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Old June 22, 2000, 08:59 PM   #1
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Well, I did it. Ordered a Dillon SDB .45 today along with a Midway Tumbler, calipers, powder funnel and a scale. I have a SA 1911 Loaded model and a Glock 30 that the reloads will be shot out of. Now a few more questions.

1. I have decided on using copper plated round nose bullets. Looks like Berry's and West Coast have about the best prices ~$68 per 1000. Do any of you have good or bad experiences with these bullets? Anybody else making good plated bullets cheaper?

2. Do I use jacketed or lead reloading info from the manuals for these plated bullets?

3. I will be using W231 powder. How about a good load for plinking and one for pin shooting?

4. For those of you with an SDB, does it come with a crimping die? If not, do I really need one? If so, which one?

5. Any other misc equipment I need? Headspace gauge/case gauge, deburring tool etc?

Thanks all.
Old June 22, 2000, 09:54 PM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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Join Date: November 18, 1999
Posts: 1,233
Rainier also make copper plated bullets. Now, here is where you may run into problems. Some of these bullets are powder specific and the loads are neither jackets or lead. You may want to look into this a bit more before you commit to the powder. There is also another source, National Bullet Company. They use a very thin coat of copper and they recommend lead load data for their bullets. Sorry, can't help you with the dies, I use RCBS and lee dies.
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Old June 22, 2000, 10:01 PM   #3
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faiello5: Welcome to the club! As far as "other misc. equipment" goes you really should go out and get several reloading (data) manuals. Compare the loads shown in them and use your own judgement. Also a good dial caliper. Case gauges for each caliber are nice. If you are truly brand new to all this, then definately get a reloader handbook aimed at the novice reloader as well. Think safety. Be conservative. You've got a great adventure ahead if you just follow a few simple rules and pay attention to detail. Enjoy and Stay safe. oh yeah...the SDB comes with the appropriate crimp die for each caliber...taper crimp for the autos...

[This message has been edited by nwgunman (edited June 22, 2000).]
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Old June 23, 2000, 05:19 AM   #4
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
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So far I have only used the Ranier bullets, so I don't have specific experience with the Berrys or Nationals. A call or email to the mfr might help, but frankly, I would put more faith in a search here for posted range results from some experienced users.

In their "pistol" die sets, Dillon includes the accu-crimp die for revolvers and a taper crimp for autos. And yes, you really need one.

A headspace gauge is a good tool to have. I only deburr and mouth chamfer rifle cases.

If you don't have a kinetic bullet puller, you will need one. Trust me on this one.

'Haven't used W231. Remember, for plinking with reduced power loads, you may need to change out a recoil spring. In order to get a real "plinking" load you can run into functioning problems. So, stay in the lower end of the load range of your reloading books and try not to disable your Springfield from using a normal power load.

If you want to do that, I'd advise picking up another 1911 to configure that way and keep your plinker loads segregated from normal defense loads.

The plinker loads may not fully cycle a normal strength recoil spring and a full house load can beat up a reduced load (low power recoil spring) configured pistol, and you, pretty good.

All this may be obvious, but you mentioned a plinker load and I don't know if you have more than one 1911-type pistol, so be remember its configuration when you load for it.

Best of luck. Welcome to reloading.


BTW, I used 2x6s on edge, side-by-side, cut about 6 ft long, to make my benchtop. So it ended up 5 1/2 in thick, about 20 in deep and six ft long. I used 4x4s for legs and 1x12s for a work surface-down skirt which extends down past the 2x6s and braces the 4x4s. I added additional horizontal braces between the 4x4 legs, up high, so I don't hit my knees if I sit on a stool. I cut the legs long enough that the bench top is about 6 inches above mid-tummy, so I stand to reload with my RL 550B. I also have a stool, but rarely use it. Keep it clean.

[This message has been edited by sensop (edited June 23, 2000).]
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Old June 23, 2000, 09:05 AM   #5
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Here is a place to get very high quality copper bullets at a very low cost.

Also yes the SDB comes with a crimping die it is the last stage in the process.

Tony Z

also for gun accessorys.
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Old June 23, 2000, 09:11 AM   #6
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I'm away from home now, so I don't have a number or address to give you regarding the bullets. Point being, I have bought Star jacketd (not plated) 230gr RN for less than you are contemplating for plated bullets. It's been only a few years, so the price I paid may still be close. More when I can find my stuff.
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Old June 23, 2000, 11:15 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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I've always used lead bullet data for copper plated bullets. The copper plating normally isn't hard enough or thick enough to make a big difference.

Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old June 23, 2000, 02:29 PM   #8
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1. I've used West Cost and Berrys, although not in a couple of years. WC had much thicker plating; Berrys would be etched with a fingernail. For same $'s I'd use WC. If I could save a bunch I'd get Berrys.

2. WC told me to use Jacketed data.

3. I've never used 231 but I know alot of people who have/do. The people who seem the happiest with it are old timer, bullseye guys working up very soft target loads. I've recently switched to Universal and like it. Works good in 10mm too.

4. No SDB here, I have a 550b. But its my understanding that the last station in the SDB is a taper crimp die.

5. Case Guage - Depending on the chamber cut on your 30 and how hot you load you may end up with pot-belly brass that wont chamber in the 1911. The case guage will help you sort out the bad apples.

Primer pocket uniformer - If you end up with any military brass with the crimped primers this tool will cut out the crimp.

Primer flip tray - Makes it alot easier to fill the primer tubes.

Dillon Border Shift Ammo Bag - Its fun to run your hand around in the loaded ammo side when its full---swish swish swish --Ammo goooood!--- and I've got so much I cant be bothered to box it or count it----ahhhhhh.

Did you order any media for the tumbler? You can find it cheeper at stores that sell to sand blasters and I understand that PetSmart sometimes has crushed walnut shells. Also, that blue stuff from dillon you put in the tumbler. Their squirl cage media seperator is very handy but not required.

Pay attention, load safe, good luck, enjoy the hell out shooting for $5/box.
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Old June 23, 2000, 04:41 PM   #9
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I'm stunned that nobody used W231 for their .45 loads, it's the only powder I use for them anymore. It's clean burning, and makes a very consistent and accurate load for me. You can go from "powder puff" to full power loads with it, it's a great powder for .45ACP.
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Old June 24, 2000, 08:29 PM   #10
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I guess I am the oddball but I have never been able to get acceptable accuracy from plated bullets (Speer's Gold Dot and TMJ bullets are the notable exception). Cast lead SWC's perform well in my Colt but I stick to jacketed bullets in my G30.

For a GREAT load in that G30 (and should be fine in the SA) I recommend Nosler's 185 grain JHP over 5.3 grains of Hodgdon's TiteGroup. This is by far the most accurate load I have tried in the G30.

Good Shooting!
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Old June 26, 2000, 06:13 PM   #11
Rod from MO
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I'm currently using Berry's 200 gr. SWC's in my .45acp reloading and use West Coast 115 gr. FMJ's in my 9mm reloads. I've also used Rainier and Star bullets. IMHO I can't tell any difference among them. With the right powder, etc. combination they all work fine for me. No big deal trying to decide if lead or jackedted data is more appropriate. Most manuals have much more data for jacketed bullets than lead bullets. Just pick a jacketed load, reduce the starting load by 10% and start working from there. With a few trial & error's you'll soon find the best bullet/powder combination for your particular pistol.

As far as additional reloading equipment required, I'd reinforce some previous posters comments by saying you'll need a kinetic bullet puller, primer flipper tray, and go/no go cartridge gauge.

I load on a SDB and the fourth station is the crimp station. The proper crimping die for the caliber comes with the SDB.

Happy reloading & good shooting.....Rod.
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