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Old December 27, 2011, 02:01 PM   #51
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If you have a tumbler you can tumble first, but no need to (you can just wipe any dirt off). Tumbling takes hours
Very true. It takes 1.5 hours for the brass to get clean and shiny in my tumbler. The thing is I can clean 600 cases in my tumbler in 1.5 hours and only have five minutes of my time involved. While the tumbler is running I'm loading. Can you wipe off 600 cases by hand in five minutes?
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
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Old December 27, 2011, 03:56 PM   #52
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How do folks with progressive presses deal with resizing the shells? Is this done first?
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Old December 27, 2011, 06:58 PM   #53
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"Does anyone have anything against the RCBS rock chucker supreme kit? "

It would be hard to find a better press in my opinion. I load everything on mine, and maybe I cant crank out 200 an hour, but I can produce 300 or more in one evening. I enjoy the single stage, and for a beginner I feel they would benifit more by starting with one. JMO
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Old December 27, 2011, 08:09 PM   #54
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How do folks with progressive presses deal with resizing the shells? Is this done first?
I believe there is no single answer to this.

For pistol cartridges with carbide dies, it is common practice to start with a box of cleaned cases and just begin operations. With almost no dimensional change in case length, completed rounds can be gauged as a check on adjustments. The press is used as designed, and each pull of the handle completes one round.

For rifle cartridges, there are two different ways and variations within those.

The first is to do all resizing separately (either off the press on a single stage press or as a "break out" operation on the progressive). Then there is an opportunity to clean excess lube, run case through a headspace/trim length gauge, trim as necessary, etc. When you have a bucket of "prepped" brass, you sit down and use the progressive press to handle the remaining operations. The resizing die can be simply "skipped" (with manual indexing) or just left out of the toolhead (for auto indexing).

The second way is to select the resizing lube so it doesn't have to be cleaned off to prevent powder contamination and is dry enough that it doesn't cause powder bridging in the measure. The reloader also has to make some assumptions about case length increase due to resizing and trim before running the cases through the press. Sometimes a ball powder is chosen over a stick powder to further reduce the possibility of bridging. The result is progressive operation without separate resizing.
.30-06 Springfield: 100 yrs + and still going strong
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Old December 27, 2011, 10:11 PM   #55
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I have the rock chucker supreme kit and I love it. I dont mind it being slow but its kind of therapeutic that way.
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Old December 27, 2011, 10:15 PM   #56
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How do folks with progressive presses deal with resizing the shells? Is this done first?
I can't say for all progressive presses, but for mine the first stage removes the primer and sizes the case at the same time. On the up stroke I set the primer. There is a primer feed that puts in in place. When I do lubricate pistol cases I use Hornady's One Shot case lube. It dries in about 1 minute. I don't clean off the lube and just let it go to the next stage. That one flares the case mouth and drops the powder charge. The next stage I insert the bullet and it gets seated to the proper depth. After that the bullet is crimped and dropped into the container for finished rounds. Once all stations have a case in them that has gone through the one prior, every pull of the handle down and up produces another finished round. Some progressive presses have case feeders and some have case and bullet feeders. The more things are done automatically the faster you produce ammo. Also the more things are automated the harder it is to stop and correct problems.

I suggest people new to reloading start with a single stage. If they are set on something faster then either a turret or a semi-progressive like the Dillon 550B. Even the Dillon 550B can have things stopped and corrected fairly easily and still be able to put out a pretty good number of rounds per hour. The key thing is to make sure everything is set right for each step of reloading and to recheck it on a regular basis. If you find things change on average every 10 rounds then check every 5. If nothing seems to ever change still check every 50 to 100 rounds. Your safety is important and who wants to have to take apart 500 rounds because you finally made a check and found the depth of the rounds was wrong or you finally rechecked the powder drop and it is now way too high of low. You would really need to take apart all the rounds you just made since the last check to be sure you corrected the problem. I don't care to remove bullets stuck in the barrel or have a gun blow up in my hand because I was too busy to recheck my work.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:25 AM   #57
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Using Progressive Loaders

The only thing I can compare a progressive press to while it is operating is Marilyn Monroe singing, dancing and playing the ukulele in Some Like It Hot. There are so many interesting things going on and so many things to watch at one time you can get overwhelmed.

A progressive press is a super machine. You need to know what you are doing before you try to use one. When my brother found out I was getting a Lee Load Master he called me gave me his credit card number and told me to order everything he needed to get started reloading. After careful thought I told him I did not think it was a good idea. When he came to visit me about 10 days ago I showed him my work area, explained everything about the press and we loaded about 100 rounds. I let him load the last 50. After we were through he told me "Thank You" for refusing to order the equipment when he told me to, that he had not realized how complex the operation would be when done correctly.

My suggestion. Get a quality single stage with the dies for all the calibers you will reload. Load for the next six months, according to what you said that will be about 10K of rounds. It will be slower and more painful, but you will learn reloading. You will acquire the "muscle memory" of operation of reloading,and the safety precautions. If you decide to go to a progressive press, you can pick one that will utilize all of the dies you own, the work area you have established, and the other equipment you have collected. An old single stage is like a first girl friend, you may put her in the corner, but you always have fond memories of her.

When you set Marilyn to work and you are watching her sing and dance, you won't walk into the middle of the street and get run over by the round you loaded with a double charge because you were looking at the wrong moving part and missed it.

The guys who are loading with a progressive press are very good at what they do, that is why their head, hands and weapons are in one piece. Learn be that good before you try to be that good.

Just my two cents worth on the subject. OkieGentleman
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Old December 28, 2011, 01:44 AM   #58
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Dillon 650.....start with 45acp....very easy to reload...low pressure round. All pistol rounds are fairly easy.

Rifle takes a bit more work due to all the brass preparation. It is not like pistol where you just clean and resize. Most rifle cases after resizing can stretch a tad so sometimes trimming is necessary also. It is much more time consuming.

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Old December 28, 2011, 10:29 AM   #59
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Alternate View of How to Start Using a Progressive Press

Take a look at this forum and this piece of advice. I had not thought of it and am impressed by it

This is the Load Master forum but the advice would be good for all new progressive owners.
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