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 25 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies (Read 1735 times)
Mike4MSU
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30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Apr 2nd, 2019 at 1:10am
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So I apologize if this topic has been covered before. I did search and browse the history before posting.

A few weeks ago I posted some photos and information regarding  my first Krag - an 1899 Carbine. A friend of mine gave me about 60 rounds he loaded with 220 RN to get me started, but I can tell that won’t last long. I’ve been thinking about reloading for a while now and this round finally pushed me over. I figure reloading will save me $0.75 - $1.00 per round over the life of the brass. Ammunition for the 30-40 is a rare find locally and only a few places will ship into MA. Those that do charge about $1.50 - $1.75 per round.

I have seen a lot of discussion around the types of bullets, weight and powders. Also many good discussions on specific recipes, powders and loads for both hunting and accuracy.  Due to cost and availability, I plan on the Krag being one of the first calibers I load.

My question is, what die set would you recommend for a single stage press and why? If it matters, the press I’m waiting on is a Forster Co Ax. I view the dies as a long term investment (as was the press), but I also see a quick payback relative to this caliber. As such, I don’t mind investing in a good set of dies, but also don’t want to overpay for a name or capability I’ll never use or need. I don’t have current plans to shoot competitively or hunt with the round. I mainly plan to shoot targets and steel at my local range. My range is currently limited to 100 yards, but will be pushed back to 250 by the end of summer. So far, I’ve read general good things (and bad) regarding Lee, Hornady, RCBS and Redding. I’ve read very little about specific dies and their pros and cons for the 30-40.

Thank you,
Mike

  
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Whig
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #1 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 1:26am
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For your purposes, any of the listed die sets would work well, as long as they are in good condition and you use them as directed. The Redding dies are top quality for competition shooting and usually very expensive. They are not necessary for your Krag but would be fine if you could get them cheap.

The dies usually aren't the problem, though. Make sure your Krag is in good condition, cleaned well and shoots well. The bore doesn't have to be perfect for your Krag to shoot well. Choice of components will have a lot to do with how you enjoy your Krag, also.

Read through the posts and you'll find all you need. When you get into it a little more, keep us informed and let us know how it all works out. Reloading is fun and will save you a lot per round but you'll wind up shooting more and costing you more in the long run while enjoying your Krag to the fullest.
  
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Knute1
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #2 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 2:05am
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Frugal as I am, I go with Lee. Still American made and will give you better reloads than you can buy loaded ammo (so I hear). Many will snub their nose at Lee. But a Chevy or Ford will get you to work just as well as a Cadillac can. But if you want more luxury, that is a personal choice and there is nothing wrong with that. If I reloaded more my choice may differ. But I use Lee for 30-30, 30-40, 30-06, 35 Whelen, .223 Remington, and 7.62x54R. Sassified I am.
  
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Playapat
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #3 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 2:34am
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I agree that any of the die brands will do a good job. I use dies from all manufacturers. I have an RCBS set for my Krag, but the Lee set is good, too. In fact, the Lee set is a 3-die set because it also includes the Factory Crimp Die.

At others' suggestion on this board, I've been doing Partial Full Length sizing with my Krag: I back the die out a full turn rather than screwing it in an extra 1/8 to 1/4 turn. This sizes just the neck. About 3/4 of the neck shows the sizing. If you only have one Krag, this will save wear and tear on the brass.
  
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psteinmayer
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #4 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 1:02pm
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I can only speak to the LEE dies because nearly every die set I have are LEE dies.  That said... the LEE dies are absolutely excellent, and their customer service (should you have a problem) is second to none!  (The only problem I ever had was with a stuck 30-06 case, and I bent the mandrel trying to pound the case out.  LEE sent me a new die and spare mandrel - no questions asked!!!)  LEE will cost you the least - something of importance to me since I ain't JP Morgan!

You'll hear people touting their brand as the end-all/be-all (especially Dillon products, which by the way will cost you a second mortgage), but the only advice I can give is go with your gut... they're all pretty good. 

  
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Mike4MSU
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #5 - Apr 3rd, 2019 at 1:56am
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Thanks for all the input and suggestions. The members of this forum have been nothing but kind and helpful as I venture into the world of Krags.

While i haven’t committed yet, I’m leaning towards Lee. It sounds like the Pacesetter would serve me well and allow me to learn the ropes of reloading.

Mike
  
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psteinmayer
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #6 - Apr 3rd, 2019 at 12:25pm
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My LEE Pacesetter 30-40 dies are more than 30 years old and have loaded literally thousands of rounds... with nary a hickup!
  
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Knute1
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #7 - Apr 3rd, 2019 at 11:34pm
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If you go to the "leeprecision" website you will find a lot of help videos on reloading.
  
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #8 - Apr 4th, 2019 at 3:41pm
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I’ll vote for the rcbs style dies with the threaded expander rod and lockable die nut not the lee collet long expander rod gizmo that pulls out of the collet or the aluminum o-ring die nut that lee uses. The only lee die that is a good idea imo is the seater die with the big easily adjusted aluminum knob. I put a line on mine so I can do slight adjustments, 1/2 turn, 1/4 turn etc. You are in a good place for all things Krag which are from Norway not Denmark I’ve been told though there is a Danish Krag?. Good luck on your reloading.
I use a .308 Winchester sizer die that I neck size with that has a .310 expander button i think.
« Last Edit: Apr 5th, 2019 at 7:58pm by Baltimoreed »  
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RichWIS
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #9 - Apr 5th, 2019 at 7:39pm
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I use a Lyman die set I got off E-bay cheap.  These were the old long discontinued Precision Alignment dies with a sliding collet in the seater.  Got them because they align the bullet as it starts into the case and this is important to me as I only shoot cast.  Any set of dies will work fine, just remember to back off the full length sizer (unless you spring for a separate neck sizer die) to only neck size or if needed to set the shoulder back just enough to chamber.
  
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #10 - Apr 5th, 2019 at 10:57pm
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I use a couple different ones, just because they're slightly different sizes.  I generally use a Lee set so that I don't move the shoulder back, what some call partial full length sizing.  I also have an old Hollywood Gunshop full length sizer that is close to being a small base die.  I have one barrel that has a tighter chamber than the rest and I use the Hollywood when loading for it.  And, there's times I use 7.5x55 collet die for neck sizing.
  
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #11 - Jun 24th, 2019 at 5:58am
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+1 for Lee Precision.  I shoot my 6.5 creedmoor half-MOA or better on some days with my "cheap" LEE dies and equipment. Like some guys have stated, I too have been using nothing but Lee dies and presses for the last decade. Every time I want to "upgrade" to Redding or some other brand of die, I just look at my targets and other accomplishments I have done with my current process and just can't justify the "upgrade" when that will *maybe* shrink my groups another hair. I'm not an F-Class or Bench Rest guy. I shoot torso-sized steel at far distances and assorted animal vital organ sized steel a bit closer.
  
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Mike4MSU
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #12 - Jun 28th, 2019 at 3:01am
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Thanks everyone for your help and input. I finally received all the pieces needed to load my first 50 rounds of Krag. Attaching a photo of the 1st, 26th and 50th round. I used 40gr of H4350 with 220 RN. The brass is new Hornady. I ended up going with Lee dies and a Forster Co-Ax press.
  
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #13 - Jun 28th, 2019 at 8:44am
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Congrats, Mike. Good choices for getting the reloading done.

Now we'll patiently wait to hear the results of your planning and hard work. Shoot away!
  
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Kerz
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Re: 30-40 Krag Reloading Dies
Reply #14 - Jun 28th, 2019 at 12:16pm
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Excellent choice for your loading setup.
Vic
  

Preparedness + Opportunity= Luck
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