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Opal669

A new SASS shooter and Reloading Advice...

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6 hours 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"

 

I started out with a single stage press (shooting Bullseye Pistol) and found myself loading until midnight Friday night to shoot Saturday morning. I then got a Hornady Projector and it worked ok but I've bent the rod that activates the powder measure several times. When I started CAS I bought a Lee Pro 1000 set up for .45 Colt, they are ok for a low end progressive but they have their quirks. When I changed to .38 a friend loaned me his old Square Deal B and it was by far better than the others in my opinion. I later bought a 650 and never looked back. I added a Dilly case feeder (thanks Jackaroo) and I use the Dillon Powder check die. I also use Dillon dies because you can clean out the lube residue without changing your settings.  The only thing I'd change for is if I could get a really good deal on a 750.

 

Welcome to the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

 

Randy

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Well, now that this thread is diverging, I'll add that I have bookmarked it and will use the info here as a jumping off point for my reloading thread.  It will be a few months but I will start another at some point.

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Opal welcome.  Me I went with progressive straight away.  I started and still do start and go one shell at a time all the way to a loaded cartridge that way anything goes wrong or does not feel right I can stop and not wonder what states the other shells are at. 

 

I would suggest a 5 stage press at minimum a progressive.  I like separating bullet seating and crimping.

 

Beacuse I like separating functions so much moved to a 7 stage job.  Size decap 1, prime 1-2, flare 3, powder 4, bullet drop 5, bullet seat 6, crimp 7.  That way have control to adjust each step as needed.

 

As for bullets, polymer coated lead.  Less cleaning of the guns, less exposure to the lead. 

 

 

 

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7 hours 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)

 

You just drove a stake into the hearts of all these Dillonites.:D

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On 5/26/2020 at 8:10 PM, Opal669 said:

Hope no one minds the snapshots.

I do hope you’ll reach out to me!  I ship all over. I love love love talking to new shooters...and old shooters...cowboys...cowgirls! Heck, I just love talking to the wonderful folks who play this game and have FUN!! Oh, and as you have probably noticed...we are NOT a shy bunch and don’t mind photographers at all!  Look forward to chatting with you and to meeting you and your son at Winter Range 2021!  

 

Great big hugs!!

Scarlett
843-833-0770

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21 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I do hope you’ll reach out to me!  I ship all over. I love love love talking to new shooters...and old experienced shooters...cowboys...cowgirls! Heck, I just love talking to the wonderful folks who play this game and have FUN!! Oh, and as you have probably noticed...we are NOT a shy bunch and don’t mind photographers at all!  Look forward to chatting with you and to meeting you and your son at Winter Range 2021!  

 

Great big hugs!!

Scarlett
843-833-0770

 

 

:D

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Opal669 said:

... a Rossi Lever ...

 

Today I'll reach out to learn more about bullets themselves...

 

Don't make any large purchases of bullets until you find a load for the Rossi 92 that will feed reliably at match speed. All of the 92's can be picky on bullet weight and cartridge OAL.

 

Search these forums for some good reading on working up loads for the 92. My Browning 92 liked 158gn rnfp bullets at 1.545" OAL.

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wait a minute, i thought  you mentioned loading your own 45acp prior to deciding to join sass.  what press were you using?  

 

wouldn’t just gettin’ 38 dies be a good start as opposed to going with a progressive reloader?

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Hello Wolfy, I was using an ancient Lee Turret, great for getting into testing the waters of reloading but my gut is telling me won't do the volume of ammo that my son and I will go through. Found I had a lot of interest in reloading but don't want to be "loading til midnight" like Randy mentioned above since both kids have other school activities I am involved in.

 

So I actually have purchased an almost un-used Dillon 650 that can with a ton of nifty extras from a gent that never had time after making the investment.  Again thank you all for such sound advice and explanations.

 

Set up time will be on Friday and then Rattlesnake I'll try loading some different bullets for this Rossi as you suggest for the weekend.

 

Calling you today Scarlett!

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Opal669, I recently inquired here on the wire of suggested loadings for a friend's Browning 92 and received a lot of good information.  Check out this thread for more info:

 

 

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One last thought, then I'll bow out of this topic.

 

Cast bullets vs. coated.  The polymer bullets offer one advantage over plain lead cast.   And that is lead contamination.  Unless you're using a bullet feeder, loading will involve handling the bullets.  Good powder coated bullets reduce the possible lead contamination by a large margin.  When I load plain cast lead bullets I wear nitrile gloves to minimize that exposure.

 

And whether you're wearing gloves or not, coated bullets or not, do not eat or drink while loading.  Just as all the recent safety warnings tell us, keep your hands (gloved or not) away from your face.  Wash thoroughly after every completed loading session,  (that includes boxing or otherwise storing the finished ammo)... BEFORE you do anything else.

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The 650 is a nice machine with the case feeder, it should serve you well.

The .38 Special is a forgiving round and will tolerate many different powders. I've used Win Superlite, American Select, W231, Bullseye and Clays. I've only used Trailboss in .45 Schofield, but prefer others. It may prevent double charges, but is not as efficient as others in a cost perspective per count.

I would assemble some dummy rounds for your Rossi in various sizes as they can be OAL sensitive. When you have found your ideal load, your pistols will readily accept. If it hasn't been slicked up, Nate Kiowa Jones has a nice cd that details how to do it.

Being in Phoenix, you have access to ACSA, Cowtown and RIo Salado shoots. Lots of great shooters there and can be of significant help. Check SASS for other clubs a little further out.

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Thank you Marshall, am headed to that thread next.

 

Appreciate the lead cast info Griff, really hadn't put any thought into those concerns and really should especially since it won't just be me reloading but my father AND my son.  Thank you...

 

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When I started playing this game I reloaded for matches but practiced with my .22s. I bought a ruger.22 vaquero and a marlin 39A [had it rebarreled and i reshaped the stock to look like an 1897] and used one of my .45 match guns. Always wanted a second Ruger .22 but .22 vaqueros were/are hard to find.  So much of cas is simply getting smooth with the operation of the guns and with the transitions from gun to gun. No need to shoot a centerfire when .22s will do the same thing. 

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No need to shoot .22s when .38 special can be loaded as cheaply as good .22 ammo can be purchased.   And with more surety of supply during hoarding events.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Another benefit with powder coated bullets is that your guns stay much cleaner.No sticky lube to build up and catch crud,and your bored don't foul nearly as badly.At least in my experience.

Choctaw Jack 

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We load a 147gr TC bullet at 1.52" for our Rossi.

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Posted (edited)

I have to respectfully disagree, I don’t see how you can reload .38 cheaper than bulk .22 ammo. Just went to midway and the cheapest .357 lead bullet is .09-.10 each which is $50.00 for 500 not counting the brass, powder, primers, shipping or your time. When I retired I was getting $24.00/ hr. Midway also had bulk .22s in stock at .05/.06 per round. Now you could reload 38 cheaper back when fools wanted 70.00 for a brick of .22s but not now. And anyone who shoots should have been stocking up on .22s when they came back from the dead. I have. Btw, I just got a good deal on 1500 commercial .38 pc bullets at 35.00/500 but that’s still .07 each. And it cost me 7 gal of gas to go get them [along with 5000 other bullets]. 

Edited by Baltimore Ed

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On 5/26/2020 at 10:47 PM, Randy Saint Eagle, SASS # 64903 said:

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

HAHA, I did the exact same thing this winter, I organized my loading supplies and realized I had accumulated way more than I thought ... loaded up thousands and still had bullets.   I too am a Bulletaholic.

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I've been a fan of the Dillon Square Deal B press since before it was call a "B". (actually have 4 of them now). It's affordable, and is auto indexing. The 550 is not auto indexing. In my opinion, auto indexing helps avoid double charges or no charge in cases. The 750 is auto indexing as well, but is considerably more expensive. True, you can't load rifle ammo on a SDB but we're talking about CAS and loading .38s.  I load 400 rounds/hour on the SDB.  I leave the different presses set up for the pistol calibers I shoot most often. I load rifle on a single stage RCBS Rock Chucker. 

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Welcome to the Rio Salado Cowboys Shawn!

Please do come observe our match on Saturday. We have lots of helpful cowboys and cowgirls.

 

We also put on a New Shooters Orientation every month at our practice. It is usually 3-7 on the 3rd Wed. There is a New Shooter info link on our homepage.

This is a great place to learn everything you need to know to shoot your first match.

 

Please check out our website for info: www.riosaladocowboys.com

 

Hope to see ya soon!

Colt Laredo

 

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Howdy and welcome aboard. What Colt said! I was where you are 2 years ago, lots to learn. I cast and reload for 45 Sharps, 44-40 and 38-40 rifles and pistols as well as 12g in Black and that "other" powder. Feel free to ask questions. 

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On 5/29/2020 at 11:53 AM, Baltimore Ed said:

I have to respectfully disagree, I don’t see how you can reload .38 cheaper than bulk .22 ammo. Just went to midway and the cheapest .357 lead bullet is .09-.10 each which is $50.00 for 500 not counting the brass, powder, primers, shipping or your time. When I retired I was getting $24.00/ hr. Midway also had bulk .22s in stock at .05/.06 per round. Now you could reload 38 cheaper back when fools wanted 70.00 for a brick of .22s but not now. And anyone who shoots should have been stocking up on .22s when they came back from the dead. I have. Btw, I just got a good deal on 1500 commercial .38 pc bullets at 35.00/500 but that’s still .07 each. And it cost me 7 gal of gas to go get them [along with 5000 other bullets]. 

 

I've found that places like Midway are not good for niche disciplines like ours. The last batch of 2500 125gr TC Hi-Tek coated bullets I bought for around $0.05 a piece. A pound of Titegroup will last me about 2300 rds. Thats pretty darn cheap. 

 

But you are correct, I don't think its quite as cheap as bulk .22...but the difference doesn't seem like much. Its not like precision rifle where a trainer rifle is saving you hundreds on ammo and barrels, etc. 

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If you shop around for components you should be able to load .38 for under .09 per round. My wife and I shoot bullets loaded similarly to Randy, but with 2.7 of Clays.

 

The Dillon 650 is easy to operate and easy to maintain. Once you get used to it you should be able to do 600 rounds an hour pretty easily. You can go faster, but my experience has been poor once you are pushing 700 or so rounds an hour. Just over 2 hours a month gets me the 1,400 or so rounds my wife and I use each month.

 

The auto indexing feature isn’t that challenging in my experience. If you suspect something went wrong just STOP, pull the pins and inspect each cartridge. Hurrying during reloading is a bad idea.

 

Although technically this is ‘rocket science’ my experience has been that it’s just not that complicated. Many shooters are very OCD about reloading, and that’s fine. I take a more casual approach. 
 

I set COAL initially by setting my reload next to some Georgia Arms ammo I knew fed well and placing a bubble level across both. When they were level I knew my seating die was set correctly. I set the crimp using my finger to feel the seam. I set the bell visually. No crushed mouths or lead shavings and you’re good to go. I stick with the minimum bell needed to increase case longevity . I check for split cases by grabbing a handful of brass and shaking it before throwing it in the hopper. If you have a split case you’ll be able to hear it if your hearing is near normal.

 

I use Clays and don’t have a powder check. Never had an issue with bridging and in 9 years have never had a squib. I’ve had two split cases get through during that 9 years.

 

I don’t trim brass nor inspect it other than as I’m loading at the LT. when in doubt I toss it. If the occasional .357 gets through you’ll see it when you place the bullet. You can toss it then and you’re out a penny or two for the primer.

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On 5/28/2020 at 1:25 PM, Baltimore Ed said:

When I started playing this game I reloaded for matches but practiced with my .22s. I bought a ruger.22 vaquero and a marlin 39A [had it rebarreled and i reshaped the stock to look like an 1897] and used one of my .45 match guns. Always wanted a second Ruger .22 but .22 vaqueros were/are hard to find.  So much of cas is simply getting smooth with the operation of the guns and with the transitions from gun to gun. No need to shoot a centerfire when .22s will do the same thing. 

 


We do the same.
Henry Frontier lever rifle in 22LR, a pair of Single-Six Bisley revolvers in 22LR.
Ruger says the Bisley grip is the same across all product lines.
The Single Six have the seem general feel and heft as do our Bisley 357 and 44 mags.

I shoot three rounds of trap every week and take along our new (to us) coach gun.
My group is completely OK with my practicing the index finger double shell loading technique.
The coach gun bucks like that proverbial gov't mule with regular Gun Club shells, and is a real recoil monster with slugs and #00 buck.

I'd like to get my bride gently introduced to shotgun by shooting trap with our Remington V3.. a very soft shooter...
But... she is a true night owl, so getting her out of bed before 11am is a battle I choose to avoid.
 

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Good Morning Colt and Texas, we are looking forward to getting out there to watch before the heat comes...looks like you have a full match of folks!  Should be a ton of fun and yes, we will be at the practice session around the corner (actually drove out a few weeks past, totally missed May was cancelled on the website).

 

 

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