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Old January 14, 2013, 05:40 PM   #1
Semper
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New guy, first post need advice

I'm quite sure you guys have seen many posts like this since I have seen posts like this on other types of forums. I'd say that my situation is a little unique because I already bought this stuff.

I have a friend that decided to empty some stuff out of his basement and this included reloading equipment. I love going to the range and hunting, and I've actually loaded ammo with a friend of mine but it was under his supervision.

Here is a list of equipment I just purchased. I paid $550 for everything and it is actually all in the original boxes still

Dillon "Square Deal B" turret press with bullet tray and all mounting hardware
RCBS RS2 one-up reloading press with all parts
9mm Reloading Die Set RCBS
.38/.357 Reloading Die Set RCBS
.38/.357 Reloading Die Set Lee
.45 Reloading Die Set Lee
Lyman Model 600 small case tumbler
Lyman Model 1200 large case tumbler
RCBS Model 5-0-5 Reloading Scale
RCBS Kinetic Bullet Puller
Lyman Case Length Gauge
Funnel, 2 RCBS bullet trays, 1 MTM 100 ct .45 bullet box, 1 MTM 50 ct .38/.357 bullet box

as well as:

Powder
Bullseye Powder (approx 1/2 can)
Bullseye Powder (approx 2/3 can)
Dupont IMR 4064 Powder (approx 1/2 can) used for reloading .270??

Bullets
.45 cal 200 gr SWC bulk (approx 100-125)
.45 cal 230 gr FMJ/RN Hornady (1 box of 100)
.45 cal 230 gr RN Speer (1 box of 100)
.38 cal 148 gr SWC bulk (1 box of approx 300)
.38 cal 125 gr FMJ/HP Hornady (1 box of 100)
.38 cal 158 gr SWC/HP Hornady (1 box of approx 300)
.38/.357 148 gr SWC D&J (1 bag of 100)
.357 cal 125 gr FMJ Speer (2 boxes of 100)
9mm 115 gr HP Speer (1 box of 100)

Primers
Small Pistol Primers CCI (9 boxes of 100)
Small Pistol Primers Winchester (1 box of 79)
Large Pistol Primers CCI (2 boxes of 100)
Large Pistol Primers Winchester (2 boxes of 100)
Large Rifle Primers CCI (1 box of 100)

Brass
9mm - fired but primers not removed (1 bag of approx 300)
.357 - primed but tarnished (1 bag of approx 50)
.357 - not primed (1 bag of approx 100)
.357 - fired but primers not removed (1 bag of approx 150)
.45 ACP - fired but primers not removed (1 bag of approx 125)

AMMUNITION

8mm Mauser (1 box of 44)



Now he did tell me that the Square Deal B comes from the factory caliber specific, and mine was set up for .38/.357. It can easily be switched for other calibers, but that requires the purchase from Dillon of the necessary conversion kit (dies, shell plates and a couple of other change parts), and these are on their website new for $85 per caliber.

Now to my questions.
1. Did I get a good deal? Seems to me I did based on the ammo alone.
2. Where do I start and what advice would you give?
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:45 PM   #2
JimDandy
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To start with find a copy of the ABC's of Reloading. That's the how to guide. The Reloading manuals you get in your SECOND step have the recipes. Basically the ABC's is how to use the stove, measuring cups, and what not, and the Reloading manuals is which measuring cup, with which stove.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:46 PM   #3
hooligan1
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Did I get a good deal?

The only way I figure you got a good deal, is if you figure you got a good deal.
I like it, but then again, not everyone will agree.
And if you get into the hobby and take it as far as some do here, then yes you got a good deal pickle!
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:52 PM   #4
Semper
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I'm a few weeks from actually starting to reload. I am inventorying everything that I have. I am emptying a room in my basement and building a work bench to have a nice area to work. So I figured I'd start my research now as well.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:53 PM   #5
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Ditto on the books. I think you did well. The only concern I would have would be the age of the powder. There isn't much there so you may wish to use it to fertilze the roses and buy some new. 4064 may be a little fast for a .270 but I would need to look it up. I use it in most of my 30-06 and all of my 308 loads. It was probably used in the 8mm. Welcome to a great hobby. You are probably getting into it at the right time.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:59 PM   #6
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You got a good deal that worked out well for you, and your friend. He made some money from you. You saved a great bit over buying new.

The Dillon is a progressive press that you have to manual index each station if I am correct. (I still use a single stage.)

Not sure on the RCBS

I concur the suggestion of a manual. Lyman Pistol & Revolver is a great one to start with. Not too long to read the introduction to reloading part. 75 easy to understand pages. That are well illustrated. With good pictures to explain the what you are doing, and why you are doing it. As well as 12 page section on casting lead if you want to get into that. The ABC's is a great read as well. Though having a manual with loads that you will use will be needed as well.

For set up, and using the Dillon youtube is your friend. Also you may end up calling the folks at Dillon for help as well.

Note you will need a dial caliper as well.
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Old January 14, 2013, 06:02 PM   #7
hooligan1
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Actually my brother got me into handloading, after sending me a test load to shoot through my rifle, I found it was hella more accurate than factory stuff and my 700 loved it.
The first thing I did was to read EVERYTHING I could find about handloading, thats all I did for a solid month, but it paid dividends.
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Old January 14, 2013, 06:08 PM   #8
5R milspec
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you have a great start already.I see nothing wrong with wat you have bought,we all start from something at some point.Me I stuck with Lee products till my dad bought me a RCBS Rockchucker press.

Reading is the most important thing,either from books or great sites like this one.Just remember to sometimes take stuff with a grain of salt,for some like to pass on bad ideas thoughts.

Always load in a small amount of ( question ) when loading.I say this for a reason ( saftey ) Me I load with book said loads and judge to wheather it may be safe or not.I'll take a said load then look at the said test gun ( pistol ),and most of the time I go with a middle load for start.I'll too work up from that load or down.

With rifle I found like many others,a ladder test is best to use.You can read a lot on this with better wording than I can type out.So give it a good seach and read up on it.

If you haven't already started building yet I would even seach that one too.Many great ideas on the too,I had to wait 3 years for a building to get a room.Now I can load up and walk away,I even can lock out the family.

Keep us posted and we'll do the same for ya back.you couldn't have picked a better site to join,and ask questions on.
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Old January 14, 2013, 06:58 PM   #9
Misssissippi Dave
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I'd say you got a good deal. The SDB press has a lifetime warrenty that goes with the press. It doesn't end when it gets sold to someone else. See what pistol caliber you want to make a lot of and you will be able to put the Dillon press to good use. It isn't all that hard to set one up for another caliber once you have the conversion parts and dies.

Bullseys powder is not a favorite of mine. It is too easy to double charge a case with it.

Just start with a straight wall case type to get you started. I hope you have a .357 mag pistol already. That or .38 special will probably be one of the easiest things to load. .45 acp is very close to being the easiest. Start small and keep good notes of everything you are doing. It will be helpful later on.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:16 PM   #10
Shadow7d
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It would cost you more to purchase the equipment piece by piece
however, how useful it is to YOU...
that is what makes or breaks the deal (good or bad)
you can buy the top end press, and have it be practically useless to you, or buy a Lee Loader that is priceless.

Once again, books, you need to read, go step by step and KNOW what you are doing.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:17 PM   #11
hodaka
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I'm not sure about the Dillon Square Deal (someone will weigh in) but I have a Dillon 550 and it will accept any standard dies. I use Lee dies in mine. The shell plate is unique however and you will need one to convert to .45. You will like the Dillon and any dealing you have with the company.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:20 PM   #12
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Just some rough math says if you could sell it, you have sbout $800-$900 of stuff used.

Still, you are not 100% whole in terms of a process. So, what do you want to load first? I would start with the RS5 kit. Does it have a powder measure?

How good is this friend? Do you trust the gunpowder? To me, it is wired to have two cans of canister grade powder open...can he tell you why?

The tarnished, but primed 357 is ok, if you know the primer and it is uncontaminated. Primers are usually good, I think in a bag.

Also, in assuming it is all in good to go condition, is it?

I would start by picking a caliber and reading a manual of the process to get started. The ABC's is ok, but maybe a book like the Lyman manual would be better.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:52 PM   #13
serf 'rett
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Welcome to the forum!

Awefull deal, but I'll take it off your hands for $450.00.

You have done well if you get what you need to put the equipment into operation. The Dillon Square Deal B uses special dies and will not work with your Lee or RCBS dies. The SDB is for pistol only. You will need caliber conversion kit to change to a different caliber ($85.95 which includes: Dies, Shellplate, Powder Funnel, Locator Buttons). Add another caliber, then will cost another $85.95. More information here:

http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html#gen

If you shoot a significant volume in one or two pistol calibers, then you'll find the Square Deal to be a good deal.

You can learn the process on the old RCBS press to make sure you want to reload. Try that before investing in the Dillon SDB caliber changeover parts

I'll second the recommendation of reading The ABCs of Reloading book as a good place to start.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:59 PM   #14
Semper
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I currently have a S&W 38 special, a Walther 380 and a Springfield 45. I'm thinking that I will get most of the benefit for my 38 and my 45.
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Old January 14, 2013, 08:24 PM   #15
dmazur
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I saw a guarded comment that the Square Deal was a manually-indexed progressive press.

Probably not true. It is an auto-indexing progressive press. (The 550b is the manual indexing model.)

However, the comments that it uses proprietary dies and is limited to pistol calibers are correct.
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Old January 14, 2013, 08:36 PM   #16
Semper
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Thanks a lot guys. This stuff is gold.
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Old January 15, 2013, 02:16 AM   #17
Lost Sheep
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Congratulations and welcome to the forum.

You didn't quite make out like a bandit, but you got a really good deal.

A Dillon Square Deal set up for one caliber will set you back $380 retail (and discounts are pretty much unheard of). With all the dies ($30 to $40 a set or more, new) and $20 to $30 per box of 100 count bullets . RCBS 505 scale is $50 at least. Tumbler (depending on condition, $15 to $40). Primers are $3 to $4 per hundred.

Did did all right, but not so well that you have to hang your head in shame whenever you see the guy you got this stuff from.

You have about $50 worth of powder there. Some people have a rule to never trust powder from an opened container that has not been under their constant control. People have been known to mistakenly return unused powder from a powder measure to the wrong original container. An unsuspecting subsequent user (you) could get hurt inheriting such a mistake. Getting this stuff from a friend, you can evaluate how much you trust his care.

I would have bought it in a heartbeat and I don't even need another press.

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Old January 16, 2013, 04:07 PM   #18
Semper
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Once again thank you guys for all the information. I'm looking for a book called The ABC's of Reloading like suggested. There are a ton of them out there by several different authors. Before I buy the first one, any author suggestions?

I also made my first steps in building a bench. My neighbor has a counter top with a back splash that is 8' long by 3' wide.
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Old January 16, 2013, 05:39 PM   #19
m&p45acp10+1
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ABC's does not have one specific author. It is a collection of articles by some very good gun writers/reloaders. Check your library. The local library here actualy has it. Though it is popular, and you have to reserve it to check it out.
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Old January 16, 2013, 06:01 PM   #20
serf 'rett
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I have the 8th edition by Bill Chevalier. (out of print?)

I've read some folks weren't impressed with the current 9th edition, but your mileage may vary.
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Old January 16, 2013, 10:04 PM   #21
myg30
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Good deal and good timing on reloading equipment. As said, read all you can and then ask lots of questions in the reloading area here. Most will be able to set you straight im sure.
I use a SDB press. I really enjoy it and its never about speed when it comes to reloading. Take your time, check and double check yourself till you get sure what you are doing. Make notes on your loads and Procedure's so you can repeat your load once you find one thats good to go in your gun/guns.
Always work up a load, never start at or near max loads. Wear your safety glasses.
There are some good video on you tube about loading, casting boolits and dillon equipment, seting up dies, preping your brass etc...
Good luck, be safe and welcome to the world of reloading and TFL forum.

Mike
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Old January 16, 2013, 10:25 PM   #22
Semper
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I will continue to read. I'm hoping to run into someone in southern Wisconsin that might want to teach me the ropes etc. I'm more of a doer than I am a reader of how to do something. But I've always wanted to do this so if I don't meet anyone I'll keep reading.
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