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Carbide shortage.


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I placed an order with Dillon yesterday for a 550C, some dies and other misc items. 
The gentleman I spoke to in customer service told me I’d have the press in about 3 weeks to a month but the dies could be up to 8 months out!!!  He said there was a shortage of carbide. 
Doesn’t really matter since I can’t seem to find components but I thought that was interesting. I wonder if it’s demand for these specific items that are causing a shortage or genera effects of covid. Or both. 

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I would guess that both Covid and tariffs are partly responsible for this shortage.  China is the world's largest producer of tungsten, and Russia that of titanium, both of which are widely used in the carbide tool industry and neither country is on the best of terms with the US now.  In addition, carbide is essential to the manufacturer of silicon wafers for microprocessors and "chips", the worldwide shortage of these components has probably contributed to a carbide shortage as well.  All this is likely to get worse before it gets better ...

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Obummer and Hildabeast did not do us any favors while they were in power.

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2 hours ago, No_0ne said:

 China is the world's largest producer of tungsten, and Russia that of titanium, both of which are widely used in the carbide tool industry and neither country is on the best of terms with the US now.  ...

Rare earth metals as well. 

Those fancy hitech gizmos don't exist without rare earths in one form or another, frequently a couple different ones. China is about the only real (volume) source. Sadly, there used to be domestic supply, but would take years to restart, and a whole passel of environmental groups that would need to be distracted.

 

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4 hours ago, No_0ne said:

China is the world's largest producer of tungsten, and Russia that of titanium, both of which are...

Actually Russia is a second or third in titanium production depending on what year and what level of production you are looking at (ores vs refined goods). China is first and Japan or Vietnam is often second. We source our titanium tube and bar from Japan (for DFARS needs). Russia does mine a good bit of sponge but does not produce nearly as much refined goods. 
China is also first in Tungsten and Vietnam is actually second, again Russia is third.

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Like I have stated long ago the EPA is the biggest enemy of the U.S.A. I believe all or almost all lead smelters are long gone. But without primers, it won't be a problem to not have dies or lead bullets!!

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I got my dillion press/accessories order the Friday after placing order on Saturday morning (website said press was 8-12wks backordered) but only thing that didn't come was die set. Its been just about 4 weeks now, finally just got a set of hornady 9mm dies I'm picking up today - they are out there if you look for them.

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56 minutes ago, miller_man said:

I got my dillion press/accessories order the Friday after placing order on Saturday morning (website said press was 8-12wks backordered) but only thing that didn't come was die set. Its been just about 4 weeks now, finally just got a set of hornady 9mm dies I'm picking up today - they are out there if you look for them.

Oddly enough, they shipped my press and primer tray the day after I ordered. It will be here tomorrow. No dice on the dies though. I really want the Dillon dies but if I happen to run across another set I’ll grab them. As others have said though, I can’t find components so there’s no rush. 

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I still have my dillion dies on order and will be happy to put them on whenever they show up. Check sites and call around and I'd bet you could find some. Also, could be wrong but I feel like components are seeing a slight trend in the right direction

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On 4/23/2021 at 7:09 AM, maroonandwhite said:

Oddly enough, they shipped my press and primer tray the day after I ordered. It will be here tomorrow. No dice on the dies though. I really want the Dillon dies but if I happen to run across another set I’ll grab them. As others have said though, I can’t find components so there’s no rush. 

I had delayed adding additional calibers to my press due to component shortages.  I didn't realize that there would be delays for dies as well.

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Just now, tnhawk said:

I had delayed adding additional calibers to my press due to component shortages.  I didn't realize that there would be delays for dies as well.

Sad isn't it? It looks like everything related to handloading and shooting is either not available, has a long waiting list, or ridiculously priced...or any combination thereof...

I'm still using 35 year old dies for .38/.357 and I fortunately started handloading .32 S&W a couple of years ago. Thankfully these things last if you take a bit of care with them.

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  • 1 month later...

On my 550's: I have a strong preference for Dillon dies. I have set up tool heads with Lyman and Lee dies. Where needed, I have gotten Dillon crimp dies or FL dies for these sets of other makes. You really got many options setting up tool heads.  I put together tool heads for 38 Special and 44 Special. Building up these other tool heads prevents having to readjust going from 44 Special to 44 Magnum.  I did change out a Hornady die set in one tool head for the Dillon. Hornady dies are OK but I hated that particular set. Setting up for most anything reloading in this stupid famine is a patience tester for sure. 

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I got a set of 38/357 Lee carbide dies from Midway last week - The carbide die was the FL re-sizeing die. They're not RCBS or Hornady but they will work better than un-obtainium. 

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