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Brass loader OT

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by PAR8HED, Mar 24, 2011.

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  1. PAR8HED

    PAR8HED Member

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    Considering getting into loading brass, never done it before and only been reloading shotgun for about 1 1/2 years. This would only be for .45ACP and 45LC. What would be the Spolar of brass reloaders? What ones would you avoid and why? Good sources for information? Is there a "Brass Reloading for Dummies" reference out there? Tips, ideas and/or suggestions are welcome.

    Hal Hitchcock
     
  2. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Spolar of metallic loaders is the Dillon 1050. However, it is serious overkill for home use. So next best is the XL650 tricked out with all the add-ons. That's my set-up for the last 12 years and I swear by it.
     
  3. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    The Dillon 550 or 650 will do all you want.

    Most decent reloading manuals give good advice for getting started but they typically focus on a single stage loading process. The Dillon 550 can be operated this way if you really don't understand the function of each station. The learing curve is pretty short - nothing to fear. The main thing is that you use current loading data from reputable sources.
     
  4. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    I have all the Dillons but would recommend the Hornady Lock-n-Load AP (Auto Progressive). DO NOT buy a Dillon 550B as it is must be manually indexed; and that will increase your chances of a double charge.

    The true "Spolar of Brass Loaders" is the Star. No longer produced, but all machined parts and no stampings or plastic bits.

    Just my $.02

    Don Verna
     
  5. dss8110

    dss8110 Member

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    Hornandy lock and load is the best for the money.
     
  6. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    By the same token a Dillon Square Deal B in a handgun only progressive. You should only by one of these if you are interested in only handgun loads. I you wish to go to Rifle later you would need another machine if you buy a SDB.

    If I were going to a rifle loader I would buy a Honrady AP progressive. I like the Hornady as if you load more than one caliber you never have to reset up you dies you just change the bushing they mount in and change your powder settings and you can load both on it.

    Bob Lawless
     
  7. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Dillon is the answer. And the 550B would be perfect. The manual indexing is no big deal and if you double charge, you are really doing something stupid. The key, IMHO, to never double charging is using a powder that occupies at least half the space available. That way, if you do double charge (highly unlikely) it will be immediately evident.

    Dillon, Dillon...only way to fly.
     
  8. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Capvan,

    New people to reloading can make "stupid" mistakes. I have seen experienced reloaders make them too. Auto indexing is a good feature for both safety and speed.

    The Dillons are good machines. But, the price difference between a 550B and the Hornady makes the choice s rather simple one. Hornady was (may still) offer 500 free bullets with the purchase. That makes it a no brainier.

    Lastly, most of us shoot loads that can be double charged. At least we wish the flexibility to shoot a light charge of Bullseye, Clays, W231 etc.

    I am not bashing Dillon (heck I have four of them) but the Hornady seems a wiser investment for Hal.

    Don Verna
     
  9. Unsingle

    Unsingle Member

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    The Dillon Square Deal is really a nice loader for the money if you only load one caliber. It makes loading fun. You can really put out the ammunition. Look at it on the Dillion site. I love that it is progressive.
     
  10. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    "Spolar of metallic loaders is the Dillon 1050. However, it is serious overkill for home use"

    There is no such thing as overkill when speaking of reloading. Its just like automobiles. A Yugo will get you where you want to go. A BMW will get you there in style and comfort. Any of the basic loaders will turn out the same product and quality. Most are also capable of loading more than you can shoot if kept fed. Some loaders are just easier to get the job done with. I could see somebody having a Dillon 1050 and be a casual shooter. When he/she does have to reload it would be fast and effortless. JMHO
     
  11. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    Having two Dillon 550's set up on the bench (near a grabber, 3 MEC single stages, a Redding boss and two Lee presses) I have never double charged a case. Since you have to manually place a bullet on station 3, it would be pretty obvious the case is already full of bullet. The problem with a very automated machine is that the more features you have, the more set up. If you only load one caliber, and always use the same powder, bullets and never change the finished product you are fine. If you just want to load a couple of boxes of ammo for your carry gun and a couple for another pistol, all that stuff needs changed. When I shot a LOT of pistol, one of my Dillons was set up just for my all around .45 load. I would load 1000 every time I pulled the pillow case off the loader. I kept at least 10 primer tubes pre loaded so I would not have to stop to do that. The other loader was for the 100's and 200's at a time with 6 or 8 other calibers and multiple bullet weights. The simpler 550B is a dream to change over. Since the original poster already mentioned two calibers, we know a Square Deal is not the best because it is expensive and time consuming to switch over. The base 650 is not to hard to switch over, but the optional automatic feeders need set up also.

    To summerize, the most feature packed system may not be the best product to match the needs of the shooter.
     
  12. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    I would think a new reloader would be less likely to throw a double charge as someone who has done it for years and is complacent. Any one can make a mistake anytime, that is a poor reason to not get a 550b.
     
  13. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    There is another choice that has not been mentioned here and certainly would fill the bill for a variety of uses.

    I'm Talking the C&H Pistol Champ.
    wrbuchanan_2009_191287.jpg


    This unit is a 4 Station Manual H-Frame press that is well proven. You move the cartridge from one to another station while processsing each round.

    The rear center position for the Full Length Size/Decap

    The left front station is to Prime, Expand the case mouth and, Charge the case.

    The center front position is to Seat the Bullet.

    And the right front station is to Crimp the Bullet in place.

    This press can also be used for loading Rifle cases and I load all of my rifle cases on this tool. I can do about 150 per hour. There is almost no posibility of a screw up with this tool because you can see exactly what you are doing at all times.Also you are handling only one case at a time from beginning of the loading operation til done.

    The point was made above that he needs a Rock Chucker so he can learn how to reload proper ammunition, and I agree totally. However this tool is like 4 Rock Chuckers lined up on the bench in front of you except it doesn't take up as much room. So what you are doing is the same as having each operation set up on one of those presses and moving the case from press to press.

    They come with one set of dies, and are about $275.

    I have a Rock Chucker, a C&H Pistol Champ, a Dillon SDB, a C&H Auto Champ Progressive, and a Lee Loader, not to mention several Shotgun Shell loaders. I can load just about anything short of .50 BMG's.

    That said my next Press will be a Dillon 650, and I will be selling some of the other tools, except for my Rockchucker and my C&H. Those are basic tools that everybody needs.

    You can do anything on a Rockchucker but only one operation at a time, so it is slower. I use mine for processing cases, and everything else but the actual loading of the processed cases. I can do the actual loading of Rifle cases, after they are prepped faster on the C&H cuz it can have several operations set up at once. Also it lends itself to short runs and load development better than a single stage press does.

    The guy really needs to buy a .45 ACP Lee Loader hand tool to see if he really wants to load brass and learn the operations and why they are done,,,Cost $35. If he does want to continue then he can move up to many different machines, and all of them are good in their own way.

    But starting out on a high end Progressive loader with all the bells and whistles is just asking for trouble. There is just too many things going on at once to keep track of, and mistakes will be made. The mistake of double charging a pistol round is a BIG MISTAKE!

    Like learning how to drive on a Ferrari. You can't appreciate how nice it is unless you've driven a Ford or Chevy before. You need to know how to drive before you get that Ferrari.

    Randy
     
  14. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    +1 for the Dillon 550B ... quick easy caliber change up to .50 BMG.
     
  15. PAR8HED

    PAR8HED Member

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    Thanks huge people! One reason I went with Spolar was it was built to last forever and about as idiot proof as possible. Like any machine, only as good as the fool (in my case) pulling the handle. I like to think I'm pretty confident now after 15,000 shells. With brass, the point made is exactly my main concern. Mistakes with brass have huge consequences.

    I was not aware of all the progressive choices. Something to consider for sure. Question, how hard is it to change calibers? For those that asked, I'm rebuilding my gun collection and expect to spend the Minnesota winters punching a good deal of paper.

    Hal
     
  16. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    As with some of the others, my advice would be to start with a single stage press.
    I don't think they wear out, so an old Pacific C press would do, if it was new enough to have replacable shell holders. Metallic loading also needs accessories, like case trimmers, case mouth beveler, powder measures, a good scale, etc.
     
  17. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Look at the PW P200 Metal-Matic.

    Based on the PW 375 shot shell reloader. Not as fast as a progressive, BUT a whole lot more control over whats going on!!

    One tool head handles 2 calibers. If you go that route(less then half of a Dillon $250)get the primer feeder.

    The C-H is a good one too.
     
  18. PAR8HED

    PAR8HED Member

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    Ok, stupid questions time. I'm taking a serious look at the rock chucker, it seems to be a good press to learn on, well made and simple. First, what is the best way to mount this on a bench? Do you get the torque from the press that I get with my Spolar? I have the Spolar bolted to an 1 1/2" butcher block counter top that I had made specifically for reloading shotgun and a gun cleaning area. I would be adding another workbench for this operation.

    Second, how do you like to reload during a single stage process? I would think taking one round start to finish would be exceedingly time consuming. So if you were loading 50 rounds, would you set the primers for each, then powder drop, etc?

    Finally, what accessories are the must have item? I have an electronic scale already and use that religiously to check my drops. Things like case cleaning, deburring, etc.

    Thank you all.

    Hal
     
  19. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    You need to mount the rock chucker as solidly as you can. Lots of torque generated when decapping.

    On my single stage I decap 100 cases. Prime using a Lee hand priming tool. Bell the cases of the 100. Charge with powder when they're standing up in the loading blocks. Seat 100 bullets, crimp 100 bullets. Since you need to change the die for each operation, it would be insane to do one round at a time. Some people do batches of 200 or whatever. You don't need loading blocks until the powder charging step. Once you have the cases charged with powder, a good look over will tell you if there are any double charges. It's pretty evident, even with a light load of bullseye. I do one intentionally sometimes, just to see what it looks like. It jumps out on the loading block.

    cap
     
  20. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Huge mistake getting a single stage for pistol ammo. You will regret it after the first 4 weeks if you shoot any amount. But, if you must, my advice is to NEVER put the case down after it is charged with powder. Once you drop the powder, seat the bullet immediately - no way to double charge that way. And NEVER use one of those little pistol powder measures to fill a loading block of primed and belled cases. Too easy to lose your place and double charge.

    I have loaded 100's of thousands of rounds and had a few "squibs" - never a double charge. Squibs make you look careless and are a PITA. Double charges can blow a gun apart. Err on the safe side.

    Good luck

    Don Verna

    PS: The Rock Chucker is a good reloader but ill suited for your stated needs. It is a very strong unit but you are loading pistol cases and not case forming or performing other high stress operations (swaging). Why "waste" money on it? Slow down and identify what you want to accomplish. How many rounds a week/month will you shoot? Do you want to spend a lot of time at it? How many calibers? Will you be alternating between LP and SP primers?

    To go from the "Spolar of Metallics" to a RC makes no sense.
     
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