Just like the wind is the driving force behind windmills, die sets are the lifeblood of reloading firearms. Low quality dies result in imprecise and inconsistent rounds, in turn leading to shot misses, issues in feeding and jamming.
Using dies is easy as you only fix them in yourloading pressand use them for decapping, expanding the mouth of cases, resizing, crimping and bullet sitting.
Much as there are universal dies, there is also specialty dies for certain types of cartridge caliber. Such information is usually found on the die itself.
When buying die sets, it is imperative to check whether they match your caliber specifications to avoid malfunctions and inaccuracy.
This article highlights some of the best reloading dies for .308 Win.
Dies should be carefully chosen to meet shooting needs. Do not choose a die that is meant for a hunting rifle or a practice range rifle.
Unless the die is just right for your gear, it is always advisable to check whether or not the die you are interested in will perform its function smoothly. Below are the top 4 picks of the best reloading dies for .308 Win.
This die set is the ultimate product for reloading 308 Winchester rounds. It is a complete set that comes with a shell holder and powder measure. It also includes the famous Lee load data manual, which highlights all the common brands of powder.
The Lee precision reloading die set is a full-length resizing die. It returns brass to factory size, and cullet neck sizing die improves accuracy. It also comes with an easy to adjust dead length bullet seating die, which makes crimping easier.
The factory crimp die provides secure bullet crimping whether the bullet has a crimp groove or does not. This die set is the ultimate product for maximum versatility. Its full length resizing die makes it perfect for reloading brass that is fired in other guns.
Users do not need to lubricate the case and the cases last for a very long time. This is an excellent product for single shot rifles and bolt action. The set comes loaded with a shell holder which easily clips to the ram of the reloading press.
It also includes bullet setting die, a crimp die and two sizing die. For semi-automatic rifles, it would be best to use full-length re-sizing die instead of the Lee precision neck sizing die.
This is because the case could get stuck as it would be too tight in the chamber. However, some people have used this set on both semi-auto reloads and bolt action reloads without experiencing any problems.
Buyers need to note that the pin for the sizing die should be tightened to avoid it getting stuck inside the brass or slipping off.
For hunting enthusiasts, this is the ultimate die set for their rifles. The RCBS full length die set is made of the highest quality case hardened steel. It is reamed and precision-drilled to high standards like those used by high-quality gun manufacturers.
The full-length size die is meant for bottleneck cases and has vents to avoid damage to the cases. This set also comes with a large and easy to adjust hex lock rings that utilize hex head setscrews. The set is properly hardened and is hand polished to give it that high quality looks to it.
It is guaranteed to give you smooth running and a long product life. However, Despite the RCBS FL die set being of the highest quality, decapping pins invariably breakdown no matter the manufacturer. Therefore, protect yourself by having an extra set on hand.
Also, it does not come with a shell holder, so one needs to buy it separately for their gun’s specific caliber. Some users also warn that the seating die of this product leaves rings on their LD-X bullets in compressed loads.
Constant lubrication is needed to avoid rust and ensure longevity. Additionally, when planning to load Ogive bullets with compressed loads, have in mind that you may be required to buy a different seating die. Nevertheless, for a .308 Win, this die set is all you need for your reloading work.
The full-size dies have vents to avoid damaging cases
Made by one of the top die manufacturers in the industry
Comes with Hex head set screws
Setting die may leave rings on the bullet in compressed loads
An extra pack of decapping pins should be bought as they usually break down
Requires a different setting die for loading ogive bullets with compressed loads
This high-quality reloading die set contains an easy access die box, seating die and a full-length size die. It also comes in the new zip spindle design and the sure lock rings have wrench flats. The top craftsmanship employed produces well-crafted dies that guarantee users that they will not break or wear off from normal use.
The Hornady Custom Grade Reloading Dies provide users with a lifetime of reloading. The zip spindle feature brings with it a series of light threads that cut on the spindle collet. It eliminates spindle slippage and makes it easier to tighten the spindle lock and spindle adjustments.
These dies can be used for both single stage and progressive reloading. This makes it versatile and preferable as one can easily use the set for their different rifles. When handling Hornady Custom Grade Reloading Dies, one can also use RCBS, Redding and Lyman Dies as they have the same thread.
However, care should be paramount as they may not necessarily work for all kinds of calibers. However, some people have used other company dies on the Hornady reloading press and have had good outcomes.
It all depends on how high your risk preference is. The Hornady Custom Grade Reloading Dies comes with a sizing die, a bullet seat die, and a crimping die. Its accurate powder measure scale is handy as you do not want to mess up the measurements when reloading.
One user got a ring on the bullet from the wrong measurement. To avoid other problems associated with loading, ensure that your press is secure when using the decapping die and use a lot of lubrication.
Zip spindle design
Suitable for single stage and progressive reloading
When reloading a .308, a whole set of dies is required
The Redding Reloading Deluxe Die Set is available for .308 Winchester rifles. It is the best reloading die set for .308 Win as it builds reliable and consistent ammunition. This deluxe die set comes with a full-length sizing die, a bullet seating die and a neck sizing die.
It also has a decapping rod with a neck expander to accommodate any kind of crimping. It also comes with an expander die which includes a neck expanding plug. Redding is a well-known American company that produces high quality and innovative reloading products.
As such, it is a trusted brand that has been there for over seventy years. Since the company only deals in reloading equipment, the products are highly specialized to perform at the best quality.
Therefore, when users choose Redding, they are choosing a brand that is specifically fashioned to provide them with their reloading needs. The reloading dies for .308 Win are machined on Hardinge super precision lathes which enable them to hold the tightest tolerances.
These dies guarantee to last a lifetime and produce ammunition that fits any standard chamber. It is appropriate to use it on a lee turret press as the threads are the same. With this die, you need not worry about lubrication as they run quite smoothly. It also works with the Hornady lock and load system.
One needs only to make sure to set up the press that one is using. Where a user does not want the seating die to crimp, they will only need to back out the top part of the die. At its price, this is quality at a very cheap rate.
Reliable and consistent ammunition
Allows for any kind of crimping
Provide users with a lifetime of reloading
No need for lubrication
Customers seem to have a very high opinion of this product, having little negative feedback to report on it
What To Look For While Buying The Best .308 Reloading Dies
Gun users need to be very cautious when buying reloading dies. This is because when you buy the wrong die for your rifle, many problems arise including chances of hurting yourself and others due to the wrong assembly of ammunition.
Therefore, here are some of the factors to consider when shopping for reloading dies for 308 Winchester:
When deciding on the reloading dies for 308 Win, you should consider the die’s overall durability. Tough die sets are preferable as they can take any hard well-molded case and resize it easily.
The decapping pin should also be sturdy to hold up for long hours without chipping, bending, breaking or getting stuck.
Number of Dies in the Set
Dies come in different sets: one, two three and up to four sets. Since reloading is generally dependent on the type of cases being used, it is important to know which particular sets would be valuable to you.
For reloading bottleneck cases, a 2 die set is recommended. On the other hand, if you plan to reload straight cases, a 3 die set is preferable. 4 set dies come with special dies like bump or hand die.
Reloading dies need to be of high quality and reliable. There are numerous brands in the market that claim to produce superior quality. You should beware of such and do your research.
The secret is to buy from established and trusted brands in the industry. Such top brands include RCBS, Hornady, and Lee. All calibers are catered for by these brands and ensure reliability, durability, and longevity.
Like with any purchase, the cost of a product heavily affects the buyer’s buying mannerisms. Some have no particular budget while others do. Despite this, do not buy just about any dies as they really affect the quality of reloading.
To save on buying, choose a die set that is of high quality. You should never compromise on quality as this is what determines the outcome of using your guns. Better yet, some top brands provide high quality dies at very budget-friendly prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing dies is not an easy process. Users have a lot to consider before committing to a particular brand or set, as seen from above. Below are some of the frequently asked questions that customers ask about reloading dies for .308 Win.
What is the difference between the dies that come in the 2 die sets?
Typically, a two die set comprises a resizing die, and a bullet seating die. The former compresses the fired brass back to the required size. To work properly, the brass should be well lubricated.
Otherwise, it may jam inside the die. The bullet seating die ensures that the bullet properly positions itself to avoid damage to the shell/cases.
What is the correct way to measure the diameter of bushing style sizing dies?
One way to determine this is to measure the neck diameter of dummy cartridges with an accurate thermometer. This gets an average figure that can be used to base your measurement.
Simply subtract 0.001” from the cartridge to allow for a slight amount of spring back. This creates a proper press fit.
The decapping pin keeps falling off. Is the decapping rod broken?
Not necessarily. To resolve this, remove the expander button and decapping pin from the die and use pliers to squeeze the clamping jaws holding the pin. Afterward, reinstall the expander button and decapping pin into the die.
Can I also use the neck sizing die to reload my semi-automatic rifle?
No. Manufacturers strongly advise against this. This is because the case might be too tight in the chamber. A full length resizing die is best for semi-automatic rifles as it takes the case back to factory dimensions.
What is the best way to choose the best die set?
Always ensure that your die sets are of high quality to last a lifetime. These come in different price ranges and can be obtained from top manufacturers in the industry.
Also, note that not all work universally. Find out which would work best for your rifle.
Choosing reloading dies should not be a taken casually as they shape the function and quality of a user’s reloads.
As seen from above, reloading dies sometimes perform different functions for particular guns. Choosing the right die sets ensures that problems that arise due to improper reloading are avoided.
How To Set Up Reloading Dies
It is important to use high quality dies as they are bound to give long-term service. Cheap and low-quality dies spoil easily and have to be replaced often.
It is better to buy a high-quality die set and save in the long run. Also, you should choose dies from top brands as you are assured of high quality, durability, and reliability.
Joseph Fox is a 45 years old blogger & passionate hunter from United states. He is also a firearm enthusiastic & likes to share his experience with you. He has a teaching background & now works as an author of Gunloading.com.