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Old November 7, 2007, 06:13 PM   #1
lastchancebaby
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New to reloading; however, many, many caveats!

Hello,
I want to support reloading; however, you get overwhelmed with the details. I have found the following:
A. Best press, probably Redding and then Hornandy
B. Best dies probably Redding or Lee
C. Wilson is best trimmer
D. Best brass Laupa-Norma
E. Bullets-Hornandy, Speer, Sierra?
D. VV probably cleanest powder then Hogden
Prep cases, lube, and wipe off lube with alcohol-dry.
Pick bullet-get load data-pick powder-load and try.
Clean and oil dies to store-like bore of gun-copper build-up?
I want ammo of factory quality and sealed (fingernail polish). Can anyone lay out their dream loading station-if they had it to do over again?
Many inter-manufacturer compatibility issues also-lee shell holder won’t fit this or that die won’t fit this. How do you sort it out before spending a small fortune?
Thank you very much
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Old November 7, 2007, 06:50 PM   #2
SIGSHR
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Reloading is like cooking-there are some hard and fast rules, but a lot of it
is seasoning to taste. Regarding equipment compatbility, my RBCS 4x4 press
takes RCBS, Lyman, Lee, Redding and an old set of Bair dies with no problem,
the industry has standardized thread size.
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Old November 7, 2007, 07:51 PM   #3
BigJimP
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Talk to as many people as you can - with different equipment and find out what they like and don't like about their equipment.

With all due respect to your list, my vote is for Dillon equipment - and I like the XL 650 loader with the case feeder. The deal breaker for me is it has a separate station on the press that checks the powder drop ( so you know if it did not drop / or if you had a significantly heavy drop ) and that's a big safety factor on a progressive press especially for semi-auto handguns.

I like Dillon dies / so I keep it simple. I reload 6 calibers of handguns ( 9mm, .40 , .45 ACP , .38 spl, .357 mag and .44 Rem Mag ). The Dillon 650 will easily load 750 rounds an hour ( or about 15 boxes ) and that's plenty fast enough for me / speed isn't a big deal - my first priority in consistency and quality - and the 650 gives me that, with speed. I use CCI primers, Montana Gold bullets and Hodgdon Titegroup powder exclusively on all of my handgun loads. They are not the cheapest - but the quality is very good. If I couldn't get CCI primers I would switch to Winchester - but I won't change powder or bullets.

I've been thru the single stage loading presses ( RCBS primarily ) and I won't go back there. I would buy the Dillon XL 650 setup again - and I've had mine for about 3 years now. A 2nd machine I would consider, for handgun calibers only would be the Dillon square deal - its auto indexing but it does not have the powder check station. If I couldn't afford the 650, I would go with the Dillon 550 ( but its manually indexed and it doesn't have the powder check station).

I clean my cases - I lube them and let it dry and put them thru the case feeder ( I don't clean the case lube off, I run them thru the press with case lube on them ) but in progressive presses the resize and deprime is station 1 and then it goes thru the other stations in sequence - with a finished round coming off the back of the press every time you cycle the handle.
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Old November 7, 2007, 08:02 PM   #4
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What are you talking about doing? Are you trying to turn out precision rifle ammo or plinking fodder for a handgun or AR 15? It's hard to comment until I know that.
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Old November 7, 2007, 08:39 PM   #5
rwilson452
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presses

for apress it depends on what your loading. for precision rifle stuff I use a single stage press. in my case a Lee Classic Cast. It is one hard core press. for large amounts of pistol fodder you would want a progressive. I suppose the best of progressives is the Dillon 1050. I use a Lee LoadMaster. Many use a turret press. It just depends on how deep your wallet is. Shell holders for single stage presses are standardized to a great extent. progressives each mfg is different.

The Lee Autoprime uses a different shell holder.

Most of my dies are Lee.
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Old November 7, 2007, 09:24 PM   #6
Edward429451
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Quote:
overwhelmed with the details
The RCBS Rockchucker press is a great place to start since it is single stage press. A single stage press allows for less confusion, more attention to detail, and match quality ammunition. This choice will get you reloading the fastest and the details will not seem overwhelming once you're cranking them out. The flip side is that you will never outgrow the single stage press and will continue to use it even once your setup is huge.

I started with a RC press and a powder scale. I poured powder into a cereal bowl and tap tap tapped it into the scale with a spoon. Now I have two Dillon RL550B's, a swaging press, shotgun press, and two cast bullet sizer/luber presses, along with a plethora of doo dads. I still use my RC single stage press as much if not more than the others.

Start with the basics and you will realize what you need as you go along. It is the too much reading with not any cranking any out that makes it seem overwhelming.
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Old November 8, 2007, 02:07 AM   #7
Shoney
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May I be the first to say WELCOME TO TFL lastchancebaby! The manners of some people are terrible.

I have to say Red_Eagle and rwilson452 have given the best answers here. How can we recommend anything when you have given us zero information?

Beware of the Blue Buffon Batallion:barf:, who are guilty of spreading “lots of BS” blue bullroar. I used to be like so many of those dishonest or blindly brand loyal people who have never owned or loaded with any other progressive, yet cluelessly advocate a single brand. . As a Dillon owner, they are an embarassment to me. Besides my Dillon 550 (which I seldom use now, because I have found a much better press), I either have or have extensively loaded on the following presses during my 47 years of reloading: Herters, Hornady, Lee, Lyman, Pacific, RCBS, and Redding.

Tell us your need, then make an informed decision.
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Old November 8, 2007, 10:16 AM   #8
lastchancebaby
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Thank you very much, reloading maybe an art?

Hi,
Thanks for the response, I appreciate your reloading wisdoms. Moreover, I will load for the following; however, I will not worry about quantity, I am more concerned with quality ammo:
A. 223 Bushmaster A3 1:9
B. 45 LC
C. 45 ACP
D. 9MM
E 38 +P

Again I would rather load 2 perfect rounds in a day then 100 mediocre rounds, quality is my goal.
thank you very much
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Old November 8, 2007, 10:46 AM   #9
rn22723
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First off all dies are universal 7/8"/x14tpi with the following exceptions Lyman Tong Tool aka 310 dies, hand dies in need of an arbor press, and Dillon Square Deal dies.

Shellholders for conventional presses are universal, but RCBS hand priming tool only likes RCBS shellholders. The Forster CoAx press has own shellholder system. Progressive presses have unique shellholders to the the mfg and the type of press.

Lee Hand prime tool has own shell holders.

The best dies? Well that is subjective rather then objective. I have used all the brands of dies in 34 yrs of loading. Lee served me well, and now Redding Type S dies serve my needs well. I like Redding Pro Series for my 550. But, that is not say a fellow would not served well with Lee dies either.....

Presses the Gold Standard of single stage presses is the Forster CoAx press. The next best would be the RCBS Rockchucker! A fine tune with the Hornady LNL bushing system and you are really set!

Trimmers for hand powered lathe type the Wilson has no peers! For powered trimmers the Giraud is the Rolls Royce! Of course there are other less costly options which would serve a person well, like that possum hollow Kwik Trim!

Brass well the best is what works for your purposes! WW works for me, as does Lapua in a bolt gun it just flat out sings! Handgun brass well I have used it all! Nothing like some WCC 45ACP brass or TZZ! Stout and well you probably loose it or the case splits...... If I was starting out new....Starline would be a good choice!

Bullets now that is subjective as all get out! It depends on your expectations. Target bullets well you have Bergers, Lapuas, and well Sierra and Nosler work well ,too.
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Old November 8, 2007, 11:25 AM   #10
IHMSA Shooter
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A. Press: You probably can't go wrong with a press from a major manufacturer. I like the RCBS Rock Chucker. It's the only single stage press I have used. The reason I bought a Rock Chucker? That's what my Dad had/has and that is what I grew up on.

B. Dies: I currently have dies from RCBS, Redding, Lee, Hornady, Lyman and CH4D. They all work fine. Again, any major manufacturer should serve you well. As you try different dies you will notice features your prefer over others. For instance I prefer the lock rings on Hornady and Redding Dies over RCBS, Lyman, and Lee.

C. Trimmer: I have a Forester and it works just fine for me. It's the only one I have used other than Lee's hand trimmers for individual calibers. Those work well in a pinch escpecially if you chuck it up in an electric screwdriver.

D. Brass: Too subjective.

E. Bullets: again too subjective. A lot depends on the purpose for the bullet as well as the firearm it is being used in.

F. Powder: See comments on bullets.

Just my two cents from my experiences.
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Old November 8, 2007, 02:13 PM   #11
rwilson452
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If all your looking for right now is a few good rounds, go with a single stage press. as you loading only pistol and small rifle you could get by with a Lee Challenger. I would. go the Lee Classic Cast or the rockchucker The forrester co-ax is a great press but at your stage it's more than you need. you can get the safety prime for the classic cast or get a hand primer for the rockchucker or the Classic Cast and not prime on the press.

for simplicity I would suggest the Lee trimmer setup for a beginer it's real hard to mess up using it.
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Old November 8, 2007, 02:45 PM   #12
SL1
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Case trimmer thoughts

With respect to your choice of case trimmers, here's an additonal thought: All but the Lee and Redding trimmers turn the cutter and not the case. Because the axis of the case is typically not exactly aligned with the axis of the cutter, the result is that the cases come out a little less than perfectly square across the mouths, and that affects the crimp and bullet concentricity.

The Redding trimmer holds the cutter steady and turns the case. So, only one edge of the cutter may be doing all of the work, but the mouths come out square. The Redding trimmer sells for about $65, or $105 if you want a micrometer adjustable case length setting.

The Lee trimmers are simple hand tools that allow you to twist the case and cutter aginst each other while holding one in each hand, using a fixed spacer to stop the cutting action at a fixed length. They allow you to make the case mouths square, but they do not allow you to adjust final case length. They are cheap at about $8.

Either one will allow you to produce the quality ammo you said you are interested in achieving.

SL1
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Old November 8, 2007, 04:04 PM   #13
Red_Eagle
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I don't load pistol but I do load for 8 different calibers of rifle. So, most of this is geared to 223 remington.
A. Best press: Lee classic cast, RCBS Rock Chucker, or Lyman Crusher II
B. Best dies: All I've used so far is Lee and RCBS. I like the RCBS better, but both produce ammo of the same quality. You'll probably want a Lee factory crimp die too.
C. Best trimmer: I use the Lee system. Trims everythiny to SAAMI specs and is "Private proof"
D. Best brass: Laupa-Norma is a little expensive. I use mostly Remington and Winchester. I've been using Federal in 308 Winchester with good results
E. Bullets: If your doing any varmint work, Nosler Balistic tip or Hornady V-max. Both in 55 grain. The V-mav is avialable in 60 grain as well.
D. Powder: The most favored powders for 223 rem is, among others, Hodgdon's Varget and H-335. Winchester 748 has worked well for me too.

I'd recommend getting a Kit. The RCBS Rock Chucker kit and the new Lee Kit both look good. The RCBS is about $300. Lee $125 from Midway. Two things you didn't mention was scales and manuals.
For scales I like my RCBS 505. Although, the Hornady I inspected looked like it would be pretty good. I've never got to see the Lee scales, but in the reviews I've seen folks either loved'em or hated'em. The only one I can say stay totally away from is the RCBS RC-130. One came with my RCBS Pardner kit. Hard to zero and dangerous to work with if you're not careful. For manuals I'd go with Lyman or Hornady, then get a 3 ring binder and down load data from Hogdon's site (which also owns winchester and IMR powders), Alliant, and Accurate.
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Old November 8, 2007, 05:02 PM   #14
lastchancebaby
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Thanks alot, this is probably going to be a very interesting venture!

Hi,
The advice is great; however, I worry about the gas system on my 223. The clean powder debate seems to favor extruded powders. Nevertheless, I would like to know what the manufactures use in their ammo./ Say, Black Hills, Federal and the like, what do they load 223 with or for that matter handgun ammo. Does anyone really know what powders Hornandy, Federal, Black Hills use in their live ammunition? What about the military? What about target shooters?
Have a great day
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Old November 8, 2007, 06:14 PM   #15
Red_Eagle
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For the most part you can't buy what they use commerially. If you wanna use extruded something along the lines of Reloder-15, IMR-4064, or varget should get the job done. Personally, I prefer Varget.
H-335 and Win 748 are both old 5.56mm powders. They are both ball powders though.
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Old November 8, 2007, 06:24 PM   #16
lastchancebaby
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Thanks Red Eagle

Where I can I find a ~ 62-64grain fmjbt for reloading-with cannular for Bushy 1:9 AR A3?
thanks
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Old November 8, 2007, 06:37 PM   #17
Red_Eagle
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Speer part #1050.
62 grain FMJ-BT (w/cannelure)
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Old November 8, 2007, 07:34 PM   #18
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http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech...h_notes.htm/49
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Old November 9, 2007, 02:30 PM   #19
lastchancebaby
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You folks are right neighborly, thank you!

I really appreciate all the help; moreover, Flashhole, I owe you one, that is a great link for beginners. Thanks again to you Red Eagle.
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