Custom FL Dies - What company?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Mike McCasland, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Mike McCasland

    Mike McCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Gents,

    I think I'm in the market for some custom dies and want some opinions.

    I'll start with some background. I've had .308s in the past, however I'm just starting to dip my toes into the 'serious end' of FTR. Most recently I had a reamer made by JGS, and a couple of barrels chambered from it; I've got 2-4 firings on some palma brass from both barrels, and don't have any extraction issues etc (i.e. my reamer design wasn't complete crap, and was cut correctly).

    In the past (with this and other .308s) I've alternated between using expanderless FL bushing dies, expanderless FL dies/mandreling up, and FL dies with adjustable expanders. I haven't been 100% satisfied with any option from a concentricity/consistency perspective. .

    FWIW - I'm using a .342nk, and using a .336 bushing to give me .001" tension.

    It feels like at this point the natural progression is to go with a custom FL die.

    That said, it looks like Forster and Whidden are the only two die companies that really promote this as a service. I know Warner Tool does it, but I'm not interested in a $600 FL die that I have to shim to adjust shoulder bump.

    Is there anyone I'm missing?

    Of those, anyone have any preference over the other?

    Unless there's a bunch of anti-Forster sentiment, I think I could get two forsters for the price of a single Widden, and have them honed ~.001 apart to basically use like you would a bushing die (except without run-out).

    Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. 22DASHER

    22DASHER Gold $$ Contributor

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    Whidden has made several dies for me off of reamer prints and all are flawless. Price is great, doesn’t take a year and quality is there.
     
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  3. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Forsters most custom handmade offering wont be half as good as an off the shelf whidden. Whidden is the only one that will use your print or your 3x fired brass to make a perfect die- not just one that will size enough. The best thing is getting a resize reamer made and having your gunsmith ream a newlon blank and get it hardened but thats serious dinero
     
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  4. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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    Well I guess you know what I’ll say.
     

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  5. Mike McCasland

    Mike McCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Is that a Lee collet die?

    If so, I'm trying to avoid bumping shoulders in one step, and sizing the neck in another. I could pretty much do that now with my current whidden FL die, and mandrel it back up (or use pin gauges).

    I shoot a lot, and I'm also very lazy.

    I'm really looking for a 1-step sizing process that gives me .001 tension, .002 bump, zero run out, and hits those numbers every time. That's not asking too much is it? ;)
     
  6. Mulligan

    Mulligan Gold $$ Contributor

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    ^^^^This^^^^
    CW
     
  7. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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    Wilson F/L bushing die
     
  8. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’m heading in the same direction as Mike with an upcoming 270 WSM project but in this instance not Widden, Wilson or Harrel’s makes a F/L bushing die so I’m not exactly sure what to do.

    Maybe the dreaded neck sizer..
     
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  9. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen

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    I have had good reports on custom Hornady dies. A friend had one made so that he could have a thousandth more neck tension without the expander than with. It is a one piece die, with all custom dimensions including the neck ID. If you want the best concentricity in sized brass, a custom one piece die, from whoever you choose to make it, will do that. I happen to have a stock one piece die (Hornady) for 6mm PPC that has a neck ID of .258, which makes it perfect for my chambers, with the neck thickness that I use. Sized neck runout is about a third of a thousandth, or a little less. I should tell you that I cannot prove that the ammo loaded with brass from this die is more accurate than when I use a Harrell bushing die, but if you are gauge happy.....Years ago, referring to loaded PPC ammo, someone told me that as long as it was under .002 TIR that you couldn't see the difference on target. Back to the Hornady custom dies, they are made to the dimensions that you require, not just lapped out. They are bored on a turning station and the polishing is treated like a trade secret. I think that they have come up with a way to do it by machine, that is very consistent. I have played with several of the PPC dies.
     
  10. Mulligan

    Mulligan Gold $$ Contributor

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    Whidden will make a custom die for you
    CW
     
  11. Mikemci

    Mikemci Gold $$ Contributor

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    I use a Whidden die for my 6ppc, but I only posted to say I really like your avatar! God bless Texas.
     
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  12. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thanks Clay
    That’s definitely an option but at what cost ? My son in laws rifle but I’m tasked with making them shoot accurately enough to drop an Elk across a freakin canyon.
     
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  13. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Whidden will make it no issues
     
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  14. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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    You know my Daughter will kick both our butts if I don’t get it right
     
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  15. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Ill make sure its right if you need me. I damn sure dont want that girl mad at neither one of us
     
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  16. Mulligan

    Mulligan Gold $$ Contributor

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    744D9141-81D3-4DEB-944B-E6CE35FFD8D5.png
     
  17. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    @SPJ I believe Redding is $175 a set
    Rcbs is about $40 cheaper.
    Me I'd probably go with the Redding
     
  18. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Click adjustable fl bushing sizer and a gunsmith reamed wilson seater- perfect setup. Cant get any better
     
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  19. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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  20. Mike McCasland

    Mike McCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Why are you BR guys running bushing setups? I would have figured you'd have 2-3 custom dies configured with different neck diameters.

    Admittedly I've only ever used Redding bushings (have Whiddens ordered as of tonight), but no matter what I do as far as bushing float/cleanliness/direction, I'll still end up with ~20% of my rounds showing more TIR than I'd like...and it's coming from the sizing operation.

    Click adjusting ring aside, do the whidden dies do something different in the bushing area that the reddings don't do? Or are their bushings just that much better made?
     

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