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"You get what you pay for!" goes the old saying.  

 

Often - usually, even - this is sound advice.  But then there are reloading dies.

 

So the Sassparilla Kid had been yearning for a new rifle, and after spending a great deal of time researching, pondering, studying ballistics, and all that, he decided that the caliber he wanted is 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum.  Roy Weatherby played with the design back in the 1950's, and it finally went into production about five years ago.  Interesting round, it has an amazingly flat trajectory - with a MV of about 3,500 fps, when sighted in at 300 yards it's vertical string ranges from +2.5" at 100 yards to -7.5" at 400 yards.  

 

Anyway, the Kid wanted one, and yesterday he plunked down his $$ at Sportsman's Warehouse.  And after the required California ten day "cooling off" period he'll be able to take it home.

 

But, loaded ammunition and even brass are not readily available, and quite pricey when they are.  He's already on Weatherby's "waiting list" for brass, and he WILL be loading his own.

 

Which brings me to the point of this pondering:  Dies.

 

In the 50+  years that I've been reloading I have owned and used dies made by RCBS, Pacific, Redding, Lee, Lyman, and perhaps others.  And all have served well; some may have some conveniences over others (like Dillon's), but essentially they all function pretty much the same.

 

So with that in mind, from an economic view I've tended to lean toward Lee dies.  Personally, with the exception of their somewhat funky "O-ring" locking rings, I've found them to perform well.  And those locking rings are easily replaced with conventional types.

 

Well, I set out to order a set of dies for the Kid this morning.  Prices?  With one exception, from about $100 to $200 for the set (the priciest I found was Midway, at $199.98 for a set from Redding, marked down from $255.25).

 

Unfortunately, everyone seemed to be "out-of-stock" on dies for this caliber.

 

Except good ol' "Midsouth Shooters Supply."  A set of 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum dies is on the way. 

 

Lee.  For a whopping $33.58.  :lol:

 

So - favorite dies...?  :)

 

 

 

 

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Well to tell you the truth, I hope you don't get what you paid for, I mean this in the best possible way.  Trying to wring the best possible performance out of this rifle requires the best possible ammunition and I hope the Lee's are up to the challenge.   

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My only complaint about Lee dies is that there is no way to lock the stem in their seating dies.  I use a Lyman T-mag turret press for my rifle cartridges. Usually use two dies at a time. Decap/resize and bell the case mouth on all my empty cases. Then prime them all off the press with a hand primer.

Charge with powder set bullet on case then back into the press for seating and crimping in two steps.

 

So this requires me to toggle between two dies on the press. I usually grip the dies as they make a convenient hand hold for turning the turret. With lee dies this causes the seating stem to move as it doesn't have a lock ring.

 

Other than that I see nothing wrong with them. 

 

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I anticipate adding a micrometer seating die ~ would likely do that with any die set for this rifle, unless it was a high-priced set that included one. 

 

But at this point, this Lee die set is literally the only die set for this caliber I was able to find that was in stock anywhere.  Wasn't a difficult choice!  :rolleyes:

 

 

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Lee makes very good products......I've been reloading with Lee products for about 13 years, and never had any issue with their quality.....

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Midsouth is almost my neighbor!  Just twenty minutes away.  They have repeatedly told me that they WILL NOT raise their prices unless manufacturers or suppliers do so.

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Lee - 25

RCBS - 16

Dillon - 8

Redding - 6

Lyman - 3

Hornady - 1

Pacific - 1

CH - 1

 

I might be missing one or two...

 

No real preference and Lee isn't necessarily my favorite, but they're inexpensive and work fine. I buy lock rings in 5 packs to replace the goofy O-ring lock nuts.

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I prefer Lee dies. I like RCBS dies also, but prefer Lee. I will admit the new thumb wheel locking rings are crud, but I use the Lee Breechlock press and the breechlock bushings for securing the dies once set so the little thumb wheelie dealie is no issue. 
 

Those RCBS Cowboy dies are pretty darn cool too. 

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