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Old 10-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reloading presses and tools

I'd like to start loading .45 ACP and possibly .30-.30

I dont need a fancy press. I want something cheap that works good. cheaper the better. I dont shoot a lot.. Yet.

will the same press load 12g shells?

teach me about reloading... Do i need a tumbler? I have no problem doing manual operations but cleaning cases sounds like a pain in the ass.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Shotgun shell presses are generally a lot cheaper than metallic reloading presses.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you have a source of brass from an indoor range, or an outdoor one where it's all fresh and *not corroded* then you do not need to tumble it.

I use 4 5-gallon buckets, and a product from Birchwood Casey, creatively called Brass Cartridge Cleaner. All my brass comes from the floor of the local indoor range on Tuesday nights after our matches. A 30 minute soak in this stuff using HOT water, then shake the bucket for about 5 minutes, rinse it, and lay it on a towel to dry overnight in front of a fan (or stick it in the oven for an hour). Looks brand new. And zero lead dust.

I use a very small amount of Hornady's One Shot case lube. You can leave it on loaded ammo, it's safe for primers and powder, and makes the whole process smoother on a progressive like my Dillon 650.

I loaded my 3rd batch tonight before the match. 100 rounds of 9mm in 12 minutes. One failed to pass the case-gauge (rim was damaged before reloading) and the rest fired with zero malfunctions tonight.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd get the RCBS or Lyman starter kit for rifle and pistol.

There are only two things to know when buying shotgun reloading equipment.
MEC presses and adjustable charge bar.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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so what brands should i look for?? i know there are "progressive" presses and what else?? a non-progressive?

How cheaply could i get into re-loading?
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I use 4 5-gallon buckets, and a product from Birchwood Casey, creatively called Brass Cartridge Cleaner.
I use pure vinegar for mine. It is about $2 per gallon and works wonders on black powder residue.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I bought a complete setup used for $175, which was a smoking deal.

You need a press (bigger is better. I really like a rock chucker but they are pricey)
You will need scales, at least one reloading manual, dies ($10-15 on ebay), caliper, deburring tool, and a hand priming tool is a must. A volume powder measure is nice for pistols, but a Lee dipper set will get you the same result.

Later on, you will need a case trimmer. You will eventually want a vibratory brass cleaner and other misc stuff that makes it a little easier.

You really don't even need that if you can find a Lee hand loading set.
I know several guys that use them. All you need is the set, a hammer, and a block of wood. I have used them before. They are slow.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The best value in my opinion for a non progressive is the Lyman 6 station turret press. It's all the simplicity of a single stage, with none of the wasted time of having to readjust your dies when switching operation. It has six stations on a turret on top of a single stage setup, you just twist the top to the die that you want and start pounding away on whatever operation that die does. On a regular single stage you have to pull the last die you used, screw the next one in, then verify that it's adjusted correctly.

If you want a semi progressive, I'd highly recommend the Dillon 550B, I love mine.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Everything you need is here for $269. I think you can get in cheaper than that.
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...=cat20728_feat

This one will get you by for $99. This is probably the route I would take.
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...847&id=0053986

Same basic set with a regular press instead of the quick change die press
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...847&hasJS=true
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Last edited by SilverZuk; 10-15-2008 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you want to get into a progressive press.
I would only buy Dillon.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Lee makes a "quick change" single stage that makes it easy to change dies. Its around $45 from midway.

I use a Lee Pro 1000 progressive for my .45ACP, and it works great, providing your brass doesnt have crimped primer pockets. For my rifle stuff, I use a Lyman turret like TRH described above. After using the turret, there is no way I could ever go to a regular single stage press, at the minimum, I would get the quick-change lee.

Edit: Silver-Zuk beat me to it

Last edited by Napoleon047; 10-15-2008 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Everything you need is here for $269. I think you can get in cheaper than that.
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...=cat20728_feat

This one will get you by for $99. This is probably the route I would take.
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...847&id=0053986

Same basic set with a regular press instead of the quick change die press
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...847&hasJS=true


Thanks... Ill look into them
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I've got a tumbler on the cheap rigged up from an old 12v low rpm motor. The motor is attached to the lid with some epoxy and there are 2 little wheels nailed into the end of the 2x4 for the plastic jar to ride on. Plugged into the car battery charger for power.


I suppose if you wanted to go industrial size you could do something similar with an old garage door opener motor and 5 gallon bucket with a lid.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Id agree with SilverZuk get started cheap with the RCBS press starter setup. I say the RCBS only cuz I have one and happen to like it, no other reason. Yes I have a RCBS rockchucker cuz I happen to like the design, especially after using an old Herters #7 and a CH for years.

Case prep? Needs to be done and theres as many opinions on how and what as there are reloaders in the US. My prep includes primer pocket, tumbling and at least checking-trimming length which is essentially the minimum. Takes time but iffen one sets up a batch the pockets go quick, tumbling is a wholey unattended operation and trimming even with a manual trimmer like my Redding goes quick if one has a sharp trimmer cutter and deburring tool.

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Old 10-15-2008, 08:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have about $250 into a lee classic turret press, midway tumbler, lee powder measure, dillon scale. I load about 300 rounds of .45 an hour when I'm really moving. I would not start with a progressive press and I would consider how much you plan on reloading. This same press will handle pistol and rifle rounds and is very easy to change dies.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Look on ebay. I have gotten great deals on equipment.

Lee turret press is strong, easy to use, and while not as fast as a Dillon or Hornady progressive is much faster then a single stage. And you can find them for 40-50$ with out dies.

Sometimes you find people selling everything, scales, dies, etc as a package. Find one of these packages that has some dies you can use, sell what you cant.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The only reason I went with the Dillon 650 was speed.

For someone like myself, who shoots one caliber (9mm) exclusively, and wants to do it in massive volumes (I've fired nearly 9K of 9mm factory ammo so far this year, and that will probably double now that I load)... this machine was really the only thing that made sense.

I loaded 125 rounds last night in 13 minutes, starting with bare bass, a tray of bullets, and a machine loaded with primers. I've got another 500 to load tonight for the match this weekend (and a little bit of practice before it) and I'll time how long it actually takes me.

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Old 10-15-2008, 10:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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If 9mm is all you shoot, you should have probably considered the square deal b.

I have cranked out tons on my 550.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If it's pistol only Dillion 650 with auto feeders
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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what about the smaller $300 Dillion machines? I only shoot .357Sig right now and not planning on getting any other calibers and would shoot more handloads but mine take awhile to do with the setup I have right now.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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If it's pistol only Dillion 650 with auto feeders
The Square Deal B does pistol calibers only and is cheaper.

.357 Sig is gonna suck to load all the time. I'd get a .40 barrel.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:12 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I have a quick question. So, if I buy a Lee, do I have to use Lee dies? I already have some RCBS dies I purchased when I was living with a roomate who had all the toys. I don't want to have to go buy new dies because of a different brand. Is there a compatability chart for these?
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You can use any brand od die on any press (unless it is some oddball that I don't know about).
All the dies have the same threads.
You might have to adjust the die depth for the new press, but that is if you change any press (even same brand).

Personally, I prefer Redding dies.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If 9mm is all you shoot, you should have probably considered the square deal b.

I have cranked out tons on my 550.
Are you kidding? Or were you talking to the original poster?

Go ahead and try to crank out 2,000-2,500 rounds in one evening with the SDB. I want to see this. I bought the 650 because I currently shoot 800-1,100 rounds a month on average. That number is going to go up dramatically now that I load my own. And I want to spend maybe two nights a month in the garage pulling the handle on the blue slot machine - not one or two nights a week.

Last edited by TNToy; 10-16-2008 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:52 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I agree on the 650 for volume. There is no need to spend money on anything else.
Dad has one with case and bullet feeds, powder charge alarm, and all other bells and whistles.

That thing flat out rolls the rounds out. I think he gets bored sitting there looking at it and not reloading
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