Hornady Match Grade Dies VS Custom Grade Dies

Reloading can be quite complicated. A lot of effort goes into the procedure of reloading a bunch of bullets. With that being said, precise sizing is one of those key efforts which are vital while reloading. Other things can go wrong, but precision should always be on point.

Companies are trying hard to come with ideas to make their dies as accurate as possible. Hence, Hornady came with their Match Grade Dies to win the competition. Featuring greater controlling and better sizing capabilities, these dies are indeed great. But how do they stand against Hornady’s much-loved Custom Grade Dies? In this article- Hornady Match Grade Dies VS Custom Grade Dies, we are going to check that out.

Difference table: Hornady Match Grade Die Vs Hornady Custom Grade Die

Type for DieFeatures
Hornady Match Grade DiesEnhanced controlling
Features bushing for accurate sizing
Comes with Micro-Just Seating Micrometer
Includes two bullet seating stems
Hornady Custom Grade DiesAffordable
Basic controlling
No bushing inside
Regular seating dies

Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension Nitride 3-Die Set

Hornady Custom Grade Nitride 3-Die Set

What is Match Grade Die?

Match Grade Dies are a bit different than regular dies. Moreover, these dies are also called bushing dies. Just because of having interchangeable neck bushing, they got that name. Allowing you not to use any additional expander button, minimalizes the process.

Hornady Match Grade Bushing 2-Die Set

Besides, Match Grade Dies will offer you full control over the neck tension. When resizing the neck, greater control is required in order to get better precision. Thus, Match grade dies are excellent at providing this convenience.

Moreover, by using these dies, you will not be oversizing your case neck. In addition to that, the brass of the bullet will also not be overworked. As you have highly precise control, the bullet reloading will be as accurate as you want it to be.

What is a Match Grade Die Set?

A set of Match Grade Dies come with two separate dies, one bushing die and one seating die. Each of these dies has its own purpose and functionalities.

A bushing die is an excellent tool. In fact, the main selling point of the Match Grade Dies is this. For those who do not know what bushing dies are, continue reading.

Equipped with small bushing inside, these dies can size the neck area of the cartridge case. Due to this, you can adjust how much sizing you want the neck to be. If you are using a regular sizing die, you will not have this functionality. In the case of regular dies, the sizing is fixed.

In addition to that, the Match Grade Die set also come with an advanced seating die. Featuring a micrometer, this die is excellent at giving the best possible accuracy. Micrometers do a great job at measuring seating depth, which is the best way to achieve optimum results.

Hornady Match Grade

The need for high precision is inevitable when you are trying to reload a bullet. Troubles may arise if the measurements are wrong.

Besides, to get the best possible performance out of a bullet, the need for highly precise reloading is undeniable. Hence you need the Match Grade Dies from Hornady.

hornady custom grade dies review

Hornady has already made the name for high quality dies. To take their game to a whole new level, they came up with their Match Grade Dies which excels in controlling, accurate sizing and precise seating depth. With this, your over-sizing neck issues are long gone.

Main Features:

Interchangeable Neck Size Bushing:

One of the best features of this die is the neck bushing it comes with. Unlike other dies, you can adjust the self-centering neck bushing for precise sizing. As you can control it, there is no chance of oversizing the neck.

Along with the precision, the brass will not be overworked as well. Less wear and tear will happen and that means longer-lasting life.  

Micro-Just Seating Micrometer:

For better accuracy in seating criteria, this product comes with a more advanced seating die. For better seating depth control, there is a Micro-Just Seating Micrometer.

Allowed to give you an adjustment of .001”, this will upgrade your reloading capabilities. No compromises have been made by Hornady in the areas of control.

Precision-Polished Elliptical Expander

To make reloading more precise, Hornady also equipped the set with elliptical expanders. Being fully polished, these expanders will reduce the friction enhanced.

Besides, they will also act as decap pin. In case you are wondering about the measurements, .001” is the number you are looking for. 

Included Bullet Seating Stems:

No more buying bullet seating stems. The Match Grade Die from Hornady comes with 2 types of seating stems for bullets. The best part is both of them are not similar but different. Therefore, they serve the distinct types of functions and characteristics. 

There is one which you can use for any standard operation. However, the other one is a bit specialized. For any type of long-range slender projectiles, you can use that. Moreover, these will not just serve you functionalities, but a great level of versatility.

Hornady Match Grade Dies VS Hornady Custom Grade Dies

After knowing about the Match Grade Die, you may be wondering what differs this from a regular die. Well, differences are there and we are going to present them to you. Below the fight of Hornady Match Grade Dies VS Custom Grade Dies is telecasted.

Hornady custom grade dies

Type of Die:

Looking at the Match Grade Dies from Hornady, the resizing die is in fact a bushing die. Bushing dies are great for providing enhanced control. Meant to give you an advanced level of precision, the bushing die is excellent. For extremely accurate measurements, nothing comes close to this.  

When it comes to Custom Grade Die, this can be considered to be an entry-level option. While being a full-length die, this happens to be quite straightforward. However, the built quality is supreme here. Hornady did not compromise at all, despite the affordable price point.


Speaking of controlling, Match Grade Die is excellent in this criterion. In fact, the main feature of this die is enhanced control. In the areas of neck tension, you have your full authority. Besides, if you are often facing case neck over-sizing issues, this will be your hero.

In comparison, custom die sets are morally the simple kind. These are meant to get the job done. And yes, they do that exceptionally well. Although, they lack a high level controlling and precision.

Remember, these dies are rather entry-level dies. So, they won’t offer a high level of control.


The seating die of Match Grade Dies comes with a Micro-Just Seating Micrometer. With the help of this micrometer, you can adjust up to .001”.

By fine-tuning the seating depth, the level of seating consistency you will be getting is sublime. As mentioned before, when it comes to accuracy, Match Grade Dies are hard to beat.

On the other hand, a custom-grade die comes with a rather simple seating die. This die is a standard one. By this means, you will have seater screw adjustment, compression lock, and rock rings.

In addition to that, a retainer ring is also present. Although this will not give the same level of accuracy as the Match Grade Die, the precision is not far behind. Besides, not always you will need this level of accuracy anyway.

Additional Convenience:

For enhanced convenience, Match Grade Die comes with two bullet-seating stems. Each of these has their own purpose.

For instance, one of these you can use for your more standard-type projectiles.

Furthermore, the other one will help you with the long-range slender type projectiles. A greater sense of versatility is present here.

However, if you wondering, no, you will not get them with custom grade die. Hornady had to cut few things to keep the price at a reachable point. Hence, they don’t provide them.

Although, if you want them, you can purchase them additionally. The bought ones will work as perfectly as the free ones.


The most considering factor between these two options is how much they cost. In the case of pricing, customer grade die comes around a hundred bucks less than the Match Grade one. However, with the additional expense, you will be getting some nifty features.

Although, a Match Grade die is not far different from a custom grade die. There are arguments in the community about whether the price of match grade die is legit.

A high level of accuracy isn’t necessary for everyone anyway. So, if you want something to get the job done, the custom-grade die is an unrivaled option here. But if you need that extra level of precision, a match-grade die will flourish.

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Is match grade die worth it?

Yes, they do. However, there are some considerations you should do before getting one.

Match Dies are great for giving enhanced control. Hence, they cost significantly more. So, if you want to reload high precision, they will be a great addition to your tools. However, if precision is not something you are looking for at the moment, these dies won’t be useful. They can, therefore, win or lose based on your needs.

What is a match grade die?

 A bushing die that is designed to give an enhanced level of control is a Match Grade Die. Due to their high levels of control and precision, Match Grade Dies already have a strong reputation. Loved by most and hated by some, Match Grade Die surely excels at what it does.

Unlike other sizing dies, Match Grade Die can control the sizing of the neck. This will allow you not to oversize the neck of your bullet. In addition to that, you will also not overwork your brass.

Are Hornady Custom Grade dies Carbide?

No, but they are made by materials that are better than Carbide. Featuring a titanium nitride gold ring finish, they hold more integrity compared to any die made of carbide.

Besides the durability, they also don’t require any sort of lubrication. This saves your time and messy lubrication scenarios.

Additionally, the sizing die comes with a sizing ring coated in titanium. By eliminating friction, wear and tear are reduced significantly. This means, your die will last longer than usual.

What Hornady die for 9mm?

 To reload 9mm, Hornady New Dimension Series II 3 Die Pistol Set is the best option.

Featuring enhanced convenience, this die set comes with some great offerings. Starting with the Zip Spindle it comes with, which is uniquely designed for less slippage.

Beside polished elliptical expander along with built-in crimper will give the best performance. To reload 9mm Luger and 9×21 pistols, the star performer is this reloading die.

What Hornady dies 45 ACP?

For the best outcome, Customer Grade Dies from Hornady is the best at reloading .45 ACP.

Coming with a very interesting design, these dies are meant to reload quality outputs. For your convenience, this allows you to complete seating and taper crimping in one go. As a result, no further steps are necessary to complete the process. Simpler task, better performance – is an unofficial motto of this product.


Even though Match Grade Die may look like a regular die, but it has differences. The features and functionalities this offers make it stand out in the crowd. Chiefly, for the level of control it gives, this cannot be ignored.

In this article, we tried to illustrate the hot topic, Hornady Match Grade Dies VS Custom Grade Dies. Both are great for their particular purpose and functionalities. With that being said, Match Grade Die are indeed great options to level up your reloading game.


My first deer at the age of 45 I joined the deer hunting fraternity a little late, but the desire to hunt has always been there. I love hunting, so I often have to deal with hunting equipment.