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Hi all!



Some of the folks I shoot with have highly recommended getting into reloading. I've never done it before and know nothing about gear or technique. Can anyone recommend a couple of setups for me to start out? First a no holds barred dream setup, next a nice setup, and finally a high quality economy setup. I would be reloading mostly .40, some 9mm, and .270 rifle. From what I've read on this forum thus far, Dillon is the way to go. Any comments on that?



Thanks in advance!

MC
 

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Dillon is definitely the way to go if you are going to shoot in any quantity, a 650 is the nicer choice, but the 550 is excellent and a good choice, I've been using a 550 for over 20 years.

http://dillonprecision.com/default.cfm?



For a good kit but lower volume, the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...leitemid=646599



A basic kit but not a bad starter, RCBS Partner Kit

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...leitemid=140616



If you want a progressive go with the Dillon, the add on kits for the RCBS are exactly that, add ons, trying to make a press that wasn't designed for progressive reloading a progressive, it SORT OF WORKS, but it's a compromise, the Dillon was designed from the ground up to be progressive.



Also keep in mind that if you start with a RCBS Rock Chucker and decide to go progressive later, you will still find uses for the Rock Chucker, a single stage will always remain useful.



If you look at my reloading bench you will see on the far right my original Lyman open front C press from the 1960's, in the middle is my Rock Chucker I bought in 1970, and on the left is my 550 where most of my reloading is done, but the Rock Chucker still gets the rifle calibers that I don't reload in quantity.



 

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Discussion Starter #4
What is meant by progressive?



I noticed on the Dillon website it lists several calibers alongside the press but then says dies are sold separately. I'm a bit confused by that. What all would I need to get in addition to the press as sold?



Thanks for the Pic G56. That looks like a nice setup. I'm still a ways off from something like that. My dad and I both shoot together so maybe we can team up for the setup...




MC
 

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A progressive reloader will load 1 complete cartridge for each pull of the operating handle, with the normal single stage reloader, like the one in the middle above, for a pistol cartridge like 9mm or 40 S&W the process runs like this:

Size, deprime and reprime

Expand the case mouth to make bullet seating easier

Charge case with powder

Seat bullet and crimp

Depending on exactly how you do it that's at least 3 pulls of the operating handle plus some other things like manually inserting a primer into the seating stem and some other little details.



A progressive reloader can put out about 500 rounds of pistol ammo per hour, a single stage is more like 50 or up to maybe 100 rounds per hour. This is a HUGE advantage on pistol calibers, generally on rifle cartridges you don't shoot as many, so that's where the single stage reloaders come into their own.



Reloading rifle cartridges is much more labor intensive than pistol cartridges due to a lot of preparation of the brass, I load large quantities of 223/5.56mm ammo on my Dillon, but I reload 22-250, 308 Win, and some 30-30 on the RCBS Rock Chucker shown in the center of the bench.
 

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There is a fair amount of accessories needed to reload, you need a powder scale, dial calipers, a bullet puller, and a lot of misc things, when you add rifle calibers you need a brass trimmer, rifle brass "grows" with each shoot/reload cycle and needs to be trimmed back to the correct length.



Dies by caliber are the smaller pieces that accomplish the task, on a single stage press you normally get a 3 or 4 die reloading set, with a sizing die, expanding die, seating die, sometimes crimping is done in the same die as the seating die but best done separately in a crimping die.



Rifle dies are usually 2 die sets, a sizing die and a bullet seating die.
 

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The bench set up shown above is just one side of the room, on the other side there are storage shelves for bullets, powder, and loaded ammo storage, this is an old photo, since this photo I built the new bench shown above and added storage.





Don't think you have to start out big! Everybody starts somewhere, when I was redoing my reloading room last summer I found an ancient artifact from my past...this was my first reloading bench, it was located INSIDE A CLOSET! You close the closet door and it disappeared, the metal straps you see on the right side of the photo fastened it to an existing shelf inside the closet.

 

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I just started reloading October of last year. I picked up a Lee aniversary kit (go ahead and laugh). It's a nice starter kit, but I can maybe do 50-60 an hour, on prepped brass (tumbled, de-primed). My kit came with the priming tool, so that takes a few minutes, and goes pretty quick if you're organized, but you can easily get a press that primes on the stroke. Do I regret my Lee Classic? No. It's been an invaluable learning tool, and it will always have some purpose (I do have an SKS, and 7.62 isn't gettin any cheaper). Am I looking for something faster now? Absolutely!!! www.thehighroad.org has a reloading category full of info. It even has a permanent thread on gearing up, and there's a new beginner there almost every day asking questions. It really does become it's own hobby apart from shooting. I'm almost to the point of range-bin diving. :twisted:
 

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I just received a mailing from MidwayUSA which had a listing for 100 pieces of 9mm brass for almost as much as I pay for 100 rounds WWB at Wal-Mart. Is there any difference in brass? I'm not yet reloading but am giving serious thought to it in light of the rising cost of ammo. I do have some experience reloading for a .243 rifle cartridge 40 years ago but that equipment is gone. Just wondering if I should start picking up my WWB brass from future range sessions.



Also, how about using brass from different guns? My son shoots his Glock 19 next to me so it would be hard to keep my brass separate from his. I seem to recall in reloading rifle ammo that the case would need full-length resizing if it came from a different firearm. Thanks in advance.
 

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ALWAYS save your brass. You might use it later, at worse you can sell it to someone who reloads for a good price and you are both winners.
 

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You always full length resize in pistol calibers, neck sizing is something that can be used in bolt action or single shot rifles using bottleneck cartridges.
 

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Dakotapix said:
I just received a mailing from MidwayUSA which had a listing for 100 pieces of 9mm brass for almost as much as I pay for 100 rounds WWB at Wal-Mart. Is there any difference in brass? I'm not yet reloading but am giving serious thought to it in light of the rising cost of ammo. I do have some experience reloading for a .243 rifle cartridge 40 years ago but that equipment is gone. Just wondering if I should start picking up my WWB brass from future range sessions.



Also, how about using brass from different guns? My son shoots his Glock 19 next to me so it would be hard to keep my brass separate from his. I seem to recall in reloading rifle ammo that the case would need full-length resizing if it came from a different firearm. Thanks in advance.


There is a difference in brass, some are harder then others, different qualities of the brass, etc.. yes, like S&B = harder brass case, speer and federal seem softer, then you get some of the older Military brass, wow that's even different then the new stuff.



I just paid $46 for mixed brass 3000 cases once fired 9mm. Brass costs are going up.



Yes pick up all your brass.. don't worry to much about it getting mixed up, some folks do.. up to you.



If it's 9mm or 40 S&W and that's what you shoot pick it up unelss it's obviously deformed in some manner, there are a lot of "once fired" brass sellers.



Rifle ammo i can't comment to much on but i'm sure similar issue surround it as compared to pistol ammo..



I had at one time about 500 pieces of .41 mag brass and i chucked it when i made a move from PA to VA.. man i can almost cry about that now .. seeing as i reload for my .41 now..



YEP Pick'r up..



Jeff.
 

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I'd been picking up 40 S&W brass for 2 or 3 years before I got one in that caliber, I felt that I might be getting one in the future, so I was saving it.
 

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i am going to hi jack your post a lil bit....



what does everyone think of handloaders?

i do not have much space at all and i am contemplating reloading and thought this might be a good way...



any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated
 

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You'll loose interest in 2 days of reloading with a hand loader. Progressives are the way to go. I used a rockchucker for awhile, and almost lost interest because it took to long. With mi dillion I can load as fast as I can shoot... almost.
 

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With bullet feeders and case feeders it runs pretty fast!
 

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I have a Dillon Square Deal B. Granted, it is only for handgun ammo, but it covers the basic ones. I will eventually get a single stage press or some other to do some rifle loading for more precision stuff. DO NOT overlook the Square Deal.
 

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I would suggest that you start with a single stage press kit, like the Rock Chucker Kit. Its bit more labor intensive and slow, but you get an understanding of what is going on during the process. Single stage kits are also cost less that progressive units, so if you decide that reloading isnt for you youre not out a chunk of change. If you decide to go on with reloading you can still use the single stage to run rifle ammo, test new loads without having to readjust that progressive before knowing you like the load...



Hand presses are good in a pinch, but if you want to load a couple of hundred rounds youre going to be sore and tired. I have one of the Lee units that I use to work up small quantities (20-30) of a new loading before turning the Dillon 650 loose.



In general you should like reloading. For me its an escape and becomes very relaxing. You can also taylor rounds to your and your guns likes, so your accuracy may increase. Mine did.
 
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