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So I use an RCBS JR3 press, I have a mix of dies, but mostly RCBS dies that I use.  The lock ring that comes with them is kind of a joke to me, I get everything set, tighten down the set screw, go to remove the die and find out the lock rings isn't locked to the die (and yes, I use a wrench on the lock ring to remove the die when tightened down).

So my question is what lock rings do you recommend for someone that changes out the dies on a regular basis?  I'm thinking one of the split ring types, Hornady, Lyman, and Foster all have them for relatively inexpensive, or is there anything better out there for not much more cost (The 3 brands I listed are around $3-$4 per lock ring)

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I use RCBS dies and lock rings with no problems. The way I set the dies and rings is like this.

Set the die to the height you want it. The locking ring backed off.

Hold the die from turning with one hand and spin the ring down with the other.

Just barley touch the top of the press with the lock ring.

Holding the die in position back the lock ring off about 2 degrees. Snug the set screw. I do this with the ram up and a case in the die.

If 2 degrees is to much or not enough adjust accordingly.


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I use Hornady lock rings on all my dies but the Dillon dies on the 550 due to the cramped tool head.

Got a load of unused Redding rings, which tend to damage the threads after a while.




Here a bunch of rings I could find in a hurry:




Left to right:

1.) Hornady: best system IMO

2.) Forster: made out of aluminium, thread for lock screw may strip, flimsy

3.) Redding: they use a small metall piece that pushes pressure only to one spot of the thread. Design failure IMO. Never truly releases pressure and scratches the thread of the die when turning.

4.) LEE: That "lock rubber ring" is too stiff and makes it hard to turn by hand at times. It is also not precise because it will move when screwing in the die. It's LEE, you get what you pay for.

5.) Dillon lock ring, without any locking screw. Basically useless, it forces you to dial in your dies every single time.

The Hornady rings lock down tight without putting uneven pressure on the die thread. They are made out of proper steel, not aluminium. 




Hornady offers a nice wrench as well.





Some of those Hornady rings on my Redding dies...







Edited by crockett
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Thanks for the input.

I now have half a dozen of the Hornady Sure-Loc rings on order.

I figure this should let me take care of a dozen dies as the rings I'm taking off I can double up on other dies and use them to jam the ones already there.  I thought about just ordering some regular jam nuts for it, but they cost almost as much as the Hornady ones.

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