Help? Transition. From single stage to progressive

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AR. Hillbilly, May 16, 2021.

  1. AR. Hillbilly

    AR. Hillbilly Member

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    Hey all I’m slowly gathering everything to go from my old Lee single stage to a new RCBS pro2000
    It will be 9mm and 223 starting out. I recently bought a universal decapping die and intend to put it on my single stage and leave it. Deprime then clean in a vibratory.
    I prefer to seat and crimp in separate steps. I prefer Lee 4 die sets. This is what I currently have in 223 but don’t have dies in 9mm as of yet.
    I also intend to use lanolin/iso lube on the 223. First question. So if I lube then size on the progressive, do I then do all the other steps with the lubed case and then remove excess lube from loaded round?
    Also this press uses primer strips do I need to hand prime or stick with primer strips? I got lots of strips and strip loader with the press.
     
  2. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Further... you may likely need to trim that .223 brass, too.

    I size all my rifle brass on my single-stage press, then tumble it to remove the lube. Once it's been trimmed, then it goes to the progressive... prime, flare (if necessary, for cast bullets,) powder, seat, crimp.

    The progressive doesn't really help you as much on the rifle cartridges, but it saves time at 'assembly.'

    There are some that use a trimmer at one of the progressive stations... the case is sized, then run up into a trimmer station, then on down the line... etc.
     
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  3. film495

    film495 Member

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    I use a single stage and progressives make my head spin a bit with so much going on. I actually have a Turret that is much newer and have yet to set it up and use it. If I loaded more I would get it going, but - the leap to a progressive from single to me seems like a big jump, so - I'd want to do a lot of dummy rounds and spend a bunch of time working out the process and looking for gaps in where things can not be perfect.
     
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  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The point of a progressive is to perform operations concurrent with one another. One case in, one loaded round out, with every stroke. Do one extra step and you double the amount of strokes.

    That said, it has to be done sometimes. Like rifle rounds that must be trimmed. I size/deprime and trim on the first pass then load on the 2nd.

    Using a Dillon trimmer and a case fed progressive I can size/deprime and trim a case faster than one could measure them. 1000/hr is less work than 100 using a manual trimmer. If it needs trimming after sizing, it’s trimmed, if it doesn’t, it remains untouched.

    7D818063-CD4F-4579-8320-A0FE4528EA7F.jpeg

    Still much faster and less work than single stage or turret presses.

    As for lube you can remove it after the prep pass or tumble for 15 min in corncob after they are loaded up.

    Down the road, if you need more strips, send me a PM. I have hundreds of them and will make you a much better deal on them than RCBS.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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  5. CMB

    CMB Member

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    The steps you are taking sound very similar to the ones I took. Kinda funny how that works. I didn't like charging cases with the sizing lube still on them. The process that has served me very well over the past couple of years for bottled neck cases is to deprime with a hand tool or you could use your single stage as mentioned. Then wet tumble or dry clean the cases in some fashion. Now here's the kicker..... use your single stage to size your cases. This step is important for a number of reasons but mainly you can pay attention to the amount of pressure resizing requires which is hard to do if combined with other steps. If more force is needed on a case, verify the case size with a drop in tool or the famous "plunk test"

    After you size you will notice your case is longer then spec (1.750 for .223) so you will need to trim. Sizing in the progressive will not allow you to verify your length in an efficient manor if you choose to do so. If your cases vary in length your crimps will vary. Consistency = Accuracy

    Now the trimmed case needs to be chamfered and deburred, primer crimp removed, flash hole uniformed and primer pocket uniformed. The RCBS case prep station makes this a simple process. Yes, at this point the cases still have lube on then so- back into the cleaner they go - dry tumbler at this point. Cases come out looking new most of the time.

    Now we have a case ready for priming which I do by hand. Only 3 stages are used in the progressive press. Charging, seating and crimping.

    Hope this gives you a different perspective. I have rambled on for too long. Embrace the process and good luck:thumbup:
     
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  6. AR. Hillbilly

    AR. Hillbilly Member

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    I have actually removed the auto index on my new progressive. I’ll use it that way until I get a little more than comfortable.
     
  7. garandsrus

    garandsrus Member

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    To make the transition to a progressive press, just load one case at a time, rotating it through all the stations. That is how I set up each station on a progressive press. Pretty soon, you will be comfortable and have all the stations full.

    I do size rifle brass, tumble the lube off, and trim as needed. Then a second trip through the progressive press loads the case.
     
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  8. AR. Hillbilly

    AR. Hillbilly Member

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    I’m liking the sound of this.
    As is I pre tumble, lube then size/deprime, then trim and prep then tumble again with nufinish then prime and load.
    I wonder if I might just stay on the single stage and progressive with the 9mm?
     
  9. AR. Hillbilly

    AR. Hillbilly Member

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    This helps me understand.
     
  10. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I would certainly start with the 9mm on the progressive. If you have a powder drop, you will likely need to season the drop before it will throw consistent charges. As was mentioned, run a single case through the merry-go-round to get used to the functions, then slowly work up to a full plate.

    As I mentioned, a progressive is a time-saver on rifle cartridge assembly, and particularly if you are crimping in a separate step.
     
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  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    There isn’t a single answer. You can do it anyway you like. Sometimes I don’t use the same press for all operations either. Like a 650 to prep.

    867A651C-1916-4364-9212-D743F8B2F664.jpeg

    Then load on a 1050, mainly because it has a swage station to deal with crimped primer pockets (that add yet another step when using other presses).

     
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  12. Soonerpesek

    Soonerpesek Member

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    I mount all of my rifle sizing dies in a Lyman All American turret press for the sizing/depriming step after they are tumbled in corncob.
    I have 5 set up so far--I won't have to ever move them once set.
    Then they are tubled again to remove the lube,
    I mount universal decapper dies in the Dillon shellholders for the reloading process, to poke out any debris in the flash holes.
    As you can tell, I do all of the case prep for rifle cases before they go to the loading process, it just works out better for ME.
    Again, this is MY process for bottleneck and "straightwall" rifle cases, pistol cases just go thru the 550 after they are tumbled.
    Congrats on your new press---Have Fun.
     
  13. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    I would suggest going to a turret for awhile if you want to do rifle rounds. They seem to need a bit more steps and prep then pistol rounds.

    Lefty
     
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  14. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I certainly wish more people would espouse this sentiment. I've been trying to instill this since I joined here. There are no right or wrong ways, just different ways. I do what I find comfortable for me. May not be the fastest or easiest way but I feel it accomplishes what I want done and also with the tolls I have at hand.

    My rifle brass is processed in stages and goes like this; First step wet wash in very hot water with lemishine and dish soap. Then it is rinsed and dried in a old toaster oven. Second step deprime with a universal die and set up in trays with the pockets up. Third step ream and uniform primer pockets when needed. Fourth step resize on single stage. Fifth trim with Lee Quick Trim on single stage press, Sixth run it all thru a vibrator with cob to remove all the sizing wax, any small brass chips and just polish it up a bit, put back into trays with the primers down... Now it goes to the turret press for loading.
     
  15. DanK3Pos

    DanK3Pos Member

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    @jmorris, the trimmer on the left, you've removed the Dillon vacuum manifold. Can you tell me how/why you modified that trimmer?
     
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  17. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I had one of those presses for a while. Sold it.
    Anyway, as to priming, yes you can prime on the press using the strips. You can reuse the strips by loading them with non strip primers with the strip loader.

    Or you can hand prime with a RCBS hand strip tool.

    I don't even know if primers are still sold in the strips? Not that there are any primers available anyway.

    I use diluted LEE lube and do not remove it and I lube all brass. You spend to much time cleaning brass??
    But whatever floats your brass.:)

    "As is I pre tumble, lube then size/deprime, then trim and prep then tumble again with nufinish then prime and load."
     
  18. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

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    This is what I did. After a few months on a single stage, I got a Lee turret. After a few months of that, I now know what to watch out for in a progressive. I will be buying a Dillon when they are fully available again. The good thing about presses now is that you can sell them easily for close to what you bought them for.
     
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  19. SnowBlaZeR2

    SnowBlaZeR2 Member

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    I moved to a Dillon and started out doing 9mm. Nothing crazy for my loads there. Tumble the brass, load up the press and go. I stayed with the Lee Turret for 223 until I got comfortable with my Dillon.

    My process for 223:
    - Wash, dry, inspect, and lubricate all cases
    - Run through my progressive with size/deprime, swage, trim, and mandrel
    - Dry tumble with walnut and Nu Finish
    - Swap tool head and priming, then load. I use a universal decapper at station 1 to make sure I knock out any media from the flash hole

    I do still use my Lee for load development and precision loads.
     
  20. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    Dillon has the BL550 in stock, it’s the basic machine of the 550 without primer system or the powder measure. I like using a mix of different dies from different companies, depending on the caliber, and I prime off the press. Makes caliber change on the 550 much cheaper and better tailored for what shooters want, IMHO.

    I did see Dillon had 550c in stock, but without caliber change kits. Most are on back order anyways. Pretty decent prices too. So if you wanted, good chance to snag one.

    Lefty
     
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  21. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

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    Thanks. I need to go to the showroom and talk to them. I haven't researched anything yet; I just got the Lee working like it should. :cuss:
     
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  22. SnowBlaZeR2

    SnowBlaZeR2 Member

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    Haha, isn't spending each other's money what we're supposed to do?

    Case prep on the Dillon is extremely new. As in, I've done one batch on it nOw and that was this morning. .

    Love my Lee, but this Dillon is on another level of you're doing any volume.
     
  23. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

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    Yeah, I pull the Lee handle at least 5600 times per month now.
     
  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    For reloaing handgun cartridges, I resize, deprime , expand the mouth and then clean the cases. I do this shortly after shooting them.Small batches do not take too long to process as opposed to accumulating several shooting sessions of fired cases.

    I mount only sizing and expander dies on the press.

    Most of my handgun cartridges are resized on my Hornady L-N-L.

    When I get ready for a reloading session, I prime off the press. I've find press mounted priming systems a PITA. Since I've interrupted the progressive process anyway, what does it matter.

    I leave the sizing and expanding dies off the press when loading. I send the cases through the powder charge, bullet seating, and crimping stations.

    By separating the two processes, I find it is easier to pay attention to what is going on since there is less going on. I find I have much fewer jams and less rework.

    I still load lots more ammunition than I can shoot.

    I have the Hornady, a Pro2000, Dillon SDB, and a Dillon BL550 that I use for loading. Different presses have different advantages for loading certain cartridges.

    Most of my rifle cartridges are loaded on a single stage although I do load 204 Ruger on a Pro2000. Case prep is still done on a single stage though and the cases are primed off the press.

    It is what works for me.
     
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  25. mbear

    mbear Member

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    That seems like a lot of unnecessary work for pistol cartridges. Run them through the tumbler (30 minutes) then load them in one go with the LNL and be done with it. On a bad day I knock out 550 9mm an hour and on a great day 1000 and hour on my 650.
     
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