Choosing reloading equipment


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Dannix
October 7, 2009, 03:04 AM
Some guys on the benchrestcentral forums recommended to me to go quality and then enjoy it for a lifetime. I've decided to heed their advice and with the time savings considered so much the more so.

Mainly plan on reloading 9mm. Will probably move to half 9mm half 5.56mm in the relatively near future. A little 40cal and 30-30 as well. All total probably around 5-10k rounds a year.

Already picked up a few manuals. Looking at getting a Lyman 1200 and Dillon Super Swage. Press wise I'm leaning toward the Hornady LNL. Anything "must-haves" to purchase in addition to the press besides a case feeder and/or bullet feeder? Any fast way of depriming i.e. is there some machine out there for this or is it one round at a time? How long does tumbler medium last?

Thanks

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Walkalong
October 7, 2009, 09:34 AM
Any fast way of depriming i.e. is there some machine out there for this
I run all my cases through my LNL to size/deprime. Then I prime with an RCBS hand primer. Then I load the cases using the LNL sans the sizer. Makes it very smooth and works for me. You could use a single stage to deprime using a universal depriming die, but that just adds expense.

The Hornady LNL, RCBS 2000, Dillon 550 & 650, as well as the Lee Loadmaster all have their fans. All of them will do what you want.

(No press brand wars guys ;))

Anything "must-haves" to purchase in addition to the press

You don't "need" case feeders or bullet feeders, although I am sure they are nice. I don't use either. 4 or 5 hundred rounds an hour going carefully along is still easily done.

You will need a pair of dial calipers. Most any will work for reloading needs. I use this cheap one (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=47257) and it works great. The digital display is much easier for my old eyes to read than my higher priced old dial calipers. 99% of reloading measuring needs do not need .0001 accuracy.

You must have a powder scale. If you don't buy a press that comes with a powder measure, you will need a measure.

You will need some case lube for rifle brass. (And pistol if you don't buy carbide dies)

Reloading manuals you listed. Everything else is gravy.

You can reload safely with a press capable of priming, dies, lube, a scale, a measure, calipers, and a good reloading manual, and, of course, a little help from your friends :) (Oh yea, ya gotta have brass, bullets, primers, and powder. :D)

You will want a tumbler. That is a big time/labor savor.You will become interested in a chronograph sooner or later. Cases gauges come in handy sometimes. A hand primer is nice.

Did I miss anything? There are a hundred little goodies out there we like to buy. :)

Larry Burchfield
October 7, 2009, 05:15 PM
As stated you will need a good beam type powder scale to check all your wieghts. I personally don't care for the digital type scales for weighing anything. It takes to long for them to warm up and if there is any air blowing in the room it will effect the read out.
You will also need someway to trim your rifle cases. I like the Lee hand tools and a power screwdriver.
Larry Burchfield
SEABEES/VIETNAM/67/68/69
DAV

Dannix
October 7, 2009, 05:18 PM
I'm referring to "must-haves" for time saving. Tumbler, progressive press, bullet and case feeders...can't think of anything else. I'll be sure lube, trimmer, and scale is on my checklist. I've got spoiled with the chem lab scales in uni. Fast, ultra precise, and enclosed to mitigate atmospheric influences. Crazy expensive though.

Priming - Don't trust your LNL AP to prime for you? Using soft primers?

Lube/carbide - I was under the impression lubing was required for progress presses as the carbide dies require precise alignment not present in progressive presses. Your thoughts?

Thanks :)

MichiganShootist
October 7, 2009, 05:20 PM
You only need to know one name.

DILLON

Eric F
October 7, 2009, 05:25 PM
Case feeders are a luxuary. I loaded 10k one year and didnt need one. I dont shoot that much now though. Tumbler is a must have. Bullet feeders are also a luxuary. Progressive presses are nica and I own a dillon but the 10k year was done on a lee turret press. Calipers scale and case lube are a must. aside from that everything else is a luxuary item.
You only need to know one name.

DILLON
there you are, what kept you so long?

Dannix
October 7, 2009, 05:31 PM
Dillion, right, so just buy everything with a Dillion brand on it as that's all I need to know? I should sell my 9mm and buy a "real" .45 pistol too?

Sorry for being caddy, but I'm not looking for press comments -- unless there's a particular aspect of the LNL AP you want to alert me as a newbie to. :)

Thanks for the comment Eric. I'll probably wait then on the bullet and case feeders. Maybe have some fun and try to make a homebrewed implementation.

What do the "big boys" use for depriming?

Gryffydd
October 7, 2009, 05:37 PM
You only need to know one name.

DILLON
Man you Dillon guys are a riot.

the carbide dies require precise alignment not present in progressive presses. Your thoughts?
My carbide dies work great in my Loadmaster.

Any fast way of depriming i.e. is there some machine out there for this or is it one round at a time?
I deprime using the case feeder on my Loadmaster. Just pour them in the top and crank away. I then handprime them using the RCBS APS hand tool. This gives me the up close and personal inspection time each case deserves before being reloaded.

Case feeders are certainly nice. I like the fact that mine came with my auto-indexing progressive press for less than $300 total. They start to look an awful lot less necessary when they cost $300 by themselves.

Gryffydd
October 7, 2009, 05:42 PM
Since with the LNL AP you'll have a progressive with a pretty reliable priming mechanism (unlike the Loadmaster) you could do your individual case inspection as you deprime them on the press, and then later just use the press for priming inline with your reloading operation. You'll end up with the same throughput either way.

redneck2
October 7, 2009, 06:54 PM
I got a bunch of "extras" that I've never used

If you're looking at 5-10k rounds per year, you're only looking at less than 1k per month. That's a couple of hours on a L-n-L or my 550. IMO, case and bullet feeders would be a waste of time and money..

I'd take the above advice and buy the basics until you get some experience. While bullet and case feeders sound sexy, I'd stick with the basics until you start to get it figured out. There's enough stuff to watch without adding to the mix.

Personally, I'd take that money and buy an automatic powder measure. I have a PACT. Every rifle charge is weighed to +/- .1. That thing is a godsend.

Walkalong
October 7, 2009, 06:57 PM
Did I miss anything?
You will also need someway to trim your rifle cases.

Yep. Thanks Larry. He will eventually need a trimmer for those 30-30 cases.

something vague
October 7, 2009, 07:56 PM
What would this forum be without you Dillon fanatics.

something vague
October 7, 2009, 08:02 PM
Personally, I'd take that money and buy an automatic powder measure.

I believe the OP said he's getting an automatic powder measure, the Lyman 1200. Which I have no experience with but has had some somewhat decent reviews. Not as good and fast as the RCBS but supposedly faster than the Pact. IMO, all those measures would be a great choice.

RustyFN
October 7, 2009, 10:06 PM
Priming - Don't trust your LNL AP to prime for you?

You can prime on the LNL no problem.

Lube/carbide - I was under the impression lubing was required for progress presses as the carbide dies require precise alignment not present in progressive presses. Your thoughts?

You don't need to lube any straight wall pistol cases although some people like to because it makes it a little easier to pull the handle. The only problem with lubing is when you do lube a case the lube will have to be cleaned off at some point. Loading any bottle neck case you will want to use case lube.

I believe the OP said he's getting an automatic powder measure, the Lyman 1200.

Yea not sure. The Lyman 1200 could be a powder measure or tumbler. Personally I would stick with the Hornady measure and the CAPD or loading will be a lot slower.

BigJakeJ1s
October 7, 2009, 10:30 PM
If the OP just wants to de-prime before tumbling, then just remove all the dies from the LNL AP, and put a universal depriming die (several brands have them) in at station one.

That's one of the nice things about the LNL AP is the flexibility of the die system. You can interchange dies easily one at a time. The LNL PM will work in any station (not just 2nd station), so you can do two or more steps on the front end (e.g. neck size and shoulder bump), while still getting the job done in just one pass through the press.

Andy

billybob44
October 7, 2009, 10:45 PM
What would this forum be without you Dillon fanatics.
Yes, some of us will ONLY settle for the BEST. Some of you are happy with secondary quality??.........OK Dillon People, now send me my free stuff!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Chan
October 7, 2009, 10:53 PM
I tumble my cases in my cheapo Lyman tumbler. Deprime them on my Lee Classic Turret. Trim them with my Possum Hollow or RCBS trimmers (for rifle only). Remove the crimp (military) with my Dillon Super Swage 600. Prime them with my RCBS Automatic Primer (rifle only). And depending on the caliber, load them with my Dillon 550 (my first ever press), my Lee Classic Turret, or my Lee Single Stage.

No loyalties. They are all good and the only problems I've ever had with any of them can be traced by to the operator, not the equipment.

Oh, and when I'm done, I tumble them again with walnut and NuFinish.

50calshooter
October 7, 2009, 11:18 PM
I have alot of equipment what works for me. If you will shoot alot of 223 I love my Dillion trimer. My next favorite is C&H as it also does my 50 cal, least favorite are Lyman and RCBS trimers( low speed) The Dillion sizes and trim in one shot as fast as you can put it in the press. I run Lyman vibrator 2200 works great resonably priced hold like 900 38 cases. You will want two presses single stage, and a progressive. I run the LNL had a 550 worked good. I like my case feeder on the LNL. I load around 15-20K a year. Also like the 1010 scale RCBS Ohause makes it. I find it easier to read than most. Dies Rcbs, Hornady or Lyman perfect waranty resonable price. Lee waranty not very good.

Dannix
October 7, 2009, 11:28 PM
Uncle Chan, you tumble loaded rounds?

50calshooter, I was looking at that 1010 Ohause. That's probably what I'm going to go with for scaling. I'll take a look at the electronic trimmers when I start up on 5.56mm. Just going to use a hand trimmer for now for the little 30-30 rifle I shoot. You using a single stage just for depriming?


The Lyman 1200 comment was referring to a tumbler, but thanks for mentioning powder measures. I've heard good things about the Uniflow, but I'm surprised to see the PACT was only ~$125. Way cheaper than the RCBS electronic dispensers.

I'm looking at going with two now, one pump for general use, one auto for match grade rifle and the extruded that often implies. Only need a ball friendly one to start with, as will probably be using only W231 (9mm) and W748 (30-30) to start. I assume the included pump will do the trick for ball to start; how consistent is it with extruded?

Noveldoc
October 10, 2009, 03:14 PM
My name is Tom. God help me, I am a Lee lover. Not to set off a flame here; I just like their stuff.

I have found life much simpler removing primers first step with a decapping die. Simple, quick and requires just finger pressure.

It is simpler to start with a 1 step press but maybe look into a Lee turret press. If you get one without the auto index or disable it, can use first as a single stage. But is simple to set up and much quicker once you get into the groove. Also I got a 3 stage press for less that $20 more than a single stage. (I do not use the 4th stage crimp die; slows me down.)

I just put cases in a tumbler with a little Turtle Wax paste polish. If you aren't ready to invest in a tumbler, you could clean with a primer tool. RCBS makes a nice brushy one or use a flat tip small screwdriver.

Scale to check charges is essential. I use the primer seater built into the press after cleaning pockets. Also I use the auto disc powder measure. That may not drop enough for some rifle loads but, if you index the dies by hand, you can always double drop.

I just like Lee for prices and support. A beginner can get a kit with all the goodies he needs in a package deal. And do yourself a favor and pay a little extra for a carbide pistol die.

There are many other good choices.

Tom

rfwobbly
October 10, 2009, 03:39 PM
Dannix -
You've chosen some good equipment there. You'll be very happy. Some other thoughts...

> The Hornady press may come with a Hornady reloading manual which is a really good manual. I love mine. However, like the Speer, Nosler and Sierra manuals, it only covers those brand bullets. If Hornady doesn't make a particular bullet, then they'll be no information on that cartridge. So there are gaps in that manual. I would highly suggest a Lyman manual as a second book as you fill your library.

> In truth, any reloader with over 10 years experience has every color of equipment. No one company makes ALL the equipment you may need. Not one single starter kit comes with everything. Many of the accessories are simply caliber dependent. So don't let anyone jerk you around about brand.

> One of the very necessary accessories no one offers in their kit is a set of measuring calipers. I highly suggest a 6 inch, easy-to-read digital set over the mechanical dial or vernier types. Harbor Freight has these on sale several times a year for $13.

All the best.

Floppy_D
October 10, 2009, 03:58 PM
I'm onboard with what Walkalong put out. For rifle, I deprime on a single stage, trim/chamfer/remove primer crimp, and then run through the progressive without a sizer. If you wanted to do it all on a progressive, just size and deprime, pull the case out, trim and chamfer, and then toss it back in to be primed and loaded.

I tumble loaded rounds, just like the factory does. (That's why there's no die marks on factory rounds.) I change the media once it starts taking too long to get the job done, which is probably once a year or so.

Carbide dies are plenty precise for me, the overall length comes out very consistent. Just make sure the press and dies are set up right, it'll do fine.

In truth, any reloader with over 10 years experience has every color of equipment. No one company makes ALL the equipment you may need.

Lotta truth in there. I started on Lee gear and liked it for it's simplicity. Now my presses are blue, green and red. I like 'em all.

Sounds like you're on the right track, good luck!

rfwobbly
October 10, 2009, 04:05 PM
My reloading bench has so many colors, even Jesse Jackson approves.

:D

oneounceload
October 10, 2009, 04:10 PM
Maybe I missed it, but among all of the other must haves like scale, etc....is an inertia bullet puller for the mistakes that will happen.

BTW, case feeders and bullet feeders aren't MUST HAVES.....neither is a progressive press - but if you're concerned more about quantity than anything else, they are nice extras

Walkalong
October 10, 2009, 04:15 PM
In truth, any reloader with over 10 years experience has every color of equipmentGuilty as charged......:D

BigJakeJ1s
October 10, 2009, 07:38 PM
I have several shades of red, and I have some green, but I don't have the blues...

Andy

jcwit
October 10, 2009, 07:51 PM
My blue press sayes Bair on it.

David Wile
October 10, 2009, 08:49 PM
Hey Dannix,

I have read all the posts on this thread, and I understand that you would like to load on a Hornady L&L AP progressive press. There is something inconsistent in some of what you have said, and I would like to address it for you to consider. On the one hand, you indicated you wanted to know the "must haves" for time saving, and then on the other hand you want to deprime your cases as a single stage operation. Time saving and depriming single stage on a Hornady L&L AP progressive press just do not go hand in glove.

No one else has suggested this, so I will jump in with both feet and hope I do not offend you. Please believe that it is not my intention to discourage you and your ambitions. Having asked for forgiveness, I now make mention that it seems you have not given any consideration to a single stage press, even though your statements would seem to indicate that you could do a lot of learning on a single stage before you will have a genuine need for a progressive press. I know folks say you can use the Hornady L&L AP in a single stage mode, but that is not realistic.

I have a Hornady L&L AP, have had it since 1997, and I think it is a great press. However, I also have several single stage presses that I still use for special jobs. I think I got my RCBS Jr. press about 50 years ago, and I got my RCBS RockChucker 40+ years ago. I still use them both.

If you start with a single stage press and really learn reloading as a craft, and then you purchace a progressive press, you will have a progressive press that will make a lot of finished cartridges quite quickly, and you will still have your old single stage press to do those five or ten special cartridges you want to test. Having the old single stage for those special jobs is a lot better than messing around with a progressive press.

I will finish with a few more opinionated comments on subjects you addressed. I have absolutely no interest in a case feeder or a bullet feeder. I saw a case feeder work, did not think it was that useful to overall output, and I could not stand the noise it made. There is no way I would want a bullet feeder. I like placing the empty case in the first shell plate opening, and I like placing the bullet in the charged case just as it is rising into the seating/crimping die. One other item you asked about is putting finished cartridges in a vibratory cleaner. I have been doing just that for 25 years and never had any mishap. I do not like putting empty cases in the vibratory cleaner because you either end up with cleaning media in empty primer pockets or in the spent primers. I also do not use my vibratory cleaner to remove lube from finished cartridges. The lube shortens the life of the media, and I am too cheap to buy any more media than I have to buy. Instead, I wash the lube off my finished cartridges in a bit of gasoline and dry them on a towel before going in the vibratory cleaner.

Now I freely admit that most of what I said above is my opinion and not offered as facts written in stone. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

David Wile
October 10, 2009, 08:52 PM
Hey Jcwit,

Many years ago I had a blue progressive press. It said Pacific on it and was a progressive shotshell press. I think it was the DL300 or whatever preceeded the Pacific (later Hornady) 366 progressive. It was a great press for its time.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

jcwit
October 10, 2009, 09:07 PM
I believe Bair was bought out by Pacific.

jcwit

Uncle Chan
October 10, 2009, 09:23 PM
Dannix, yes, I tumble loaded rounds and have for years. How do you think the manufacturers get their bullets so bright and clean?

Several here tumble live rounds.

rfwobbly
October 11, 2009, 03:37 PM
Maybe I missed it, but among all of the other must haves like scale, etc....is an inertia bullet puller for the mistakes that will happen.

No, no, no! You're way ahead of yourself. Mistakes don't happen until Week #2 !!

:D

radio-voice
October 11, 2009, 03:44 PM
Dannix:
Forgive me for mentioning the Dillon name again, but it's necessary for my post. I recently purchased a Dillon RL550B and really like it. I'm well aware that there are a number of other great manufacturers out there. Hey, this is the land of innovation and competition, after all. But one of your questions was how to de-prime, and the 550's first station de-primes, resizes and then re-primes. I assume there are other presses that have a similar feature, but this one is very nice in that once you put the spent casing in station one, you don't touch it again (except to set the bullet on top at station three, until you remove the completed round from the tray for QC checks.

A nice little digital scale I've found after a little trial and error is the My Weigh DuraScale 50, available from Old Will Knott Scales for about $59. It's accurate to within .1 grains and has a 30 year warranty. Maximum capacity is 50 grams (about 770 grains).

Other essentials, as mentioned in previous posts:
-Case tumbler
-Caliper
-Kinetic bullet puller
-Case Gauge
-Primer flip tray
-Reloading data source (manuals, Hodgdon Web site, etc.)
-Someone with experience to get you started is also very helpful!

I'm only loading .40S&W at the moment, so I can't comment on other items needed for rifle reloading. I'll leave that to others with more experience.

Hope this helps.

Walkalong
October 11, 2009, 04:24 PM
25 + years reloading, and I still don't have a bullet puller. I must be doing something wrong. (scratches head) :scrutiny:

RustyFN
October 11, 2009, 07:38 PM
25 + years reloading, and I still don't have a bullet puller. I must be doing something wrong. (scratches head)

You better get your act together. You haven't lived until you pull 100 bullets with a hammer type bullet puller. :D :neener:

billybob44
October 11, 2009, 08:35 PM
Guilty as charged......:D
Yes, but there are a few that they prefer.

Dannix
October 11, 2009, 08:48 PM
Thanks for all the comments guys. :)

David Wile, I don't know if I should deprime my cases as a single stage operation or not (attraction of a single stage for testing loads aside. :confused: If I seem to have conflicting posts, perhaps it's because of guidance received, albeit perhaps at times misinterpreted or conflicting. Sometimes I feel more confused than educated with all the different philosophies out there. The epitome of a sophomoric level of understanding I guess. I've already been talked out of going for bullet and cast feeders, at least to start. :)

I guess my current confusion is if you don't deprime before tumble cleaning your dirty fired cases, and tumble non-deprimed and then just do it all in one go on a progressive, is it not a concern that the primer pocket isn't getting cleaned?

Tumbling after reloading - are you using a different batch of medium for cleaning and post-reloading polishing?


Current list: LNL AP, Lyman Tumbler (for NATO brass I have), lube, Dillon Super Swage 600, analog scale, digital caliper, case gauge.
Potentials, as needed: kinetic bullet puller, single stage press, digital scale, bullet/case feeders

oldreloader
October 11, 2009, 10:35 PM
25 + years reloading, and I still don't have a bullet puller. I must be doing something wrong. (scratches head) :scrutiny:
Me either.. If I have to pull one I grab the sideutter pliers.I've never tumbled a case either.Nothing against it,I just don't use one.I'm not a high volume operation.

RustyFN
October 11, 2009, 10:35 PM
I guess my current confusion is if you don't deprime before tumble cleaning your dirty fired cases, and tumble non-deprimed and then just do it all in one go on a progressive, is it not a concern that the primer pocket isn't getting cleaned?

I don't know anybody including myself that cleans primer pockets for pistol ammo. In my opinion it just isn't necessesary. I only load 223 for rifle and don't clean them every time.

Tumbling after reloading - are you using a different batch of medium for cleaning and post-reloading polishing?

I use the same batch as I do for the brass. The loaded ammo only needs to be tumbled for 5 to 10 minutes. I only do that for rifle ammo to remove the lube. I tumble pistol brass before sizing to keep from having to dig media out of the flash holes.

Dannix
October 11, 2009, 10:59 PM
oldreloader, you just clean your brass with SimpleGreen or some such?

RustyFN, when you do clean your 223 primer pockets, do you tumble non-deprimed, then deprime via press, then clean with a brush, and then load?

oldreloader
October 11, 2009, 11:03 PM
Most of the time I wipe them off with a rag and alcohol.If it's Really dirty maybe simple green or a light buff with fine steel wool or scotchbrite.

Superblackrifle
October 11, 2009, 11:34 PM
All my stuff is used and at least 30 years old. My old RCBS RC press with aps priming that I got a couple of months ago for $20. My old Lyman 55 powder measure that is in the original box with papers for $30 free shipping on ebay hasn't been off a charge yet. A Lyman pro scale that I got for $5 on ebay. Had to send it to lyman for a piece cuz they will not give you a piece. For liability they recalibrate the whole thing for free , Had to pay $6 dollar shipping though. Some clamps to mount to the kitchen counter and a homemade powder measure bracket. a homemade tumbler. Check out my cheap setup on You tube under "reloading setup" for ideas

GW Staar
October 11, 2009, 11:41 PM
Quote by Walkalong:
25 + years reloading, and I still don't have a bullet puller. I must be doing something wrong. (scratches head)

Never smashed a primer?
Never overseated a bullet?

Wow! I thought Christ was the only perfect man!;)

I've done pretty well over the last 38 years...but not that good. I made my first homemade hammer style bullet puller 35 years ago to "fix" some lousy seated primers in newly swaged LC .308 brass necked down to .243 (the RCBS swager...didn't...enough):uhoh:. Have needed it a few times since too, usually to empty range pickups that that didn't go boom (never could resist perfectly good brass), and most recently when I finally went progressive (RCBS Pro 2000) and started cranking the first time exuberantly...uh, too fast... uh, before I knew how much trouble I could get into. There IS a learning curve even for 37 year Rock Chucker veterans.:)

Me and the Pro 2000 get along fine now...even looking for a bullet feeder. Too much to load...too little time.;)

rfwobbly
October 12, 2009, 01:21 PM
I guess my current confusion is if you don't deprime before tumble cleaning your dirty fired cases, and tumble non-deprimed and then just do it all in one go on a progressive, is it not a concern that the primer pocket isn't getting cleaned?


Dannix -
This is correct. Some people do tumble de-primed cases, and so an old standby single-stage press with a Lee Universal Decapping Die comes in very handy. The large percentage of these guys are the ultra-precision crowd, or people that are simply persnickety about their cartridge cases. But then this last group washes their sneaker too! :D

However, I would say that the majority of reloaders (myself included) tumble the expended cartridge case in its "picked up" condition. Once you work up your load, you'll see that the interior of the cases and primer pocket is fairly clean. So cleaning the primer pocket on one of these cases gives no real advantage. It is prettier, but there is simply not much to be gained.

The only time I consistently de-prime and tumble is on military cases where I intend to swage the primer pocket. And I have the motorized RCBS primer pocket cleaning setup, so it's not for lack of proper primer pocket cleaning equipment.

If I experiment with a new powder and it burns particularly dirty, then I might also clean those pockets. But this is on a small lot basis, and not the "norm".

If you are using the cheaper pet litter as a tumbling media, you may find that the large size of the media simply clogs the pocket and no cleaning gets done anyway. In that scenario, tumbling de-primed cases is actually a distinct disadvantage.


Just so you know, I use my ammo in IPSC competitions and have not had a failure-to-fire in quite some time. I load my competition ammo very slowly and have several close inspection steps along the way. However, primer pocket cleaning is definitely not one of these steps.

Hope this helps! :)

RustyFN
October 12, 2009, 06:48 PM
RustyFN, when you do clean your 223 primer pockets, do you tumble non-deprimed, then deprime via press, then clean with a brush, and then load?

Yes. I tumble 223 cases with the primers in. Then I size, clean the primer pocket and check length for trimming. After all of the case prep is done then I load. This isn't me but it is very close to how I load 223 on my classic turret.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOpN9iYOyE8

UltimateReloader
October 13, 2009, 03:31 PM
Invest in quality- You're on the right track!

I'll throw a couple of resources at you that I've put together:
Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive HD video series, start here:
http://ultimatereloader.com/?p=453

What you need to start loading pistol checklist: (There's also a complete Handgun loading 101 here):
http://ultimatereloader.com/?page_id=332

I hope that's helpful. If you're mechanically inclined, take your time, and double/triple check everything you do, you'll be fine starting with a quality progressive. If you do not fall into this category, you may want to look at a turret or single stage. Either way, have fun with it and good luck!

David Wile
October 14, 2009, 12:51 AM
Hey Dannix,

You asked, "...is it not a concern that the primer pocket isn't getting cleaned?"

When I started reloading about 50 years ago, I learned on a single stage press and was taught to clean each and every primer pocket on rifle or pistol ammo. After sizing and depriming, there was always a small amount of ash like material stuck in the primer pocket, and I was taught to remove it by running the point of an ice pick around the bottom edge of the pocket. Doing so alway removed what tiny bit of material was there, and it met the approval of the older person who taught me about reloading.

For 37 years I continued to clean primer pockets in the same way. In the last ten of those 37 years, I heard about folks reloading metalic ammo on progressive presses, and I wondered about how they got away without cleaning their primer pockets like I had been doing for 37 years. Then I had some extra money, and when Hornady came out with their L&L AP, I had one of the first ones available (the serial number is somewhere in the 2,500s). When I got that progressive press and learned everything about what makes it work, I decided that primer pockets in ammo loaded on such a press did not have to be cleaned after all. I continued to clean primer pockets whenever I worked ammo on a single stage, but I stopped cleaning primer pockets on all ammo loaded on the progressive.

Within a year or so, I finally realized that cleaning primer pockets made absolutely no difference to the shooting I was doing, so I just stopped cleaning primer pockets all together. I haven't stopped loading special jobs on single stage presses, but I no longer bother with cleaning primer pockets. If my old reloading mentor knew this, I am sure I would catch a lot of flak.

Again, I don't like cleaning cases either before depriming or after depriming. Either way, you either get media stuck in the spent primer (which can bend the depriming rod), or you get media stuck in the primer pocket. I don't like either whether you are loading on a single stage or a progressive. If I have to lube cases while loading on the progressive, I run them through the complete loading process and remove lube after they are completed cartridges. I use gasoline to remove the lube, let them dry for a short while, and then put the completed cartridges in my vibratory cleaner to clean the cases. If I am lubing cases on the single stage, I lube, size and deprime the whole batch of cases. I then put them in an old coffee can filled about a third with gasoline and rinse them off to remove the lube. I then let the batch of cases dry on a terry cloth towel before finishing the cartridges. Once finished, I put these in the vibratory cleaner for polishing.

You also asked, "Tumbling after reloading - are you using a different batch of medium for cleaning and post-reloading polishing?" I am not sure what you are asking here. Since I use a vibratory cleaner, I do not use the term "tumble" for the vibratory cleaning process. "Tumble" is a bit of a misnomer unless you are actually tumbling your cases in the old fashioned way with a true tumbler cleaner. I think most folks actually have vibratory cleaners and still use the misnomer "tumble" for the cleaning process.

In my case, I use corn cob media for cleaning and polishing my finished cartridges. Like I said earlier, I do not use my vibratory cleaner for removing lube; for me, removing lube with media is a waste of media. I think it lasts much longer if it is not softened up with case lube.

I could be wrong, but that is my take on the process.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Dannix
October 14, 2009, 09:06 AM
Dave, am I correct in assuming you are not using carbide dies? I'm eying the Redding Pro Series in Titanium Carbide. Probably won't pony up the green though.

Gryffydd
October 14, 2009, 11:28 AM
I think most folks actually have vibratory cleaners and still use the misnomer "tumble" for the cleaning process.
I have a vibratory cleaner. Guess what happens when it runs? The cases tumble. Up the outside wall, down in the middle of the tumbler, back up the outside wall...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni1cmZtwja0

David Wile
October 14, 2009, 07:04 PM
Hey Gryffydd,

I am guessing you were just yanking my chain when you commented, "I have a vibratory cleaner. Guess what happens when it runs? The cases tumble. Up the outside wall, down in the middle of the tumbler, back up the outside wall... " You certainly have to know of the old rock tumblers that came long before the vibratory cleaners and were adopted by reloaders to "tumble" their brass instead of rocks. They were essentially canisters that were filled with polishing media and rocks, and then the canister was rolled for days on end while the rocks and media inside truly tumbled over each other as the cannister continuously turned. The vibratory cleaner we commonly use today works on a completely different mechanical principle, and while the cases we polish do flow in a circle around the doughnut shaped vibratory cleaner, it is not really the same mechanical action as used in the original tumblers. It is kind of like the difference between a caburetor and fuel injection. They both accomplish pretty much the same thing, but they do it in different ways and with different degrees of efficiency. I realize that I will not stop all reloaders from using the term "tumble" when they speak of cleaning cases in a vibratory cleaner, but I maintain that its use is actually a misnomer since the term "tumble" first came to use with the cannister type tumblers which did "tumble," and it does not accurately describe the action of the vibratory cleaners.


For Dannix who asked: "Dave, am I correct in assuming you are not using carbide dies? I'm eying the Redding Pro Series in Titanium Carbide. Probably won't pony up the green though." Actually I use both carbide and regular dies. From your question itself, I am guessing that you may not understand the difference between the two.

Most straight (or nearly straight) walled cases can be sized with carbide dies which do not require any lube on the cases. Such straight walled cases usually means most pistol and only a few rifle cases (.38 special and 9mm in pistol and 444 Marlin and 45-70 in rifle for example). Bottlenecked cases (most rifle and a few pistol) are usually sized in regular steel dies and require lube to be used. If there are carbide dies available for bottleneck cases, I don't have any experience with them, but I am sure they would cost a fortune.

You mentioned your caution about paying the price for Redding carbide dies. I have no idea what they may cost, but in my experience I have found that RCBS, Lyman, and Hornady dies are all similar in quality if not price. There are also many folks here who use Lee dies which are far less in price than the ones I have used all these years, and those folks will swear by their Lee products. One caution I would make about die brands if you are going to buy a Hornady L&L AP progressive press, is that the top of the Hornady press is a lot thicker than my RCBS RockChucker, and I have found a several RCBS dies that are difficult to use in the L&L, and there are a few RCBS dies that are just too short to use in the L&L. The Hornady dies are longer and designed to work in the L&L easier. I am not saying that Hornady dies are better than RCBS; I am simply saying that some RCBS dies and other shorter brand dies may not work in the L&L press. If you get the L&L press and Hornady dies are at or near the price of other dies, then I would suggest getting the Hornady dies and avoiding all problems.

I hope that gives you some idea about dies and why some cases require lube for sizing and other may not require lube for sizing.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Gryffydd
October 14, 2009, 07:18 PM
You certainly have to know of the old rock tumblers that came long before the vibratory cleaners and were adopted by reloaders to "tumble" their brass instead of rocks.
Yes...yes I do know.

I maintain that its use is actually a misnomer since the term "tumble" first came to use with the cannister type tumblers which did "tumble," and it does not accurately describe the action of the vibratory cleaners.
Which came first really has nothing to do with the definition of the word "tumble". If you look at the definition of the word, both mechanisms fit. One rolls, one vibrates, and either way the cases are tumbled through the media. I would submit that the word "tumble" has been around longer than either of the polishing mechanisms.
For that matter, if you look at the source of the word "tumble"
[Middle English tumblen, frequentative of tumben, to dance about, from Old English tumbian.]
I'd say that favors the vibratory tumblers :D

David Wile
October 14, 2009, 07:44 PM
Hey Gryffydd,

You can "tumble" your cases in your vibratory cleaner all you want. I am going to vibrate my cases in my vibratory cleaner. Besides, those Middle English folks didn't have any vibratory cleaners for their cartridge cases, and me thinks thou doth protest too much.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

David Wile
October 14, 2009, 07:47 PM
Hey Gryffydd,

I do have to admit that anyone who points out the distinction between "your" and "you're" cannot be all bad - or all wrong.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Gryffydd
October 14, 2009, 08:41 PM
Hey David,
We'll agree to each stick to our own nomenclature I guess--just don't tell me mine's wrong. :neener:
And thanks for taking my comments in the good humor in which I meant them.

Walkalong
October 14, 2009, 09:22 PM
We use many words "wrongly", such as tumble when we really mean vibrate in our "tumbler". No wonder we get confused. We use a tumbler to vibrate brass, which makes the brass tumble, while it's vibrating. :scrutiny:

And your is different than you're, just like since is different than sense, but used in its place often around here.

argh.. :cool:

:D :D :evil:

David Wile
October 14, 2009, 11:04 PM
Hey Gryffydd,

Your wrong!

Now wait, did I mean you or did I mean your?

Oh well, it's not as bad as Walkalong's wrongly, but he really does have a good excuse. Being from Alabama, he never really had a chance to learn English as we good Yankees have. Then again, I did go to school in Virginia and went back to live there for some years. I'm not ashamed to tell you all that Virginia did grow on me a fair bit, but I never did get to eating that cow food they call greens. Their about as bad as parsnips.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

rfwobbly
October 14, 2009, 11:43 PM
I think most folks actually have vibratory cleaners and still use the misnomer "tumble" for the cleaning process.

I shudder to think that anyone would even consider labeling all this random tossing and turning of case within media as anything less than an agitation akin to Brownian motion. The use of these lesser terms simply makes me quake.

:eek:

freonr22
October 15, 2009, 01:59 AM
well I am a new reloader, and have the LNL, I also got the case feeder later, I thought it was well worth the $280 (i think you get some bullets back too) I would like some input on the decrimping/swaging etc.

times have changed since i started and could not get a dillon super swage, I did already have the CH4d swager but it does not fit a progressive with the shell plate. hmmm no dinero... hmmm I expieremented and found that a #2 phillips bit in a drill press removed the crimp in about 2 seconds. literally. so far I have run 500 cases that way and have only 6500 more to go.

A very knowledgable reloader indicated a 3/8 countersink would function as well/better (he has 8 dillon 650's and 1-3 1050's)

also I built a TUMBLER from scratch that works well, I can do 750-2000 @ a time http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=169056&highlight=tumbler

and the tiny video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWDMfCxx9LI&feature=player_embedded

Dannix
October 15, 2009, 09:53 AM
David Wile, thanks for the lube/carbine et al clarification. As for the tumbling discussion, well, perhaps we should adopt vibratized instead of tumbled.

jcwit
October 15, 2009, 10:11 AM
I didnt do great in English class 50 + yrs ago, but I spent 50 yrs with most people understanding me. To thos that dont it dont matter anyways. And I aint gonna change.

Now back to tumble or viberate, that is the question.
I stile want to now if it a clip or a maganize.

Walkalong
October 15, 2009, 10:58 AM
And I aint gonna change
I got yer back jcwit. :)

Gryffydd
October 15, 2009, 12:03 PM
Argh, now I have a headache and I've gone cross eyed thanks to you two. :neener:

Dannix
October 16, 2009, 08:24 AM
freonr22, that a HUGE tumber and it would for me cost me more in time and materials than to pick up Dillon2001. But that looks like an awesome project if I had the time and material resources availalbe, and gives you superior gunny creed over just getting a commercial product. :)

That CH4D die swagger... so how does that work in a (single stage) press as the dies come in at the mouth, based on my newbie understanding.

"8 dillon 650's and 1-3 1050's" - he's moonlighting? I thought about maybe doing this some day and/or getting into swagging as a way to wind down mentally from work.

Dannix
October 16, 2009, 08:39 AM
I didnt do great in English class 50 + yrs ago
http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail64.html :)

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