Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

bodywerks

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Looking for opinions for precision neck or bump and bullet seating dies for the 338 lapua. Its not a cheap round to shoot and I want the most consistency and firings that I can get out of my Lapua brass. Right now I'm using Lee dies for my other stuff and am not getting single-digit velocity spreads and I think inconsistent neck tension on the bullet is a bigger factor than my charge consistency (using rcbs chargemaster).
Also, will I need to also turn the neck every time if I use a bushing type die?
FWIW, I have a Lee turret and Lee single stage press to choose from at the moment. If they aren't up to the task of precision, what is? And I'd prefer a turret press but will deal with single stage if that's what I need to keep the consistency.
 

Parkincense

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Re: Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

I own Forster and Redding dies. The Forster works just a good as the Redding, but the Redding overall is just a nicer die. I will probably only buy Redding in the future, but if you are budget conscious, Forster may be the way to go. A single stage press is better for precision loading. I use this one: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=317831
and have no complaints at all.
 

Beale338

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Re: Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

I load with a Redding T7 turret press and Redding comp. dies.
No complaints with the setup.
 

madd0c

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Re: Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

I had RCBS and wanted more control over neck tension on the 338. I went to Redding S-type die set and as the above poster stated will probably buy only redding dies in the future.
They may not be higher quality than the others, but they do feel that way. Very well made.
I do still use a Forster ultra-micrometer seater for the 338 because I had it honed to fit my chamber by Forster and it works great.
I really don't think you can go wrong with any of the dies you listed. I agree you probably want the bushing type if you want more control, and no, you don't need to turn necks every time for bushing dies.

madd0c
 

bodywerks

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Re: Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

Thank you. I will take a look at the reddings a little closer. It has pretty much been between them and forster...
 

Fuzzball

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Re: Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

"I think inconsistent neck tension on the bullet is a bigger factor"

I doubt it. There's no way to "prove" it but I strongly suspect the case has fully expanded against the chamber wall before the bullet clears the neck.

Redding copied Forster's seater design. Both are excellant.

Forster's (adustable) expander button is better than Redding's. Redding will likely copy that when it's patent protection has ended.

No die RCBS (or anyone else) makes is even nearly equal to Forster BR and Redding Comp dies.

Neck turning is a "once and done" thing.

The issue of using a specific press for "precision" ammo is vastly over rated. All single stage presses do good IF the dies are good and the loaders skills are good, and that includes the smallest, cheapest (Reloader) press Lee makes. Anyone wanting to argue that needs to come up with data, not just opinion or "reputation". I HAVE measured the ammo from several presses across the price spectrum while using the same dies, shell holders and cases and found no difference at all between the presses, zilch. (It's amazing what we can learn - or unlearn - by using a concentricity gage!)
 

pappy42

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Re: Redding vs Forster vs RCBS for 338 Lapua?

I've had really good luck with the Redding bushing die.