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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've been reloading at a buddies house for the past year or so. He has a Lee Challenger press and Lee dies that have worked well so far.

I'm moving and going to set up my own reloading bench and was wondering what you guys like for presses (single stage) and what you guys like to use for rifle dies (223 and 308. I have RCBS 264 LBC dies for my 264 LBC upper and I kind of like the Lee dies better for rifle).

Anyway, I would like to only do this once and get something that's good and will last.
 

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I have had for years just a RCBS single stage press, it's slow but works. I also use mostly the RCBS dies, I have some Pacific pistol dies. I prefer the RCBS dies over the Pacific pistol dies just cause of the order that the RCBS dies resize,deprime, and bell the mouth of the case.
For my std or plinking reloads the RCBS dies work fine but for my precision type reloads I have and like the best the Redding Competition Bullet Seating dies.
I do setup all my rifle dies not to crimp and instead use a Lee Factory Crimp die, this allows me to set exactly how much crimp I want more easily and avoids bulging the case. The Lee Crimp die also will crimp bullets that lack a cannelure.

Most all the main brands RCBS, Hornady, Lee, Redding, ect, will give you years of service, personally when it comes down to precision reloads on a single stage press I think the Redding is the way to go unless you setup a separate press for just that type of reloading.
 

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I agree with Talhoffer, RCBS dies work just fine for pistol but the redding is all I use for rifle, the custom competition are about as good as they get pricey but you get what you pay for!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think I'll probably wind up with the Redding's for 308 at least. Might get their cheaper version for 223 as that's mostly just for plinking around and some varmint hunting.
 

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I use a Redding competition seater and Lee collet style neck sizer for reloading 308. I have other RCBS and a Lee dies in 308 but it always seemed my best groups where loaded with those two dies. (for bolt action anyway)
 

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I use a RCBS single stage press, and RCBS dies for both rifle and pistol. All of my rifles in 308 are semi auto, so the RCBS does well enough for me to get the sub MOA when I need to. If I had a precision bolt gun in .308 I might look into the Redding dies, but have not had a reason to do so yet. My enfields and springfields are all iron sights, so more expensive dies are not going to help with the accuracy at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My 308 is an FN SPR A5m, which is capable of sub 1/4 moa accuracy if I do my part (I've done it a few times, factory target is 0.22 moa). I have not been able to load anything that matches 168 FGMM for accuracy.
 

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Myself, I've only just started reloading rifle too. Did a ton of studying before I did it. RCBS rockchucker press and Redding Comp Dies. Happy so far...
 

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First choice would be Hornady
Second choice would be Lee
If money is at all tight, get Lee.
All dies will do an excellent job, if you set them up correctly.
I prefer the Hornady bullet seating die over all others I have tried. I prefer the Hornady and Redding "carbide" pistol sizing dies for ease of sizing.
I prefer Lee carbide pistol dies for sizing further down the case.
If I wanted to crimp a rifle bullet, I would look at the Lee rifle FCD.
 

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Forster Bonanza with it's factory collet bases and floating die system has produce the most amazing handloads for me for everything from rifle hunting, target rounds to my benchrest stuff. The rounds I create from this press have an average run out of less than .0002" with 8 out of 10 rounds having less that .0001" And yes that is One Ten thousands of an inch run out. This is all checked on a Necco runout gage and a SenicaTrue gauge (crazy money accurate set)
Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed decades of love of the RCBS, Redding, Bear, Lee, and many many other brands of handloading fair, ... but the FB Coax Press is hands down my pick for making precision handloads without going to a single Wilson bump die set up for my 6mm PPC.
Oh,,, and dies? Redding and FB Benchrest dies only! (neck bushing sizing dies mostly if you keep your brass per rifle separate)
Grab a Sinclair International catalog and buy 10 things from every page, every week, for the next 40 years and you'll be in about half the amount of debt for handloading stuff and me! :lol: )

I will say though for my 5.56 stuff I love my Dillion's I have quite a few Dillion 550B's and 650's (Seriously!) for the .223 fodder and for all my handgun rounds. Nothing I've found can produce the quality for handgun ammo like a Dillion. If you are a IPSC shooter or a 3 gun competitor, you already know this truth. And I must say Dillion's customer service is some of the best I've ever seen. Amazing products, amazing company and people as a whole.


When if comes to shotgun shells - 4 different Ponsness Warren 900c machines with hydraulic automatic cycling setups. 12ga, 20ga, 28ga, & .410 bore.
They truly do not reload shotgun shells, they remanufacture them!!! Awesome loaders - especially if you compete for a living and have 7 other friends that you split the cost of a train car full of shot with. (I bet you think I'm joking here. Nope!) Thank God my wife is into the same things as I am or I'd be divorced! :lol:
 
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