GUN Reloading Crew v. help me get into it.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by [DWI], Mar 24, 2008.

  1. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    So I've been thinking about getting into reloading and I've been going through what I might need. Please critique choices and point out things I have forgotten ect.

    I've come up with the following things I need to get

    For Reading I need

    ABC's of Reloading by Dean Grennell

    http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloadin...d_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206320151&sr=8-1

    For one time purchase (i.e. can be used with rifle pistol ect.)

    A Press (I've been recommended a Rock Chucker.)

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=513567&t=11082005

    A Decapping Die, lock stud and cutter, chamfer tool, case expanding die and pocket cleaner.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/casecon.html

    Lee Auto Prime (should work with both primer sizes right?)

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/primtool.html

    Then for pistol I would get (we'll stick to 9mm as the example, but same things for all calibers)

    Lee Carbide Die set 9mm

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/dies-pistol.html

    Case Length Gauge and shell holder

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/casecon.html

    For Rifle (again we'll say 30-06)

    Case Length Gauge and shell holder

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/casecon.html

    Then as far as dies are concerned I am not sure, is case sizing dies or neck sizing dies a better choice?

    Neck

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/dies-collet.html

    or Case (would need to shell holder or sizer as they are included)

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1206290547.2147=/html/catalog/dies-rifle.html



    I know I have got to be leaving some things out, so what am I missing, what do I not need, what would you recommend changing?

    For case cleaning is a plane jane tumbler from Harbor Freight Tools alright and what size should I look at? and for media walnut like this

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=496169&t=11082005
     
  2. Jinkle

    Jinkle Habs/Vikings > *

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    If you want to load in bulk a turret press or progressive press is the way to go
     
  3. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    .

    I don't reload yet, but I did do alot of research. Working on single stage is not going to work out for you if you are goal oriented, like me.

    Have you looked at some of the reloading videos on youtube.com ?

    After looking at various presses on youtube, I plan to get Hornady Lock n Load AP press. They also have 1000 free bullet rebate with this press if you buy it before end of the year.
     
  4. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    I recommend a Dillon 550, but that's depandent on acceptable production rate for you. I also highly recommend sticking to only 1 cartridge to reload for while you are learning. The learning curve is steep enough, don't complicate things by trying to reload for different calibers. master 1 cartridge then move on.

    as for tumbler, you could use a rotary, but the vibrating tumbler works best. Media, you can buy crushed walnut media from Walmart ( pets dept by the fish ) for 6 bux and works great. I add liquid car polish and my brass comes out extra shiny.

    Your also missing some very KEY gear. And that is a digital powder measure that can measure in "grains" and a caliper. I'd suggest the 20$ from Harbor Freight, works just as good. And I think Midway sells a $40 digital scale, but that was a while back.

    As for die, Lee Dies are good.
     
  5. AustinL911

    AustinL911 Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator

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    I made this list last summer while I was bored in class. It was everything I could possibly think of that one might need or want:

    -reloading bench
    -ammo boxes
    -ammo cases
    -RCBS case prep machine
    -swager
    -tumbler
    -media seperator
    -case lube
    -case polish
    -organizing bins
    -loading blocks
    -primer tubes
    -powder trickler
    -priming tool
    -assorted dies
    -labels
    -electric scales
    -electric calipers
    -bullet case length gauges
    -bullet puller
    -caliber converion kits
    -tool heads
    -tool head stands
    -primer flipper tray
    -bench light
    -reading light for reloading press
     
  6. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Don't forget shell holders for the autoprime. The decapping die is really unnecessary, the sizer will do that. Rifle cartridges will need to be trimmed and you'll need lubricant.
     
  7. Gaunt

    Gaunt blood for the blood god OT Supporter

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    tom if you get into reloading ima be over there a lot with my brass
     
  8. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    I'll think on the progressive press idea. Rate of production doesn't need to be too high with my current range habits, maybe 200 rounds a month (on a good month), but it would be silly to buy single stage and move to a progressive and own both but use only one.

    I'll look into getting a vibrating tumbler as you suggest.

    I didn't know I could get the media at walmart, then again I didn't know my wlamart sold live fish.

    Calipers and scale, I knew I would be overlooking something simple.

    With the dies I just wanted to make sure what I listed would be all I needed and that the dies sets I was talking about would contain everything need to assemble a complete round.

    I get what you mean about learning on one round before doing more than one, it sounds like a good idea. I'll have to pick which one I want to start with. It still good to know what parts I would have to buy to add an additional caliber to the mix at a later date.

    Its something I've been toying with getting into for a while and the way ammo prices have been going in the last year I'm think it a better and better idea, I might wait until my wallet feels like taking another hit, the AR is setting me back a bit.

    If I'm here, hell I have no idea what I am doing, I'm finished this semester, might be out of state until october, still haven't decided if I am going to look at spring or fall grad programs or come back and look for a job for a year or two. If I'm still around and you got brass/powder/bullets I am setup for reloading or you have you own caliber specific gear I don't seem why you can't come over and make a few rounds.

    Hell there is plenty of once used brass at the range.
     
  9. acoop101

    acoop101 New Member

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    has anyone tried using a fluidized sand system for cleaning brass, we have one at the shop, it's basically a bucket of sand which you pump air through, I was wondering if you could tumble cases in that?
     
  10. texchef

    texchef Guest

    Everything I got for reloading cam primarily from Ebay;

    Lee Pro 1000 $150 shipped (still waiting for it)
    Frankford Arsenal Tumbler $46 shipped
    Frankford Bulett puller $25 shipped
    Digitlal scale $23 shipped
    Digital calipers $17 shipped

    I've collected about 1500 pieces of brass from the 2 ranges I go to.

    1000 pieces of 115gr winchester FMJ $85 @ gun show
    1000 Winchester primers $24 @ gun show

    Still need powder but i'll get that when the press comes in.
     
  11. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    I've never heard of it, but the thought never crossed my mind. Do you guys use a big vibratory tumbler? I don't see why it wouldn't work. :dunno:
     
  12. acoop101

    acoop101 New Member

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    we rigged it up out of a 5 gallon bucket and an air hose because the boss man was being cheap and wouldn't buy a vibratory tumbler. Let the boss wonder why we keep running out of air.:)
     
  13. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Sounds like a sandblasting system where the media is contained in the bucket and what ever it is you want cleaned is in there as well?

    May be a little messy for home application and may require more "user interaction". I just dump my brass in the vibratory tumbler, and set it to run for 4 hours.
     
  14. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    I would imagine such a volume of air would be pretty taxing for your average person's home compressor too.
     
  15. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    AB13 is there a reason you recommend a dillon progressive over a lee progressive?
     
  16. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Having owned both, I prefer the Dillon because it's been the easiest to work with, easier to set up and it holds it's calibrations much better. I've NEVER had any issues with my Dillon, and it's made thousands and thousands of ammo in every caliber.

    I feel it's much more robust, more versatile, and they have a warranty called the "NO BS WARRANTY". Meaning, they support and maintain ANY Dillon product, wether it's 50 years old, or if you are the 10th owner. They will do whatever it takes to keep it running. They are among the best in terms of customer support and satisfaction. My Lee only came with a 2 year warranty.

    I'm a part of a community of competitive shooters in my club that is about 80-100 members. I'd say at least 80-90% reload. Most of which, either shoot as much as I do, if not more. %90 of them reload on a Dillon. So if you want to know what high production shooters use to reload, there you go. A few of my friends own 2-3 of them, set up for different calibers.

    The reloader, I've learned is the heart and core of my addiction. I can't afford for it to go down, or spend countless hours having to repair it the night before a big match. If it doesn't run, neither do I. And as I've stated before, a very vast majority of failures in a match, are either mag related, or ammo related. I hate having to throw a match on account of my ammo. Especially when I'm in the hunt, and the competition is heating up. Having well made ammo is absolutely KEY. It don't mean shit if you spent 5k dollars on a gun, if your ammo suck, so will your performance.

    I have a very small handfull of good friends that reloaded on a Pro 1000, and they all recently upgraded to a 550.

    It's a Ford and Chevy debate, except the majority belong to the "blue" camp. There are definitely some die hard Lee loaders, but they are greatly outnumbered.

    I hold no loyalty to either, I just like to use what works. I could care less if it had "fail aids" on the side of the press.
     
  17. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Another huge factor is Production rate. My thinking is, the less I'm in here making ammo, the more time I can spend to practicing, and spending with my family. Part of that production rate equation is QA testing my bullets. I scrutinize my bullets, and chamber test each round. Every round I chuck into either the "do no shoot" or "practice" bin, is another round that keeps me from meeting my quota.

    If I have all my ducks in a row, I can spit out 500 rounds an hour easily of quality ammo that's within tolerance.
     
  18. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    You can pump out 500 rounds AND inspect each of them in an hour?? :eek3:

    Is that considered average for a progressive press?
     
  19. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Sorry, no, that's not what meant. I have two bins I use to store all my "just completed" ammo. I bring them in my TV room when I'm done and start chamber checking them there and put them in my ammo boxes. I only have to toss maybe 2-3 rounds per 500, and they just get tossed in the "practice" bin, because either the primers are less than perfect (from debrie getting into my primer ram) or because the bullet is a little crooked. I know I get sloppy if I find more than 1-2 rounds missing primers, or have inverted primers.

    I'm mostly looking for ammo that doesn't drop easily, and or missing/flipped primers.

    Yes, that is average for the 550, maybe on the high end. My buddy that has a case feeder can do 600+, while maintaining a high QC on his ammo. My buddy who is a little slower says he makes 350-400 an hour. I've heard of people online doing 12-1500 rounds an hour with a bullet and case feeder on their Dillon progressive. But I really have to question QA on that high of a production rate. That ammo is not touching my gun.

    With my Lee Turret, I was lucky to get over 200 an hour.
     
  20. AustinL911

    AustinL911 Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator

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    Hey AB,

    Do you sort your brass by brand, or do you just run a mixture of brass during your competitions?

    Does running the same brass really matter from an accuracy or reliability stand-point?
     
  21. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    yes, there is a difference. There are definite inconsistencies in both OAL and weight from manufacturer to manufactuer.

    For my club matches, I don't worry about them so much, I just make sure to thoroughly examine my cases for structural integrity.

    For major matches, I sort them all out and stick to a particular brass manufacturer and actually lube my brass, clean pockets, run it a little longer in the tumbler. They actually take a sample of your bullets, and chronograph them. I don't want any inconsitencies and getting DQ'd for a low power factor because I already fudge that line.
     
  22. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    Once more question, if I am going to reload and start with only one caliber, then I want to choose a caliber than both me and the GF like to shoot and gets used the most.

    I've narrowed it down to either 9mm luger or 45 acp. Can someone give me an idea when it comes to money what the difference in costs would be in these two rounds between say purchasing target ammo like WWB and reloading the brass myself?
     
  23. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    over 50% easily, maybe more depending on projectile type (lead, fmj, etc)
     
  24. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    Have you shot rounds made out of wheel weights? Do reloading manuals have recipes with those in mind?
     
  25. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I have a dillon 650 and a 550. I learned on the 550 and still use it for odd jobs like test loads. The 550 is a very good machine. With the 550 I can make 400 rounds/hour if I don't have any problems. This is just making the ammo not all the QC afterwards With the 650 I can make 800/hour if I don't have any problems. If I have some sort of jam loading ammo I have to take the time to fix it or clean the machine etc. Not a big deal but you do have to stop and it hurts productivitiy.

    I would get a dillon because they have a no BS lifetime warentte. You just call them and they send you new parts no questions asked. They also got a staff that knows what they are talking about and have been there and done that with reloading. I have all kinds of difficult questions and I have yet to stump one of them.

    I have a pretty good situation. My buddy buys all the components and I load all the ammo. We split the ammo 50/50. He shoots alot and is just sick of reloading, and I make very good ammo.

    He gives me all the componets including the cases which have been cleaned. I load the ammo not really caring about haedstamp. After I load the ammo I tumble it again to remove any lube and to check for loose primer pockets. Any primer pockets that are loose shake out during the tumble. Next I case guage all the ammo and if it sticks the slightest in the case guage it is set aside to be disasembled. After all ammo is case guaged I drop them in ammo boxes and visually inspect each primer to make sure they are seated properly and check head stamps for signs of over presssure. Anything that looks slightly funny is discarded.

    Out of each batch (I load about 2000 rounds at a time) I pull out 20 rounds to chrono and test for accuracy. If they make the fps and accuracy criteria then they are ready as local match ammo.

    For big match it follows as above but my buddy will give me once fired brass that are one head stamp. I reduce the speed which I reload and check the powder charge often. Check OAL, everything.
     

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