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Ramblin Gambler

Reloading question from a newbie

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I don't actually reload yet, but I won a Lyman turret press at our annual shoot and I just went to a reloading class at the range where pappy miles helped me set the press up and showed me how to use it. So today I'm buying the stuff that's missing.  He mentioned that the reloading dies are pretty much universal between most presses. 

 

The first question is, what do I need to look for to be sure I'm getting the standard size dies? 

 

The second question is, what parts are specific to the press and what parts are standardized?  I also have an RCBS jr press that came with a couple of dies and I'm hoping they use mostly the same stuff.  the RCBS is missing the primer tube and doesn't have any shell holders, are those universal? 

 

Third Question.  Where's the best place to get reloading equipment.  I'm looking on brownells and amazon right now.  Surprisingly Amazon has more stuff that I need and at better prices so far.  So I must be doing something wrong. 

 

I don't know the exact model of the Lyman.  If it's important I can look when I get home. 

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Most all dies are 7/8-14 thread. Most all shell holders in the last 50 years are standardized as well.

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All dies have standard threads except for the Dillon Square Deal.

I use Lee carbide pistol dies for .32, .38, .45 Schofield, .45 Colt and .45 ACP. I also use a Lee Factory Crimp die for .38 Special. I would strongly recommend buying and reading several reloading manuals before loading any ammunition. I can recommend Lee and Lyman.

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13 minutes ago, Go West said:

All dies have standard threads except for the Dillon Square Deal.

I use Lee carbide pistol dies for .32, .38, .45 Schofield, .45 Colt and .45 ACP. I also use a Lee Factory Crimp die for .38 Special. I would strongly recommend buying and reading several reloading manuals before loading any ammunition. I can recommend Lee and Lyman.

Not all. Lyman used to make one with a smaller diameter and finer thread.

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"Not all. Lyman used to make one with a smaller diameter and finer thread."

Shame on them then.

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6 minutes ago, Boggus Deal #64218 said:

Most all dies are 7/8-14 thread. Most all shell holders in the last 50 years are standardized as well.

Check out dies made for Cowboy Shooting.   I prefer the the RCBS Cowboy expander die to those made for jacketed bullets.  RCBS sells replacement parts.  You may be able to get a primer tube from them.  Handheld priming tools are available too.  Many sporting goods stores sell reloading equipment and supplies.  Don't ignore your local retailers - especially those who support local CAS matches.  Gun shows can be a good source of used reloading equipment. 

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Which Lyman turret press did you win?

Your Lyman press uses 7/8-14 thread dies.

 

Both Hornady and Lee  now have a line of quick remove dies that do not fit other presses. Although both companies make an adapter so that you can still use 7/8-14 dies.

 

Hornady calls theirs Lock "N" Load and Lee calls theirs Breech Lock. 

 

 

 

 

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Buy the books, do the reading, watch some videos, talk to folks and let er rip! If you follow the guidelines in the manuals, you should be fine.

I would recommend NOT deviating from load data until you're more familiar with reloading. For CAS, we tend to run on the lower end (yes I know, not all of us) as far as power is concerned, but getting under established load data as an inexperienced reloader is not a good idea. Yes, you will have some saying "try my 0.5 gr loading for such and such"; some have developed lower than published power loads for whatever that work perfectly fine for them, just don't get ahead of yourself. You can start reloading for not a lot of money and work up to better equipment, plus IMHO, a full-blown progressive loader for a beginner is over their head. Get the knowledge, be careful, be safe and have fun.

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This one manual recommendation is especially good for Cowboy shooters - the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 4th Edition.   Has well tested loads, and a COMPLETE tutorial of all the things you need to understand about loading of cast bullets (in particular).

 

Good luck, GJ

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2 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

This one manual recommendation is especially good for Cowboy shooters - the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 4th Edition.   Has well tested loads, and a COMPLETE tutorial of all the things you need to understand about loading of cast bullets (in particular).

 

Good luck, GJ

 

I started with the speer reloading manual #14.  The guy who reloads for me now recommended starting with speer and I saw that #14 had a special section for cowboy loads.  I'm already planning to have a shelf for reloading manuals though.  I know none of them will have everything. 

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Alliant, Hodgdon and Accurate all have reloading data on their websites.  These can be used to supplement data found in reloading manuals.

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5 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

 

 

Third Question.  Where's the best place to get reloading equipment.  I'm looking on brownells and amazon right now.  Surprisingly Amazon has more stuff that I need and at better prices so far.  So I must be doing something wrong. 

 

 

 

There are a ton of places both online and near you with high quality reloading stuff.  In addition to online, take a look at your local gun shops and sporting goods stores.  In some cases, you may pay a few pennies more locally, but there can be value added to these purchases from the information you can obtain from reputable dealers.  And when supplies run short, guess who will take care of you?  Yeah, the guys down at your local shop.  The other resource is used stuff.  You can find stuff on this sight and other other sites that cater especially to reloaders.  A ton of information on those sites.  Most reloading gear has a long life span so many times you can save a lot of money going the used route.  Don't be afraid to check out Craigslist, etc.  

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Skip the digital reloading scales and buy one of these. 5 times the accuracy for 1/7th the price.

 

Smart Weigh GEM20 High Precision Digital Milligram Scale 20 x 0.001g Reloading, Jewelry and Gems Scale

Costs $19.99 Accuracy is +/- 0.02 grains

 

Dillon D-TERMINATOR ELECTRONIC SCALE

Cost $139.00 Accuracy is +/- 0.1 grain

 

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So specifically, what do you intend to reload?  Single shot long range rifle cartridges like 45-70 or 45-110  require different processes and equipment than standard CAS main match fare.  

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Can you ask Pappy Miles to come over and mentor you a little?  When I started reloading it was a lot of trial with quite a few errors, so if you can get someone knowledgeable to get you going you'll save a lot of frustration.

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Shell holders generally will fit most single stage and turret presses, BUT different cartridges will require shell holders specifically for that cartridge.  Some cartridges can fit a single shell holder.  For example, .30-06, .308 Winchester, .270, and a lot more based on the.30-06 base will take the same shell holder. OTOH, you need individual holders for .44-40 and .45 Long Colt's.  The manufacturers will generally have a chart showing what holder goes with which cartridge case.

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Sir 

  your RCBS Jr , used the small dies , same as the 310 tools , I have one , that was Dads , I also have an OLD Lyman turrent press that uses small dies , got a few sets of dies , but as this was Dads stuff , I learned on many years back I am going to keep them , all the small dies required lubing the cases 

ever now and then , you will see small dies on Ebay and at gun shows 

 New presses use 7/8 in dies sets , I use Lee dies most of the time 

 

  Chickasaw 

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9 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Both Hornady and Lee  now have a line of quick remove dies that do not fit other presses. Although both companies make an adapter so that you can still use 7/8-14 dies.

 

Hornady calls theirs Lock "N" Load and Lee calls theirs Breech Lock. 

 

That’s not correct.  The Hornady and Lee bushings accept standard 7/8-14 dies.  The bushing then locks into the press.

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1 hour ago, Chickasaw Bill SASS #70001 said:

Sir 

  your RCBS Jr , used the small dies , same as the 310 tools , I have one , that was Dads , I also have an OLD Lyman turrent press that uses small dies , got a few sets of dies , but as this was Dads stuff , I learned on many years back I am going to keep them , all the small dies required lubing the cases 

ever now and then , you will see small dies on Ebay and at gun shows 

 New presses use 7/8 in dies sets , I use Lee dies most of the time 

 

  Chickasaw 

 

AFAIK the RCBS Jr was always a 7/8-14 press. Mine is. The Lyman Tru-line Jr was for the 310 dies. 310 dies are .6-30 thread. They used 5/8 stock, so the threads ended up a bit smaller than 5/8 (.625)

 

310 dies had their day before 1970. Mentioning them will just confuse this topic. 

 

A lot of us started reloading long before the internet. It was buy the tools, and a few books. Speer 9 and Hornady II got me going. This was after a LEE Loader didn't seem to cut it. 

 

I can still remember one coworkers advice. Stay away from a C form press and don't buy any 310 tools. I managed to avoid those for several decades. A while back I started collecting 310 dies, tools and presses. I ended up with 4 T-L Jr presses, and a big pail of dies. I was going to set up a minimalistic setup. Keep only individual dies, no sets, and keep them in a machinists tool box. I bought a Dillon 550 instead. 

 

Sorry, now I'm doing the hijacking.

 

BB

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13 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Which Lyman turret press did you win?

Your Lyman press uses 7/8-14 thread dies.

 

Both Hornady and Lee  now have a line of quick remove dies that do not fit other presses. Although both companies make an adapter so that you can still use 7/8-14 dies.

 

Hornady calls theirs Lock "N" Load and Lee calls theirs Breech Lock. 

 

 

 

 

Lee dies are standard 7/8 14. The breech lock system is the press and bushing. Put the 1/4 turn bushing in the press. Screw the standard dies into the bushing, adjust, set the lock ring and after that you swap out the die with the bushing attached so you don't have to set the die every time. 

 

@Ramblin Gambler check out Titan reloading I've found a lot of good prices there. Also if you don't have one pick up a reloading manual and give that a read before spending any money. It'll tell you everything you need to get.

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16 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

So specifically, what do you intend to reload?  Single shot long range rifle cartridges like 45-70 or 45-110  require different processes and equipment than standard CAS main match fare.  

 

I shoot 45 colt, the press came with 45 colt dies, and the guy who does my reloading right now is about to be forced to retire for medical reasons, so that will be first.  I also shoot 45-70 long range so eventually I will reload for that, but currently I have tons of factory 45-70 ammo.  I found a good deal on a case of HSM ammo a while back.  At the rate I'm shooting long range matches, it'll take years to burn it all up.  Now, I may get impatient and start reloading 45-70 before it's all gone, but only if I get another gun to shoot the factory ammo in.  I'm thinking a Marlin Guide gun (you can never have too many excuses to buy a new gun).  The RCBS press came with 30-06 dies, and that's what I hunt with, so that will probably be the second round I reload.  After that, I have a taste for guns that shoot old nearly obsolete (or otherwise expensive) cartridges. 303, 32 WCF, 348 WCF, 30-40, 32 short, 30 luger. 

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16 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Can you ask Pappy Miles to come over and mentor you a little?  When I started reloading it was a lot of trial with quite a few errors, so if you can get someone knowledgeable to get you going you'll save a lot of frustration.

 

If not pappy, I'm sure I can get someone.  The old man who reloads for me now is willing to do it but he's out of commission.  I'm sure I can ask nearly anyone in my club for mentoring in at least 1 reloading session.  How long do you think I should expect to need a mentor. 

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3 minutes ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

 

How long do you think I should expect to need a mentor. 

It depends on your learning curve.  Starting out with only one caliber, you should come up to speed pretty fast.  45 Colt is a pretty forgiving caliber to load.  Getting a manual and learning the ins and outs will get you started and will be your resource once you start changing loads and powders. 

 

As far as mentor goes, I would think one good solid session where your mentor makes sure your machine is working correctly, adjusted properly, and that you have the necessary knowledge to run it should be sufficient.  Machines have glitches from time to time so pay attention to its quirks and get a feel for it when something is going wrong and for when it is working right. 

 

Since you are loading a large case, I would suggest a lock out die to ensure your powder charges are correct during the process.  Double charges or no charges will make you unhappy.  Use plenty of light and go slow at the beginning until you get used to it.  Keep distractions to a minimum and don't be afraid to call your mentor if something doesn't feel right.  Good luck.

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Buy a case gauge and check you reloads to make sure they fit.  Also check you reloads for high primers.  You don't want to discover that you reloads won't chamber or won't go bang on the first hammer strike while the timer is running at a match.

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Just a few things ; shell holders will interchange, as far as fitting into other brands rams. BUT ,,, the number for a particular cartridge is different. ie; an RCBS number for a .45 won't be the same as one from Lyman , Hornaday or Lee. Each has a chart. Reloading manuals from powder company's only have their powders and everyone else's bullets. Bullet company's only have their bullets and everyone else's powders.  Lyman and Lee uses everyone's powder and everyone's bullets. You'll see different charges for the same bullet and powder in different manuals ; ie..3-7gr in one, 5-9 gr. in one and maybe  4-8gr in another. "Don't" get confused, they're ALL safe . Lyman's my favorite but I have a mix of others, most do. Most dies in the past 50-60 yrs are 7/8x14. I think one of the Dillon presses uses dedicated dies. Be careful ,, be safe ,, have fun.

Isom

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6 hours ago, Isom Dart, SASS#8096 said:

Just a few things ; shell holders will interchange, as far as fitting into other brands rams.

Usually they do but a Hornady shell holder will not fit into the ram of my 1980 vintage RCBS Rockchucker.

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On 3/16/2020 at 6:05 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

Skip the digital reloading scales and buy one of these. 5 times the accuracy for 1/7th the price.

 

Smart Weigh GEM20 High Precision Digital Milligram Scale 20 x 0.001g Reloading, Jewelry and Gems Scale

Costs $19.99 Accuracy is +/- 0.02 grains

 

 

was already to disagree with this till I clicked the link--glad I did--these are what I'm using now.  There are several brands out there and probably all made in same factory.

 

would hate to go back to what I used 50 years ago and yes, I did reload that far back

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2 hours ago, Cheyenne Ranger, 48747L said:

 

was already to disagree with this till I clicked the link--glad I did--these are what I'm using now.  There are several brands out there and probably all made in same factory.

 

would hate to go back to what I used 50 years ago and yes, I did reload that far back

Use a jewelry scale now - but I check it with my Ohaus M5 I bought new for $19.50 - you guess what year ....  ;)

 

 

IMG_0238.jpg

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i only buy carbide dies any more and buy local dealers that support your local matches , even if a couple bucks more you may get all that and more back in the prizes that are generally presented , if not - you supported your club , we need that support , 

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On 3/16/2020 at 12:35 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

Which Lyman turret press did you win?

Your Lyman press uses 7/8-14 thread dies.

 

 

It's a T-mag Expert Kit.  I think I have everything listed on the box except for the reload guide.  There was a manual in the box, but upon closer inspection, it was for a lyman muzzle loading rifle.  I like to think that somewhere, someone got that muzzleloader rifle from the same estate sale with my reloading manual and is scratching his head over it.  Hopefully he's not as new to muzzleloading as I am to reloading or he might think those are instructions for reloading the rifle. 

 

Anyway, I looked up T-mag online and it don't look like mine.  I must have an older version.  I hope all the fittings are still standard size. 

IMG_20200317_1951306.jpg

IMG_20200317_1954388.jpg

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Quote

my Ohaus M5 I bought new for $19.50 - you guess what year .... 

 

YustaB -

 

I'd say about 1971.   I have two of same model, same box, as yours.  Still use 'em.   Bought my "new in box" unit in 1972.  Paid about the same price, too.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Lyman manuals often cover all their active products for the year.  Bet if you go to about page 30 give or take a few pages you find basic info on your press.  This press is very similar to yours. Manual for the T-Mag II

 

I have a T-Mag I press and love it for loading rifle cartridges.  You can purchase extra turrets and set them up for different calibers.  I have three each one does a different caliber.

 

One important thing is to keep the shoulder bolt tight. If you let it get loose It will break. For out of production presses they are unavailable from Lyman.  From the box description you have the quick release design for the turret.  To remove the turret pull up on the knurled part of the bolt holding the turret on.  It is held in place with an o-ring.  Once it is off remove the two halves of the lock, then remove the washer.  Now lift the turret straight up.

 

Now remove the shoulder stud from the press. Clean the threads really well and reinstall it using a dab of locktite on the threads. Note the orientation of the slot in the stud so you will know if the bolt ever loosens up. If you use the press with this bolt loose you stand a good chance of breaking it and Lyman does not have replacements.

Once you have it secure lube the area where the head goes with a light coating of grease and reinstall the head.

 

You can install heads from the T-Mag II onto your press but your head probably will not work on the  T-Mag II

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You can also check midwayusa.com they have lots of reloading stuff at reasonable prices.

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On 3/16/2020 at 1:35 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

Which Lyman turret press did you win?

Your Lyman press uses 7/8-14 thread dies.

 

Both Hornady and Lee  now have a line of quick remove dies that do not fit other presses. Although both companies make an adapter so that you can still use 7/8-14 dies.

 

Hornady calls theirs Lock "N" Load and Lee calls theirs Breech Lock. 

 

 

 

 

Lee and Hornady make quick-change bushings specific to their presses, but the dies are standard threads.

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10 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

YustaB -

 

I'd say about 1971.   I have two of same model, same box, as yours.  Still use 'em.   Bought my "new in box" unit in 1972.  Paid about the same price, too.

 

Good luck, GJ

You're very close there - I'm not absolutely sure but I think 1969. Good as the day it was bought.

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