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Old July 7, 2000, 08:51 PM   #1
J.R. Arens
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I am admittedly mechanically inept. When I owned a Harley Sportster (new model) the mechanic recommended that I not work on my bike after seeing some of my work. I consider it a major feat when I change the oil on my current BMW R80/7 and there are no major oil spills/drips. (I am good on the computer , though, and can work the hand pump La Pavoni Professional espresso maker. I figure its good practice for reloading!)

I have not reloaded yet, but plan to SOON for economic reasons. I shoot Ruger single action revolvers (.22 and .45 colt). Since the Blackhawk is single action, my shooting output isn't real high. I'd be hard pressed to shoot over 70 rounds of the .45 colt at a time, and I only get to the range once a week (I have young 'uns at home). If I purchase additional firearms, they will either be .45 colts (I'm interested in the cowboy action shooting) or another shotgun. The only reason I would consider a different caliber firearm (at this time) is for ammunition cost reasons (which is why I'm interested in reloading). One additional point, my personality / lifestyle is not such that I will sit down for two hours and reload. I'm more to do 15 minutes here, 10 minutes another time, 20 minutes before bed, etc.


I have spent some time browsing the board on posts through at least December of last year. The consensus appears to either be the rockchucker or the Dillion Square B for my reloading style.

So my questions are:
-Should I also consider a turret/H style? (i.e. RCBS new one) (ABC of Reloading recommends over the single stage)
-After purchasing dies, shell holder, and ammo trickler (sp?), isn't the price of the slower rockchucker similar to the Dillion Square B?
-Which one requires the least "tinkering"? Once the Square D is set-up, can you leave it alone and just pull the crank or is there always little adjustments required each time (assuming all the components stay the same)?
-For my life style mentioned above, which would be safest and most efficent?

Bear with me on this. I'm just trying to make the right decision. I do want to keep it simple. At the same time, I don't want to spend all my time just reloading.
John




[This message has been edited by J.R. Arens (edited July 08, 2000).]
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Old July 7, 2000, 09:35 PM   #2
beemerb
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Go with the dillon.After you get it set up you should be in good shape.If you do run into any problems dillon is just a call away.They stand behind what they sell,another big plus.

------------------
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Old July 9, 2000, 08:43 PM   #3
JackFlash
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No! Wait!

A multi-stage press is a lot like a Harley. It needs a lot of adjustment to set up and an understanding of the basic mechanics of operation.

Also, you need a different sort of press for shotgun shell reloading. A rifle/pistol press won't work (unless someone is making a press I missed).

Reloading ammo is precision machine work. It takes some organized space, some patience, and a fair amount of time.

It's possible to jump into the shop for 20 minutes and prime a load of cases, turn on the tumbler while watching television, resize/decap cases in one session and store them.

But once you set up the powder measure and scale, start charging seating and crimping, it's pretty much a continuous process because you don't want to leave the powder out. And you need to pay close attention to the process. Reloading while distracted is inviting serious trouble.

It's precision work. Things like primer depth, belling, neck trimming (not necessary on straight case pistol ammo), crimping, over-all length, bullet seating, charge weighing . . . these are all mechanical processes. They require setting up a press, dies, scales, using micrometers . . .

But mostly it takes some time and attention. It's not an "in between two other tasks" kind of operation.

Nonetheless, if you can run an espresso maker (you grindin' the beans?) and change oil in a BMW motorcycle, you can probably learn how to reload ammo and do a good job.

My question is . . . Is your head into this project or are you just looking to save money?

If you're looking to save money, buy bulk ammo online.

[This message has been edited by JackFlash (edited July 09, 2000).]
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Old July 10, 2000, 12:52 AM   #4
Paul B.
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J.R. RCBS makes one press that will load rifle, pistol and shotgun. It is called the RCBS Reloaders Special-5 Press. In Huntingtons catalog it is 109.95 plus shipping. No dies or shell holder comes with this press. I don't have any experience with this machine, I just acknowledge its existance. You can contact Huntingtons at (www.huntingtons.com)
For the amount of reloading you say you want to do, it seems to me that you could get away with a single stage press. I use a RockChucker, and taking my sweet time, I can load up 70 rounds in about one and a half hours. But then I've had a lot of practice.
Dillons are nice, no question about it, but setting up one does take a little bit of mechanical ability, and they are a bit more expensive. JMHO.
Paul B.
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Old July 10, 2000, 08:21 AM   #5
James E
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I recomend you start out with a good single stage press. This is especially necessary in the learning process to come. Your eventual experience that you will gained will prepare you for the automated presses like Dillon etc. I don't load that much anymore and have presently three single stage presses. One is a four station "H" press by C&H Tool & Die, there are other mulitpul die single stage presses and I recomend you check them all out. There is usually a tried and true method of procedure performing most any functional machinery. Hone that technique to a razor's edge. Be thourough and religious about reloading. Do not smoke nor drink nor be destracted by others while doing this task. Reloading is done in procedural steps one at a time, the multipul die stations are just there for convienance of placing your cartridge case in the one you need to perform a function of reloading. Do it, and enjoy the wonderful satisfaction of rolling your own ammo. Good luck, be slow and safe until it is practically a reflex motion for you.

Jim
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Old July 10, 2000, 10:06 AM   #6
James E
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I had forgot about the Dillon AT 500 that gives you all the advantages of a progressive press in a single stage operation, but lacks all the bells and whistles you can add on as you see fit. Nice rig for under $200.
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Old July 10, 2000, 11:16 AM   #7
JackFlash
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Paul B.:
J.R. RCBS makes one press that will load rifle, pistol and shotgun. It is called the RCBS Reloaders Special-5 Press. In Huntingtons catalog it is 109.95 plus shipping.

Paul B.
[/quote]

Well . . . I have the RCBS SR-5, didn't realize that it manages shotshells too. It'a also adaptable to a multi-stage add-on if that's what you find you want later.

I paid $79.95 everyday standard retail for this press at GI Joe's -- a local sporting goods retailer. It's a nice press, every bit as rugged and with all the features of a RockChucker.

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Old July 10, 2000, 08:11 PM   #8
trlmech
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RCBS makes shotshell dies that work in all their single stage presses. You have to remove the bushing that holds the regular dies to use them.
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Old July 10, 2000, 11:45 PM   #9
Steve Smith
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JR, I just got started reloading about 3 months ago, and I'm pretty good mechanically. I started out with a Lee Slow 1000, That's certainly NOT the one you want...I sold it quickly and bought a Dillon 550B and never turned back. HOWEVER, you're not real confidant of your mechanical ability, so here's another possibility not yet exzplored here. Single stages are great, however, they'll require you to set up your dies each time there's another stage to do...so-how about buy several single stages and one set of dies. Put one die into each press, and number the presses and align them on the table in order...then you only have to move over to do the next step. I'm grasping here.

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Old July 11, 2000, 07:43 AM   #10
Bud Helms
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The AT 500 is a great way to start. It wasn't available when I got my 550B, but if it had been I probably would have gotten one and upgraded incrementally. Easier on the pocketbook.

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Old July 11, 2000, 09:58 PM   #11
KODB
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I would at least consider the Dillon. Even if you are not mechanically "ept" the manuals are pretty straightforward and very clear. Plus, if you run into any problems or have questions you can call Dillon; they are more than happy to help and will not make you feel stupid for asking. The lifetime guarantee is actually a real one and they honor it almost to the point where it's ludicrous (i.e. replacing parts for free on 15yr old presses)

Gee, I'm not biased or anything am I

Bob
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Old July 12, 2000, 10:08 PM   #12
Waterdog
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I wouldn't try reloading 22LR, it is hard to keep them in between your fingers.

Waterdog
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Old July 12, 2000, 10:35 PM   #13
Kenneth L. Walters
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I use to collect reloading presses, particularly the complicated ones. At the height of it I suppose that I had about three dozen different progressives, maybe eight different Potters, 12 or so Hollywood turrets, about a dozen old Jordans and got only knows what else. When someone made me an offer that I could not refuse I sold.

I wanted to keep reloading but I also didn't want all the complexity any more. After looking at all the presses I had been using I decided that the most idiot proof was a turret. Lyman was the best at the time and their tools heads are easily removed and replaced. I've been using my Lyman ever since. To date I've got about 50 tool heads for it full of dies loktited in place. If speed isn't important but versatility and ease of use is, this is a good path.

The Lyman tool heads use to be a lot less expensive. Then too as I writer I get 50% off.

RCBS has a new turret out. I've ordered one and three spare heads. Its apparent appeal over the Lyman is just the lower cost of the extra tool heads. I would expect this RCBS to be excellent.

I know that the Lyman turret is.

Hope this helps.
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Old July 12, 2000, 10:35 PM   #14
Kenneth L. Walters
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Join Date: September 2, 1999
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I use to collect reloading presses, particularly the complicated ones. At the height of it I suppose that I had about three dozen different progressives, maybe eight different Potters, 12 or so Hollywood turrets, about a dozen old Jordans and got only knows what else. When someone made me an offer that I could not refuse I sold.

I wanted to keep reloading but I also didn't want all the complexity any more. After looking at all the presses I had been using I decided that the most idiot proof was a turret. Lyman was the best at the time and their tools heads are easily removed and replaced. I've been using my Lyman ever since. To date I've got about 50 tool heads for it full of dies loktited in place. If speed isn't important but versatility and ease of use is, this is a good path.

The Lyman tool heads use to be a lot less expensive. Then too as I writer I get 50% off.

RCBS has a new turret out. I've ordered one and three spare heads. Its apparent appeal over the Lyman is just the lower cost of the extra tool heads. I would expect this RCBS to be excellent.

I know that the Lyman turret is.

Hope this helps.
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Old July 12, 2000, 10:47 PM   #15
Mel Hoskin
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Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 29
J.R. I have to recommend the Dillon Square D. Once you adjust the dies and the powder measure, your adjustments are over for the Cal. you are reloading for(45 Colt, if I have read your msg correctly). I have a Pacific(Hornady) single stage, Dillon 500 AT, Dillon 650 and a Dillon Square D. Had a Lee turret press that I threw out, as it was more trouble than it was worth, and didn't feel right offering it to another shooter.
I can verify Dillons guarntee, as they replaced all of of reloading equipment that I had procured from them after my house burnt down at no cost to me.

MelQUOTE]Originally posted by J.R. Arens:
I am admittedly mechanically inept. When I owned a Harley Sportster (new model) the mechanic recommended that I not work on my bike after seeing some of my work. I consider it a major feat when I change the oil on my current BMW R80/7 and there are no major oil spills/drips. (I am good on the computer , though, and can work the hand pump La Pavoni Professional espresso maker. I figure its good practice for reloading!)

I have not reloaded yet, but plan to SOON for economic reasons. I shoot Ruger single action revolvers (.22 and .45 colt). Since the Blackhawk is single action, my shooting output isn't real high. I'd be hard pressed to shoot over 70 rounds of the .45 colt at a time, and I only get to the range once a week (I have young 'uns at home). If I purchase additional firearms, they will either be .45 colts (I'm interested in the cowboy action shooting) or another shotgun. The only reason I would consider a different caliber firearm (at this time) is for ammunition cost reasons (which is why I'm interested in reloading). One additional point, my personality / lifestyle is not such that I will sit down for two hours and reload. I'm more to do 15 minutes here, 10 minutes another time, 20 minutes before bed, etc.


I have spent some time browsing the board on posts through at least December of last year. The consensus appears to either be the rockchucker or the Dillion Square B for my reloading style.

So my questions are:
-Should I also consider a turret/H style? (i.e. RCBS new one) (ABC of Reloading recommends over the single stage)
-After purchasing dies, shell holder, and ammo trickler (sp?), isn't the price of the slower rockchucker similar to the Dillion Square B?
-Which one requires the least "tinkering"? Once the Square D is set-up, can you leave it alone and just pull the crank or is there always little adjustments required each time (assuming all the components stay the same)?
-For my life style mentioned above, which would be safest and most efficent?

Bear with me on this. I'm just trying to make the right decision. I do want to keep it simple. At the same time, I don't want to spend all my time just reloading.
John


[This message has been edited by J.R. Arens (edited July 08, 2000).]
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