Die question - new or used?

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Seems like some dies are currently hard to find. I noticed eBay has dies for sale in both new and used. What is the risks in used, do dies really wear out and if worn what does it effect? Accuracy? It’s a matter of $20 something versus $70 something in some cases. Wondering if I should invest in new or used.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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offensivename wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:15 pm I've never had issues with used dies. For some older, harder to find, calibers used is the only route unless you want to wait a year for C4HD to build you a custom one.
I’m thinking of putting a bid on a few dies that I don’t have. Still can’t find primers, but realistically I need a few more dies, especially 38 Special and .308 Winchester. I have a 9mm Luger I got used and a new 7.62x54R. Eventually I’d like a die set for each caliber I have.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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I've never had issues with used dies, either. When buying in person, it's easy to examine inside for scores or gouges and stuff. Buying online I've never been burned, but that doesn't say that burning does not happen.

CDFingers
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Re: Die question - new or used?

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wooglin wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:53 am Round nose/wadcutter? Just a guess though.
That seems to be the answer. I'm putting a bid on it. Here's a pic of what's in the box. The stem looking thing is probably the wadcutter seating tool.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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jbjh wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:42 pm The set should have a part number. The first that comes up for your description is RCBS 18212.

I’d ask the seller to specify the part number so you can make sure it’s what you want.


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It seems to be ok from the part description on the RCBS site. The box said 18215. Both the one you mentioned are for 38 Special. No big deal if I'm out bid.
though. I'll see what happens. The price is still at a savings in my opinion.
Last edited by sikacz on Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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Rust wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:00 pm On the RCBS site, 18215 is the set with a taper crimp die. For regular lead and jacketed bullets, you probably want the roll crimp die.
AFAIK, a taper crimp in a revolver round is for plated bullets.
More stuff I didn't realize. LoL. It'll load something then. What is a plated versus jacketed bullet? I'm guessing plated would be something I can order. So to do jacketed or regular lead I would need to buy an additional die with a roll crimp? I don't need a set of three rolled crimp dies? Well I'm learning may be.....
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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jbjh wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:14 pm Gotcha. Was mostly trying to illustrate that die makers have lots of SKUs and to make sure it’s the one you want. Descriptions are nice, but SKU is final.


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I’m here to learn, so any info is welcome. The 38 Special is a round I’ll probably load a lot more than others. Are roll crimp and taper crimp sets totally different or are there parts of the three the same?
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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So from further reading if I understand correctly the seater die is either a rolled crimp or a taper crimp. If a set doesn’t specifically note TC it’s a roll crimp. Sound right? So that makes me think if I want to change a bullet type I would buy an additional roll crimp seater die.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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sikacz wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:34 pm
jbjh wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:14 pm Gotcha. Was mostly trying to illustrate that die makers have lots of SKUs and to make sure it’s the one you want. Descriptions are nice, but SKU is final.


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I’m here to learn, so any info is welcome. The 38 Special is a round I’ll probably load a lot more than others. Are roll crimp and taper crimp sets totally different or are there parts of the three the same?
The vast majority of what I reload is .38 Special, followed by .45 Colt, which is the exact same process.

First, any .38 Special die set can also reload .357 Magnum.

Second, roll crimps and taper crimps are simply a matter of degree. Here's what a roll crimp looks like. The left round is the clearest in the image.
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Primarily, a roll crimp is done for tube-fed leverguns to prevent the bullet from getting knocked a bit further back into the case ("bullet set-back") by the momentum of the other rounds after you fire and work the lever. Remember that back in the day when the .44-40 was invented, it was used in both revolvers and Winchester/Henry lever rifles. People routinely used the same ammo for both handgun and rifle. Roll crimping also has a small effect to keep the bullet from getting pulled out of the case a bit under heavy recoil, for example, in a .44 Magnum S&W Model 329 or a .454 Casull, though case neck tension is the bigger factor there.

Note that using a roll crimp depends on your bullet having either a crimp groove (cast lead bullets, like what I use) or a cannelure (jacketed bullets).

A "taper crimp" is actually not really a "crimp" at all. It's merely a straightening out of the case mouth after you've belled (or "flared"--both mean the same here) the case mouth for the bullet-seating step. We do this with certain cases because, unlike rimmed revolver cases like .38/357 and .45 Colt, the 9mm Parabellum actually headspaces on the case mouth. So do the .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and quite a few others. Therefore, the case mouth cannot be roll-crimped on those cartridges, because otherwise you mess up the headspacing. That's why all we do is re-flatten out the belling and no more, with those cartridges.

Taper crimps are also used with jacketed bullets that don't have a cannelure. This is so you don't end up cutting a groove into the bullet and thus damaging it. I've seen a lot of factory ammo, which used jacketed bullets, use taper crimps for this very reason.

That's the difference.

So, for your .38/357, it depends on the style of bullet that you're using. If you have a crimp groove or a cannelure, then roll-crimp. If not, then taper-crimp.

With my Lee 38/357 die set, I've done both roll crimping and taper crimping, just as an experiment. I settled on a moderate roll crimp for my cast bullets because they do have a crimp groove, as you can see in the picture. If you roll crimp, that's about how you want it to look.
Last edited by CowboyT on Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Die question - new or used?

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BTW...I know that Lee dies can either roll or taper crimp, simply depending on how you adjust the die. I would imagine that RCBS dies are the same way. RCBS knows that you may use different styles of bullets.

The bit about seating RN's, RNFP's, SWC's, WC's, JHP's, etc.? My dies have one seating stem for all types. I have yet to have a problem properly seating any of the aforementioned bullet types, and yes, I've tried 'em all. So, I wouldn't be too concerned about the bullet seating stem.
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http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
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Re: Die question - new or used?

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CowboyT wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:48 pm BTW...I know that Lee dies can either roll or taper crimp, simply depending on how you adjust the die. I would imagine that RCBS dies are the same way. RCBS knows that you may use different styles of bullets.

The bit about seating RN's, RNFP's, SWC's, WC's, JHP's, etc.? My dies have one seating stem for all types. I have yet to have a problem properly seating any of the aforementioned bullet types, and yes, I've tried 'em all. So, I wouldn't be too concerned about the bullet seating stem.
Thanks. Reassuring. Still I may not win this one, but I have more info for the next one.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Die question - new or used?

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sikacz wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:10 pm
Rust wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:00 pm On the RCBS site, 18215 is the set with a taper crimp die. For regular lead and jacketed bullets, you probably want the roll crimp die.
AFAIK, a taper crimp in a revolver round is for plated bullets.
More stuff I didn't realize. LoL. It'll load something then. What is a plated versus jacketed bullet? I'm guessing plated would be something I can order. So to do jacketed or regular lead I would need to buy an additional die with a roll crimp? I don't need a set of three rolled crimp dies? Well I'm learning may be.....
Now, let's get to plated vs. jacketed bullets.

Bullet jackets were initially invented to help prevent bullet deformation before the bullet hits its target, and it worked. Jacket material can range from 100% copper to an alloy of 95% copper and 5% zinc, a type of brass known as gilding metal. Hornady and Sierra, as two major examples, use gilding metal. I think Berger does as well. Gilding metal looks a lot like copper, but being a brass, it's a bit harder than pure copper. They take a lead slug of appropriate size and mechanically press the jacket around it. This is the good ol' swaging method that pretty much all bullet makers use (exception: the so-called "bonded" bullet lines, but that's a separate topic).

Plated bullets use pure copper, and what they do is electroplate copper, to a certain thickness, to the lead core. Essentially, they're creating a type of "bonded" bullet. However, since the pure copper jacket thus formed is a bit softer than the gilding metal, these bullets are thus a little softer. We therefore tend to treat them as if they were cast lead, for the purpose of reloading data. This is the method that Berry's and Rainier use for their manufacturing process, and they're fine bullets, too. If I didn't cast my own, I'd have no problem using Berry's and Rainier's plated bullets. It's just a slightly softer jacket, that's all.

Which one should *you* use?

Well, remember that cast lead has been used in full-house .357M ever since the 1930's, and assuming proper bullet lubrication, it works just as well today as it did back then. I shoot almost exclusively my own cast bullets, and I get virtually zero lead-fouling. The plated bullets, therefore, are more than hard enough to withstand anything that a .357M load--and certainly a .38 Spl load--could dish out to them. And, of course, jacketed bullets are also very good if you can get them at a good price.
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Re: Die question - new or used?

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Now, regarding new or used.

Dies tend to be pretty sturdy beasties. Just clean 'em every few thousand rounds with some WD-40 or any other similar cleaning solvent, and they'll last pretty much forever.

But, one very important thing:

BE SURE TO GET THE CARBIDE DIE SET! This really applies to the decapping/resizing die. Originally, dies were all steel, and you had to lube the cases so they wouldn't get stuck in the die. The traditional lube was lanolin-based. Hornady One-Shot also works. However, then they came out with a way to stick a tungsten carbide ring in the resizing die, and it's that ring that does the resizing. This ring is hard enough, and naturally slippery enough, that you don't need to lube the cases anymore. Just clean your cases using your preferred method (I tumble 'em in a 50/50 crushed walnut/corncob mixture), and start loading 'em. If the ad doesn't specify carbide die set, then ask that question before you bid.
"San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
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Re: Die question - new or used?

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CowboyT wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:41 pm And yeah, this thread is probably best placed in the Reloading forum.
Yes my mistake. I honestly thought I was in the reloading when I clicked on the new post. I hope the admins will fix my screw up.

Afterwards I looked for my post in the reloading and couldn't find it. Then I realized I had messed up. LoL.
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