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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a Dillon 550 and was wondering if anyone was using non Dillon dies on their press. I have more than a few sets of 45 auto dies from lee rcbs and so on. Not really looking to buy another set of dies. but if they are that much better I would consider it. Thanks in advance
 

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You can use other brands of dies, no real problem.

Dillon dies have a more generous lead in taper than other dies, which makes it easier for your brass to center in the die, which is helpful for speedy operation of progressives. The flip side of that coin is that the more generous taper also means that the brass is not sized quite as far down. But, it's a good trade off in my view for your average gun chambers.

The seating and crimp dies have an insert held with a removable pin for quick and easy die cleaning, a nice feature for those using lead bullets. You can simply pull the pin to remove the insert, and not have to readjust the dies.

If I were buying a new set of dies I would buy Dillon, but I would not buy a new set of Dillon dies if I already had a set of a differing brand.
 

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For .45 ACP I deprime/size and seat with RCBS dies and taper crimp with a Redding crimp only die. That works very well for me and based on that I'd say not to order a full new set of dies (RCBS are really pretty good) but instead invest in a Redding crimp only die and if you're going to get into any revolvers (especially magnum revolvers) the Redding Profile Crimp die for roll crimping can't be beat!
 

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It makes sense what Capt. Methane is saying . Just buy the crimp die .

Or you could just run the dies you have if they have been giving you satisfactory results ....
 

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In seating and crimping in one step the problem is that the bullet is still moving (being seated) relative to the case while the crimp is being applied. That relative movement can cause the case mouth to shave lead or lube, or damage the thin plating or whatever fancy coating is applied to the bullet.

By crimping as a final step when the bullet is fully seated (stationary relative to the case) none of those undesirable things can happen. It's helped me out a lot and if nothing else by not squishing lube out of the grove or shaving lead off the bullet I don't have to clean the seating die anywhere nearly as often!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Back when Nick was on here he got me hooked on redding profile crimp dies for revolves. Redding makes nice products. I always like to seat and crimp in 2 separate steps.
 

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I count 23 tool heads on the bench, only 5 individual dies are Dillon, most are RCBS, have Lyman, LEE (junk) and Herters too.
 

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Lee dies work well but either flip their locknut upside down or switch to Dillon's 1in locknuts. The Lee locknuts will overhang the toolhead and may bind the toolhead to the frame if not flipped over. Lee's Auto Disk PM will need to be use with their powder thru expander dies.
 

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I use a mix of Lee, Redding, RCBS, and Lyman dies in my toolheads, even mixing brands on a single caliber. Use the best die for the job!

+1 on changing the lock nuts on Lee, I typically use RCBS nuts on mine.
 

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I love the Dillon pistol dies but due to the more generous entrance radius, my Springfield RO 9mm would not function reliably when using range brass. I bought a Lee undersize sizing die and the problems went away. I am using Dillon lock nuts BTW.
 

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Back when Nick was on here he got me hooked on redding profile crimp dies for revolves. Redding makes nice products. I always like to seat and crimp in 2 separate steps.
They're good stuff for sure. I've got two of the Redding Profile Crimp dies for revolvers and two of their taper crimp only dies for self loaders.
 

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Redding competition seating dies with the micrometer makes things so much easier to dial in the exact OAL you need and repeat the settings a month later.
 

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I use all Lee dies in my Dillon because I already had the Lee dies that I used in a different press. No sense fixing something that isn't broken.
 

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As for locking rings, I'm partial to the Hornadys. Steel split ring with allen head locking bolt. Flats for wrench tightening, and they work fine in a CoAx.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've been loading on a redding T7 for the past few years and I use the hornady lock rings on all my dies on that press. They are great but expensive as far as a set of lock rings go. I'm glad I can use the dies that I have because I really don't need another set. Thanks for the help
 

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I have one set of Dillon dies, and they are not worth the difference in cost of Lee. They are easier to clean.
Jerry
 
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