.308 dies for Lyman turret press

  • Hello, I'm unsure if this topic has already been discussed here, I was unable to find any specific recommendations in my search.

    I've inherited a Lyman turret press from my late Father-in-Law, who mainly reloaded 30-06. I have limited experience reloading, (only shotgun and straight wall pistol) and need a set of 308 dies. Considering my experience level and type of press, can anyone recommend a set of dies for my purpose?

    I'm planning on spending some time with my Dad reloading over the winter. He has the same reloading experience as me. One thing he recommended was carbide to reduce the need for lubrication.

  • RCBS is extreme basic, Forster is the best value budget option, Redding I would put just above Forster. For dies above that I'll let others chime in that have more knoweldge than I do.

    I'm assuming you want to load .308 match quality ammo right?

  • Thank you for the recommendations. I would like to load match and hunting ammo. I am just getting into longer range shooting, so I don't think I need custom or extremely high-end dies at the moment.

    How long do a set of dies last if one is shooting a couple hundred rounds a month, and as someone new to reloading rifle cartridges am I likely to brake something while learning?

  • Yes...you are likely to break something as you learn...but if you are careful it won't be a big deal.

    As far as I know Dillon is the only company making carbide 308 dies and they still require the same lube. Wax is the best way to go for lubrication for precision loading. Redding and hornady both make a sizing wax.

    A quality set of does will outlast the barrel many times over. I have a 300 blackout die (non-carbide) that has about 35000-40000 rounds through it and it is still working fine.

    I am currently using a whidden sizing for and like it a lot. I have also used Redding and they are better than lee or rcbs. I don't have any Forster...but they are supposed to be good as well.

  • I returned the Redding set I had, nothing wrong with them, I had ordered the wrong one.

    I noticed the expander ball in the Redding is lower than my forster setups.

    Supposedly the higher expander helps keep the neck more concentric as it is supported when the ball passes back out. I haven't measured the case necks and have no evidence to this, other than what is reported by forster.

    It makes sense to me.

    You could just go straight to the top with a widden set, they're supposedly one of the best you can get in a production die and they're not really that much more than a good die set elsewhere. I did exchange my first set, as I was unhappy with the fit and finish, the second set looks good.
    As it got said above you'll never wear them out.

  • Thanks, this is very helpful advice.

    One more question, I will be reloading brass that has been shot through my rifle. From what I've read, I can use a neck resizing die instead of a full length die.

    Would you guys recommend getting the full length die to add the benefit of loading bought brass? Is there any drawback to using a full length die when it isn't needed?

  • I full length size only. For brass only fired from one rifle.

    I bump the shoulder back about .002 to ensure proper feeding.

    I'm sure you'll get a couple of opinions here, and dozens if you look on other boards, but neck sizing isn't necessarily more accurate than full length sizing.

    Neck sizing does help case life because you aren't working the brass as much. Annealing will help with extend case life when you full length size.

  • If your FL sizing correctly your brass will
    Last just as long. For hunting loads I wouldn't neck size. For those loads I want easy feeding in poor conditions.

    I'm personally going to try neck sizing on my next couple of batches.

  • You are going to have fun. I just shot my first reloads this afternoon.
    Steep learning curve and it will end up costing more than you think for tools and nick nacks that come in handy.
    If you already have a well stocked tool chest you are ahead of the game.
    I will be polishing my RCBS small base sizer die.
    My Forster micrometer die is really nice.
    Can't say enough about the Forster Coax.
    Imperial is nice case wax but it will need to be applied to every case going into the sizer.
    Just keep your fingers moist with it and it will rub off. Every thirs case it would lightly run my finger across the wax.
    One jar should do a couple thousand rounds.
    Norcal has a good formula for resizing lube and it is applied to the brass in a plastic bag like shake and bake cooking mix.
    That is probably the most time efficient.

  • Great advice, thank you for the help everyone. I'm sure I will have more questions as my reloading progresses.

    Edit 11/21: Today I picked up the Lyman reloading manual and am reading through it now.

  • Wax lube will last for many thousands of rounds. The hornady wax is cheaper for more lube tha the. Redding and I have been using it for many thousand rounds and am not halfway through.

    Neck sizing works and will work the brass less than full length sizing, but you will still need to full length size about every four loadings anyway so the brass will chamber. Therein lies the consistency problem. One time out of five or so will be different. If you full length size every time and only bump the shoulder about 0.002" you will be consistent every time and therefore more accurate over all. Annealing will make your brass last longer...but is not necessary starting out. You can still get 5 or more loadings out of brass without annealing.

  • I've been researching my Father-in-Law's press, it is a Lyman Tru-Line Junior made sometime around 1950. http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/contact/instructions/TruLineJr.pdf

    Unfortunately, it appears that the turret was tapped for smaller dies. It sounds like it is possible to get around that, but it is not robust enough to full length resize.

    I guess I will set it aside for reloading pistol ammo and will have to start looking for a suitable press for my 308.

  • Go with a forster coax. Save yourself the heartache upfront.

  • @ragnarnar said:

    Go with a forster coax. Save yourself the heartache upfront.

    I am debating between the Forster and the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme. As of now I am having trouble justifying the double cost of the Forster at my local store. I am leaning toward buying the RCBS and putting the left over money into Forster or Whidden dies. But, then again I hope to use this tool the rest of my life, so maybe I should just bite the bullet so to speak.

  • Buy the forster co-ax.

    Don't try to "think" your way out of it. You'll end up buying one later... then what will you do with your RCBS?

  • Coax is worth the money. Besides...think of al the money you will save on shell holders.

  • I agree, the Forster is worth every penny.

  • Priming on the Coax isn't difficult either.
    Eventually you will want a dedicated Priming system.

  • CPS is the only way to prime.

  • Banned

    @hoarfrost said:

    I am debating between the Forster and the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme. As of now I am having trouble justifying the double cost of the Forster at my local store.

    I'm not sure what your relations are with your local store, or what their prices are, precision reloading has the coax!


    You can see other things that go with it here:

    I make use of the short handle.

  • I modified a 2" trailer ball to use as a short handle.

  • Short handle for me. Back to sorting brass. Everything resized now. Trimming tonight.

  • Thanks again for all the advice, I think I will go with the Forster setup.

  • I thought I would post a follow-up concerning my old Lyman Tru-Line Junior press.

    I've been able to find the dies in question. These are a smaller size than standard, and also fit the Lyman 310 Ideal reloading tool. The press employs a turret head and is capable of neck sizing only.

    I was able to find the dies on eBay and with the ones I already had for 30-06 and 300 Savage, I am able to load cast as well as jacketed bullets. I am currently working on testing light power loads for smaller game.

    At some point I will likely invest in a Forster press, but it will likely be awhile before I can afford one. I believe in buying the best tools I can afford, and in this case an old Lyman press is working well and I am learning a lot about hand loading. If I waited around until I could afford the best reloading press I would be missing out on a lot.