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Single projectile reloader

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Charlie Becknell, Sep 2, 2012.

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  1. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    I am considering purchasing a pistol /rifle reloader. I need it to be simple, self indexing, and able to load different calibers. I reload on Spolar for shotgun. I need to load with celerity since my schedule is pretty tight.

    Charlie
     
  2. jmac_cope

    jmac_cope Active Member

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    A Dillon Progressive with do you nicely!

    JMAC
     
  3. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    Dillon 650
     
  4. chipking

    chipking TS Member

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    Dillon 550 You can start out using it like a single stage press stepping a single round through each step of the process and then when you feel comfortable with the process you can use it like a progressive. The 650 will do the same but it is a true progressive while the 550 is a manually advanced progressive giving you more time to get familiar and a chance to be satisfied with each step before you advance the shell.

    --- Chip King ---
     
  5. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Geez. If you can mentally handle the progressivity of a shotshell loader, metallic cartridges are no more difficult, and in fact a bit easier since you're not messing with wads. The learning curve in moving from single cartridge to progressive reloading will probably take you 15 minutes, if you've alread reloaded shotshells progressively.


    Of course, you have the option of loading one shell at a time with any progressive...just take one shell and follow it through the stations, if you prefer (analogous to a turret press with several dies mounted). You completely finish one shell before starting on another. If you want to operate in training-wheels mode, this works great because you can see the whole process of creating the cartridge in front of you in one cycle. And unlike with a turret press, once you feel comfortable, you can just fill up the plate and go right to progressive operation, without buying more stuff.


    If you're not reloading super-precision rifle rounds, and are dropping charges volumetrically, I see no difference in precision of one type of press over the other (although when using a volumetric measure on a progressive, I do prefer to disconnect the auto-drop and operate the powder measure by hand, rather than letting the press do it...smoother that way).


    For equipment, the Dillons are well-regarded. Since the 550 is not self-indexing, and the Square Deal B doesn't load rifle calibers (both stated requirements for you), you'd be looking at a 650. I doubt you could go wrong there. (I'd hate to think how long we'd have waited for the old-line companies to come up with a good progressive press, if Dillon hadn't shook up the business back in the 80's. They were the first to figure out that not everybody is sedentary and shoots 25 shots a month off a bench).


    The Hornady Lock and Load progressive is also nice, and gives you true self-indexing operation and rifle capability at a bit less money than a Dillon 650. I like being able to take out the bullet seating die quickly, by itself, and scrape bullet lube out of it, made possible by the quick-release bushings the LnL system uses (very similar to the tool bushings employed on a CNC milling machine...once your tool is set properly to the bushing, it can come in and out of the machine without losing any adjustments). When my QC checks show my OAL is starting to creep downward, I know that lube build-up is causing bullets to seat deeper, and it takes less than a minute to take that single die out of there, shine a light up in it, scrape the lube out, visually inspect and and have it back in operation with no fuss.


    While we're at it, I highly recommend the RCBS carbide dies. No use spending big money on a press, only to economize on dies (cheaper ones don't measure up & can be harder to adjust...I once received Lee dies as a gift, and hated every minute of loading with them).
     
  6. 338reddog

    338reddog Member

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    Simple, Buy a rock chucker. Self indexing buy a Dillon 650. Either one will load different calibers. I have a rock chucker and 2 650's. I use the rock chucker more than the progressive presses. Sure I load more volume on the 650s but I can change my set up for smaller runs alot more efficeintly on the rock chucker.There is more to good reloading than just deprime,prime,powder and seat bullet. I really like the 650s after I done all my prelim work on a rock chucker. And both have great warranties and when you go progressive you will be glad for the no hassle warranties. What calibers are you wanting to load?
     
  7. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    The first major difference you will experience with reloading for metallic cartridges IMO will be the requirement for brass preparation. Don't be in a hurry. If you don't have the time to properly inspect, sort, clean and trim, you will be better off from an accuracy and safety standpoint by buying factory ammunition.

    My recommendation is to first buy an RCBS Master reloading kit plus the accessory kit as this will provide all/most of what you need to begin reloading metallic. You will need to also buy dies for each caliber and a vibrator case cleaner and media. Plastic boxes specific to caliber to store and keep track of how many times a case has been reloaded are also a very good investment. I have never used mine but a stuck cartridge remover may also be required.

    Midway and Sinclair International are good sources of reloading equipment and supplies.

    The kit contains the massive Rock Chucker press which is the most used reloading press in the world. It will handle any resizing need you are likely to encounter. The kit will also include an excellent reloading manual and detailed instructions for reloading.

    Once you have mastered a single stage press, you can make an informed decision about buying and using a progressive press. You can't go wrong with a Dillon.

    Remember, shot shell operates in the 8,000 psi - 11,000 psi range while metallic rifle can approach or exceed 60,000 psi.

    Have fun and please be careful.

    Ed Ward
     
  8. ImpalaBob

    ImpalaBob Member

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    My Dillon 550 has served me very well for my pistol cartridge re-loading.

    I much agree with the comments above about case preperation for rifle brass. Necked brass takes a lot of prep time for correct reloading.

    Reloading shotgun hulls is about the easiest reloading there is!!
     
  9. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Ditto on the Dillon 650. Highly suggest the casefeeder option and you're ready to rock&roll, Charlie! Chichay
     
  10. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    Does Hornady use powder bushings like shotshell reloader? I have loaded > than 100,000 shotgun shells but have never seen a single projectile loaded. I plan on loading 45acp, 9mm, &. 223/556.

    Before I would attempt loading I would observe a safe and experienced loader and then have them watch me.

    I need it to be "bulletproof". I can tear up a screwdriver.
     
  11. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I echo Ed Ward's recommendations. Start out simple as unless you are going to be loading hundreds of rounds per week, a single-stage press will serve you well while offering few opportunities to screw up an adjustment. I've been handloading metallic cartridges since 1972, load about two dozen rifle cartridges from .223REM to .338RUM as well as .38SPL/.357MAG, .44MAG and .45ACP on a RCBS Rock Chucker IV. I load for quality instead of quantity and enjoy the time I spend doing it. I get the urge to look into a progressive loader every now and then but it has never progressed past the "urge" stage. I'm a hopeless powder trickler for rifle rounds and could never trust a progressive for those cartridges.

    For your handgun rounds, the suggestion to spring for carbide sizing dies is not a good one, it is a GREAT one. Similarly, if each of your rifle calibers will only be used in one rifle, buy a neck-sizing die - they save a lot of time fooling with case lube. Speaking of case lube, if you go with a neck die, MidwayUSA offers Imperial Application Media with a dry neck lube. You just push the case neck into the small container of graphite-coated balls and both the inside and outside of the neck is ready to go into the die.

    I use both RCBS and Redding dies and buy whichever brand MidwayUSA has the best price on. It's a little nuts how one brand can be more expensive for one caliber and be less costly for another.

    For your handgun cartridges, you may already have the only powder you need for target loads on your loading bench - Clays. Its clean-burning qualities carry over to handgun ammo and while TiteGroup delivers ever so slightly more accuracy in the larger calibers, Clays works acceptably in them as well without the residual dirt left behind by TiteGroup and some other handgun powders. Two popular old-school powders, Bullseye and Unique, are absolutely filthy by comparison.

    Good luck with your new venture!

    Ed
     
  12. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I just went through this very decision. I too loaded shot shells on a progressive and thought about getting a progressive for metallic. A good friend walked me through each step and explained the do's and don'ts as well as the added dangers with metallic loading over shotshell. I opted for a single stage Hornady Lock 'n Load. I'm not sorry I bought a single stage and I can turn out plenty of quality loads in no time. Unless you are gonna do a ton of spraying and praying, full auto mag dumps or shooting full on competition I can't see needing a progressive yet. With the higher pressures of metallic/centerfire reloading, I like to pay particular attention to detail with my loads from the sorting of the brass to the seating depth of the bullet. Right now anyway I feel safer doing these steps one on one.
     
  13. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    I'll go with Matt's suggestion on this one. I don't load much metallic anymore but do have a Dillon Square Deal and two Dillon 550's sitting on the bench. My go to machine is the Redding T-7 Turret press. Solid and capable of holding multiple die sets and removable heads. Other than high volume reloading I see no need for anything else!!
     
  14. whosyourdaddy

    whosyourdaddy Member

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    Excellent thread Gentlemen. Don't want to hijack Charlies thread, but I have a couple questions that may help him as well. Is there a particular reloading book that you guys would recommend for a beginner? Also, is there a kit that you would recommend, or is it better to purchase tooling and such seperately so you don't end up with a bunch of useless stuff that will never be used? Thanks again.
     
  15. Kerz

    Kerz Member

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    Been loading on Dillon loaders since 1981. Dillon 550 would serve you well. It is manually indexed. If you need auto indexing, go 650. Dillon, none better.
    Vic
     
  16. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Daddy, if you buy a starter kit, you will get everything you initially will need, including a book. I recommend the one at the link above, as it will include a loader that will handle the longest rifle cartridges. Even though you don't load them now, things can and often do change and that loader is not much more costly than the smaller version.

    As far as help goes, I'm sure if you ask around your gun club(s), you will find someone who will gladly spend some time with you setting up your equipment and showing you how to use it. In fact, if you live anywhere near southcentral Pennsylvania, I volunteer!

    One thing you will need that doesn't come with a kit is a sturdy bench upon which to mount and use your new loader. The pressure it exerts on the bench is considerable, so it has to be well-built. Bench kits are available but I always preferred to build one to best fit my needs. Mine is in the photo below.

    averaged_2008_0303400.jpg


    You don't need one as large or elaborate as mine but you will probably outgrow a smaller one in time. And mine isn't all that large - the top is 5'x7' - I've seen ones that make it look like a card table.

    Ed
     
  17. John55

    John55 Active Member

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    I started metallic loading over 40yrs ago, mostly for rifle cartridges. Have always been well satisfied with a single stage press of one kind or another. Did some pistol cartridge loading along the way too, and if you are only going to shoot a box or two a week the single stage will do. My son and I both shoot a fair of amount of pistol ammo and it just got to be way too time consuming to load one at a time, so we bought a Dillon 650 and could not be happier. Either of us can find an hour or so a week to turn out enough ammo for the both of us to shoot. Case feed on it is super nice too and I wouldn't have one w/o it now that I have used one. Caliber changes can get expensive for a 650, so if you are shooting more than one caliber you might look into a 550. It loads great ammo too, and except for the self indexing feature you aren't stepping down in quality, only production.
     
  18. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    RCBS Super Rockchucker (far left) is the Gold Standard. The progressives are for high volume handgun.

    The 'Chucker is my third one, wore out rams on two. RCBS replaced them no charge.
     
  19. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    A better pic of the 'Chucker.
     
  20. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    I guess I am a true neophyte, what is a Rock Chucker? I know how to throw rocks but this does not seem to be the same?
     
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