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#206777 - 05/16/20 11:44 AM .454 reloading dies
ivoryhunter
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Registered: 02/26/19
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Loc: NJ

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To date I have been reloading for my .454 Casull SBH with the Lee 4 die set which has been ok but of the 4 dies only the seating die is .454 specific the other all being .45 LC which Lee does note is the case in their instructions.
Having read that it is a good idea to use dies specific to the .454 I purchased the RCBS 3 die carbide set but have noticed the RCBS die does not size down to the base of the case as far as the Lee. Is that typical? Also I am using the Lee shell holder, would the RCBS set require their shell holder?
Would appreciate any advice, thanks.

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#206779 - 05/16/20 12:53 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: ivoryhunter]
wvhitman
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Registered: 12/04/05
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I've used the same Lee .454 set that you have for 15+ years. Only problem I've had is sometimes the seater die doesn't crimp well. I solved that by getting a Lee .45 cal. crimp die. Works great.
I use Lee shell holder for their priming tool and RCBS shell holder for reloading (already had it for .44 Mag.) I use Lee shell holders with some other RCBS dies (different calibers) with never any problems.
I've loaded and shot well over 2500 rounds for my 3 different .454s with no problems EVER by mixing shell holder and dies. I consider the Lee sizing die excellent. I use them in all my straight wall revolver cases except .475 which they don't make.
I've always looked at Lee dies as the Rodney Dangerfield of loading dies- no respect, but decent price and they always work.

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#206780 - 05/16/20 01:36 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: wvhitman]
ivoryhunter
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Thanks for the input on the Lee Dies and being able to mix shell holders I have been reloading about 4 years now and have only used Lee dies and load for several rifle and pistol calibers on a Lee single stage press, not an extravagant set up but keeps me in ammo each weekend and the dies seem to work just fine, I had read in a few articles that the .454 should have dedicated dies not adjusted .45 Colt but as you noted the Lee works just fine and no doubt produce a better cartridge than I am a shooter. The Lee factory crimp does work great and had to use it to go back and re-crimp some Hornady Custom ammo that was pulling the crimp.

Thanks again for your reply.

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#206782 - 05/16/20 04:16 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: ivoryhunter]
jamesfromjersey
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Registered: 01/18/04
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I bought a Lee 3 die set when I got my 454...Went to the range and the bullets jumped the crimp... bought the lee factory crimp die, and like Doc, never had a problem....
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#206783 - 05/16/20 06:35 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: jamesfromjersey]
ivoryhunter
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Thanks James for weighing in, feeling better about my Lee dies. As noted I did already purchase the RCBS dies. Does anyone have much experience with them? It is the 3 die carbide set, I only got as far as setting up the sizing die and when I saw it did not go down as far on the case as the Lee die I just went back to using the Lees without trying the RCBS expander or seating dies.

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#206787 - 05/16/20 08:42 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: ivoryhunter]
karl
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Registered: 01/12/15
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I use the RCBS dies for 454. It is my first straight walled cartridge experience and it seems to be working fine. I'm shooting XTP and XPB so I don't bell the case mouth. I also seat and crimp at the same time with starline cases. i'm shooting ~250gn bullets at ~ 1600fps and they don't jump in a SRH with ~ 300 rounds down range.

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#206793 - 05/17/20 12:24 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: karl]
BBwheelgunner
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Registered: 11/21/09
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Ivoryhunter,

I bought RCBS dies for my 454 for the same reason you did. They were the dies that Freedom Arms sells on their website so I thought why not go with what works for the parent company of the cartridge. If I recall, mine size the full length of the case down to where the case wall meets the web of the case head. I have had no problem with mine.

I have a set of Lee dies for my 45 colt and now for 480 Ruger. I like Docs comment about the "Rodney Dangerfield" of reloading dies! haha I like my Lee dies. In some small ways I like them better than the RCBS because they tend not to loosen up while in a loading session because of the o-ring locking ring. That being said, I am still sticking with the RCBS for the 454. I use a Lee Classic Turret Press and lee shell holder with mine, no problems
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#206797 - 05/17/20 05:32 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: BBwheelgunner]
BBwheelgunner
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Just inspected some of my sized brass and compared it to the Lee sized 480 brass I had in front of me. The RCBS does indeed NOT size as far down as the Lee,

but I haven't experienced any problem due to this.
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#206799 - 05/17/20 06:14 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: BBwheelgunner]
ivoryhunter
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Registered: 02/26/19
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Thanks for checking guess that is how the RCBS die works. Brass is pretty thick and rigid down near the rim which may be why they stop there.

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#206802 - 05/17/20 09:21 PM Re: .454 reloading dies [Re: ivoryhunter]
BBwheelgunner
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I don't think its that the die "can't" size all the way down because of the brass tension,its likely just the design of the die itself
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