6.5 Creedmoor Die Selection Help

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by chomondely3, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. chomondely3

    chomondely3

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    Now it is time to pick a die set for my new 6.5 Creedmoor. My ‘smith says that he uses a PTG reamer, but I do not remember the exact free bore dimension.
    I will use Lapua SR brass exclusively, unless you convince me that another brand is better.
    I do not want to turn the necks if I can help it.
    I am using a Forster Co-ax press.
    I am seeking the lowest run-out possible.

    I am thinking of either a Whidden FL with their seating die set or Forster FL with the Ultra micrometer seater. I am not opposed to mixing and matching the dies.

    I am thinking against a bushing die since I am using the same brand of brass and the same chamber. This will me my only 6.5 CM.

    Sizing die-Thoughts as to Forster v. Whidden FL? If I go with Forster, then I will send the die and some brass in to have the die honed.

    Seating die- Thoughts as to which is better?

    Any other dies, manufactures that I should consider?

    Should I consider Redding or use a Wilson in-line seater?



    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  2. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    Get a Forster with the expander ball
     
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  3. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Your kidding right?
     
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  4. grovey

    grovey Silver $$ Contributor

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    +1
     
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  5. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    Also a sharp trimmer
     
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  6. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have 3 different sizing dies
    Redding type s neck die
    Hornady match grade bushing die set
    And my favorite Wilson bushing FL sizer.
    I used the hornady the most until I got the Wilson, still using the Hornady seated with micrometer top.
     
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  7. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d

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    My preferred combo is a Redding body die, Lee collet die and a Forster Micrometer seating die. Produces really straight ammo and is pretty economical too. If you don’t want to do a separate body and neck sizing operation then substitute the body and collet die with a Forster FL sizer that has had the neck honed (by Forster) to your specified diameter.

    The Redding type s dies are nice, as are their match seaters but I have a Redding “Premium” set that produces the most runout of any dies I have ever used.

    As someone stated above, the position of the expander in Forster FL dies makes a noticeable difference in how straight the cases come out. I’m not aware of another die manufacturer that uses this approach. Having the neck honed to your specified dimensions works the brass much less and adds to case life and aids in the expander not pulling necks out of alignment as well.

    John
     
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  8. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    You need a fl bushing die. Dont read too much into what the internet says- they never come back and report how that die only worked for a short time then they had to replace it. As your brass ages you have to change bushings to change neck tension. A fixed die leaves you stuck at less than optimum. That would be like buying a car that runs on some kind of unobtainable fuel just because you have 5 gallons of it on the shelf
     
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  9. dreever

    dreever Gold $$ Contributor

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    Whidden FL bushing die, Whidden bushings, Whidden Micrometer seater and specify what bullet you'll use so Whidden can match up the right seating stem.
    Danny
     
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  10. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    Don’t listen to my friend Dusty he’s a Forster hater:mad:

    I’m gettin me an annealer thing and a chrono cause ya gotta know what the ES an SD is before y’all go any further!!!;)

    ( Gotta Go - it’s time for my meds now):cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  11. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

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    The OP stated he does not what to turn the case necks if possible.

    And the Redding bushing die FAQ states if the case neck has .002 or more neck thickness variations to use the expander that comes with the bushing die. The same FAQ tells you if you reduce the neck diameter .004 or more with a bushing die you can induce neck runout.

    The OP would be better off with a Forster full length die with its high mounted floating expander and have less neck runout than using a bushing die.

     
  12. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    I only chrono AFTER I've finished my load development, solely for dope charts.
    Occasionally my #'s are low but not always.

    One last note, Dusty hates Lee more than Forster

    SPJ I'm gonna try annealing with cordless drill and small torch in a dark room.
    Save some money
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  13. chomondely3

    chomondely3

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    Thanks for the replies and information. Lots to think about.
    I am curious about the brass having less spring back as it work hardens.
    Can this be cured by periodic annealing? I have used DJ Brass Service in the past with great results.

    I am not yet advanced enough to try the torch and dark room technique.

    Question. If you use a bushing that sized your neck to create your preferred tension ( say .002), then do you need to use an expander ball at all?
    Thanks,
     
  14. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d

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    Work hardening leads to more spring back. Proper annealing addresses this.

    You could elect to not use the expander if using a honed FL die or bushing die that gives .002” neck tension. But in doing so with unturned necks, you should see which gives you less runout, with or without expander ball. Seems like the current philosophy is if not turning necks, better to push irregularities to the outside of the neck via expander ball or expanding mandrel. Personally, I load a few of each and roll with the method that gives me the least runout. I have found that using an expander ball in either a honed FL die or a bushing die does not produce near the problems that it does in a standard unmolested FL die, simply because it’s not having to stretch things nearly as much.

    John
     
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  15. chomondely3

    chomondely3

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    A few more questions.
    1. Is there an agreement on the best seating die? Forster Micrometer, Whidden die or Redding?
    2. Whiden FL sizing die offers an expander ball kit with different sizes for the expander ball. Does this cure the problem of the brass aging?

    In the old days when I was shooting the M1 across the course, we bought RCBS dies, screwed them down tight in an RCBS press, used LC Match brass, surplus match bullets and thought that we had the best set up possible. A bit more complicated now.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  16. shtnrlse

    shtnrlse

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    The "Best" seating die is likely going to be Wilson style out of an arbor press. It's another tool that tells you neck tension(s), and when your brass needs to be annealed. The Wilson VLD stem has produced my most consistant ammo to date.
    Custom Whidden F/L sizer that is -.003" neck, and K&M mandrels to set tension on brass. And the most cost effective brass out there, Lapua . Over 500 rounds on my original box and all going strong!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019

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