a better die set for 450/400 3" NE?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by matt85, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i currently have a set of hornady dies for 450/400 3" NE and to put it simply... they suck! the full length sizer likes to dent brass and thats only when its not falling apart. the seating die is "ok" but you have to be careful cause it also likes to crush brass.

    where can i find a better die set for this cartridge?

    according to Midway, RCBS makes a set but ive never seen it in stock and RCBS is vague on its website.

    thanks!
    -Matt
  2. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    I've never had problems with any Hornady dies. The dents are usually from too much lube on the case. Very little is needed.

    I just did a quick check and Buffalo Arms has CH4D dies ready to go. They're very good quality also.
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  3. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    the die itself falls apart 1 in 3 uses. the method they use to hold the expander plug at correct height is poor and the plug and rod are easily pulled out of the die when extracting the cartridge from the die. this can be fixed by placing some vice grips on the piece of the threaded rod that comes out the top. however, I really don't like having to rig a $80 die set to just barely work.

    as for the dents, at first I thought it was too much lube as well. however even after I cleaned all the lube out (I use CLP), I still find it to cause dents. I have never had a problem with my case lubing method with any other die set.

    thanks for the heads up on the CH4D dies, I will order the set and give it a try!

    -matt
  4. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

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    Matt,
    I use the RCBS set for my 450/400 and really like it. I have ordered 2 different Hornady dies sets for various calibers in the past and absolutely hate them. Cheap pieces of junk. As CH4D dies were mentioned, just ordered a set for my 500 NE and love that as well. Price is 2.5Xs Hornady and on par with the RCBS Safari grade dies but worth it in my opinion.
  5. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    instead of buying from buffalo arms, i contacted CH4D directly over the phone. Dave is a very nice guy and very knowledgeable. they have a die set aswell as a neck sizer in stock and i will be ordering directly from them.

    -matt
  6. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i didnt have any luck with th CH4D dies. the neck sizer eats brass if your not extremely carefull and the seating/crimping die doesnt reall crimp... it sizes the neck down over the bullet. this might work in theory but in reality it tends to damage the bullets and doesnt hold them in very well. if those problems werent enough, when i reproduced the load that i was using with decent success it no longer regulated. im sending them back and requesting a refund.

    next try will be RCBS dies... heres hoping those work out!

    -matt
  7. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

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    Matt,
    See if Dave is willing to look at the dies by sending him 2 or 3 spent brass to work with. They are usually willing to work it out if the possibility exist of a problem on the manufacture side. Hate to see you go back to Hornady!
  8. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    ive already sent the CH4D dies back with a letter requesting a refund. ill keep the CH4D neck sizer since its the only neck sizer I can find for the cartridge. I don't like the method the CH4D dies use to crimp cartridges so even if he was able to fix the problems I still wouldn't want to keep the seating die.

    I put an order in for a set of RCBS dies, ive heard good things about these so I hope they work out for me.

    -matt
  9. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

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    Is your 450/400 a double or magazine bolt gun? Wondering why you're crimping unless it's a magazine bolt gun.
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Matt is shooting a double in a Sabatti.
  11. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

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    Absolutely no reason to crimp then
  12. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    ive gotten in this argument many times with people. ive had a bad experience while hunting using uncrimped cartridges (the bullets got pushed into the cases) and now i crimp all cartridges. aside from that, i reuse my brass many many times and heavily used brass will not reliably hold a bullet without a crimp. i suppose i could crimp some and not others but i would simply prefer to use the exact same load all the time.

    -matt
  13. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

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    Just my personal experience which seems different from yours, but I have big bore brass I've loaded atleast 10 times now and still have no issue with. Never crimped my 450/400 and presently not crimping my 500 either although the most any of that brass has been reloaded at this point is 3 times (for the 500 NE that is).
    With the doubles, I just don't experience the movement.
    Now mags where a cartridge goes thru 3 or 4 heavy loads before it's time to be chambered...different story.
    Anyway, personal preference it is and good luck.

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