding S sizer dies and the Forster micrometer seating dies. I prefer to full length size every time and Forster does not make such a die that will FL size and control neck tension. I have had a set of Forster National Match 308 dies and I still have the set of forser 223 dies. But now have a Redding S die FL 308 die with Forster 308 micrometer seating die.

    Like the same combo. Redding sizer and fosters seater.
     

    arm017

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    In reality, over the coarse of brass life, the properties of brass change, and the gripping power of the necks will be the first indicator. I don't give 2 shits if you anneal or repeat every step to the "T", it changes. A honed neck IMO is good for a certain span of the brass life. Either a bushing change or collet die can control this.
    Now 918V says a bushing die setup not rigid enough to control some aspects, where a concentricity gauge could very well prove him wrong. A guy needs to take into account as to what point does concentricity really affect downrange accuracy.
    Now onto Whidden quality control, I've had an out of spec die myself, minor fight, after they measured it, it was promptly replaced with an apology concerning the phone call. But, switching from Redding type s to Whidden bushing dies, my runout was cut in half in every instance I did so. Like .0015" to .0007" just like clockwork. I can say this much, most cannot out shoot .002" runout, myself included, we can chase the dream, somethings just don't warrant it.


    That's a good point.
    So what is your course of action over the course of brass life are you incrementally changing out the bushing diameter at different points in the brass?
     

    Milo 2.5

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    That's a good point.
    So what is your course of action over the course of brass life are you incrementally changing out the bushing diameter at different points in the brass?

    Yes, I anneal after each firing to keep things consistent, and run more off felt neck tension when seating as opposed to a measurement. Just say you get a little hotter anneal(no AMP here), you'll see you may need to step down a thou in bushing size. If someone on here tells you that they can duplicate things 100% of the time, every time, well.
     
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    918v

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    I have an induction annealer and a hydraulic pressure gauge on my press. What Milo says is true, the brass changes because it flows forward and the neck gradually thickens which leads to an increase in neck tension. This increase, however, is slow and gradual and the .001" increment in bushing size is too coarse to control it. But an induction annealer can. You can anneal more or less to control neck hardness and maintain the same seating pressure.

    The reason I use a body die and a collet die is because Forster will not open up the neck enough for some brass. And a collet works on all brass regardless of neck thickness. Neck tension can be manipulated with different diameter decapping rods. Seating pressure is controlled with a combination of neck tension and annealing.
     

    RampedRaptor

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    In reality, over the coarse of brass life, the properties of brass change, and the gripping power of the necks will be the first indicator. I don't give 2 shits if you anneal or repeat every step to the "T", it changes. A honed neck IMO is good for a certain span of the brass life. Either a bushing change or collet die can control this.
    Now 918V says a bushing die setup not rigid enough to control some aspects, where a concentricity gauge could very well prove him wrong. A guy needs to take into account as to what point does concentricity really affect downrange accuracy.
    Now onto Whidden quality control, I've had an out of spec die myself, minor fight, after they measured it, it was promptly replaced with an apology concerning the phone call. But, switching from Redding type s to Whidden bushing dies, my runout was cut in half in every instance I did so. Like .0015" to .0007" just like clockwork. I can say this much, most cannot out shoot .002" runout, myself included, we can chase the dream, somethings just don't warrant it.

    Point taken. Part of me feels the need to measure runout and the other part of me just says you are doing everything right and the results on paper look good so why bother. I, however, would not be able to identify a die issue if I had one that was causing runout.
     

    Milo 2.5

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    Point taken. Part of me feels the need to measure runout and the other part of me just says you are doing everything right and the results on paper look good so why bother. I, however, would not be able to identify a die issue if I had one that was causing runout.

    I can see one in your future, buy one with the wheel, way easier. Mine is an ornament in a drawer beside the neck turning shit and dial indicator bullet sorting tool, lol
     

    Milo 2.5

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    I have an induction annealer and a hydraulic pressure gauge on my press. What Milo says is true, the brass changes because it flows forward and the neck gradually thickens which leads to an increase in neck tension. This increase, however, is slow and gradual and the .001" increment in bushing size is too coarse to control it. But an induction annealer can. You can anneal more or less to control neck hardness and maintain the same seating pressure.

    The reason I use a body die and a collet die is because Forster will not open up the neck enough for some brass. And a collet works on all brass regardless of neck thickness. Neck tension can be manipulated with different diameter decapping rods. Seating pressure is controlled with a combination of neck tension and annealing.

    Haha, the hydraulic press was my next ace in the hole for those thinking they have a handle on it.
    Does Lee make a universal collet for calibers, I like the concept but when I looked, no cartridges I shoot were listed?
     

    arm017

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    Haha, the hydraulic press was my next ace in the hole for those thinking they have a handle on it.
    Does Lee make a universal collet for calibers, I like the concept but when I looked, no cartridges I shoot were listed?

    Yeah exactly- not able to find anything in 6 x 47 lapua.
     

    arm017

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    So given that collet neck sizing is not available for a given caliber, is there any empirical evidence on the induction of run out when using a bushing based die versus a well machined precision honed, non-bushing sizing die?

    Would there potentially be any difference based on the bushing manufacturer or type of material used?
     

    padom

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    Is there a difference in accuracy downrange shooting ammo that say has .007-.010 runout from a bushing die vs say a honed FL sizing die that produces runout between .0005-.001 consistently? Yes. Are most capable of seeing that difference downrange, probably not... I am saying this from first hand experience and extensive testing. This is the reason I solely use Forster honed FL sizing dies. I was getting terrible runout from both Redding and Whidden bushing dies in 2 different calibers with Lapua fireformed brass that was annealed. All shot out of custom bolt guns with Stiller and Bighorn actions with Bartlein barrels. Runout was measured on a 21st Century Concentricity gauge. I do not neck turn, and I do not want to neck turn which is why I use Forster FL sizing dies. This issue can be minimized or resolved by neck turning. When I can produce ammo with virtually no runout for all calibers I reload for and precision rifle ammo that shoots tiny little groups all day long then I feel no reason to neck turn or use bushing dies. But hey thats just me. Everyone has their own method to their madness.
     
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    Milo 2.5

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    Is there a difference in accuracy downrange shooting ammo that say has .007-.010 runout from a bushing die vs say a honed FL sizing die that produces runout between .0005-.001 consistently? Yes. Are most capable of seeing that difference downrange, probably not... I am saying this from first hand experience and extensive testing. This is the reason I solely use Forster honed FL sizing dies. I was getting terrible runout from both Redding and Whidden bushing dies in 2 different calibers with Lapua fireformed brass that was annealed. All shot out of custom bolt guns with Stiller and Bighorn actions with Bartlein barrels. Runout was measured on a 21st Century Concentricity gauge. I do not neck turn, and I do not want to neck turn which is why I use Forster FL sizing dies. This issue can be minimized or resolved by neck turning. When I can produce ammo with virtually no runout for all calibers I reload for and precision rifle ammo that shoots tiny little groups all day long then I feel no reason to neck turn or use bushing dies. But hey thats just me. Everyone has their own method to their madness.

    One of these days you're going to dislocate your shoulder socket from patting yourself on the back, "tiny little groups all day long", too bad you weren't here in the prime of this forum.
     

    Milo 2.5

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    So given that collet neck sizing is not available for a given caliber, is there any empirical evidence on the induction of run out when using a bushing based die versus a well machined precision honed, non-bushing sizing die?

    Would there potentially be any difference based on the bushing manufacturer or type of material used?

    Well, you have 3 differing opinions on things, one says collet, one says honed forster, one says bushing dies fine, you're going to buy the concentricity gauge, buying the other setups rather cheap, form your own conclusion, not trying to be douche, but experience is the best teacher.
     

    padom

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    Shall I start posting them for you?? How many do you want me to post? 7x5's work for you? Your comments are laughable and many have seen the groups I shoot. My threads are all over this forum with actual pictures to go with it. Sorry your skills dont stack up. Ive seen your posts a lot lately but havent seen anything concrete to back up all your bad ass talk... Carry on with your bad self.

    Here's 8 groups of load development with differing charge weights that avg .409" across all 8 groups. Heres a 7x5 with 300blk! Here's the #1 spot on the 100yd Challenge. All made with that shitty, cant ever hold consistent neck tension FL die you speak so poorly about. lolol. you crack me up. Its funny how upset you get when anyone disagrees with the crap coming out of your mouth. And Ive been around long before the switch over to Scout;)


    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/lk2j5W9.jpg"}[/IMG2]
    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/J2j8wCp.jpg"}[/IMG2]
    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/JfeOkhV.jpg"}[/IMG2]
     
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    Milo 2.5

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    Shall I start posting them for you?? How many do you want me to post? 7x5's work for you? Your comments are laughable and many have seen the groups I shoot. My threads are all over this forum with actual pictures to go with it. Sorry your skills dont stack up. Ive seen your posts a lot lately but havent seen anything concrete to back up all your bad ass talk... Carry on with your bad self.

    Here's 8 groups of load development with differing charge weights that avg .409" across all 8 groups. Heres a 7x5 with 300blk! Here's the #1 spot on the 100yd Challenge. All made with that shitty, cant ever hold consistent neck tension FL die you speak so poorly about. lolol. you crack me up. Its funny how upset you get when anyone disagrees with the crap coming out of your mouth. And Ive been around long before the switch over to Scout;)

    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/lk2j5W9.jpg"}[/IMG2]
    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/J2j8wCp.jpg"}[/IMG2]
    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/JfeOkhV.jpg"}[/IMG2]

    I am impressed, you waste a lot of barrel life proving your worth at 100 yards, congrats. Surprised you are on a gun forum, being a FB queen more your style, "look at me", I just try help people, I'm not sure what I need to prove?
     

    padom

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    Lolol...when companies are giving you barrels to test it's not a waste...and all you had to say is you want to see groups at distance big guy..

    only you seem to think this data is to prove ones worth..i could care less what you or anyone else thinks of me or the data I provide to the forum. Some find it useful and helpful.

    6.5x47L 140 Hybrid 300yds sub 0.5moa.. [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/ugjwhjP.jpg"}[/IMG2]





    300M 260rem 139L

    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/yCfpy6k.jpg"}[/IMG2]



    20" WOA SDM AR15 - 77smk 546yds


    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/976A0Lh.jpg"}[/IMG2]

    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i.imgur.com\/UPOszjU.jpg"}[/IMG2]

    Here's a 4x5 with the same load shown above out of the same 20" WOA SDM at 100yds - 0.472" Agg

    iyxgfuw.jpg



    I can keep going all day long. I catalog everything to back up everything I speak. Oh did I say every single load was made with a Forster FL sizing die honed for .002 neck tension? Did I mention that...lol
     
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    Ledzep

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    I've had great luck with Redding S type bushing FL dies. That's what I look for off the bat when I gear up for a new caliber. I set up for a tiny shoulder bump-- just enough that the bolt closes easy. Run a bushing .002" undersize a loaded cartridge, and I "float" the bushing, don't lock it down. No expander ball. Pretty minimal sizing-- I had 2200-2300 rounds through my .260 barrel when I decided to swap to 6.5 SAUM. I had used the same 100 Lapua cases for all of those, so averaging over 20 loads per case and still running fine. Anneal every 3 firings, trim every firing. I'd like to get an AMP machine but struggle with the price.

    I got a Whidden bushing FL set for the 6.5 SAUM and have it set up the same way. Results have mirrored the Redding dies. I don't have the tools to measure runout, but group size no different from previous rifles/barrels.
     
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    TripleBull

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    Popcorn is popping, can you two provide live commentary during McGregor/Mayweather? And please refill my mug with some Bushing Die Stout, pronto.
     
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    918v

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    Haha, the hydraulic press was my next ace in the hole for those thinking they have a handle on it.
    Does Lee make a universal collet for calibers, I like the concept but when I looked, no cartridges I shoot were listed?

    Lee will make a collet die on a custom basis as long as it's no bigger than belted mag
     

    arm017

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    Is there a difference in accuracy downrange shooting ammo that say has .007-.010 runout from a bushing die vs say a honed FL sizing die that produces runout between .0005-.001 consistently? Yes. Are most capable of seeing that difference downrange, probably not... I am saying this from first hand experience and extensive testing. This is the reason I solely use Forster honed FL sizing dies. I was getting terrible runout from both Redding and Whidden bushing dies in 2 different calibers with Lapua fireformed brass that was annealed. All shot out of custom bolt guns with Stiller and Bighorn actions with Bartlein barrels. Runout was measured on a 21st Century Concentricity gauge. I do not neck turn, and I do not want to neck turn which is why I use Forster FL sizing dies. This issue can be minimized or resolved by neck turning. When I can produce ammo with virtually no runout for all calibers I reload for and precision rifle ammo that shoots tiny little groups all day long then I feel no reason to neck turn or use bushing dies. But hey thats just me. Everyone has their own method to their madness.

    Do you run the forster FLS die every reload? or are you solely neck sizing between?
    And I am assuming you run it without the expander ball, so when do you use a mandrel die?
     

    TheGerman

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    Redding for everything other than the Lee Universal decapper.

    Only complaint is I don't like their lock rings.
     

    TheGerman

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    What decapping pin is appropriate for small primer lapua brass with the small flash holes?

    Honestly I'm not sure. Is there a specific caliber or do you mean all Lapua brass? I've deprimed Lapua 308WIN brass with the Lee decapper without a problem for what its worth.
     

    arm017

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    Honestly I'm not sure. Is there a specific caliber or do you mean all Lapua brass? I've deprimed Lapua 308WIN brass with the Lee decapper without a problem for what its worth.

    Yeah I am referring to .059" flash holes in lapua brass (namely 6.5 x 47 mm) that milo was referring to.
    I had a difficult time finding a decapping die with a .058 " diameter.

    Seems options are Sinclair decapping dies or redding decapping dies w/ small pins.
    I believe you would have to turn down the diameter on the lee decapping die since it is larger than .059".

     

    Milo 2.5

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    Yeah I am referring to .059" flash holes in lapua brass (namely 6.5 x 47 mm) that milo was referring to.
    I had a difficult time finding a decapping die with a .058 " diameter.

    Seems options are Sinclair decapping dies or redding decapping dies w/ small pins.
    I believe you would have to turn down the diameter on the lee decapping die since it is larger than .059".

    Midway has them.
     

    Sheldon N

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    Forster honed die here. Not at all impressed with Whidden. Redding did decent for me, but would prefer Forster as a first choice. I run a separate expander mandrel die, for context.
     

    Dai Bando

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    I like Redding and Whidden bushing dies but will stick to Redding if I have a choice.

    The Whidden seating die kinda pisses me off. Seating stem problems mainly, but I also don't like that they are aluminum and the micrometer top wobbles to much for a $115 die.

    Redding micrometer seaters and Forster BR seaters are preffered.
     

    SPAK

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    I've used all three brands. Redding type s fls, neck bushing, comp neck bushing, Forster bushing, honed neck, whidden fls bushing dies all in various calibers.

    Forster honed necks hands down for best runout.

    Bushing dies when set up correctly can achieve near the same results. Set up correctly can mean different things. Some die/bushing combos preferred bushings floating and others snug fit contrary to set up recommendations. Don't ask me why but the gauge doesn't lie.

    That's not the end of it. Given the same caliber all three brands fls dies will have the potential to size the case body differently. Some are better than others. Probably due to a combination of slight differences in reamer dimensions and/or how many dies that particular reamer has cut before making your particular die. Couple that with variance in your chamber dimensions and fired brass dimensions you may or may not have a good "fit" with your die, brass, chamber combination.

    At the the end of the day I've had success with all three brands and I've had difficulties with all three. When I find a combo that works for that caliber I stick with it.

    as a personal rule of thumb I'll buy whichever die is cheaper of the three brands to start and go from there.

    i seat all rifle calibers with Wilson dies on an arbor press.
     

    Sheldon N

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    Forster honed necks hands down for best runout.

    Bushing dies when set up correctly can achieve near the same results. Set up correctly can mean different things. Some die/bushing combos preferred bushings floating and others snug fit contrary to set up recommendations. Don't ask me why but the gauge doesn't lie.

    That's not the end of it. Given the same caliber all three brands fls dies will have the potential to size the case body differently. Some are better than others. Probably due to a combination of slight differences in reamer dimensions and/or how many dies that particular reamer has cut before making your particular die. Couple that with variance in your chamber dimensions and fired brass dimensions you may or may not have a good "fit" with your die, brass, chamber combination.

    Agree completely. Honed Forster FL dies gives me the least runout.

    Chamber, brass and die fit is a big issue, you should be considering that when making your purchase decision as well. You want the dies to give the right amount of sizing on all parts of the case.
     

    Milo 2.5

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    Agree completely. Honed Forster FL dies gives me the least runout.

    Chamber, brass and die fit is a big issue, you should be considering that when making your purchase decision as well. You want the dies to give the right amount of sizing on all parts of the case.

    Actually realizing your 2nd sentence could become a costly endeavor w/o going full blown custom die, sending fired brass in as the model. You could sort through a lot dies if not satisfied with a purchase?
     

    Sheldon N

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    The way I approached it was to find out the reamer specs (or alternatively measure fired brass) to get a sense of a starting point that I should be looking for. If you call die makers they will give you the specs of the sizing die so you know what would work.

    For me the big one is the amount of base sizing. If you have a smaller chamber and a larger die, eventually the case might not be sized enough at the base to chamber/extract easily. Easy enough to check what you already have. Measure fired brass at the base, then measure sized brass. If there's no difference then you may want to investigate further.
     

    DellaDog

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    Redding makes the best body dies and competition shell holders.

    Thats what I thought too, till I bought a tight CLE chambered 223 Krieger. Sized a batch of Lake City w/Redding FL, loaded some SMKs and guess what, they stuck in the chamber. Called CLE and it turns out the the Reddings are great for bolt guns, not so much for gas guns - they don't give the slightly undersized brass time to cool a bit before extraction.

    Switched to a cheap hornady FL sizing die (sizes them maybe .005 more) and they extract just fine.

    And just this week I sent my shell holders back to Redding because many cases don't fit smoothly in the #6 & #8 holders - but they slip into and out of the cheap RCBS holder no problem. Go figure.

    Point being, the best isn't always the best choice.
     
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