After a progressive, it's painfully slow.....

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by PCJim, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    I picked up a new (to me) pistol this week in 40S&W. It's the first 40 that I've owned, having stayed with either 9mm or 45acp except for the revolvers. The deal was just a bit too sweet to pass up, and it gave me a reason to do something with all the 40 brass that I've been storing.

    A Lee die set and Hornady pills that I ordered Wednesday arrived today - Midway is fast! I hadn't ordered the caliber conversion yet for the 550b, thinking that the dies wouldn't arrive until next week. Well, everyone knows that new reloading equipment creates an itch that needs scratching. So, after dinner, I decided to sit down for a love session with my ol' Reloader Special 2. This is the first press I bought, still sturdy and more than capable of reloading for any caliber in my collection. And it sure knows how to cure an itch!

    I grabbed a few handfuls of brass from storage and resized/deprimed close to a hundred rounds, one pull at a time. Good, on to the primers. I decided to use primers already in the 550b. One at a time, I developed a rhythm - down stroke to load a primer, then up stroke to expose it, pick it up and toss it in a container, repeat. I suppose I could have just emptied another tray, but I learned a relatively quick way to unload that primer system without disassembly.

    Priming the cases - the RS2 uses a primer seating rod that is held in a button on top of the ram where the shellholder would normally sit. The shellholder is held in a special die on top of the press. Raise the ram up, load primer, lower ram below shellholder, insert case, raise ram and seat primer, lower ram, remove case - another 50 short double strokes.

    Well, after setup (that went relatively quick - I'm a pro at this press) and processing, I spent about an hour and now have 50 primed 40S&W cases for which I have pulled a lever some 150 times. And I have yet to powder and pill them!

    I suppose this post is just to show how spoiled we can become when we own a very efficient press (550b) and haven't yet acquired all that's necessary to use it. I'll be ordering the caliber conversion tomorrow.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Heads up there is a current thread in the for sale section of BE. The guy had several 550b tool heads for $17, and I believe a .40 conversion for $30. Just do a search for 550b.

  3. Where's BE
  4. Brian Enos?
  5. Thanks , 550 stuff sells fast
  6. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Indy, thanks for that head's up! :cheers:
  7. Yep, efficient loading on a ss press requires better technique. Son't prime on the press, painfully slow. Use a hand priming tool. Do all the steps one at a time; size, then bell, then prime, then seat & crimp. If you use a powder measure, you can load 60-70rds of handgun per hour, but that is hauling butt. I still load my high powewr rifle stuff on a single stage even though I run two 550B for handgun ammo. I even have dies for some of my handgun stuff & load test batches on the ss press. It's just easier than setting up the 550B for 20rds.
  8. NP... Looks like you got in on the stuff you wanted... Good deal.

    That's a great forum by the way, I don't venture out of the Reloading Forums, but there are some very knowledgeable folks on the BE forums.

  9. I have found even taking 5 too 10 minutes it takes too convert my 650 over from one caliber too another is faster and easer than trying too make test rounds on a single stage press.
    If I’m going too change the COL. After I do the conversion. First I add the number of primers into the primer magazine. Activate the primer indexing arm 8 times. Remove the primer cam. I then put one case in the press, size and deprime station 2 bells the case and dump powder and seat the primer. At station 3 pull the case out, weigh the powder charge take out or trickle in the rest of the powder. Or I use my RCBS powdermaster. Depending what I fell would be faster. Put the powder back in the case. Put the case with powder in station 4. If I know I want the COL to be longer I screw my Redding computation seat die out seat the bullet, check the COL put the case back in, turn the stem down, Pull the case out and check the COL run the stem down if need be to the COL that I want, May take a couple of tries. Station 5 crimp the case. So once I have that set up. I count out how many cases I want to load and put them in the case tube. Put the primer cam back on after the case has been sized after that load as normal put pull the case out at 3, weigh the powder. Put it back in 4. Pull the handle, pull the case out and keep going until you have what you want too load done. When done run the bullet seating die back too 0 if you set the die up for the COL that you use most often.
    It also helps too write down the micrometer setting was for that bullet and COL for future testing.
    It is a lot simpler too do it than what it sounds like.
    For people using the 550 take the primer operating rod off and when you want a primer when the ram is up, pull the primer slide back and pick up a primer and ride it forward, so it does not slam back.
  10. I needed to load up my old empty 380 casings for a pocket gun a while ago since the ammo was scarce and I figured I would do it on the old single stage that my father started using before i was born, 46 plus years ago. It took me I think, 3 days to load 1 box of 50 to try. I ended up getting the conversion kit for the 550. How did we ever do it before progressives? I remember when I was a kid loading box after box on that old single stage. I guess when it's all ya got....
  11. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Three days for 50! Does that include waiting for EPA approval then mining the lead ore and actually making the brass cases yourself?

    Okay, I'll go along with it... that could take three days. :whistling:

  12. yeah , when you just want to get it done. The progressive is great.
  13. I also had the old steel dies, so one night after work I went to the cave, lubed and primed them and wiped them off. The next night I ran them through the expander and set up the old powder thrower that mounts to the bench. The third night I charged each one at a time and put a tip on and seated and taper crimped them. Not three full days but a little time at night after working all day. Now when I sit down at my Dillons and load I do a box of 50 shells in about 10 minutes if I'm taking my time. Also use carbide dies on everything, no more lube for me.
  14. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Useless Member

    On a single stage batches of about 200 are the best. Clean/polish on evening #1, Size/deprime/flare on evening #2, Prime evening #3, Finish evening #4. Working slowly none of those should take more than 2 hours at a time.

    If you plan ahead so you don't need to load up 500 rounds the night before your CCW class, it doesn't take long to build up a good supply and it gives you a good project.
  15. If you have a 9mm 550 conversion, then all you need to load 40 or 10mm is a new powder funnel/expander and the different locator pins!
    Bookmark this...
  16. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Yeah, thanks Indy!!! :whistling:
  17. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Boxer, My sincerest apologies for not having noted that you originally identified the seller on BE. When I read thru the responses and started to reply, I wanted to identify and thank the poster and when scrolling back up thru the posts, the post by Indy appeared first. Again, my apologies. As an update, I have received a reply from the seller there and was told that everything was spoken for. He will know for sure come Tuesday.

    And, thanks to RLDS (I'm checking real close now!) for pointing me to that interesting app. Seems that the only real piece that I would need is a 40cal powder funnel. I already have the necessary shellplate and pins. If the seller doesn't come thru, I'll just order that single piece.
  18. What were you doing, loading one an hour? Really, even going slow, 50rds an hour is easily done on a ss press, case lube or not.

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