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Old February 9, 2013, 05:04 PM   #26
flashhole
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"As some of you may or may not know I have been researching the art of reloading. I have tossed the idea away every time ..."

Reloading or handloading ammo is a lot more than just a means to an end. If you don't have some degree of dedication from the start you may not take it seriously and that can be dangerous. The best and safest handloaders are folks who are intrigued by it and pay attention to detail. I've taught a few people who demonstrated a genuine interest how to reload and they do quite well at it. Others I've just said no because they did not have the aptitude. It did not sound to me like you have a genuine interest from your opening post.
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Old February 9, 2013, 05:43 PM   #27
Lost Sheep
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RE-loading vs HAND-loading

Ah, I understand Flashhole's comment now. (see posts 23, 24 and 26)

Yes it helps if you have a high degree of dedication, even passion, about loading. But it is, in my opinion, not necessary. Dedication to SAFETY is necessary, though, and a passion for accuracy helps greatly.

In my view, dedication to (or passion for) loading separates HANDloaders from REloaders.

As I see it, the essence of the difference between handloaders and reloaders is this: At the far ends of the spectrum; Handloaders carefully craft their cartridges, tuned for optimal performance. Reloaders produce ammunition as a substitute for factory ammo.

(Note: There is no prohibition against one person being both, at different times or for different firearms, or for placing oneself at any point along the spectrum, mixing the essences of the two types.)

If I may make a judgement on Flashhole, he is a handloader. njsportsman's original post came across like a reloader. I suspect more than 75% of the forum members are primarily reloaders, so I find no fault there.

Besides, a significant number of people who started out as strictly reloaders for reasons of economy eventually embrace the handloader's creed.

This is a good thing, and to be encouraged and nurtured.

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Old February 9, 2013, 06:36 PM   #28
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Hmm interesting comments about the reloader/handloader type. While I agree that my aptitude and engineering background help, but are not a requirement.

One issue I see talked about a lot is production rate. Ime, this is a risky deal. Too slow, and you never develop a groove. The groove is required to make your best quality. Too fast and you are constantly fighting the primer feed, case feed and getting the powder charge looked at. I'm not sure what I need to do to make 500 rounds an hour, but I can make 200 good ones and load them on stripper clips in an hour. I could probably do close to that on a turret.
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Old February 9, 2013, 07:50 PM   #29
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No, you don't need to be an engineer or have a technical apptitude to reload ....but what you do need, is absolute attention to detail ! You need to make sure you read and understand all the procedures ...and how your press works ...and how to adjust it, if something needs to be changed.

You have to have good work procedures ....and be focused on what you're doing / little simple things like keep your bench clean and organized, only one kind of powder on the bench at one time, etc....

Speed is not the issue ...quality is the issue. You can have both, with a good progressive press / but there is no doubt that a single stage press is significantl slower. You can be foolish with any press and make dangerous ammo ....even a single stage / just because its a single stage its not inherently safer ...
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Old February 9, 2013, 08:12 PM   #30
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"Crusty, please read my post again.

LNL...dies and shellplate
Dillon ...dies and caliber conversion kit

The kit is $45 including shellplate. A shellplate for the LNL is $30.

So, maybe $15 extra per caliber."


Ok I read it again and it said "$60 cheaper per caliber than blue". So what am I missing. Also with the Hornady you need to add a set of bushings which will make the LNL and 550 very close in price to add a caliber.
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Old February 10, 2013, 08:40 AM   #31
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I guess fair enough but since I really know nothing about it I admit it that is why I am here. I would assume one wouldn't know if they were a hand loader or reloader (whatever that means????) until they got involved. I have the mechanical aptitude as I am an engineering technician building and testing prototypes. I never do anything without reading, researching and actually I have a friend that reloads that I have been brain picking and will get together when he reloading next. The main reason I have been putting on the shelf in the past is money. Yes I can buy a cheap setup but, that has never been my way. I'd rather wait until I can afford the best or as close I can get to the best. Someone in this thread has already said buy a dillon now or buy it later. Not saying i am going to buy a dillon but I am not going to cheap out.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:30 AM   #32
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Having a mechanical aptitude certainly does help. It may not be a requirement but people who have mechanical aptitude, already have attention to detail, an appreciation for good tooling, and troubleshooting skills if a problem crops up. People with mechanical aptitude can make Lee equipment work, lol. That's a joke, not trying to start a Lee war or upset anyone.

You should start with a single stage press. You can load 200 rounds in about 4 hours from scratch. You will learn procedure better and cheaper beginning this way. You will never outgrow a single stage press, they're just too useful. I like green but take your pick. I started single stage, bought a Dillon 550B, then another 550B and what happened with me was that I gravitated to only loading two calibers on the 550B which I shot the most of. I sold off the the extra caliber conversions and went back to the single stage for all but the two calibers. I just like the greater control of the single stage over the progressive and I am very mechanically inclined. I use the single stage more than ever still, and this into my fourth decade of reloading. I;m not saying you have to follow the path I did, only that single stage puts out the best ammo and if you think you may appreciate that, start single stage. BTW, I can load about 3 to 4 hundred per hour on the 550's FYI. A comfortable speed and not hurrying.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:40 AM   #33
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njsportsman, I am also looking at getting into reloading and I don't think any newbe can call himself a handloader until he gets some experience, just like someone taking up a trade.

I have been doing a lot of reading on forums and at first I was going to start with a Dillon 650. After reading a lot of posts I decide a turret press would be better to start and grow on. I can use it like a single until I get experience, have the capability to load faster with experience and also load rifle rounds.

The main reason that I am buying one now is because of the price of 45 colt and the availability of ammo. I don't shoot more than 200 rounds a month so it will take awhile to pay for itself if ever. That's the reason I choose the Lee Classic Turret Kit from Midway for $194.99 to start with. They are on backorder now so until I get it I will be reading The ABC's of reloading, Lyman #49 and Modern Reloading by richard Lee, it comes in the kit. Also I will keep reading this forum.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:26 AM   #34
Brian Pfleuger
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njsportsman,

Don't let our tendency toward esoterica get you down.

You'll do fine. A great many of us appreciate your willingness to ask for our help.

I want to point out that spending a lot of money isn't necessarily "buying the best" and spending less isn't necessarily "cheaping out".

Take a read through this PDF for a good comparison of a few of the most popular progressive presses.
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:09 PM   #35
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I started on a single stage and still use it. I work in stages, after tumbling I deprime and resize then into the bin for storage after inspecting cases always.

When I'm ready to load, I count out what I'm going to load while inspecting again. Prime all of them, charge with powder seat bullet and crimp.
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:19 PM   #36
BigJimP
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You don't need to start on a single stage.../ you can learn very safely on a good progressive machine - especially if you have a mentor in your area to give you a few hints - or by relying on good customer support like Dillon provides on their machines.

Every progressive machine can virtually be used as if it were a single stage ...helping you go thru what each die ..and each step does on the machine.

We used to use slide rules too - before we had scientific calculators in the early 70's ....but I doubt that people go thru slide rule classes like we did in the early 70's before we had those calculators.../ and the Fortran IV punch cards that some of us stayed in our computer labs forever - going thru our programs ..vs today with Windows 7 or whatever you choose to use...

I have a grandson that is studying to be a chemist...and he doesn't have to do it like we did it, in the late 60's ( he has some new tools )...
---------------
Reloading is no different...I used single stages in the 50's and 60's when I started reloading at my grandpa's bench..../ but this morning, at my bench, I easily loaded about 500 rds of 9mm on my Dillon 650 with a casefeeder..in about 40 minutes...( I'm not going back to a rockchucker anytime soon ...or slide rules...)....heck I even use hydraulic MEC loaders for my shotshells too...
------------
and cops used to carry whistles....but they might have sophisticated communications equipment now ...or even cell phones...

and my uncle carried a revolver as a sheriff in the 50's and 60's ...becuase you can't trust those semi-auto handguns ...like he carried in WWII / and 1911's don't jam every time you shoot them now....etc...etc....
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:26 PM   #37
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It seems unlike other manufactures RCBS, LEE etc.. you cannot buy Dillon presses from anyone else but dillon is that the case?
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:48 PM   #38
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No, you can buy Dillon presses a lot of places...they have dealers...in fact they have one big retail dealer in my area...but they aren't cheaper than buying from Dillon direct. Brian Enos - website ...used to sell them as well / Brian is a big time copetition shooter...and he might discount them a little...

There is no reason not to buy from Dillon....in my opinion.

In my opinion, focus on the press you want.../ not on the deal.../ not everything is about where to buy something the cheapest..../ buy it from folks that know what they're doing and you'll be a lot better off.
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Old February 10, 2013, 07:10 PM   #39
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The rockchucker supreme is a really good set-up to help you get started. Be prepared to spend 3-4 times the cost to get properly equipped so that you stand a better chance of enjoying to reload your own ammunition, especially if you are planning on reloading multiple calibers.
The cost estimate that I am talking about includes brass, powder, multiple die sets for the common calibers such as 5.56, 9mm, 45acp and maybe 6.8 or 308. If you use any military brass, you will need a tool like the dillon super swager to remove the primer crimp...I believe in the buy once, cry once method of acquiring stuff. I like to spend the extra dollars to buy the tools to make reloading enjoyable, and I think that you will realize that you need more tools than what you get with the $350 rockchucker supreme kit.
Right now, it is difficult to locate primers and powder, and you will find it worthwhile to stock up a bit when the components become available so you can go shooting when you want to without waiting on inventory to become available, this of course increases the start-up costs that you have to consider when thinking about starting to reload.
No matter the cost, reloading is very satisfying. Another bonus to reloading is that you will probably end up shooting more often, so don't start reloading thinking that you are going to save money. Over the long run, you will shoot more, spend more money, and no doubt you will improve your shooting skills. What's not to like about reloading?
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:29 PM   #40
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I may have missed it in all the comments, however, in addition to the dies, you need a shell holder for different cartridges. Some of the Lee die sets include the shell holder, otherwise you get them separately for 6-10 bucks each.

Assuming you get a Rockchucker, you can prime cases on press. However, consider that it is much slower to do it that way, instead of using a tool such as the Lee Autoprime, or RCBS Universal tool.

For straight case pistol brass, get Carbide dies to avoid having to lube the cases. Bottle neck rifle brass needs to be lubed prior to sizing (even if the die set says carbide).

You say you may be loading hundreds. Consider your time. You may average 50 rounds per hour, using batch processing and the single stage press. By Batch processing I mean: lube brass (if necessary - see above), size/deprime all your brass, then prime all of them, then measure powder for each, then seat bullet, then crimp. You can seat/crimp in the same step, but most folks like to do that in two steps.

Read the books first. Several have good reloading sections in them, e.g. Lyman, Lee, Speer, ABCs of reloading, etc.

Welcome to the reloading world. And - ask questions.

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Old February 11, 2013, 08:47 AM   #41
Brian Pfleuger
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6-10 bucks each?! You buying solid gold shell holders, Mike?

$27 for a set of 11.
http://www.cabelas.com/reloading-lee...lder-set.shtml
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Old February 11, 2013, 07:53 PM   #42
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There is a nice compromise between a single stage and progressive. The Lee classic turret press will load close to three times faster than a SS and half of a Dillon 550. If 175 to200 rounds per hour will meet your needs then you might want to take a look at the CT. The only thing I don't like about the Dillon square deal is the proprietary dies. I would save for the 550 if you think you reload rifle at some point down the road.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:38 PM   #43
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I don't even know what a rockchucker is, yet I am a reloader. I've been using my Lee three hole press for about 15 years. I only do pistol rounds and I use tire weights for my bullets. I can't imagine a better machine. The primer setup does leave a little to be desired. Therefore, I recently got the Lee Auto Prime. So I had to get the shell holder with it. Auto Prime and shell holder for less than 50 bucks. It works great but it means that I have to run the shells through twice to de-cap first. I keep it all lubed and clean and after 15 years, it works great. Lee stuff is great.

Richard L.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:50 PM   #44
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fshfindr, RockChucker

fshfindr, a Rockchucker is a very strong and very well reputed single stage press built by RCBS. Kind of a standard in the reloading arena.

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Old February 23, 2013, 08:22 AM   #45
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fshfindr - Congrats on your first post and welcome to the forum.
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Old February 23, 2013, 08:34 AM   #46
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The most accurate ammo I know of is all reloaded on single stage, rigid, slow but very repeatable presses. There's one old RCBS A2 (circa 1961, grandfather of the Rockchucker series) that's been used to reload most of the 30 and 26 caliber ammo used by a family of 4 to win more matches and set more records than any other group of 4 known to me.

Depending on ones objectives for the ammo they reload, any one make and model of dozens of presses and dies will do just fine for them.
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Old February 24, 2013, 12:34 PM   #47
fshfindr
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Lost Sheep and Flash Hole, Though I've been reloading a long time, but I've sorta been in a tunnel. None of my friends reload and I just found this forum. I was having trouble getting tire weights and started looking on the puter. I had a very large supply and recently ran out. I did not think it would be a problem getting more lead. Now it seems that the gov. has gotten into it and the tire dealers are only allowed to give the weights to recyclers. I tried to tell them that I would recycle it but they said they were under orders to sell only to their battery dealer. Yesterday I did the unthinkable and ordered lead (that I had to pay for) on the internet. That is the first time that I have ever paid any more than a bottle of my home made wine or a case of beer for lead.

Richard L.
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:07 PM   #48
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Same regulations here in NY. A buddy of mine recently brought me a 1/2 full 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights from Massachusetts of all places. I'm down to about 30 pounds of lead. I cast bullets for my handgun and will likely get a mold for my 45-70 too.
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:03 PM   #49
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Sorry not to hijack here.

If you get buckets of WW. Save the zinc, and steel weights. Offer to trade them to some of the places. They still have a bucket of weights to send to the recycler.
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