Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

What is the best dies to load .40


Recommended Posts

Im running dillon 650 now with lee 9mm dies. I like lee dies better b/c i have more consisten OAL then with dillon dies and I like factory crimp die.

What dies to use when loading .40 for a limited gun (Witness Match)?

I want to load cast bullets for .40, not sure if it makes any difference for the choice of dies.

Please advise

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I wasn't able to respond about your problem with your inconsistent OAL on the other thread. Hopefully you got that fixed already.

Sometime ago, somebody mentioned the dream tool head for 40 and it is,

1. Lee U-die (great help for glocked brass)

2. This is where Dillon powder drop

3. Powder Check (assuming it is a 650)

4. Redding Competition Seater die (works fine with lead, jacketed, moly, round, flat, etc) BUT you have to adjust each time you change contour or material of your bullet.

5. Lee FCD (I have the old discontinued Dillon counter attached here)

Now, that being said, Ive heard great about Dillon dies too. I personally think it comes down to preference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If this will be your first run in loading 40 and you will be experimenting on different OALs, I'd strongly recommend the Redding die. Worth the money. I cant vouch for any other die (heard great about Dillons though), its just that I bought it and it worked great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For 40 S&W, I use a lee sizing die, with dillon seat/crimp dies. If you're loading lead or moly coated bullets skip the FCD, it will cause more headaches than its worth. Generally seating OAL differences can be narrowed down to shellplates not being tight enough on dillon presses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesnt. Ive loaded about a gazillion lead and moly coated lead through one.

I have also mostly loaded truncated cone with a Lee seater. Again no issues.

The Dillon seater gave me lots and lots of failure to chambers. I never figured out why. I quit using it and the problem went away. Pay for shipping you can have it.

Edited by Joe4d
Link to comment
Share on other sites


thats interesting point about FCD and lead bullets, can you explain why it would cause problems?

I actually ordred samples of bayou bullets.

Anytime I use the Lee FCD with lead or coated bullets, my barrels lead more quickly and accuracy seems to suffer. Maybe my 40 barrels are larger than most, I've never slugged them. I didn't really see any advantages of using the FCD even when using jacketed bullets, so I stopped using it.

Edited by kalaur
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My set-up works awesome for me, I never have to case gauge for my sti. I load jacketed and moly stuff using range brass shot out of all kinds of guns. For match ammo, I run my brass through a lee bulge buster for a little bit of added piece of mind.

1. Standard lee sizing die

2. Polished dillon powder die

3. Hornady bullet feeder die

4. Redding comp seating die

5. Dillon crimp die

I tried a friends dillon die,and it would not size the case small enough down towards the bottom of the case, so most rounds would not pass the chamber check. The die that makes the most difference to me is the Redding comp seating die, it is worth every penny, the bullet can be sitting at almost 90 and that die straighten it up and seat it perfectly. The EGW U-die is one of those things you go to as an absolute last resort.

Do not use the FCD if you are loading moly, its ok for jacketed stuff.

Also make sure to set the sizing die pre-loaded well into the shell plate, allowing it to size as far down as possible.

Edited by Mbauer67
Link to comment
Share on other sites

my 9mm lee bullet seating die came only with seating stem for round nose type bullet, does 40 die is same. I worried about loading trancated type bullet with round nose seating stem.

I use lee dies for 9mm and 40. I haven't noticed any problems or inconsistencies seating flat-nosed bullets in either caliber.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...