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New Reloader: Share your wisdom please

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 460Shooter, Feb 24, 2017.

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  1. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I use the small end of a coffee scoop in conjunction with a 308 case for trickler. And with my RCBS RM750 scale I can count the granules between the .1 grain measurements. For handgun loads, I don't get that anal-retentive.
     
  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Again, if you work up your loads, you don't need anything more accurate than .01 of a gr. You just need a scale that is consistent to .01gr every time you use it. Most Digital scales need time to warm up and can be affected by slight drafts, different types of lighting, wiring in the walls close to the location, cell phone radiation or electrical appliances nearby. It is also suggested you zero/re-calibrate them often during use. This is why I use a good beam scale for my primary scale. If I had only one, it would be a beam. Others tho feel comfortable with digital......it's up to you. As for speed of weighing, with your progressive press and loading .45ACP, once you get your thrower set, you probably won't weigh again until you change charge rates or check to make sure the charge has not changed. IOWs, you will probably only use the scale once or twice for a short period of time during each batch you produce. The time spent at the scale will be almost a moot point. Now once you decide to reload precision rifle and weigh every charge, that will change. Still, with digitals not being user friendly with tricklers, a beam will probably be a better choice. Small amounts of time saved would probably defeat what we consider "precision". Good Scales are relatively cheap when it comes to reloading. Good balance beams are about the same price as 1000 jacketed .45ACP bullets and will last most folks a lifetime. Doesn't hurt to invest in one of each. Here's a good article on digital reloading scales........
    https://www.peregrinebullets.com/electronic-reloading-scale-accuracy/

    The OP stated he is getting a Dillon 550, it should already have a reasonably good thrower on it.
     
    Hokie_PhD likes this.
  3. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    Exactly my experience. After a certain age, it's much easier to read a digital scale. And it takes much less patience than waiting for that beam to stop bouncing.
     
    crackshot258 likes this.
  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I just realized I forgot to mention something. There is s large H brace style power pole within 50 feet of my house, with a high voltage power line running about 35 feet from my attic window, which is where my reloading setup is located.

    Besides the fact that I'll almost certainly end up with brain cancer, I'm concerned that there may be EM interference coming from the line that will throw off an electronic scale.

    Is that concern unwarranted? I thought s beam scale to start with would eliminate any of those concerns.
     
  5. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I don't think there would be a problem unless the hair on your arm is standing up. You cold build a small Faraday cage to protect the scales if needed. I had to work around a sub station with 2 - 134 kv feeders. On days when the humidity was up if you were with in 50' your hair would start standing up. Most feeders are lower voltage 13.2-12.6kv, these do not cause the problems as the 134kv lines do.
     
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  6. earplug

    earplug Member

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    I reload in a unheated garage. I have found my beam scale works all the time. Cold weather effects the batteries of my digital scale and calipers.
    I have marked off a spot where I place my scale so the balance and level is always the same.
    Get yourself a area to start a library on reloading and keep good notes of what ever you do.
     
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I have no idea on the voltage, but there is a large power station just down the hill from me. Fortunately the trees on my and my neighbor's land almost totally block the view of it.

    Hair doesn't stand up though, so probably not a problem.
     
  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    You can "trickle" with a small metal spoon. I used a baby spoon when I first started and eventually found a used Ohaus trickler. It still is easier/faster to still use that spoon sometimes though.:D As for the scale I have run out of battery power on my digital scale but so far have never run out of gravity when I needed to weigh something.:thumbup:
     
  9. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Well then, you have a lifetime kinetic hammer, my friend. My kid broke his and gave me the parts. I called RCBS and they sent repair parts right away. It doesn't look as sturdy as the competing aluminum shank models, but the warranty is outstanding.
     
  10. Dudedog

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Note on hammer type bullet pullers. RCBS supports the one they make so if it ever breaks they will make it right. While it is a few $ more it's worth it IMO.
    (My Cabelas one broke after a couple years and no parts were available even to buy, don't know why it broke never used it :evil::), ok well once or twice or .....)
    I have 3 scales, a RCBS 5-0-5, a GEM 20 Digital and a Frankford DS750 digital and check weights. I find I use the DS750 most of the time. GEM 20 weighs to .01gr but for my uses the DS750 at .1gr is close enough.
    Both digital scales are available on Amazon as well as other places. Both the digitals are battery powered but under $30
    This is an inexpensive set of check weights. (gram weights 50g to 20mg, rounded #s but 1 gram = 15.43 gr, .5 grams 7.7 gr 100mg =1.5 gr)
    https://www.amazon.com/American-Wei...&qid=1488519961&sr=8-2&keywords=check+weights (tweezers are worthless but weights are ok)

    I own red presses not blue, but people who own Dillons seem quite happy with them.
    Depending on your loading volume Lee Classic turret might suit your needs. Not as fast as the Dillon but probably 1/2 the price.
    I have both a Lee turret and a Hornady LNL progressive and am happy with both.
    Caliber changes on the turret are less expensive than the progressive. I use it for workups or rounds I don't shoot as much of that way I can leave the progressive set up for what I load the most. (9mm)
    I do use the LNL for .45 and .380 on occasion if I am going to load a bunch of either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  11. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    No, not really.

    Just know that there are some very cheap electronic scales.
    But I don't think I'd trust 'em
    Just my 2¢ YMMV
     
  12. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I tend to be a guy who saves his money and goes with the "Buy once, cry once" attitude. That doesn't mean there aren't some really good values out there for low cost, but I don't mind spending a little more and waiting a little longer to get what I really want. I also try to avoid clutter this way.

    I've heard you mention Ohaus scales a few times now. I know they make the RCBS 505 scale, and the Dillon beam scale available on the market. However, in looking on Amazon and visiting their website, I was a little unsure what to look at for their electronic scales. Do you have a recommendation in that regard Hondo 60?
     
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  13. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Yep, that's all I do.

    Don
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Loading on a Dillon, you only need a scale to set the powder measure. Once filled, settled, and adjusted, there are very few things that will affect the charge. I am the nervous type and I check weigh a lot of loads when something doesn't feel or sound right. The only thing I have found that makes a difference is to skip a space. Say you overlook a .380 mixed in with 9mm and the handle comes down with a thud. You curse and throw the offending midget case away, then cycle the gap through the press. No problem, it won't throw a primer away or spill powder. What it WILL do is drop a little extra powder one time because the measure has been shaken more than usual. So weigh and adjust, then move on.

    My powder scale is a PACT. I leave it plugged in and turned on all the time. I occasionally calibrate it against the included weights and I have check weights. My check weights are a fired LP primer that weighs 4.2 grains on a freshly calibrated digital or a balance and a nominal 45 grain bullet that weighs 44.9. Close to my usual pistol and rifle powder charges.
     
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Thanks Jim. That's more or less what I expected with the Dillon. I figured once I had the powder throw adjusted on a particular powder load that works for my guns, occasional checks is all I'd need to worry about. I think I'm over thinking this, and should just get a beam scale and be done with it.

    I try my hardest not to spend money I don't need to, so I tend to overanalyze things.
     
  16. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I don't have a recommendation for their electronic scales.
    I haven't had any experience with them.

    But I have an Ohaus/Lyman beam & they have a VERY good reputation.

    If you're interested in the electronic scales, I guess I'd probably spend around $75 - $100 (or more) for one.
    Any cheaper & you're just inviting inconsistencies.
     
  17. R.Ph. 380

    R.Ph. 380 Member

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    Keep your eyes open, Keep checking ebay for used and abused scales. I picked up a poor, abused RCBS 10 10 last year. It had no hanger and no check weights. The front plastic cover was gone. I recognized it for what it was and called RCBS. All they asked me for was my address and in 1 week, I had a $150.00 value for my $40.00 input. I can check my standards against this one. Most accurate beam scale you can get. Offshoot of when OHAUS was making them for RCBS.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Well, in classic fashion I have had an abrupt flip flop in my final decision.

    After reading a lot of negative reviews about many different electronic scales I had a lot of reservations. I also read a lot of negative reviews of some, not all, but some of RCBS's current foreign made products. Then I considered the numerous and seemingly resounding positive reviews of Ohaus made scales, and the comments of members participating in this thread. I decided the M1000 had more capacity and therefore cost than I needed. I also couldn't find many reviews about it. I ordered a Dillon Eliminator scale instead since the reviews are positive and they are made by Ohaus. Once I have my powder throw adjusted, I will just need to verify charge weights now and then or when changing powders. So I'm going for quality, and will just be patient for the beem to stop bouncing. I'm a patient person when it comes to things like this. I also had an Amazon gift card left over from my birthday so I got the thing for about 12 dollars after taxes.

    And, right on key Cabela's has Thumler's Model B tumblers on sale for $180. I also had a promotion code to take $20 off of any order over $150. So since I'm going to pick it up from the store, the shipping is free, and I'll be paying about $170 after taxes. Plus I get $8.50 in Cabela's points.

    So I think I lucked out. Low cost, and high quality gear is always a plus!

    I can now begin reloading. All I need to pick up is a media separator and the actual media. Though, a chronograph is still needed.

    So, what chronograph would you all recommend?

    I'd love one of these, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon.
    http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/523157/labradar-ballistic-velocity-doppler-radar-chronograph
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  19. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I had a Chrony Beta for my first unit and I hated it. The menu structure for the buttons was not user friendly. I had to get out the instruction book every time to delete memory. I was a nicely built unit, but using it was a PIA. A friend finally shot it, and I thanked him.

    Now I have a Competition Electronics Prochrono Digital and I love it. It's very well made. The user interface is straightforward. And a Bluetooth adapter is available so you can see the results on your smart phone. Zero problems. $99
     
  20. muncie21

    muncie21 Member

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    I have a Caldwell Pro chrono. Works well, sends data (via app) to iphone or android (make sure you have an audio jack) and isn't terribly expensive. I paid less than $100 for the deluxe kit on Amazon (which has since gone up to ~$120) but if you look hard enough, I'm sure you can find a deal.

    BTW, if you already have a tripod (say from an old GoPro) and don't need the battery powered IR lights, just get the plane chrono, not the deluxe.
     
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I seem to be in the minority when it comes to which chronograph. I bought a PACT Model 1 XP. It's a simple chrono with not extras, no printing, no USB, no Bluetooth. It is very accurate as far as I can tell and the chrono itself sits on the bench next to you and only the sensors are in harms way.

    I have been very happy with the PACT over 8 years now buy then again I have never owned another for comparison.
     
  22. Decoy80

    Decoy80 Member

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    I got concerned about the RCBS digital scales I used to have. I have a set of rcbs deluxe check weights but the constant inconsistencies and frequent recalibration drove me bananas.
    I found a set of rcbs OHAUS 5-10 vintage scales on eBay and I have been within a tenth of a grain since. I do have a cheap set of Ohaus digital scales and I use them for separating items like bulk pulled bullets and mixed headstamp brass. When I am in the get with it mode to sort through a lot quickly and not seeking consistency and accuracy. I still wipe them with an old dryer sheet and check them when I set up.
    I never get in a hurry about getting powder charges set right and my powder thrower has a grain + / - variance with stick powder like IMR 4350 but it is within a couple of tenths using ball powders. If I were to be trying to achieve extreme accuracy I would trickle each charge, and take my sweet time about the process.
    For a long time I thought a 30-06 case was the cats meow for a powder trickler. I now have an rcbs powder trickler and a smartphone. Lol
    As has been stated keep good records of your work. The time spent in writing it down will repay you in Spades later.
    Set a pattern comfortable for you and never deviate from your own pattern. Check and recheck, explosives like powder can be manipulated to our use but demand the utmost respect and treatment.
    You only have one mistake in some cases.
    Happy loading, have a hell of a good time shooting and if you see a young person who is interested give your time freely. Life has nothing to do with video games.
     
  23. Paladin7

    Paladin7 Member

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    You are off to a good start and hope you enjoy reloading as much as we do. Here are a few suggestions...

    1. A Chamfering/Deburring tool is necessary, esp if you are loading lead bullets. This will help in bullet seating especially on your progressive press. You should chamfer and deburr new cases and only touch them up when you encounter burrs.
    2. A digital scale is good, but I've had an RCBS 5-0-5 Beam Scale and it has provided years of accurate service with no issues. It also costs less.
    3. As to the tumbler, I've moved on to wet tumbling and highly recommend the Frankfurt Arsenal Kit ~$170. I use a Lee Universal DeCapping Die and knock out all my primers on dirty (fired) cases, then tumble them with the stainless steel pins, water, Dawn Dishwashing Detergent and Lemmi Shine. The cases come out looking brand new, even the insides of the cases and primer pockets. You don't want to run dirty cases into your Sizing/DeCapping Die. Get the magnet as well... it makes picking up the stainless pins much easier.
    4. +1 on getting a few more load manuals. The Speer and Hornady Manuals are excellent.
    5. I would also recommend a Powder Check Die. You can eyeball powder levels but this die adds an extra margin of safety especially when you are loading in higher volumes.

    Let us know how you are doing and we can help along the way...
     
  24. MRH

    MRH Member

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    Just some words about your powder measure when you get going. I have three of them and none of them change weights on me. I added little plastic wheels on the bolt head to make it easier to change the load. They're available at Lowe's and Home Depot in the hardware section with all the parts drawers. Forgot what it's called and the bin number in the stores. Maybe someone can help out. If you take a break from loading, when you come back make sure to drop a few loads to verify the powder charge. All powders will settle, some at different compression, and the charge weight may change when you are away. I would suggest that you start out with one case at a time until you get familiar with the process. Another thought: consider getting a couple more primer tubes - helps speed up the loading. Another thing: adjusting your seater/crimp die takes some getting used to. When setting up the die, I seat the bullet first, then back off the seater stem, then adjust the crimp (if any), then screw the seater stem back down on the bullet and set the lock ring. If you don't crimp at all, you need to at least remove the case mouth flare made by the powder funnel. I make a dummy round with each bullet I use to speed up die adjustment.
     
  25. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Well, my scale showed up. It says clearly on the Dillon label that it's made by Ohaus. And on the under side there is a "Made in China" sticker on it.

    No reason to suspect it's accuracy or quality, but I guess I thought Ohaus scales were all made in the US. Oh well I guess.
     
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