Marlin Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,223 Posts
I agree. I use old Pacific/Lyman/RCBS dies and tools for my reloading along with the new stuff.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,147 Posts
RCBS dies from the 60's into the early 90's are actually the best dies they've ever made, and when I need "new" dies for something, I seek those out specifically. I've got numerous sets now and have bought a ton to replace newer RCBS dies. The lock rings are fantastic!

Great example, brand new set of RCBS 30/40 Krag dies I have right now... cleaned and polished multiple times and still leaves skuff marks on the necks like a pair of Lee dies. Unacceptable.
 

·
Premium Member
All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
Joined
·
12,836 Posts
I have polished the ID in sizing dies that had mild rusting. I wrapped a scotch-brite pad wrapped around a bore brush and rod chucked up in a drill motor. After a few seconds of polishing they were as good as new. Very minor pits were visible, don't polish them out as the diameter of the die would go oversize. No problem with sizing whatsoever.

AC
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,147 Posts
I have polished the ID in sizing dies that had mild rusting. I wrapped a scotch-brite pad wrapped around a bore brush and rod chucked up in a drill motor. After a few seconds of polishing they were as good as new. Very minor pits were visible, don't polish them out as the diameter of the die would go oversize. No problem with sizing whatsoever.

AC
It's more the fact that RCBS dies have gone up in cost exponentially while the quality has tumbled. The problem can be fixed, corporate policy can't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,436 Posts
I’m not sure why anyone wouldNOT trust older dies ,under normal use they don’t exactly wear out,maybe the ones they use in ammo plants and factories probably do,I’m not real sure about that or even if they are the same type of dies as we use,but they probably get incredible mileage out of them too.anytime I see one at an auction,yard sale,barn sale ,it’s like honey to a bear!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,829 Posts
I was always one of those "gotta have brand new dies" people. But I went out on a limb recently and bought a couple sets of used dies because the price was too good to pass up.
I was bright enough to borrow my table mate's high intensity flashlight to peer into the dies before I bought. Took them home and sprayed them clean with carb cleaner. A quick shot of WD40 and they look good as new!
If you think about it, like shooterj says, you would have to load a lot of ammo out of a set of dies before you wear them out, so as long as they haven't been abused used dies are good to go!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,106 Posts
I'm from the new die school. What if there's a burr that leaves a big scratch in each and every case that gets sized? If you're buying online, there are no guarantees. Sure, the prices are fair, but it's a pig-in-a-poke. No thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
I started reloading in 1968 and still have the RCBS press and many sets of dies date stamped in the '60s and '70s. Some of the used dies are older and still work great. Except for rusting, or bad scratching from dirty brass or other abuse, I think the shooter would wear out before the dies. Pistol ammo dies used in a progressive press may show wear sooner, but if they load and extract I would just keep going.

Has anyone worn out the carbide sizing ring in a die?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,458 Posts
I prefer the older tools myself, and collect certain dies and reloading tools rather than the flavor-of-the-mo0nth tools now. There is some great old stuff.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,585 Posts
I have a few old dies that my cousin-guardfather used to teach me how to reload at 16 Y/O. If those dies aren't 60+ year old then they're older. One set 30-30 dies are black and it's been a while since I last look at them, I can't remember if there was a company name stamp on them.
I started buying dies since 1973 and have a Lee Loader Classic in 444 Marlin I bought in 1973 for a 1972 444s.
TO NY🗽
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,106 Posts
My RCBS .44 Magnum die set, #18606, has a steel sizing die. I bought this set new in 1978, and of course I have to lube the cases. But it doesn't size the case body down like the carbide die does, the reloaded rounds fit the chamber better, they are slightly larger. Not enough to hang up, but large enough for a great fit. I did buy a carbide .44 Mag sizing die, dated 1983, and I use it for low-power cast bullet reloads. For the hunting ammunition, full powder charge, I still prefer the steel die.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,436 Posts
I believe,unfortunately that there is less interest in reloading,so less demand,what happens when there’s less demand in industry ,is we downsize and start cutting corners to save money threads on dies might not be as smooth,chrome plating not as well done,if you plate them Lee does,RCBS does not,inside finish might not be done to the perfection the older craftsmen did,because maybe the company is not paying as well .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Two years ago I bought a new RCBS 308 Winchester die set. A week later I found an unopened set from 1963 at a garage sale. I bought them anyways. The difference in quality is noticeable just looking at them. The new dies require a lot of force, it feels like cases want to get stuck. The new old dies feel buttery smooth.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top