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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.
I have 2 of every dies I have.
 

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I love and respect every tool I work with. even more if I bought it.
about the dies, I had (very few) negative surprises with used as with new dies.
said this, since the '70s, I have yet to find a newer tool, same brand, that was better than my old but tried and tested one, but you know how we ol'timers develop weird fixations :)
 

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I just gave my nephew a bunch of reloading gear, most of it RCBS, I had purchased new back in the late 60’s early 70’s. It has been very well cared for, used a fair amount, and cleaned and lubed on a regular basis. He is an aerospace engineer and very meticulous; he was comparing it to what he would be able to get new, and he has told me he believes the quality of the older gear is significantly better than the new.

I was happy to see my gear going to a good home. He said he would take care of it like I had, and pass it down when he gets to my age! I kept 1 press and dies for the three rounds I shoot the most, told my nephew he had to wait a few more years before he got those.
 

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I have over 40 die sets spanning 60 years. Everything new I buy is Redding, Forster, and RCBS. At one point in my life I did not want older vintage dies because I'm a concentricity nut. Thought new technology with manufacturing would improve dies. I was wrong. Redding and Forster dies are better or as good as they were 30 years ago. RCBS in my opinion are not as good.

My machinist buddies always picked apart Lee dies for their roughness and cutting corners. I'm no machinist, but I can see their roughness with a naked eye. However, I still use somee Lee tools, just not their sizing dies.

To make a long story short, any die set can make a round go "bang", but not all make very concentric rounds. This is why I'm a Redding and Forster fan. If they can't be had then vintage RCBS will suffice. Oh, forgot about CH4D is excellent in any vintage.
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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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?
I started in 1968 too! I was 14, and dad ordered a surplus 8MM Mauser - My first gun. AC
 

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My old RCBS dies for the .308 are marked, ".308 / .307".

Anyone remember the .307? That's how old they are.
In my mid-teens, I lusted after one behind glass at the local small town hardware store. I think they had a 375, too.

The owner of the store actually talked me out of getting either one. He said ammo for both was scarce and I’d have to learn how to reload. I asked him what I needed to buy to reload, he said he didn’t sell it.
 

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Glad they worked okay. Old dies should be inspected of course. Inside for rust, pitting, imperfections etc. But the real test is to run cases through them and inspect.

Come to think about it, I have some really old dies, I bought new. Fifty years ago, when in my teens. Good grief.
 

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My old RCBS dies for the .308 are marked, ".308 / .307".

Anyone remember the .307? That's how old they are.
I remember when the T65 was first marketed as the .308 Winchester. That's how old I am. The .307 Win is a relative newcomer, introduced 1982.

I get a real kick out of you young whippersnappers.
 

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Relatively new (~ 5 years) loader/equipment here, but haven't had any equipment problems...yet! Keeping fingers crossed! I DO appreciate the quality craftsmanship/materials of old tools however and have many of my father's/great grandfather's tools, that are still working...over a century later! I won't be around to see MY tools reach 100, and most likely they won't be either! What a shame! If given the choice to by old vs new (especially a hand tool) I'll always pick old! Guess it's the nostalgist in me!
 

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here is a little better look at the die rack. my brother helped me with it as he is a carpenter by trade. but i have so many dies i neen another one. this is made from oak and works like a charm,,,,,,,,,,,,
Musical instrument String instrument Folk instrument Idiophone Musical instrument accessory
Audio equipment Barware Machine Satellite phone Electronic instrument
 

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Oldskool, looking at your reloading room made me think of how much money we saved reloading through the years 😄
I do get the last laugh during these "shortages" when I can load ammunition that is not being sold.
Being 72 now, I use a lot of old reloading equipment. I bought some when I was younger and before I was married. Worked then and still works now. Loads do not have tobesub minute of angle but just hit what I am shooting at.

DEP
 

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Oldskool, looking at your reloading room made me think of how much money we saved reloading through the years 😄
I do get the last laugh during these "shortages" when I can load ammunition that is not being sold.
Being 72 now, I use a lot of old reloading equipment. I bought some when I was younger and before I was married. Worked then and still works now. Loads do not have tobesub minute of angle but just hit what I am shooting at.

DEP
the presses i have are RCBS A2 and 2A presses, the green one is from 68, and the grey ones are from the 50s they are much larger than the rock chucker, i also have one of them at my transmission shop. since this photo i have added a pacific deluxe press from the 70s here is a photo of it at this end of the table, i have it dedicated for 44 specials
Wood Hardwood Building Machine Barware

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