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Opal669

A new SASS shooter and Reloading Advice...

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Good Morning All,

 

Well, might be two new shooters since I'd love to start something new with him; my son just turned 16 years old and after many years of going to Winter Range as spectators he has decided he wants to start shooting SASS.  We have a ways to go to get gear but that will be a fun part.  My concern is really the best way to acquire a solid ammunition fort for practicing.

 

Reloading will be the tool and a new hobby to do on these hot summer evenings and while I have spent time over this long weekend reading away, there is of course a lot of information out there.  For those of you that started off similar and avoiding factory offerings at least for practice, what nuggets of guidance do you have for equipment to learn on yet at the same time build a decent quantity in a timely manner?  Progressive off the bat?  Single stage turret to minimize error?  We both will load together and I've loaded years past (.45acp only), will concentrate on .38 special only (stick with lead or Berrys?) since he has already been gifted a .357 Marlin that seems to eat .38 without issue...besides how forgiving this caliber seems to be for new reloaders.

 

I know broad question on a topic done to death over the years but I'll take the wealth of experience on this forum for everything to equipment, bullet favs, successful habits to allow the two of us to dig into this new hobby, enjoying it but also with the goal to gain enough loaded rounds to feed a growing three shooting sessions a week at here at Rio Salado in Mesa.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Shawn

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Posted (edited)

Welcome!!!

 

Since you live in Phoenix, you'd be wise to go to Dillon Precision in Scottsdale and let them help you decide.  Practice takes ammo and Dillon is the way most of us get it.  You'll end up there anyway, so you might as well start there.  Good folks, who have been very supportive of the Cowboy Action Shooting community over the years.

 

 

 

 

Edited by August West, SASS #45079
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Posted (edited)

First, Berrys (as I understand their business) supplies plated bullets.  CAS requires lead only bullets (coated is OK).  125 grain bullets are a popular choice.  Since you know how to load, buy a progressive press, I agree with AW, drive to Dillon in Scottsdale and check out the Square Deal, 550 and 650 presses.  Price their cast lead bullets too.  Try to find a local caster in your area so you can obtain bullets without shipping.  Some out-of-area casters will deliver to Winter Range without charge.  Evil Roy has a set of DVDs that show you how to train.  Sportsmans Warehouse is selling primers at a good discount right now.  Buy all the Federals you can while prices are low.  There are many powders that will work well.  If you have a powder left over from loading 45 ACPs it will probably work.  Search this Wire for threads listing pet loads.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
brass gone

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Nearly all progressive presses can be used to load individual cartridges, so that is my preferred option to learn. 

 

Then you don't have to spend more $ to switch to a more efficient press and you will know the press.

If you do care to waste $, buy a used single-stage press realizing it may help learning, but you will have to relearn the progressive eventually, unless you have many extra hours to doe the single process.

 

As mentioned, Dillon's are one of the very top presses but not the only excellent option.  But since you are relatively close, start with them.

 

As to bullets, we all started with plain lead but many have switched over to coated bullets - coated with some type of plastic or possibly moly-coated.  The plastic coated work very well and are clean but cost more.  I still have a lot of lead bullets to use up and they work just fine.  (As noted plated bullets are similar to jacketed and not allowed.)

 

Check with local clubs to talk with other reloaders, although you may already be pretty experienced.

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The best advise that I can give is to head to the Rio Salado Cowboy's match on June 6th. There are alot of fine Cowboys and Cowgirls there that are more than willing to help you get started. Not only shooting, but reloading too. There will probably be loads of people pitching different brands or models as "the best" . Many of them will invite you over to see how various different machines operate. Then you can decide what fits your needs and budget the best. Then start asking around if anyone has some surplus equipment for sale. Soon all you need will be powder, primers, casings, and lead.

 

If you're not already acquainted, Colt Laredo is one of the best guys there and their Territorial Governor. Look on their website https://www.riosaladocowboys.com/rscass-staff-1 for his contact info.

 

Welcome, best of luck, and come back to see us at Winter Range, this time as a SHOOTER!

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Thank you all three gentlemen for such fast replies.

 

So, my son and I need to read the rules handbook obliviously...very good to know Berry's with their plated bullets, is a no go.  Imagine shooting up close on steel lead is the safest?

 

Does seem like 125 grain is a popular middle of the road weight, Trail Boss the easy powder of preference with loading .38s?  Did not realize I could purchase a Dillon progressive but still load at a slower pace individually in case the "steps all happening at once" seems too much at first.  Considering they are twenty minutes away a trip will be in the cards this week to learn and see if the 550 is right thinking varied dies for the future hobby or a Square Deal is the way to go. 

 

Should we chase low recoil loadings and be concerned about lighter weight bullet or simply stick with a standard load and become used to making/firing that reliably and accurately?  Neither of us are looking to be speedy folks, just wanting to have fun doing this and enjoy the "atmosphere" (gorgeous leather, engraved metal firearms, hats, coming from upstate NY and loving the desert could go on). Not recoil fans but it is just a .38...

 

 Are the coated bullets simply easier to seat as well as cleaner to fire?  Remember loading lead wadcutters in .45ACP years back and the lead would sometimes crush over the case lips at times if that makes sense.  Maybe I wasn't sizing the case properly or maybe it was a crimp lack of knowledge.  Similar to these photos...

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 11.42.49 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 11.43.40 AM.png

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Go with a Dillon 550, it'll load more calibers and they use standard reloading dies that the SDB does not.

Get to a local club and find a mentor. 

OLG 

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Talk to Bullets by Scarlett, she sells bullets, primers, powder etc. She goes to lots of matches and sponsors as well as sets up to sell and shoots. She sells lead and coated, I use the lead and haven't switched to coated. Since I have 50,000 on hand I probably won't ever change to the coated. 125 gr. is a good choice, I load a 125 gr. TCFP over 3.0 gr. Hodgdens  Clays Power with a Federal small pistol magnum primer.

 

https://bulletsbyscarlett.com/

 

Go to local matches and talk to the shooters, I'm sure someone will be happy to help you get setup.

 

Randy

 

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Once you have settled on a reloading setup, a good mentor who uses the same equipment will be able to diagnose and solve any problems you may encounter.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Opal669 said:

Thank you all three gentlemen for such fast replies.

 

So, my son and I need to read the rules handbook obliviously...very good to know Berry's with their plated bullets, is a no go.  Imagine shooting up close on steel lead is the safest?

 

Does seem like 125 grain is a popular middle of the road weight, Trail Boss the easy powder of preference with loading .38s?  Did not realize I could purchase a Dillon progressive but still load at a slower pace individually in case the "steps all happening at once" seems too much at first.  Considering they are twenty minutes away a trip will be in the cards this week to learn and see if the 550 is right thinking varied dies for the future hobby or a Square Deal is the way to go. 

 

Should we chase low recoil loadings and be concerned about lighter weight bullet or simply stick with a standard load and become used to making/firing that reliably and accurately?  Neither of us are looking to be speedy folks, just wanting to have fun doing this and enjoy the "atmosphere" (gorgeous leather, engraved metal firearms, hats, coming from upstate NY and loving the desert could go on). Not recoil fans but it is just a .38...

 

 Are the coated bullets simply easier to seat as well as cleaner to fire?  Remember loading lead wadcutters in .45ACP years back and the lead would sometimes crush over the case lips at times if that makes sense.  Maybe I wasn't sizing the case properly or maybe it was a crimp lack of knowledge.  Similar to these photos...

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 11.42.49 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 11.43.40 AM.png

Trail Boss is a good powder that prevents double-charging a case.  However, there are powder check dies one can install on a progressive press that prevent loading an overcharged or undercharged case.  I use an RCBS lock-out-die.  Loading uncoated bullets leads to a slow buildup of lead shavings and bullet lube in seating dies.  Coated bullets prevent this.  I don't care how dirty my guns get.  They get cleaned after every day of shooting and always function through six stages.  BTW, I prefer softer lead bullets to hard cast bullets.  We get some backsplatter off of steel targets and soft lead bullets minimize backsplatter.

 

Many CAS shooters keep some standard velocity loads with them for knockdown targets.  These are not needed for other targets and most shoot lighter loads.  Use enough powder so you have some felt recoil and your loads are reliable in cold weather.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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Posted (edited)

The lead "fingernails" and crushed case mouths is because you were not belling (expanding) the mouth of the case enough in the expander die.  Then the bottom edge of some bullets catch the mouth as you try to seat the bullet, and the weak brass case collapses or shaves lead off the slug.   A poly-coated bullet can suffer the same damage if you don't bell enough.

 

So, solution is to bell the case enough that the base of the bullet can be set by hand into the case for the first 0.010" of travel.   Enough insertion of the bullet into the case has to be possible so that the bullet does not fall off as the progressive loader rotates the case under the seater die.    You should easily be able to feel the amount of expansion that makes bullet seating 100% successful.   You will just see it visually.  A set of vernier or electronic calipers is a big help on this (and on other loading tasks).   Measure the case outside diameter after resizing it.   Add about 0.005" ( five thousandths of an inch) as your first target for the bell, measured right at the case mouth.   

 

Then, the crimping action of the combo seater/crimper or the separate crimp die will roll crimp at the same time as removing the bell of the case.  And the roll crimp tightly holds the bullet in the case under recoil and magazine spring pressure.

 

Load one of two types of bullet designs for lever rifles.  Either a Round Nose Flat Point (RNFP abbreviated), or a Truncated Cone (TC) bullet.   Both have the flat point needed for safety in the magazine tube, and are streamlined to avoid catching the nose on the rear of the chamber.   The example photo of a lead SemiWadcutter bullet that you posted - turns out to NOT work well in many lever rifles because of the ledge below the nose.    If you already have made loads with SWC bullets - save them to shoot through revolvers.

 

Shooting one bullet weight in your rifles and revolvers simplifies things a lot!   For .38 Special loads, I'd suggest, to start with, loading a 125 grain bullet at about 650 FPS revolver velocity (rifle will add maybe 150 fps to that cartridge MV).    Either lead bullets or polymer coated bullets are legal.   But not copper plated Berry bullets.  Find a cartridge OverAll (OAL) Length that works in your rifle(s).   And that will work in the revolvers too.   Then ALL your ammo is made of the same components and loaded with the same recipe.   Really simplifies your loading!

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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With two of you shooting and with unknown desire at becoming the next Champion.  Bite the bullet and purchase the 670 (was the 650) you very well may need the volume.  Having five operations with a single pull of the handle isn't as intimidating as you think set each up then go for it.  Buy Dillon dies if your going to load uncoated lead they can be removed for cleaning without having to readjust your dies a huge time savings.  Powder and bullet weight there is a lot out there.  If going fast and recoil is a large concern a faster powder and lighter bullet is called for.  Personally, for reduced loads 231 is the slowest I use but am very happy with Trail Boss, Clay Dot and Clays and back them up with a mag primer to keep the burn more consistent.  Some will say just increase the powder charge and they are correct however that defeats the minimum coil idea and the cost is a toss up.  Good luck

 

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1 hour ago, twelve mile REB said:

With two of you shooting and with unknown desire at becoming the next Champion.  Bite the bullet and purchase the 670 (was the 650) you very well may need the volume.  Having five operations with a single pull of the handle isn't as intimidating as you think set each up then go for it.  Buy Dillon dies if your going to load uncoated lead they can be removed for cleaning without having to readjust your dies a huge time savings.  Powder and bullet weight there is a lot out there.  If going fast and recoil is a large concern a faster powder and lighter bullet is called for.  Personally, for reduced loads 231 is the slowest I use but am very happy with Trail Boss, Clay Dot and Clays and back them up with a mag primer to keep the burn more consistent.  Some will say just increase the powder charge and they are correct however that defeats the minimum coil idea and the cost is a toss up.  Good luck

 

 

It's 750 not 670;)

OLG 

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Opal669.  With you loading for two shooters shooting 3 or more times a month, go the progressive route.  I personally use a Lee 4 hole turret press and it suits my needs just fine, far cheaper than buying Dillon.  However, I only load for one shooter, and I only compete once a month, so my quantities are low and I can afford to spend a little more time at the loading bench.  But for your quantities, and since you already know the basics of reloading, I'd jump straight into the Dillon line, especially with Dillon being just up the road from you.  As others will say here, buy once cry once.  You won't regret the Dillon if your budget will allow it.

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Again, thank you for all the replies, incredibly helpful.  Disappeared for a few hours and ran down to Dillon...superb folks there as well that took some time to walk me through rigs.  Now am left thinking the 750 that Twelve Mile Reb mentioned is the way to go future wise but with guns and gear to purchase, it will be a night of budgeting a tad.  Think you guys are quite right, spend the loot once and I'll be set for years considering they are so close by and if my son loses interest (fat chance), my father and I can still enjoy.

 

Definitely will reach out to Bullets by Scarlett tomorrow for an education into bullets, those red 125s in bulk look perfect but will also check around local to see if someone does lead so I can really make a sizable purchase (amazing to have 50K in lead sitting on hand to reload, simply awesome).

 

That was a very insightful posting Garrison Joe, will wait then to go too nuts on a bullet purchase until two .357 lever actions are in hand so we know what will run well. Think we will try and grab a Rossi and Marlin Cowboy to start with and hope both eat .38s fine while trying a few different bullet types then.  

 

We will be at the June 6th fun Rattlesnake to learn,  have met some folks before being members at Rio and am just happy my son has decided to take the plunge in after watching for many years.  Will now be a new experience participating.  Too many years as a photog only and eating ice cream.  Hope no one minds the snapshots.

 

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Posted (edited)

As usual, anytime someone asks about reloading, the first reply is go buy a Dillon progressive. I always say STOP. Match your press to your loading needs No need to but a $700.00 press when a $200.00 one will do the trick. But, since you stated that it looks like you'll be loading several thousand round a year, I'll agree with the herd and say get the Dillon. When it breaks, they will send you the replacement parts you've already paid for.

 

And read and re-read Garrison Joe's post, He is one of the most reliable sources of information you will find.

Edited by Marshal Chance Morgun
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48 minutes ago, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

...they will send you the replacement parts you've already paid for.

And continue to do so, as they have for mine that's nearing 33 years old!  Even for the 2nd one I bought used... for a deeply discounted price, (and not from them)!

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9 minutes ago, Griff said:

And continue to do so, as they have for mine that's nearing 33 years old!  

 

And somehow they still stay in business and make money. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Another plus for Dillon. I have a 550 I got cheap from a neighbor, but would love to get another Dillon, which would be the 750. 

 

I will say that if you're just starting a progressive, the 750 is a tad more complex than the 550 with the auto index, etc. But definitely doable. 

 

I've loaded close to 7000 rounds of various ammo on my 550 since the Ohio quarantine started (my wifes pregnant also), and its still enjoyable. Once you're in a rhythm I can do around 500-600rds an hour with pre filled primer tubes. 

 

Have not tried Trailboss but personally if you just making checking your powder visually part of yoru loading process you'll never have an issue. I have a skylight LED for my 550 and as I press forward to prime I just bring my head forward and check my case in the powder station. Costs me zero time and is a great safeguard. 

 

For reference I use 3.0gr of Titegroup...which is basically a small puff of dust in the case lol

Edited by Big Hand Zack

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2 hours ago, Opal669 said:

Definitely will reach out to Bullets by Scarlett tomorrow for an education into bullets, those red 125s in bulk look perfect but will also check around local to see if someone does lead so I can really make a sizable purchase (amazing to have 50K in lead sitting on hand to reload, simply awesome).

Scarlett also has the  lead without the coating which is what I usually buy. I didn't set out to have 50K on hand but when I go to a match I usually try to buy some bullets. Last year after the Tennessee State Match I decided to organize my bullets before I unloaded the ones I'd just bought. That's when I learned that my name is Randy and I'm a Bulletaholic!  I'm trying to go straight and not buy any bullets this year but I don't know if I can do it. Start out with a box of 500.  Scarlett will treat you right and welcome to the addiction! 

 

Randy

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Welcome Shawn!

 

Go to the match, let them know who you are and that you're interested, then take advantage of the generosity of the shooters and try out their guns.

 

The best way (IMO) to get started with multiple shooters is to buy used.

 

Since you already have a Marlin, I'd concentrate on a pair of revolvers and a shotgun.  If you two can share guns to get started that'll help.  You'll both need decent leather to get started.  Again, you can buy used but not abused and save money.

 

One of the best places to buy used is local matches or here on the SASS Wire.  Lots of times you can get guns that are already set up for this game for less than price of a new (or even used gun from a non-cowboy shooter).

 

 

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Howdy Shawn, and welcome, glad to see some young blood getting interested in our world.  Plus 1 on what Chief Rick said about shootin' irons and leather, if you don't mind sharing at the beginning it'll save some $$.  It was mentioned briefly but CAS guns (especially rifles) very often have light hammer strikes so primers are important.  For me I've gone to Federal for all my primers, I originally tried CCI in my CAS guns and didn't get reliable ignition.  Some other things to think about that you'll need are a case cleaning machine, wet or dry, some use one, some use the other and some use both, either way you're going to need something to clean the used brass.  As far as powder unless you can pick it up locally it'll pay to buy in bulk since you'll have to pay a HAZ-MAT fee plus shipping.  Find a powder that meters well for you.  Since you've reloaded before you probably know that different powders are different shapes Trail Boss look like little Cheerio's, meters well, but has gotten  expensive.  If you talk to Scarlett ask her about Clean Shot that's what she uses for her loaded ammo.  Have Fun, Make Friends and Ring Steel. 

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Opal669  You have gotten some great advice, from some of the most knowledgeable folks in our sport. Since you have some reloading experience, and with multiple shooters. I believe a progressive is in order. I load on a Dillon 550. I actually prefer it to the more upscale presses because it does not have auto-indexing. In the event of a problem on an auto-indexing machine you now have problems on each station. This can be vexing and even dangerous for the inexperienced. Without auto-indexing you can usually fix the single problem and move on. There are advantages to machines with more stations but this issue outweighs the advantages for me. The Square Deal is a fine machine, I own two,but it also auto-indexes. We have had strong words in times past. Plus 1 on Bullets by Scarlett for bullets and powder...and hugs. She is the best.

Welcome to the game, my ex calls it Cowboy Heroin.

 

Imis

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18 hours ago, Opal669 said:

...  Did not realize I could purchase a Dillon progressive but still load at a slower pace individually in case the "steps all happening at once" seems too much at first.... or a Square Deal is the way to go. 

 

 

I started with a Dillion Square Deal.  I ran it as a single stage until I was confident in what I was doing was right.  I didn't care for reloading but I figured I was saving 40 cents (45 Colt) every time I pulled the reloading lever.  Thats $80 a match when the son shot with me.

 

Then the son said I should reload .223 rifle ammunition for him.  Square Deal can't load rifle cartridges so I sold it (used it for approx. 10 years), great resale value and bought a Dillion 650XL.  Dialing in the 650 was frustrating for me, more complicated the the Square Deal. Once I had it adjusted correctly reloading, for the first time, became fun.

 

Light loads?  I wouldn't go there until you had a good middle of the road load, confidence in your reloads and still have both eyes and ten fingers.

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Don't listen to that Lumpy guy up there.  He recommends the Dillon 550 because only 55% of his brain works.  Go with the 750. :D

 

Ford vs Chevy

Ginger vs Mary Ann

Less Filling vs Taste Great

 

They're all opinions.  I HIGHLY recommend you take the advice to make the drive to Dillon and have one of their experts show you the pros and cons of all their presses. (Then get the 750. ;))

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11 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

Don't listen to that Lumpy guy up there.  He recommends the Dillon 550 because only 55% of his brain works.  Go with the 750. :D

 

Ford vs Chevy

Ginger vs Mary Ann

Less Filling vs Taste Great

 

They're all opinions.  I HIGHLY recommend you take the advice to make the drive to Dillon and have one of their experts show you the pros and cons of all their presses. (Then get the 750. ;))

 

Have you learned to run an NOT fall down? :lol:

The 550 is the KISS of progressive presses and very easy to set up and trouble shoot.

Does  your guardian still load your ammo? :huh:

OLG 

 

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Wow, thought I might get a reply or two but didn't expect so many of you to help and add advice.  Think I have read the thread now three times.  Also have determined it is wise not to be standing between Lumpy and Shooting Bull (am partial to that baby portrait I must say).

 

To summarize after twenty-four hours of learning here and after a first trip to Dillon; am definitely going progressive but un-decided on "what" yet (father just picked up a Hornady LnL which seems nice), my son and I will be .38 guys to start with the purchase of a pair of Ruger Blackhawks, a pair of Ruger Vaquero SASS edition, a Rossi Lever and 20g Stoeger Coachgun, and awesome looking Mernickle leather all OTW.  Everything is happily used. Some wonderful folks at Rio loaded me up yesterday with hundreds of fired .38 cases and I had bought bags every year at WR from the Boy Scouts set up so thousands of cases to start reloading.

 

Today I'll reach out to learn more about bullets themselves, imagine make another trip to Dillon, start looking for another .357 lever action, and some proper hats!  A touch of insights so far; be watchful of auto-indexing, am going to try a couple different powders to start with (Trail Boss, W231), jump on a bunch of Federal primers, figure out one bullet weight if at all possible that will work with everything, read then read some more, get some SASS memberships, finally buy my wife something since she approving of this new endeavor.

 

Thank you!

 

Shawn 

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2 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

 

The 550 is the KISS of progressive presses and very easy to set up and trouble shoot.

 

 

I have to agree with OLG.  I could move up to the 650/750, but why?

 

If you set a 650/750 up with a case feeder and/or bullet feeder, sure, you could crank out the maximum amount of loaded rounds in a minimum amount of time.

 

Still have to reload primer pick-up tubes by hand anyways.  (That topics already got another thread going.)

 

Now, my time is important to me.  I don't necessarily "enjoy" reloading.  But, I place my empty brass in 50-count loading blocks as soon as I bring them out of the tumbler (dry media) and inspect them for height (don't want any .357 brass in there) and split necks and then give it a spritz with Hornady One-Shot before it goes on the machine.

 

I'd rather take my time and do that at the loading bench than to have a separated case during a match or load ammo that I have to inspect again on the firing line.

 

Were I independently wealthy and only shot new brass every match the 650/750 with case feeder and bullet feeder would probably work.  But I'm not.  And it won't.

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3 minutes ago, Opal669 said:

Wow, thought I might get a reply or two but didn't expect so many of you to help and add advice.  Think I have read the thread now three times.  Also have determined it is wise not to be standing between Lumpy and Shooting Bull (am partial to that baby portrait I must say).

 

To summarize after twenty-four hours of learning here and after a first trip to Dillon; am definitely going progressive but un-decided on "what" yet (father just picked up a Hornady LnL which seems nice), my son and I will be .38 guys to start with the purchase of a pair of Ruger Blackhawks, a pair of Ruger Vaquero SASS edition, a Rossi Lever and 20g Stoeger Coachgun, and awesome looking Mernickle leather all OTW.  Everything is happily used. Some wonderful folks at Rio loaded me up yesterday with hundreds of fired .38 cases and I had bought bags every year at WR from the Boy Scouts set up so thousands of cases to start reloading.

 

Today I'll reach out to learn more about bullets themselves, imagine make another trip to Dillon, start looking for another .357 lever action, and some proper hats!  A touch of insights so far; be watchful of auto-indexing, am going to try a couple different powders to start with (Trail Boss, W231), jump on a bunch of Federal primers, figure out one bullet weight if at all possible that will work with everything, read then read some more, get some SASS memberships, finally buy my wife something since she approving of this new endeavor.

 

Thank you!

 

Shawn 

Nothing wrong with the Hornady LnL.

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If your going to only load 38's, I'd go with the Square Deal B, it cost less to get started, and as you can see by the above remarks, Dillions hold their resale value if you want to move up later...

 

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I wouldn't get a 20 gauge.  Go with a 12, and here's the reasoning behind that recommendation:

 

A 12 weighs more, bigger receiver.  Which equates to lower felt recoil.  That, and the fact that you can get lighter loads in 12 than a 20.  

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Opal669 said:

. . . . .

To summarize after twenty-four hours of learning here and after a first trip to Dillon; am definitely going progressive but un-decided on "what" yet (father just picked up a Hornady LnL which seems nice), my son and I will be .38 guys to start with the purchase of a pair of Ruger Blackhawks, a pair of Ruger Vaquero SASS edition, a Rossi Lever and 20g Stoeger Coachgun, and awesome looking Mernickle leather all OTW.  Everything is happily used. Some wonderful folks at Rio loaded me up yesterday with hundreds of fired .38 cases and I had bought bags every year at WR from the Boy Scouts set up so thousands of cases to start reloading. . . . .

 

Thank you!

 

Shawn 

 

Not meaning to derail your Reloading Thread, Opal669, but you might want to rethink the 20 gauge.  Probably should start a new thread on that subject.  You'll get lots of input.

 

Good luck, Sir.

 

Edit:  Griff beat me to it on the 20 gauge.

Edited by Marshal Hangtree

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Hi and welcome, Opal!

 

I don't reload as I have people who I've conned into doing it for me. ;)

 

Bullet Boy AKA Gun Boy AKA Hubby AKA Jess Brown has three Dillon 650s. So they must be the best.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Opal669 said:

................, and some proper hats!......................

 

Costuming needs can be met by Wild West Mercantile,  they too are located in Mesa.

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2 hours ago, Opal669 said:

Wow, thought I might get a reply or two but didn't expect so many of you to help and add advice.  Think I have read the thread now three times.  Also have determined it is wise not to be standing between Lumpy and Shooting Bull (am partial to that baby portrait I must say).

 

To summarize after twenty-four hours of learning here and after a first trip to Dillon; am definitely going progressive but un-decided on "what" yet (father just picked up a Hornady LnL which seems nice), my son and I will be .38 guys to start with the purchase of a pair of Ruger Blackhawks, a pair of Ruger Vaquero SASS edition, a Rossi Lever and 20g Stoeger Coachgun, and awesome looking Mernickle leather all OTW.  Everything is happily used. Some wonderful folks at Rio loaded me up yesterday with hundreds of fired .38 cases and I had bought bags every year at WR from the Boy Scouts set up so thousands of cases to start reloading.

 

Today I'll reach out to learn more about bullets themselves, imagine make another trip to Dillon, start looking for another .357 lever action, and some proper hats!  A touch of insights so far; be watchful of auto-indexing, am going to try a couple different powders to start with (Trail Boss, W231), jump on a bunch of Federal primers, figure out one bullet weight if at all possible that will work with everything, read then read some more, get some SASS memberships, finally buy my wife something since she approving of this new endeavor.

 

Thank you!

 

Shawn 

 

I'm also new to SASS Shawn, but definitely not new to reloading pistol calibers. I REALLY like 124/125gr projectiles. For me its about consistency and shooting pleasure. I use coated 124's for my 9mm's and coated 125's with my .38's and .357 plinking loads. 

 

I really like the Hi-Tek coated 125 Truncated Cone (TC). They feed great in my '73 loaded at 1.445" OAL, which is right at the crimp groove, and they shoot great. Theres various different places to get them. PM if you'd like to know where I get mine or where I've gotten me before. I don't want to publicize companies. Still new to the forum so not sure what appropriate. 

 

I think you'll be happy with either the 550 or the 750. The 750 can do more, faster. The 550 will do everything you need and is slightly less expensive and easier to manipulate ( no auto-index, less moving parts, etc.). You can't go wrong with either. BOTH will have great resale value if you decide you don't want/need them 

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