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Tuco Taveras SASS#79313

Need to start reloading

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Howdy Pards:Well I need to get started in the manly art of reloading.I have reloaded shotgunshells in the past,so I know a little bit..I would like to load 45 long colt...So I guess I need to put together a list of what I need and in what order.........Press,dies,some kind of a sizer????Also what is the recipe for a good CAS round....Thought I would start picking up one piece at a time......Fixin to buy bullets ,primers and smokeless powder for a 66 uberti....What should I be lookin for first.......Thanks Tuco......

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First...before you do anything, buy a good reloading manual :o Lyman, Speer, Sierra, Hornady....don't matter as they are all good. THEN decide on what you want to reload and get some good equipment. Ask some of your shooting Pards to look at what they use and why.I won't recommend one type or brand over another, I have been reloading for over 50 years and have formed some of my own opinions. It's like buying your first CAS guns, you'll probably want something different later. Good Luck B)

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A little over a year ago I bought my fist reloader. I got a Lee Classic turret press and could not be happier. Easy to set up (Youtube videos available for this too, do a search on Youtube). I load 45 Colt on mine and can easily get 200 rounds per hour without hurrying. It is not a high volume loader, but I am not a high volume shooter.

 

It is a very affordable and user freindly system to start with.

 

My 2% of a gold dollar.

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When I first got started in reloading , My mentor recommended that I start w/ the RCBS RockChucker loading press/ kit. It comes w/ a scale and book and other things that allow a new relaoder to start of on the right foot. I believe Cabela and Midway offer those kits at a fair price.... :)

 

 

Respectfully,

 

CBA

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When I first got started in reloading , My mentor recommended that I start w/ the RCBS RockChucker loading press/ kit. It comes w/ a scale and book and other things that allow a new relaoder to start of on the right foot. I believe Cabela and Midway offer those kits at a fair price.... :)

 

 

Respectfully,

 

CBA

 

Woop there it is! Find a mentor at your club to give you help and advise.

 

All the Best,

 

Shameless Womanizer

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what kind of reloader you need really depends on how much you shoot. youve been on the wire long enough to know you cant go wrong with a dillon. those boys will stay on the phone with you all day patiently walking you through a fix.

manuals shmanuals :D:D

talk to your local buds, see what theyre using. somebody is gonna love to help you set it up.

dont ferget, you need a tumbler, separator, and catch tub for the media. polly and i only shoot about 4 matches a month these days but thats still 1200+ rounds a month. we use a 650.

good luck pard, have fun, be careful, wear your glasses.

CC

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Finding someone in your local club to help you start is great advice, first thing you should do before spending money that you may not need to spend.

 

You'll need to get whatever reloading press you end up with, dies, primers, powder, brass and bullets. Like Big Sage said a reloading manual is very helpful as well . If you decide to use any of the powders from Hodgdon you can get to their load data for free at the site below.

 

http://www.hodgdon.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html

 

You'll also want to consider a reliable scale to weigh your loads and also some type of calipers to measure overall length to make sure that you have the correct value. Some rifles, Marlin 1894 in .357 especially (I've got one) is very picky about the OAL. The rounds don't cycle well through the action if not the correct length.

 

There are several pards on the WIRE and probably where you live that have brass for sale. You can find many sources of bullets (buy them in bulk). Don't order primers and gunpowder through the internet because you'll have to absorb the HAZMAT fees ($25 I think) for each order that you have shipped in addition to your purchase and shipping costs.

 

The main thing is to make absolutely sure that your loads have the right amount of powder and are the correct length. I was at a shoot recently where a pard's brand new Ruger Vaquero in 45 blew the cylinder into three pieces and bent the top part of the frame. This SASS shooting is a lot of fun but safety is paramount (yeah I had to look up paramount to spell it correctly).

 

Good luck in your reloading adventures. Its a sickness for which I have yet to find a cure...but I'm quite happy with the symptoms.

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A little over a year ago I bought my fist reloader. I got a Lee Classic turret press and could not be happier. Easy to set up (Youtube videos available for this too, do a search on Youtube). I load 45 Colt on mine and can easily get 200 rounds per hour without hurrying. It is not a high volume loader, but I am not a high volume shooter.

 

It is a very affordable and user freindly system to start with.

 

My 2% of a gold dollar.

I agree, IMHO the best low cost starter set up is the Lee Classic Turret, can be used as a single stage or turret. The heads are very inexpensive making caliber change a snap. The Lee web site has a video of each step to help get things set up right. Kempf's Gun Shop (or Cabelas-Midway) has everything thing you need to get started, press, dies, Hornady One Shot case lube, tumbler kit, scales, reloading manuals, funnel, etc....If you do decide to go with the Lee make sure to include the Pro Auto Disk "upgrade", well worth it. You're gonna save a ton of money reloading yer own. Give Kempf a call, they can walk you through it. Good Luck :)

Lee Classic Turret Kit

Tumbler Combo

Modern Reloading

Extra Turret

Hornady One Shot

Scale

Lyman 49th

Elec Scale, Funnel, Duble Disk Kit...etc...etc

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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A little over a year ago I bought my fist reloader. I got a Lee Classic turret press and could not be happier. Easy to set up (Youtube videos available for this too, do a search on Youtube). I load 45 Colt on mine and can easily get 200 rounds per hour without hurrying. It is not a high volume loader, but I am not a high volume shooter.

 

It is a very affordable and user freindly system to start with.

 

My 2% of a gold dollar.

 

+1

I always recommend that a newbie reloader start off with a turret press with auto-indexing. It is kind of like a progressive with training wheels. You can load rounds pretty quickly (about 100 per hour) while still keeping an eye on every step. It is also safer than batch loading on a single stage, since it is almost imposible to skip a step with auto-indexing. The Lee Classic is a four hole press which allows for the Lee Factory Crimp Die to be used in the last station. The list that I would put together would be:

 

Lee Classic Turret Press

Lee Powder Measure and powder through die spacer

Lee carbide four die pistol set

Reloading Manual

A vintage Lyman, Redding, RCBS, etc scale from ebay (I don't like the Lee scale)

Harbor Freight Tumbler

Digital Calipers from Harbor Freight

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First...before you do anything, buy a good reloading manual :o Lyman, Speer, Sierra, Hornady....don't matter as they are all good. THEN decide on what you want to reload and get some good equipment. Ask some of your shooting Pards to look at what they use and why.I won't recommend one type or brand over another, I have been reloading for over 50 years and have formed some of my own opin

 

Howdy

 

I cannot agree more with that statement. With all due respect, the boys on the line at Dillon cannot help you understand the basics of reloading. They cannot help guide you through selecting a load. They are experts at coaching you to use their equipment. You buy a manual to understand the basics of reloading and to get an understanding of the principles behind it. And you read a manual to help get an understanding of the different types of equipment out there and the different brands. Yes, there are different types and there are different brands.

 

You don't have to read the entire manual. All of the good ones will have a chapter describing the basics of reloading. That is what you read. And you don't have to wade through all the data for all the cartridges you are not reloading. Just what is pertinent to you.

 

I ain't gonna suggest any brands, they all have their strong points and their weak points. I will suggest you at least consider starting simple on a single stage press. That way you are concentrating on the process of reloading, you are not being distracted by a Rube Goldberg contraption, which all progressive presses are. If you want to move up to a progressive later, you will have a good foundation in reloading and will understand what you are doing, and can concentrate on keeping the machine running properly because you already know a good deal about basic reloading.

 

If on the other hand you want to start with a progressive press, yes it can be done, PLEASE be patient and take the time to run a couple of boxes of ammo through the press one shell at a time. That way you can understand both what is happening inside the reloading die AND how the machine makes it happen. They are two separate things.

 

If you decide to start with the single stage route, you can usually save some money by buying a kit that comes with the press, a scale, and a powder measure. You will have to buy your dies and shell holder separately.

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I started off with a loading manual, single stage Orange Crush, tumbler, case trimmer, scale, and powder measure. I got all of these things given to me by someone who was not reloading any more.

 

After about 6 months, I inherited a 1970's? vintage RCBS press and some other stuff. I now break down reloading in three steps of two...Deprime/resize and bell the mouth, then I hand prime and powder, finally I seat and crimp.

 

It goes pretty well and have been doing that for another 6 months or so. It was great to learn this way and it has taught me a lot about reloading and especially reloading a lot of different calibers.

 

Now that I have the hang of it and settled on some loads that I like, I am going to break down and buy a progressive. Just trying to settle on what I want. I will still keep the single stage around for playing with and testing out new loads, but gradually building up to this point has taught me a lot about reloading.

 

Also, not being in too much of a hurry and keeping my ear out and talking with folks, I amassed around $1,000 worth of reloading equipment for FREE to get me started and carry me through my first year or so of shooting!

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I agree that the Lee Turret Press is a good way to start, but I have never been able to get much more than 125 rounds an hour out of mine. Of course, i count every minute I spend at the reloading table, not just when I am operating the lever. In a year or so, as your shooting increases, you will want to think about a progressive loader, but don't start with anything more than the turret press. By the way, I have mine set up for 38/357, 45acp and 45 Colt. All I have to do is swap out the turrets with previously installed dies and powder measures and swap out the shellholder. I check the first round to make sure none of the settings have changed and away I go.

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I have loaded with Lee single-stage presses and handloaders since 1985, through six years in IPSC, five years of DCM, five years of Bullseye and five years of cowboy, all requiring 150-250 rounds per month to shoot and practice. I load about 100-125 rounds per hour depending on straight or bottleneck, smokeless or BP. That means 2 hours per month of loading. How fast does one need to reload, unless you are shooting matches every weekend? These non-progressive set-ups help teach the basics and reduce the chance of many mistakes that seem to be more common to progressive loading: squibs, double-loading, inverted primers, inverted bullets. These should never happen with single-stage loading.

 

If you end up going to a progressive later on you can still use the single-stage for factory crimping, lubing/sizing or loading a short run of cartridges. I enjoy loading original WCF and military rounds as much as I enjoy shooting them. No rushing, no problems and I have never, never called a loading equipment company with a problem.

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+1 Tom! My sentiments exactly. My single stage press now punches out vegetable wads for my black powder 45 LC rounds, Lube ribbons to make 12 ga lube cookies for my brass 12 ga, and with Lee dies I load 45LC and RCBS dies I load brass 12 ga all on a Lee Classic Cast Press. Smithy.

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I believe your very first purchase should be Dr Richard Lee's book Modern Reloading. It explains how to reload step by step and has pictures, but he also explains WHY you do what you do. It can also serve as your FIRSt loading manual (meaning you need more than one)

 

I started with the basic Lee hand loaders, and still use a Lee Turret Press...

 

but it is always good to have a mentor. and load single stage at first til you know what is going on in the load process....then get what ever floats yer boat..

 

curley

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I started on a progressive press because I didn't have the money to buy a single stage and a progressive press. I did upgrade to a better one after several years, but it was worth it to me to minimize my reloading time. Before I bought my press, I bought the Lee reloading manual, the Lyman 47th edition, and an NRA reloading manual and read them all first. I've aquired several more since then.

Scale, tumbler, caliper, press, set of carbide dies (Lees are good, yet cheap), and finished ammo containers.

Before you buy huge quantities of bullets, you'll want to settle on one that you like. Buy your supplies in quantity to save money: 8 lb powder, primers by the sleeve (5,000), bullets by the 1,000. How and what you put together should be determined by what works in your rifle and pistols.

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My first press was a Lee 1000. Which has so many quirks to it. I later got a Dillon 650, then a 550 which I sold to a pard who was just getting started reloading. I now have two 650's. One for large pistol primers and one for small. The pard I sold the 550 to was thinking about a cheaper press I told him to save his time and money and at least get a a 550. Helped him with the setup and he has had no problems. I was out of country and he sent me a text about a question on 45 Acp, I suggested that he call Dillon, which he did. They got him squared away. He is cranking out 38's and 45's from the same machine with no proplems.

Get a Dillon and don't look back.

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You will find a lot of folks recommending you start with a single stage press so your reloading can be "as miserable as them" :rolleyes: or how they started reloading. If you shoot more than a match a month you would be a lot better advised to start with something like a Dillon SDB, progressive press. All you do is put an empty piece of brass on the shell plate and a piece of lead on a partially loaded piece of brass and a completed round falls into your catch tray when you pull the lever, then repeat this process over and over. All the functions occur automatically, including removing the old primer, installing the new primer, sizing the brass, dropping the correct measured amount of powder from a hopper, seating the bullet to the correct depth and crimping the brass around the bullet. Getting started is a piece of cake. The Dillon loaders come already set up for the caliber you choose to start with. I had never reloaded before and loaded my first hundred rounds with the SDB within a couple hours of unpacking the SDB. If you have any kind of issue, Dillon has the absolute best customer support of any company in business. Late one Sat I had a part break on my 650 and called Dillon (it turns out after they closed) and my call was answered by the owner of the company, Mike Dillon who talked with me for over a half hour.

 

If you have never reloaded before you will need more than the reloading machine. You will need a digital scale (no need today to use the old beam balance machine), a way to clean brass-a tumbler, walnut shell media and brass/media separation device, a flip tray for primers, powder, brass, bullets, a couple of reloading manuals (read before you start anything), a CD tutorial on your machine (like the Dillon SDB DC video), etc.

 

As far as loads go you will find some in the reloading manuals and many more loads on the web. Many new reloaders start out with loads that are way too hot for Cowboy Action Shooting, so start with the minimum loads in the manuals. Lighter bullets recoil a lot less than heavier bullets.

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Howdy Again

 

I always get nervous when folks start talking about how a progressive press does everything for you automatically and all you have to do is set it up and start cranking out tons of ammo. Murphy can always raise his ugly head.

 

I repeat what I have said many times. Doing it that way makes you a very good machine operator. It does not teach you anything about the actual science of reloading. It does not teach you anything about what is actually going on inside each die when a shell gets shoved up inside.

 

Some folks have different mechanical aptitudes than others. I learned to load on a single stage press, then graduated to a progressive. I now have two of them. But I know that I would have been very confused trying to understand all there is to know about reloading, while getting that Rube Goldberg contraption running right.

 

If one has the patience to run a progressive press for a good many rounds with just one case cycling around the machine and actually take the time to understand what is happening at each station, then one can certainly learn to reload on a progressive press. If one sets it up out of the box and turns the switch to full auto, and immediately starts cranking out hundreds of rounds of ammo, sooner or later they will be asking questions here about why their ammo is not quite right.

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Howdy Again

 

I always get nervous when folks start talking about how a progressive press does everything for you automatically and all you have to do is set it up and start cranking out tons of ammo. Murphy can always raise his ugly head.

 

I repeat what I have said many times. Doing it that way makes you a very good machine operator. It does not teach you anything about the actual science of reloading. It does not teach you anything about what is actually going on inside each die when a shell gets shoved up inside.

 

Some folks have different mechanical aptitudes than others. I learned to load on a single stage press, then graduated to a progressive. I now have two of them. But I know that I would have been very confused trying to understand all there is to know about reloading, while getting that Rube Goldberg contraption running right.

 

If one has the patience to run a progressive press for a good many rounds with just one case cycling around the machine and actually take the time to understand what is happening at each station, then one can certainly learn to reload on a progressive press. If one sets it up out of the box and turns the switch to full auto, and immediately starts cranking out hundreds of rounds of ammo, sooner or later they will be asking questions here about why their ammo is not quite right.

 

Well I for one had never reloaded or even watched anyone reload before I started. I had read a couple of reloading manuals and did read what various dies did and learned what I needed about the science of reloading. i contend that a single stage press to start with does not teach one about the science of reloading, reading does that.

 

I then drove up to Dillon Precision in Scottsdale, Az and walked in and said I needed to reload 38spls and and had zero no clue what I needed. They set me up with everything in the way of loading equipment I needed (they recommended a SDB), powder (they recommended Bullseye), brass-Win, primers-Win, etc. Went home and even with my limited mechanical skills I was able to reload almost immediately. Since then I have reloaded about 10,000 rounds per year for about 10 years with no reloading issues. At the time I started there were no videos that I found and did it all from Dillon's fine manuals. The only change from what Dillon recommended, is that I switched from Win brass to Starline and from Win primers to Federal. Sill use Bullseye for all my loads. Have attempted loading several other powders but always have gone back to Bullseye. The original poster said he had reloaded shotgun rounds so he starts way ahead of me.

 

After a couple of years, I switched to a 650 with all the bells and whistles to cut down my reloading time and to add the powder checker function for added safety. I continued to use the SDB to reload another lower volume caliber.

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A very nice feature with the SDB and probably some other progressive presses. You dont have to run it full. Meaning you can run one piece of brass at a time. With the SDB you place a piece of brass on the shell plate, give the lever a stroke down, it pops the primer out, and sizes the case. Push up on the lever, it rotates the shell plate automatically, and inserts the primer when you push forward on the lever. Pull the lever down again, with just that piece on the shell plate, it will flare the top of the case, and drop powder. Pull the lever down, and you can see (or measure) the powder. If you left it in, the next step is to put a bullet on the case with powder, and give the lever another stroke, this seats the bullet at the depth in the case you want. One more final stroke gives a very solid crimp. The SDB has several safety features that do not allow any powder to drop when there in no shell in that station. It also wont keep feeding primers when last one was not used (it just stays on the primer punch)

Its really pretty simple to see exactly what happens on each step of the process with only the one piece of brass at a time. It wont keep feeding primers, or drop powder on the extra strokes of the lever.

I run a single piece every time I change calibers to verify my settings are correct.

I would recomend also watching someone else load on several machines. You can do that either with local reloaders, or even on You Tube. This is a great way to help YOU decide which machine is best for YOU.

If you already load shotgun, your way ahead of the game. Most of the shotgun presses are as I describe above. It feeds a primer whether it was needed or not. It dumps powder and shot every stroke whether there is a hull in that station or not.

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Well there are several ways to look at this.

 

one start out small and learn what you need and buy it then. THat would be a Single stage press, dies, scale and something to pull the bullet when you make a mistake. Single stage reloading is open to more mistakes than using a progressive or semi progressive press like the Dillon 550.

 

 

I would recommend getting a Dillon 550 and the reloading kit that have for it, get the digital scale kit. IIRC that would include everything including the reloading manual. Get their video for the 550 also it takes you step by step from opening the box to loading your first rounds. It is much like loading Shotgun shells to de-prime and size the round, you prime and add powder, then you seat the bullet and finally crimp it. Those last two step can be done at the same time or separately when you use a factory crimp die.

 

My reason for saying that single step reloading is open to more problems is that when you single step reload you do things in block of rounds. you size and de-prime 25 or so then you put powder in those same rounds then you seat the bullet and crimp it. It is easy to forget or add additional powder doing things this way if you get distracted.

 

When you use a progressive press the rounds are done one at a time so to speak. every action does the next step to a round. Take this for an example. The press is setup and you are ready to start knocking out rounds. you pick up a piece of brass and put it in station one of the 550, you pull the handle on the press and the brass goes up into the sizing die when it reaches the de-capping pin the primer starts to come out. At the top of the cycle the handle is down and the brass is resized(full length for pistol ammo). You pull the handle up and the prime fall into the catch basin and you have a piece of brass that is sized and ready and when the handle is fully up the primer is seated in the brass.

 

You index that piece to the station two. You insert another piece of brass and pull the hammer down and the brass in station two is raised up to the powder die which drops the correct amount of powder in the brass and bells the brass for a bullet to seat down in. Pull the handle up and now you have one piece of brass with popowder and one ready for powder. Indsex the round to station three. Place a bullet on the brass in station three, place a new piece of brass in station one and pull the handle down on the press this seat the bullet to the correct depth in the brass and can crimp the brass for consistent pressures when fired.

 

Index again now you place a bullet on the brass in station three, place a new piece of brass in station one and pull the handle down and back up. Now you have one complete round of ammo and three that are in the process of being loaded.

 

Index again the loaded round fall in your bin and you continue the process until all rounds are loaded. If you get interrupted and everything is just as you left it. I try to run the machine dry of brass when I stop for extend periods more than short break that way there is no chance of something going wrong.

 

I hope this helps make your mind up. THew 550 is a great press for CAS shooters. Almost perfect of the monthly shooter to the two or three times a month shooter. Now if you shoot every weekend and practice during the week get the 650.

 

I post this long message with one thing in mind buy what you need now and not something that will be cast aside because you have to replace it. Much like when you got in to CAS you probably went in one of two directions. You bought the first things you could find and later replaced them for what works for you. Or you did your research and tested several handgun models and chose the one that fits you, the same with the rifle and shotgun and most importantly your leather. For what it is worth I was one of the first types and replaced the first sixguns almost immediately. Now when there is a purchase I do my homework first. I just hope others can learn from my mistakes.

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Single stage reloading is open to more mistakes than using a progressive or semi progressive press like the Dillon 550.............My reason for saying that single step reloading is open to more problems is that when you single step reload you do things in block of rounds. you size and de-prime 25 or so then you put powder in those same rounds then you seat the bullet and crimp it. It is easy to forget or add additional powder doing things this way if you get distracted.

 

If you use the 'two loading block' method, none of the above will happen.

 

The idea is you have one loading block on either side of the press. One block is full of shells, the other is empty. You take one shell from the full block and run it through the press, then pass it to the block on the other side. You never return a shell to the block it just came from. After 50 strokes, all the shells on one side of the press have been run through the press once, none of them will have been run through twice. You do this for decapping and sizing, and belling. Same thing for powder, one block on either side of the powder measure. If you simply pick up one case from the 'not charged yet' block, dump the powder in, then pass it to the 'already charged' block, you will never double charge a case. Same thing for seating bullets. Move the charged cases to the press, seat and crimp, then pass the completed round to the other block. Moving each case from a block full of cases that have not yet been through a particular process, to a block for the processed cases will keep track of exactly what you are doing.

 

That and remembering to never seat a bullet without first peeking inside every case to make sure that there really is a powder charge there. You would be surprised how accurately the eyeball can determine if the powder charge looks correct. It is amazingly simple. You just pick up a block full of 50 cases and run your eyeball up and down each row with a good strong light.

 

Using the two block method is no slower than using one block and returning each case to the block it came from. The reloader gets a rhythm going. If you want to load more than 50 at a time, just add more loading blocks to the process.

 

A progressive press on the other hand can suffer from misfeeds with the primers. The powder can bridge in the powder measure too leading to one case being empty and the next one having a double charge.

 

Don't get me wrong, I have two Hornady Lock & Load AP presses that I use for most of my reloading. But every once in a while I like to do a short run of an odd caliber that I don't have a shellplate for on my old Lyman Spartan single stage press.

 

There should be absolutely no reason at all why a double charge should ever happen with a single stage press, as long as the guy pulling the handle is paying attention to what he is doing.

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A progressive press on the other hand can suffer from misfeeds with the primers. The powder can bridge in the powder measure too leading to one case being empty and the next one having a double charge.

 

 

 

There should be absolutely no reason at all why a double charge should ever happen with a single stage press, as long as the guy pulling the handle is paying attention to what he is doing.

 

I have never had powder bridge in a Dillon powder bar, leading to one empty and the other a double charge in a decade of use. It is very very unlikely you would have a double charge on a SDB or a 650 Dillon. It can happen on a 550 if you forget to manually advance the shell plate I suppose that is why I went with the 650 in my upgrade. The only issue I have ever had reloading was years ago with two squibs which were finally traced back to powder that got contaminated with a slug of lube that accidentally got into two pieces of brass off the reloading machine during case preparation. Since then I have been using Hornady One Shot with no issues. Some progressive presses do have primer misfeeds, but the good news is that it usually only effects a single round and is easily detected and quickly fixed usually by cleaning the press. This usually happens after thousands and thousands of loaded rounds.

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Myth: Only a rocket scientist could begin reloading on a progressive press.:wacko:

 

The rocket scientist in this bunch is....Magarita Villian for pointing out that a progressive press CAN be used as a single stage press. :rolleyes:

 

My experience: I started on a Dillon 550 and now use a Dillon 650.

 

Observation: You're unlikely to find a "steal" on a Dillon simply because, due to the lifetime warranty that covers every single piece of the press including "wear" parts, a used one will last as long as a new one. If you need a new part, it arrives at your door without another cent invested. Yes, that includes the shipping.

 

If you want a Dillon: Buy it from BrianEnos.com. Same price as directly from Dillon Precision, but anything over $400 ships free.

 

Want some hands on help? That's a great idea. Ask around where you shoot and if you can't find anyone there, ask here. I once had a person bring their new press to my house where we set it up, got it going, took it off my bench, he took it home and has been reloading for a few years now.

 

My advice: Buy the nicest press you can afford. You won't look back and wish you'd gotten the cheaper one.

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Myth: Only a rocket scientist could begin reloading on a progressive press.:wacko:

 

The rocket scientist in this bunch is....Magarita Villian for pointing out that a progressive press CAN be used as a single stage press. :rolleyes:

 

My experience: I started on a Dillon 550 and now use a Dillon 650.

 

Observation: You're unlikely to find a "steal" on a Dillon simply because, due to the lifetime warranty that covers every single piece of the press including "wear" parts, a used one will last as long as a new one. If you need a new part, it arrives at your door without another cent invested. Yes, that includes the shipping.

 

If you want a Dillon: Buy it from BrianEnos.com. Same price as directly from Dillon Precision, but anything over $400 ships free.

 

Want some hands on help? That's a great idea. Ask around where you shoot and if you can't find anyone there, ask here. I once had a person bring their new press to my house where we set it up, got it going, took it off my bench, he took it home and has been reloading for a few years now.

 

My advice: Buy the nicest press you can afford. You won't look back and wish you'd gotten the cheaper one.

When my SDB had several ten thousand rounds run through it I dropped if off at Dillon for a factory total refurbishment. I think it was about $30 plus a bit of shipping to my son 1500 miles away so he could start reloading and quit using my ammo. He is the rocket scientist above, MV.

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The rocket scientist in this bunch is....Magarita Villian for pointing out that a progressive press CAN be used as a single stage press.

 

No disrespect to Magarita Villian, but I said the same thing twice before he mentioned it. And yes, almost every progressive press can be used that way when first starting out. My Hornady presses can.

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I learned on a progressive press and I later upgraded to a better progressive press. The ammo I've made is just as good as that made on a single stage press, but I just happen to like getting it done in less time. I've also changed primers, powder, and bullets with no ill effects. I wouldn't presume to know best for others, but if I could learn on a progressive, others could too.

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One other thought for you, Tuco...

 

I was a little short on available "mentors", so I asked at my club; turned out that I was one of several members looking for reloading help...which led to the club arranging for an NRA-qualified reloading instructor to run a reloading class. Boy, am I glad I opened my mouth. Multiple sessions, full instruction, individual attention, single stage reloading of .45-70 rounds, and a chance to meet a dozen similarly interested folks.

 

I went straight to a Dillon 550B after that, and haven't looked back. With some extra hints from folks on the Wire (thank you, DJ), I now load everything I shoot in .38, .45LC, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, and added shotshell reloading this year. Oh, and I go back to my Lyman Manual every season, just to brush up.

 

Be serious, be exacting, and have fun!

 

LL

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