Yup, the powder check is exactly as Unclenick has said. There is a neat one made by Dillon. I like the idea to double check my eyes. They are still pretty good, but when dealing with bullets it’s always a good idea to double check.
So, here is stab two and keep in mind this is more of a dream setup idea rather than exactly what I’m going to get. I haven’t priced all this out so I may look at the sticker and go HOLY…
Stage 1, Depriming: A small press, likely single stage for depriming only. Something like a rock chucker with a Lee Universal Depriming and Decapping Die
. I chose this since it indicates it can take cases before they have been cleaned for cases from .22 to .550. I’ll also be able to use this as a single stage press for precision loading.
Stage 2, Swagging: The RCBS Primer Pocket Swagger
. Can do .22 and larger.
Stage 3, Cleaning: I still haven’t figured out the best way to do this. I know the normal method is a vibrating tumbler with either walnut or corn cob. I’m leaning towards the rotating tumblers with stainless steel as they are supposed to get things, including the primer pockets, exceptionally clean without releasing heavy metals into the air. My problem there is the small load size. I can always do the cement mixer route, but that seems just a bit (read extreme) overkill. Is there a good source to compare and contrast the various cleaning methods? I’ve only been able to find promotional materials and having been in sales myself I’ve learned to take those with a grain of salt.
Stage 4, The Press: I’m still thinking RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive with a bullet feeder. I do plan on backing out the dye all the way so it just barely seats the bullet (like we discussed previously)
First station, Priming: I believe the press comes with the APS priming system. So I get the strips either preloaded or load them myself. I may do the tube conversion kit
. Also, I need your opinion here. If I have already deprimed the cases before I cleaned them, can I still use the lube dye you mentioned in this station, or will the lube get everywhere when being applied?
Second station, Sizing: I’ll use the x-dye here 223
. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the 6.8 yet, although I believe I can do the .277 set. I don’t see an x-die specifically for 6.8. I’m also a bit confused with the entire small base qualification on the 308. Lastly, when using the x-die they say to trim the case a certain amount below specs. In my research since you mentioned it, nobody has specified if this is brand new brass or once fired brass.
Third station, Powder load: Nuff said. I learned through your earlier post that there is a micro adjustment here. If it is not included in the RCBS kit, I’ll get a powder dispenser with a micro adjuster. I’ll also have a nice scale to check loads from time to time. I’m not sure if I’ll get the Chargemaster Combo
This is perhaps overkill, but it should allow for easy accurate dispensing if I go to precision loads on a single stage press.
Fourth station, initial bullet seating: I believe I can accomplish this using the bullet feed mechanism with the provided dye backed out almost all the way.
Fifth station, final bullet seating: Using the Redding Competition Seater Die 223
and once again I believe the .277 set will work here.
Stage ?, case trimming: I’m still looking at the Trim Pro Case Kit
I believe there is one that has a universal bullet collet and the trim is adjustable with an auto debur inside and out. I may also think about the RCBS Universal Case Prep Center
I’m not sure which route I’ll go.
That should do the entire process.
Books… LOTS OF BOOKS!!!
Of course there will be piggy backs
to change calibers
Will I need shell plate piggy backs too? 223 example
Quick Change Powder Measure
(I’m undecided on this if I can fairly easily dial in a powder measure using the micro adjustments)
Various sundries to keep things clean and organized (dust covers, shelving, dye maintenance, etc)
Lastly, how does one go about getting a stuck case off of a die should it happen?