Hornady american dies review

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West9319

03-17-2016, 8:28 AM

Getting into reloading for the first time, got the big red classic kit. Was looking around and saw the American series for a tad bit less then the series two. I have a bit of a budget for the next couple of months and want to start kicking out ammo as soon as I can. So any extra money I can spend on brass, powder, and primers is a welcoming thought.

Seeking opinions from first hand experience only. I know rcsb, series 2, etc.. are tried and true but I'm curious to this line as a beginner.


Fordtrucks

03-17-2016, 8:56 AM

Lee dies still have more value and are cheaper for the beginner. Start with those, then move up to Redding if needed, but Lee dies will give u the same quality loads as most other budget dies.


John Browning

03-17-2016, 9:03 AM

Hornady dies are generally terrible. That said, my favorite press is my Hornady LNL, so I'm not a fanboy or hater of any company. I just like what works.

All my bulk loading dies are Lee. They work with very little trouble. I have dies from Forster, Redding, Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, Lee, Dillon (used to have) and the Lee dies are just as good as the others for any kind of bulk loading. I actually prefer their pistol dies. The only dies I like better are Forster dies for match ammo and RCBS small base for .308 that goes through semi auto guns.

You will not be disappointed with Lee dies.


23's Dad

03-17-2016, 1:52 PM

I actually prefer my Hornady Custom Grade Dies over other dies (except my Forester Micrometer seater).

I agree with the prior poster though - if you're trying to stay cheap buy the LEE. There's no real advantage in the Hornady American Series that I can see. IMHO the price differential between the American and Custom Grade dies is not too big of a deal. You can pay a lot more for your dies to be green or blue, but I haven't found much advantage from one style to another.

Two things that stand out to me:
1)lock ring. This is a biggee for me because I use a Forester Press. The Hornady and Forester lock rings both work. Any other MFG die require that I replace the lock ring. This is probably not a big issue for you.
2) Bullet seating sleeve. The Hornady and Forester sleeve systems provide more concentric bullet seating than my dies without a sleeve. The sleeve controls the bullet earlier and helps reduce bullet runout. I've measured it and found my sleeved seating dies to be superior to my dies without the sleeve. It's also less likely to pinch your finger while seating bullets.

YMMV


West9319

03-17-2016, 3:50 PM

I actually prefer my Hornady Custom Grade Dies over other dies (except my Forester Micrometer seater).

I agree with the prior poster though - if you're trying to stay cheap buy the LEE. There's no real advantage in the Hornady American Series that I can see. IMHO the price differential between the American and Custom Grade dies is not too big of a deal. You can pay a lot more for your dies to be green or blue, but I haven't found much advantage from one style to another.

Two things that stand out to me:
1)lock ring. This is a biggee for me because I use a Forester Press. The Hornady and Forester lock rings both work. Any other MFG die require that I replace the lock ring. This is probably not a big issue for you.
2) Bullet seating sleeve. The Hornady and Forester sleeve systems provide more concentric bullet seating than my dies without a sleeve. The sleeve controls the bullet earlier and helps reduce bullet runout. I've measured it and found my sleeved seating dies to be superior to my dies without the sleeve. It's also less likely to pinch your finger while seating bullets.

YMMV

Thanks for the input


MrElectric03

03-17-2016, 4:33 PM

I havent had good experiences with the titanium nitride Hornady dies which are more expensive than the American. Personally I'd shop eBay for used rcbs carbide die sets. About 80% of my dies are rcbs bought from eBay for anywhere from $20-$40 shipped. They are well built and rcbs is a solid company as far as warranty stuff goes, weather you bought stuff new or used.


at_liberty

03-18-2016, 2:35 AM

Yes, I do actually have experience owning those American series dies, and they work fine. I would buy more.


West9319

03-18-2016, 7:01 AM

Thank you


DougMurray

03-18-2016, 8:04 AM

I also have Hornady, Dillon, Lyman, and Lee dies - all used in a Hornady LnL press (love that press). I agree that they all load good ammo; but I tend to prefer the Dillon dies. While I agree the bullet seating collar on the Hornady may help seat the bullets, in my mind it is a solution looking for a problem and I saw no advantage to it. One thing to keep in mind as you look at die sets is whether you want to seat and crimp in the same step or do them separately. I do them in separate steps and the Dillon sets come with a separate crimp die while many of the others require you to buy another die. And the spring loaded decapper die is great.


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Thread: New Series Hornady Dies

  • 02-12-2015, 07:12 AM#1

    RGMJ is offline
    Boolit Man

    New Series Hornady Dies

    Hey Guys,

    Was surfing the Hornady website and saw a new series of reloading dies - American Series.

    They look like a cross between RCBS and Lee dies. I could see they use the O-Ring type lock rings similar to Lee's. The floating sleeve of the bullet seater dies is now gone.

    I understand they cost less than regular hornady dies but could not find them for sale at Midways. They are offered for popular pistol (9mm, 40 SW, etc) and rifle (243, 308 win, 270 win, 30-06 SF, etc).

    Anyone use them? Are they any good? I plan to get 9mm luger dies.

    Thanks for any reply!


  • 02-12-2015, 06:55 PM#2

    troyboy is offline
    Boolit Master
    troyboy's Avatar

    Evidently Hornady has decided to copy LEE again. The "free" shell holder,zip spindle,load data,o-ring lock rings all preceded by Lee. I am quite impressed with the custom grade dies, especially the seaters. Not interested in a copy when the original has worked well.

    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees" Looking for an RCBS Ammomaster and H&R shotgun barrels regardless of condition


  • 02-12-2015, 09:58 PM#3

    Hardcast416taylor is offline
    In Remembrance


    Buy an RCBS set and never worry about getting things repaired, if something breaks, again.Robert


  • 02-12-2015, 10:25 PM#4

    I'm a long time fan of the Custom Grade dies.

    This "American Series", I think I'll pass on.

    "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat." - Ronald Reagan


  • 02-13-2015, 12:04 AM#5

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA is offline
    Boolit Master DaveInFloweryBranchGA's Avatar

    The last set of Hornady dies I bought was back in 1999. They were good dies, for 30.06 and loaded good FMJ ammo for my Garand. In recent years, I've found I preferred a mix of other brands of dies for my progressive, but no Hornady or Lyman dies. I'm finding using used older dies where I know exactly what I'm getting in certain dies and specific applications is preferable to buying dies where the manufacturer changes the dies a lot to increase sales or profit.


  • 02-14-2015, 01:28 AM#6

    TheDoctor is offline
    Boolit Master TheDoctor's Avatar

    No floating bullet seater? Their seating die is the best die they make! Why change it?


  • 02-14-2015, 02:35 AM#7

    +1 on the Hornady floating seater being a GREAT deal, I buy all Hornady dies these
    days for standard cartridges.
    Not too interested in dumbed down die set.

    Bill

    If it was easy, anybody could do it.


  • 02-14-2015, 02:11 PM#8

    DR Owl Creek is offline
    Boolit Master
    QuoteOriginally Posted by MtGun44View Post

    +1 on the Hornady floating seater being a GREAT deal, I buy all Hornady dies these
    days for standard cartridges.
    Not too interested in dumbed down die set.

    Bill


    Bill,

    I couldn't have said it better myself!

    Dave

    Psalm 18: 28-49
    Psalm 144: 1-8


  • 02-14-2015, 03:39 PM#9

    freebullet is offline
    Boolit Master freebullet's Avatar

    I'd go for it with pistol dies, if similarly priced to lee and the free bullet offer applied. Hornady has great cs. They have always taken care of me. They sent me new zip spindles, xpander balls, decapping pins, powder hopper tube, and other parts and wouldn't let me pay for them.

    If you think your a hammer everything looks like a nail.


  • 02-14-2015, 05:18 PM#10

    MarkP is offline
    Boolit Master MarkP's Avatar

    They do not have the wrench flats and knurling. It does sound a lot like a Lee set; includes shell holder, data.

    The floating alignment stem on the New Dimension die was a cost down as compared to the Pacific Dura Chrome dies. There are only a few die bodies to make and inventory with the New Dimension die series to cover most all cartridges in existence.

    The older dies required two reamers per cartridge, one for the sizer and another for the seater. They do not show a cross section of the seater die. Looks like these are only available in top selling cartridges.


  • 02-14-2015, 05:27 PM#11

    Valley-Shooter is online now
    Boolit Buddy

    I saw these at my local gun-shop.
    They look like RCBS dies with o-rings on the adjustments. I don't like RCBS dies.
    Also no box.

    Looks like Hornady has brought out an economy die set. The are just filling a spot in their product line up.


  • 02-14-2015, 06:05 PM#12

    engineer401 is offline
    Boolit Buddy engineer401's Avatar

    The American Series pistol dies at Cabelas are going for $40. The Custom Grade dies are for $48. You save $8 and the cost of a shell holder. The floating seater on the Custom Grade dies doesn't do much for me. If I needed a die set, I might give them a try. I don't like die lock rings that use O rings. I have plenty spare lock rings I could use.


  • 02-14-2015, 08:53 PM#13

    I was all set to purchase a new set of 357 mag dies when I made myself stop and think for a moment. There's nothing wrong with my Durachrome sizing die. I load on a Dillon 550, so I use the Dillon expanding die for the powder measure. My seating die is the one I object to, its also Durachrome, and seems to have alignment issues. I crimp with a Redding Profile Crimp die. What's there to buy? A Hornady seating die is only about $18.00. Not $40.00! They do have a neat sounding "Cowboy" die set though. Maybe I can over spend on those!


  • 02-15-2015, 10:48 AM#14

    r1kk1 is offline
    Boolit Master

    The only dies I have from Hornady are for wildcats. I see different things over the years in their die sets and they work well. I did not have a good experience on their shotshell side. Metallic side has been great. I wish I could get data from Hornady with the die sets I have. For my latest custom pistol only three companies make dies:

    Hornady
    CH4D
    RCBS (theirs is a 1" die and carbide)

    I went with a custom smith and he uses Hornady dies for his cartridges and the cheapest of the three choices.

    I have mixed feelings on dies that come with shellholders. I hate duplicating or worse. I can see it for cartridges with a limited shellholder range. Lyman has been enclosing shellholders with their die sets for a few years now. I have two presses that don't need shellholders.

    take care

    r1kk1


  • 02-16-2015, 10:09 PM#15

    I came across some of these at the local Sportsman's Warehouse today.

    They look pretty cheap, the O-ring design isn't nearly as good as the Lee.

    The price difference was only $3 less than the Custom Grade dies, of course you do get a shell holder, but you don't get "free" bullets.

    I stand unimpressed.

    "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat." - Ronald Reagan


  • 02-17-2015, 08:16 AM#16

    dudel is offline
    Boolit Master dudel's Avatar

    The New Dimension dies are my go to dies. Close in price to the Lee's; but the free bullets promotion, makes them a better deal. I like the sliding sleeve seater; wouldn't by a Hornady without that feature. I like their zip spindle; better grip than the Lee idea without having to crank the collet down so hard that will never move. I've used Hornady dies for over 30 years, and the TiN coating has held up very well. Hornady's customer service is next to none, and they've shipped out extra clips for the seater without having to send them a picture (like Lee. How do you send a picture of a missing part?). Free shellholder? Meh, a free 550b shellplate, and NOW we're talkin! Free load data? Eh, I got books of loads. I'm underwhelmed.


    I see what Hornady is trying to do. Go after the dollar driven reloader. Those that don't have the shell holders or the load manuals. It's been Lee's model for a long time; and it's worked very well for them.

    Last edited by dudel; 02-17-2015 at 10:26 AM.


  • 02-17-2015, 10:00 AM#17

    FLHTC is offline
    Boolit Master FLHTC's Avatar

    The Custom Grade rifle dies aren't worth a Shiite when it comes to cast bullets. The inside diameter of the 30 caliber sleeve is .314 and will push the bullets below the preferred seating depth every time, regardless of where you set the seating stem.


  • 02-18-2015, 02:49 AM#18

    Misspelled swear words are still swear words.

    Please cut it out.

    If it was easy, anybody could do it.


  • 02-18-2015, 04:24 AM#19

    FLHTC is offline
    Boolit Master FLHTC's Avatar
    QuoteOriginally Posted by MtGun44View Post

    Misspelled swear words are still swear words.

    Please cut it out.

    The word is not misspelled! Please look it up before accusing.

  • 02-18-2015, 08:15 AM#20


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    Hornady American Series Nitride 3-Die Set

    Product Overview

    Perfect for the handloader looking to maximize the efficiency of their reloads, American Series die sets deliver excellent reloading performance at a great price.  Die bodies are precision reamed from premium steel that is hardened to exacting specifications.  They are then polished to a smooth finish that will endure the rigors of countless reloading sessions. Each die set includes a shell holder. Basic reloading data and two extra decapping pins are also included.  The 3-die American Series sizing dies feature an industry-leading titanium nitride sizing ring that reduces friction and case sticking, and helps prolong case life.  Sizing dies size to SAAMI specifications.  Internal spindles, expanders and seating stems are interchangeable with other components on the market.  The American series features a threaded spindle that is adjusted by screwing the spindle further into or out of the die body and a standard ball expander which sizes the inside of the case neck.  Die bodies feature a smooth surface while the seating stem and spindle are knurled for ease in adjustment.  A 6-sided nut and O-ring secure and hold the die in place.  All Hornady reloading tools and accessories are warranted against material defects and workmanship for the life of the product.

     

    American Series dies do not include a storage box - we recommend product #154430 as a great way to store Hornady dies without the need to remove Lock-n-Load Die Bushings (also sold separately).

    Features

    • Titanium nitride sizing ring
    • Includes a shell holder, basic reloading data and two extra decapping pins
    • Sizing dies size to SAAMI specifications
    Hornady logo
    Made In United States of America
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    Specifications

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    Customer Reviews

    NOTE: Prices, specifications and availability are subject to change without notice. We reserve the right to correct typographic, photographic and/or descriptive errors.
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    Top critical review

    All critical reviews›

    3.0 out of 5 starsNot What I Expected

    Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2019

    I hate giving less than stellar reviews but...

    First of all, I have no complaints about the seller. The package arrived on time in excellent condition.

    Unfortunately, I have been spoiled by Hornady's Custom Series Dies. I must emphasize that I did not actually use the American Series dies I received. Upon inspection it is easy to see that the dies are of very good quality, and will undoubtedly work. However, as I said, I have been spoiled.

    The Hornady American Series does not have the floating alignment sleeve, nor a "sure-lock" ring. Instead the alignment fitting is fixed but adjustable, and in the place of the "sure-lock" ring is a hex nut and an O-ring. The O-ring acts as a compression lock for the lock-and-load bushing. The threading on the body of the die is the same, so if you have extra "sure-lock" rings it would be easy enough to replace the one that comes with the American Series Die. Also missing is the familiar and very useful red storage box.

    I am assuming that in order for Hornady to remain competitive it had to find a way to lower the cost of production, by introducing more economical die sets, and also by eliminating the storage box. I also imagine that if I were new to reloading that I would not know the difference. But, I do, and therefore I am sticking with the Custom Die Series.

    As a bonus, the American Series comes a shell holder and there is also the offer of "Free Bullets" with proof of purchase and by downloading the registration form from Hornady.com.

    Once again, I have no complaints about the supplier. Service was fast and hassle free.

    Sours: https://www.amazon.com/Hornady-American-308-Shell-Holder/product-reviews/B00V6YD5J2

    American review hornady dies

    LinkPosted: 3/17/2020 1:23:38 PM EDT

    Ok, I guess my dies are  Custom Grade New Dimension dies.

    I upgraded all of my RCBS die sets to Hornady several years ago.

    For the same price as RCBS you get updated versions of dies with Hornady die sets. RCBS has not added features in decades.

    These features I'm talking about;

    The very best lock rings. They tighten the collet lock nut, not smash into the die threads like on RCBS.

    Larger die storage box. I have as many as 5 dies in most of my die sets. RCBS box only holds 4 dies. Hornady box also has a stud to store the shellholder.

    The seating die has an alignment sleeve that drops down and ensures the bullet starts straight and you don't get pinched fingers like on other brands.

    Has an extra seating stem like most dies, but also includes a spare decapping pin and the clip that secures the alignment sleeve mentioned above.
    I have never broken either one.

    You didn't mention what caliber you are thinking about, but I do add a Lyman M die to my die sets. I also add a Lee FCD to many sets.

    In 9mm and 45 ACP I've added a Hornady taper crimp die because I always seat and crimp in separate dies.

    Hornady will also replace broken parts free, just like RCBS and Dillon.

    I don't mean to knock RCBS as I have many of their products, but they are behind the times with their die sets.

    Sours: https://www.ar15.com/forums/armory/What-is-your-opinion-on-the-Hornady-American-Series-dies-/42-508822/
    how to choose the correct seating die

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