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Considering Reloading?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bjenkins, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I bought a 650 just because, but use my 550 a lot. I have something like 10 conversions for it, & it's very simple to swap out & run 400-500rds then swap something else. I love the 650 for pure production. Stay with the same primer size & swaps are simple too. It's nice to pop into the garage & dot off 200rds for a sat match in 20min from start to finish, including loading primer tubes & checking initial powder charge.:supergrin:
     
  2. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    I loved my 650 but glad I started with the 550. Starting off, I wanted to go slow and basically used it like a single stage press at first by inserting a case at station 1 and not inserting another until the first had traveled through all 4 stages. Repeat.

    Over time I got comfortable with the process and got very fast with the 550, I could load 100 in 7-8 minutes but that was with pure focus and it was very tiring. Mostly mentally (didn't want to make a mistake).

    I got the 650 and after setting it up, it was still around the 7 minute mark but it was more "easy" and I could load more in a session.

    Progressive presses rock and no way would I ever use a single stage for high volume shooting like my 9mm.
     

  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    You can always load 1 case at time on a 650. So just take it slow as well.
     
  4. danattherock

    danattherock

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    Go here and read for a few hours.

    http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showforum=78


    As for getting into reloading, it's a natural progression. I just got into it this past year and to be honest, I enjoy it as much as shooting to my surprise. Making MOA 223 rounds with $0.08 bullets is fun. And I can make a case for under $200 not counting brass, which is PMC once fired I saved up and will reload many times. Making this on my Dillon 550 which also makes 9 mm, 40, and 10 mm, my high volume loads.

    Then there is the match grade 69 and 77 SMK on the single stage rock chucker. Smith and Wesson 500, 45-70, 300 Wby, etc all on the single stage. I think having both offers lots of options. Just depends on the caliber, how much of it I need, and the purpose of the ammo.

    I can see why some folks would suggest starting off with a rcbs rock chucker kit. It's sound advice, depending on what you want to load, and how much of it. But I started off with this kit, and a Dillon 550 and I don't think the 550 is that complex. It's different but not difficult to run by any means.

    If I could only have one, it would be the Dillon. But I don't see any reason to have one or the other. They both have distinctive advantages. If you are loading 1200-1500 rounds a month, go with a 550 (or 650). If you are loading less volume of several rounds and accuracy is top goal, the rcbs rock chucker kit is tough to beat.

    And after you get the press, you need, or will want, some other items. The 550 light kit from Inline Fabrications is a must have. The Dillon roller handle was a huge upgrade. And I like the Dillon strong mount, but that depends on your table height, position you are in, etc. I bought the worlds finest trimmer in 223 and it makes short work of resizing. Like 200-300 cases in 15 minutes kind of fast. Mounts to any drill.

    Then there is the RcBs powder measure/thrower combo. About $275 on Natchez shooting supply, but for my single stage reloading, I wouldn't be without it. Type in 23.5 grains or whatever and each time you sit the pan down, it drops and weighs that amount.

    And for brass prep, the rcbs trim mate is great. Along with trimming on WFT, I trimmed and fully prepped 100 223 cases the other night in 15 minutes or so. All while somewhat watching my two year old son and German shepherd in the garage. You would have to do all this the old fashioned way with hand tools and a mini lath type trimmer to value the speed with using the above tools. Well worth the expense to me as I value my time above all else.

    With the presses and tools I bought, I can be type A and tedious working up a load for tight groups on the single stage press. Or I can go to the garage and have 500 pistol or AR rounds prepped, loaded, and ready to shoot in a few hours with my Dillon 550. To me, reloading is about having options. And saving time, depending on the task at hand.

    In either case, take this advice if nothing else. Buy 3-4 reloading manuals and read them. The load data takes up 75% of the book, used for reference forever. But the first portion of each book covers basic reloading, and more advanced topics you will need to know to get the most out of reloading. I am very fond of the Lee, Hornady, and Berger manuals I own. Also, Sierra has a ton of info on their website. Found it just the other night and read for hours. With reloading, knowledge is the most valuable thing you can possess.




    Dan
     
  5. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Except or he primer feed. I think you can disengage the auto advance on the primer feed, but certainly more diff than using the 550 in the same way.
     
  6. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    True. You can disengage the primer feed. But not as easy as 550.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    The 650 with a Dillon trimmer will easily resize and trim 1400 cases per hour. Just as fast as you can cycle the handle.

    The 1050 will easily reload them at about 850 rounds per hour whether the pockets are crimped or not. The speed wouldn't be that much slower on a 650 as long as the primer pockets have already been swaged.

    But the topic, at the moment, seems to be pistol. If this is the case, the 550 or 650 is the way to go and I definitely prefer the 650. I would even do precision rifle on the 650. All I would do is replace the powder measure with a powder funnel and use measured charges from my RCBS ChargeMaster. It would be SLOW but the quality would be every bit as good as what I get from my Redding T7 Turret Press.

    To be honest, I'm not sure that the Dillon powder measure wouldn't be entirely adequate for my .308 at reasonable distances.

    Richard
     
  8. fredj338

    fredj338

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    It is with the right powders. My Dillon throws ball powders to 1/10gr accuracy. You aren't going to do better weighing the charges if using brass that hasn't been sorted by internal volume.
     
  9. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    But I'm using mostly 'stick' powders. Of course, if things don't change, I'm going to be using mostly 'whatever I can get'.

    No, I haven't progressed to the point of measuring case volume, annealing, checking concentricity, neck turning, matching bullets or any other of the advanced techniques. Mostly I'm trying to get uniform neck tension, neck sizing only and fairly precise charge weights. It's working well so far but I'm only shooting at close ranges.

    Maybe I'll pick up another scope this fall and try shooting out a little farther.

    I also need to work on increasing the muzzle velocity to match Federal Gold Medal Match.

    Richard
     
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Well, some stick powders do ok, like Varget, but 2/10gr accuracy is about it. With one stick powders, 3-4/10gr is not uncommon. Why I still do my 269ai loads on a ss press, I like stick powders there.
     
  11. danattherock

    danattherock

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    I am also seeing 1/10 grain accuracy on my Dillon 550. Been working up a 223 plinking load these last few weeks and in the case of H335, my powder bar is consistently throwing 1/10 grain accuracy.

    My buddy uses his Dillon to load all his 3 gun 223 ammo and using Varget (stick) and 77 SMK, he is keeping his 16" Barnes Precision AR15 at MOA. Nails the 400 yard targets almost every time. This is with head stamp matched brass with no other prepping. The Dillon is capable of producing far more accurate ammo than I would have thought.

    I do my target loads single stage, weight sorted Lapua cases, highly prepped brass, individually weighed charges, and put together on my Rock Chucker single stage with Redding Deluxe dies with added carbide expander button. But I enjoy the process and it's an extension of my personality in some ways.

    Truth is, in the rifles we use, I am not yet certain how much difference it makes compared to my buddy's mass produced Dillon 223 rounds. That was tough to say. Ha ha.


    Dan
     
  12. BobbyS

    BobbyS Truth always sounds like lies to a sinner

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    I have never been unhappy with my Dillon 550. Plus I have had great service from them as well.

    I was in Phoenix a couple of months ago and stopped into Dillon for some stuff. Bought a couple hundred bucks worth so I wouldn't have to do any shipping.

    The next day I remembered I had forgotten some items and went back before I left town. I wanted a couple of powder measure plastic tubes and other stuff. The guy goes, I'm gonna warranty the powder measure tubes and these springs for the powder slide.

    Blew me away as nowadays I have found very seldom someone giving you anything.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  13. bjenkins

    bjenkins

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    Thanks for all the great advise and you have given me a lot to think about. Cannot believe all the great feedback from people with a lot of experience! I think my next thread will ask which Glock is the best? LOL.:rofl:
     
  14. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    That would be the Glock 7. Per John McClain, it doesn't show up on airport X-Ray machines and costs more than you make in a month!

    ;)
     
  15. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    The problems I see are rounds coming out with no primer, no powder, too much powder, split cases, etc.

    Handling the round makes it more likely you will catch those problems. I can't think of any possible way it makes it more likely you will cause those problems - a lot of guns wouldn't be blown up today and the machine, operated by the person, didn't make mistakes.
     
  16. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

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    FOR ME - I liked learning on the LCT. I had a solid understanding of every stage and got pretty quick with it. I then switched to a 450 that had been mostly converted to a 550 and now I have finally figured out my groove on that machine. I will admit, at first I found the Dillon to be awkward, and initially I was loading slower than I could on the LCT, but now I can crank them out like a champ..
     
  17. fredj338

    fredj338

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    And there you go, it's always the nut pulling the handle. It's just as dangerous, maybe more so, to load on a ss press & using a loading block. Unless you scrupulously check each individual charge, the same things can happen as on a progressive.
    What a progressive does give you is more ammo per hour or the same ammo with less work (handle pulls) over a ss press or turret. Go fast, go slow, you have options. Become a handle puller with any system you are doomed to a KB or at the least a squib.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  18. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Seriously, they are just not paying attention. Not pushing to prime and not moving the handle all the way. That is the only way that would happen. All you have to do is push to prime, go all the way down on the down stroke, and look in the case. Problem solved.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  19. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Exactly, It's more dangerous on a ss then a 650 for that type of person.
     
  20. norton

    norton

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    If I were starting over today, first I would buy and read a couple of good reloading manuals.
    Then I would begin to accumulate components.
    Once I had enough to get started then I would buy a press.
    You are going to be unhappy with a press and not enough to feed it.
    I own and use a Dillon 550 with case feeder, a Loadmaster and a Rock Chucker.
    Love all three for different reasons and loading.