Picking the best reloading dies for a 6.5 Creedmoor can be a challenge. There’s a lot to consider when purchasing, and everyone seems to have an opinion.
That’s because which reloading dies set you purchase has everything to do with why you’re shooting and reloading. If you’re a hunter, you’ll have different requirements than a competition shooter, and vice versa.
In this article, we try to give the best recommendations for a broad range of uses. That way, you can find the best reloading dies for your 6.5 Creedmoor, whether you’re a hobbyist, hunter, or competitive shooter.
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First things first, let’s define what a reloading die is. Reloading dies are used to reload ammunition. Spent brass casings can be resized, shaped, filled, and sealed using a press and reloading die set.
This saves hunters and hobbyists lots of money in the long term. It also allows competitive shooters to customize their ammunition.
When buying 6.5 Creedmoor dies, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to determine which die types you need. Then, you’ll want to zoom in on specific features.
In reloading die sets, you’ll typically have three pieces. The first decaps and resizes, the second will expand the bullet case mouth, and the third will seat the bullet. It might crimp the bullet as well, depending on the set.
It’s important to note that reloading dies can also be sold as individual pieces. So, you can purchase a full set that takes care of the reloading process from start to finish, or you can buy a single die that only accomplishes one part. Our review includes both options.
Creedmoor 6.5 dies are sold in three sizes: full-length, neck, and small-base. Full-length reloading dies resize the entire length of the cartridge. That means you can use the reloaded ammunition in any rifle, not just the one that recently fired it.
Neck dies resize only the neck, which puts less stress on the brass casing. That means you’ll be able to reload the ammunition several times. However, since you’ve only resized the neck, the ammo will only work in the rifle that originally fired it.
Small-base dies provide extra compression on the brass casing. If you’re partial to semi-automatic weapon platforms, small-base dies are the best choice.
Seating dies come in two types: those with micrometer increments and those without them. Precision shooters, in particular, should seek out seating dies with micrometer increments on the die. This allows for greater accuracy.
Hunters and hobbyists who certainly care about accuracy, but maybe not down to the micrometer, tend not to need the extra measurements.
If the dies are labeled as “bushing dies,” it means you can customize the amount of stress placed on the case’s neck while sizing it.
See, with standard dies, over time, stress on the neck can cause problems with concentricity, which leads to lower accuracy. Bushing dies allow reloaders to avoid that problem.
Now that you have an idea of what to look for, let’s zoom in on some of our favorite reloading die sets.
The Forster Ultra Micrometer Seater Die is a favorite amongst reloaders, and many believe it’s more than worth the cost. Other, less quality sets are known to require lots of screwing and unscrewing in order to make fine-tuned adjustments, but users say this seater die gets it right the first time.
This one is our top pick for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s highly accurate. Micrometer increments mean you won’t have to play a guessing game while reloading. That’s part of why it’s such an excellent option for beginners as well.
We also love the sliding collar. By providing support to the case and body throughout the seating process, it gives greater concentricity. That means the outside of the cartridge ends up in a perfect, concentric circle around the cartridge center. And when you have that, you have a far more accurate piece of ammunition overall.
If you’re looking for a high-quality seater die, one that won’t require a series of annoying adjustments to be precise, the Forster Ultra Micrometer Seater Die is a perfect choice.
The Lee brand has many fans, and it’s no wonder why. Buyers love how much use they get out of this one set and tend to see it as a great value.
The Lee Precision Ultimate Die Set has everything you need to reload ammunition. It even includes a shell holder, when most other brands will not. The brand is known for creating accurate products that last a long time for an affordable price.
We also love its crimper die. Unlike traditional die sets, Lee split the seating and crimping tool into two separate pieces. Some find the extra piece annoying, but as a crimp die, it receives excellent reviews.
That said, this one is our runner-up because the locking ring tends to slip. This can be overcome by purchasing locking die rings separately, but we’d rather it worked without the extra effort.
For an affordable set that does it all, the Lee Precision 4 Piece set is the best option. This is especially true if you’re a beginner who doesn’t really care about advanced steps such as bushing.
Those with semi-automatic weapon platforms love the small base on this die set. Reports of stuck cases and issues with overall durability are mostly rectified thanks to the amazing customer service at RCBS.
The RCBS die set is our best budget pick because of its affordability, but it also has a stand-out feature. It’s set screw locking ring makes this set both easy to use and extremely accurate.
While we wish the customer service team didn’t have to be called quite so often, we do love that they’re knowledgeable about their products. A lot of times, stuck cases have to do with the lubricant used, and RCBS is known to send out a bottle of their own formula directly to users if things go awry.
If you have a 6.5 creedmoor and need a small base die set, this is a great choice. It’s affordable, and RCBS is a well-respected industry brand.
Hunters and hobbyists tend to love Hornady’s brand, though competition shooters sometimes see it as the lesser option. Buyers love the guaranteed durability and the typically affordable price.
We love that Hornady took the time to design its die set to relieve problem points. They avoid case sticking by having an internal die profile that’s smooth polished, and their patented “Sure-Loc” rings really do hold things in place.
There may be some issues with the patented “Zip-Spindle” portion of the die set, in that it seems to end up stripped, even when well-lubricated. But, we can look past that given the no-breakage guarantee and the built-in crimper.
Out of all the Hornady offerings, we think this is the best die set. It will get the job done and is guaranteed to last.
Redding die sets are over-the-top for most hunters and hobbyists, but for competition shooters, it’s a favorite. Buyers say they are highly precise and that this set is one of the best on the market in terms of value.
We love the Redding brand for those who want the extra control and accuracy they offer. Bushing die sets can be hard to find, and this set offers that ability. It also offers a competition level seating die that’s incredibly precise.
Though it can seem like a bigger investment compared to some of the other brands on this list, the Redding die set can’t be beaten in terms of quality.
If you’re a competition shooter or just want a perfectly precise die set, this one is a great choice.
Before you run out and purchase a new die set for your 6.5 Creedmoor, there are a few things to think about:
By functionality, we mean to say, are you hunting? Are you a hobbyist? Or, are you a competitive shooter where precision matters more than anything else? The answer to that question will help determine if you need the ability to make micro-adjustments or not and, therefore, will help you figure out which die set you need.
Having a dedicated crimp die is a matter of preference. Some find the dedicated crimp die gives them a better result. Others see it as an extra and unnecessary step in reloading, given the number of sets with built-in crimpers.
Lastly, die sets vary considerably in price. Your budget will likely play a large role in which sets you consider and eventually purchase.
All this talk about which die set to purchase may have you pondering on the next steps. So, let’s take a moment and discuss how to set up a seater. In this case, we’ll focus on the Forster Ultra Micrometer Seater die.
To start things off, ensure your dies are completely clean and sized. Then, make sure the lock ring is loose on the seater die. Place it into the press, with the cross-bolt facing out, screw the die up, and raise the ramp to the top of the stroke.
From there, carefully screw down the seater die until you feel resistance. The resistance indicates the spring-loaded collar is all the way up. Then, unscrew the seater die by one turn, no more and no less. Re-tighten the lock ring, and then screw the seating cap up.
Place a reference cartridge in the press, raise the ramp, and screw the seater die down until you feel the plug hit. Then you can remove the reference cartridge and insert the bullet to be seated. Raise the ramp again to seat the bullet, then check your work and make any needed adjustments.
See how simple that was? Don’t feel like you have to follow along here, though. Check out the video below for a full overview.
Purchasing reloading dies for a Creedmoor 6.5 may not be as straightforward as it seems. There’s a lot to consider, but it really comes down to one main thing: What are you reloading for? Whether you’re a hunter, a competition shooter, or just a general hobbyist, there’s a perfect reloading die set for you. We hope this article helps you find it!