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Went with the Load Master!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Rustynuts, Dec 29, 2007.

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  1. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    After much consternation over whether to go Lee, Hornady, RCBS, or Dillon, I finally landed on the Load Master (the setup videos on Youtube helped allay my fears!).

    Ordered a crap load of stuff with it, came with a 45 kit w/ dies and the Pro auto-disk powder measure w/ 4 disks, and ordered extra the auto brass/bullet feeders, case collator, powder scale, Hornady tumbler, RCBS media separator, cleaning media, brass, bullets, Lee reload manual, cartridge guage, RCBS bullet puller, trimmer, etc, etc.

    Ended up laying down $600! Would have been a LOT more if I went Hornady or Dillon for a 5-stage setup. Didn't order any primers or powder as I didn't want to get hit the hazmat fees. Going to a gunshow next weekend anyway!
     
  2. Shadow500

    Shadow500 Member

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    Congradulations on your new Loadmaster.

    Chris
     
  3. Jumping Frog

    Jumping Frog Member

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    Now that you have had it for a couple of weeks, did you end up buying any of the "extras" that you realize now you didn't need to get? If you had to do the purchase over again, would there be any changes in your "buy" list?
     
  4. hsiddall

    hsiddall Member

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    Dont get discouraged, alot of learning curve with the loadmaster. I luv mine when it works. Ive had it over a year and Im still having problems...
     
  5. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    I've got it setup, but still waiting on powder to arrive and took me a week to refinish an old bench I wanted to move into the house to mount it to. Made a couple of sample rounds to check length and crimp with no primers. Watched the youtube setup videos many times and adjusted dies, etc.

    The brass feeder and bullet feeder seem to function well without much fiddling. Don't really like the o-ring friction locks on the dies, so I'll probably swap them out for the bolt-down style. Got the powder dispenser on, but haven't figured it out yet. Need to do some reading still.

    Pretty much bought everything at once, in fact I bought some things I didn't need that already came with the press, like the large primer feeder and finished round catcher. For some reason I thought the large primer feeder was bigger than the one that came with the 45 ACP kit, didn't get the Large Primer/Small Primer thing at first. Never really looked at my 40 vs 45 rounds to see the primers are different sizes! :p

    I bought a separate tumbler and media separator, but I'll probably send them back for a Lyman with the automatic media drain. One less piece to store.

    After more reading, I'm glad I got the Lee, as I don't think I like the primer tubes used by the others. Seems more dangerous if one blows. Got the primer blast guard for the Lee just in case.

    I'm using separate depriming and sizing dies per the youtube videos, so the brass is held in place while priming. Also not using the crimp on the seating die and using a factory crimp die, so my system is fully tricked out with brass/bullet feeders, brass collator, and all 5 dies filled!

    One of the videos looked like they had a small LED light or similar wired up to the left side of the frame up to the turret. Looked pretty neat for maybe checking powder or bullet seating. Couldn't see if it was plugged in or battery powered. The wires ran down to the base area though.
     
  6. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    You don't need to get rid of the O-ring nuts. Just remove the O ring and flip the nut over so the flat side is down. This will lock those dies in tight with a wrench.
     
  7. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Still like the bolt down better. You can take the dies on/off if needed and the setting never changes! Although the Hornady lockdown nuts I got don't fit the Lee turret very well. The bolt and/or nut itself can jam against an adjacent nut, depending on the angle. The OD is just slightly larger it seems.

    Broke my darn powder chain already fiddling around. My fault though. I may try to do the solid rod-mod from the youtube videos when I get a chance
     
  8. bgddy58

    bgddy58 Member

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    I used use Hornady lock down nuts for my Loadmaster. It's easier to simply buy more turrets and swap them out by caliber. I use a universal decapping die in one turret, and all other calibers (including factory crimp) in seperate turrets.
     
  9. Shadow500

    Shadow500 Member

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    I also took the o-rings off of the lock nuts and turned them over. You can tighten the dies down with a wrench really good this way. I also made a die wrench by turning down a 1-1/8 impact socket so that it fit between the die nuts then silver soldered a handle onto it. This makes adjusting the dies a breeze because a regular wrench does not fit that well.


    Making the wrenches on the Lathe is not cost efficient since each tool starts out as a store bought socket. If someone has a setup to cast copies I can send them my wrench as a master.

    DarwinTe mounted a LED onto his press; I copied his excellent idea but did not mount it onto the press. I just bought one of those flexible neck LED flashlights from lowes and sit the body on top of the turret and snake the neck between the seating die and the factory crimp die then I point the light directly into the case at station #4.

    Enjoy that new press and if you have any questions be sure to ask.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  10. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Shadow500, are you THE Shadowdog500 of YouTube fame? If so, your videos rock! Those and Darwinte's made my loading press choice easy.
     
  11. Shadow500

    Shadow500 Member

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    Youtube fame??? My head is swelling! Yes that is me.

    Chris
     
  12. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    Hats off to you guys who are actually ambitious enough to take the time to film things like this. I think about it all the time, but I never drag the camera out.
     
  13. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Member

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    Funny thing about lock rings...

    I replaced all of mine with Lee rings.! I have them all in seperate turrets,and the ease of adjustability is really nice.

    fwiw,trying to get at adjoining lock rings that are nearly touching each other is a pain in the but.Life is soooo much easier with extra turrets.
     
  14. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Shadow500, where did you get the thumbscrew ferrule for your chain-to-rod conversion on the powder throw? Looked at Lowes and found nothing but a lifting cable clamp. Too crude looking! They had no springs either.
     
  15. Shadow500

    Shadow500 Member

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    I made it from whatever I had laying around. From what I remember the piece of plastic was cut down from a scrap piece of plastic and a thumb screw was fished out of my bolt and screw bin. The spring is the one that normal goes on the chain.

    If I really wanted it to look slick I would probably get a pair of dice and use one of those. Just drill it and tap it in the appropriate places.


    Chris
     
  16. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Cool, might try that. I thought it was metal not plastic!
     
  17. Steve Koski

    Steve Koski Member

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    The Loadmaster is the finest reloader made.
     
  18. jrou111

    jrou111 Member

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    Location:
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    I really like mine. I've got it set up for 44mag. But I'm now ready to buy the dies, shellplates and turrets for .357mag, 45acp, 9x18mak, and 32 H&R mag. :D

    Not to mention the rifles....
     
  19. bfox

    bfox Member

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    jrou11

    Don't forget to buy the small primer assembly .
    I hate it when you order stuff and forget something !

    Bill
     
  20. jrou111

    jrou111 Member

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    Bill,

    It came with one.
     
  21. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Almost ready to rock! Just waiting on primer & powder. Should get here Wed. Need to add a few shelves under the bench, make the whole area messier, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Markbo

    Markbo member

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    Location:
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    I don't want to tell you your business, but I just started reloading a couple years ago and have some advice for you based on my own mistakes and learning curve. Before you ever pull a lever, read at least 2 reloading manuals cover to cover. I like the ABC's of reloading and that Lyman manual on the table.

    Once you are done, do it again. Both of them. Cover to cover. Then Start simple and slow with straight walled pistol cartridges. This learning curve will help you when you get into bottlenecked cartridges a lot! If you have a brass tumbler, put it outside or in the garage or somewhere... it will create a really fine, fine dust that is just a pain to keep cleaned up. They are noisy anyway.

    As far as your set up, I don't know if that is a small room or just in the corner of a bigger room or what but you may need some things:
    Lights.. you cannot have too many, no bulb lamps on the table though! Overhead and fluorescent lighting
    2 or 3 different sizes of small paint brushes to clean everything off
    A hand held broom and dust pan to clean up from the paint brushes
    A bare floor - part of reloading is spilling. Spilling primers and powder into a carpet that can create static (and all carpets can) is bad joo joo. Either cover the entire area with a large rubber/antistatic matt that has a lip or pull that carpet up.

    Clutter - get rid of the picture on the back wall and that CD rack. You will need all the room you can get. There is a bare minimum of room on that table to work on just what you are reloading at the moment, let alone any supplies stored. I try to keep my worktop clean of everything possible.

    Make some racks on the back wall - even the strips that you can put plastic boxes on for hardware and such - will give you a lot of easy storage. Keep your powder up and locked if possible if you have kids. If not, keep them away from all energy & heat sources. Have a fire extinguisher attached to the wall within easy reach.

    There are a ton of other little things, but you didn't ask and I don't want to just dump too much inrequested information on you.

    Good luck with your new hobby!
    Mark
     
  23. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Yes, I'm starting small, only loading 45 ACP right now. Just to the left is a large metal filing cabinet I will use for some storage, and will put shelves under the table. Notice the 40mm ammo can? I'll use those for storing as well. Thought of the carpet and probably will get a plastic desk thing for the floor. Static is pretty rare here in central Florida, but I'm sure it can happen! Ultimately I'd like to get rid of the carpet and go with wood. This is just a small corner of my den to get started. I don't plan on going nuts yet, but when I do, it may have to move to the garage. I've got a desk lamp up high on the filing cabinet. Throws pretty good light, better than the photo shows. I was also going to try and mount a flex light right to the press. There's more clearance to the DVD rack than it looks due to the angle, about 18" to the press handle. If I need it, I have room to slide the whole table to the left.

    Already made it through 2 loading books, focusing on the pistol loads since that's all I'm doing now. Did wet cleaning of my first batch of fired brass. Getting a Lyman 1200 Auto-flo soon. I've heard of the dust problem and will keep it in the garage. Got some cob, walnut, and ceramic media to try. Thanks for the pointers! I'm sure I'll need more as I go along. I'm still in setup mode, so all that stuff on the table top will get stored, except for the scale!
     
  24. KeithB

    KeithB Member

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    Congrats on your new loader
     
  25. bfox

    bfox Member

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    Rustynuts

    Looks Good !
    Looking forward to hearing how it goes !

    Bill

    You said messier I want to see what it looks Like nnext month .
    Stuff sure seems to multiply fast .

    And to Koski
    Its killing you being nice on THR Aint it ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2008
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