Reloading Process for Rifle on Progressive??


April 25, 2007, 04:24 PM
I’m new to reloading on a progressive and would like some feedback.

I have a Dillon 650 setup for .308 with the case feeder. The rounds are cycled through a new DSA SA58 FAL, currently chewing up the brass pretty good because the rifle is so tight.

Station 1 is a Redding Type S Full Sizing Die/Decap with bushing
Station 2 does the primer
Station 3 is the Hornady Case Activated Powder Drop
Station 4 is empty
Station 5 is the Redding Competition Bullet Seating Die

The Hornady Case Activated Powder Drop is in Station 3 to provide good clearances for the mechanism of the drop and the low primer alarm.

Currently following this process to reload.

Pass #1 for New Brass, no primers, case retaining pin removed on Station 3:
1 - uniform the primer pocket
2 - run through Station 1 Full Size Die/Decap to correct bruised necks
3 – no activity in Station 2 since primers are not loaded
4 – hand remove the case from Station 3 so powder does not drop
5 - uniform the flash hole since the neck needs to be round for the tool
6 - trim the case length

Pass #1 for Fired Brass, no primers, case retaining pin removed on Station 3:
1 – lube the cases
2 – run through Station 1 Full Size Die/Decap
3 – hand remove the case from Station 3 so powder does not drop
4 – clean off the lube
5 – trim case length

Pass #2, primers loaded and case retaining pin installed on Station 3, full size die removed:
1 – nothing happens in Station 1
2 – Primer installed by Station 2
3 – Powder drop by Station 3
4 – place bullet into case in Station 5 and seat
5 – Visual inspection of primer seat and weighing on digital scale

My friends eight year old daughter is doing my QA. She checks the seat of every primer with her finger, the overall weight of the finished cartridge on the digital scale, and gently packs the rounds into zip lock bags - asks me when we are going to reload again so she can help.

I have a second tool head so it is easy enough to move the Full Size/Decap Die to its own tool head.

Should I move the priming step into Pass #1?

This would support inspection of the seated primer before the powder charge and seating the bullet. But, the primer would be in place when I trimmed the case, and the primer mechanism of Pass #2 would kiss the primer again, ensuring it is seated fully without popping the primer.

Any concern about the case trim shavings being trapped in the flash hole?

Any concerns about tumbling the primed cases to remove the case lube?

Any comments or concerns in general?

Thanks, BSR

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April 25, 2007, 06:11 PM

I don't recommend resizing new brass without lube the potential exists that you could encounter some factory brass not resized to your die dimensions and end up sticking a case. Otherwise your process flow looks good.

Personally I don't like to run lubed cases on my progressive and get the case feeder all gummed up with lube. It is slower but I always decap and resize on my single stage press after I tumble them first. Then I clean the primmer pockets and tumble them again to remove the lube. Any new to me brass or brass that I don't resize with an RCBS X-Die I trim, that would include my 22-250 and 30-06 since they only get neck resized. I then use a universal decapping die in station #1 to ensure that the primer pockets are clean.

April 25, 2007, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the comments....

I agree, Pass #1 will be moved over to a single stage as soon as MidwayUSA delivers the box. Long term we are going to set up the single stage with the Lock-N-Load conversion kit so we can size/decap .223 and .308 easily - then we will buy a second 650 for .223 and move the case feed between them with the simple change of the case feed plate. All a matter of funding the projects slowly.

Be safe, BSR

April 25, 2007, 07:27 PM
Did you know that next week Graff and Sons is going to have the Lee Classic Cast press on sale for $38? It's the Lee equivalent of the RCBS Rock Chucker but with a bigger ram. Lock-N-Load conversion kit works out great on my RCBS Rock Chucker especially since I have the Hornady AP.

April 26, 2007, 02:27 AM
I don't load many new cases but for relaoding fired cases I always utilize the case feeder, otherwise for me what's the point of useing the 650.
For once fired cases,
1. Lube cases on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. I use this homemade lube that works as well as the dillon spray lube. Here is a link with instuctions .

2. Add about 100 lubed cases to the case feed hopper
A. station 1 universal decapper only
B. station 2 nothing
C. station 3 nothing
D station 4 dillon power trimmer and sizer
E. station 5 nothing
F. they drop into the bin

Repeat until 1000 cases are to this point.

clean lube off cases with clean corncob media

I then swag the primer pockets if necessary and inspect
The dillon power trimmer cuts so clean I don't always chamfer and deburr, it just depends on what type of shooting and which rifle will be used.

Add the clean sized and trimmed cases to the hopper thats just been cleaned
Station 1 universal decapper. Just to make sure there's not any media stuck in the flash hole.
Station 2 primed. I have not had any problems with the dillon priming system as long as the pockets have been swaged they seat great.
Station 3 powder drop. Dillons powder drop is not the best for extruded powders it does fine for plinking rounds but not for benchrest. When I use ball powder it works excellent.

(I like the hornady set up you use, how do you like it and how does it handle different types of powder.)

Powder check
Station 4 seat bullet dillon
Station 5 Lee factory crimp
falls into the bin. I found that home depot sells bins that are 3 times as big as dillons and they mount the same.

When useing the power trimmer it is a must to have a good vacuum connected to it. I made my own central vac with a shop vac and pvc pipe so I don't have to listen to it run

bullet tray, roller handle,tall mounting brackets low powder alarm and low primer alarm are all a must.
Rubbing alcohol works well for cleaning all the sufaces that have lube on them.

Allen wrenches with the balls on the ends are handy to get to hard to reach locations

Extra primer tubes keep the process going

It takes about 5 hours to do 1000 rounds this way. These rounds are as good if not better than off the shelf commercial rounds. They are not benchrest rounds but that is not my goal with the 650. I would use a single stage for benchrest.

April 26, 2007, 10:57 AM

How and what are you using to clean out the lube from your case feeder and the lower assembly? I tried lubed cases once and it was more of a hassle cleaning off the case feeder and lower feeder assembly then just running them through my Rock Chucker with a Case Kicker installed after a day of shooting. Just resizing and depriming on my RCBS Rock Chucker with a Case Kicker I can run about a 100 rounds through just at 10 minutes. Granted it is slower to resize on a single stage and part of the reason why I now clean and resize all my brass when I come home from a day a shooting. I am interested in what you are using to clean up with if it is quick and easy to use and doesn't harm the plastic on the case feeder I may give it another try.

April 26, 2007, 11:12 AM
This weekend Iíll collect some pictures of the tool head with the Hornady Case Activated Powder Drop. The 650 has been setup for .308 only and Iím using IMR 4895 just to keep things simple for now. I really like the Hornady, it works, the rifle micrometer is great for adjustments of the charge.

I cleaned the powder drop when I fist unpacked it and set things up, but I must have missed something because half way through my last batch of reloads the charge changed in weight by 10%. My assumption is that some powder must have balled up in the measuring cavity, later to break free and change the size of the cavity.

The powder drop is going to get a thorough cleaning this weekend.

Be safe, BSR

April 26, 2007, 12:39 PM
Here's my 650 set-up for .223.

This pic of the case activated linkage is the old style hornady. It still works great, so I don't know what the new one looks like, BUT this one is no longer available.

I do it two ways, depending on if I'm loading blasting/plinking ammo, or match. For the blasting ammo with bulk bullets and surplus WC-844 ball powder, I simply spray lube with RCBS case slick, dump them in the case feeder and load. Station 1 is a Hornady FL die, 2 primes and dumps powder, 3 is empty, 4 has the powder check die in it,(turned around backwards), and 5 seats.

For match ammo, that I trim and do other case prep, I use my single stage co-ax with a .223 lee collet neck die in it. This deprimes AND gets the neck round so a lee trimmer will enter. I don't have it turned real tight, as the cases will go through the whole process as above with the blasting ammo. After the case prep is done they get the spray lube and they go through the whole sequence. I find that the hornady measure handles varget quite well. I load a 69 grain nosler J-4 match bullet for 600 yard shoots. I'm not concerned with lube in the case feeder, if anything it makes it run smoother.

De-lubing is done by a 20 minute ride in my tumbler with plain corn cob. They come out clean and dry, ready to box up.

April 26, 2007, 07:37 PM

To clean up the lube I just use paper towels and 97% rubbing alcohol. Make sure to have good ventilation and nothing that would cause the alcohol to ignite.
Pull the case feed plate wipe it up, wipe up the hopper, and run a wad of paper towel soaked in alcohol down the feed tube, pull the tool head off and splash it with alcohol and blow dry with compressed air or dust off spray. I have a small folding ladder in the reloading room to make accsess easier and quicker. This all takes about 10 to 15 min.

I think I'll have to go get one of those Hornady Case Activated Powder Drop

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