Forster National Match Die



  • I ordered a full length sizing die for the .308 to attempt to sort out my run out issues. Unfortunately they're backordered everywhere. The NM die however appears to be in stock.

    According to this https://www.forsterproducts.com/pdf/brochures/reloadingdiessalessheet.pdf the only difference is that the NM die is set .003 shorter.

    Assuming that I adjust the die properly, I can use this to the same effect as the regular die, correct? I'll just adjust the die to bump that 1.5-2 thou as normal

    Thanks



  • In theory that should work, as long as there are no other dimensional differences.



  • @orkan

    Thanks for the reply.

    I called Forster this morning. Per them the only difference between their “
    normal .308 die and the NM die is the “headspace” is set .003 shorter.

    I take this mean the die body has .003 machined off the bottom.

    Either way it should work for me.



  • @tackyp said:

    @orkan

    Thanks for the reply.

    I called Forster this morning. Per them the only difference between their “
    normal .308 die and the NM die is the “headspace” is set .003 shorter.

    I take this mean the die body has .003 machined off the bottom.

    Either way it should work for me.

    I have a Forster National Match FL die that I had ordered by accident when I first decided to acquire Forster dies. I kept it thinking I might use it when I change out my factory barrel for a custom barrel. But, I'm not sure I'll be using it since the barrel I'll be getting will be set at SAAMI minimum specs.

    Any way . . . so when I compare my .308 brass that I run through my regular Forster FL die and compare that to one I've run through the NM FL die, I do find a .003 in shorter headspace as expected. But to my surprise, I also found the neck diameter to be about .006" smaller when done without the expander ball.

    With the expander in ball I have a real hard time getting the press to get all the way down and and often ruin a piece of brass, and I don't know why that is. Since I don't use the NM die, I've not addressed this problem.

    PS: that problem could be because of thing neck's thickness and changing that or the expander ball might likely solve that problem. Any thoughts on that are welcome.



  • @straightshooter1

    Is the ball low enough?

    I’ve crushed 223 brass because my expander ball was too high.

    I think Forster has a diagram of proper die setup on their site.

    Also thanks for the info on neck diameter. That’s what I’m looking for. I don’t suppose you happen to know the OD of a sized case?

    My plan is to have this die honed out to reduce sizing to case necks. I’m dealing with this concentricty issue and it’s driving me mad.



  • @tackyp said:

    Is the ball low enough?

    I’ve crushed 223 brass because my expander ball was too high.

    Good advice here. If the expander ball is set too high it will in essence "close off" the neck of the die.



  • Thanks guys . . . I should have thought about that regarding the expander ball.

    LOL . . too many senior moments! ;-)



  • @tackyp said:

    Also thanks for the info on neck diameter. That’s what I’m looking for. I don’t suppose you happen to know the OD of a sized case?

    My plan is to have this die honed out to reduce sizing to case necks. I’m dealing with this concentricty issue and it’s driving me mad.

    I found no difference in OD of the cases between the two dies.

    PS: Adjusted the expander ball (no problems now) and found the neck diameter to be the same from both dies.



  • @straightshooter1 said:

    PS: Adjusted the expander ball (no problems now) and found the neck diameter to be the same from both dies.

    Awesome!



  • Since the only difference is .003" in headspace, I'm wondering why that makes it a "National Match" die??? Is there something about how that extra .003 that improves consistency and/or concentricity?



  • "National Match" chambers tend to be for semi auto "national match" competition. As a result, the shorter headspace is to facilitate functionality in semi auto platforms where normal headspace may present out of battery stoppages.

    At least this is how I understand it.



  • According to the page I posted in the OP, the die is made for use in "bolt action target rifles." Forster probably means "custom" rifles, which will have tighter chambers.

    here it is again. picture is at the bottom of page two.
    https://www.forsterproducts.com/pdf/brochures/reloadingdiessalessheet.pdf

    Based on what the girl told me this morning on the phone, the die is just .003 shorter. Its likely so you can push the shoulder back further for a semi auto or so you have clearance for resizing brass to fit a tight chamber if your die would ordinarily contact the shell holder.

    ETA. @orkan beat me to it. What he said.



  • I've always wished that forster dies were more like whidden in this regard. Whidden dies allow you to set the shoulder back dangerously far... but it is this ability which guarantees you can get the proper setback. Where as many forster factory dies will bottom out before you can get any perceptible setback. It's a relatively rare issue, but one I've encountered before.



  • Well . . . that all certainly makes sense regarding it's use for semi's.

    So apparently, I'm not likely to have any use for my NM die since there is no .308 semi-autos in my pans for now or in the future. And there's no custom barrel that I'm likely to get that could make this die useful.



  • Why is the die not useful for a bolt gun?



  • @orkan said:

    Why is the die not useful for a bolt gun?

    Because is produces more headspace than I want for my bolt gun . . . .???

    Would using a cartridge with .003 more headspace than one within min/max in a bolt gun ever be a "good" thing?

    Why would I ever consider using my NM die over my other for my bold gun?



  • You adjust the headspace by moving the die up and down in the press. It’s the same as every other die, just the body is .003 shorter.

    The die just lets you move the shoulder further than a conventional die because it won’t contact the shell holder.



  • @tackyp said:

    You adjust the headspace by moving the die up and down in the press. It’s the same as every other die, just the body is .003 shorter.

    The die just lets you move the shoulder further than a conventional die because it won’t contact the shell holder.

    OK . . . got it.

    Since I have both dies, why would I ever really need/want the NM die for my bolt gun, particularly if my barrel is cut to SAMMI minimum specs?



  • If the spec of the two sizing dies is identical other than a .003 shorter headspace in the NM die, then you would simply dial it up in the press .003 and it would produce the exact same case dimension as the other die... exactly as @tackyp said.

    Also, you claim it would produce "more" headspace when the reality is the NM die would produce "less" or shorter headspace cases if set down to the shell holder. There are a number of situations where this could be beneficial in a bolt gun. One simple scenario would be if you get a batch of brass with headspace that is too long and need to bump it beyond spec a bit to allow for spring back.



  • @orkan said:

    Also, you claim it would produce "more" headspace when the reality is the NM die would produce "less" or shorter headspace cases if set down to the shell holder.

    Hmmm. . . I see I did say "more" (didn't mean to, and need to work on better proof reading; there's a typo there too).

    There are a number of situations where this could be beneficial in a bolt gun. One simple scenario would be if you get a batch of brass with headspace that is too long and need to bump it beyond spec a bit to allow for spring back.

    Does getting a batch of brass that's too long happen often enough to warrant keeping the die? Am looking for a good reason to keep it. lol . . . I'm trying to break the habit of keeping things I "might" use one day where I simply wind up with too much stuff never again used.



  • Well if you have both the national match die as well as a regular one... I'd keep the national match and sell the regular one. At least then if you ever need to shove some back, you can. Also remember that dies do wear out. After 20k rounds, you'll notice some dimensional changes.

    So, depends on how much you shoot. ... and what are you into it for? $60? Ain't like we're talking about a serious investment.



  • That's a good thought about keeping the NM die and ditching the other. That had crossed my mind given what you and tackyp mentioned about adjusting to get the same measurement. I hadn't given any thought to that before today. Whether to keep one and ditch the other is not about the $$$ as I have less the $40 into each and they can still be had for less than that. It's about space and collecting things of no current use.

    I fire about 2000 rounds a year out of this one gun, so I'll probably be dead by the time I reach 20K. ;-)


 

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