M14 Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess my quick question is, do I need small base dies for the M1A?

I'm used to bolts and ARs and quite competent at reloading. Been doing it for 18 years. With bolts I neck size only and with the AR I full length always. Never had a problem.

I just noticed while poking through the Midway product reviews on various dies that there are a large number of reviews which say "I bought these small base dies for my M1A and they always feed perfectly".

Previous to reading that I was considering a full length body die and then a collet neck size die (for maximum brass life).

Thoughts from the jury?

TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,695 Posts
I've been reloading off and on for more than 40 years and until I picked up my SOCOM I never used small base dies. I started having some problems with cartridges and everything was resolved when I went to the SB dies. I don't think they are necessary for all M1As but with some it seems to be the only way to make your reloads work, it's sort of like carrying a gun, it's better to have one and not need it than to not have one and need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
You can search and find numerous threads here on what dies are used and the various opinions.

For me personally, I have always used FL dies for my NM M1A and never had any problems. With the M1a/M14, your brass life is short anyways (about 4 reloads cashes in most military and better commercial cases). Some recommend SB dies so the choice is yours.

I would not, however, try using a neck-sizing die, like the Lee collet die, for autoloaders. You may get away with it for a while but, eventually, you are going to have stuck cases. The M1A extracts under pressure so you tend to get more expansion just above the case head than with other rifles. This area has to be resized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
961 Posts
I recommend SB dies for the M1A/M14. You are getting excellent advise here already from the previous posters. Do not neck size and better to have the SB die and not need it than the other way around. Safe loading and welcome to the forum. GI6
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
I went with the Forster Bench rest NM die set for my M1A. The NM is Forster's version of a small base die set, they market them mostly for the M1A. I never had any issues using my father's RCBS standard FL die set but when I bought my own dies I really wanted the Forster seater die and just figured why not get the NM set and knock out two birds with one stone. I have not found the need for a small base die on my AR, I use the standard Bench rest dies from Forster for the AR as well, very pleased with the results so far. Overall very satisfied with Forster's dies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
I have both SB, and a Full Length X-die.

I currently use the RCBS x-die with much satisfaction.GI6
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
990 Posts
Reports are that the RCBS X-die is THE ANSWER if you use an M14 type rifle. It simply does not let the case grow. Users are reporting over 15 reloadings with the same case - phenominal case life for a gas gun. CC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,641 Posts
Fl

When I started loading for the M1A in the late 70's I initially used FL dies with great results. I tried SB dies in the early 80's and couldn't see any difference other than I got fewer reloads per case so I went back to the FL dies and never looked back. I have been hearing good things about the X dies, but haven't taken the plunge yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
RCBS X Die

I tried the RCBS small base X die for my M1a reloads and I liked it. I read so many conflicting opinions on the need for it that I decided to try the RCBS FL X die for myself. Having used both I have to say that I don't see the need for the small base dies in my particular rifles. Unless I have any issues with the FL X dies I probably won't ever use my small base dies again, unless I come across a rifle that actually needs it. Kind of nice to have around for a little experimentation though!GI5
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
A very dumb question here, but, I had no idea there were small/large base dies and do not even know the difference. Could someone post a photo? DI2

I am going to reload sometime in the near future. I am stocking components and need to buy the press, etc.

I am still such a newbie in so many ways around here.P_G
 

·
Rest in Peace Federal
Joined
·
10,217 Posts
I have been reloading for fifty years now, set properly the FL dies have always done a fine job for me, never a hitch. I do use SB dies for my fast forward stuff only. SB dies will shorten case life and accuracy falls off slightly because the loaded case rattles around in the chamber a little more. GI2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I've been using Dillon full length dies. I had some problems at first, but found that I had to adjust the die all the way down to the shell plate. Once I did that no more problems.

Could some please explain the X dies function? I've read a lot about them, but I am not sure why they woould be better than a full length sizig die properly adjusted.

Thank you in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,997 Posts
I myself am very Partial to Hornady dimension Dies
But then again I only Reload for 5.56,30-06 and 7.62x51
so my experience is limited
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,901 Posts
Leadbug, Here are two photos of new IVI case next to S.B. sized LC case. I do use the Redding type S, bushing dies. I only shoot a case four times at the most,( that includes the first factory load.) By that fourth load you can feel the brass has lost most of its malleability (had to look that word up).

The case on the left is a new IVI one, the right one is an LC case sized with the S..B. die.

Left IVI,Right S.B. LC brass

I got the S.B. dies because of people having issues with their Socom rifles, which I own. And the Zediker article said it would not "negatively affect ammunition performance in any M14 rifle and is recommended purchase regardless of chamber specs".(page 4 of Reloading for the match M14 )

Glenn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,901 Posts
Leadbug, Looks are deceiving. The LC brass looks shorter,and at the base of the neck it is, but is headspaced longer. I think it's how it shapes the bottle neck.

Glenn
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top