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Old July 11th, 2019, 01:45 PM #1
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Why are carbide rifle dies not available

Why are carbide dies available on pistol calibers but not rifle? Not really a problem I'm just curious and would like to get schooled.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 01:57 PM #2
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Dillon makes carbide rifle dies.

https://www.dillonprecision.com/dill...8_4_24498.html
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Old July 11th, 2019, 02:18 PM #3
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From what I was told, they are harder to make because of the bottleneck.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 02:57 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ras_oscar View Post
Why are carbide dies available on pistol calibers but not rifle? Not really a problem I'm just curious and would like to get schooled.
The main benefit of carbide dies for straight walled pistol brass is that you don't need to lube clean brass before sizing, but when you are pushing shoulders back you create a ton of force in the front of the case without lube, and will probably buckle cases regardless of the die hardness, so they have to be lubed anyway. Carbide rifle dies are just more abrasion / wear resistant and last longer for high volume shooters, but are much more expensive as it needs a large insert, not just a small carbide ring. Few companies offer them, and usually just in calibers that tend to be shot in high volumes (223/308/30-06 etc).
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Old July 11th, 2019, 04:27 PM #5
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Carbide is much harder to machine which is not too bad when making a straight sided cylindrical cavity but gets much more difficult when you need two different cylinders connected by a cone shaped section and the cone shape must be precisely located from the end.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 04:51 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alucard0822 View Post
The main benefit of carbide dies for straight walled pistol brass is that you don't need to lube clean brass before sizing, but when you are pushing shoulders back you create a ton of force in the front of the case without lube, and will probably buckle cases regardless of the die hardness, so they have to be lubed anyway. Carbide rifle dies are just more abrasion / wear resistant and last longer for high volume shooters, but are much more expensive as it needs a large insert, not just a small carbide ring. Few companies offer them, and usually just in calibers that tend to be shot in high volumes (223/308/30-06 etc).
This.

I won't spend the extra money on dies when it doesn't save me any effort or produce noticeably better cases. I guess I'm not alone and that many reloaders also won't spend the extra money acts as a disincentive for manufacturers.

I can buy two or three sets of Lee or RCBS rifle sizing dies for the price of a carbide die.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 06:35 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksmith101 View Post
Carbide is much harder to machine which is not too bad when making a straight sided cylindrical cavity but gets much more difficult when you need two different cylinders connected by a cone shaped section and the cone shape must be precisely located from the end.
Most carbide pistol dies just have a donut of carbide at the mouth. Not a full length cylinder.

9MM dies are different, since 9MM case is tapered.
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Old July 21st, 2019, 06:30 PM #8
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Thanks for the education. Do pistol or rifle dies wear out? How would I know if my dies needed to be replaced?
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Old July 21st, 2019, 06:51 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ras_oscar View Post
Thanks for the education. Do pistol or rifle dies wear out? How would I know if my dies needed to be replaced?
I have dies that my great grandfather used starting pre-WWII and have loaded thousands of rounds.

My .357 dies have loaded thousands of rounds for over 30 years.

Iím not sure they can be worn out.
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Old July 21st, 2019, 07:12 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ras_oscar View Post
Thanks for the education. Do pistol or rifle dies wear out? How would I know if my dies needed to be replaced?
I've heard of the carbide rings in pistol dies cracking which would cause me to replace them if it happened to me. Other than that, I know of someone who did not clean their range pick up brass before resizing. Eventually the inside die walls became scored and even with lots of cleaning they would leave scratches on brass cases.

Occasionally I will disassemble dies and run them through an ultrasonic cleaner before drying them real good and reassembling. Putting clean brass into your dies will help them stay clean and serviceable. I've never had to toss a die due to damage or wear. I have Lee, RCBS, and Dillon dies. Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.
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