Opinions on Whidden Seater dies...

alamo5000

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I am looking for opinions on Whidden micrometer seater dies. I use Forster and in every caliber I have a micrometer seating die. I like em. If I could get another I would, except they don't offer one in the caliber I want. At least not yet and no telling when or if they will bring one out.

The closest alternative is Whidden, but they are somewhat unfamiliar to me and are very over priced. They want about $60 more for a Whidden than a Forster.

All I need is the seater die. If I could find a Hornady one I would live with that until I can find something better. Upon reading a little bit about Whidden they do offer numerous seating stems for the bullets I am keen to try so that's a plus. On the other hand I can get a Hornady seating die for 6ARC for around $30 shipped (if they were ever in stock) and they have seating stems too.

Anyway I am just waiting it out now but I am wondering what the consensus is on Whidden and where along the pecking order they tend to fall to justify their price tag...
 

Steel head

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    I definitely like my Forster seaters more but the whidden isn’t bad and the dial gives accurate settings.
     

    alamo5000

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    I definitely like my Forster seaters more but the whidden isn’t bad and the dial gives accurate settings.
    Maybe it's just me but I don't see an additional $60 bucks over the Forster dies for a seater die to be worth it. I might just get a simple seater die (if I can find one) and live with it until supply gets back to normal. Finding one in stock is the hard part though.
     

    Steel head

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    Maybe it's just me but I don't see an additional $60 bucks over the Forster dies for a seater die to be worth it. I might just get a simple seater die (if I can find one) and live with it until supply gets back to normal. Finding one in stock is the hard part though.
    Yea but they had a seater that Forster didn’t have and I like the micrometer feature enough that I shelled out the $$$$
    If you’re buying the full die set it’s really not bad.
     

    alamo5000

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    Yea but they had a seater that Forster didn’t have and I like the micrometer feature enough that I shelled out the $$$$
    If you’re buying the full die set it’s really not bad.
    I bought a Mighty Armory sizing die (I like it) so I don't need the full set. All I need is the seater die. I might just have to suck it up and live with it. It will be my luck as soon as I click 'buy' then Forster will announce the one I want.

    I am pretty hooked on the micrometer feature too. Especially for the kind of ammo I want to produce it makes life easier.
     

    Rocketmandb

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    I've got a number of Whidden sizing dies and like them quite a bit. I just sent off my last Whidden seating die to a friend - I now use an arbor press and associated LE Wilson bullet seaters so don't need them any more. With that said, the Whidden dies worked very well and I have no complaints, I just far prefer my arbor press setup for seating.
     
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    alamo5000

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    I've got a number of Whidden sizing dies and like them quite a bit. I just sent off my last Whidden seating die to a friend - I now use an arbor press and associated LE Wilson bullet seaters so don't need them any more. With that said, the Whidden dies worked very well and I have no complaints, I just far prefer my arbor press setup for seating.
    Can you share why you like that option better? I have been looking at that myself but I am not sure it's going to make some massive difference. If I did go that route I would get the 21st Century press and force gauge.

    I am not sure about Whidden. It could be great, but for $160 bucks it better be. So far I am tempted but not quite sold on it yet.
     

    Rocketmandb

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    Can you share why you like that option better? I have been looking at that myself but I am not sure it's going to make some massive difference. If I did go that route I would get the 21st Century press and force gauge.

    I am not sure about Whidden. It could be great, but for $160 bucks it better be. So far I am tempted but not quite sold on it yet.

    A number of reasons why I like the arbor/seater better:

    - The biggest thing for me on the arbor press is that you can measure the force required to seat - which is a key indicator of true neck tension. I've been able to dramatically improve my neck tension consistency because of what the arbor press reveals through the force pack.

    - The arbor/seater is portable. I modified an old Dewalt drill box to hold my arbor press and a single die. When doing seating depth development, it allows me to load long and take it to the range so I can modify as needed at the bench.

    - I find it to be quicker than a full-stroke press (which has a lot of extraneous movement for just seating a bullet less than 1/2" into a case).

    - People will argue about how much concentricity inconsistencies will affect performance. Regardless, I've found such to be better with the arbor/seater.
     
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    alamo5000

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    I've found this too. Zero experience with this type of die as well.

     

    alamo5000

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    A number of reasons why I like the arbor/seater better:

    - The biggest thing for me on the arbor press is that you can measure the force required to seat - which is a key indicator of true neck tension. I've been able to dramatically improve my neck tension consistency because of what the arbor press reveals through the force pack.

    - The arbor/seater is portable. I modified an old Dewalt drill box to hold my arbor press and a single die. When doing seating depth development, it allows me to load long and take it to the range so I can modify as needed at the bench.

    - I find it to be quicker than a full-stroke press (which has a lot of extraneous movement for just seating a bullet less than 1/2" into a case).

    - People will argue about how much concentricity inconsistencies will affect performance. Regardless, I've found such to be better with the arbor/seater.
    I am strangely attracted to the force required to seat measurement. I tend to be a complete perfectionist about things. I love it when I can gather actual data.

    Given some things don't need to be perfect. Bulk 9mm or 223 blasting ammo? Who cares.

    On the precision game though I am not that deep into it (yet) but I am getting there. Purchasing all new dies and such would be a pain in the ass to be honest but I do very much like that idea, especially for things where it matters.
     

    Rocketmandb

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    I am strangely attracted to the force required to seat measurement. I tend to be a complete perfectionist about things. I love it when I can gather actual data.
    Without measurement, to some extent you're guessing. Switching to the arbor/seater allowed me to identify and make incremental changes that added up to a sizable improvement.
     
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    alamo5000

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    A while back someone mentioned that a 6ppc seater die would work for 6ARC.

    I did the measurements based on SAAMI spec drawings and the primary difference is the base of the brass to the start of the shoulder the 6ARC is .05 longer than the 6PPC. Everything else including the shoulder angle is the same.

    Wondering if for a seater die if this will make any kind of difference at all. I don't think it would but then again I am not an expert.
     

    Snuby642

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    Anyone use the frankford arsenal universal set?
     

    Milo 2.5

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    I've found this too. Zero experience with this type of die as well.

    I would highly recommend you shy away from this style of die. A seating die that comes with just a reg set of dies is superior to this style. Just look at the way the seat stem hangs down, it tells the story.
    I like Whidden sizing dies, but opt for Redding comp seating dies, it has been so long cannot remember exactly why I dislike them so much.
     
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    Mxridr

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    Really like my Whidden dies. Have multiple sets and dies
     

    Hegre

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    I use both forster and whidden. 308 and 6.5x55 skan with Forster and 6bra using Whidden. I quite like the Whidden and would likely get that over a Forster in the future.
     
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