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Old April 11, 2008, 12:39 PM   #1
Schmauser
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Join Date: April 11, 2008
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Getting Back Into Reloading - Need Advice

I used to reload pistol ammo about 15 years ago (9mm, .357 and .45). I had a Lee press that I purchased second hand from a friend with 3 or 4 holes in the plate for the dies. He also showed me enough basics to safely reload at that time. Most of that knowledge and the gear is long gone (I think I may still have the Lee dies) and I want to get back into reloading. The safe and proper way that is.

I would greatly appreciate some advice on gear, where to buy it and recommendations on books, tutorials or training. I will probably only reload around 4000-5000 rounds total per year in the following calibers.

8mm Mauser 500
.223 1500 (AR's, Mini-14)
.308 1000 (M1a, PTR91, Boltguns)
9mm 500
.40 500
.45 500


I figure I don't need a fancy press, but have seen 3 and 4 hole models where you can remove the turret plate for quick change outs. Beyond that I know I am way out of touch on the other gear that is needed.

Thanks in advance on any help you can provide.
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Old April 11, 2008, 02:27 PM   #2
tom234
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Since you will be reloading rife and pistol cartridges with considerable volume take a look at the progressive presses; Hornady LNL or Dillon RL550. Most likely you can use the dies you already have.
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Old April 11, 2008, 02:28 PM   #3
HDDeluxe
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I am very happy with the Lee Classic Turret Press. I use it for .45ACP, .357Mag, 38Spl, 32ACP. I really like the convenience of setting the dies in the replaceable turret plate. A different plate for each set of dies, set them once and then just quick change the plates. There may be more expensive systems out there, but they basically do the same thing. Good luck. Hope this helps.
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Old April 11, 2008, 02:51 PM   #4
M1911
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Get a Dillon 550.
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Old April 11, 2008, 04:40 PM   #5
BigJimP
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I'd recommend the Dillon equipment - you can check them out online at http://www.dillonprecision.com/ - but RCBS, Hornady, etc make good presses too.

The Dillon 550 or 650 will handle your needs - but for me, the deal breaker on a press, is to buy something with a powder check station in it, for a little extra security to make sure you have a good powder drop. In the Dillon lineup the 650 has it but the 550 does not.

Almost any press will easily meet your volume requirements / but speed isn't the biggest deal - its quality, safety and repeatability of the loads that I think is the most important. Dillon equipment does that as well, if not better, than most - and I think they're good guys to work with. I would recommend you buy the equipment straight from them unless you have a local shop that stocks it - then I would support your local gun shop. Dillon also has a good startup kit, vibrating cleaner, media - the other stuff you'll need. Lots of good books out there now too - although I like the Hodgdon books - and my primary powders are Hodgdon.

Last edited by BigJimP; April 11, 2008 at 04:41 PM. Reason: added info
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:46 AM   #6
Sevens
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Being that I've reloaded for 20 years, all single stage and not progressive (at least not progressive in metallic cartridges), can someone tell me if it really makes sense to do with a Dillon if half of your production is going to be bottle-neck rifle rounds?

Given all the case prep necessary, including primer pockets, trimming for length, case mouth chamfering and lubing the case body to keep from being stuck in the die, does it really make fiscal sense to load .223, .308 and 8x57 on an expensive progressive machine?

I wouldn't think so, but I'll keep an open mind. For 9, .40 and .45, I'm right there with you. I am quite sure that many pistol shooters wouldn't even possible consider loading handgun rounds with a slow single stage the way I do it, and I can see where they are coming from.
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Old April 12, 2008, 12:02 PM   #7
TexasSeaRay
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I have Dillon and Lee presses. For what you describe and where you're at, I'd highly recommend a Lee Classic Turret.

Only thing I foresee using my 550B for anymore will be 7.62x39 and .223. In fact, those two calibers are the only reason I'm keeping it.

I DO, however, like the Dillon 650 alot, but only with the case feeder. Lee's case feeder and collator (for about one zillionth of the cost of the Dillon case feeder) along with the Pro1000's auto-indexing has spoiled me forever.

I've never liked my 550B from the day I bought it. I finally boxed it back up and had it in my ammo closet for years and years. Recently unboxed it, set it back up, and I still don't like it.

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Old April 12, 2008, 01:31 PM   #8
CrustyFN
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I agree with TSR. The amount of ammo you listed isn't high volume at all if that's what you will shoot over the next year. The Lee classic turret press will load those calibers no problem. I like the classic turret because it's very fast and easy to change calibers. Takes about 15 seconds to change the turret,

and about 10 seconds to change from Sm to Lg primers.





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Old April 12, 2008, 04:24 PM   #9
DEDON45
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I'm a Hornady fan; if you want higher volume fast, get the LnL AP progressive. If you just want a good solid single stage press, with FAST die changes, get the LnL Single Stage. The bushing system that these use makes caliber changes fast in either system.

If you don't like the Red presses (do consider the free bullet offer they're running on them, same warranty as the Dillon), Dillon 550 or 650, or Lyman (a buddy of mine has an older Lyman turret press he inherited from his dad, there's been thousands and thousands of rounds loaded on it, still works fine), RCBS... they're all good. I'm not a big fan of Lee, though I started with their equipment... any of the others would be a good choice, though I like the Hornady stuff. If you are on a very tight budget, well, the Lee would work, the turret or single stage presses they have are OK... beware of the progressives they make, though.

I might also add, if you can, if you have any friends / acquantances that reload, see how they use their equipment. Youtube also has some vids of Lee, Dillon, and Hornady presses in action (probably others too, I've just seen those so far).
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