Some advice on a newly purchased setup for a newbie


September 16, 2007, 07:20 PM
Would you experienced guys mind looking over the gear I have ordered and purchased locally to set up a reloading bench for to begin with .357/38 Special and .45 ACP. I know I need to pick up some primers, a load of .45 cases and some more Powder for .357 Magnum loads but I want to make sure I am not missing any Dillon parts of accessories that I am going to need. Should I get another power measure or is that overkill?


Dillon 1" Bench Wrench

Dillon Carbide Pistol Dies (Three-Die Sets)
Die Type: .45 ACP/GAP - $0.00

Dillon Carbide Pistol Dies (Three-Die Sets)
Die Type: .38/.357 - $0.00

Dillon Spare Tool Head

Dillon Primer Flipper Tray

Dillon's 'Eliminator' Scale

RL 550B
Caliber Type: .38 LC/.38 Sp./.357/Mag./Max.

RL 550B Caliber Conversion Kits
Caliber Type: .45 ACP/.45 GAP

RL550/Square Deal Machine Cover

Rainier LeadSafe Per 500 T Copper Jacketed Bullets .38 158GR FP TCJ

Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets 38/357 148 GR DEWC 500 ct

Hornady 230 Gr. HP/XTP 45 ACP (X2)

Hornady 158 Gr. HP/XTP .357 (X2)

Hornady 125 Gr. HP/XTP .357 (X2)

AA #2 Powder 1 lb.

Hodgson HS-6 Powder 1 lb.

Bullseye 1 lb.

Cabela's 100 Rnd Ammo Boxes 4-Pack 38/357 GREEN 4 PACK

Thumler's Tumbler Ultra Vibe 10 Tumbler w/#3 Media


Magtech Unprimed Reloading Brass .357 MAG

Cabela's Bullet Puller w/4 Collets

Lyman Reloading manual

One Book/One Caliber books for .357 and .45

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September 16, 2007, 08:05 PM
AA #5 & AA #9. (.45 & .357) AA #2 works well in the .38 & the .45, but AA #5 will make the .45 thump if you want some potent loads. HS6 may do the same though. I have tried both and really prefer the AA #5 for full power .45 loads.

Many will recommend H110 or W296 for the .357 and I can't argue there.

September 16, 2007, 09:51 PM
I might have missed it, but did you get shellholders with those die sets? You'll need them.

September 16, 2007, 09:58 PM
A shell plate comes with the caliber conversion kits. Is that what you are referring to. I definitely want to get some different powders as I intend to buy additional tool heads/dies/caliber conversions for .223, .300 WinMag and 10mm in the near future.

I just don't know if I should get extra powder measures so that I can keep them attached to the tool heads for efficient caliber changes.

September 16, 2007, 10:06 PM
I may have overlooked it, (i double checked your post) but you will need a scale of some sort. I would suggest a Digital one if you can afford it. I like the presition it offers as does a digital caliper.

September 17, 2007, 03:04 PM
Yeah I got the Dillon Eliminator scale. It is the balance beam scale. It might not be as efficient as a nice digital but I kind of prefer the balance scale to start out with. I might get impatient later and get a digital.

I think when I get another couple dies in the near future I will end up getting separate powder measures for each one so I can keep everything intact when I change out calibers. I think all I am missing now is some practice that I hope to be getting in the near future when the gear all arrives.

September 17, 2007, 03:31 PM
Looks like you got yourself covered.... maybe a bullet puller

September 17, 2007, 04:36 PM
You don't have to HAVE it--but max case gauges are awfully nice to have on hand, particularly when you are learning to set up semi-auto pistol loads.

Sorting out the crimp / neck diameter for pistols can be problematic. You can check the size for your given pistol by simply removing the barrel and seeing how the cartridge drops in--but that really is just checking to see if the round drops into that particular chamber.

The max cart gauge will give you a better feel for that cartridge handily--just have it sitting next to the press when you start setting up the ammo.

Jim H.

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