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I gotta check into rehab...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sugarmaker, Sep 30, 2011.

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  1. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    A couple of months ago I asked for ideas on loading 200 once fired MILITARY .223 rounds per hour, time beginning when the auto flow turns off, counting a caliber change to the press, no reduction in ammo quality over a single stage. Money was a factor. Then it started.....

    Got a Hornady LNL-AP. OK, good start, but nowhere near the goal, decrimp (RCBS) and trim (manual), chamfer, deburr purt me waaay over the hour before I even pull the handle on the AP. (I knew this would be the case...)

    Got a Dillon 600, put on the rubber band mod: Much better, but I'm still at 1 hour with sore thumbs from chamfering before I pull the press handle.

    Lee collet neck sizer / redding body die: No more neck lube, saves a step.

    Trim, chamfer, deburr on press: Didn't like the dillon 1200 as it just trims and sounds like a router, so I rolled my own solution, $200 in parts, endless thought, and 16 hours of machining later it's nearly done. Still not done loading at the 1 hour mark, though.

    Hornady case feeder: It took me 3 evenings to get it perfect, not happy with the V block push so I made my own. Almost done at the 1 hour mark.

    Set up the rock chucker for deprime (xtra lee sizer set to deprime only), next to the 600 decrimper. 1 hour goal is acheived.

    OK, qhat about quality?

    $250 worth of OAL, runout, and headspace tools later, I find too much variation for my tastes.

    Tinker with the press and die adjustment, buy a couple expensive seater dies, find one that works. Tinker with press. tinker more. Machine more parts. Buy more stuff. Wife and kids wonder where I am. They stop setting my place at the dinner table. I haven't shot in 3 weeks. Lawn needs mowing. Wood needs piling. I stop wearing my watch. The UPS guy is my best friend. Credit card is white hot. I ask for a raise to help cover the mounting costs.

    I'm now very close to having .001" accurate shoulder setback / seat depth, +/- .1 grain varget, very good runout, +/- .001" on press trim length with perfect chamfer / deburr, reliable operation with a quick caliber change. Dillon powder check on the way, already have the mods figured out (no alterations to the AP, will check on station 4).

    I think I've spent $1500 but i really don't know....
    I have no idea how many hours I've spent...
    I can't seem to stop thinking of more improvements...
    Why can't I just be happy with things as they are...

    Hopefully some of you will chime in with your own stories that make me think this is normal...
     
  2. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    You have issues. :neener:

    Seriously though, if you ever want to sell any of that stuff at 50% off send me a PM. I have been wanting the "router" dillon trimmer for quite some time now.
     
  3. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Jake, I didn't actually buy the 1200 - I saw it in action on youtube and it didn't appear to give the results I was after.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You could hire an illegal alien for $3.00 bucks an hour and let him load 200 rounds an hour for you on a Lee Loader for less money then that!

    rc
     
  5. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    If I were wanting to load lots of .223 and time was a factor I'd just box up my dirty brass and send it off to a processor to be cleaned, sized, trimmed, and deprimed. Then I could just sit down at my press and start loading. From what I've seen I think this would run around $50/1,000 including shipping both ways.
    Depending on how many hours it would take you to do all those prep steps on 1,000 pieces, that could be a pretty good deal.
     
  6. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I know a good doctor
     
  7. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    The difference between you and me is that for me its a hobby. For you it's a mission ;-)

    I expect to be picking up a Dillon 1200 soon, and with it on my Hornady LnL I think that 200/hr shouldn't be a problem.

    The difference between your requirements and mine, I think, is that you are striving for a higher level of precision in the end result than I am. I'm basically building plinking rounds. I was out shooting a couple days ago and musta went through 300 rounds of 223. As long as I can hit a beer can at 30 yards occasionally then I am happy.

    My only advice is to remember that 'Perfect' is the enemy of 'Good Enough' ;-)
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Well, go ahead, but I ain't going.

    I don't have a reloading problem. I reload them, shoot them, and reload them again. Then I order more stuff I [strike]don't[/strike] really need. See, no problem. :D
     
  9. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Reloading is enjoyable. I can't imagine making a chore or competition out of it. That would be like hurrying through a grilled porterhouse, a jigger of Knob Creek, and a handmade Romeo y Julieta.
     
  10. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Thanks for your efforts and for sharing. Good luck on improving the world.

    Lost Sheep
     
  11. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    SugarMaker,

    Although I've reloaded for 40+ years, I only got into progressives 2 years ago, and found myself more seriously annoyed with old bottlenecks that became emphasized by the faster processes done on the progressive. As well, I've had to master new skills to get the accuracy I was used to, using a RockChucker.

    So I'm on a similar mission as you. A good hobby is important to a man's emotional and mental health, but it still has to rank below even more important things like wife and family & vocation. Don't miss anymore times with your family at the dinner table, too soon, the kids will be gone.:banghead: You could always try to culture some more patience:what:, and admit to yourself that the "mission" can be accomplished just a little more slowly.;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  12. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    sugarmaker

    Have you ever bought a gun just because you don't reload that caliber (yet)?

    I knew I had it bad when I bought a SAA Colt 45.
    I didn't reload that caliber & bought the gun because I thought it'd be fun (to reload :D )
    I loved it so much I bought a 2nd one.

    Of course now I'm thinking of selling it (just the 2nd one) to buy a 44 magnum
    I don't reload 44 mag or 44 spl. - yet :scrutiny:
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  13. Obsidian

    Obsidian Member

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    Must be in the water Hondo60

    About ten years ago I bought a few boxes of .45 acp ammo with out having a pistol.. Told the lady at the time that I could not return the ammo! I had to have a pistol to shoot it!

    Now I find I'm doing the same to myself with brass I'm acquiring....
     
  14. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the support. Humor was intended, whenever I think I'm over the edge I look at the "show us your bench thread" - some serious setups there!

    When it's done, the novel part of the setup (and the actual reason I started this whole process) will be the on press trimming. Station 2 will body size / trim / chamfer / deburr anything from .375HH to 45 auto / 9mm, perfectly, within .001", with a couple min. of setup, and can operate next to the powder measure on station 3. So I never have to worry about case length again, ever, and I never have to trim as a seperate step. Lazy, I guess. The mechanism has required substantial thought and effort, and the parts add up. Still, when (being hopeful here...) it is done, it should cost less than a dillon 1200 with die and give vastly superior results.


    I want to get the loading setup "just perfect" so when the bug finally passes and all I want to do is shoot the loading part will be simple. I love tinkering and experimentation, but I have always found the production part of loading somewhat tedious, and it limits my shooting. I do love to see an MTM box full of loaded rounds and know they are perfect. An box full of "factory quality" ammo does nothing for me.
     
  15. Lubricant

    Lubricant Member

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    So what's the problem?If you were'nt involved in this small endeavor,You'd probably be frittering your time away doing usefull,productive things,like figuring out how to rule the known universe. Do you think W.W.II would've happened if hitler was a reloader?By the way,Have you started seeing brass in your sleep yet?
     
  16. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    Any chance you plan to put your 'Sugarmaker 1200' trimmer into production so some of us could be using one as well?
     
  17. StandingTall

    StandingTall Member

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    <raises hand>
     
  18. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Member

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    Yeah, I have kind of done it that way. One day I was innocently looking at factory ammo while waiting for the guy at the counter at the gun shop. Seeing the prices on factory ammo always gives me immense satisfaction when I calculate my own costs. So, that day I happened to notice the price on a box of .325 WSM factory ammo. Nothing special. Just regular ole Winchester ammo. It was nearly $60 for a box of 20! :eek: Even more than for my .270 WSM. I had honestly never had a desire for a .325 WSM up to that point, but that put me over the edge. I soon had a .325 WSM rifle just for the satisfaction of being able to load stellar ammo for about $17/box. :neener:
     
  19. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    I agree!

    Some folks reload because its a necessary evil, but for me it is fun. I get to shoot more, and then I get to reload more.
     
  20. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    >>Some folks reload because its a necessary evil, but for me it is fun. I get to shoot more, and then I get to reload more.<<

    I agree. My soldier-son was home on leave last week. We spent an afternoon at our favorite shooting spot in the desert. There is no finer pleasure in life for a man that spending quality time alone with his adult son doing something you both are passionate about. We must have gone through about 500 rounds of various calibers, mostly 223 and 308. Thanks to reloading, the thought of the cost of those rounds never entered my mind.
     
  21. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    I don't care how fast I can load ammo just as long as I have all I need or want when I'm shooting. If I have plenty then my loading method is "fast enough".

    I shot well over 10,000 rounds last year of rifle and pistol ammo without running out. Also had plenty of time for other activities as well.
     
  22. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    I don't have a son, but I DO shoot on a regular basis with my nephew (my brother's son)

    So I can say - Amen Bother!
     
  23. gab909

    gab909 Member

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    Sugar,
    I love it, and am greatful to know that I am not unique. I was once caught up on how fast I can reload. Now I am just happy with cranking out some great ammo that doesn't drive me crazy working the machine. It can be the greatest machine, but if it gives me fits, it is gone. Content, fast, accurate reloading is the name of the game today......
     
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