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  #1  
Old 09-08-2020, 07:08 PM
Racer X Racer X is online now
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Default New to reloading, loading for .30-'06

My partner's older brother just moved to a new to them house less than several football fields from both DNR land, and a huge National Forest. He plans on setting up a reloading shed when everything settles down. Former prepper homestead too, so a @50 yard range behind the shop building.

Anyway, what die set/s should I get so I can reload for .30-'06? I have my dad's Win 70 pre 64 in .30-'06. Likely '53 or '54 vintage, when he came home from Korea. My "brother" in law has an AR-10, so there will be plenty of powder and .308 bullets. I suspect we will focus on 168 grain projectiles. Keep it simple and buy in bulk.

I want to start to do my research now so I can keep my eyes open for a GREAT die set. I have no problem buying a premium die set because they will last longer anyway. Brands? I have a bunch of used brass, and another 150ish cases on the way as well.

Will also be getting a 10mm pistol, so there is another die set I will need. (and a .40 S&W most likely too)

If it were me buying, I'd get a Dillon 550 with 5.56 7.62x51 .30-'06 10mm and .357 Sig dies.

Last edited by Racer X; 09-08-2020 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:43 PM
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Can't go wrong with RCBS, Lyman, Redding, Hornady, etc....Many would consider Redding as the premium die.....I've used them all....hard to go wrong with a quality manufacturer.

Randy
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2020, 07:47 PM
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30-06 was the first caliber i ever reloaded. Its a great round to start with imho. I started with and still use my Lee Hand Press and Lee dies that my parents gifted me for Christmas back in '83. I know a lot of folks favor other brands but my Lee equipment has served me faithfully these many years.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:49 PM
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When buying dies I just watch eBay for a good deal on an older RCBS set. They can usually be had for around $20 but I’m guessing the panic buying has effected those prices. In good condition they’re as good as any option twice that price. Of course, if you’re completely new to reloading buying used might lead to problems if parts are missing or incorrect stuff has made its way into the box.

It looks like Hornady sets are available for $35 and match grade sets from Hornady and Dillon are closer to $85. I’d have a hard time justifying spending $85 on a die set but then again I’ve never tried one. I doubt I’d see any difference on the target anyways. I’ve got a few of the regular Hornady sets and always been satisfied with them.

Have you read through a reloading manual yet?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:52 PM
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I've been handloading for 45 years but just started the 30-06 for my Garand & Springfield 03. I typically use RCBS but with the 06 I had to buy a Redding full body die in order to set the shoulder back a bit more. I use 162 - 168 gr bullets & usually IMR 4064.
Have fun!
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:06 PM
Drm50 Drm50 is online now
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I’ve got Lyman, RCBS, Redding, Texans, Pacific, C&H, Herter and Bonanza off top of my head. Was not impressed with Hornady New Demension dies. Dont do Lees at all.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:13 PM
tominboise tominboise is offline
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Understand that I consider myself a skilled reloader and have reloaded thousands of rounds of rifle, pistol and shotgun ammo, and I have been reloading since 1972. I am not a bench rest competitor and so do not have experience with some of the equipment and techniques used by benchresters, but I believe that I do a decent enough job.

As mentioned, all the makers build quality stuff. I have mostly settled in on Lee Collet neck sizers and Redding body dies for all my bolt guns, as they produce the least amount of runout for me so far.

If you asked me to settle on a brand, it would be Redding.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2020, 08:19 PM
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My choice has always been RCBS or Lyman, although I have a few Redding collet neck sizing dies and micrometer seating dies for long range match ammo in the .223, 308 and 30/06.

I've never been impressed with the Lee dies and I only use them when no other die is available for some of the odd calibres that I reload for.

When it comes to reloading equipment, don't be penny wise and dollar stupid. Buy the best that is available as it will generally last your lifetime.

For general use in the 30/06 your choice of 168 grain bullets is a good one. The newer 175 grain Sierra MKs shoots a bit better from 600 yards to 1,000 yards, but the MK 168 has been a match and target shooter's standby for years. For hunting with the Ought-Six, I like the Hornady 165 grain spitzer boat tail bullets for mid size game.
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  #9  
Old 09-08-2020, 08:25 PM
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I am not supplying the press, but I will own my own dies, and likely supply my own powder and primers, unless we agree on common components.

I'll likely look for a mint used die set. I have plenty of time. Anything under $100 for everything die-related is fine. But used is fine. Don't need match for the Winchester 70. Buy once, cry once.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:02 PM
Rosco Shooter Rosco Shooter is offline
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I've used RCBS equipment since the mid 1970s, and always had great results. Groups for my 06s averaged under an inch: both my Remington Model 700, and my Browning BAR. Enjoy your rifle.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:10 PM
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That Winchester hasn't been fired in my lifetime. It's a plain Jane version, but in great mechanical shape. A few freckles that were poorly touched up with cold blue way back when. Can it be removed without screwing up the factory blueing? I am a commercial photographer, trained old school. I can retouch negatives, so why not precise cold blue blending?
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2020, 05:18 AM
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Spend as much as you wish on a Full Length set.

I own a lot of brands and they all work great.

My advice, don't overlook adding the Lee Collett neck sizing die for your turnbolt.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:09 AM
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A quality set of dies can last a lifetime, so look upon them as a long term investment. You can buy cheap dies, then when you find they are not that well made, you buy quality dies. Why not just buy really high quality dies and be done with it?
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:54 AM
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The most finely-crafted, expensive set of dies on the planet will produce lousy ammo if the person doing the reloading doesn't know what they're doing; and by contrast excellent, match-grade ammo can be turned out with the most inexpensive dies if the reloader knows what he's doing.

My suggestion would be to first spend your money on buying as many reloading manuals as you can afford, then read them and understand what you're reading before you load the first round. All of the major manuals begin with a long section that will tell you exactly how to go through the loading process, and that knowledge will save you much aggravation and protect you from what can be dangerous mistakes.

The most inexpensive dies, properly cared for, can load many thousands of rounds of good ammo before they wear out -- more ammo than the average shooter will use in a lifetime.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:42 AM
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Just bought a new set of RCBS 06 dies for 15 bucks... gun show...easy to find exc cond dies for under 25 dollars in 30-06 otherwise buy aset of Redding micrometer dies...expensive but precise. And while I am a user of Dillon presses...hard to beat a good condition or new Rockchucker press and this coming from someone who does not own one. I am not very fond of Lee equipment but have used the Collet dies and they do work....but they are for neck sizing which is good for one rifle....when set...but not for 2 or more. I typically throw the junk locking nuts off and put a real set on them otherwise they have to be adjusted every time they are used. Another set of good 06 dies are the RCBS Competition dies. I have multiple sets of them in various calibers. Not cheap but less than Redding micrometer sets. For a hunting bullet in the 165 gr range it's hard to beat the Nosler 165 Accubond. Learn the rifle loading first...then read up on loading handgun...A bit of difference. Above all be safe and have fun learning your new favorite hobby!
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  #16  
Old 09-09-2020, 03:11 PM
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IMHO . . . starting out get a Lee or RCBS die set. They work just fine and will teach you what you want, if anything more, in a die set longer term. Learn how to measure your brass (caliper and eg Hornady LnL Headspace Comparator System) so that your brass re-sizing only pushes the shoulder back a minimum amount (eg 0.002-3" for bolt and 0.003-4" for semi-auto). That will give you consistent brass and extend your brass' life.

For 50 yards, nothing will likely matter as much as the quality (meaning consistency) of the bullet you choose. Without knowing your goals, IMO you've chosen a good bullet weight - personally I'd go with Sierra.

GLHF !
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:10 PM
nksmfamjp nksmfamjp is offline
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You said you are looking for a GREAT die set for a factory rifle....IMO, you canít do much better than Forster. I find that generally Hornady makes a die set that I can be happy with.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:24 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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The first thing you ought to buy is at least one good reloading manual. Lyman had the best instructions for folks just starting out. That you're not going to own the press is a possible problem. Just exactly how much do you trust your associate? I ask this because you're literally betting your gun and possibly your health and welfare on his doing everything exactly right.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is a cartridge gauge. It's a real good idea for have a proper gauge to make sure that your ammo is correct and your dies are doing what they're supposed to.

10 mm & .40 dies are the same. You can get someone to make you up a set of spacers to allow you to swap between calibers without having to adjust your expander, seater and crimp dies.

I happen to prefer dies with the the decapping pin in a separate "top hat" at the top of the sizing die (Dillon & Lyman). In case you have to pull bullets and resize the case, you can leave the primer in place. [The "top hat" lets you pull the decapping pin without changing the adjustment and much faster than having to screw the pin all the way out and then re-install.]

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Old 09-09-2020, 06:42 PM
minconrevo minconrevo is offline
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My dies are almost exclusively RCBS and Dillon. Both companies back their products with excellent customer service. If you price shop you can find good discount on RCBS dies.

You can buy standard dies, match dies, dies with micrometer bullet seating adjustment, dies with a floating bullet seater and so on. Buy as much precision as you need and no more. Definitely want carbide sizing die in pistol. For most pistol applications taper crimp is best, with roll crimp for revolver.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:25 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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Any quality 3 set die package will do the job.........

Knowing your barrel's twist rate be it 1:10 or what ever will also help you select bullet weights to be loaded.

For light target loads out to 300 yards I like any 147-150gr spritzer design. A165-180 will work for 500 yard stuff, if you need longer shots.
Some rifles will even shoot the 100-125gr bullets if the twist is right for an extra light recoil or fast load.

Have fun.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:33 PM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer X View Post
I am not supplying the press, but I will own my own dies, and likely supply my own powder and primers, unless we agree on common components.

I'll likely look for a mint used die set. I have plenty of time. Anything under $100 for everything die-related is fine. But used is fine. Don't need match for the Winchester 70. Buy once, cry once.
Dies will last a lifetime if you treat them right. If you don't they may turn out to be ****.

Used dies are a ****-shoot.

I started in 1968 with a set of Lee 30-06 dies. I still use them to this day. Plus 26 other sets of Lee dies.

With a budget of $100, Lee will give you a lot of change back. Buy used and you may just buy Lees after all the second time.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beruisis View Post
I've been handloading for 45 years but just started the 30-06 for my Garand & Springfield 03. I typically use RCBS but with the 06 I had to buy a Redding full body die in order to set the shoulder back a bit more. I use 162 - 168 gr bullets & usually IMR 4064.
Have fun!
Don't mean to stick my nose in and this is off subject for the thread, but does everybody realize that full loads of 30-06 will bend the operating rod of the M1, so you have to reduce loads somewhat or get an adjustable gas plug?
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:55 PM
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.30-06 was my first rifle round I reloaded back around '75. I used, and still use, a set of Herter's dies. Having said that, RCBS is my go-to brand for dies. Never had an issue with them. You're gonna have to work hard to "wear out" a set of dies.

My go-to hunting round is the Sierra SPBT in either 165- or 180-grain bullets. Never had a fail with one yet on anything from rock chucks to moose.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:39 PM
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I have been using Lee reloading dies and presses for many years, I load both pistol and rifle I load for the M-14, the Ruger Scout rifle and a 7.62X39 carbine and 5.56X45 and the M-1 30 Cal carbine. The Lee dies and press turn very good and accurate ammo. I started with the equipment I could afford at the time it worked well and stills does. I can now afford the top of the line equipment but the lee still works does what it was designed to do, so why change to something blue, or orange or green.

Learning what you supposed to do to reload, be safe, pay attention. learn what you need to know about conditioning brass, for semi auto and bolt action, commercial brass and military surplus brass. reloading is a means to and end, and is a good way to unwind,
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:09 PM
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I would stay away from Ebay dies.I have some that I bought there and they have scratches inside and the tolerances on some of the older RCBS dies is not quite what it is today. A LOT of people are unloading their junk on ebay. You have been warned! Reddings are top drawer and priced accordingly. Hornady dies are good quality and Lee dies can't be beat for the price. I prefer my dies to have a more secure lock ring though and I have drilled and tapped the Lee lock rings and put hex screws in them.

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Old 09-10-2020, 12:26 AM
Racer X Racer X is online now
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Thanks for all the input. I have essentially every reloading/handloading book in the Seattle Public Library system on reserve so I can start to educate myself. My partner's brother will own the press, but these will be my dies, kept in my possession, so nobody messing with them. His backyard range is @ 50 yards. Will be pistol/rimfire. He is less than 1/4 mile from both BLM land and a HUGE National Forrest. That will be our rifle area.

I will absolutely buy the Lyman book next time I go to my local gun store. I will be reloading 10mm/.40 S&W for myself as well.

Because my partner and I are heavily into rock collecting/lapidary work, I have a triple 15#, a 12# and a double 6# wet tumblers, and a 25# lapidary/metal finishing grade vibratory tumbler. I am NOT stupid enough to ask here about cleaning brass!

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Old 09-10-2020, 12:39 AM
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I started in the 70's with a Rock Chucker press and RCBS 30-06 dies. Still use both to this day. I like the Nosler Partition 165gr. bullets, never failed. I load many calibers and switched to Redding dies, only because when RCBS sold to a conglomerate the quality went down for a time period. I have heard a few bad tales of buying used dies and maybe a scratch in them, so I always buy new. I load all the practice ammo for three grandsons and I don't think one can wear out a set of dies. Read the manuals, don't start out with a max load, try some different powders.
Good luck, have fun.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer X View Post
That Winchester hasn't been fired in my lifetime. It's a plain Jane version, but in great mechanical shape. A few freckles that were poorly touched up with cold blue way back when. Can it be removed without screwing up the factory blueing? I am a commercial photographer, trained old school. I can retouch negatives, so why not precise cold blue blending?
Bluing is controlled rust. If you attempt to remove part of it and re-rust or re-blue the rest, it is difficult to get an exact match.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:41 AM
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Racer, my advice to you is to is to leave those freckles alone if they are not rust spots. If you have any small surface rust spots, you can use a light gun oil to saturate a SMALL bit if 4/0 steel wool and LIGHTLY rub the spots. Those little places on that old M70 of your dads are character marks. That is one of the best rifles ever made, period. How about loading some pics of that rifle for us. We are suckers for gun pics!

Last edited by murf205; 09-10-2020 at 10:42 AM.
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  #30  
Old Yesterday, 10:23 PM
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78bagger 78bagger is offline
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I've been reloading pistol rounds for several years but have taken up 3-500 yard plinking with a Remington 700 in 6.5 Creedmoor. I use a Dillon for pistol but plan on getting an RCBS Rock Chucker for 6.5 and .308. As you boys are talking dies, I was curious if you always use full length resizers or just a neck die. Or both from time to time? I won't be shooting competition. Thanks
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  #31  
Old Today, 10:48 AM
Drm50 Drm50 is online now
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I’ve got over 100 die sets right now. A few weeks ago I had more. I’m in process of “getting out”. Most of these die sets were bought used at shows.
I use to get a gun and dies and if I sold gun would sell dies. That don’t work because you will get another gun and have to buy dies again. Many moons ago started no sale policy on dies. Now I’m only keeping ones I have guns for and that number will be shrinking too. A guy can save a lot by buying used loading tools and end up with stuff that will last a life time.
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