The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 4, 2007, 11:39 AM   #1
Join Date: February 27, 2007
Posts: 15
Reloading on a progressive?

Well, I have done a lot of reloading on a single stage, mostly for bottleneck rifle, and some straighwall. I'm new to the progressive world. Can someone list all the steps they take while using their progressive. Starting with the cleaning, all the way thru to the finished rounds. I thought I had things in order, but now it seems I may be wrong? I have a RCBS 2000 but think I might sell it and get a Dillon 550 or 650.
JRD is offline  
Old March 4, 2007, 01:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Location: Flowery Branch, GA
Posts: 132

First, if you've got an RCBS Pro 2000, you have a good progressive that's about the same as the Dillon 550 (which is also manual advance), except it has a better powder measure than the Dillon for reloading rifle on that's much easier to adjust and needs no mods to handle extruded powders.

You could add the non plastic strip primer feeder if that's what you don't like about the press, but it's a pretty good press. If you don't like the 4 stations or the manual advance, you should be looking at the 650 or Hornady LnL AP.

Here's the information on reloading progressively.

.45 ACP Pistol, just back from the range, no casefeeder:

1. Tumble in 1/8" ground corncob media sweetened with Nu Finish car polish to clean it as well as slicken it up a bit so it'll go through the press nicely. NO TRIMMING FOR ANY STRAIGHT WALLED CASES.

2. Set up press for .45ACP. Load powder and Primers into press. Adjust dies, etc., as necessary. Once toolhead/turret is loaded with dies, this step shouldn't be necessary again. You may want to buy extra case activated powder drop dies for each toolhead/turret for convenience though. Easy to swap powder off of those. If you don't have case expansion with the RBS CAPD, measure the internal diameter and call Hornady, I bet their case mouth expander inserts will work in your CAPD powder die.

3. Put cases in Akro bin that's mounted ergonomically to be right next to where the cases are put in the press.

4. Do the same as step 3 with bullets.

5. Insert cases in press and begin reloading. Monitor powder in cases and when appropriate, begin adding bullets as well. Once shellplate is full, add both bullets and cases at the same time.

6 Continue until supplies are exhausted. (This assumes you've already worked up a load and want to mass produce cartridges.

Reloading for rifle:

NOTES: People have various ways of doing this. Some trim on the press and some do not. Some use the RCBS X-die to minimize and eliminate trimming, which is what I do for cartridges for semiautomatic rifles. If you're neck sizing for a bolt gun, trimming isn't necessary.

1. For FL resizing, have a toolhead/turret with a single full length resizing die. Use the progressive to speed up this operation a bit by allowing you to not remove the case from the press. Be sure and inspect brass as you go for wear signs.

1a. For neck sizing, use the toolhead/turret completely loaded with dies and perform all operations as though you were reloading pistol brass. Be sure and inspect brass as you go for wear signs.

1b. For using an RCBS X-die, perform step 1 above for brass not previously processed through your "system." Fl resize the brass, then trim to .020" below maximum allows length and reload per instructions. On subsequent reloadings of the trimmed brass, process with an X-die setup on a toolhead/turret with a complete set of dies and powder measure. Perform all operations as though you were reloading pistol brass. Be sure and inspect brass for wear signs.

2. For full length resized brass, (1st time it's reloaded.) take the resized brass and trim to correct length. If you have an RCBS X-die, you trim to .020" and only do step 2 a single time.

3. Once trimmed, run through a tumbler to clean off sizing lube. For X-die on second loading and all other loads after that, wipe off cases after loading progressively. Some folks tumble the loaded rounds, but don't heavily load the tumbler.

4. With the cases FL resized and trimmed, process through the progressive to reload as you would with a pistol case. This greatly speeds up the reloading process by automating most steps.

I hope this helps,

DaveInGA is offline  
Old March 4, 2007, 01:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,289
I use a Dillon 650. For pistol cases, first, I wash in warm water and liquid tide in my rotary tumbler. Then I fill the hoppers and load. all done!

For bottleneck rifle cases, I have a toolhead dedicated to an RCBS decappng die. I decap, wash and dry, spray lube with Dillon spray, ***(Not Hornady one-shot! I've stuck cases in the die with that stuff!)*** load normally, then tumble in corncobs and mineral spirits to remove the lube.
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Old March 4, 2007, 01:59 PM   #4
Ammo Junky
Senior Member
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: IL
Posts: 537
I have had my 2000 for several years. A dillon rep I spoke with told me himself that the 2000 was as good as the 550 in accuracy. It is a much sturider press. The aps takes a little pratice. If you watch the case wiggle and feel as the primer starts into the pocket you can catch a problem and giggle the case then seat the primer. This happens very rarely after you get the hang of it. I have to call BS on rcbs's promisses of pre loaded primers costing the same as boxed primers and a second broken promisse by rcbs that federal primers would be avaiable in aps strips instead of gawd awfull cci. :barf: Boo rcbs for lying. Despite rcbs's lies about loaded primers. The 2000 is as good as any and better than most for rifle loading. If I were gona do bulk handgun loading. Id go 650 with a case feeder. Not any better quality but much faster. Yes the power measure is WAAAAY better in every way. Well not every way, the case flaring saves a station on the dillon.
Will work for brass.

I apologise in advance for spelling errors.
Ammo Junky is offline  
Old March 4, 2007, 07:33 PM   #5
Junior member
Join Date: December 25, 2006
Posts: 443
One can use a RCBS Uniflo, Hornady, etc., etc. powder measure on a 650. I use the Hornady, when loading bottleneck cases.
Abstract is offline  
Old March 4, 2007, 07:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 4, 2006
Posts: 124
What are you reloading and what proplems are you having? the only step I do differently is I dont deprime before tumbling with the progressive. PM me with any specific Problems And maybe I can help. PS if you do sell Let me know I will Buy it
It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6
FRANK1669 is offline  
Old March 4, 2007, 08:23 PM   #7
Join Date: February 27, 2007
Posts: 15
Well, I dont know what caliber I will set it up for yet. I'm either going to load, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 9mm Luger, or .38 Super. I know that sounds pretty crazy, but the reason I list so many is because I havent decided what gun I'm going to shoot for USPSA competitions. Whatever caliber I decided to run for USPSA is what I will set my Pro 2000 up for. I havent even taken it out of the box yet. I'm really leaning towards either .40 S & W or .38 Super right now though.

So I take it you dont need to trim straight wall pistol cases? I always check my case length before loading my bottlenecks on the single stage, and trim if needed. Thanks
JRD is offline  
Old March 5, 2007, 02:53 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 25, 2005
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 670
I won't answer in detail, just share briefly my experience when changing from single stage to progressive.

The first and most common mistake I think people make is trying to go too fast at first. A progressive press does the same things that a single stage does, just all at the same time. Each down stroke of the handle has to be a full stroke. Each up stroke has to be a full stroke. If you don't have auto indexing, this has to be done before starting the cycle over.

Don't try to achieve speed at first, just perfection. The speed will come with repetition.

Make sure everything is kept clean and lube what is supposed to be lubed.

Develop a routine that will have you checking powder charges every so many cases. Checking and refilling primer feeder and powder hopper before they run out.

Leave plenty of time for a loading session or wait until you have the time to do it right. Errors and damage occur when one tries to go to fast.

Lastly, progressives need proper case preparation for uniform performance. If using any once-fired military cases, make sure that the primer pockets are properly swedged or reamed. A primer, badly seated, can cause a mess or damage. Also use a good lube that can be applied to a batch of cases rather than one at a time. Feeding evenly lubed cases will allow for 'that feel of a correctly finished cycle' to be felt easier. One dry case followed by a lubed case can throw off that feel.

Again, because it is worth repeating, go slow at first. Be more concerned with a perfect cycle than getting up to high volume from the start. Remember, each time you lower and raise the handle, a finished round is produced. This is 1/3 to 1/5 the number of cycles necessary for single stage loading so you are already ahead.
My definition of Gun Control--- A steady grip and hitting your target.

"In God we trust, all others are suspects."

"If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying, either I won't need any more, or more won't be of any help".

swmike is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 06:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08126 seconds with 9 queries