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Bisley Joe

Black Powder Reloading

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Howdy!

 

Getting ready to start reloading black powder cartridge:  Starting with 45 Colt, and later possibly adding 38 special.

I have an old single stage red press, and am getting a Dillon 550 from a friend.

I have only reloaded with a friend, years ago, and that was really just helping a bit, so I have little knowledge on the subject.

 

Does anyone load black powder on the dillon?

I'd like to also reload 45ACP, just ball ammo: since "Ball drops 'em all", for being able to practice with my 1911 without breaking the bank.

Anyway, what do you all think? Should I keep the red single stage for just black powder and the Dillon for the regular/45ACP, or is it reasonable to have different setups for the Dillon: 45 Colt BP, 38 Spl BP, and 45ACP Modern Powder?

 

 

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I save the single stage for rifle cartridges and use a 550 for everything else.  Cartridge change overs are easy and quick.   For black powder I do not run it through the measure, but instead pull the case out after belling and hand dip the powder, then re-insert it and advance.  Some run BP through the measure, I don’t.

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you could since the powder measure is all zink and aluminum cast bits. no chance of spark. Dillon will tell you don't do it. There is a die that will replace the powder die that uses a funnel and you can hand dip your powder too. 
it's all up to you though. 
Myself since i'll be loading 45-110 need to do too many operations too much powder and too tall of a cartridge. so I'm going to single stage it. 

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I load BP on my Dillon all the time.

After it bells the mouth at station 2, I remove the case, dip the powder, insert a boolit, and place it in station 3.

That's the only change I make.

Works like a charm.

I use Dillon dies for 38s, and Lyman dies for 45 Schofields

--Dawg

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I load BP on my lee progressive press. remove the powder drop and use a funnel in the powder through die to hand drip powder.  it'd be the same on any brand progressive press.

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11 minutes ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

I load BP on my Dillon all the time.

After it bells the mouth at station 2, I remove the case, dip the powder, insert a boolit, and place it in station 3.

That's the only change I make.

Works like a charm.

I use Dillon dies for 38s, and Lyman dies for 45 Schofields

--Dawg

Pretty much what I do as well.

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I'm loading .45 Colt on a Dillon 650 But I'm using either Black MZ or APP, so other than the volume vs. weight issue I don't have problems with the powder measure.  Since you asked I have 2 presses one set up for large pistol primer and one for small primers.  For me it's easier than changing everything between .45 & .38.

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Been loading real BP on my D550 for many yrs.

I strongly urge you to hardwire the press to a dedicated ground rod.

This really reduces the 'powder cling' cause by static build up.

OLG 

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I use two powder measures on my 650 first one is black mz and the second is grits.  works great.  before the 650 I used my 550 with the powder measure it worked well to. 

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PLUS ONE too Tequila Chase.  

 

However I also sold BP on both 650s.  So far, no Earth Shattering KABOOM (Stolen cartoon Line)

 

Should read "also LOAD" BP   I absolutely HATE Otto Correct"

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
Add additional information and Fix Stupid Auto Correct
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2 hours ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I load BP on my lee progressive press. remove the powder drop and use a funnel in the powder through die to hand drip powder.  it'd be the same on any brand progressive press.

 

I do the same with a Lee dipper. 

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I batch load ,,, I de-prime my cases with a De-capping Die using a cheap LEE Single stage press I think the Die and Press together cost me about 25 bucks ,,

I welded up a mount the goes in a 2 inch receiver Hitch ... I de-cap at the shoot before i toss the cases in the soap and water jug .... The de-capper Works for .38 WFC ,.44 Spl. and .45 colt ...

We I get home I rinse them out and toss them on the deck to dry ( Or in the oven set low) if the Boss ain't home ...

When they are dry thy go in the polisher ,,,,,,,, When clean, I shake the media out, sort to caliber and resize .... Then I flare the Mouths of each Caliber when I have a bunch of them needing it ... I usually wait till I have at least 500 of any Caliber .... 

When I have a bunch of cases in a bucket , Or several Buckets since all the cases will work using the same shell holder ...., I or We sit and hand-prime while watching a Western ....

When I need to load I put them under the Drop-tube set to fill the case in question with Goex 3F to the level that allows the seated bullet to compress the powder between 1/8 and 3/16th. of an inch ... I put them in loading blocks till I have 150, then I seat bullets and put them in a bucket and repeat ... Bullets are crimped when they are seated in .44 Spl. and in .45 Colt ... For .38-40 I seat the bullet followed by crimping with a LEE factory crimp die .... 

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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BJ I strongly suggest any new reloader find a mentor, learn how to load on a single stage thoroughly before setting off on a progressive. It is entirely too easy to load lots of bad, maybe even dangerous, rounds per hour. And it is more fun to have a friend/s involved in shooting and reloading.

 

Imis

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Quote

Anyway, what do you all think? Should I keep the red single stage for just black powder and the Dillon for the regular/45ACP, or is it reasonable to have different setups for the Dillon: 45 Colt BP, 38 Spl BP, and 45ACP Modern Powder?

Joe, buy a 550 powder charger for smokeless and black powder with die sets for each of your calibers plus Lee Factory Crimp dies. 

The only reason for the 2 chargers is because I label each with the different caliber powders/amount of powder on each... but one charger is sufficient

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+1 on what Imis said.

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I agree with Imis. Find a pard to help get started.

One of the many things I like about loading black is it's impossible to double charge. If you try you'll just get a bunch of spilled powder.

 

I've been loading real black on a 550 for about 13 years. I use the standard powder hopper. After thousands of rounds, so far so good. I don't have static issues at my house so I haven't had to deal with cling or inconsistent powder drops. 

BTW, I have complete, separate setups for .38, .45, 44WCF and 45ACP (the only smokeless I load). It's just easier to leave everything set up, including the powder adjustment.

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I load BP on my 650 a little different.  I size/deprime, reprime/bell and remove the case.  Load the cases up in a bunch of loading blocks, charge the cases with an RCBS powder measure and put the bullets in.  Then I run them through the seating and crimping stages.

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I do not have a 550, but a Lee Loadmaster and I load .45 Colt using FFG. My process utilizes the Lee Autodisk powder measure for charging each case and I charge on the press.

 

I've been reloading for 20+ years from plinker ammo to long range precision. So, with that said, I'll say that loading full auto progressive with black powder is pretty well summed up with two words... slow down. It won't be as fast at full auto progressive loading of .45 ACP. Take your time to watch everything that's going on. That is one of the advantages of the single stage in the learning process is that you are forced to slow down pay attention to what’s happening with each cartridge. That's normal, most of us started on a single stage... I did.

 

If you do, or when you do, load on the Dillion I do recommend that you utilize some good on-press LED lighting to help aid you in visibility while reloading.

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What nemesis says.  I second that.  I load everything on my 650.  45 LC, ACP, 38, 44-40 and 38-40.  I have put hundreds of pounds of black through my dillon powder drop.  If I am doing light loads I can add a second Lee powder drop to add grits as a filler.

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6 hours ago, Ruff Kut said:

What nemesis says.  I second that.  I load everything on my 650.  45 LC, ACP, 38, 44-40 and 38-40.  I have put hundreds of pounds of black through my dillon powder drop.  If I am doing light loads I can add a second Lee powder drop to add grits as a filler.

So that's why it always smells like breakfast when I shoot wif ya! :D

Kajun

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I thought Da filler Was Goex 3F .......

Jabez Cowboy

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3 hours ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

I thought Da filler Was Goex 3F .......

Jabez Cowboy

The further North ya are - the more powder ya need !  :lol:

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SASS:  Pour powder in case to the top, jam down the bullet with a crimp. :P

 

Shotgun: Pour in 2 measures, nitro wad, sho and fiber wads, overshot wad, glue  with Duco cement. :lol:

 

BPCR: Weigh powder, add to prescribed level, add wad, add carefully compounded and moulded bullet lubed with SPG, crimp. :D

 

NRA Bullseye: Use Dillon following Les Baer specifications.

 

Hunting: Go to gun store, buy .44 Rem Mag.  :wub:

 

Nothing to it!!!;)

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On 2/6/2020 at 3:37 PM, Matthew McCrae said:

you could since the powder measure is all zink and aluminum cast bits. no chance of spark. Dillon will tell you don't do it. There is a die that will replace the powder die that uses a funnel and you can hand dip your powder too. 
it's all up to you though. 
Myself since i'll be loading 45-110 need to do too many operations too much powder and too tall of a cartridge. so I'm going to single stage it. 

I tried the funnel on a 550 with GOEX. The Goex bunched up, even with the funnel. So, I hand-dip it. Some of the blends might work well, like 777. Don't know. I may try the 777 & see how it works out.

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I use the Lyman "Blackpowder" measure .....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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I always drop my scooped loads through a long brass tube. I don't have any clumping issues.

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I've been into Real BP since I was 8. Love the stuff, its very addicting! I load everything in Holy Black, 12g, 44-40, 38-40, 45-70 and 45-90 as well ass my old reliable cap and ball 36 and 44. Its Very easy and doesnt require "precision". That said, the 45-70 and 45-90 are loaded heavily compressed on a Lee single stage, very precisely, with 2F since they are long range and I need repeat-ability! The 44-40's (main match guns) are loaded on a Dillon square deal with mainly Goex or Graf&Sons 2f or 3f (Cheap). It throws consistent loads from the large powder slide and primed with Federal LP in station 2. The pan lubed bullets are used to compress the charge about 1/8" in station 3 and a perfect crimp is applied in station 4. I can have more than enough for a match in 30-45 minutes. My 12G AA's are loaded on a MEC 8567, powder bushings are a hand carved unit or a stock bushing each throwing 2F, depending of what the shell is for (Big load or regular). I use a wooden bench with everything bolted down. Bottom line is I'm careful but fully understand what can happen with a stray spark.

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