one brand of dies interchangeable in another brand's press?

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Scott

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
296
Location
Missouri
Will a set of Lee dies work in an RCBS press? I'm ready to start reloading, and found a good deal and ordered a set of Lee .45Colt carbide dies. I've already decided on a Lee press (but don't know which one yet), so I should be ok. Then I got to thinking, what if I change my mind and find a RCBS to buy instead? Would that work, or am I committed to the Lee brand now? I also am assuming that the Lee dies will work in any of the Lee presses?

I grew up cussing International Harvester and John Deere because their hydraulics on their tractors wouldn't fit the others' implements without an extra attachment. I'm ignorant about relaoding, but I'm learning fast, so expect a lot more stupid questions from me. (and yes, after dealing with the public every day, I do believe there IS such a thing as a stupid question!) TIA
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
Location
PA
Dies are pretty much standard unless you have dies for the Dillon Square Deal B. THey are proprietary and will not work in other presses. Likewise, you cannot use other dies in the Dillon SDB either. Dillon makes fine products but the SDB is a dog, unless you're ONLY going to be using that press forever, and don't mind paying for special dies that won't work in any other press.

REV
 

Sharp Shooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Messages
110
Location
MCCammon,Idaho,USA
Yep, as Bearlaker said, "they're pretty much standard." Most brands of dies are 7/8", 14 threads per inch. Their are exceptions, like the small dies that are used in those old Lyman "tong tools." And I'm not sure, but I think Lee might make a similar hand-held reloading tool that takes smaller dies. But as a general rule, almost all reloading presses take 7/8", 14 threads per inch dies, which is the size of almost all reloading dies. :)
 

Scott

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
296
Location
Missouri
Thanks, as always, for quick responses;

Good news; I'm not limited & can keep researching which press

Bad news; I'm not limited & should keep researching which press

So many choices & so little time!
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,137
Location
So. Florida
I started-out a few years ago with the Lee Anniversary Kit and added several die sets and a few things like a case tumbler, dial calipers, case trimmers and a digital scale. I can make good ammo with it but it is difficult to get everything working good. It is like buying cheap fishing equipment or golf clubs, you can get by if you have to, but it really doesn't do the best or easiest job.

The Lee press I found sturdy but all the pivot joints have really loosened-up. You have to add a cup to the side of the press to catch the primers. The piston will go over the top when using the handle so I put a metal stop on the mechanism to get a positive handle stop. The rubber "O" rings allow the dies to wobble because the threads are loose. All this just on the PRESS. I won't even go into the Lee "safety" scale or the Lee not so "perfect" powder measure.

I would suggest one of the other single stage presses or maybe the Lee "classic" press because you will always be able to use a single-stage press but not the "challenger" press that comes with the Anniversary kit.

I think if I was starting out again I would buy the RCBS "Rock Chucker Supreme" Kit. :D

...Jimbo
 

Pal Val

Buckeye
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
1,532
Location
S.E. PA, USA
Scott, You're on the right track. The last thing you want to do is to dive in headfirst, buy a lot of stuff without any advice, and later have to replace half of ot because it turned out not to be what you needed. I asked a million questions aound the club before buying my reloading stuff. I may have sounded stupid, but it saved me a lot of money. :lol:
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,126
Location
+4020
Sharp Shooter":1gjlqf9j said:
Most brands of dies are 7/8", 14 threads per inch. Their are exceptions, like the small dies that are used in those old Lyman "tong tools."
Right. Lyman also made a turret press many years ago, called IIRC the "Tru-Line Jr," that also used the little oddball dies. Before I really got into reloading, back in the '70s, someone sold me one of those presses (pretty cheap), with no dies. THEN I discovered that the thing didn't take standard dies. :evil: I believe they're still available, from Lyman or elsewhere, but they cost as much as "real" dies (and prolly more than the excellent, value-priced Lees) and they're not available in carbide, which I always buy if I can get them.
 

tomiswho

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
323
Location
Georgia
Bearlaker":3fg4lp95 said:
I agree Jimbo, my Lee is falling apart.

also agree with Jimbo

When I started reloading a few years ago, my dealer suggested, then ordered, the RCBS rockchucker supreme kit. I paid a few $$ more than mail order, but my dealers advice as I went thru the reloading process on my own was invaluable.

Everything about my press has worked wonderfully.

Tom
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
Location
Montana 'Merica
RCBS and MEC are the only two brands allowed on my bench. I bought a Lee trimmer to save some time on a batch of .223 brass, after about 700 cases the thing broke and gouged out my hand.

If you don't ever plan on loading much more than a few boxes a year, the Lee is great, if you plan on more substantial loading, pay a few more bucks and get a RCBS, Redding, Lyman, or Dillon.
 

Divernhunter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
263
Location
Denair,Ca,USA
Hornady also makes good stuff. Their 50bmg set up is better than the RCBS one and I am a RCBS fan. I have 2 RCBS press, trimmers(do not ask how I ended up with 2 trimmers) and powder dumps. I have a bunch of RCBS dies as well as Hornady/Redding/Lyman which all are good. I do have a few lee dies and dislike them mostly due to the non-locking-locking rings. My buddy got a lee and his broke already. I have RCBS presses that were new in the 1960's and have had too many rounds thru them to count and are stiil working fine. I lost a pin for one and it was replaced free. That will not happen with lee.
Bottom line get something other than lee.
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Location
NE Ohio
revhigh":5uirc3lu said:
Divernhunter":5uirc3lu said:
Bottom line get something other than lee.

Yep ...

Another yep. I started out on Lee, a Pro 1000 progressive and a single-stage similar to the Lee Classic Cast but, evidently, an older version. The single-stage broke the aluminum handle linkage in a very short period of time with little use and the Pro 1000, while usable, wasn't very precise or rugged. I think I went through 2 of the cast aluminum handles while I was actively using it and the steel ram, which rode in the aluminum housing without bearings or anything, loosened up in a short period of time. It's still usable but the classic "Lee quirks" drove me mad and I ended up buying a Hornady LNL AP. The LNL is GREAT and I can heartily recommend any Hornady product.

Bub
 

Hole Shooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
234
Location
Mississippi
+1 on the RCBS kit!

I wouldnt trade my RCBS equipment for any other brand. However, I do use the Lee factory crimp die for .38/.357 and .44 spec/mag in my RCBS press.
HS
 

Rainman

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
505
Location
Land of the Cherokee , Georgia
Everything on my bench is RCBS green with the exception of a spare Lyman 55 powder measure (which is excellent). The reason- it's quality stuff and their customer service is by far the best on the planet.

Keep a watchful eye out at gun shows and flea markets- I paid $20 bucks for a great old Rock Chucker press before Obama days. I still see them for sale on gun show tables so if you're not in a big hurry, limp along with the Lee until you can upgrade. (I do use the Lee factory crimp dies on everything I load- they are excellent BTW).

I'm retired so I'm staying with single stage everything but if I was a younger man, I'd be shopping for progressive stuff to save time.

My $.02.
Dan
 

wls

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
12
Location
INDIANA
I have to defend Lee. I got a Lee turret press back in 1991 and have been loading .357mag, .45colt, .44mag and 45-70 cartridges on it. I have loaded at least 5000 45colt alone. It's never let me down and the Lee people are the best support system.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,126
Location
+4020
wls":20cv1l9j said:
I have to defend Lee. I got a Lee turret press back in 1991 and have been loading .357mag, .45colt, .44mag and 45-70 cartridges on it. I have loaded at least 5000 45colt alone. It's never let me down and the Lee people are the best support system.
I used a Lee Progressive 1000 to load thousands upon thousands of rounds of .45 and .38 and it always worked fine for me.

RCBS is first-class, world-grade stuff, nothing finer (I have a Rock Chucker, too), but the Lee stuff is good, too, and will work just fine for most reloaders. I think Lee's carbide dies are as good as anybody's and cost less.
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
Location
PA
Snake45":lt67dwng said:
I think Lee's carbide dies are as good as anybody's and cost less.

Even with their non-lockable rubber gasketed 'lock rings' that won't hold a setting, and the fact that you have to lube your cases so that the brass won't stick in their 'carbide' resizing die ???? :D

REV
 

Latest posts

Top