Best dies for .404 currently out?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Wood_Duck, May 5, 2019.

  1. Wood_Duck

    Wood_Duck New Member

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    Hornady of course comes in the cheapest and I’ve had no complaints with their die sets before but would I be any better served with Redding or RCBS?
     

  2. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH Legend

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    Luxury dies will give you dials for seating depth, I could see this as important as you will be using 450gr bullets for optimal efficacy and you’ll be adjusting the bullets to get close to the lands for accuracy. What’s $200 for dies for what will likely be a $5000+ gun that shoots $5 cartridges?
     

  3. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Senior Member

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    FWIW, For about $20 you can buy the Hornady Microjust Seating Stem that will turn any Hornady seating die into one of those dial type seating dies.
     
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  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    In my 375 H&H (as well as several other calibers) I really like the quality of the Redding. Their micrometer readout (black with white/liver markings) is much easier for me to see than the Hornady (silver on silver markings). Young eyes might do better. I also hate the floating seater Hornady has. It often sticks in my dies.
    JME&O.
     
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  5. ve7poi

    ve7poi AH Enthusiast

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    With hornady just be careful not to bump shoulder back on case
    Had that happen a few times when I first started to break rifle in

    Click no bang does wonders to pick up any flinching you might be developing lol
    Had it adjusted improperly and bumped shoulder back far enough I only had a very light primmer strike as case moved ahead from force of firing pin
     
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  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    LOL!!! Too funny, but a very interesting training idea!
     

  7. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    +1 for Redding dies. In the event of a problem, outstanding customer service.
     

  8. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Fanatic

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    what makes good dies?
    ideally they should size cases straight, and seat bullets straight.
    for hunting rifles, full length sizing of cases is a given.
    both to keep shoulder bumped to the correct headspace, and with this body dimensions for reliable chambering of rounds.
    the problem with this is that if you have a large chamber and a tight die, case life becomes an issue, to the point of being dangerous.
    the ideal fls die situation comes when you have a custom chamber done, with a chambering reamer, and you also have a die reamer to match the chambering reamer.
    this die will size your cases to 0.003" under chamber size when correctly adjusted for headspace.
    your gunsmith will make a die blenk and chamber it with the reamer, or access die blanks from nulon or pacific tool and gauge.
    the seating die is chambered with the same reamer used to chamber the barrel, again in a die blank.
    the sizing die should ideally be hardened to minimize wear.
    all the other bells and whistles are nice to have, but not as necessary as the abovementioned.
    rather than you beaut seating depth adjusters, making the sizing die that takes neck bushings can be of great value in that you can optimize neck tension while minimally working the brass.
    bushings to suit 404 might need to be custom made.
    could be ch4d will custom make sizing dies to suit your chamber if you send them some fired cases.
    bruce.
     
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  9. BobT

    BobT AH Enthusiast

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    I prefer Redding dies if I can get them but I don't find the .404 listed in their catalog. RCBS would be my next pick and they are cataloged under Safari Die Sets. I rank Hornady dies just slightly ahead of Lee Precision. For loading a big bore most any of them will be serviceable.
     

  10. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Enthusiast

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    Do you know how much extra case life you can get with custom dies? I was thinking about getting custom dies from Whidden (they make them based on fired cases) but am not sure if it’s worth the extra expense.
     

  11. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Fanatic

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    just a $ saving will probably not fully justify the expense of whidden dies.
    however there are other considerations to include in the formula.with all calibres, but particularly those like the 404, a case head separation at in inopportune moment is to be avoided.
    you will notice with min sizing fls dies that case trimming is barely noticeably more than neck sizing only.
    this indicates that brass is hardly moving.
    if the die is also a bushing die necks will be worked a lot less as well due to not oversizing and the dragging over an expander,
    trying to load straight ammo is impossible with a crooked sizing die.
    no amount of perfection in a seating die will correct it.
    numbers like 1.5 thou bullet runout max on a batch of loaded ammo is good.
    even redding target type dies can give 0.004 to 0.008 runout, and other brands worse.
    if you can afford whidden, you will never regret the purchase after using them for a while.
    bruce.
     
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  12. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bruce, there is a little trick that I use to reduce runout. Theoretically, it cuts it in half. Seat the bullet about half way, then rotate the case 180 degrees and finish seating the bullet. Simple but it really does work.
     
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  13. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I use the same technique.
     

  14. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I use RCBS for all my calibers and have no problems. I tried Hornady but couldn't get them adjusted. Even my smith had trouble so I returned them. Once I load a couple rounds I chamber check them for feed and bolt maniplication. Then I load the rest. Every time I put a die in my press I go through the drill even though the die is set from before. So far all is well.
     

  15. Wood_Duck

    Wood_Duck New Member

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    Definitely a knowledge drop! I may go with the Redding for now and I’m going to look into the custom die once my rifle is built.
     

  16. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

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