6 Reloading Dies You Should Know
|Full Length Die Set|
#1 – Full Length Die Set
This die brings cartridge cases back to minimum SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) dimensions for safe shooting. It sizes the outside of the case, de-primes, and will add a roll crimp. This die is also vented so trapped air inside the die will not be compressed against the case wall. It also allows excessive lubricant to escape. This is the most common die and is suitable for Bolt-Action and Single-Shot firearms.
|Neck Sizer Die Set|
#2 – Neck Sizer Die Set
This die only resizes the neck of the cartridge case, and de-primes. It will not touch the shoulder or body of the case. This die is meant to be used on brass that will only be fired out of one firearm. This creates a “personal fit” of your brass to a specific firearm because the shoulder and body is fire-formed to the exact dimensions of a specific rifle’s chamber and then the neck is only adjusted as needed.
|Trim Die Set|
#3 – Trim Die Set
This die is used to trim a cartridge case back to its original length when it has stretched too much from shooting. If an excessive amount of brass sticks out of the top of the trim die, a hacksaw with a fine blade (24 or 32 teeth per inch) can be used to remove the excess brass; otherwise, a mil-type file should be used to trim your cases back to their appropriate length. This is a specialty die often used in combination with case forming procedures like turning .30-06 SPRG brass into .250 Savage brass.
|Small Base Sizer Die Set|
#4 – Small Base Sizer Die Set
This die is meant to be used for Semi-Automatic, Lever-Action, and Pump-Action firearms. This die will resize the case below SAAMI specifications by a couple thousandths of an inch, reducing the shoulder and the body. By doing this, your ammunition will more reliably work in these faster moving action types. This die does also de-prime your brass.
|Small Base Taper Crimp Die Set|
#5 – Small Base Taper Crimp Die Set
This die is best suited to Semi-Automatic actions, but more specifically, for ARs or Modern Sporting Rifles. This die contains a small base sizer (bringing the dimensions below SAAMI specs), de-primes your brass, and will add a taper crimp to your ammunition. The taper crimp is important for ARs because that style crimp provides more reliable feeding and extraction from chambers in a fast moving action.
|Competition Full Length Die Set|
#6 – Competition Full Length Die Set
This die contains a Full Length Sizing Die bringing cases back to minimum SAAMI dimensions. The expander ball inside the die is raised to ensure a smoother neck expansion. The Seating Die does not crimp and also has a bullet loading window into the die so you can be more accurate when reloading. The Seating Die features a micrometer that measures bullet depth increments to the 0.001″ for perfect seating depths, bullet alignment, and achieves superior accuracy.
If you have any questions relating to any of these dies or possibly a reloading question that I did not cover, feel free to comment below! We’re always glad to answer your questions, receive constructive criticism, or even new ideas for future blogs or topics you would like to see covered!
If you seem to get confused on simple firearm jargon, here would be another blog on “Caliber Vocabulary” that could be very helpful!