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Old January 17, 2012, 09:57 PM   #1
darkman
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Reloading..........

I have finally come to the conclusion that I will reload. I want to reload: 9mm, .45, .223 and .308. I want a progressive loader. Other than that...........I would appreciate any suggestions. Let me qualify by saying quality is a must.....and I envision that every time I pull down on the handle..........a cartridge goes in the tray. Thank you for you time and suggestions in advance.
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:10 PM   #2
mdd
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If you have never reloaded before, I would strongly suggest you start with a single stage press. Yes, it is slower. The advantage is that you will have all your attention focused on one step at a time. Truth be told I still feel that my single stage turns out better, more consistent rounds. Always seem to have a slight variation in powder from the slide bar in the dillon progressive I use. That is not the case when I use the single stage because I get to see exactly what every single powder charge weighs. This will likely get moved to the reloading forum soon. I am in central KS and can help you get started if you are anywhere close.
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:16 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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I would suggest going with a Lee Classic turret press. It's not as fast as a progressive but faster than a single stage while still allowing full attention to be paid to each step rather than having 4 or 5 things happening at once.

Get The ABCs of Reloading and read it through. Get a reloading manual at the same time and read it through.

Read the sticky thread at the top of this forum too.
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:28 PM   #4
tobnpr
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I have high volume to load, so I started with a progressive press (Hornday LNL). As I did, you can start out as slow as you like, just like a single stage press, and monitor/check every step of the loading operation, no different than a single stage.

There seems to be some misconception that a progressive press can be run at only one speed, full-out, and that's just not the case. It can be run just like a single stage.

When you have learned what you're doing, and are familiar and comfortable with the equipment, run it as a progressive- a cartridge in the tray every time you pull the handle

If you ultimately want a progressive, buy once, cry once, and get it now...
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:36 PM   #5
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^^^^^^^^^
This
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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"Search this forum" Top right corner on forum main page.
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Old January 18, 2012, 07:26 AM   #7
savagelover
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I would suggest that you find someone local that reloads and go and watch them load a few rounds.Perhaps even ask them to let you give it a try befor investing any money..You might not even want to do it after haveing a hands on day or more..Reloading is not for everyone..
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Old January 18, 2012, 08:14 AM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
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I have a Dillon 550b and it works for me. I wouldn't suggest going to a full progressive like the Dillon 650 for a first press. I can still produce a lot of ammo per hour. Dillon might not be one of the cheaper presses around, but it is one of the better ones. I do use it more like a single stage when working up loads. The 550b will allow you to load pistol and rifle ammo.
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Old January 18, 2012, 08:48 AM   #9
GlenF
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darkman

I live in Lawrence Kansas, and like mdd I would be happy to help.

I have a Dillon RL550B which would certainly get you started on your quest.
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Old January 18, 2012, 08:59 AM   #10
wncchester
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Dillon 650.
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Old January 18, 2012, 08:54 PM   #11
sserdlihc
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Start off by reading several reloading books and reloading manuals.
ABC's of reloading and Modern reloading to name a few. Finding someone that can mentor you would be a great start too.
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Old January 18, 2012, 09:34 PM   #12
Edward429451
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I think that a very strong single stage press like the Rockchucker should be the foundation of the reloading room. It's just too good of a press and useful for so many different things.

Go ahead and get that progressive press if it strikes your fancy, just don't overlook the single stage. Suppose you get a progressive press and then decide that it'd be nice to decap seperately so all that junk don't get all over it while you're loading?

I have two single stage presses, and two Dillon 550B's. I load for 45, .223, .308 and others. I used to load .308's on the 550B but have since decided that I like to load it single stage better than on the Dillon. Don't ask why, I'm not sure myself.

You can slow down loading on the progressive, but that doesn't make it a single stage press. True single stage presses are very handy to have and very versatile.
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Old January 18, 2012, 10:34 PM   #13
rbf420
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For me the Turret is the way to go. I guess I have personal conflicts with a progressive.

It gives me enough speed, aprox. 50 pistol rounds in 10-15min, and plenty of control over the loads.

It seems to me that one of the major points of possible danger is the powder stage. I have my press set up so that the powder stage is clearly separate so i can focus the utmost attention. I have to manually take the sized/primed/flared case put it under the rcbs uniflow crank it watch the powder go in and then after, check to make sure the powder is there and is at the same level as the previous case, before i place the bullet on it and seat it. if there is any doubt about not putting powder in from being distracted i place it in a pile to be pulled down.

This guarantees, for me, that my powder charges are correct, eliminating double charges or squids, which from my understanding are probably the biggest factors in blown up guns.

Personally I'd rather take my time and be sure.
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Old January 18, 2012, 10:54 PM   #14
rtpzwms
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Quote:
You can slow down loading on the progressive, but that doesn't make it a single stage press. True single stage presses are very handy to have and very versatile.
I've had single stage, turrets and now progressive presses. if you only put a single dye in a progressive press isn't it the same as a single stage press? The Hornady LNL AP its very easy to do this. No matter what you do a single stage can NEVER keep up with the progressives so that gives the edge to the progressives.

With the turret you can switch to a different caliber quicker than most progressive presses and still operate them as a single stage press as well.

Single stage presses do make good de-primers fast and easy. They do other things well, but should not be the only way to start reloading.

I think the best advice is to guess what your use for this will be for at least the next 5 years and buy accordingly. If your starting in with shooting and working on a limited budget then the single stage will be cheapest and might be your choice. But after doing this for nearly 30 years the best advice I can give is to buy a press like we tell everyone who is looking for a safe. Buy the best you can afford and buy bigger than you think you need or you will be buying again.
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Old January 18, 2012, 11:37 PM   #15
dacaur
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Its going to take a LOT of rounds to recoup the cost of a progressive press if thats all you are going to load.... 9mm and .223 are basicaly a wash as far as saving money, .308 is better but still not that good... I suggest you get into some more expensive calibers before investing in a progressive
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Old January 19, 2012, 12:13 AM   #16
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I wouldn't suggest going to a full progressive like the Dillon 650 for a first press.
Better than a 550, if one is a novice and insists on a progressive a non auto-indexing press like the 550 is likely to cause more trouble with double charge and squib possibilities.
I'm not saying one should, I think a person should do a lot of research before deciding on spending cash for any reloading equipment, first.
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Old January 19, 2012, 12:26 AM   #17
Jammer Six
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I started with a Dillon Square Deal, and am still with it.

Wouldn't start with a single stage.

Read The ABCs of Reloading, twice.

I'd go with Dillon.

Have fun!
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Old January 19, 2012, 10:07 AM   #18
darkman
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Food for thought...

Gentlemen
Much food for thought here. I know reloading is serious business and I will proceed cautiously. My thanks for all your input on this subject. Since posting I found out that one of the local gun shops has a class for beginning reloaders. I am looking forward to this journey.
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Old January 19, 2012, 10:14 AM   #19
wncchester
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"I started with a Dillon Square Deal, and am still with it."

The OP wants to reload for two handgun and two rifle cartridges. How well would the Square Deal work with that?
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Old January 19, 2012, 05:26 PM   #20
dead bird
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=1 dillon 650
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Old January 20, 2012, 02:26 PM   #21
Goldy
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Quote:
Let me qualify by saying quality is a must
I have a Dillon 450 I bought in the 80's. It's probably loaded close to a half million rounds. Still tight and flawless.

In the 90's I loaded some .223 for prarie dogs. Last year the wife took second at a bigger benchrest match with the same ammo.

Support from Dillon is excellent.

For smaller batches you really should have a single stage.
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Old January 20, 2012, 04:11 PM   #22
dmazur
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Quote:
I have a Dillon 550b and it works for me.
Another 550b user here.

Versatile, and much faster than a single stage.

The locator buttons remove easily and allow access to any stage for adjustments without worrying about the shellplate taking off and moving the case to the next station.

I've found that if I take my time and watch what I'm doing, I just don't have to worry about double charges or lack of charge. And if I check the powder measure throw after every box, I'm confident the actual charge isn't drifting.

With the 550b, you index, place a bullet on top of the charged case at Station 3, place an empty case at Station 1, then pull the handle. Push back to seat the primer, which has a surprising amount of "feel" as nothing else is going on during that motion but primer seating. Then you're back to "index" again. If you have a momentary lapse and forget to index, you'll try to place a bullet on top of a bullet / insert a case in Station 1 when it's not empty. So charging twice is really, really hard to do unless you're trying to set a speed record / half asleep / etc. If you somehow index twice, you'll notice a blank spot at Station 2, right in front, where a resized case is supposed to be. And, if you do like I do and look in the case, you'll notice the case at Station 3 has no powder. So not charging at all is also visually obvious.

IMO, all reloading requires attention to detail. I've read of folks using single stage presses who managed to create double charges and squibs. Error in process, somewhere. And yet they were using a "safe" single stage press.

A single stage press won't guarantee safety any more than a progressive press will guarantee an accident. You've probably read it in other threads about gun safeties, but it also applies to reloading: "The safety is between your ears."
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Old January 20, 2012, 04:28 PM   #23
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Its going to take a LOT of rounds to recoup the cost of a progressive press if thats all you are going to load.... 9mm and .223 are basicaly a wash as far as saving money,
If you can't reload those for at least half of what cheap factory cost then you are buying the wrong quantities at the wrong place.
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Old January 20, 2012, 11:04 PM   #24
greentick
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If you feel the need to do some single stage to familiarize yourself get a Lee hand press and do 9mm on it.

I went from the handpress doing 10mm for about a year to a 550B (in 1994).

The best way to defer those startup costs is get someone to buy it for you for Christmas. If I could have afforded it at the time I would have went straight to the 550. But back then we didn't have the internet. I read the speer reloading manual a couple of times until familiar and then just went slow as I gained familiarity. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

I do a few pistol and a few rifle calibers on the 550. Very easy to work with.
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Old January 21, 2012, 01:56 AM   #25
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I've been reloading mostly handguns and some 30.06 for about 18 months now after a 30 year layoff. I started with a Lee Classic turret press and had a fair few squib loads with 9mm rounds at first.

I don't believe there was anything wrong with the press, just my ability to use it effectively. So, I removed the turret indexing rod, and used the Lee as a single stage press until just after Christmas as my family bought me a Hornady Lock n Load.

I'm very happy I started with the Lee. It gave me the opportunity to get comfortable and competent enough to actually feel safe using a progressive press. I can now load much faster, but I don't feel I'm pushing the envelope of my abilities either.

I'm planning to keep both presses. I see the Hornady a a "production" machine... Once set up it will crank out some rounds. But for load developement, I'm still the most comfortable with my simple Lee, and loading a a few rounds with varying powders, charges, crimps or bullets, the Lee is still great to use.

But, I'm loving the Hornady.... I loaded 500 9mm, 300 .38 special and 200 .45 ACP in 2 evenings this week after spending the past few weekend setting up the various calibers and tweaking the quick connectors. It's not perfect, but it's an ammo producer !
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