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Progressive List - Missing anything?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jediagh, Feb 14, 2012.

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  1. jediagh

    jediagh Member

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    Okay I'm about 45 days away from finally taking the plunge into reloading.
    I've read the ABCs of reloading book, have seen countless YouTube videos on the basics, read a ton of others post, researched the various presses (single, turret, progressive) out there, and formalized my goals, the pros, and cons, etc. Most importantly I have finally made up my mind in terms of what press(es) I want. So what I need some help with is do this list include everything I will need.

    Before I post the list here are my goals and why I went with the press(es) I am going with.

    Year 1: Loading .45 ACP and later in the year .38 special
    Year 2: Loading .30 carbine and maybe at the end of the year 30-06
    I have limited time to reload so need a press that can do a lot in short time (& thus why the progressive).

    I understand that I won't be "saving money" per say since as most reloaders have learned you just end up shooting more. :D But at least for now I can justify that a .45 round will cost be .20 cents vs the .35 I currently pay at retail.

    So here is what I am planning on getting.

    Press
    RCBS Pro 2000 Auto which comes with Primer Strip Loader + Uniflow Powder Measure
    RCBS Rock Chucker Press (actually I already got it for a steal of a price) :D
    Accessory Base Plate (x3)
    RCBS Shellplate #3 (for .45)

    Dies
    Lee Deluxe Pistol 4-Die Set
    RCBS Pistol Powder Expander
    RCBS Lock Out Die
    Hornady Die Lock Rings (x6 pack)
    Sinclari Die Log Ring Pliers

    Powder Throw
    RCBS Competition Powder Combo (for single stage press use)
    RCBS Powder Measure stand
    RCBS Powder baffle (for Pro 2000 thrower)

    Measurement
    RCBS 5-0-5 Powder scale (actually I already got it for a steal of a price) :D
    Starrett Dial Caliper
    Lyman Case Gauge for .45 ACP

    Misc
    Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit (for single stage press)
    MTM 100 Round Ammo Box
    Sierra 5th Edition Reloading Book
    RCBS Bullet Puller Hammer (Thanks for the tip)
    Lyman 49th Edition (Thanks for the tip)
    Loadbook USA - 1 Book/ 1 caliber - .45


    My plan is to use the Pro 2000 for the .45, .38 special, and eventual the .30 carbine. Want to have the single stage for the 30-06 and to get started on doing the .45 before I move to the Pro 2000. Figure I best that it slow and do a few .45 single stage while I fully understand the process. :)

    So am I missing anything?

    --SIDE NOTE--
    Why the RCBS Pro 2000?
    - I like the primer system on this press vs the tube system.
    (That is what really sold me to it)
    - From what I have read this press has less moving parts so it's easier to deal with
    - Solid construction vs the Dillion & Hornady
    - Like the idea of being able to pull the dies (3 at a time) to switch from .45 to .38 special.


    --UPDATE---
    Forgot to mention.
    Already have a Lee Hand Priming tool and loading block.
    For rifle I know I need a few other items but that is in year 2 so I still have time to find them in garage sales, ebay, etc.
    In terms of cleaning I will be buying new brass to start off with. Yes down the road a tumbler or just cleaning by hand for inspection.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Why the Lee die set & the RCBS powder die?
     
  3. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    you do not need the sinclair die lock ring pliers if you're going to use hornady lock rings. the hornady lock rings have flats for use with a regular wrench. i just keep a Crescent wrench on the bench.
     
  4. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Good on you for all of the research you have done. You will need a case trimmer and chamfer/debur tool for rifle but that's not until next year. Also case lube for the rifle. I didn't see a case tumbler, how were you planning to clean brass? When you load on the single stage press you will want a couple of loading blocks. I don't know if you can prime on the press with the RC so you might need a hand priming tool. Looks like you have some nice equipment on your list.
     
  5. john16443

    john16443 Member

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    That's a pretty good list, and I can only offer a few items for your consideration.

    You'll probably want a loading tray or two, especially for the rifle rounds. MTM makes them inexpensively. I use my old pistol boxes and inserts as loading trays for the pistol rounds. If your 100 round ammo box is really a reloading tray, ignore.

    You should consider another reloading manual in addition to the Sierra you mention UNLESS Sierra bullets are the only ones you will be reloading. Hodgdon and Alliant have good reloading guides on-line, but should only be used if you're using essentially the same bullets (type, weight, and construction) as they do. Lymans 49th is always highly recommended. I like the One Book One Caliber series available from Midway and others. It summarizes all the load information for a specific caliber in one place. Under $10 and mostly current data.

    You have the 505 scale. Don't know if that will suit your needs from a speed standpoint. I'd suggest you consider a Jennings Mack 20 electronic scale to compliment the rest of your equipment.

    Consider a Lee taper crimp only die for 45ACP to separate the seating and crimping operations in you press. Only about $10 or so if I remember correctly.

    I didn't see a case tumbler on your list. Start out with a vibratory and get the walnut media from Harbor Freight (fine grade) or local pet store by the bag. Corn cob media (20/40) is available for about $33 shipped to you for a 40 pound bag, will last for many years even if changing monthly like I do.

    I don't know how many primer strips come with the press, but you may want/need more.

    I'm sure others will provide more information.
     
  6. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Member

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    Get as much light over you setup as you can stand. I've since added three more floors on a T-post. A dust buster to pick up spilled powder or the like. A comfortable secretary chair on wheels to roll your butt around. A bullet puller.

    I'm working on a post of mistakes I've made, and corrected, hopefully it will keep others from making the same mistakes.
     
  7. Demos

    Demos Member

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    Some extra Hornady Lock-n-Load bushings would be nice to have so you can keep both the 30-06 and 45 adjusted/set to where you want them while you are loading both on the single stage press since I think the conversion kit only comes with three.
     
  8. jediagh

    jediagh Member

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    I like what I have read about the Lee Factory Crimp Die.
    This is the setup I plan on doing.

    Stage 1 Lee Sizing & De-Cap Die
    Stage 2 RCBS Pistol Powder Expander
    Stage 3 RCBS Lock-Out Die
    Stage 4 Lee Bullet Seat & Feed Die
    Stage 5 Lee Factory Crimp Die

    In terms of the bench and lighting. Thanks for the tip. I am building two benches. One for sitting and one for standing and am adding overhead lighting on the ceiling along with c-clamp spotlights as well. The design will be like these:
    http://www.bghi.us/index.php?x=bench

    I'm iffy on anything electronic for measuring. Can't trust an IC vs my eyes you know. =) & thus why the non-digital scale. But I could see how a digital will help speed the process.

    Thanks keep them coming.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  9. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I have a 5-0-5 & it isn't a grand scale. It takes forever & isn't consistent.

    What does IC mean?
     
  10. jediagh

    jediagh Member

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    IC = Integrated circuit which is basically in anything electronic and thus can't be fully trusted. It will eventually go bad, needs power, and can/will break down.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_circuit

    I'm 'old school' in that regard I guess and while I love technology I would rather not have tools that depend on it to work. Hand saw vs some electrical one, etc..
     
  11. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

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    Not to start a war but as a died in the wool RCBS guy for the past 30 some years I would urge you to reconsider your press choice. There is a reason that you see a lot of posts about Hornady LnL and Dillon on these boards. RCBS just isn't up to snuff when it comes to progressives and there are way better choices out there. For the price of the Pro 2000 you are almost at a Dillon 650 or a Hornady LnL AP with some extras.

    Both mention presses come with a powder measure that is just as good as the RCBS Uniflow.

    As for the priming system its just one more thing to deal with. You have to buy loaded strips which are more expensive or buy a strip loader and load your own which is just another hassle. There is nothing wrong with the tube feeders.

    For the money I don't think there is a more solid progressive press then the Dillon with the LnL close behind. For what you are doing both are fine. Like I said earlier there is a reason there are so many posts about Hornady and Dillon, they are the go to presses for guys that load a lot more then you or I.

    If you want to pull dies three at a time the Dillon will do it, I like the LnL bushings as its nice to be able to pop a die out quick without messing with them all. Makes emptying the powder measure a snap, just take it out and dump. Got some hand primed cases, no problem just take out the sizer die and run the cases then put it in to size like normal. Bullet feeder jammed up, easy fix, quarter turn and its out of the press. Switch from boat tail to flat based rifle bullets and having a problem getting the flat bases to start, well move the seating die over one station and drop in a Lee universal case mouth belling die and give the case mouth just a touch. The LnL bushing just make it so easy to change things up quick plus I can store the dies in the RCBS boxes which stack nice so they take up less bench space then tool heads and stay dust free.

    Why spend all this money and then skimp on dies, Lee are ok dies and I like there crimp dies but for the money RCBS and Hornady are better.

    Drop the LnL conversion kit for the single stage as the press thicknesses are different and you will have to adjust your dies when moving between presses which you will probably not due and if you do its just as easy to screw the die in and adjust.

    If you are loading Sierra bullets then by all means use there data but if not there data is to specialized to there bullets to be used as general load data.
     
  12. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Nothing beats a beam scale for peace of mind, and the cheap load cell on a cheap electric scale means you'll keep double checking on the beam anyway.
    The 505 is a fine scale and is consistant as any other good beam scale.

    Your die set is fine, I use the same set of Deluxe Lees and the RCBS lock out die on my 650. The factory crimp die is basically just a crimp die anyway, and you'll likely never have any issue unless you load oversize lead bullets and then you can use a crimp only die if that suits you(some guys knock out the carbide ring on the FCD if that's all they load).

    The 2000 is a nice press, and like any of the progressives there is no free lunch, it requires an always watchful eye, and regular cleaning and fiddling to keep things running smooth. Mount it solidly, that looks like a great bench. :)
     
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Like the ones used in pace makers, other life saving devices, your car including the ABS brakes...well pretty much everything in the world that has any electronics. Like them or not IC's are not a fad that will fade away in time. What you need is a standard to check calibration when you go to use the scale (should have one and do the same even if you use a beam type scale).

    At a quick glance, your going to need a primer srtip loader and safety glasses.
     
  14. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Even the $2 battery scales bet a beam. I agree there isn't anything wrong with the Lee dies. I rather use my Lee dies then my RCBS dies.
     
  15. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Heaven forbid that somebody actually prefers a non Dillon press.:rolleyes: I used a Dillon 650 for a few weeks, and found it not to be the perfect press all the hype suggests. A pretty dang good press to be sure, but so is the RCBS Pro 2000, and the Pro 2000's features were closer to what I was personally looking for. Different features for different needs....is it so bad to think someone might be different than you? Have you ever owned a Pro 2000?

    I don't know anyone who regularly uses a pro 2000 who ever wants to go back to tubes.....did that (loaded tubes) for 38 years. A pain to use APS? No! Quite the opposite! Faster, safer, more convenient. Enough so, to make the $7.00 or less extra per thousand for stripped primers more than worth it to me. Imagine being able to just load. Grab a box of primers strips and just load. Load 5000 rounds and never slow down except to dump another 500 bullets or cases. The only glitches I experienced was during the 1 day learning curve....learning new things you know....old dog and all. In the summertime, the last three years prices of APS primers were nearly the same as regular at some sources. Don't know what the market forces were.

    Oh.....there is one problem.... what to do with the strips.:) (Peter Eick's problem pictured below.)
    full_bucket.jpg

    To the O.P.: looks like you've thought of most everything......you will collect more manuals, but you got enough to start. Trimmer not needed until next year. One day you will have an APS hand primer...;) Your 505 scale is just fine. I use a 10/10 scale which is not enough different to worry about, and it works just fine. I've been using my Pro 2000 for 3 years now. Haven't missed having an electronic yet. Haven't felt even a hint of buyers remorse....quite the opposite... Oh! save some money for bullets, powder, and primers. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  16. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Don't forget a dial caliper(if not mentioned priviously), a primer pocket cleaning tool, and a chamfering tool, Your manuals(s) will explain use. I always recommend two different manuals for reference. BTW, don't forget the safety glasses!
     
  17. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Personally, I bought a loading block but am no longer using it. Here's why:
    I only load single stage for rifle rounds, pistol round are done on the LnL AP so there is no need for the block there.

    Rifle rounds can be deprime/resized, trimmed, deburred, primed and put into a tupperware container.

    When I want to load the case, I drop the powder from the powder measure and seat the bullet on the press then put it in the box. There is no chance for a powderless or double charged case.
     
  18. codefour

    codefour Member

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    You will always meet members who will bash the RCBS Pro 2000 but have never used it either. I learned to load progressively on a DIllon 550B then a 650. I STILL bought a Pro 2000.

    Once you have used the APS strips, you will never go back to pecking tubes. I think at Powder Valley, the preloaded strips are only a dollar more per 1,000. I would pay a dollar to avoid pecking 1,000 primers. I also like the steel construction of the Pro 2000. It is a massive frame. I cam over .30-06 all the time when to FL size it. RCBS told me it was designed for this.

    Now, one thing to consider. I have to admit, Dillon carbide pistol dies are hard to beat. I bought a powder through expander for all my calibers (9mm, .38/357, .40, .44, .45) and the extra lower tubes to keep them pre set. I thought I would try a set of 9mm Dillon dies, I am glad I did. They do have an ingenious method of removing the innards without loosing your settings. I am now in the process of replacing all my RCBS dies for my Pro 2000 with Dillon dies. You will need the powder through expanders. Dillon Dies do not have a belling die. The wide mouth openings makes bullet seating and crimping smoother.

    The amount and cost of your reloading equipment will seem to grow and grow. But you have a good list started there.
     
  19. jediagh

    jediagh Member

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    Thank all for your input. Like I said in my first post the press is not something I need help with. I've read and seen lots of videos over the past year. Sadly I have only been able to see the LnL in person in action. But alas I like the Pro 2000 and understand it's pros/cons and can live with it. At the end of day it comes down to the same argument of ford vs chevy trucks. It's just personal taste.

    With that in mind what I want to make sure I have it not missing anything.
    About the only iffy thing right now from what I am reading is the dies.
    So is the Dillion ones better than the LEE?

    Seems that everyone loves the Lee FCD.

    My gameplan is the following:
    Stage 1 Lee Sizing & De-Cap Die
    Stage 2 RCBS Pistol Powder Expander + Uniflow
    Stage 3 RCBS Lock-Out Die
    Stage 4 Lee Bullet Seat & Feed Die
    Stage 5 Lee Factory Crimp Die

    Or should I go with the Dillion dies for stages 1, 2, and 4 and just leave the Lee FCD at the end?
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yep and Sabb is selling cars to this day.

    By the Lee set, if you don't like them buy something else. They are cheap but they work; however, the lee bullet feeder is a POS. Not worth the heat it would take to melt it but again you'll only waist $25 to learn that.
     
  21. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Learn to set the dies up correctly and you will not need the Lee FCD.

    Have no need for one. 35+ yrs reloading.
     
  22. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Member

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    I'll be following this closely...I started out the same as you jumping into a progressive. Glad to see you picked up a single stage right away (wish I had done the same).
    You on a budget? I have a couple cost-savers if you're interested.
    1.) Ditch the FCD and get the plain-jane Lee dies (3 die set). The FCD is only useful when crimp has to be so heavy you may buckle the case. You're just going for a light taper crimp on the 45 ACP. Even with 38 spc, you probably won't need it. I'm about to sell mine, so I know what I'm talking about.
    2.) Get a set of channel locks and a crescent wrench. You'll ALWAYS be using them. Sinclair's tool will be more expensive due to its "for reloading" tag. Plain channel locks and crescent wrenches work just fine.
    3.) Don't bother with fancy locking rings. The Lee rings pretty much stay put for single stage ops and leaving them installed in the die plate makes locking rings a moot point. Get them later for rifle loading on your Single stage press.
    4.) The Lyman case guage is pricy and I've read bad reviews. Get a LE Wilson case guage. They're in Midway and work fantastic for a lower price.
    5.) Forget about the fancy expander/powder through dies. More money you don't need to spend. The 3-die sets some with expanders.
    And on the practical side of things:
    1.) Email RCBS and tell them now that your press indexes too violently. Odds are better or not it will, and it throws powder EVERYWHERE. They'll send you a new indexing spring to install under the shell plate that will make it run MUCH smoother.
    2.) Get some canned air and brake cleaner. Air lets you blast crap out of the APS system after use and brake cleaner gets the drums for the powder measure nice and clean for predictable operation (good for cleaning dies too).
    3.) You're messing with something that isn't broke re-arranging your die setup. Your plan will make it so you have to remove the powder measure with the die plate. Your stations are best set up thusly: size/deprime, expand, charge, powder check, seat/crimp.
     
  23. jediagh

    jediagh Member

    Joined:
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    ????
    So say with the Lee or Dillon 3 set die how is this set up?

    Stage 1 Dillon Sizing & De-Cap Die
    Stage 2 ?????
    Stage 3 Power Drop
    Stage 4 RCBS Lock-Out Die
    Stage 5 Dillon Seating Die

    Or even the 3 Lee ones?
    I'm a bit confused on how to add the LOCK-OUT DIE after the powder drop in stage 3 (the non-moving stage) and still be able to seat & then crimp?

    Unless there is a DIE that can seat & crimp the the case in stage 5?
    So stage 2 would just be open?

    Budget is about $1300 for all equipment MAX.
     
  24. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Member

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    Stage 2 will be flaring/expanding. And yes, the die in 3 die sets seats and crimps in stage 5. Dillon is way more money than you need to spend on dies.
     
  25. jediagh

    jediagh Member

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    Excuse my ignorance & thus why I am here.
    So with the LEE 3-set you have the following:
    - Carbide Sizer Die
    - Powder Through Expander Die
    - Bullet Seater Die

    So it would be setup as follows.
    Stage 1 - LEE Carbide Sizer Die
    Stage 2 - LEE Powder Through Expander Die
    (& use only the expander part since I'm not connecting a powder dropper to this die)
    Stage 3 - Uniflow Powder Dropper (FIXED stage)
    Stage 4 - RCBS Lock-Out Die
    Stage 5 - LEE Bullet Seater Die
    (This die will also do the crimp as well?)

    If I went with Dillon 3 Set Die we have the following:

    Dillon Sizing/Depriming Die
    Dillon Bullet Seating Die
    Dillon Crimp Die

    So it would be as follows.
    Stage 1 - Dillon Sizing/Depriming Die
    Stage 2 - ???
    Stage 3 - Uniflow Powder Dropper (FIXED stage)
    Stage 4 - RCBS Lock-Out Die
    Stage 5 - Dillon Bullet Seating Die

    So I don't use the Dillon Crimp Die?
    Or in order to use it I moved Stages 3 - 5 up by 1.
    Stage 1 - Dillon Sizing/Depriming Die
    Stage 2 - Uniflow Powder Dropper
    Stage 3 - RCBS Lock-Out Die
    Stage 4 - Dillon Bullet Seating Die
    Stage 5 - Dillon Crimp Die

    So is the Dillon Sizing/Depriming Die doing the expanding as well?
    Or is that why RCBS cerated the "RCBS Pistol Powder Expander" so that you can use it in stage 2 with the Uniflow. :eek: (An AAAHHH moment as I think i just answered my own question!) :)


    So with the Dillon dies you do end up messing up the "advanatge" of having a fixed stage. What I mean by that is by having stage 3 (fixed) with the powder I can see how you can easly switch bewteen 2 calibers (say 45 and 38 special) since those others are all on the removable plate and then you only have to re-cal the powder. So doing it with LEE dies allows this option.
    Where as with the dillon you can not since you are seating and crimping in 2 different steps.

    Which begs the question why do it in 2 vs 1? (More reading for me on that one). And more decision on which way to go. Seeing that you still have to take "apart" the press (ie. remove the shell plate) to do caliber changes not sure if the "ease" of just swapping plates with dies is worth it or not. In my mind (right now) if and when I have to switch calibers it's already a "day lost due to down time" so I guess a few hours added is no big deal.

    Granted at this point I'm not planning on doing anything more than 45 so dies will stay as is. I guess once I'm more comfortable and go to 38 special as well this delima of remove plate with dies (already set) as oppose to taking it all apart will become more appeared.
     
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