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Just starting assistance appreciated

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kemp427, Nov 6, 2009.

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  1. Kemp427

    Kemp427 Member

    Nov 5, 2009
    Ok guys I have decided to jump into reloading. For the moment I am attempting to compile a list of specific items I will need. Important fact I have no, absolutely none, notta reloading supplies I am starting from a blank slate. So far I have chosen

    LnL AP press reloading system
    Shell plate for .223, 25-06, 40, 45 ACP and 9mm
    Die sets for the above
    Taper crimp dies for the pistol rounds
    LnL Die bushings (how many? not sure)
    One shot case Lube
    Lube pad
    Powder Funnel
    Several loading blocks
    Electronic or Manual scale (any suggestions?)
    Primer flip plate
    Tumbler (Suggestions?)
    Case trimmer (Suggestions?)
    What is a powder cop?
    What is the PTX expander?
    Debburing tool (Suggestions?)
    Most important Reading material to accompany this purchase and particular books that are insightful?

    I know I am missing some items any assistance would be much appreciated.

    Thanks, Kemp
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

    Jun 29, 2007
    Good lighting is very important. I like to use a small desk lamp so I can see inside each case to verify the powder charge.

    A comfy place to work is vital too, and I personally like to have lots of storage available. Locking toolboxes are a must for me, along with lots of shelving.
  3. dmazur

    dmazur Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Pacific NW
    First, welcome to The High Road...

    Second, there are "stickies" above your post that address the problems of getting started in reloading. These include suggested equipment, reloading manuals, etc.


    I believe a powder cop is Hornady's name for a die that "flags" under- or over-charged cases. You watch the little flag to see if it rises the correct height when it touches the powder in a charged case. It requires a separate station in a progressive press, which is available if you use...

    A PTX expander is a combination expander die / powder measure that performs "powder through expander (PTX)" operations, thus eliminating the need for an expander die. These have to be set up very carefully to get the correct amount of bell together with a consistent powder charge.

    Further, I'm not sure what the loading blocks are for if you're getting a progressive press. These usually dump into a bin, and from that point you transfer loaded cartridges into some type of box. I use the Dillon blue boxes, but I've heard of folks just reusing factory ammo packaging, too.

    One shot that you apply to a lube pad? I thought it was spray-on?

    If you have a powder measure as part of your AP setup, a powder funnel is kind of superfluous, too.

    (BTW, I'm not trying to be critical, but your list has some inconsistencies that are a bit puzzling... :) )
  4. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Shell plate for .223, 25-06, 40, 45 ACP and 9mm .45 and25-06 have same plate
    Powder Funnel Not for the progressive press
    Several loading blocks Not for the progressive press
    Electronic or Manual scale (any suggestions?) Beam for accuracy, digital for speed. Can't go wrong here.
    Primer flip plate Go cheap, MTM works fine and is only $3
    Calipers Car Quest has digital calipers for $20
    Tumbler (Suggestions?) Any name brand
    Case trimmer (Suggestions?) Any name brand. Skip for pistol rounds, rile only.
    What is a powder cop? Generic term. Die that detects uner/over powder charge and locks the press from advancing if over/under charge. Waste of money. PAY ATTENTION.
    What is the PTX expander?Mouth expander die with hole in the center to facilitate charging while expanding the case mouth.
    Debburing tool (Suggestions?) Not really needed.
    Most important Reading material to accompany this purchase and particular books that are insightful? ABC's of Reloading will answer all the questions you asked plus many more. Library has it for free or about $12-15 online.
  5. Kemp427

    Kemp427 Member

    Nov 5, 2009
    Not critical at all sir, this is exactly why I posted it. I am now one step closer to reloading and one step further from wasting money.
    Keep it coming

    Also if I have left anything out please tell.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  6. jfh

    jfh Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    From an "overview" viewpoint:

    Buy and read The ABCs....now, and particularly study the workflows for handgun and rifle reloading.

    1. You are loading for two different cartridge types--straightwall (handguns) and bottleneck (rifle).

    2. While these two cartridge types share a common reloading paradigm (empty cases should be cleaned, deprimed, and sized; a primer should be inserted, powder added, etc., etc.) the fact is, the two workflows are significantly different.

    You need a way to learn the basics easily, and learn them well, and also learn the workflow for each cartridge type. A progressive is NOT a press on which to learn those tasks. There are nominally five operations going on at once, and it is difficult tracking the various steps and learning them. Even if one runs one case at a time through a progressive, manually indexing, multiple operations can be distracting.

    I see nothing wrong with buying the LNL, but I would add either a good basic SS press--the Lee Challenger, for example, as a minimum, or the Lee Classic Cast SS--or a Lee Classic Turret press to learn on. (Note that I am not promoting the Lee product per se, I am just minimizing your additional expense. If you want to buy one of the more expensive SS or turret presses, by all means do so, after weighing the issues that are important for you.)

    It will be easier to learn the reloading basics and the subtleties, and safe procedures on the SS / turret and on straightwall / handgun cartridges first.

    Then set up the LNL and start learning progressive loading.

    Jim H.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  7. dmazur

    dmazur Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Pacific NW
    My knowledge of Hornady's LNL AP is from reading about it, as I have a Dillon progressive...

    I believe Hornady intends the user to have a bushing for every die, so that you can swap "calibers" quickly. It would be possible to have only 5 bushings for the press, and swap dies into those bushings, but that really isn't how they intended the system to be used. The bushings aren't terribly expensive, as I recall.

    I'd check to make sure the pistol dies are Ti-N (Nitride) or carbide, so you don't have to use lube. Reloading pistol is much cleaner and faster without lube.

    Lube is required for bottleneck rifle cartridges. There are wide variations in "success" with different lube systems. Some swear by Imperial wax, others are happy with One-Shot, and yet others stick to RCBS lube on a pad.

    Hornady has a fairly nice case trimmer, for rifle cartridges. You can get separate inside and outside chamfering cutters, in addition to the "straight" cutter. I just use a Wilson inside/outside hand chamfering tool and leave the case trimmer set up with the straight cutter. If you do thousands of rifle cartridges a month, you might want to look at a motorized trimmer like the Giraud, but these are around $450 and have a 2 month waiting list.

    If you read up on case trimming and wonder why you have to do it, RCBS has something called an X-Die that can be used to eliminate trimming (after an initial trim to their spec length.) These dies replace your normal resizing dies.

    Calipers are useful in reloading, to be sure, but it's fairly near impossible to use them to measure cartridge headspace length. For this you will need a Wilson-type headspace gauge, one for each rifle cartridge you reload. They are only $35 or so each, and they are important for setting up your resizing die. Wilson gauges for pistol are useful for checking case length, and a rough check on cartridge overall length (COAL), but these checks can be done with calipers, just not as quickly.

    Regarding scales, I had an electronic scale for many years. It had a 15 minute warmup time, and it was sensitive to fluorescent lights. It gave up a few weeks ago (load cell died?) and I replaced it with a manual scale, the RCBS 10-10 (made for them by Ohaus.) As I don't use this scale to sort brass, or do other repetitive measurements, but just use it to set up my powder measure, I find it is much less trouble than an electronic and just as accurate. (0.1gr) It is a really well-designed manual scale, which happens to store itself in a dust-free case that protects all the critical surfaces like the agate bearings and knife-edges. However, electronic scales are better if you are doing a lot of measurements. Warning: there are many low-cost electronic scales that are not suited to reloading. They generally aren't stable, and sometimes don't display in grains!

    Regarding resizing bottleneck (rifle) cartridges, you might want to research some options on how this is done on a Hornady AP. For the Dillon 550B, I just don't index (as that progressive press has manual indexing) when resizing, and then index before pulling the handle when resuming progressive operation with resized/reprimed/prepped brass. For your AP, you might want to just install the resizing die only, and run the brass through 4 empty stations behind it. Then, when you resume with the trimmed and chamfered brass, install the other dies and omit the resizing die. (This is just guesswork on my part...I don't have a Hornady press. :) )

    Suggestion regarding learning on a progressive press - even if the manual doesn't say to do this, I would recommend loading a few hundred rounds by indexing completely through the press for each round, rather than using the press as a true progressive. This lets you watch each step in the process separately, until you get comfortable with what the thing is attempting to do.

    Reloading can be a lot of fun, in addition to creating ammo tailored to your needs, and possibly saving a little. Good luck!
  8. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    I don't see a good stout reloading bench properly fastened to the wall on the list, add that.

    With proper facilities, a 2x6 ripped in half makes for plenty sturdy bench framing coupled with 3/4" ply for decking. Use glue on all the joints to make it even more beefy. I suggest two dedicated closlely spaced stringers where you fasten your press. My bench doesn't have back legs because it's fastened to the wall with 3.5" screws.

    Beyond that, look on Craigslist and fleabay and find what need. Some brands will tickle your fancy better than others after you learn to use them. I'm pretty keen on RCBS and Hornady myself.

    The LNL bushing kit is money well spent when it comes to time, especially on a single stage press. Best money ever for single stage reloading efficiency in my opinion.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  9. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    Cornelia, GA

    That's good advice. With a LNL AP so much is going to be happening at once that a beginner will have a very hard time getting their brain around it. It will simply leave you mind-boggled and may create the environment for un-safe loads.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the AP, but I would HIGHLY suggest using it with one die at a time for about 6 months until you fully understand all the actions and processes. THEN put all the dies in when you're up to it.
  10. Shoney

    Shoney Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Transplanted away from MT
    I've been loading for 5 decades, have the LNL APand a 550. The LNL is the right choice provided that you are shooting enough to justify getting it.

    For lubing rifle cases, get the best, Imperial Sizing Wax. Then you will not need the lube pad or the One Shot. If you get carbide or Titanium Nitride dies for you pistol cases, then you will not need to lube them.

    If you are going to trim, and yes, you need to trim rifle cases occasionally, then the deburring tool is handy. It's cheap and well worth the money.

    Since you will periodically pull cases from the plate to check the accuracy of the charge weight, a powder funnel is almost a necessity to return the accurate or adjusted throws to the case. Get one.

    I have a couple of electronic scales but much prefere the 10-10 scale. Pricey but you will have it for a lifetime of troublefree measuring.

    Good Shooting!!!
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

    Jun 29, 2007
  12. Kemp427

    Kemp427 Member

    Nov 5, 2009
    I believe I have everything that I should need other than brass, primers and the such to reload with. Anything missing? Going to turn this list into the dealer on monday. Oh, by the way I am getting a single press to learn the basics on and a book they just are available local so no need to order. :what:

    LnL AP press Reloading system #095100
    LnL die bushing x 3 #044096
    Imperial sizing wax No. #21022
    Powder Funnel #586050
    Loading Block Item# 38796 x 5
    RCBS scale # 64790
    RCBS 9480 PRIMER TRAY 2 Item# 64846
    DIGITAL CALIPER Item# 56834

    Shell plates (cannot find)
    25-06 SHELL PLATE #16 LOCK-N-LOAD AP & PRO-JECTOR 392616

    Shell holder
    SHELL HOLDER #16 390556
    SHELL HOLDER #1 390541
    SHELL HOLDER #45 390606
    SHELL HOLDER #10 390550
    SHELL HOLDER #8 390548

    Die sets

    .223 FULL-LENGTH DIE SET #546228
    .25-06 FULL-LENGTH DIE SET #546262
    .9mm FULL-LENGTH DIE SET #546515
    .45 FULL-LENGTH DIE SET #546554
    .40 FULL-LENGTH DIE SET #546533

    Taper Crimp Dies

    9mm TAPER CRIMP DIE 044170
    .45 ACP TAPER CRIMP DIE 044172
    .40 S&W TAPER CRIMP DIE 044171

    HORN M2 CASE TUMBLER 110V Item# 86821
    Media for tumbler
    LNL CASE PREP CENTER Item# 56830

    Thank so far, Kemp
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