Suggestions needed on FL die adjuster

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by ahusted1978, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. ahusted1978

    ahusted1978 F/TR in Pa Silver $$ Contributor

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    What is the best option, PMA micro size adjuster, or Whidden universal click die adjuster? Using this for adjusting shoulder bump.
     
  2. WillyTP

    WillyTP FBBW Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have a few of the PMA ones, like them a lot, no problems to report. Haven’t used the Whidden one but I can see where it might have an advantage in one category. I use small presses, a hood double ram and a Harrell’s turret press. The PMA has the set screw that stands proud/sticks out quite a bit. Depending on where you need to adjust to it could be a problem. If you spend a good deal of time setting it up, you can assure that part faces towards you, but it may take several times adjusting and fiddling around with it.
     
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  3. eschafer

    eschafer

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    PMA has upgraded their adjuster, it now has a wing nut style locking screw... no Allen key required now... I have the upgraded unit, it works very well... makes fine adjustment of my dies very easy......
     
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  4. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    And you can get those at lowes if you want to upgrade. A pair for around a dollar
     
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  5. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Please don't take my comment wrong. I continue to be amazed by the "difficulty" folks seem to have getting their die adjusted properly to get the amount of shoulder movement during sizing they want. I've tried Redding Competition shellholders, Skips shims and both sit in the cabinet. I resize over 12K bottleneck rifle cases per year, so I would certainly use what works best for me. YMMV.

    1. you need to be able to know how much to move your die to change the amount the shoulder moves. And both of the methods you ask about focus entirely on that. But another way to accomplish this, is to use this decal.
    Die Adjustment.jpg DieAdjustmentLabelonDie.jpg

    2. After you have some way to know how much to turn your die, then I just want easy movement (with as little as 0.0005" change) and the die to stay put when I finish adjusting. And for that, I have converted all my dies to O-rings with a witness mark for the point on the threaded insert to align with. I use my measurements to guide minor changes needed. I don't even tighten the set screw on the lock ring, because that makes movement more difficult. I just use the wide range of compression on the O-ring to allow movement. And the die NEVER moves, ever until I am finished. I guess you could say I favor the KISS theory.
    Die O-Ring.jpg
     
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  6. JMayo

    JMayo

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    PMA here, no tools required.
    I measure every case shoulder on match cases. With PMA I sneak up on bump (2 maybe 3 times bump to get there). Fingers only with pma wing style.
    Wish I had thought of buying the wingnut at hardware store ...another piece of money thrown away :/
     
  7. Chuckhunter

    Chuckhunter Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have each and both work exactly as advertised. Whidden FL Bushing click die runs approx. $130.00 bucks, The PMA adjuster runs approx. $75.00 bucks. Currently Whidden now makes a click adjustable ring that will fit any 7/8 OD die. and it runs approx. $50.00 bucks. The only difference between the three besides the price is the PMA tool can be adjusted to .0005 while the Whidden products are .001 per click. You'll have to determine which fits your needs best.
     
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  8. ahusted1978

    ahusted1978 F/TR in Pa Silver $$ Contributor

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    Thank you everyone for the input! I had pretty much already decided on the pma, but was curious about the whidden as well.
     
  9. McGraw

    McGraw Silver $$ Contributor

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    I’m just trying to see exactly how you do this. Are you saying you move the die and lock ring together, like they were set screwed together. Or does the lock ring stay fixed and the die turns inside of it? Thanks.
     
  10. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

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    First of all recognize in the picture, I have the die a few turns high, so you can see the O-ring.

    I don't tighten the lock ring set screw, and just let the lock ring ride loose on the die. I raise the ram in the press and screw the die down until it contacts the shell holder. I use mostly Redding dies, so this is too far down. So I just back the die off until the "mark" on the die is to the "right" of the point I align it with. This now makes the die higher than I know I need it to be. Now I just turn the lock ring down to compress the O-ring some. Then I start sizing and making minor adjustments until I get the exact case head to datum my records call for (and that will be 0.002" short of bolt contact headspace). I do these with the expander removed, so I'm not continually sizing and expanding the case neck. Then I put the expander in and size the rest of my brass. The compression of the O-ring and the friction just holds everything without moving. And I have sized several thousand rounds with the die in the press, and it never moved any.

    I have tried using other lock rings, the split kind (if you tighten these tight against the top of the press, it is very hard to unscrew the die), and I experience them loosening (the die with the lock ring) during use. Any lock ring that uses a set screw (even with lead shot or a plastic ball under the tip of the set screw) eventually becomes harder to turn.

    I used to "slightly" tighten the set screw since that was how I had been doing it for 40 years. But I found I don't really need to. And I first tried the O-ring as a way to supposedly improve the alignment of the die to the ram. Didn't see any real benefit with that, but saw other benefits of using the O-ring.
     
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  11. carlsbad

    carlsbad Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have a couple of the PMA, some of the whidden click adjustable dies, and the whidden click adjustable ring. the whidden ring is my favorite.
     
  12. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen

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    I have the PMA and it works just fine.

    On the O ring thing, before I had the PMA I used an O ring setup that some of you might want to try, not as good as the PMA but perhaps a distant second best.

    I would put a split type Hornady lock ring on the die and screw it up as high on the die as it would go, and then put a Lee lock ring below it. I would adjust the die and LEE, hold them so that neither moved relative to the other, screw the split lock ring until it contacted the top of the Lee, and then tighten it. This effectively locked the Lee ring in position on the die, because tightening a split ring expands its thickness as it is pulled into the V threads. I usually set this up so that I am a few thousandths high when the O ring touches the top of the press. When I am setting up a bushing die, I pull the bushing until the die is set, so as not to over work the neck, then I replace it and run the case into the die one more time.
     
  13. SPJ

    SPJ Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have the PMA micro adjust lock ring in my Harrell’s press mostly because the type of linkage it has can be a bit tricky to set the headspace.
    A normal press like an RCBS a micro (in my shop )really isn’t necessary. At least for myself I measure in .001 increments and lock er down.
    The pma imo is a great tool just won’t fit in the Die box anymore. Lol
     
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  14. K22

    K22

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    I believe the method that "jepp2" described is the one that German Salazar promoted. I tried it and it works well enough but can get complicated if you load for a lot of rifles for the same caliber.

    I prefer using Skip shims with standard RCBS full sizing dies to adjust the amount of shoulder set back. I load for over 10 different 223's and 4 different 243's. Using the shim method works for me since each rifle has the specific amount of 'cam over' recorded on the cartridge box.
     
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