The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 18, 2001, 01:23 PM   #1
Kobra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2001
Location: LA - KY (Cajun Hillbilly)
Posts: 338
Reloading Presses

What a loaded question this is...? I have asked this from people at work and people on other forums and it is hard to get enough of the same answers to make a decision.

Basically when I get my dad's barn completed we are moving some stuff out of the garage into the new barn. I will FINALLY have the room for a reloading press(es).. I have been studying reloading for two years (reading posts, talking to people, buying reloading manuals, etc). Anyway I want to make one purchase and not second guess myself.

Here are my requirements:

1. At most, I need 400 rds a month total.

2. I will reload pistol, revolver and rifle.

3. I will probably eventually load wildcats - 40 Super, 445 Supermag, 440 Corbon, 30-378, etc.

4. Currently I own a 45, (2) 9mm, 44, 300 Win Mag, 30-06, 243, and a 308 is real soon too.

5. Order of Importance: Accuracy, Being Available to Load Hard to Find Locally Ammo, Component Matching (this bullet with that powder), Cost Savings, and Possessing larger quantities of ammo than what I normally buy.

I like the Horanday Lock-N-Load die system. Dillons 550 and 650 are recommended along with RCBS 2000. They all appear good.

Also what dies are the best for my purposes? Redding appears to be a good accuracy-minded die.

Thanks for any input.
Kobra is offline  
Old June 18, 2001, 01:38 PM   #2
Alleycat
Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2001
Posts: 90
I hate to go here, but...

Although awsome, the Dillons are more reloader than you probably need. Get a good, solid turret press with a coupla turrets, and you can do everything you want, from brass forming to handgun loads. 400 rounds total per month isn't much--my XL650 will do that in, oh, 25 minutes or so.

Steve
__________________
"Formerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws." --- Publius Cornelius Tacitus
Alleycat is offline  
Old June 18, 2001, 02:10 PM   #3
Rokchukrslave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2000
Posts: 111
I would start with a RCBS Rockchucker, then after awhile decide if you feel the need for speed. I reload for accuracy in Highpower shooting and the Rockchucker has kept me pleased. If you feel you need to crank them out, you can pick up a Dillon to do you mass produced ammo and save your single stage for the serious accuracy stuff.
Rokchukrslave is offline  
Old June 18, 2001, 05:39 PM   #4
Bogie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2000
Location: Job hunting on the road...
Posts: 3,827
Accuracy? Get a Rockchucker or similar press for FL sizing, and use an arbor press and a Wilson straight line seater for consistent bullet seating.
__________________
Job hunting, but helping a friend out at www.vikingmachineusa.com - and learning the finer aspects of becoming a precision machinist.

And making the world's greatest bottle openers!
Bogie is offline  
Old June 19, 2001, 12:10 AM   #5
Steve Smith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 1999
Posts: 4,131
Bogie gets me with his BR stuff. Wow. I agree that a Dillon might be too much for your needs. I think a turret is a grand idea for your needs, BUT, does anyone know if Hornady makes a L-N-L turret press? THAT would be your answer! With 10+ calibers to reload, hanging calibers quickly would really help you a lot. However, I'm not sure if they make one. Still, consider the turrets presses, with several turret plates set up with dies. You'll also probably decide that more than one powder measure will be better, as it'll save you from changing powders in it often.

Redding makes very good match type dies, along with Forster.
__________________
Favor the X.


Steve Smith
NRA Life Member
Steve Smith is offline  
Old June 19, 2001, 07:43 AM   #6
Kobra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2001
Location: LA - KY (Cajun Hillbilly)
Posts: 338
Thanks for the info guys.

I projected the number of rounds I might do but has you guys all know things generally increase when you get into them. Main thing here is I want to make an investment and never look back. Maybe upgrade the press but basically keep the press and have it take care of all of my present and future needs. I really do like everyone's opinion of Dillon's.

I was reading a post on here somewhere sometime ago where a old gunsmith gave a guy the advice that if you are mechanically inclined (which I am - work as an engineer) then a progressive is better and a standard press is a waste of time.

Keep the opinions coming.

Thanks again.
Kobra is offline  
Old June 19, 2001, 12:56 PM   #7
Bogie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2000
Location: Job hunting on the road...
Posts: 3,827
Well, accuracy takes time...

I don't see any progressive presses at benchrest matches.

I do, however, see people loading anywhere from five to 25 rounds, and giving their rifle a serious cleaning, in the space of a 20-25 minute frame. This is MATCH ammo, folks... Single stage accuracy doesn't have to be slow... I can load a few hundred an hours, should I choose... Wipe the case necks, lube, size, wipe off the lube, clean/ream the primer pockets, prime, charge, seat, and you're done...
__________________
Job hunting, but helping a friend out at www.vikingmachineusa.com - and learning the finer aspects of becoming a precision machinist.

And making the world's greatest bottle openers!
Bogie is offline  
Old June 19, 2001, 04:27 PM   #8
JohnK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2001
Location: Duvall, Wa
Posts: 552
Single stage isn't slow for you Bogie, but how many thousands of rounds have you loaded with one? You can do full length sizing in the Dillon 550, not just the Rockchucker. I haven't been to a benchrest match for many years, but as Bogie says those who load at the line use single stage presses. Maybe because they're better than progressives, maybe because they're generally much smaller and easier to transport.
Bogie, what exactly makes a single stage produce more accurate rounds than a progressive using the same dies? Is it using a more accurate power measure? If they're both using the same dies I would think that the end result would be the same. Also, as a benchrest shooter, what kind of difference do you see between ammo loaded on a progressive vs a single stage? 1/4" at 100 yards? 1/2"? More? Less? Is the difference something that a non benchrest shooter is going to be able to take advantage of using 'off the shelf' firearms? Please don't take these questions as a flame, I'm genuinely curious.

Kobra says he's only planning on shooting 400 rounds a month, I suspect that when he starts loading that will double or tripple. Even if it doesn't I would rather spend an hour loading 400 rounds than 8 hours (how long it takes my cousin with his single stage vs me with my Dillon 550).

If you really want to start out with a single stage press you can with the Dillon AT500 http://dillonprecision.com/template/...8&min=0&dyn=1& and load ammo single stage style then upgrade the hardware to the full progressive RL550 if desired later.

It's been said many times, but you can load any pistol or rifle cartridge on the 500/550 and it uses standard dies so you are free to choose the brand you want. Dillon dies are good, but not the cheapest. I've had very good results with Hornady and RCBS dies, I'd pick any of them.
__________________
John

http://www.handloads.com
Molan Labe!
JohnK is offline  
Old June 19, 2001, 04:37 PM   #9
Steve Smith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 1999
Posts: 4,131
Bogie, I was givin' ya a hard time. We all know you're a Benchrest guy.

In all actuality, the Dillons ain't bad. I just finished a book called "Black Magic: The Ultra-Accurate AR-15" No granted, the book is about Highpower shooting, not BR. The author, John Feamster, wanted to address the act of a lot of HP shooters using a Dillon for the 200 and 300 yd loads, but using a single stage for the 600 yd. loads. He prepped his cases the same way for both, then used top quality dies in both presses, and used the Dillon powder measure on a 550B. I've forgotten the brand of measure he used fur the single stage loads,but it's cost was over $200 alone, and was a BR quality item. His results: The Dillon won! He wound up firing over 150 rounds at 250 yds, and actually had a .25" smaller aggregate and 10 round groups at the end of the test with the Dillon. His impression was that the consistency that a Dillon operator has when using the press probably gave the better results.

Now, when full BR case prep was done, the single stage beat the Dillon by 2/10ths of one MOA. That's enough for a BR shooter to worry about, but not for a HP shooter. In the HP game, the shooter is a much larger variable than the 2/10ths MOA is.

The bottom line? How accurate do you want it? Without a BR rife and setup, then you might never see the difference between the use of good quality match dies and equipment, and BR stuff.


Wish I'd learn to proofread.
__________________
Favor the X.


Steve Smith
NRA Life Member
Steve Smith is offline  
Old June 19, 2001, 05:43 PM   #10
Bogie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2000
Location: Job hunting on the road...
Posts: 3,827
Well, two-tenths MOA is about the size of my smallest five-group aggregate... Add 'em together, and that ain't too impressive.

I use either the Redding Boss or my Harrell press. I'm not sure how many thousands I've loaded, but I've gone through a bunch of primers... When I'm mass-producing for .223, .45, .38, etc., I load to blocks, and stack the blocks - I may charge 500 shells at once... then they get laid out on the bench and inspected with a flashlight for powder charge being there, and the charge not being too big - Never had a double charge or a squib load yet...

Most single-stages are "more square" than progressives. If there's something that can bend, get out of line, etc., it will, and few things are simpler than a heavy O-frame or C-frame press. If everything is straight, and stays straight, it helps with concentricity. No cases that suddenly seem like banannas when you put 'em under a dial indicator...

The powder measure isn't that big a deal. My Harrell Premium ($225) feels good, and is consistent in use. My Lee Perfect feels like a piece of crap, and is consistent in use. I use the Harrell because of the adjustment device, but if I had to, I could use the Lee. Heck, I've got an RCBS with a micrometer, a bottle adapter, and a 6" clear drop tube (with inserts) that I'd like to sell - Very consistent, but I bought the Harrell...

For pistol, I'd recommend the Lee turret kit. For "normal" size bolt rifles, I'd just say to get either a Redding Boss or an RCBS Partner. Redding dies are very nice, but then again, I use Lee collet dies for my varmint loads (my 6PPC die is a Harrell, my .22PPC (0.070" short) die is a modified Redding). Some folks who neck size only (I tend to shoot hot loads) use only Wilson hand dies and an arbor press. That works, and is just as fast, if not faster, than FL sizing. If you're seating on a press, you'd better hope that everything is consistent. That's why I like my Wilson seater...
__________________
Job hunting, but helping a friend out at www.vikingmachineusa.com - and learning the finer aspects of becoming a precision machinist.

And making the world's greatest bottle openers!
Bogie is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08290 seconds with 7 queries