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Old January 1, 2009, 08:44 PM   #1
INGunGuy
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Reloading rifle on progressive press

Hello,

I have came into a lot of rifle brass and rounds that I am going to have to reload. Up to this point, I have been doing all my reloading on a single stage press, I can run about 50 - 60 rounds an hour for .40 s/w which I have been reloading lots of lately. I reload .357mag .38special .44mag .22 Hornet, .40 s/w, 380 and 9mm in handgun calibers. I also reload .243 in rifle caliber. I am going to be reloading 5.56, .223 and .308 I have been seriously considering purchasing a Dillon 650 or 1050 since I am starting to really spend too much time reloading for the amount I am starting to shoot. I can go thru 4000 rounds of .40 s/w in a month. This is my main caliber that I shoot, and in addition, to the .40 I am shooting at least 500 rounds of the other ammunition. I have a pretty hefty stockpile of ammo, but I am still spending too much time reloading. OK, as for reloading my rifle ammo, I am going to continue to load my .243 and .308 for accuracy on my single stage press. As for the .223 5.56 I want to reload those on a progressive press. Can the 650 or 1050 handle those rounds? I am not as concerned about the accuracy as the amount I can reload. I have also seen a video online for a Dillon 1050 that completely automates the process, it actuates the roller handle. Anyway, any information that can be provided for rifle reloading on a progressive press would be appreciated.

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Old January 1, 2009, 09:44 PM   #2
Unclenick
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See this related thread. The main limitation is trimming and chamfering case mouths. I don't believe the Dillon motorized trimmer will do all that. It just trims, where a Giraud or a Gracey will do it all in one step, but won't adapt to a press. In the other thread one fellow is going to try the RCBS X die, which is supposed to stop the need to trim after the first time. I've never tried one, so don't know how well it works? Check the Dillon web site for caliber compatibility and standard die compatibility, but I think only the Square Deal needs special dies. It seems to me the original 1050 or its predecessor was limited as to cartridge length but that the current Super 1050 is not, except for 50 BMG and maybe some of the Nitro Express rounds.

The 1050 does have a primer pocket swager built-in for military brass. None of the others do.
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Old January 1, 2009, 10:00 PM   #3
kraigwy
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I don't have a 1050, but I do have the forerunner. the RL 1000 (which is more of a commerical loader then the 1050)

I couldnt begain to estimate the hundreds of thousands of rifle rounds, (mostley 308 and 223) rounds I have run through it. I've had it since the late 70s and its still going strong.

I use to have a gun repair shop that provided commerical re-loaded ammo. Plue when there was a shortage of Match Ammy for my NG Rifle team we mades ome pretty good 308 Match stuff.

The main thing is pay attention with set up. Set it up propertly to start with and you'll eliminate problems. Also another problem you have to watch for is use enough lube to lube the cases but not too much where it could build up in at the powder drop station. It could gum ii up where the proper charge dosnt drop, KEEP THAT CLEAN.

Every now and then clean out the chips at the pocket swedging cases. It could block the primer feeder (the next station).

Sizing dies wear out at about 20 K rounds. Keep an eye on that. I use carbide dies from Hollywood, for both 308 & 223, still have to lube them but it cuts down on die wear.

I know that this sounds like a lot of problems, but it really isnt. Just pay attention and you can put out some quality ammo pretty dern quick.
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Old January 1, 2009, 10:30 PM   #4
INGunGuy
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I appreciate all the information on case prep. Yea I was reading that older thread about trimming and chamfering the cases. From what I can tell, I can get multiple heads so I am not having to adjust my different dies for changing calibers. I just need something that is going to decrease the amount of time I spend reloading. It does seem like 1500-2000 is going to take a while to pay for itself in cost savings over commercial ammo. As for accuracy, like I said my old single stage will do me just fine, but since I am trying to load 4000+ pieces of brass a month, something that can handle all the pistol and some rifle ammo is what I am looking for.

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Old January 2, 2009, 02:26 AM   #5
DEDON45
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I use a Hornady LnL AP ... it would be similar to using a Dillon 650...

I just started reloading .308 (Got a M1A to play with) on it... the process I've worked out is -- using RCBS X-Dies, which prolong case life and eliminate trimming after the initial trim:

For new brass (new to me ... )

(1) New brass (new to me, anyway, most is once fired, tumbled Lake City brass) is lubed (using a pad) Full Length Resized and Decapped in a STANDARD (not an X-Die) .308 Small Base (for better reliability feeding in my M1A) resizing Die installed in my single stage press (Hornady Classic). The reason I don't use the X-Die for the "initiation" is that initiating new brass lots, per the instructions, with the X-Die would cause you to lose the all-important mandrel setting...
(2) I then trim the cases (I use a Lyman trimmer, getting ready to add the power attachment, trimming gets old) .02" shorter than the max case length specified in the reloading manual. This is per the instructions that came with the X-Die set... the case will grow slightly after firing, but will never again exceed max case length.
(3) I mark the cases (near the head) with a sharpie... this tells me, when I collect my fired cases at the range, that these do not need to be trimmed, as it's already been done.
(4) Using my Hornady LnL AP, I leave Station 1 empty (no need to resize yet again after the trim), setup station 2 with powder measure, station 3 with Powder Cop die, and station 4 with the bullet seater.
(5) I clean the lube off of the cases (I just use a rag soaked with rubbing alcohol... still looking for an easier way, but it's not bad, I just do a binful at a time)
(6) I run the brass through the press, Priming, filling with powder, and bullet seating.
(7) I periodically (like every 35 rounds or so) check for proper powder charge, just as a precaution. I use ball powder in the progressive, and right now it's WW748...

Now, if I'm using brass I've previously processed with the initial resize and trim operation:

(1) Using my Hornady LnL AP, I setup station 1 with a preadjusted RCBS .308 X-Die, Small base, that I adjusted long ago on a "initialized" trimmed case per the instructions, setup station 2 with powder measure, station 3 with Powder Cop die, and station 4 with the bullet seater.
(2) I lube the cases (usually with a lube pad)... I do this as a batch operation, a binful at a time.
(3) I run the brass through the press, Resizing / decapping, Priming, filling with powder, and bullet seating.
(4) I periodically (like every 35 rounds or so) check for proper powder charge, just as a precaution. I use ball powder in the progressive, and right now it's WW748...
(5) I clean the lube off of the cases (I just use a rag soaked with rubbing alcohol... still looking for an easier way, but it's not bad, I just do a binful at a time)

I've only run a few reloads through the X-Die, but so far it is living up to its' claims... I only invested in them after I read a few folks' experiences with them online... it sure seems to work. It does cost a bit more up front if you want to set it up right, with a separate initial resizing die (regular) for the pre-trim operation. I actually have two complete X-Die sets + the regular resizer, as I do sometimes reload small batches of hand-trickled .308 on my single stage. One set is preadjusted (with the Hornady LnL bushings) for one press, and the other set is preadjusted for the other.
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Old January 2, 2009, 06:34 AM   #6
FatWhiteMan
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I am a fan of the X-Die for rifle work on a progressive. It works great. I am afraid I am not familiar enough with your two Dillon selections to know if they accept standard dies or just proprietary. If they will use standard dies then I would think an X-Die would work for you too.

Last year, I wrote a blog entry about the X-Die. Instead of posting it in its entirety here, I'll just provide a link if anyone is interested: X-Die
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Old January 2, 2009, 09:17 AM   #7
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There is a video of my 1050 with the KISS bullet feeder here http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o...rrent=1050.flv

I now have an auto drive like this one installed http://www.reloaders.com/catalog/pro...roducts_id=899 it doesn't run as fast as I did but I can case gauge, run the primer filler and keep case & bullet feeders full at the same time.

The only down side is I still have to trim on another pass. I use a 650 with a carbide size die and trimmer the keep a regular size die in the 1050.


With sorted brass you've never made MOA ammo faster.
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Old January 2, 2009, 09:35 AM   #8
vranasaurus
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Quote:
(4) Using my Hornady LnL AP, I leave Station 1 empty (no need to resize yet again after the trim), setup station 2 with powder measure, station 3 with Powder Cop die, and station 4 with the bullet seater.
Don't the instructions for the X-Die say to resize with the X-Die after trimming and adjusting the die?
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Old January 2, 2009, 01:02 PM   #9
DEDON45
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Resizing again immediately after the initial trim is unnecessary... the instructions that come with the die set are a bit confusing... I actually emailed RCBS for clarification before I used them for the first time, because I was unclear on how critical the mandrel adjustment was, etc... for instance, the instructions fail to really mention that if you readjust the die for "initiating" more brass, and have only the X-Die, you will lose the adjustment that keeps previously resized brass from growing... the setting is not quite repeatable... they advised me, as I like to add new brass in often, that I should use a separate die to "initiate" the brass into my system, and I would never have to touch the X-Die adjustment again, and all my cases would have maximum life.
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Old January 2, 2009, 01:04 PM   #10
DEDON45
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I think FatWhiteMan's synopsis of his X-Die experiment was one of the posts that convinced me that was the way to go... and yes, you can use standard dies and X-Dies in the 550, 650, and 1050. They should work in just about any press out there being currently made (and most older ones), work fine in my Hornady single stage and progressive presses... I expect them to really save me money on my .300 Weatherby, as brass for that thing is quite expensive... more reloads per case = money saved ... and no trimming is great.
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Old January 2, 2009, 01:23 PM   #11
vranasaurus
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Thanks for clarifying. This is exactly why I planned on using a separate die to initiate brass into the X-die cycle. Didn't want to have to constantly adjust and readjust the X-Die.

So do you set the X-die mandrel before reloading the trimmed brass? I would think you would want to because firing would cause the cases to stretch a bit.
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Old January 2, 2009, 04:54 PM   #12
DEDON45
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Yep... I resize "new" brass in my regular FL die, trim, then I adjusted the X-Die once (I plan on never changing the setting again, unless I change presses or something). That's it.
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Old January 4, 2009, 10:24 PM   #13
FatWhiteMan
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Quote:
Yep... I resize "new" brass in my regular FL die, trim, then I adjusted the X-Die once (I plan on never changing the setting again, unless I change presses or something). That's it.
Exactly. You run them through the regular FL sizer die once and then trim according to the X-Die instructions for the caliber you are using. You then adjust the X-Die per instructions and then load through your progressive with the X-Die rather than the FL Sizer. Then, every time you run those cartridges again, you just use the X-Die in the first station. No need to ever adjust the X-Die (if you use L-N-L especially) or use the FL Sizer again.

If you need to add more brass, just throw the FL Sizer in your single stage and prepare the brass with it for use in the X-Die on the progressive.

You can have perfect roll crimps into a cannelure as well with a progressive because the brass will always be the exact same length.

Last edited by FatWhiteMan; January 4, 2009 at 10:25 PM. Reason: grammer.
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Old January 4, 2009, 11:17 PM   #14
totalloser
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I suggest you take a look at this; http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...le+single+pass I think I've got the progressive rifle loading down.

You don't need to worry about chamfering with the Dillon trimmer. The carbide high speed cutter makes it irrelevant. The stoopid vac chip remover can sail right into the trash can, though. Slip a piece of clear plastic (like a fluorescent safety cover or something) over the die to catch the shavings. The cutter will spin them to the outside, and you only have to clean it up once and a while. This allows the use of the adjacent dies. Unfortunately, the trimmer motor is too danged big to clear a powder hopper, but you probably want to separate the steps anyhow as the vibration leads to uneven charges of powder.
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Old January 5, 2009, 10:17 AM   #15
jmorris
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as the vibration leads to uneven charges of powder.
That’s kind of funny as I’ve heard of folks putting vibrators on there powder measure to get more consistent throws (they were using extruded powders though).
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Old January 5, 2009, 01:47 PM   #16
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Just my experience with it. I guess if you want to set it to drop correctly with vibration, you would have to do it every time. The vibration can make a SIGNIFICANT difference in powder drop. Almost enough to fill the whole case to the mouth loading win748 in .223 with mine. I can't remember how much more it dropped, but it was at least an extra 3 grains- I believe I was loading 26.4 grains, but that's off the top of my head. So 29.4 would be way excessive.

BTW that link in my last post shows how I do range brass to loaded in a single pass using a LM5stage progressive. Including trimming. Load rifle almost as quick as pistol.

Oh, and I don't use extruded powders. Only ball. No5, win748 and wc846. Maybe it wouldn't be a problem with stick powders. Probably still a good head up, though. Drops were very inconsistent for me with vibration added. More time sitting with the shell plate down & trimmer vibrating=more powder dropped.
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Old January 5, 2009, 02:04 PM   #17
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I've loaded a bunch of .223 and .243 on my 650. I use the X die for .223 reloading, but not for .243, as I'm only shooting the .243 from a bolt gun and generally neck size with a Lee Collet Die.

I recently acquired 1000 pieces of 100% processed LC brass. I ran them all through the press once, using a universal decapper; then trimmed them to the required 1.740" and started the X die process. Since I've already set up the X die based on the proper trim, I won't need to trim this batch of brass again.

Lots of precision hi-power shooters load on Dillon progressive presses. No reason to believe that a Rockchucker will load more accurately than a Dillon progressive.
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