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Old September 5, 2012, 11:10 AM   #1
ragwd
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How much do you process ?

Howdy, thanks for taking the time to read my thread. I am currently reloading 9mm. I have a variety or bullets to load, mostly Berrys rn (1000) and Horandy xtps (500) and a few hundred of others. So im looking at roughly 2000 reloads. I have processed them up to and including primers. Pretty boring doing the same thing 2000 times before moving on to next step. Does anyone else do large amounts, one step at a time? Or do you do samller batches? I know what loads I want for each bullet so I will go ahead and finish loading them at say batches of 300, now that Im at the powder throw step. I know I really need to invest in a Dillon650b, thats next year. Just wondering what size batches you guys run at a time.
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Old September 5, 2012, 11:17 AM   #2
Woody55
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I have a single stage press and usually do 200 or so at a time. I may break portions of the process down to 50 or 80. For example, starting with 240 pistol cases with primers, I might put powder in 80 and then put the bullets in before turning back to the remaining 160.

It's kind of like when you were made to write "I will not . . ." in school. You may write sentences, words in column or part of both. Or even play with patterns. It can get boring.

In any event, things are usually done in multiples of 50 or 80 or combinations thereof because that's how many cartridge cases my holders will handle.
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Old September 5, 2012, 11:55 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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I use a Lee Classic turret, I don't do batches. I go from empty, unprimed brass to a complete loaded round in somewhere between 2 and 4 pulls of the handle.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:07 PM   #4
ragwd
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Woody, thats funny "I will not talk in study hall" about a million times in 8th grade. Brian, yea im all jealous, my dillon will be next year. Then batches will be a thing of the past, except for bottle nose cartridges.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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Deprime pistol brass on drill press (other brass is deprimed with Lee Unversal decapping die).

Wet tumble with stainless steel pins.

Sort by head stamp - 200 pieces per Ziplock bag - and store until ready to load.

Will prime, with handheld RCBS, before loading (never know when I may want to try a different primer make, so I hold off on priming before storing.)

Batch load with single stage.

Testing ladders are generally 35 to 42 rounds.

Confirmed loads are generally built in 200 round increments; i.e., 200/400/600/800.., or until the bullets are gone.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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100 to 200 at a time. My storage boxes are all 100 cartridges so convenient to do them this way... Also never mix the brass from box to box. What goes into the box is the same that came out of the box. Keep track of number of reloads that way. I only tumble now when I feel the cases need it.

BTW this is with revolver cartridges... Rarely have to load any rifle.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:15 PM   #7
Mike / Tx
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Then batches will be a thing of the past, except for bottle nose cartridges.
Naaaa, they just get bigger, that's all.

I load using a batch method of sorts. When I get a bucket full of cases in a particular caliber, I will run them through the sizer and deprime them all. Then I will randomly pull out 25 or so and check the length. If the majority are long they all get trimmed to the shortest I find, if they are still within .002 (+/-.002) of where I trimmed them to in the first place, then I will finish up by throwing them all into the case tumbler again. Once they have been there a second time they are ready for primers, powder, and bullets.

When I get ready I either load a hundred or so with my single stage, or I load 500 or more with the progressive. It depends on what caliber and loads I am using at he time.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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When I loaded everything on a single stage press, my limiting factor in batch size was the step between charging the case and seating the bullet. You would think that it would be simple to expand the batch size by getting more case blocks, and I tried that. But for some reason the physical constraints of the small reloading space limited the batches to around 200 or so, anything more and the spilled powder wasn't worth it. I suppose I could have got a folding table to organize the filled blocks, but I just bought a progressive instead.
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Griz. I never 'fill' all the cases before moving to seat and crimp. I dump powder to a case, eye-ball (or randomly test on scale), seat bullet, and crimp it. In the box it goes. All I have is a single stage press.
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:24 PM   #10
ragwd
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Thanks for all the input guys, seems as we all have a well oiled routine. Ive only been at this for about 2 years so im still evolving. Serf, like the stainless rods idea for tumbling, where di you dig those up?
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:49 PM   #11
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Years ago, I did batches of 100. The number of primers in a pack.

I doubt I will ever go back to a single stage press since I only load pistol ammo now. Yes, a Dillon will make short work of pistol ammo. It gives you plenty of ammo for range trips. Every order of components is harder now since I am buying bulk rather then small amounts. It does lower the cost of each round loaded. A progressive will have you filling the shelves in no time as long as you don't run out of anything. I have trouble thinking of loading most rifle ammo on anything besides a single stage.
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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I tried loading pistol rounds on a single stage press but could not learn the patience to handle the slow pace. 50 at a time was all I could mustard up to do at a time.

Good luck
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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I typically have 100-250 cases in a particular "generation" of reloading. IOW once new Starline .357 Magnum cases that have been reloaded 3 time already. Once an entire generation has been fired, I clean, deprime & size, then bell and put 'em back in the jar. That way they'll be almost 1/2 way done when I decide on primer, bullet & powder. Then I complete assembly in batches anywhere from 50 to 200, depending on whether or not I have complete confidence in that particular load.
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Old September 5, 2012, 11:24 PM   #14
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I have a tupperware container filled with sized and primed brass, when I feel the need I will load up 100 (lee turret press).... I dont think I have ever done more than 100 at a sitting.... It takes extra time because my 3 year old likes to "help" which is great for about the first 5-10, but then after that she is stacking and counting cases and bullets, so I then have to reach around her to get to them....
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Old September 6, 2012, 01:40 AM   #15
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Unless I am working with the progressive, I run things in 1-2 box quantities. So, it's usually 20-50 rounds for rifle cartridges and 50-100 rounds for revolvers.


However... there was a time when I only had a single stage. At that time, I liked to have brass sized, primed, and ready to be loaded, to allow for more productive loading sessions when time was limited.
I once sat there, operating the press handle 3,800 times in a row, to decap and size 9mm range pickup brass. It was a dumb idea, and my body made me regret it. I don't think I set foot in the reloading room for about 4 months, after that....
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Old September 6, 2012, 05:20 AM   #16
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I usually have brass all prepped except priming. Then when I get a chance I will do a batch of 50 to100. All on a single stage.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:40 AM   #17
ragwd
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Well i guess there is a consensus on much smaller lots than what I am attempting. I just thought if I put 2000 on the shelf I could put away my 9mm dies for a few years. Then concentrate on what i really shoot....45acp and 223/5.56. Thanks again guys. I come here daily to read what you guys are up to.
Gar
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Old September 6, 2012, 10:09 AM   #18
DJK Frank 16
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I do them in batches of 200 or so a sitting as well. I use a Lee Classic Turret as well.
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Old September 6, 2012, 10:30 AM   #19
GWS
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I go along with what most guys are saying to you. But there is a another stop-gap option for you if you are going to continue to want to load a crap-load of 9mm, and you're not ready for your Dillon yet.

That would be a Lee pro 1000. Never owned one myself, having gone directly to the sweet RCBS Pro 2000, after doing small batches for 40 years on a Rock Chucker.

A good friend of mine did though, and I helped him set it up and tune it to load 9mm. It does a great job on one caliber as long as you watch powder levels carefully. Of course that advice goes for any other press too, but with the Lee's limited number of stations, there's no room for fancy stuff like powder cops.

Anyway if you were to go to Graf's and buy a 9mm version of the Pro 1000 for a whole $167. (that includes a die set and powder measure) You can load your stash, one quality round finished per pull of the handle, just as fast as a Dillon (or RCBS Pro 2000 for that matter). Really hard to beat the value.

Of course I'm not saying you give up your goal of a Dillon......I believe I mentioned, "stop-gap." I'll be honest with you, after 40 years of doing it the slow way.....I don't know why in hell, I didn't buy a progressive sooner.

BTW, my friend hasn't moved up to a "spensive" machine yet. He decided he wanted to load .45 too so he bought another Lee Pro 1000! Up to that time he was loading his .45 on another friend's little used Dillon 650. I Gotta say, I'm a little jealous....he walks in and loads a l000 rounds...no changing caliber setup, just a little cleaning when he's done, so it's ready for the next time he walks in. Did he ever have trouble? Yup, when he let a couple of bolts loosen up once, and when he tried to use Winchester primers. We found a tip on the internet that said that Lees feed CCI's like water......and you know what? They do, as long as you keep a little graphite sprayed into a clean primer drop tube.

Of course you can do the same thing (multiple presses) with Dillons and some do.....but not for the price of ONE.
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Last edited by GWS; September 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:05 PM   #20
Edward429451
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When I load single stage on my Rockchucker I load in batches of 10, 20. 40. 50. 100, 150. or 200. Depends on what I'm loading. I can load 200 rounds single stage in about 4 hours from scratch, starting with depriming.
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Old September 7, 2012, 12:20 AM   #21
Marco Califo
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100's

100 primers in a tray,
100 bullets in a box,
therefore, 100 is a good size for plastic ammo boxes (rifle and pistol).
Yes, I do batches up to dropping powder. All these steps can be done with the TV on. Then I have boxes of 100 primed cases ready to go, and I concentrate on working up through the powders loading range. At my range some people mount a powder measure to their shooting bench. I may try that soon, and it will be handy to have primed cases ready to go.
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Old September 7, 2012, 04:29 AM   #22
FrankenMauser
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Well i guess there is a consensus on much smaller lots than what I am attempting. I just thought if I put 2000 on the shelf I could put away my 9mm dies for a few years. Then concentrate on what i really shoot....45acp and 223/5.56. Thanks again guys. I come here daily to read what you guys are up to.
Gar
On a single stage press, I used to run 9mm in 100-300 round lots for established loads, or 50-100 round lots for test loads.

Now, of course, I have a progressive press for that. I generally run 300-500 at a time, but 1,000+ is not unheard of.

Don't worry about the numbers. Just load 9mm until you start getting a little tired of it. Then move on to something else. Don't go too far with the 9mm, or you'll burn yourself out on all reloading. Just move on to something else when you start wishing you weren't loading 9mm. The progressive press will come in due time.
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Old September 7, 2012, 10:35 PM   #23
ragwd
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After all the posts, I have decided to buy a lee classic turret rather than finish saving for my dillon 650. Such a price difference, I know, I know, you get what you paid for but lee doesnt look shabby. Then I wont be processing large batches at a time. Thanks again for all the input.
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Old September 7, 2012, 11:42 PM   #24
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When I load I usually do as many as I can fit in my loading blocks which is 250. Most all of my brass has already been sized, primed, and belled and ready to load though.
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Old September 8, 2012, 02:58 PM   #25
GWS
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Quote:
After all the posts, I have decided to buy a lee classic turret rather than finish saving for my dillon 650. Such a price difference, I know, I know, you get what you paid for but lee doesnt look shabby. Then I wont be processing large batches at a time. Thanks again for all the input.
I wouldn't apologize for that purchase. Good quality press....may even buy one myself someday (in addition to the Rock Chucker and Pro 2000). It's certainly not a progressive, but it can load 'em faster than a single. In my mind's eye, it might be just the ticket, to have a few heads ready to load the rifle calibers I don't shoot every day.

That said, I wouldn't give up on the idea of a progressive to go with it in a year or two or three.
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