11 Best Reloading Dies For Accuracy – Reviews and Guides 2018
Fact: A good set of dies acts as the lifeblood of every reloading setup.
This explains you’re always recommended to buy the best reloading dies set that meets your specific reloading needs or requirements.
If you invest in bad dies, you’re sure to end up with imprecise, inconsistent rounds that give you a hell of issues in the form of misses, feeding, and jamming.
That’d be quite a disappointment, right?
However, you can escape all these problems in the first place by investing in a good set of dies.
With that in mind, I’ve researched the top-rated reloading die sets on the market today and got 11 of the best that serious reloaders swear by.
And I’ll review these dies for you below to help you easily get the one that perfectly matches your ammo reloading needs.
Let’s do this…
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What are Reloading Dies?
If you’re new to reloading, allow me to first shed some light on exactly what reloading dies are all about…
As I’ve just mentioned above, reloading dies are among the most crucial supplies you’ll ever need in your reloading bench setup. They’re heavily involved in the production of all the cartridges you reload.
To use the dies, you just fix them in your reloading press and then use them to perform various reloading job— like decapping, resizing and expanding the mouth of your cases, bullet sitting, and even crimping.
A typical reloading die comes threaded to facilitate easy adjustments, enhancing proper cartridge assembly.
A complete die set comprises of several dies (usually 2, 3 or 4 dies) to help you carry the various teats mentioned above.
However, it’s important to note that there are some dies designed to carry out multiple tasks, hence reducing the total number of dies in a complete set.
Still, there are specialty dies made for use with certain types of reloading presses and brands.
Something else worth noting is that each reloading die set is made for use with a specific cartridge caliber (this information is usually etched on the die).
The manner and sequence in which you should fix a die set to your reloading press for use is usually outlined in the user manual you buy your set with.
And now to our list of the 11 top-best reloading die sets for accuracy and precision…
Our Best Reloading Dies Set Reviews:
1. Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set:
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Lee is a trusted name in the reloading die industry, having been in the game for decades. Their Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set is a great option for everyone looking for that one set that produces super-accurate ammo with each reloading session.
Out of the 4 dies included in this set, you’ll get the full-length sizing die with decapping unit to help you resize and reshape your cases to the recommended dimensions. You’ll also get the expanding die that lets you easily expand and belly your case mouth as you charge it with powder.
The other two dies include the bullet seating die that ensures perfect bullet depth at all times, and Lee’s exclusive carbide factory crimp die— which ensures that the bullet doesn’t move past the set depth or get back out.
As a full package, this Lee dies set also come with additional accessories such as shell holder, load data sheet, powder dipper, and the flat 4-die plastic container, which make your reloading process easier and more convenient.
2. Hornady 546228 DIESET 2 223 REM Remington Custom Grade Reloading DIE Set:
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Hornady also ranks among the most reputable brands, not only for reloading dies but other reloading supplies as well.
Their 546228 223 REM Remington Custom Grade Reloading DIE Set is well-known for its maximum durability and longevity. It’s made using heat-treated, select steel on top of excellent craftsmanship that keeps off breakage and wear attempts during normal use.
In addition to that, it features a hardened steel decap pin that won’t break, crack, or bend, unlike in the other dies.
The 2 die set package comprises of the smooth polished elliptical expander which facilitates an extremely smooth release from the case neck, eliminating or reducing cases of neck stretch. It also comes with a truly accurate and consistent bullet seater die. Once you set your desired depth, all your bullets will get seated precisely as per your expectations.
The slight tension offered by the integrated compression washer ensures fine adjustments while maintaining your settings into place.
3. RCBS .45 ACP Carbide Die Set:
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Our third die set also comes from another respected name in the reloading supplies industry, the RCBS. The manufacturer boasts of over 60 years (or 6 decades) of experience which has enabled them to learn all the ins and outs of all your reloading gear- including the dies.
The company pioneered and developed the 3-die set for reloading your straight wall rifle and pistol cases. In this set, the sizing and expanding (bellying) tasks are carried out by separate dies.
The set comprises of the sizer die with decapping unit, expander die that easily expands and belies the case mouth, and the seater die with roll or taper crimp and the bullet seater plug for seating, crimping your bullets.
Keep in mind that these are carbide dies, which eliminates the need to lube your cases before reloading them. This can be a huge time saver for all hand loaders out there- especially if you’re reloading volumes of cases.
For all your straight wall pistol case reloading needs, this RCBS die set is the way to go!
4. Lee Precision 9-mm Luger Carbide 3-Die Set:
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For those looking for the best die set for reloading their 9MM Luger ammunition, this Lee carbide 3-die set doesn’t disappoint.
One thing you’ll love about these dies is the durability they come with, just like in all the other Lee products. They’re made using hardened steel for exceptional strength and durability that lets you reload for long hours (and for countless sessions) without any breakage or damage attempts.
The complete set comes with 3 dies- namely the full-length carbide sizing die, expanding die, and the bullet seating die. This set will let you effectively and efficiently reload your 9mm Luger ammo. The fact that the sizer die is made if carbide eliminates the time-consuming task of having to lubricate your cases before using them.
The box that comes with these dies is unique in that its 100% airtight and low profile to help preserve the integrity of all the dies while keeping them organized and ready for use.
The universal shell holder and powder dipper have also been included in the package for hassle-free reloading.
Above all this, the package comes with an instruction manual plus load data sheet for easy reloading.
5. Hornady 546358 DIESET 2 308 WIN Winchester Custom Grade Reloading DIEs:
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The Hornady 546358 DIESET 2 is just like all the other Hornady die sets in that it comes designed to offer you a lifetime of reloading. The 2-die set is so well-crafted that it’s guaranteed to never break, chip, or wear out during normal use.
The nice looking set of dies incorporate the Hornady’s new Zip Spindle design. The genius design is famous for its light threads series cut on the spindle as well as the spindle collect which eliminates the spindle slippage cases. If you’ve ever busted your knuckle when tightening the spindle lock, you’ll doubtlessly appreciate this design.
The two die set includes the full-length sizer die which is made of carbide to eliminate the lubrication process and give you more time to concentrate on reloading your cases. The elliptical expander die comes polished with a smooth finish to promote smooth case neck release—eliminating cases of a stretched neck.
The dies are packed in an easy access box to ensure you can always access them when the need arises as well as easily transport them to your desired location- say to the range.
6. Lee Precision Reloading LP90695 308 WIN Ultimate Rifle Die Set:
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For the ultimate versatility, choose the Lee Precision Reloading LP90695 308 WIN Ultimate Rifle Die Set.
The set provides you with a full-length sizer die that reshapes and resizes your cases back to the original factory dimensions. It also comes with the collet neck sizing die that helps provide the best possible degree of accuracy. The fact that des are made using carbide means you don’t have to use any lube for the resizing part.
The easy-adjust dead length bullet seater die foolproof your bullet seating adjustment, helping you achieve the perfect, consistent seating depth at all times. Lastly, we have the factory crimp die which delivers a secure crimp on your bullets with/without the crimp groove. In 99% of cases, this die gives you accurate ammo by an even higher start pressure while granting the finished cartridges factory like dependability and accuracy.
As a complete set, this package also provides you with the powder measure, shell holder, and even the famous Lee load data that features all the common reloading powder brands.
7. RCBS 11107 .223 Rem/5.56 x 45 SB T/C Die Set:
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If you’re in the market for the best hunting reloading dies, consider investing in this RCBS 11107 .223 Rem/5.56 x 45 SB T/C Die Set. The set is specially designed to make the reloading process easier for all the AR-style or semi-auto shooters.
The two die set includes the full-length small base sizing die and the new taper crimp seating die. The set sizes your brass consistently for excellent chambering performance and accuracy. The taper crimp seating die, in particular, is designed to offer you the flexibility you need to safely and successfully crimp cases that a little bit shorter or longer.
Note that these dies are made using highest quality materials to guarantee durability to withstand regular reloading for years and years to come.
The set is made for all progressive reloaders who plan to pump out massive amounts of ammo in an extremely short period of time.
Despite all the great features and capabilities, this die set is one of the most affordable in this list on top of an excellent warranty, making it the best option for all hunters and hand loaders on a tight budget.
8. Lee Precision Reloading 30/06 Ultimate Rifle Die Set:
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The Lee Precision Reloading 30/06 Ultimate Rifle Die Set is another perfect package for beginners and expert reloaders alike. The dies included in this set are all made of heat-treated steel to make them durable enough to see you through thousands and thousands of reloading sessions.
The complete set includes 4 dies. These include the full length-resizing die that returns your brass to the original factory designs for reuse. Second, we have the Collect Neck sizing die for use with you fire-formed brass to give you the best possible accuracy. Keep in mind that these dies are carbide made, so they don’t require any lubrication when in use.
The easy adjust dead length bullet seating die goes a long way in foolproofing the bullet seating adjustment—ensuring the perfect seating depth at all times. The fourth and last die is the factory crimp die that ensures a secure crimp on all your bullets while offering cartridges with factory-like dependability and accuracy.
As it’s the case with all the other Lee die sets, this package also includes the shell holder, powder measure, and the famous Lee load data for an easy, hassle-free reloading process.
9. Lee Precision Pacesetter .308 Dies:
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The .308 Winchester Mag rounds fall into the category of bottleneck cartridge cases. And in that case, you’ll need the best full-length sizing die to reload them successfully. And that die is the Lee Precision Pacesetter .308 Dies set.
The set comes with the 3 key dies- the Full-Length Sizing Die, Bullet Seating Die, and the Factory Crimp Die. The factory crimp die is the one that makes this die set popular given the fact that it helps you reload your ammo with the ultimate accuracy.
All the three die features a top-quality construction, which enables them to hold up to regular use without breaking down or getting damaged.
The dies are packed in a convenient case which facilitates easy storage and transportation of your dies to any place.
And just like all the other Lee dies, this set also comes with a universal shell holder, powder dipper, instruction manual and load data- all of which make your reloading process extremely easy and fast.
10. Hornady 546533 DIESET 3 40 S&W/10MM AUTO Pistol DIE Set:
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Whether you’re a beginner or experienced reloader, the Hornady 546533 DIESET will be a great addition to your reloading setup. The set features a total of 3 well-crafted dies that significantly enhances the efficiency of your reloading.
A list of impressive features comes with this set of dies which makes using them hassle-free. Among these features, we have the Hornady’s popular Zip Spindle design which is characterized by light threads up and down the spindle collect. This helps reduce the slippage cases while tightening the spindle lock.
This Hornady also comes with the polished elliptical expander which lets you expand without any extra die, plus it ensures smooth release of the neck case.
Other notable features that contribute to the efficiency and reliability of this Hornady 546533 DIESET 3 40 S&W/10MM AUTO Pistol DIE Set include the built-in crimper, skidding adjustment sleeve, compression washer, wrench flats durable steel decap pin, and the removable retainer ring.
11. Redding Reloading - Deluxe Die Set 308 Winchester:
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Last on our list we have the Redding Reloading - Deluxe Die Set 308 Winchester. For those who don’t know, the Redding brand has been producing top-notch reloading equipment since 1946—making it another top brand you can trust.
The 100% American made 3-die set is made for the 308 Winchester rifle cartridges. The set contains the full-length sizing die, the neck sizing die, and the bullet seating die. The full-length sizing die comes with a decapping rod assembly with neck expander; the expanding die features a neck expanding plug; and the seating die comes with a built-in crimping ring plus seating plug.
Unquestionably, such a combination is sure to deliver more consistent and reliable ammo throughout all your reloading sessions.
Because these dies are made using the finest alloy steels available, they’ve got an exceptional level of durability that enables them to endure the tightest industry tolerances. The fact that all the Redding dies are heat-treated in atmospherically controlled furnaces guarantees that they’ll last a lifetime.
Similar to most of the dies that we’ve previously reviewed, this set also comes with a sturdy box that ensures safe, easy storage and transport of your dies to your desired location.
Types Of Reloading Dies
The reloading dies can further be grouped into various types depending on the job they’re meant to carry out. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the 5 most common types of reloading dies.
1. Sizer/deprimer die
This is the first die in the set. When you thrust your empty cases into it, it shrinks them back to the factory size to prepare them for reuse. Besides, it features a steel pin at the center which ejects the used primer from the case.
2. Expanding die
This die is responsible for expanding the rim of a straight-walled case as it gets thrust through the die to accommodate the bullet. Some expanding dies can as well let you insert your gunpowder into the case at this step- either manually or automatically using a powder hopper.
3. Powder cop die
The powder cop die lets you know if the right amount of gunpowder has been put into your cases following the powder/expanding step. The die features a centrally positioned rod with a rubber O-ring attached to it.
The case is inserted into the die with the rod moving vertically— and should the O-ring flushes with the top of the die, the amount of powder used is ok. In case the O-ring extends above the die top, then too much powder has been used.
4. Bullet feeder die
The job of this die is to align your bullets with the cartridge cases and position them within the newly expanded cases.
5. Seat/crimp die
Once your bullets are set atop the cases by the bullet feeder die, the cases will the move to the seat/crimp die, where the bullets seated into the cartridges at your desired depth. Afterward, the same die will crimp the bullets into place to prevent them from getting pushed further into the die or popping back out.
In some cases, however, the seat and crimp processes might be performed by two different dies- the seat and crimp dies.
How To Decide The Right One To Buy?
One of the critical factors that should help you in deciding on what die set to buy is the overall durability.
Always make a point of buying tough, durable die sets that can take just any hard and well-molded case and resize it to a tee.
Likewise, ensure the decapping pin is also sturdy enough to hold up to long work hours without signs of chipping, breaking, bending, or getting stuck.
You can always rest assured that a durable set of dies will easily handle a ton of cases in a single reloading session without any issues. Plus it’ll last longer than the low-quality models.
Number of dies in the set
Some sets come with 2 sets; others come with up to 3. The number of dies contained in the set you wish to buy is crucial in meeting your reloading needs.
If you’re planning to reload bottleneck cases, you can choose a 2 die set. And if you plan to reload a straight case, then a 3 die set will do.
What about sets that come with up to 4 dies? If you buy such a set, you’ll also get special dies as well—like the hand or bump.
What reloading press are you currently using?
The compatibility of the dies you’re buying with your existing reloading press is another essential factor that you shouldn’t ignore.
If you purchase dies that aren’t compatible with your press, that doesn’t make sense as you might not use them.
Imagine making a mistake of buying a die set that’s not compatible with your press when you’re working on a tight budget?
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Like in the case all the other reloading supplies, the reloading dies industry has numerous brands claiming to offer you the best quality.
The secret to ensuring you get quality product during shopping, therefore, lies in buying from the top brands in the industry.
The top brands you can trust include Lee, Hornady, and RCBS.
These top manufacturers produce a variety of dies for all calibers you can think of. And their products are made for durability, reliability, and longevity.
Lastly, you should let the cost factor guide you into getting the right die set for you.
For the reloaders working on a tight budget, you should go for quality dies that don’t require you to spend too much.
By quality, I mean dies that are incredibly tough, long-lasting, and can deliver impressive performance during reloading.
Hornady vs. Lee Dies: Which One Is The Best?
Lee and Hornady are the top names in the reloading dies field. The two old, well-established companies enjoy unending popularity and massive usage of their dies.
But which of the two has better products than the other?
In this section, we’ll take compare these two brands in an attempt to answer the above question.
Hornady gained fame and respect in the industry many, many years ago following the introduction of the carbide, lubeless handgun dies into the market.
For those who don’t know, the carbide die are incredibly smooth and hard—which makes it impossible for your empty cases to stick to them. This saves you from the process of having to rub the pretty small handgun cases on lube before they get into the dies, giving you a smooth, mess-free reloading process.
Something else that earns this brand respect in the reloading field is their skidding bullet guide that’s built into the Hornady seating dies.
The guide comprises of steel sleeve sliding up and down inside the die to facilitate proper alignment of the case mouth and the bullet as it moves up into the die and eventually gets forced into the brass.
The guide will save you a great deal of time and brass. The guide is held into position using wire spring bit, and it’s effortless to remove and clean in case it gums up.
Lee, on the other hand, is well-known for its vast variety of reloading dies. Not to forget their almost unique packaging and truly affordable prices.
One thing that makes Lee handgun dies similar to the above brand is the fact that they’re using carbide as well, making the lubrication process unnecessary. Plus, their spindle assembly maintains its position with the help of a collect— just like the Hornady dies.
Perhaps what sets the Lee dies from the rest is the method they utilize for holding the outer lock ring into position. For decades, these rings were simply kept from wandering using the same method, which involved tapping a set screw into the ring side and then being driven into the die thread properly adjusting the die.
Lee’s new method involves using a simple rubber O-ring that easily finds its way into the die threads. With a little force, you can still move the die, but it won’t travel during use.
Overall, the best dies for you depend on what you wish to accomplish as a reloader. If you’re used to loading volumes of cases, I’d recommend you to go for the Hornady dies as they tend to lock up tighter and have a stronger, durable construction which translates to extended lifespan.
If loading smaller ammo and less frequently, consider investing in the Lee dies. The dies come at incredibly low prices and will give you fully functional ammo, and you can spend the extra cash on brass and bullets.
All in all, if I were to draw a winner between these two companies, I’d go with the Lee dies. Considering that every hand loader would want to save some cash, Lee will be a good deal for you, and they’ll help you accomplish just the same results as Hornady die sets.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the best reloading dies act as the lifeblood of your releasing bench setup.
The ideal die set helps you resize, reshape, reload, and even crimp your cases safely and properly. Follow my buying guide above to help you easily get the right set for you from the many models on the market today.
To avoid confusion during your shopping process, be sure to select your die set from the 11 most popular sets I’ve just shared with you in this guide.
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