Which Press For Me?


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Welding Rod
July 22, 2013, 01:38 AM
I am an experienced single stage loader for rifle cartridges, and have been using a Dillon Square Deal for about 20 years for 45 acp.

I want a press to load primarily 30-06, and occasionally 308 and once in a great while 556.

Here is my plan:

Tumble, lube, size on single stage, trim/debur/chamfer on my Giruad trimmer, clean primer pocket, swage if needed, tumble again to delube.

Then put in the progressive to:

Clear flash hole of media, prime, charge, seat, and then crimp.

I normally load 30-06 and 308 one hundred at a time, and several hundred for 556. I load for 3 to 4 rifle matches per month.

For 30-06 and 308 I use H4895. For 556 I generally like Varget.

Money isn't much of an issue. I don't mind paying a couple hundred more if it will save 20 or 30 minutes per load session.

I have been browsing the Dillon 550 and 650, Hornady AP, and RCBS Pro 2000.

Any suggestions?

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KansasSasquatch
July 22, 2013, 05:31 AM
I don't own one and never have, but I would get a good turret press for what you're describing. There seems to be a general consensus that the Redding T-7 is the best turret available. Maybe it's just me but I wouldn't load rifle calibers on a progressive unless it were just plinking ammo, which is why most of my .223 is loaded on an LNLAP and all my other rifle calibers are loaded on a single stage. But if I were going to buy another progressive I'd either go with Hornady again or a Dillon. But personally I don't want a Dillon until I can afford a 1050.

TBH
July 22, 2013, 07:40 AM
My vote is 550b. I have loaded for 300wm, 7mm mag, 30-06, and now load 308,
6.5 Grendel, 223, and several pistol cal. I feel the ability to pay close attention to what you are loading trumps a little more speed.

HexHead
July 22, 2013, 10:48 AM
550 would work great for you. Just use a universal decapper at station one since you've already cleaned the lube off. I really like the flexibility the manual indexing on the 550 gives me.

ball3006
July 22, 2013, 03:32 PM
If you tumble your cases before decaping, you won't have to clean your flash hole.....It will be cleaned when you punch out the old primer.....chris3

Shmackey
July 22, 2013, 04:01 PM
Turrets and single stage are nice for benchrest-level compulsive loading behaviors, but I load some very accurate rifle ammo on a 650. I went to it from an LnL AP and haven't looked back.

Remember you can use a progressive essentially like a single-stage press (unlink or empty the priming station, etc.) when you want to. If you're already familiar with Dillon stuff and you're not turning necks and weighing bullets, you'll probably love a 550 or 650.

Mat, not doormat
July 23, 2013, 06:14 AM
550. I got one to augment my square deal and rock chucker, and fell in love. Now I'm trying to come up with dies and conversions for it for all the calibers I used to use the square deal for.

cfullgraf
July 23, 2013, 08:35 AM
Generally, I have loaded rifle cartridges, except 30 Carbine, on a single stage press. I have loaded 223 Remington on my Hornady L-N-L. but was not comfortable with it.

The spring retainer on the shell plate tends to tilt rifle cartridges causing them to mis-align with the dies a little.

I just ordered an RCBS Pro2000 due to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday) for the express purpose of loading rifle cartridges. I will resize on my single stage press then clean and trim the cases. I like the APS priming system on the RCPS press where you can see the strip advance giving a visual clue that a new primer has moved into position.

I think I may look at improving the design of the powder drop tube (aka "powder funnel") to reduce spilling of power that I have seen with the conical unit supplied with the Hornady press.

jmorris
July 23, 2013, 09:37 AM
If I am loading only a hundred or so and swapping, I am either using a turret press or the 550. If you are using the same shell plate and primer size (like 30-06 and 308) it takes 20 seconds to convert the machine from one to the other.

stubbicatt
July 23, 2013, 10:18 AM
To OP, your approach makes sense. Do your resizing, trimming, pocket swaging, etc., on a single stage, and then use the progressive to do the remainder. I would say that any Dillon would do the job for you. I used to use a Super 1050, and run the brass thru twice, first time decap, swage, trim and resize. Second time to prime, charge, seat and crimp. It worked for me.

The only progressive that I know of that I haven't tried yet is the RCBS 2000 press. I do really like the APS priming feature, and use an APS hand primer.

As far as match ammo, the shortcomings of the progressive are the case prep steps, IMO. I imagine you can get consistent seating depth, neck tension, and the other features of match prepped ammo using the technique you describe.

UKWildcats
July 23, 2013, 10:45 AM
Depending on what you are using the 30-06/308/223 for.
-- For plinkers then my vote would be Dillon 550
-- For accurate loads then a single stage press

I have 2 550's (and "A" and a "B" Model) and 1 Lee Single Stange

I load 223 on one of the 550's -- but would not use Varget in it -- I did some loading and every once in a while the Varget got damn'd up in the Powder Die on the 550 and a case did not get powder. The following case got a double load so there was no safety risk -- just a lit of a mess to clean up.

I would would think that 4895 would damn up even worse than Varget -- but have never tested.

For my Dillon I load Prairie Dog and Plinkers but use Accurate 2230 or BL-C(2) currently -- plenty accurate.

For 30-06 and 308 I use the Lee with Varget Powder (have 4895 but have not gotten to it yet)
-- I hand prime
-- I powder drop using a Lee Perfect Powder Meter (seems to works better than Dillon when it comes to stick powder)
-- I then put in lee single stage for bullet installation
-- Not very hard and faster than I thought it would be, probably 5 rounds a minutes easy


UK

jmorris
July 23, 2013, 10:59 PM
-- For plinkers then my vote would be Dillon 550
-- For accurate loads then a single stage press

David Tubb loads his match ammo on a 550, although not as it is intended to be used. He uses the Promethious powder measure and seats in steps.

UKWildcats
July 23, 2013, 11:15 PM
David Tubb loads his match ammo on a 550, although not as it is intended to be used. He uses the Promethious powder measure and seats in steps.
That might be true about Mr Tubbs using a 550 -- But 4895 (or any stick powder) with the Dillong 550 Powder measure will not be the most accurate loads due to load variations.

You can solve this by using a different powder system -- heck you can even hand weigh each load for the 550 -- just takes away from the speed of the 550. Or change your powder to something more suited for the Dillon 550 that will be accurate.

As for a Powder Measure, I have been told this is the one you want -- http://www.sinclairintl.com/reloading-equipment/powder-handling/powder-measures-dispensers/harrell-schuentzen-powder-measure-prod38248.aspx -- Harrel Schuentzen Powder Measure.

UK

Welding Rod
July 24, 2013, 01:30 AM
My 06 loads are for my Garands, so I don't think I have a huge choice of powders that will really excel in the gun and in the powder measure.

My shooting is high power type events so bench rest accuracy isn't necessary, but I do shoot good enough that ammo accuracy matters. My best Garand scores are always best with commercial match ammo (Hornady) when I buy it.

For my hand loads I usually use Hornady 150 grain FMJs just because they are cheap.... I bought a bunch for 17 bucks per hundred from Midway a year or two ago. But my scores took a hit over the Hornady match ammo.

Thanks for the tips guys. I still haven't decided yet.... Keep going back and forth between the 550, Pro 2000, and AP. Probably in that order, though I am a little skeptical of the Dillon powder measure. I assume it is the same one that is on my Square Deal.

HexHead
July 24, 2013, 09:54 AM
Yes, it's the same powder measure, though depending on how old your SD is, there may be some differences.

Why not duplicate the Hornady match ammo for your Garand when you load?

UKWildcats
July 24, 2013, 10:00 AM
The powder measures for the 550 and the SD are very similiar in operation -- I know you can purchase a Powder Die adapter to allow you to use an aftermarket Powder Measure with the 550 but have no experience with it.

My Father-in-Law has a Hornady Progressive and really like it -- but he does not use stick powder from what i know, mainly ball powder.

-- When I used Varget in my 550 loading 223 the drop weights when I was running a test (I weighted each load for about 10 loads) the Varget was within +/- 0.2 grains from desired from what I remember. And at least twice when loading with Varget the powder was clogged in the Powder Funnel so I just hand loaded with my Lee (I was loading up 223 Hunting Bullets with Nosler Partitions).

UK

jmorris
July 24, 2013, 10:03 AM
The SD Powder measure uses a different casting than the 550, 650 and 1050. The SD uses one screw to hold it into place, the others use two. In function they are the same and the powder bars interchange.

jmorris
July 24, 2013, 10:07 AM
That might be true about Mr Tubbs using a 550 -- But 4895 (or any stick powder) with the Dillong 550 Powder measure will not be the most accurate loads due to load variations.

You can solve this by using a different powder system -- heck you can even hand weigh each load for the 550 -- just takes away from the speed of the 550. Or change your powder to something more suited for the Dillon 550 that will be accurate.

As for a Powder Measure, I have been told this is the one you want -- http://www.sinclairintl.com/reloadin...prod38248.aspx -- Harrel Schuentzen Powder Measure.

In my original post I pointed out that he did not use the dillon powder measure.

These are considered to be the best. http://www.6mmbr.com/prometheus.html



PROMETHEUS
39.95 39.94 39.96 39.96 39.96 39.95 39.93 39.96 39.95 39.96
Mean = 39.95 SD = 0.010 ES = 0.03 Six-Sigma = 0.062
Process Accuracy: +/- 0.03 gr

HARRELL'S MEASURE
40.06 39.89 39.96 39.95 39.73 40.10 39.79 40.08 40.01 40.18
Mean = 39.97 SD = 0.142 ES = 0.45 Six-Sigma = 0.847
Process Accuracy: +/- 0.4 gr

warhwkbb
July 24, 2013, 10:30 AM
I use an RCBS Pro2000 for all stages of reloading, removing the powder measure and dies as necessary. The UniFlow powder measure that comes with the kit is better than many, but you may still want to weigh each charge separately if using an extruded powder. I have gone to ball for most of my loads and can produce 300 or so loaded rounds an hour that are more accurate than I can shoot. With Varget or H4895 I can reliably get within 2/10'ths of a grain. Changing the Primer size and shell plate take only seconds. The APS system works great if kept clean.

There are a few cons as well...It does not support nearly as many goodies as a Dillon. It is difficult, but not impossible to see into the case to visually check for powder. It has only 5 stations.

The support from RCBS is every bit as good as Dillon. They will not allow you to pay for parts you may have lost or broken, they just send them to you. A couple years ago after loading over 50K in my Pro2000, some springs were getting worn. I asked for every spring inside the Pro2000 and overhauled the whole unit. RCBS never blinked and gave me everything I wanted including a few spares.

The Pro2000 has served me well. I am at the 90K mark and it is still working like new.

UKWildcats
July 24, 2013, 03:01 PM
When I get to using the Dillon for Garand or M1A I plan to try out BL-C(2) or some of the Accurate Powder (ball powder). I also have Military Surplus powder to try WC846 to experiment with.


I know they theoritically are not as accurate at 4895 but I will test to see what effect there is -- and you probably will have to use a premium bullet to see the difference.


If the ball powder does not met my requirements then I will adapt my Dillon for a powder measure that holds better accuracy. This is the adapter for the 550 to allow use to use other mft powder measures -- http://www.dillonprecision.com/content/p/9/catid/3/pid/23634/Powder_Measure_Adapter -- will require you to use the Dillon 450 Powder Die.

Welding Rod
July 26, 2013, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the help. I just ordered a RCBS Pro 2000 WITHOUT auto feed. Hopefully it will prove satisfactory.

I also just ordered some Sinclair primer pocket uniforming cutters. I have never done this step before, but I have been having some troubles getting some primers in some brass to seat far enough down. I figure with progressive priming it will work a lot better if the all the pockets are deep enough for easy seating.... We'll see.

Welding Rod
July 26, 2013, 09:05 PM
Hexhead - I would like to duplicate the Hornady match load, but I only hand load bullets with a canelure that I can crimp into. After seeing a bunch of bullets get pushed into their cases with firm finger pressure that a friend incorrectly hand loaded, I have a phobia about this happening during an auto feed cycle and then having a gun blow up in my face.

stubbicatt
July 27, 2013, 09:19 AM
In my original post I pointed out that he did not use the dillon powder measure.

These are considered to be the best. http://www.6mmbr.com/prometheus.html
It is impressive to look at the performance of the Prometheus, true enough. And consistent charge weights will lead to consistent performance. However, I would think, and do think, that proper "node" testing, component selection, and seating depth, will render ammunition that shoots well, even with charges thrown with a Harrell's measure. Of what use is .01 grains of accuracy in the powder charge when the brass you put it in varies by more than 1 grain in total weight, and therefore, volume?

Don't get me wrong, I think that Prometheus is an outstanding piece of kit.

jmorris
July 27, 2013, 09:57 AM
However, I would think, and do think, that proper "node" testing, component selection, and seating depth, will render ammunition that shoots well, even with charges thrown with a Harrell's measure.
If I use the right components and rifle my stock Dillon measure will put out ammo that will shoot sub moa. That's well enough for me, loading progressively.

Thanks for the help. I just ordered a RCBS Pro 2000 WITHOUT auto feed.
Give us a full review once you get it set up and are loading with it.

warhwkbb
July 28, 2013, 10:54 AM
There are several Pro2000 experts on here. Lot's of help if you need some. BTW, I don't get the notion of a manual advance progressive.

Thanks for the help. I just ordered a RCBS Pro 2000 WITHOUT auto feed. Hopefully it will prove satisfactory.

I also just ordered some Sinclair primer pocket uniforming cutters. I have never done this step before, but I have been having some troubles getting some primers in some brass to seat far enough down. I figure with progressive priming it will work a lot better if the all the pockets are deep enough for easy seating.... We'll see.
Welding Rod

gene10pntr
July 29, 2013, 01:31 PM
Doesn't anybody use a RCBS Turret Press???

fguffey
July 29, 2013, 02:13 PM
gene10pntr, I have a 6 position Herters, I also have a Lyman, then there is the 2 ram Herters, the Herters turret gets all the work.

Shell holders, the 2 ram Herters places a demand on supplies.





http://i688.photobucket.com/albums/vv241/fguffey/022-1.jpg (http://s688.photobucket.com/user/fguffey/media/022-1.jpg.html)

F. Guffey

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