Best Reloading Dies – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

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If you are just starting out learning to reload, then there’s a lot that you need to know. You’ve probably heard a lot about reloading dies and how helpful they are in the process of reloading.

As a gun owner who reloads, reloading dies are possibly one of your more valuable pieces of equipment. As such, choosing one is a big decision. Reloading dies are absolutely essential pieces of equipment in order to reload properly, so finding the best one to maintain your safety, accuracy, and effectiveness is absolutely crucial. 

This complete buyer’s guide will walk you through each of the most popular and effective reloading dies currently on the market, what we like about them, and what we think could be improved. This is one of the most complete and comprehensive information sources on reloading dies out there and is designed to be the last word when it comes to modern reloading dies and for discovering which ones are suited to a specific purpose. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Reloading Dies

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Redding - Full Length Die Sets

  • Bullet guide for ease of use
  • Hand polished for a smooth finish
  • Includes built-in crimp ring for easy crimping
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Lee Precision - 4 DIE - Deluxe Pistol Die Set

  • Comes from reputable Lee name
  • Easy to transport with a handy case
  • Great die set for use with pistol ammo
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RCBS - X-Full Length Die Set

  • Best option for those on a budget
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Manufactured by RCBS, a reputable company
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Forster Reloading Die Set and Bench Rest Seater

  • Great premium option for those looking to invest
  • Best option for those who care a great deal about accuracy
  • Manufactured by Forster, a reputable reloading equipment company that produces its products with quality materials
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RCBS - X-Die Full Length Sizer Die 308 Winchester

  • Best option for .308 weapons
  • Made by RCBS, a reputable company
  • Perfect for hunters and others who use .308 guns
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Hornady - Bullet Feeder Pistol Dies

  • Simple design for durability
  • Best option for 9mm pistols
  • Made by Hornady, a leader in reloading dies for hand weapons
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L.E. Wilson Inc. - Bushing Full Length Dies

  • Made by Hornady in the US
  • Great option for 300 Blackout reloading
  • Simple and durable design for maximum dependability
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Hornady New Dimension Series II 3 Die Rifle Set

  • Headed steel de-cap pen
  • Best option for .45 and .70 rifles
  • Utilizes unique zip spindle design
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What Are Reloading Dies?

Reloading dies are a simple piece of equipment, but most people new to reloading tend to struggle with how to use them, at first. Reloading dies are instruments fixed onto a reloading press to perform critical functions. They are used with each and every cartridge you reload. Reloading dies are meant to uncap, resize, and expand the mouth of the case you are reloading. They also help to crimp and seal the bullet. 

The first concept that you should become familiar with as someone getting into bullet reloading is that there are many different types of reloading dies. They each serve a specific purpose and deal with a different  situation. Understanding this is key to success in your bullet reloading venture. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you start purchasing reloading dies, there are some considerations you need to keep in mind. Being mindful of the factors of reloading is one way to ensure that you don’t make typical beginner mistakes and you get the right set of reloading dies for you. 

Reloading Die Selection

You should consider the fact that your selection of reloading dies will affect your limitations and abilities when reloading. Having more options is always desirable, but it’s going to depend on how many things you want to do. You should be thinking about this as you start considering the shopping process for reloading dies. 

Redding - Full-Length Die Sets

Who You Purchase From

Another thing you should keep in mind when shopping for reloading dies is where you want to purchase them from. This is a different thing altogether from just the brand of die that you select. You want to get your dies from a reputable dealer because they can be a significant investment and you want your purchase to be protected. 

Purchase Pacing

Your strategy for finding a set of dies is going to be different based on your timeline and how fast you’re hoping to acquire them. If you have the luxury of time, be sure to pace out your purchases and make sure to take your time coming to the right conclusion on the set of reloading dies you should purchase. However, some situations don’t always allow that. If you are truly in a rush, our complete guide will help you to come to the right decision quickly. 

How to Choose Reloading Dies

When you are starting to shop for reloading dies, there are some characteristics that you should keep in mind. While most reloading dies perform the same basic function, there are some defining characteristics that make some better than others, especially when it comes to your specific needs. 

There are some key properties you should keep in mind when deciding on the best reloading dies. Keeping these properties in mind will ensure you get reloading dies that work for you and meet your requirements. 

Type of Die

The first thing that you’ll need to make a decision on is the type of die you need. This will largely depend on which type of ammo you are working with and what your end goal is for that ammo. There are several different types of dies, each compatible with a different type of ammo and facilitating a different outcome. Being familiar with the type of die you need is going to be a very helpful piece of knowledge to know beforehand. 

Material

There are a few different types of metal that dies can be made out of. Some are made of carbide, some of steel, and there are a few other materials, as well. Each has its advantages, whether that is durability, affordability, or a mix of both. Make sure that your priorities are in order when it comes to the material your dies are made of. 

Brand

While we definitely encourage you to keep an open mind during the selection process for the best results, we also understand that people have different loyalties when it comes to brand. Sometimes, your trust has been built up with a brand and you prefer to only buy their products.

This is definitely understandable, especially when considering how much of an investment these dies often represent. You want to make sure you don’t have a bad experience, especially when you have had a lot of good experiences with your favorable companies. 

Affordability

Affordability is certainly one of the most important factors when considering a set of reloading dies. The main determinant in this decision is going to be what your purpose for reloading is. Are you going to be doing this as a professional service or just as a way to save money?

Affordability generally corresponds with quality and the amount of features offered in any given set of reloading dies. How much you are willing to spend in reloading dies will generally determine the degree of quality and the range of jobs they can accomplish for you. 

If you are a hobbyist who doesn’t make money from reloading, you can probably get away with not investing very much in a set of reloading dies. However, if you do this professionally for income, you might want to invest a bit more and ensure that you are delivering a quality service with quality equipment. 

Quick Take - The Best Reloading Dies

Review of the Best Reloading Dies

We understand that it can be quite hard to judge a set of reloading dies that you’ve never used, and that’s exactly why this guide should be your first destination when on the prowl for new reloading dies. We have taken it upon ourselves to put together a robust review of each of the top reloading dies on the market and let you know what each is good for, what their strengths are, and some other basic information to help you make your decision. 

Pros

  • Relatively Affordable
  • Can Be Used for Both Rifle and Handgun Ammo
  • Easy to Use, Making Them Great for Beginners
  • Made by Redding, a Very Reputable Company for Reloading Dies
  • Quality Materials Mean That You Won’t Have Problems With Durability or Reliability

Cons

  • They are Very Popular so it Can Sometimes Be Difficult to Find Them in Stock

What Recent Buyers Report

Redding has always had a good reputation and receives testimonials from those who choose the brand for their reloading products. Nothing has changed, as this full reloading set by Redding has great reviews both recently and in the past. The most common praise of recent buyers is that these sets by Redding provide good quality, simplicity, and value. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many things to love about these full-length sets by Redding. They come from a quality brand name, for starters. Redding is very reputable and known for the quality products they produce. In addition, they also make products that are affordable. There aren't a lot of people that would say that they can't find a good Redding product when it comes to reloading. 

Who Would Use This Most?

The person that would use this most is the individual that wants to reload for personal use and is looking for the best hobbyist option for reloading. These reloading dies by Redding provide a very user-friendly way to get into reloading and also provide you with a quality product at an attractive price. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

We would say there’s really not much to improve with these reloading dies by Redding, but if there were one thing that we would want to improve it would be for them to be more readily in stock. These are very popular reloading dies, so it would be nice if there were never an issue with the product being available. 

Bottom Line

These full-length reloading dies by Redding provide both beginners and professionals with a way to efficiently reload and do it with a quality product. This reloading set is very affordable and easy to use, even for beginners. This is a fine product and serves a wide variety of needs, and that’s why we named it the best overall. 

Pros

  • Affordable Set of Dies for Pistols
  • Includes Up to Four Different Dies
  • Available for Use With a Variety of Weapons
  • One of the Best Sets of Dies for Pistol Ammo
  • Manufactured by Lee Precision With Quality Materials

Cons

  • This Type of Reloading Die Might Not Be the Easiest for Beginners to Use

What Recent Buyers Report

These dies by Lee have a very good reputation with recent buyers. They are one of the highest-rated sets of dies on the internet and that’s why people continue to purchase them. One of the most common praises of this set is that it provides excellent value for the money. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This set of dies stands out to us because it provides an excellent way for people looking for a handloading solution that is both affordable and effective. With plenty of features, functionality, and versatility, this set of dies will serve you well. What really makes this set of dies unique is that it’s so affordable compared to others. 

Who Would Use This Most?

The person that would likely use this set of reloading dies the most is those who enjoy handloading and use pistols and other small weapons. This series of dies serves pistols very well and anyone who needs something solid for pistols will enjoy this set. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

If we could improve anything on these dies, we would probably start with the fact that they’re not always the easiest to use. While professionals and experienced reloaders shouldn’t have a problem, they aren’t the best for beginners and those just starting out with reloading. 

Bottom Line

This product provides a reliable set to help with handloading for experienced and professional reloaders. They are very affordable, come with a case, and provide you with quite a bit of versatility when it comes to reloading pistols and other handguns. 

Best for the Money:
 RCBS - X-Full-Length Die Set

Pros

  • Perfect for Hobbyists
  • Includes Two Dies in the Set
  • Can Help Produce Several Hundred Rounds
  • Comes in Full-Length for Maximum Versatility
  • One of the Most Affordable Die Sets Out There

Cons

  • No Carrying Case

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that these are the perfect solution for anyone who is looking for a simple solution. Many say these are the most affordable option they can find that still represents a quality product. If you are looking for something that is both reliable and won’t hurt the pocketbook, these could definitely be the dies for you. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This set sticks out to us because it is not your typical set of cheap dies. Anyone can produce cheap dies and sell them at the price RCBS sells these at, but it's difficult to produce a product at this price point and still have quality construction. That's what RCBS has delivered with this set of dies and that makes them unique. 

Who Would Use This Most?

The person who would use these most is likely the hobbyist who is excited about reloading but doesn’t want to make an astronomical financial commitment right out the gate. If you are a reloader that doesn’t want to break the bank with their first purchase, this would be the right set for you. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

Though anyone looking for a cheap set of dies isn’t necessarily looking for all the extras, it can’t be ignored that this set doesn’t come with anything extra. We wouldn’t call this a negative, but if we had to improve on any area, that would be the area we would recommend. 

Bottom Line

These dies are a great, affordable option and deliver a quality product without sacrificing much. Yes, these aren’t going to be as high-quality as some other options out there, simply because of the price, but that doesn’t matter much for hobbyists just looking for a good set of dies that won’t break the bank. 

Best Reloading Dies for Accuracy:
Forster Reloading Die Set and Bench Rest Seater

Pros

  • Comes With Two in a Set
  • Provides You With Versatility
  • Perfect for More Serious Reloaders
  • Provides Good Value, Even for the Higher Price
  • Produces Quality Results That Enhance Accuracy

Cons

  • Higher Price Than Other Dies

What Recent Buyers Report

This set of dies is relatively new to the marketplace, and as a result, it doesn't have a ton of reviews out there. However, there are a few out there and recent results indicate this set of dies is perfect for those who prioritize accuracy and quality results. If you are looking for a premium option that you can depend on to produce quality rounds intended for accuracy, this is the set of dies for you. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This set of dies stands out to us since it prioritizes something that not a lot of dies advertise--accuracy. When we think about reloading, we sometimes forget that using an inferior product can have major consequences on many aspects of our shooting. Whether you are using your weapon for hunting, self-defense, or target practice, you want to have the best accuracy possible. 

Who Would Use This Most?

This set of dies would be used mostly by those who really need accuracy with their reloaded rounds. This would include hunters or anyone who shoots competitively for sport. This could include both hobbyists and professionals, but it should be kept in mind that these aren’t the most affordable dies out there and, therefore, may be out of reach for hobbyists. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

We don't have much to complain about with this set of dies, and their price isn't egregious, but we would like to see a set aimed at accuracy which is also able to be produced at a lower price point. These are considered a premium option at this price point and may put them out of reach for some lower-level hobbyists. Everyone should be able to enjoy the gift of accurate reloading dies. 

Bottom Line

These reloading dies are made using some of the finest materials out there and it definitely shows. The reason they are used so commonly for those who prioritize accuracy is that they are made with high-end materials and precision processes. Anyone looking for a set of dies that will put them in the best position possible to increase their accuracy will be very pleased with this set. 

Pros

  • Two Dies in Each Set
  • Crafted With Precision
  • Made With High-Quality Materials
  • Provides Good Value at the Price Point
  • Affordable Option for Hobbyists and Hunters

Cons

  • Not Full-Length
  • Limits You to One Type of Reloading

What Recent Buyers Report

All in all, it seems that most recent buyers are very pleased with this product. Though there are some grumblings of people wanting it to be a full-length die set, most users are very pleased with both the quality and the results of this die set. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This set stands out because they are both affordable and provide a great option for those looking for a die set for .308 rifles. This is undoubtedly the best option available on the market for .308 rifles and the hunters that use them. 

Who Would Use This Most?

This set of dies is mostly used by those in possession of .308 rifles and who want to try their hand at reloading. It’s also great for anyone on a budget and in need of a good set of hunting reloading dies. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

If we were to improve one thing about this set of dies, it would be that they would be full-length. Having to trim is fine with some, but for others, it is inconvenient. We would definitely prefer that this set was full-length, but everything else about it is satisfactory. 

Bottom Line

This set is undoubtedly the best for .308 rifles. If you are looking for an affordable solution for your .308 rifle that you use for hunting, you can’t get much better than this. Made with quality materials, this set doesn’t inflate their price point and still provides a very reliable set of reloading dies. 

Best 9mm Reloading Dies:
Hornady - Bullet Feeder Pistol Dies

Pros

  • Bullet Feeder Die
  • Perfect for 9 mm Pistols
  • Very Affordable Price Point
  • Comes With One Highly Durable Die
  • Solid Steel for Maximum Durability and Effectiveness

Cons

  • Comes With Only One Die
  • Doesn’t Work so Well With Autoloader

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of this product report that overall, this is a really solid reloading die for those looking to use with their 9mm pistol. It’s clear that buyers don’t believe this to be a premium option, but it’s completely serviceable at this price point and provides decent-enough value. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us because of the simplicity and effectiveness. It’s not the most glamorous product out there, but it’s good enough and provides a viable option for those on a budget and not looking to spend a lot on a die for their pistol. 

Who Would Use This Most?

This die would most often be used by someone who has a 9 mm pistol that they want to reloading ammo for. If you are someone who enjoys reloading and wants to use something that gets the job done on a budget, this would be a great die for you. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

We would say that one area that needs some improvement is the compatibility with autoloaders. These are now common practice in the modern era, so it would be nice to see this die be more compatible with autoloaders.

The other thing that we would improve would be reliability. This die is known to drop rounds every now and then and while it's not so much of an issue for smaller hobbyists, it can be frustrating. The good thing is that this die is very affordable so it won't let you down. 

Bottom Line

This die is perfect for those looking for a basic, affordable solution for their 9 mm pistol. It isn't the highest-end solution on the market and won't win any awards, but it's perfectly adequate for most applications. 

Best .300 Blackout Reloading Dies:
L.E. Wilson Inc. - Bushing Full-Length Dies

Pros

  • Gives You Precise Control
  • Features Full-Length Sizing
  • Precision Machined With Stainless Steel
  • Sizes, Cases, and Shoulders at the Same Time
  • Reduces the Risk of Overworking the Brass

Cons

  • Expensive for Just One Die

What Recent Buyers Report

The .300 Blackout rifle is one of the fastest rising rifles when it comes to semi-automatic offerings. As such, most people are looking for a durable, reliable option for reloading for this rifle. The reviews on this die are overwhelmingly positive, as it provides you with a premium experience for reloading that isn't often seen on the market.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

This die stands out to us because of the quality with which it is made. This is one of the most well-made dies on the market today across all weapon sizes. If you are looking for something that’s going to last a very long time, this is a great bet. 

Who Would Use This Most?

The person that would use this die most is anyone interested in getting into reloading for their .300 Blackout rifle. It would also a willingness to invest a good sum of money into being able to reload, as this die does cost a decent amount. It’s undoubtedly worth it, though. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

As the .300 Blackout becomes more popular, we think more options will be coming onto the market, simply due to the increase in demand. In those future reloading die models, we hope there will be a manufacturer that can produce these at a more affordable price point for hobbyists and those that don’t have much to invest. 

Bottom Line

This is a premium, top-of-the-line option for those who need reloaders for .300 Blackout rifles. At the present time, you cannot find a better option out there. It's made from quality materials by a top-tier manufacturer and provides you with accuracy, ease-of-use, and durability. It will be your most reliable option for years to come. 

Pros

  • Wrench Flats
  • Has a Built-in Crimper
  • Sliding Alignment Sleeve
  • Polished Elliptical Expander
  • All-Steel Seater Adjustment Screw

Cons

  • Best for More Advanced and Experienced Reloaders

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that this is, by far, the best and most comprehensive set of dies for government .45 and .70 rifles. If you are looking for something that is going to serve you reliably for those models, then this would be the right set for you. Past buyers report that these are high-quality dies at an affordable price. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This particular set stands out to us as a quality, appealing product because it provides a lot of flexibility and versatility in one package. It allows you to reload for a couple of different weapons with the multiple dies that come included. It also stands out as a quality product made from top-tier materials. 

Who Would Use This Most?

The person that would use this great set of dies most is anyone who wants to reload for .45 and .70 rifles. These are considered the best option on the market for those rifles, so we would expect anyone who is serious about caring for this type of ammo to be in possession of these reloading dies. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?

At present, it doesn't appear that there is much we would want to improve with this set of dies. It provides you with almost everything you could possibly want. One thing we do find to be somewhat of a problem with this set of dies is that they can be a bit complicated to use at times. They would be best for those who have experience with reloading and know how to use the equipment well. 

Bottom Line

This set of dies provides you with a versatile, affordable, and durable option for your .45 and .70 rifles. It doesn’t get much better than this, so if you want something that is going to serve you reliably for years, you should definitely invest in this set of dies. 

How to Set Up Reloading Dies

The first time you set up your reloading dies, it can be a bit complicated. That’s why it’s best to get a complete walkthrough the first time, so you can get a good idea of what is involved. 

  1. Knock out the old primer and clean the cases.
  2. Size the case so it can fit a bullet and fit into your chamber.
  3. Press in a new primer.
  4. Pour in your powder and make sure you get it exactly correct.
  5. Seal the bullet.
  6. You are ready!

This is the reloading process that so many people love to engage in, because it allows them to connect with their favorite hobby and save money in the long run. 

Perks of Investing in Great Reloading Dies

There are a variety of reloading dies out there available for purchase and one of the many characteristics of a reloading die is the price. Many people get caught up on the price of a reloading die, but there are benefits to investing in a good quality reloading die, both in the short-term and the long-term. 

Durability

It’s no secret that more durable reloading dies are going to be more expensive. If you want something that is going to last a long time, you should be prepared to invest a little bit more. This shouldn’t be seen as a negative, though. Having a more durable reloading die is going to save you money in the long run by keeping you from purchasing replacement dies when they get damaged or break. 

Accuracy

A higher-quality die made with better quality materials will actually help with your accuracy. If you prioritize accuracy in your shooting, whether competitive or for sport, you should try to invest more into a die that is of higher-quality materials and will give you higher-quality rounds to shoot more accurately. 

Ease-of-Use

More robust and better-made dies will generally be easier to use and more compatible with equipment that makes the reloading process easier. This is going to include equipment such as autoloaders. Make sure that you invest well in a reloading die to make your life easier when you are reloading, especially if you are a beginner. 

Conclusion

There are hundreds of options out there on the market when it comes to reloading dies. It can be a bit overwhelming to try and go through all of these and assess them one by one, but with the help of our complete guide, selecting your next high-quality reloading die can be a breeze. The next time you need to purchase a reloading die, be sure to consult the information we’ve compiled to find the right die for you. 

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