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Old November 2, 2011, 10:37 AM   #1
coltonjdavis
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Opinion for reloading

I will be a new reloader never done it before but I really want to get into doing it myself. I am looking to buy one but I dont know what to get. I plan on reloading 7.62x39, .45acp, .40 S&W, and shotgun shells. What would you experts suggest?
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Old November 2, 2011, 10:49 AM   #2
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There's a sticky at the top, please check that out for great information. Get a copy of a book called The ABCs of Reloading, very comprehensive book on the topic.

To suggest equipment the experts would need to know the amount of ammo you plan on using in a given time frame.

And shotshell reloading requires a totally different press.
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Old November 2, 2011, 11:01 AM   #3
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All the manuals have large sections explaining basic reloading procedures. Get a copy of Lyman #49 as its section ifs very good.

As far as the ABCs of Reloading. The current edition (#10?) is poor. The previous edition is much better.
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Old November 2, 2011, 11:01 AM   #4
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Most people will seem to recomend a single stage press, I would recomend the Dillon 550 because it indexes manually so you can go slow at first to see what is going on and pay attention during the process. http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...atid/1/RL_550B

Just do your research on what people recomend and pick which one you think will works best for you. I was told by everyone to start with a single stage so that is what I did but grew tired of it because it takes so long to produce ammo. With a single stage you have to change dies for each stage so for 100 rounds of ammo you have pulled the handle at least 300 times, and for the same amount on the dillon you only will have pulled the handle about 104.



For shotgun you will need a different press. I can't recomend here because I know nothing about loading those.
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Old November 2, 2011, 11:47 AM   #5
coltonjdavis
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Thanks for all of your help so far. I have heard lots about the Dillon 550 and the Dillon 650 from people around town. I think I may go with the 550. I plan on picking up the ABCs book up on the way home tonight.
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Old November 2, 2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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I reload for x39, 30-06, 9mm, 45 and 223.

Highly recommend you start with 45acp. No trimming, just resize and go. Wide case allows you to see powder charge.

A note about x39. If you plan to do it for a bolt gun, no worries. But if this is for an autoloader, keep in mind reloadable brass is pretty hard to find, and then you have to pick them all up again among the myriad other calibers on the floor at the range...a real PITA.

Shotshells require a totally different press, a whole other animal. Skip it for now.

Pay close CLOSE attention to your OAL and powder charges with 40 and 9mm. Case volume isn't that much and it's very easy to make them too hot. Always start at the bottom of the load range.

Again, start with 45 then 9mm and 40 a couple months later.
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Old November 2, 2011, 12:18 PM   #7
coltonjdavis
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45 is what I will be starting with because its my gun of choice right now. Whats your suggestion for the press I should get?
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Old November 2, 2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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My suggestion is to go with a Dillon 650 ....and the reason is the Dillon SDB and the 550 do not allow for the installation of a powder check.

I think these days ....especially where you run high volumes of cartridges ...and with minimum's being at say 4.1 grains ...and max at 4.4 grains --- the spread is very narrow / and I like a press that gives you that extra margin of safety - that your powder drop is right on.

Its not that you can't load good ammo with a 550 ...but your eyes / using mirrors to look into cases, etc ...you are not going to see a drop of 4.1 vs 4.4 grains ..and you won't know that its varying ...where a powder drop die will tell you that.

So I say go with a press that has that option ....Dillon 650 or Hornady LNL, etc... not the Dillon 550.
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Old November 2, 2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Thank you. Like I said I have been very confused on what to get and none of my buddies do any reloading around here. So I am just trying to get the best knowledge I can as I am completely in the dark.
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Old November 2, 2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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Can you use "standard" dies in a Dillon press?
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:33 PM   #11
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Yes, you can use standard dies in a Dillon press with the exception of the Square Deal B press. The SDB uses special dies made only for it.
As stated above we need to know how many rounds you will be reloading before we can make a recommendation on the type of press to start with. There is no reason to buy a XL 650 if you will only be loading a few hundred rounds a month.
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:38 PM   #12
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Sorry I read over that. I will be reloading anywhere from 250-500 every month for each caliber listed above.
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
The current edition (#10?) is poor
Thats being too kind. I have #7 and thinking # 10 would be a wise buy and that was a waste of money. Use it as the old Sears catalogs were used in the old out house.
Lee's second addition book was worth the money. Only problem shipping was as much as the book.
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Old November 2, 2011, 02:37 PM   #14
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When you get to the point you want to start reloading shotgun shells, you will need a different press - something like a used MEC Jr. will work for about $75, plus components

Both Hodgdon and Alliant have reloading recipes
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Old November 2, 2011, 03:13 PM   #15
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The XL 650 with case feeder can load 1000 rounds or more per hour. It is not uncommon for me to load 500 of one caliber switch to another caliber load 500, then switch to a third caliber and load yet another 500, all in one Saturday afternoon. I would not recommend the 650 for rifle ammunition, the 550 is better for that, but for medium to large quantities of handgun ammo the 650 can not be beat. I use, a Lyman T-Mag 2 for working up loads (and odd jobs) and a RCBS Ammomaster for large rifle ammo. I think it is wise to have a single stage or turret press in addition to a progressive. So it might be a good idea to learn reloading on one, you will always have a need for it.
It cost as much to load shotgun shells as it does to buy them at sale prices. Thus the only advantage reloading them gives you is the ability to custom/tailor load for your gun.
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Old November 2, 2011, 03:46 PM   #16
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For the volumes you intend to reload, at 750 to 1500 rounds/month, you may need a progressive, such as the Dillon 650 or Hornady LNL; however, there are some advantages of a single stage or turret. The learning curve isn’t as steep on a single stage. This can easily be offset by learning on a progressive using it as a single stage press until you get the hang of the multiple operations.

The primary reason I would recommend starting with a single stage is the initial investment is significantly less than a progressive. If you load a few thousands rounds and decide reloading is not your thing, then your outlay didn’t break the piggy bank. If you load ten thousand and get the bug, then get the progressive. From my limited experience, it appears progressive press owners also have a single stage or turret on standby for “special” jobs.

I’ll echo the previous posts in recommending you study a few reloading manuals and the sticky at the top of the thread prior to purchasing your equipment.
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Old November 2, 2011, 04:42 PM   #17
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What would you suggest for a single stage reloader then for loading 250-500 rounds per month for .45 ACP?
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Old November 2, 2011, 05:13 PM   #18
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No, I wouldn't ...a single stage press will only process about 50 rds an hour ...and in my opinion, you introduce a lot more areas for human error with a single stage operation - vs a well maintained and well tuned progressive with auto indexing. An auto indexing progressive is not inherently dangerous ...you need to understand each stage any press goes thru whether you do it manually on a single stage or automatically on a progressive. I would only consider a single stage press on a caliber, like in a hunting rifle, where I might only shoot 100 rds a year or less / on handgun calibers - it would drive me nuts.

The Dillon 550 does not auto index either ...so another strike for it on that issue. And in my view, the Dillon 650 does as high a quality round for rifle calibers as does the 550.

The payback on a press ---even if you're only loading 200 rds a month is well within 2 yrs ...so make sure you're making a long term decision on a press..vs a short term decision.
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Old November 2, 2011, 05:24 PM   #19
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ON the other hand, I've loaded a lot of .45 ACP on a single stage press.

If I were to get back into shotshell reloading in a low-volume sort of way, I'd geet a Lee Load-All in whatever gauge I needed and be happy with that. It's a good low-cost way to get into shotshell reloading. I've had two and lost them both during moves, but they're fine little machines. I couldn't start to tell you how many shells I loaded on my old 12 gauge Load-All.

When I was big into competition, we used a Ponsness-Warren at the club house, which also cranked out a lot of shells, but I could never justify the expense at my own reloading bench. Other than the volume, I couldn't see any difference in the product, either.
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Old November 2, 2011, 06:02 PM   #20
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As have I - had a Dillon progressive for a while - like a jaguar - when it was precisely tuned and working right, it was nice - but when it tweaked - even a little, the downtime offset the time spent on a single

The way you make a single stage safe is doing things in batches - simple and safe
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Old November 2, 2011, 06:22 PM   #21
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Buy an inexpensive single-stage first. Then, as you progress, you can always get a progressive like my Dillion 550B. However, you will find a use for your single stage press, like decapping cases (with a universal decapping die), bullet pulling (with collet puller), development of rifle loads, etc. A single stage is adequate for most rifle rounds, but not so convenient for high count pistol hand loading.
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Old November 2, 2011, 06:32 PM   #22
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Lot's of good advice here. Your rounds which you want to load, beg for you to buy a progressive. These are harder to use safely. You know yourself. If you can take it slow at first, I would get a Dillon or better, IMO, a Hornady LNL.

If you need to take it slow, I would not consider it money wasted at all to buy an RCBS, Lee or Lyman single stage basic kit.
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Old November 2, 2011, 06:35 PM   #23
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I'd hold off on reloading shotgun shells at first, get used to pistol and rifle ammo and then venture out. That's just my opinion/ recommendation. RBCS rock chucker. Can't go wrong with it. That was what I started on and after buying 2 brand new expensive progressive presses, I am still using the Rock Chucker the majority of the time.

As far as dies, I like Lee. Again, this is only mu opinion... They are precise and well made. But the main reason I use Lee is for the Factory Crimp Dies. It is a whole separate die for just applying crimp as others the bullet seat/ crimp is in the same step.

Buy a bullet puller hammer.
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Old November 2, 2011, 06:57 PM   #24
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How about a turret?

Quote:
coltonjdavis
What would you suggest for a single stage reloader then for loading 250-500 rounds per month for .45 ACP?
I wouldn't suggest a single stage for that task. I would suggest splitting the difference between Single Stage and Progressive with an Auto-indexing Turret press.

You can use the Turret press EXACTLY as if it were a single stage if you want, very easily. Just don't turn the turret. (On the autoindexing turrets you remove a single part. Takes about 20 seconds and no tools. Putting it back takes about 30 seconds and no tools.) Then you do batch processing just like a single stage, but instead of changing dies, you just manually rotate the turret head one position.

But if you want to do continuous processing and go faster than 50-60 rounds per hour, use the auto-indexing feature. You can go 200 rounds per hour (I only do about 150, personally, but others are faster than I) that way.

Just a thought.

Check this thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=467019

the links in posts 14 and 17 take you to a lot of reading, so get a large mug of coffee or whatever you drink while you read and think, settle in and enjoy.

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Old November 2, 2011, 07:32 PM   #25
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Agree with Lost Sheep 100%

I have had a couple of Dillon 550's and am now about to sell my old 650, they are both outstanding machines IMHO. But as I wrote in a thread some months ago, since I no longer compete in IPSC competition anymore, where I was loading 5000+ rounds of .45 acp. per month, I did not need the volume. Rather, my needs turned to loading smaller batches of a wider variety of calibers. I ended up buying a Lee Classic Turret from Natchezz, for the Princley sum of $83, and have never been happier!! I can switch calibers in under thirty seconds, and the Turrets for each set of dies are less than $9 apiece. So now I have a seperate Turret for each caliber. It can be used in the "Auto Index" mode which gives a faster rate, or can be used as a true single stage. I know that there are some here who will blast me a little bit for not recommending a progressive unit to start with, but I think it makes sense for even a person who has been handloading for a long time if you do not need to crank out huge volumes of one caliber, but want to make say, a few hundred each of different cartriges. And the $ saved by buying a Lee Classic Turret will allow more dough to be spent on powder, primers bullets, etc. Also for me anyway, I get more joy out of a machine that is as elegently simple as the Lee Classic Turret. And like I said before, the inexpensive easily changed out turrets on the Lee allow you to switch calibers much much faster than any other system I am aware of. And the system is more versitile than any other also.

Of couse that is JMHO, and as always, YMMV.

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