Best Reloading DiesReloading your own bullets is a great way to save money on ammunition. It also gives you the ability to precisely adjust the load for improved accuracy and velocity. However, it requires investing in the proper equipment, including a quality set of reloading dies for each type of cartridge you plan on reloading.

The best reloading dies allow you to make sure your bullets are properly made for consistent feeding and ejecting, as well as precise shooting. On the other hand, a set of cheap reloading dies can easily result in bullets that could jam up your firearm or simply suffer from poor performance.

In A Hurry? This Is The Best:

Bestseller No. 1
Lee Precision 90963 9-mm Carbide 4-Die Set Luger (Grey)
  • Lee 9mm Luger Pistol 4-Die Set.
  • Easy to Transport
  • Includes Carbide Full Length Die, Bullet Seating Die, Powder Thru Expanding Die, Carbide Factory Crimp Die, Universal Shell Holder, Powder Dipper and Instructions/Load Data

What Are Reloading Dies and How Are They Used?

Dies are one of the most important reloading tools, which serve a number of essential functions depending on the type. Each set normally includes three or four dies—each of which is designed for a different purpose, such as resizing, expanding or decapping the cartridge. The dies are designed to screw into the reloading press, providing a secure base for performing all of the required tasks.

Steps:​

The resizing die is the first die used, which allows you to return the cartridge back to its original industry standard size. After decapping the primer, cleaning the cartridge and repriming it, you’ll then move on to the expanding die. This die is used to expand the mouth of the cartridge to ensure that the bullet fits properly inside it.

After quickly checking to see that the bullet fits, the next step is to use a funnel to fill the cartridge with powder. From there, you can simply finish by using the bullet seating die to fit the bullet into the cartridge. However, some people prefer to first use an additional crimping die to slightly adjust the shape of the cartridge so that the bullet fits better. Crimping the cartridge generally produces a more accurate round, but it’s definitely not a necessity, which is good news for those of you looking to save time.

Each three or four die set is designed to fit a specific caliber of cartridge, meaning you’ll need to purchase one set for every type of ammunition you want to reload. However, there is one exception—the decapping die. This die is used to remove the spent primer either before or after resizing the cartridge. Most decapping dies are universal, meaning they will work on almost every type of cartridge.

It’s also possible to find sets where the resizing die can also be used for decapping, and even simple two die sets where the resizing die also widens the mouth of the cartridge, eliminating the need for a separate expanding die.

What to Look for in Reloading Dies?

When purchasing reloading dies, it’s always a good idea to invest in the best possible option. A high quality set of dies should last for years and years, so there’s no reason to be unnecessarily cheap with your purchase. The fact that they are so long-lasting means you can easily find thousands of used reloading dies for sale online. However, buying used dies generally isn’t recommended unless it’s your only option or you happen to be buying them from a close friend who you know took proper care of them.

The problem is that if the dies are slightly damaged in any way, it could result in you spending all your time and money making bullets that couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to invest in a quality set of new dies from a well known, reputable manufacturer.

All dies are generally made from solid machined steel, so there’s not that much to separate most of the top brands. All dies should also theoretically be made from case-hardened steel, but this doesn’t always seem to be the case with some of the cheaper brands, many of which tend to use inferior quality steel.

Generally, you should expect to pay somewhere between $30 and $60 for a good set of cartridge-specific dies, plus another $10 to $20 for the decapping die. This means that you could easily end up spending several hundred dollars on dies alone if you plan on reloading several different calibers of ammo. Nonetheless, it will more than make up for itself in time due to all the money you’ll save by no longer having to buy bullets.

The Best Reloading Dies for Each Caliber

dies

Trying to decide which reloading dies to buy is both a simple choice and a difficult one at the same time. The reason being that—if you’re truly looking for the best reloading dies—there are really only a handful of choices for each caliber. Generally, the choice will come down to one of three top brands:

  • Lee
  • Hornady
  • RCBS

Each of these brands produces a range of different reloading dies in virtually every caliber imaginable, leaving you several outstanding options. While there is very little to separate the dies from any of these brands, after a large amount of research and testing, we’ve chosen our top pick for some of the most popular calibers.

Best Reloading Dies for 45 ACP: Lee Precision 45 ACP Carbide 4-Die Set

LEE PRECISION .45 ACP Carbide 3-Die Set (Silver)
  • Has an universal shell holder and powder dipper
  • Has a durable design that is made to last
  • Also includes an instruction manual and a load data sheet

When looking to reload your 45 ACP pistol, this Lee Precision carbide four-die set is definitely the best option. While most other sets only include three dies, this set gives you the added bonus of a crimping die to enable you to put that finally finishing touch on your ammo. The inclusion of the crimping die means these are easily the best reloading dies for accuracy.

However, if you’re looking to save time, you could always go with a standard Hornady or RCBS three die set and skip the crimping process.

Best Reloading Dies for 308: Lee Precision Pacesetter .308 Dies

The popular .308 Winchester rounds require the use of a special full-length sizing die due to the bottleneck cartridge. Although numerous companies produce these dies, Lee again gets the nod as our top choice.

As with the 45 ACP, the reason we chose this set is that it includes a factory crimp die. In addition, our choice is also due to this set’s high quality construction and the low price. Like most other Lee die sets, this one includes a hard carrying case to ensure you don’t lose any of the dies, as well as a universal shell holder and powder dipper.

Best Reloading Dies for 300 Win Mag: RCBS FL Die Set (.300 Win Mag)

RCBS FL Die Set (.300 Win Mag)
  • Made of the highest quality materials
  • Hunting Reloading Dies
  • Another quality Bushnell product
  • Made from case hardened steel
  • Precision-drilled and reamed to the same exacting standards as the...

When it comes time to reload old .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges, many experts recommend this outstanding two die set from RCBS. This set includes a resizing die and a bullet seating die, both of which are made from case-hardened steel for rugged, long-lasting strength and durability. Each die features a large hex lock ring that enables easy adjustments. The lock ring itself also features a hex-head set screw that enables you to tighten the die in place to prevent slippage.

Best Reloading Dies for 45-70: RCBS 3-Die Set (.45-70 U.S. Government)

RCBS 3-Die Set (.45-70 U.S. Government)
  • Made of the highest quality materials
  • Hunting Reloading Dies
  • Another quality Bushnell product
  • For straight-wall rifle and pistol cases
  • Sizing and expanding (belling) are done in separate dies

Reloading your own .45-70 rifle or handgun cartridges provides you with a wide range of possibilities for use in antique weapons, replicas and a range of modern big game rifles. With the RCBS three-die set, you can ensure that your ammo is perfectly constructed to prevent possible damage to any antiques. These dies are precision machine to the highest standards to ensure ultimate quality,

Best Reloading Dies for 300 Blackout: Lee Precision .300 AAC Blackout 3-Die Set

Lee Precision 300 Aac Blackout Very Limited Production 3-Die...
  • Lee Precision 300 Aac Blackout Very Limited Production 3-Die

For anyone who enjoys shooting AR-style rifles, the .300 AAC Blackout is definitely one of the most versatile and powerful ammos available to you. When reloading your 300 Blackout ammo, this Lee Precision three-die set is guaranteed to provide consistent performance and fantastic accuracy.

The set includes a full-length sizing die that helps to prevent damage to the bottleneck, as well as a factory crimp die and easy-adjust dead length bullet seating die. Like all other Lee dies, these will work in most any reloading press, as long as it features 7/8-inch threads.

A Final Word about Reloading

For those of you who are seasoned reloaders, there’s not much left to say other than happy reloading! However, if you are just starting out, it’s important that you take your time to learn how things are properly done before even thinking about getting started. Once you do finally start reloading, safety should always be your most important priority. While the best reloading dies can definitely help you produce higher quality, more accurate ammunition, none of it will matter should you happen to screw up and injure yourself.

Nonetheless, as long as you know what you’re doing and you’re careful, reloading can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only can it be a great way to save money on ammunition and cut down on your hunting related expenses, but it might also become your new favorite hobby.

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