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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to research reloading five-five-six.
What I don't care to do is continuous case trimming.
I've discovered RCBS X-Dies, anybody here use this set? If so, would you mind sharing your thoughts?

"The patented X-Die eliminates the need for repeated trimming after an initial case trim of .020" off the maximum case length. A specially designed mandrel contacts the case mouth and reduces the growth rate. Because of an extremely close tolerance between the mandrel and die neck wall, the neck wall of the case does not thicken as the case length is pushed back. Cases repeatedly sized in the X-Die will initially grow a few thousandths of an inch, then stabilize below the maximum case length with no discernable loss of accuracy or case life. Set contains X-Die Full Length Sizer Die and Seater Die."

This is for my fun MSR, with the .223 Wylde chamber, and will be fed large % of .223 pressure loaded ammo, with 5.56 reserved for special occasions. This is not set-up for competition, and the likely hood of it going into competition is nil.
 

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I understand your concern about case trimming. With reloading it is a necessity because of the metallurgy of brass.

This is one solution well thought of and functional.





Good luck with your reloading and have fun.
 

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Andre Coop - WOW! Your post has really taken me back, like almost twenty years!

I "discovered" the RCBS "X" die back when I was shooting NRA Hi-Power matches. Like you and others, I detest trimming brass, even with a power case trimmer! And if you're feeding an AR, you're doing A LOT of trimming!

In any case, I highly recommend the "X" die. Once trimmed, I rarely have to trim a .223 case again before discarding it due to expanded primer pockets or other issues. My normal routine is to resize the brass on my single stage press (after tumbling). Then tumble again to remove sizing lube. I then load on my Dillon 550B with the 1st station holding a universal depriming die (insures that flash holes and primer pockets are clear.). I load my AR .223 (5.56's) with a ball powder, so the Dillon works well.

I recommend the "X" die to all who are starting out reloading and to experienced reloaders as well. Additionally, I like them so well that I have an "X" die for 30-30, .308 Win., and 30-06 Govt. - Basically any bottle-neck case that I load for!

One other item that may be of interest is the 3-way cutter head that RCBS makes for their case trimmers It trims the brass, chamfers & de-burrs the case mouth in one step. So when the case comes out of the trimmer, it's ready to load!

Between the "X" die and the 3-way cutter head, RCBS has saved me a BUNCH of time and effort!
I hope this helps.

WYT-P
Skyhunter
 

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Very interesting. I use a small base die and my brass gets beat up so longevity is not something I expect out of my 223 brass. I might have to give it a try.
 
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My buddy went with the X-Die for his .223, so the verdict is still out.

My question to him was, where is the brass going? The brass has to flow some where, the bras is still going to thin in the web area. If the die is impeding the case to lengthen, (and it is) it is either going to cause a doughnut at the neck shoulder junction or cause the neck to thicken. The doughnut is a definite accuracy killer and a thick neck could be a safety issue depending on how tight the neck of your rifle is.

Since it’s an AR you’ll need to decide if you want to go with the standard X die or SB X die. I use a standard SB die (not “X”) for my Colt I may trim every 4th firing or so, it’s a non issue for me.

The RCBS X-Die may be a good thing, an earlier poster gave it great, review but I’ve read some negative reviews on it too.

One thing I do know about the X-Die is that it’s not necessary or needed with a bot gun. Proper die set-up would be more beneficial.
 
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My buddy went with the X-Die for his .223, so the verdict is still out.

My question to him was, where is the brass going? The brass has to flow some where, the bras is still going to thin in the web area. If the die is impeding the case to lengthen, (and it is) it is either going to cause a doughnut at the neck shoulder junction or cause the neck to thicken. The doughnut is a definite accuracy killer and a thick neck could be a safety issue depending on how tight the neck of your rifle is.

Since it’s an AR you’ll need to decide if you want to go with the standard X die or SB X die. I use a standard SB die (not “X”) for my Colt I may trim every 4th firing or so, it’s a non issue for me.

The RCBS X-Die may be a good thing, an earlier poster gave it great, review but I’ve read some negative reviews on it too.

One thing I do know about the X-Die is that it’s not necessary or needed with a bot gun. Proper die set-up would be more beneficial.
Im with you mark, and agree from a mechanical stand point. We both use the same dies small base i use redding.

I reload ALOT of .223 remington since i have more than my share of bottom feeders and i recommend the small base sizer for sure. Like others above i have a little crow gunworks trimmer in .223 and 308 win for when i have a ton to do. But being as anal as i am trim mine to make sure they are all exact. in turn that means repeatable accuracy by eliminating variables. I find the first trimming removes more brass, after that, very small if any. So much so i go rhrough with my micrometer after sizing and maybe have to trim 10 or 12 per 100 after the second firing. I loose most brass due to a loose primer pocket (how they feel when i seat them).
Every once in a while a split neck, or case is possible but not regular.
Im just picky about my reloads, and give the highesr scrutiny to them. For plinker ammo, it would be a different story but its seperated from my match rounds.
 

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Im with you mark, and agree from a mechanical stand point. We both use the same dies small base i use redding.

I find the first trimming removes more brass, after that, very small if any. So much so i go rhrough with my micrometer after sizing and maybe have to trim 10 or 12 per 100 after the second firing. I loose most brass due to a loose primer pocket (how they feel when i seat them).
Every once in a while a split neck, or case is possible but not regular.
That’s been my experience too with the SB dies. I’ll have a fairly heavy trim on the first resizing, but after that it’s minimal if at all.

I'm more concerned about where that brass is flowing to than I am an occasional trim. Brass can only flow one way.......and that’s up.
 

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That’s been my experience too with the SB dies. I’ll have a fairly heavy trim on the first resizing, but after that it’s minimal if at all.

I'm more concerned about where that brass is flowing to than I am an occasional trim. Brass can only flow one way.......and that’s up.
(y)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Gents, you've shed some light and made for more research.
Taking your experiences into account, the trim once ideology may really be all I need, once I start working through those green cans in storage...
I've read about the SB dies and the benefits thereof...

Always come here before making a final decision/purchase! 😎
 
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Thanks Gents, you've shed some light and made for more research.
Taking your experiences into account, the trim once ideology may really be all I need, once I start working through those green cans in storage...
I've read about the SB dies and the benefits thereof...

Always come here before making a final decision/purchase! 😎
i use reddings, but the rcbs is good too.
 

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While I don't load for Armalite Rifle platform rifles I have loaded for quite awhile and have found results similar to Mark and Tacky. I typically trim to max case length less a few thousands initially and then I have to repeat trimming only after several firings, these loads are hunting loads and at the upper end of safety. I normally get more loads than I can remember before garbage.
I use RCBS dies the Redding dies are pretty good also! :D
 

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i use reddings, but the rcbs is good too.
I use Redding and RCBS...........Anything caliber new to me now has been Redding though. They may be a couple of bucks more out of the gate but they will produce near zero run-out. That's a big plus with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dies, now that's a whole conversation thread all on its own...
I have Dillons, Lyman's M-Type expander, Reddings, Hornady's bullet seater with the floating bullet system, and Lee's FCD for jacketed, or collet style for the magnum.

I'm looking at the RCBS X-Die SB and the above mentioned Hornady.
 

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I use Redding and RCBS...........Anything caliber new to me now has been Redding though. They may be a couple of bucks more out of the gate but they will produce near zero run-out. That's a big plus with me.
I agree, i have redding, rcbs, hornady, lee and a few others that work well for me.
 

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I use Reddings for bolt action rifle. Also used Hornady but felt a little step under due to the decap pin material that was a little bit fragile.
For Ar.15 Rcbs small base for resizing and a Dillon set on the other Dillon 650 stations.
On pistol and revolver reloading, Rcbs on one station press and Dillon sets on Dillon press.
Lee... used also as first buy.
But! my favorite toy is...
Rcbs MatchMaster Competition Seating die with upper bullet insert window that allowed me to reload .338 Lapua Magnum without need to buy a "monster" press.
 

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I use Reddings for bolt action rifle. Also used Hornady but felt a little step under due to the decap pin material that was a little bit fragile.
For Ar.15 Rcbs small base for resizing and a Dillon set on the other Dillon 650 stations.
On pistol and revolver reloading, Rcbs on one station press and Dillon sets on Dillon press.
Lee... used also as first buy.
But! my favorite toy is...
Rcbs MatchMaster Competition Seating die with upper bullet insert window that allowed me to reload .338 Lapua Magnum without need to buy a "monster" press.
I just bought the monster press for my 50bmg, also trimmer thats dedicated too.
 

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I just bought the monster press for my 50bmg, also trimmer thats dedicated too.
There's another reason I don't want a BMG, aside from a "beat down" every time I shot it I'd have to buy more crap.......;)
 
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Wow.
The 50 boy here, from the medioeval Italy, is forbidden only to dream it.
Yes im lucky to own a 50 bmg precision rifle. Its definately a fiream that takes it too another level. Their is nothing like it. Maybe one day you can try one out. Here is my barrett.

145646
 
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