Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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A small base die is one that resizes lower on the casing, bringing the case very close to original spec. Often used for semi-autos that a finicky about chambering rounds. To my understanding you can also use a small base die for reloading ammo not intended for a semi-auto, but the downside is that the SB will work the brass more than you really need for a bolt gun, thus theoretically decreasing the lifespan of the brass.
I'd imagine you can get carbide versions of .308 dies, if you can find any dies at all these days.
-Crow
Minute Of Average

Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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Dies seem to be the only thing I can find. LoL. Previously I had dies already for 9mm Luger and 7.62x54R. My biggest problem in all these is primers and powder. Bullets and brass I either have or can get. It’s the damn primers and powder that I can’t seem to get my hands on. Since I cannot find those I started looking for die sets I’m missing. LoL.
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Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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Crow wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:38 am A small base die is one that resizes lower on the casing, bringing the case very close to original spec. Often used for semi-autos that a finicky about chambering rounds. To my understanding you can also use a small base die for reloading ammo not intended for a semi-auto, but the downside is that the SB will work the brass more than you really need for a bolt gun, thus theoretically decreasing the lifespan of the brass.
I'd imagine you can get carbide versions of .308 dies, if you can find any dies at all these days.
-Crow
So a small base is something more for a semiautomatic. I was getting that idea, as I was reading about a full size die set for .308 which they warned should only be used with bolt action rifles. I don’t really understand the why fully, a bit vaguely.

The .308 dies for me would be for a 308 semiautomatic.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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sikacz wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:58 am So a small base is something more for a semiautomatic. I was getting that idea, as I was reading about a full size die set for .308 which they warned should only be used with bolt action rifles. I don’t really understand the why fully, a bit vaguely.

The .308 dies for me would be for a 308 semiautomatic.
I don't have a semi-auto .308 so I can't speak to that caliber specifically, but I use regular FL sizing dies for a couple other semi-autos (5.56 and 7.62R) with no issues. I think the problem some folks have is that certain rifles ("nice" ARs) have a pretty tight chamber and want a cartridge as close to original SAAMI spec as possible. This makes sense depending on the rifle, although my AR eats anything from match grade to range-pickup handloads, as did my old KelTec SU16. I guess it just depends on the rifle. Seems like it shouldn't really matter at all to an AK, which has more slop than a Matt Gaetz fundraiser.

As to the Carbide question, the only benefit I can see to using these more expensive dies is that carbide needs less lubrication in the resizing stage and *may* last longer if you tend to resize dirty brass. I have some carbide pistol caliber dies and they are nice, but IMO not worth the extra money. I just use a little swipe of coconut oil on every third casing and run em through the regular old Lee dies. Just remember to wipe the oil off with a rag soaked in degreaser / rubbing alcohol after resizing.
-Crow
Minute Of Average

Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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Crow wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:35 pm
sikacz wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:58 am So a small base is something more for a semiautomatic. I was getting that idea, as I was reading about a full size die set for .308 which they warned should only be used with bolt action rifles. I don’t really understand the why fully, a bit vaguely.

The .308 dies for me would be for a 308 semiautomatic.
I don't have a semi-auto .308 so I can't speak to that caliber specifically, but I use regular FL sizing dies for a couple other semi-autos (5.56 and 7.62R) with no issues. I think the problem some folks have is that certain rifles ("nice" ARs) have a pretty tight chamber and want a cartridge as close to original SAAMI spec as possible. This makes sense depending on the rifle, although my AR eats anything from match grade to range-pickup handloads, as did my old KelTec SU16. I guess it just depends on the rifle. Seems like it shouldn't really matter at all to an AK, which has more slop than a Matt Gaetz fundraiser.

As to the Carbide question, the only benefit I can see to using these more expensive dies is that carbide needs less lubrication in the resizing stage and *may* last longer if you tend to resize dirty brass. I have some carbide pistol caliber dies and they are nice, but IMO not worth the extra money. I just use a little swipe of coconut oil on every third casing and run em through the regular old Lee dies. Just remember to wipe the oil off with a rag soaked in degreaser / rubbing alcohol after resizing.
-Crow
Thanks for that answer Crow. Your answer made me understand enough to realize I needed to find out what exactly differentiates a full size and a small base die. Turns out there is this article.

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/201 ... base-dies/

Apparently rifle dies need to be lubricated anyway so, carbide or not doesn’t matter.
A Small Base Die is just another type of full-length sizing die, but one that is typically used when reloading for semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15, M14, or AR-style .308 rifles. (It may also work well for bolt guns that need extra sizing on the lower section of the case.)
Appreciate you helping me understand and nudge me along Crow. In my case for .308 my first die set should be a small base. I also think my Garand 30-06 would need a small base die as well. Thanks.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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sikacz wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:06 pm I would think if my logic works, a round made with a small base die should work in any bolt action rifle of the said caliber.
Exactly. I think the confusion lies in the fact that "full length" is actually less overall resizing than "short base" even though the names would dictate that the opposite is true. Maybe this is because "full length" sizes more of the case than just "neck sizing"... not to throw another wrench in there, haha.
-Crow
Minute Of Average

Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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Crow wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:55 am
sikacz wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:06 pm I would think if my logic works, a round made with a small base die should work in any bolt action rifle of the said caliber.
Exactly. I think the confusion lies in the fact that "full length" is actually less overall resizing than "short base" even though the names would dictate that the opposite is true. Maybe this is because "full length" sizes more of the case than just "neck sizing"... not to throw another wrench in there, haha.
-Crow
Yes, the naming convention was confusing. LoL.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What is a small base .308 Win die set

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Crow pretty much covered it. Small base does more sizing further along the case. Some semi autos need them as they don't have the extra leverage you get when working a bolt manually. They are also sometimes necessary for bolt guns with an overly tight chamber. I have a mauser rechambered in 284 winchester that won't chamber factory brass, it all has to be small base sized.

To add some more information theres other types of sizing dies out there to look for. The small base die I mentioned above just sizes the body and not the neck. You can run rounds that already have seated bullets in it to correct the sizing.

You can also find neck sizing dies. These won't size the body of the case at all and just reset the neck to the proper diameter to seat a bullet. Those are mainly used for bolt actions with fireformed brass. The brass will be perfectly fit for the chamber of the rifle it was fired from and theres not as often a need to fully reset the case body back to spec (eventually it won't chamber and then you FL resize it). This keeps the work on the brass to a minimum, increasing life, and helps with accuracy, and to a small extent, case capacity. However you can't really use them for semi autos as they usually need ammo at spec to chamber properly.

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