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Old 12-20-2009, 04:10 PM
cfullgraf cfullgraf is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East TN
Posts: 1,507

Yes, you need to full length size cases for semi-auto guns. Small base dies should not be required. Generally, they are used for guns with "match" chambers that are cut on the small side. Small base dies also work the brass more than standard full length size dies.

I've read a little bit about the RCBS X dies, but don't know enough to comment about them. I read that many like them.

Neck dies will not work for auto loaders.

I've used lots of Lee dies for pistol cartridges and they work just fine. Lee has some interesting innovations incorporated into some of their dies. If you do buy a Lee set, I would recommend getting a conventional 2 die set that full length re-sizes. I forget the exact details of the Lee Really Great Buys die sets. Go to the Lee web site and learn more.

Over the past few years, I have been trending towards getting seater dies with a micrometer head. Generally, these are marketed as "competition" dies. Although more expensive than conventional dies, if you shoot/experiment with different types of bullets, it makes changing the seater depth very easy. Record the micrometer seating in your reloading log. When you make up that load again, it's easy to get back to the proper seating depth.

Presently, I prefer Redding dies but I have RCBS, Hornady and Lee as well. They all perform well.

If properly cared for, dies last nearly forever.
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