3 or 4 piece dies for 9mm?

3 or 4 piece dies for 9mm?

This is a discussion on 3 or 4 piece dies for 9mm? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Putting an order in to Midway and wondered if it was worth the extra change to get the 4 piece Lee dies over the 3. ...

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Thread: 3 or 4 piece dies for 9mm?

  1. #1
    Member Array Rightwing's Avatar
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    3 or 4 piece dies for 9mm?

    Putting an order in to Midway and wondered if it was worth the extra change to get the 4 piece Lee dies over the 3. Also would rather reload one bullet weight to simplify things and wanted input into which one. The 124 jhp is high on my list as is the 147 gr. but I have no experience with the 9, so I am seeking advice from those who do. I will use the load for plinking, target, defense and woods loafing/hunting. Thanks in advance, and Merry Christmas!
    "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body." CS Lewis

    S&W .41 Mag - Colt DS - Ruger Single Six - Ruger Security Six - Buckmark-Beretta 21A - S&W 351PD 22 Mag- Spfld XD 9mm -- Plenty Of Long Guns--- Dry Powder and RCBS.


  2. #2
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    I use and prefer the four die set for 40S&W, 45ACP and 9MM. My experience is the taper crimp works much better than trying to use the roll crimp of the three die set.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I use 3 die sets, and haven't had any trouble out of them. I think it is going to be a matter of personal preference.

    I tend to stick with one grain of lead for loading. For 9's I use 124 gr, because that is what I carry for SD ammo.

    If I have to I will use 115 or something else if the 124 isn't available, I am after all just using them for range ammo.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    I've reloaded .38s, .357 Mags, .41 Mags, .45 ACPs, rifle and shotgun. I've always used 3 dies for the pistols and the only one that's given me troubles is the .45 (RCBS). I've even used the Lee Factory crimp die and still have occasional issues in my Glock 30, being the occasional failure to go into battery. My 4566 eats them up, so I'm guessing the Glock is finicky, has a tight extractor, or I have some isolated cases falling out of specs. I often wonder if the extractor isn't hanging on the case extractor cut. A few of them do fit tight in the shell holder.

    Back to your question, I think properly set up 3-die sets work as well as four die sets and reduce your workload by 25%. If you're planning on loading multiple weight/shape bullets in the same caliber, you might invest in extra seating/crimp dies of your choice. Saves the re-adjusting every time.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I use 3 die sets,all Lee except my 223 dies,The RCBS small diameter dies are absolutely great,the Lee set didn't seem to resize the cases down and had problems with the bolt failin to close all the way,the forward assist wouldn't even close it,which IMHO is a good way to get a case stuck.
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  6. #6
    Member Array isme's Avatar
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    I currently use the Lee 3 die set in 9mm and I haven't had any trouble so far.
    I reject your reality, and insert my own.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I'll cast my vote for the four die set. I didn't have any problems with the 3 die set, but prefer the process of the four die set. Whatever works for you....
    Tim
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I use 4 pcs set Lee Makes a good set, Loaded manny rounds so far No problems ; )
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  9. #9
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    It depends on your setup. I have the 4 die set and love it in my Lee Classic Turret (4 holes). If I had a 3 hole turret or a single stage i would stick to the 3 die set. In the 4 hole turrets or progressives, it's just an extra pull of the handle (or not ), In a single stage it's a giant PIA. I think it helps w/ better, uniform results, but w/ a single stage the KISS principle rules.
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  10. #10
    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    I use RCBS 3 die set

    1) size and deprime
    2) flare
    3) seat and taper crimp

    Ive loaded over a thousand rounds with no issues.
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  11. #11
    Member Array supv26's Avatar
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    I vote 4 die set. I have went with the 4 die sets for all my handgun loading now. I started that way back when I had a Ruger P90. It did not like my reloads until I discovered the Lee factory crimp die. That is my 4th die for all my pistol loads.
    It's not the destination, it's the journey.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    for the 9mm i would go with the four. you do better with the taper crimp on 9mm.
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  13. #13
    Member Array Rightwing's Avatar
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    Thanks Gents, I appreciate all the learned feedback, gonna get the 4.
    "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body." CS Lewis

    S&W .41 Mag - Colt DS - Ruger Single Six - Ruger Security Six - Buckmark-Beretta 21A - S&W 351PD 22 Mag- Spfld XD 9mm -- Plenty Of Long Guns--- Dry Powder and RCBS.

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