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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
reloading tech tips

Tricking Out Your Reloading Press Part 2

Author: Stan Trzoniec / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Apr 24 2019

Lyman has recently introduced an MSR set of precision dies for the AR shooters.  Depending on the cartridge or caliber, this product comes in either a three-or four-die set complete with a “go” gauge. Presently die sets are available for eight different cartridges from the .223/5.56 to the impressive .50 Beowulf.  What I like about these die sets is that they include both a small base die and a crimping die along with a plastic case for storage. The dies dark finish will match your black rifle perfectly.

I don’t know about you, but when I am reloading I am always adjusting my micrometer for checking cases on the bench.  Lyman has a neat item it calls the E-EZEE Cast Gauge that allows a handloader to make fast, accurate readings of any case length.  According to Lyman, the rifle gauge will measure over 70 popular rifle cases while the smaller one is set for the most common pistol entries.  While not a specific item for a press, it does come in handy on my bench and is a good investment in time and money.

Redding always has something for the handloader, and a few items I like include the Competition Bullet Seating Die for both handgun and straight walled rifle cases. This design includes a neat way to keep both the case and bullet in perfect alignment during the seating process, which in turn leads to better accuracy.   Within the die is a spring-loaded seating stem that moves down within the die chamber, keeping both the bullet and case in alignment well before bullet seating takes place.  Additionally, there is a micrometer adjustment for recording the perfect combination of bullet-to-case measurement.  To finish the set, a separate crimp die is included for superior handloads. This die is also progressive press-compatible for handloaders who need large quantities of ammunition for practice or matches.

Finally, when working with wildcat cartridges, I need the use of an extended shell holder for special applications. These would include converting the .17 Ackley Hornet from the .22 Hornet or making .22 Remington Jet cases from the .357 Magnum cases. While there is a different extended shell holder for each cartridge, it’s always a good idea to check each manufacturer’s specifications for that specific cartridge and purchase it at the same time as the die set. Believe me, this little item pays for itself in no time.