Price Increase

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Price Increase

Post by Daywalker on Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:25 pm

Well, I was over at www.ch4d.com looking at their 101 series swage dies. Trying to think of what I am wanting to do next. When I bought my dies, I paid 129.00 for them. They have just recently raised their prices to 185.30. Still not a bad price for swage dies. Those that got em for the 129 price can feel lucky that they own a set of dies that are worth 185.30 now. I am sure nothing has changed, not the material that ch makes their dies out of. I am sure they are still 12L14 and the punches may still deform from being soft requiring that punches be made from grade 8 bolts or at least 4140 prehard.

I am sure they will go up again in price. Would not surprise me to see these dies eventually get above the 200 mark. They are great dies and make very nice swaged bullets just as good as anyone elses. We will see...Seems that great quality swage dies at the entry level prices are getting up there...

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Re: Price Increase

Post by hawcer on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:10 am

I hope they don't price themselves out of business....

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Re: Price Increase

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:22 am

I have never used CH4D dies I couldn't say if they are good or not. Y'all have used them I reckon you know. Seems to me though that you are already a third of the way to a Dr. Blackmon set up. at that price My money would be with DR. Blackmon. that buys his press and almost 50 left over. A lot more if you go with his RCBS rockchucker conversion.

QQ ^ as I said earlier I have not used CH4D dies and I am not putting them down just giving you my reasons for going the way I did. Another Issue I have with CH4D is they are made out of 12L14 steel The problem with 12L14 steel is it is very very non responsive to heat treatment. You can harden it a little but not that much. I dont know that Steel Dr. Blackmon uses but I know its hardened because its almost brittle. LOL I should know I have broken my Core seat die and my core swage die. Both were my fault. Ok so why would you want your die hard? well it keeps you from bulging it or deforming it with excessive pressure and your punches will not bend as easily. Also it will not wear as fast as non hard steel will.

So why does CH4d use 12L14 (machinists indulge me please) it machines easy easy easy you can run 12L14 fast and it leaves a great finish. Which is very desirable in a swage die. problem is its also very malleable and soft. It is used to make swage couplings etc because it bends easily or is easily deformed under pressure. No it is not as malleable as copper or lead but still will distort very easily.

Another thing I have against all reloading press dies is having to hammer whoop the bullet out of the die. (yes you can spend more money and convert your reloading press with an ejector) I have read a lot of threads on several sites where people have bent their nose/ejector punches from hammer whooping the bullet out. Again I have also read several threads where folks buy the CH4D dies and have to remake the hollow pointing punches out of a stronger steel because of mushrooming or bending the origional.

Still when CH4D dies were 130. a set you IMO could justify it and keep in mind that you have to be careful not to over work your dies (same lesson I learned with Dr. Blackmon dies) But now at almost 200 a set you are so close to a Rockchucker conversion kit and a 3 die set that my money has to go with dr Blackmon. Also CH4D doesn't make anything smaller than 30 caliber. so if you were hoping to make some .224s or 243s out of rimfire cases you are SOL with CH4D. which would mean later on you would still be spending the money on a swaging set up from either DR Blackmon or one of the Corbins. and By the way if you think that Corbin mfg is expensive you should check out Duetz and Niemi. OMG faint.
Well my .02 please don't think that I am slamming CH4d because I am not they are a good company I just think you should go into it with your eyes open.
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Re: Price Increase

Post by hawcer on Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:13 am

That's what I was thinking Reload....the CH4d dies are great for the price....but if they keep going up, other dies will be looking better.

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Re: Price Increase

Post by scorge30 on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:17 pm

I have several CH4D dies and I like them.

I too have learned the hard way not to overwork the CH4D and ended up having a local machinist make a new punch from D2 tool steel that I had a local knife maker (SOG) case harden to something ridiculous on the RC scale.

I've got the new Low Max gears for my Heep NP 205/Dana 300 doubler conversion that are going to be sent off to get cryo'd. I am considering tossing in the D2 tool steel punch to see if getting if cryo'd might help keep me from bending and mushrooming it.

The cryo shop I deal with does guns, barrels and anything they can fit in the tank. I had the disc brakes done on the Heep and they have lasted a long time. Had several barrels and a butter soft late Mex Mauser 98 action done that is now a .25-06 AI.

I am still waiting on some dies from CH4D as well as Dr Blackmon. The nice lady at CH4D said they got slammed around Christmas last and are trying to catch up. I finally got my TiN-coated expander and my other dies I had TiN coated but still have 3 dies I am waiting for.

Shame that CH4D had to raise prices and I agree that it is going to make other similar dies more attractive. Prices are going up all over though and metal prices are going up a lot too.

CH4D is not the only one that had to raise prices due to increase in steel prices. Some of the custom barrel makers also had to raise prices.

I have always wondered why CH4D does not do anything smaller than .30 cal?
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Re: Price Increase

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:40 pm

I can answer the .30 cal question. I talked to Dave at CH4D when i was considering what route I wanted to go in the Swaging direction. By the way Dave will talk your ear off. LOL A very good gentleman. I dont know if they ever made .224 dies or not but they went away from drilling and form reaming their dies in favor of N.C. machine boring the dies. The reason for the 30 caliber minimum is the rigidity of boring bars to bore the hole. if you get smaller than .300 its a real bear to get a good finish as your cutting tool is very flimsy. BTW Dave told me that he made his dies out of 12L14 which is the main reason i opted to go a different direction. I guess being a tool maker i knew the pit falls of that steel.
D2 is a very good tool steel i don't know what chryo will do for it it could mess up the temper (for those who don't know what chryo is it is freezing steel in liquid nitrogen for a specified amount of time. it is supposed to shrink the molecules and make them more stable. I don't know how effective it is I know we used to use it a lot to shrink fit bushings etc into mating parts)
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Re: Price Increase

Post by Daywalker on Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:03 pm

The 12L14 can not be hardened the traditional way. They have to go through a process that is called carbonitrated (I did not spell that right, but close enough). The CH4D dies are nitrated to a RC of 60. I do understand that you want to be around the 52-58 mark. There are tons of guys swaging wheel weights through the CH dies, thousands at this point without cracking or bulging their dies at all. That says something right there.

The biggest problem is their punches. They are in my opinion too soft as I am sure they are not treated and they do tend to bend and stuff.

Any bullet that is swaged through a ch4d die, and then set next to one from a blackmon die, as long as it is the same jackets and you set them up as close as possible, does not look different. Plus you get the use of your regular reloading press without the extra expendature of a special press.

I know there are those out there that does not like the idea of using a regular reloading press, it does work and works great and have been proven already.

I would not hesitate to own ch4d dies as long as I had harder punches. If it wasn't the fact that I am currently in the process of learning die making myself, I would have kept the dies I had and purchased more.

I do like the BPPS press as seen at Bill's place. For me, what it is going to boil down to if I need to give up and just buy my dies, will be time frame of getting them. I will go with whoever can get it to me the fastest if the price are close to each other.

That is just me. I do believe that CH finally seen that their dies are worth more or have gotten word that their dies are being sold for more by another guy buying them, making punches from a couple cent bolt and then reselling them for way more than they should be and making a killing by riding the coat tails of another company, so ch decided if people are paying those prices, then we are too cheap on our part.

But that is just my suspision.... Who know's what is really going on...

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Re: Price Increase

Post by kcatto on Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:29 pm

I found a die maker that is producing swage dies for $129.00 a set fits right in standard presses....

I was thinking about getting a set when my ship comes in.... hehehe

but i will probably go with dr blackmons RCBS setup....

since I have the press all ready...
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Re: Price Increase

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:13 pm

again please please don't infer that I am putting CH4D down I AM NOT!!! but yes I know that they are carbonizing or (case hardening their dies) some times case hardening is a desirable characteristic as in a gig you want a gig or garden potato fork you want the outside to be very hard as when you hit rocks etc you want it to be hard enough so that it will not dull up or become rounded off. Yet you want it to be able to bend instead of break. Case hardening is great for this because it puts like a very tough skin on a piece of metal. Yet the core remains soft and can bend. I know that people are doing amazing things with CH4D dies Tommy is one there is a guy on a different site i think is BTSniper may be the guy Tommy was referring to. as well as James at ammosmith they are doing amazing things with ch4D dies. I agree by the way if you were to take one of my 44JHP bullets and put them next to Tommys that he made with his CH4D the only way you would know which is which is my hollow pointing punch is a little smaller than Tommy's. And Let me add that I can highly recommend CH4Ds cannelure tool. But the heat treat is not the only reason I went a different direction it was only one. Mainly I figured since CH4D didnt make a .243 or a .224 die set then I had to look at the other guys which about all you had to go with a swaging setup either convert your rock chucker press which is what i did or Corbin MFG made reloading press dies for the loading press but their dies was as much as I could buy Dr Blackmons whole set up for. I really really liked Richard Corbins System and Dr. Blackmon had the best prices so i emailed both. Richard Corbin got back with me first so I bought his walnut hill set up. Later DR blackmon got back with me and I bought his 44 set because of price. I figured that hey I am a tool maker I can adapt them to my walnut hill press and I did but I decided it was more bother than the 99 dollars for the rockchucker conversion and now I can use both systems. SO as Tommy said who ever can get me what I want the fastest is who I go with now LOL.
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Re: Price Increase

Post by Daywalker on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Reload, I have not read anything that showed you putting down ch4d. I myself would hesitate with 12L14 as swage making material. I don't have the means to carbonitrate them like Ch4D does. Dave had told me in our conversation, in that all the years he has been doing the dies (he took over the company iirc) he has only had one die come back cracked due to the guy admitted to using a a 4 or 5 foot cheater bar on his press and even broke the linkage in the swage press which was the press they sold for swaging.

Dave did tell me that he does not use any type of reamers anymore due to the excess of waste they was getting and started just boring the dies. Which is also , and I believe you mentioned it, was why he does not do the smaller calibers. I am waiting for him to contact me about some possible point forming reamers that he has left over in a cabinet as to if he is going to sell them to me or not.

I may have to email him back and ask if he forgotten about me LOL...

I know James from ammosmith is making some nice things with his included using his dies to make jackets from tubing instead of getting a tubling die to make jackets with.

As far as the other guy, well, I aint mentioning his name Wink , I am sure he is doing well, well, thats all I got to say about that. My momma taught me if I did not have anything good to say, not say anything at all, now, I got to bandage my tounge hehehehe...

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Re: Price Increase

Post by Mohunter on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:32 pm

Doesn't matter to me how much they go up cause I'll never own a set. No way I can justify spending that kind of money to make some bullets. Plain old lead just the way it comes out of the mold will have to work or I'll just be chucking spears and sharp sticks. Wink
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Re: Price Increase

Post by scorge30 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:00 pm

The CH4D dies are OK for making some bullets but like others have said use pure lead & don't get too Mongo on the lever.

I do not form my bullets too much or try to swage more than just get the core into a jacket of some kind so I can shoot it in the indoor range here. With the Kommifornia lead ban going on up here, it is getting a bit more pricey to shoot.

That is why I have been gathering all the spent .40 S&W I can get my greedy hands on as I use them a lot to make 3/4 or so jacketed .44 mag bullets.

I just cram a heavy 180 gr cast truncated cone boolit in the spent .40 S&W until it bottoms out & call it good. I've gotten away for a while using WW alloy with ~5% tin added for a while now but the punch was suffering.

As much as I like shooting plain lead, by the time I burn the gas to get to the outdoor range I've spent more than getting jacketed bullets. Of course our public range is under the control of the less-than-gun-friendly DNR and sometimes we find the gate locked for no apparent reason.

Not sure how the chryo process is going to effect (affect?) the D2 but we will see.

I know that the chryo process is great for gun receivers, barrels, disk break rotors, transfer case gears, and tools. Several 'smiths I know have some of their bits and other tools to hold in a lathe or end mill chryo'd for longer wear.

Right now I have another project that is taking a lot of my time:


DSCF0035[1] by scorge30, on Flickr
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Re: Price Increase

Post by kcatto on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:33 am

beautiful pup... you can almost see the hunter in its eyes....
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Re: Price Increase

Post by Pioneer on Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:59 am

Daywalker wrote:

As far as the other guy, well, I aint mentioning his name Wink , I am sure he is doing well, well, thats all I got to say about that. My momma taught me if I did not have anything good to say, not say anything at all, now, I got to bandage my tounge hehehehe...

"did not have anything good to say"? careful now? I think we have all seen his work, that other guy has done quite a bit to boost intrest and help a lot of shooters achive success that may not have been possible otherwise. Think he was posting pictures of his work all the way back in 08 to show everyone what was possible. How many of us here knew anything about Ch dies or swaging before seeing a picture of it somewhere on sights like this?

I'm sure we don't wish to create fueds between the many great shooting sights and talented members that frequent them. There is a lot to share with all that can be learned.

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Re: Price Increase

Post by Daywalker on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:58 pm

I'm sure we don't wish to create fueds between the many great shooting sights and talented members that frequent them.

That is an interesting comment. Can you pm and show me where anything was said negative about any shooting site itself that would create a fued? So that I may go to the Admin of the shooting forum that I have spoken negative about that would create a fued and appologize to that administrator?

As for the rest, you should have a pm to discuss this further in private.

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