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Reloading Equipment

Discussion in 'Guns & Hunting' started by Pitt1552, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:12 PM
    #1
    Pitt1552

    Pitt1552 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,
    Looking to pick up some reloading equipment and was curious what everyone uses. Will mostly be reloading .45acp and 9mm. Possibly looking to reload .308 down the road. Thoughts and opinions on brand and accessories (scale types, die brands, and so on). Thanks!
     
  2. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:23 PM
    #2
    40204ever

    40204ever Well-Known Member

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  3. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:23 PM
    #3
    spp

    spp OC, Kalifornia

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    Dillon all the way. I have the xl-650 and have over 100,000 rounds of 40 that have been ran through it with total satisfaction from the machine and the company that stands behind it.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:28 PM
    #4
    ColdZeroBSP

    ColdZeroBSP Yo homie, that my briefcase?

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    I've been reloading for about 9 years. It depends on how much you want to shoot. If you're reloading .45 and 9mil I would recommend a progressive press b/c single stage is painfully slow. It'll take you about 2 hrs. to crank out 50 rnds. With a progressive you can crank about 400 an hour if you get the routine down. As far as brands I think Dillon make the best progressive presses for the money. They are built like tanks and turn out extremely uniform rounds. The 550B is what I have and I love it.

    I use the Dillon for my pistol rounds and an RCBS Rock Chucker supreme for rifle rounds which is a single stage press. I like single for rifle b/c it allows for maximum precision and feel when seating bullets. I shoot precision long range stuff though so if you're going to be shooting for plinking or hunting then you can go with progressive. It's faster too.

    As far as brands I have Lee dies are the best you can get for the money. I've never had a single problem from them and I own about 5 sets of their dies. RCBS or Dillon for presses. I wouldn't recommend electronic powder scales as I've found them to be finiky and lose zero quite regularly. The beam style scales by RCBS or Dillon are the best IMO. They're both made by Ohaus. For any other equipment Lyman, Redding, Hornady, etc. are good. I have a Hornady case tumbler, Redding case trimmer and Lyman caliper and all have been great.

    As far as equipment to get you started you really just need a press, dies, calipers, a powder scale, loading block, case lube (for rifle), a hand primer, good reloading manual, and your components. Other stuff like case tumblers, case trimmers, case gauges, powder trickler, etc. aren't necessary at the get go and you can add them as needed.
     
  5. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    #5
    another gsxr 1k

    another gsxr 1k Active Member

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    Dillon makes great stuff, but they are also quite proud of it.
    Have a look at the Lee Pro 1000. It's a progressive loader, but you can go slow with it and only do one round at a time. For the money they are awesome. I have one in .45 that I've probably loaded 2,500 rounds with and all adjustments have stayed exactly where they were set. They can be found new in the $170 range ready to load ammo with. Comes with almost everything you need to load ammo with.

    You'll need a good scale. I use a beam type Ohaus. Those are probably $30. Calipers are a must also, you can go cheap or big bucks. I use one from Harbor Freight. I may have gotten lucky, but it matches the big dollar ones that one of the machinists at my work uses.
    You'll also want a good reloading book or two to get started, although most powder manufacturers now have at least some of their load tables online.
    Stuff like the case tumblers are nice, but you could get away without one in the short term, your brass just wont be pretty.

    Just be careful and measure everything and don't start with the max listed loads.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    #6
    Pitt1552

    Pitt1552 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies. I generally shoot 300-400 rounds of the centerfire stuff per month, rest is rimfire... but this is primarily due to ammunition costs so that may go up after I start reloading. I went today and checked out the dillon 550b and the rcbs rockchucker. Still tossing around single stage vs progressive.
     
  7. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:58 PM
    #7
    Holling

    Holling Desert Dweller

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    If you are a large volume shooter a progressive press is the ONLY way to go. I have a two Dillon Square Deal "B" presses. One I keep in small pistol primer and the other in large pistol primer. I don't reload rifle rounds at this time but will get a Dillon 550 or 650 when I do. Dillon presses are worth every dime you pay. They have the greatest customer service I have ever seen and their product works as close to 100% as a machine could be made too.
    Cry once and buy the Dillon, you won't regret it in the long run!
     
  8. Feb 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM
    #8
    ColdZeroBSP

    ColdZeroBSP Yo homie, that my briefcase?

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    You'll get frustrated really quickly shooting that much with a single stage. I started with a single stage b/c it was all I could afford. However, the 550b is manually indexing which means it doesn't automatically advance the cases to the next station by itself. Because of this you can actually use the press as a single stage if you want. My advice is to buy a 550B and get as many tool heads as rounds you want to reload. If you want to reload 3 different rounds, buy 3 toolheads. This lets you swap out all the dies at once without having to readjust them. If you're loading for rifle and you want maximum precision just insert one case at a time and do each operation separately.
     
  9. Feb 19, 2010 at 4:37 PM
    #9
    JasoTaco

    JasoTaco Well-Known Member

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  10. Feb 24, 2010 at 9:28 AM
    #10
    buyobuyo

    buyobuyo Well-Known Member

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    I started out with the Lee Challenger kit and have upgraded some of the stuff that came with it. I upgraded to an RCBS 505 scale and Lyman 55 powder measure (only because my Lee PPM leaks bad with ball powder). I really like the Lee trimmer system; it's quick if you chuck the shell holder in a drill. I use the Lee press for my rifle loading and I got a Hornady LNL AP for my pistol loading at the beginning of the year. All of my carbine die sets are Lee and my rifle die sets are split between Lee and RCBS.
     
  11. Feb 24, 2010 at 9:33 AM
    #11
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino Well-Known Member

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    ill let you do some 223s for me:D
     
  12. Feb 24, 2010 at 9:39 AM
    #12
    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    I have Dillon, RCBS, and Mec (shotgun). They're all fine and do exactly what they are supposed to do. RCBS is the easiest to buy parts/dies for which is a selling point to me.
     
  13. Feb 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM
    #13
    Ronin

    Ronin iTaco

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    low range leveling kit
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    rifle single stage

    reloading is a pain in the ass! I reload for my hunting 243 and my comp 308.

    hunting rounds no big deal....make 50 last you a couple of seasons.
    comp rounds...200 last a couple of days.

    i am so crazy w/weights....

    my 308 uses 44.3gr. of Varget...not 44.2, not 44.4.
    if it is not 44.3...i dump it and hit the button again and sometimes again.

    reloading drive me crazy....:crazy:...then I go :infantry:and I feel better.
     
  14. Feb 24, 2010 at 11:51 AM
    #14
    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    I'm the same way. My pistol is loaded on a progressive Dillon. Crank'em out for plinking. I'm much more particular about rifle loads. I weigh and/or measure various steps of every cartridge.
     
  15. Feb 24, 2010 at 11:57 AM
    #15
    Ronin

    Ronin iTaco

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    i'm running a 175bthp, win brass, 44.3gr varget out of a 1/10 twist 22" barrel at 2750fps (i know it is slow...but is what it is)...i think...i would have to check my data.

    i also run a 220gr round nose gameking, 13grains trailboss...it is very quiet out of my can.

    i will try to post some pictures.
     
  16. Feb 24, 2010 at 5:16 PM
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    spp

    spp OC, Kalifornia

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    Do you calibrate the scale every case too?
    You are a little OCD but it's your load to play with. In a pistol where I use 4.7 of Universal Clays that 10th or a grain might make a difference but at the volume you have probably not.
     
  17. Feb 24, 2010 at 5:31 PM
    #17
    ColdZeroBSP

    ColdZeroBSP Yo homie, that my briefcase?

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    You should try the Optimal Charge Weight method. I set up my .308 using it and it's the most accurate it's ever been. It basically finds the sweet spot that gives you a range of pressures where the rounds will still impact in a similar grouping. This way you don't have to be overly concerned with exact powder weights b/c you have about a 1 gr margin where all your shots will still be consistent. Then you just play with seating depth. My Savage used to shoot MOA+ now it shoots 1/2 MOA consistently.
     
  18. Feb 24, 2010 at 7:36 PM
    #18
    ZonKs

    ZonKs Can speak french in Russian.

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    =p
    Rockchucker Supreme. Wish i had a dillon though:rolleyes:
     
  19. Feb 24, 2010 at 8:04 PM
    #19
    Ronin

    Ronin iTaco

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    ColdBreeze PM me w/this method.
    I guess I don't understand. Stand by...I am fixin to hihack the thread w/a couple of pictures.
     
  20. Feb 24, 2010 at 8:14 PM
    #20
    Ronin

    Ronin iTaco

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    [​IMG]

    220 grain subsonic
    175 grain bthp
    115 dtac 1/7.5 twist barrel .243 about 6.5 mils to a grand
    95 grain combined technology hunting round
     
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