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Bullet Setback Concerns


Tallboy
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I would recommend Lee's Modern Reloading, again it's Lee biased, but it is a great starter.

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The reloading manuals are centered around the components that the publisher produces. A Speer manual is going to feature Speer. A Hornady manual is going to feature Hornady components. But, the recipe to propel a 158-grain bullet is going to work no matter who makes the bullet. So, if you have Nosler bullets that weigh 150-grains, you can use the data for a Speer bullet, or a Hornady bullet.

 

Here is the key thing you need to remember when reloading for lever guns: Not all lever guns are created equal in strength. Lyman is very good at stating this in their books. In example, if you look at .44-40 you will find they break it down into Group One and Group Two. One group of guns have lower pressures than the other, so make sure you are reloading to the proper pressures. The same goes for .45-70. Lyman breaks it down into Springfield Trapdoors, Winchester 1886 &Marlin 1895, and Ruger Single-Shot rifles. Do the reading, double check your load, and have fun.

 

Please also note that the load data for lead bullets may vary from those for copper jacketed or gas-checked. Lyman also makes a great cast bullet handbook that specifically has loads for cast bullets, and it gives you the Lyman mold number it came from. As you go further down this rabbit hole, you will find the information valuable.

 

If you find older used manuals at yard sales or gun shows, grab them. New manuals follow the current trends and often leave out older less known cartridges. You can also find copies of older manual online in pdf form. That saves the wallet and shelf space.

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2 minutes ago, DeaconKC said:

I would recommend Lee's Modern Reloading, again it's Lee biased, but it is a great starter.

Lee's manual has a great deal on load information not found in other manuals. It is a very valuable resource in this time of powder famine.

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16 minutes ago, Cholla said:

The reloading manuals are centered around the components that the publisher produces. A Speer manual is going to feature Speer. A Hornady manual is going to feature Hornady components. But, the recipe to propel a 158-grain bullet is going to work no matter who makes the bullet. So, if you have Nosler bullets that weigh 150-grains, you can use the data for a Speer bullet, or a Hornady bullet.

 

Here is the key thing you need to remember when reloading for lever guns: Not all lever guns are created equal in strength. Lyman is very good at stating this in their books. In example, if you look at .44-40 you will find they break it down into Group One and Group Two. One group of guns have lower pressures than the other, so make sure you are reloading to the proper pressures. The same goes for .45-70. Lyman breaks it down into Springfield Trapdoors, Winchester 1886 &Marlin 1895, and Ruger Single-Shot rifles. Do the reading, double check your load, and have fun.

 

Please also note that the load data for lead bullets may vary from those for copper jacketed or gas-checked. Lyman also makes a great cast bullet handbook that specifically has loads for cast bullets, and it gives you the Lyman mold number it came from. As you go further down this rabbit hole, you will find the information valuable.

 

If you find older used manuals at yard sales or gun shows, grab them. New manuals follow the current trends and often leave out older less known cartridges. You can also find copies of older manual online in pdf form. That saves the wallet and shelf space.

Awesome explanation, thank you... very interesting.

 

I suppose my other main question are the different types of presses. I always see people saying to get a specific type of press (progressive, whatever, whatever, whatver). I don't even remember them all. Can you do a very brief summary of each and pro/con?

 

I'm not opposed to spending money. The main benefits I see are... 1) Reloading very expensive rounds like 45-70 for maybe $1 or a bit more (right?) 2) making comfort loads of most of the larger calibers if I feel like it.


I don't bother with all the calculations of how much money I'm saving, etc. I'm not that fussy about it, but mentally when I'm shooting something thats $3.50 each it's a lot less fun :lol:

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Perhaps I have missed somewhere in growing thread of great solutions - the simplest thing you can do first - have you taken the time to call the ammunition manufacturer  to share your concern with the issue?

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2 hours ago, Tallboy said:

Awesome explanation, thank you... very interesting.

 

I suppose my other main question are the different types of presses. I always see people saying to get a specific type of press (progressive, whatever, whatever, whatver). I don't even remember them all. Can you do a very brief summary of each and pro/con?

 

I'm not opposed to spending money. The main benefits I see are... 1) Reloading very expensive rounds like 45-70 for maybe $1 or a bit more (right?) 2) making comfort loads of most of the larger calibers if I feel like it.


I don't bother with all the calculations of how much money I'm saving, etc. I'm not that fussy about it, but mentally when I'm shooting something thats $3.50 each it's a lot less fun :lol:

Mostly the differences are not that big a deal.

A single stage press does one thing at a time to one cartridge at a time. This results in a relatively slow production.

Basic sequence is 1)resize, 2)deprime, 3)flair (bell) case mouth, 4)load powder, 5)seat bullet, 6)crimp bullet.

Some machines combine some of these into one station ie resize and deprime are done in one die, flair (bell) with powder loading at one station, seating and crimping using one die.

A progressive usually does the same sequences, each at a different station but you are doing these things to several cartridges at once. ie the resizing station only resizes/deprimes, the powder measure flairs and meters powder at one station, the seater may also crimp in the same station. This pumps up output to 300 or more per hour. Top of the line progressives will put out at least 400 and maybe 800 + per hour

This complicates things but (and this is a big BUT) when you are learning you can learn on a single stage press OR use a progressive as a single stage press until you are comfortable with how things are done.

If you are planning on being a "high volume" shooter a progressive is way more throughput but the machine costs quite a bit more. If your needs are 100 or 200 rounds in a month a single stage will get you into the game much cheaper.

I started with a RCBS Rockchucker (single stage) which worked quite nicely because the only reloading I did was for hunting and handgun target practice. Then I found IPSC and CAS and IDPA and USPSA and 3Gun and suddenly needed several thousand rounds or more per month. Upgraded to a Dillon 550 in 1982, that I still use, that was perfectly adequate but ran into a couple deals on 650/750 and a SDB. As my wife says "boys and their toys"!

While I am blue to the core (dillons color) I have not seen any of the major mfg that have not been high quality and perfectly satisfactory, especially of a vintage within the last 20 years of so.

One of the things that I think most forget to include in their decision is how valuable is your time? Some (like me) really like reloading in and of itself. Others reload because otherwise they could not afford to shoot much and really have no choice. They typically are looking for lots of rounds in a short time to get back to whatever they really enjoy.

Pretty sure you will get plenty of advice to this question in the near future. Take your time and listen, then make a decision that works for you.

Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm::FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

PS one of the best pieces of advice you can get is to find a mentor, preferably nearby. Then you have a resource who has been there done that and can help you along.

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I would add that if you get into bigger cartridges or want to form one cartridge into another, a single stage O-press like the Rockchucker or a Lyman Orange Crusher can do the job while other presses may not be up to it. I couldn't find .40-82 brass for a Winchester 1886 so I had to form .45-90 into .40-82. My Orange Crusher was up to the task but it took some elbow grease. I also re-sized some used 30-06 brass that I suspect had been shot in a machine gun and it was all I could do to get it resized. I don't think a C-press or turret press would have been up to the task. And, not all presses are large enough for some of the larger hunting cartridges.

 

When I refer to an O-press, I am talking about the frame. An O-press has a closed frame and is very strong.

 

image.png.e4021cb0fb3954c90b2e934664250e26.pngimage.png.8a095d83ea777aa317ffc2f2f74fe080.png

 

A C-press has an open side. Most are very strong but some reloaders have experienced flexing when doing heavy work.

 

image.png.d3ae3f70d57f99d889cc55491e7e89e5.png

 

Some turret presses are a C-press with a rotating head. Some reloaders have experienced flexing when working with heavy brass.

 

image.thumb.png.6f430b70900a8878ad51f1b04ca66dac.png

 

Dillon makes a progressive O-press. They are quite strong. I own two 550s. But I still use my Orange Crusher when doing 7mm RemMag, 30-06, 40-82, 45-70, 270 Winchester, etc.

 

image.thumb.png.d9863778aeecc4cddf6976842a26562a.png

 

Photos from eBay.

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10 hours ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Mostly the differences are not that big a deal.

A single stage press does one thing at a time to one cartridge at a time. This results in a relatively slow production.

Basic sequence is 1)resize, 2)deprime, 3)flair (bell) case mouth, 4)load powder, 5)seat bullet, 6)crimp bullet.

Some machines combine some of these into one station ie resize and deprime are done in one die, flair (bell) with powder loading at one station, seating and crimping using one die.

A progressive usually does the same sequences, each at a different station but you are doing these things to several cartridges at once. ie the resizing station only resizes/deprimes, the powder measure flairs and meters powder at one station, the seater may also crimp in the same station. This pumps up output to 300 or more per hour. Top of the line progressives will put out at least 400 and maybe 800 + per hour

This complicates things but (and this is a big BUT) when you are learning you can learn on a single stage press OR use a progressive as a single stage press until you are comfortable with how things are done.

If you are planning on being a "high volume" shooter a progressive is way more throughput but the machine costs quite a bit more. If your needs are 100 or 200 rounds in a month a single stage will get you into the game much cheaper.

I started with a RCBS Rockchucker (single stage) which worked quite nicely because the only reloading I did was for hunting and handgun target practice. Then I found IPSC and CAS and IDPA and USPSA and 3Gun and suddenly needed several thousand rounds or more per month. Upgraded to a Dillon 550 in 1982, that I still use, that was perfectly adequate but ran into a couple deals on 650/750 and a SDB. As my wife says "boys and their toys"!

While I am blue to the core (dillons color) I have not seen any of the major mfg that have not been high quality and perfectly satisfactory, especially of a vintage within the last 20 years of so.

One of the things that I think most forget to include in their decision is how valuable is your time? Some (like me) really like reloading in and of itself. Others reload because otherwise they could not afford to shoot much and really have no choice. They typically are looking for lots of rounds in a short time to get back to whatever they really enjoy.

Pretty sure you will get plenty of advice to this question in the near future. Take your time and listen, then make a decision that works for you.

Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm::FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

PS one of the best pieces of advice you can get is to find a mentor, preferably nearby. Then you have a resource who has been there done that and can help you along.

 

This is incredible thank you. I actually watched a number of videos before I went to bed and let it percolate while sleeping. I have quite a few questions, but they're all very simple. I realize I can find this by researching, but it will help me get it sorted in my mind quicker this way. The questions are at bottom of this post.

Also whoever suggested find someone local, I attended CAS event and found someone there who's going to help me (He has Dillon Square B )

 

After reading your post and watching videos, I definitely want a progressive. I will shoot way more. Usually I'm trying to preserve to make it last.

 

Very excellent question regarding time. It's very valuable (I run a number of different companies and am usually working). Even though I haven't done it yet, I already know I will 100% highly value SPEED while reloading.

 

From the looks of it, I'm going to guess I won't really love the process of reloading... but.... because of how much I LOVE lever guns, I think that by association I probably will find it satisfying. The main issue I have atm is the house we just bought has a garage thats 100% perfectly set up with a home gym and entertainment, and I don't want to ruin it with a massive reloading workstation. I'd have to do it outside in a woodshed (I could put a dehumidifier in there if necessary). So if I had a really cool dedicated gun workshop like a lot of people I see I would probably get really into it, but being in a wood box with no windows will make it less enjoyable.

 

The way I see it, if a 550 is $549 and a 750 is like ~$200 more... unless that introduces tons of other costs, that's a negligible cost. The downside is the size, I watched of a video of the 750 and it appears quite big, so that goes to what I said above.

 

To reiterate these are what I'm wanting to load:

 

rifle: 45-70, 30-30

pistol caliber in rifle: .357, .44mag, .45LC

 

1. Where does one primarily buy primers? All I hear while researching is that they're hard to get.

 

2. I was looking at Dillon 550. What is a "conversion kit"? How is that different than just buying 3 dies that fit the caliber I want?

 

3. If all the pistol caliber "conversion kits" for dillon are on backorder for almost a year, is this something I can buy from a different brand or does it have to be dillon?

 

3. Do I want carbide dies? Do I use carbide dies for all the calibers listed above?

 

4. On a manual-indexing press, is the only safety of double priming just your attention? Or are there other ways to ensure you don't double prime it.

 

5. Is 5 different calibers a lot to load for? If all I need is a single conversion kit for each, I suppose that's OK. Or, do I need tons more beyond that for every caliber, and half the stuff is out of stock (pain). Is it fast to switch from caliber to caliber? I imagine I'd just do 1000-2000 of whatever caliber I run out first of.

 

6. For shortening the brass back to spec (after its cleaned) what method would you recommend best? I saw some automatic grinder that looked really cool.

 

7. I notice the press auto fills powder, but there's also a scale. Do I weight every bullet with the scale just to be sure? Does this still apply if its an autoindexing press?

 

8. How long does the process of cleaning take? This is the only step from the reloading manual that looks truly awful and annoying. The reloading part itself looks kind of fun.

 

9. The floor of the workshed is wood. Can I just get by with a heavy table, or do I really need to bolt it to the ground? I'm not trying to overcomplicate this.

 

I'm sure I will think of more....... I'm actually almost ready to pull the trigger. Imagine that :lol: Just a few days ago I was like "nahh"

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2 hours ago, Cholla said:

I would add that if you get into bigger cartridges or want to form one cartridge into another, a single stage O-press like the Rockchucker or a Lyman Orange Crusher can do the job while other presses may not be up to it. I couldn't find .40-82 brass for a Winchester 1886 so I had to form .45-90 into .40-82. My Orange Crusher was up to the task but it took some elbow grease. I also re-sized some used 30-06 brass that I suspect had been shot in a machine gun and it was all I could do to get it resized. I don't think a C-press or turret press would have been up to the task. And, not all presses are large enough for some of the larger hunting cartridges.

 

Mmm very interesting. So what is the reason for doing 45-70 on Orange crusher as opposed to 550? I would likely only buy one press, so I'm just curious what the downside is if I were going to do 45-70 on there.

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As a minimum suggestion to ensure the straight-walled cartridges (357 and 44 mag) are properly crimped: a Lee hand press, a shell holder for each caliber, and a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die (LCFCD) in each caliber would take care of things, fit in a medium sized tackle box, and doesn't require a bench or permanent setup. No lube or cleanup required, either. The only caveat is that if the bullets are undersized or the brass cracked, it may not solve the problem of setback, however brass length is less critical with the LCFCD than other methods of applying a crimp, so that is a plus. 

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20 minutes ago, Tallboy said:

 

Mmm very interesting. So what is the reason for doing 45-70 on Orange crusher as opposed to 550? I would likely only buy one press, so I'm just curious what the downside is if I were going to do 45-70 on there.

Personal preference, mostly. I could use the 550 as a single-stage press, but when I am doing 45-70 for competition, I want total control of each step. I want each step double checked. I use reloading trays and only do one step at a time so I can make sure everything is the same. I shoot three different loads in my 45-70s; one for a Trapdoor with a skirted 405-grain bullet, one with a 340-grain bullet for my 1886, and one with a black powder compressed load for my Sharps shooting a 530 grain Postell bullet. I have had the Orange Crusher since 1983 and it suits my needs. Plus some of the dies I use wouldn't work as well in the 550. If you are going to be doing the same bullet and powder, the 550 should do the job once you get it dialed in.

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10 minutes ago, Cholla said:

Personal preference, mostly. I could use the 550 as a single-stage press, but when I am doing 45-70 for competition, I want total control of each step. I want each step double checked. I use reloading trays and only do one step at a time so I can make sure everything is the same. I shoot three different loads in my 45-70s; one for a Trapdoor with a skirted 405-grain bullet, one with a 340-grain bullet for my 1886, and one with a black powder compressed load for my Sharps shooting a 530 grain Postell bullet. I have had the Orange Crusher since 1983 and it suits my needs. Plus some of the dies I use wouldn't work as well in the 550. If you are going to be doing the same bullet and powder, the 550 should do the job once you get it dialed in.

Ok that makes sense. I'm just shooting at targets so I don't need too much precision. Once it's dialed in is it hard to switch to another caliber (ie you have to re-dial everything in)

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33 minutes ago, Tallboy said:

 

 

1. Where does one primarily buy primers? All I hear while researching is that they're hard to get. That is the hard thing these days. You will need to keep a watch onlin and look at gun shows.

 

2. I was looking at Dillon 550. What is a "conversion kit"? How is that different than just buying 3 dies that fit the caliber I want? The ram on the Dillon press requires a conversion kit to hold the shells and a die to bell the cartridge mouth as well as dispense powder. You will also need the sizing and crimping dies. I add a powder check die made by RCBS.

 

3. If all the pistol caliber "conversion kits" for dillon are on backorder for almost a year, is this something I can buy from a different brand or does it have to be dillon? Watch on here or look on ebay.

 

3. Do I want carbide dies? Do I use carbide dies for all the calibers listed above? Carbide dies are great but only available on straight wall cartridges like the .45 Colt.

 

4. On a manual-indexing press, is the only safety of double priming just your attention? Or are there other ways to ensure you don't double prime it. Like I said before, a progressive press requires your constant attention. However, I don't see you not advancing the press as you also have to place a bullet and shuck the finished round. It's hard to install a bullet on a finished cartridge. More likely is forgetting to set a primer and you get a round that needs to be pulled and started over.

 

5. Is 5 different calibers a lot to load for? If all I need is a single conversion kit for each, I suppose that's OK. Or, do I need tons more beyond that for every caliber, and half the stuff is out of stock (pain). Is it fast to switch from caliber to caliber? I imagine I'd just do 1000-2000 of whatever caliber I run out first of. You will want a tool head set up for each cartridge you load. I keep one 550 set up for large primers and one set up for small primers so I don't have the headache of switching back and forth.

 

6. For shortening the brass back to spec (after its cleaned) what method would you recommend best? I saw some automatic grinder that looked really cool. Unless you're shooting heavy loads, I doubt you will ever need to cut them back. maybe on the 45-70. If you start shooting modern cartridges like 7mm Rem mag, then you will need to trim the cases.

 

7. I notice the press auto fills powder, but there's also a scale. Do I weight every bullet with the scale just to be sure? Does this still apply if its an autoindexing press? Nope. Get the dispenser set and then check it every 50-100 times. Keep the powder dispenser full and don't let it get low as some times the weight starts dropping off.

 

8. How long does the process of cleaning take? This is the only step from the reloading manual that looks truly awful and annoying. The reloading part itself looks kind of fun. A few ours in a rotary tumbler with water.

 

9. The floor of the workshed is wood. Can I just get by with a heavy table, or do I really need to bolt it to the ground? I'm not trying to overcomplicate this. In most cases the main work force will be pushing down on the press lever, so a heavy bench is fine.

 

I'm sure I will think of more....... I'm actually almost ready to pull the trigger. Imagine that :lol: Just a few days ago I was like "nahh"

 

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3 minutes ago, Tallboy said:

Ok that makes sense. I'm just shooting at targets so I don't need too much precision. Once it's dialed in is it hard to switch to another caliber (ie you have to re-dial everything in)

The dies come with locking rings. If you lock them in, the dies will be already set once you return them to the press. On a 550 the entire tool head is removed so when returned to the press, everything is still the same.

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@Cholla Thank you... very intriguing. I'm pretty excited in this case. I suppose I should start building a list of things I need.

 

Depending on if I get 550 or 750, is the "essentials" kit good from Dillon? I will have to research each piece separately, but Ive read some places that most kits include junk and I should just buy it separate. I don't have much questions here as I need to build a list first, but I'm wondering a good starting point.

 

Actually 1 question from your answers. Switching a tool head setup, if I only have 1 press how long does that take, or what's involved that makes it a headache? What cartridges that I mentioned would require switching, just the 2 rifle vs 3 hadgun?

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1 hour ago, Tallboy said:

@Cholla Thank you... very intriguing. I'm pretty excited in this case. I suppose I should start building a list of things I need.

 

Depending on if I get 550 or 750, is the "essentials" kit good from Dillon? I will have to research each piece separately, but Ive read some places that most kits include junk and I should just buy it separate. I don't have much questions here as I need to build a list first, but I'm wondering a good starting point.

 

Actually 1 question from your answers. Switching a tool head setup, if I only have 1 press how long does that take, or what's involved that makes it a headache? What cartridges that I mentioned would require switching, just the 2 rifle vs 3 hadgun?

I do not have the Dillon tool kit. At times having the tools mounted on the press would be handy. Having extra parts such as springs and such is essential when something gets lost or broken.

 

If you have a powder dispenser on each Dillon tool head, changing heads is a 15-minute or less job. If you change size of primer, that takes more time, which is why I run two 550s. Of all the cartridges listed in some of your earlier posts, all but the .357 is a large primer. The .38 SP/.357 family is a small primer.

 

If you keep heading down this rabbit hole, you are going to end up casting you're own bullets as well.

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In addition to what Cholla suggests, I'll add a couple of personal preferences:  1 - primer flip tray, Dillon's is a great one.  2 - A powder scale, I have a  mdl 10-10,  a balance beam scale.  I alsi have an electronic one, but a power spike tanked it.  3 - Dillon's spare parts kit.  4 - Extra primer p/u tubes  If you get the Dillon, Uniquetek.com makes a shellplate bearing kit that really smoothes out the rotation, along with a primer feed bearing plate that better supports the primer slide.  Neither is necessary, but really do make the machine smoother.  

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

In addition to what Cholla suggests, I'll add a couple of personal preferences:  1 - primer flip tray, Dillon's is a great one.  2 - A powder scale, I have a  mdl 10-10,  a balance beam scale.  I alsi have an electronic one, but a power spike tanked it.  3 - Dillon's spare parts kit.  4 - Extra primer p/u tubes  If you get the Dillon, Uniquetek.com makes a shellplate bearing kit that really smoothes out the rotation, along with a primer feed bearing plate that better supports the primer slide.  Neither is necessary, but really do make the machine smoother.  

Thanks, I wrote those down on my list.

 

@ChollaI do have one other question. Why isn't the 550 auto-indexing? It seems like the manual movement of that is a pointless step? I'm looking at Square Deal B which is auto-indexing but it still looks like (from the video) that it's the same amount of work with putting case in + bullet in and pulling. 

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AISTR, the RL300 was their 1st hobby reloading machine.  It became the 400 then the 550 after the development of the removable tool head.  The Square Deal came about sometime before the 400 IIRC.  The 550 is the latest version of their progressive press that's one step up from a single stage.  I've been using one of mine for 35 years, and it was recently upgraded by Dillon to the 550C under their NO BS Warranty.

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I don't want an auto progressing press as I want total control. The 550 is in my mind, the perfect progressive press. It can crank out cartridges as fast as I want to go, yet I have control of everything. The 650 or 750 may be perfect for you. It isn't for me.

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Looks like you are getting most everything you need (and some :P)!

Just some more food for thought. 
Dillon 550 conversion kits include a funnel to use with their powder measure which also flairs the case mouth, locator pins to hold the cartridges upright as they are moved and a shell plate to index the cartridges to the correct position under your dies as you work. They are caliber specific so you will need one for each cartridge you will be reloading, although some handle a “family” like 38/357, or 40/10mm. As far as getting multiple presses my reason is I am kind of lazy! Having a dedicated small primer/large primer press saves 15-20 minutes of changeover time and having a dedicated single stage for rifle as well is a bit of overkill. I retired my Rock Chucker within weeks of getting my 550 in 1982. I have loaded lots of rifle rounds, (243, 223, 338, 30-06, 45-70, 308, 284 etc) with no problems on the 550. If you have a 50BMG that takes a special machine with a longer throat and very expensive dies. 
As far as the manual indexing a) it takes very little time to get used to it and without rushing 300+ rounds per hour b) it is a vast improvement over a single stage press where you resize/deprime 50, prime those 50, flair the case mouth of 50, charge the 50 with powder, seat a bullet on each of 50, then crimp those 50. Whew! Many prefer the manual indexing as they feel it gives more control over the process. With an auto indexing system like the SDB if something goes wrong you unload everything, with a 550 once you know what is supposed to happen you can simply remove the offending cartridge, correct the problem and move on. If you choose you can also leave a gap-in your procedure and go from there. Don’t forget, the SDB is a pistol cartridge only machine that uses proprietary dies. The 550 can handle pistol and rifle cartridges that fit in its ram stroke at an affordable price point. The automation on the 650/750 allow more output coupled with ability to handle rapid processing of both pistol/rifle rounds. 
Happy researching!

Gateway Kid

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 You need to read. Buy a few manuals and you will then have an idea about reloading. You are asking questions that most will be answered  as you get into the books.

 

Best wishes

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11 hours ago, Tallboy said:

 

 

Thanks, I wrote those down on my list.

 

@ChollaI do have one other question. Why isn't the 550 auto-indexing? It seems like the manual movement of that is a pointless step? I'm looking at Square Deal B which is auto-indexing but it still looks like (from the video) that it's the same amount of work with putting case in + bullet in and pulling. 

I love my SDB, but it is only good for pistol calibers and used special SDB only dies.

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11 hours ago, Cholla said:

I don't want an auto progressing press as I want total control. The 550 is in my mind, the perfect progressive press. It can crank out cartridges as fast as I want to go, yet I have control of everything. The 650 or 750 may be perfect for you. It isn't for me.

I phrased my question poorly, I wasn't trying to imply it is 'better', just from my 1% knowledge so far it looked like auto indexing would be much easier. I'm probably missing a very larger implication of it though, other than it just automatically spinning when you pull the handle vs you having to use your thumb. 

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4 hours ago, Texas Jack Black said:

 You need to read. Buy a few manuals and you will then have an idea about reloading. You are asking questions that most will be answered  as you get into the books.

 

Best wishes

I have Lyman book I've started reading. A some parts of it still doesn't make sense without actually seeing the machine or process, so that's why this thread also helps, but yes... I'm reading a lot and watching a lot of videos.

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A lot of the advice you have gotten here is good solid stuff. You will find out that almost all the manufacturers will [understandably] promote their own equipment. Looking over what so many have said, here are kind of the basics that summed up:

1. Get plenty of manuals, they are invaluable.

2. A progressive is nice to have, but not required.

3. Almost all the manufacturers today have good solid equipment that can outlast most of us.

4. Carbide dies are the best thing since PB&J, use them whenever you can.

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18 minutes ago, Tallboy said:

I have Lyman book I've started reading. A some parts of it still doesn't make sense without actually seeing the machine or process, so that's why this thread also helps, but yes... I'm reading a lot and watching a lot of videos.

And this is why (just my opinion) it is best to start out with a single stage press. Learn the process and nuances of each and how some are different when loading different calibers and components. Case belling is a good example, if you are loading jacketed bullets, most calibers don't need the case "belled" however the inside diameter of the case still needs "sized" after resizing the outside diameter to get the correct neck tension. Another advantage of having a single stage is load workup and testing. You will only be loading say 5 rounds at a time to get your preferred recipe, easier and more precise on a single stage. Once you have your recipe, set up the progressive and go to production. Yeah, lots of similarities with cooking, my reloading room is referred to as my kitchen. Been reloading since the 70s and still only have 2 presses, RCBS rockchucker and a Dillon 650. I can load some 20 different calibers from long range precision to cowboy action on these 2 presses.

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Oh, and a PS to the above: If you start out with a single stage or turret, DON'T sell them off once you do go to a progressive! You will still use them occasionally.

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58 minutes ago, Tallboy said:

I phrased my question poorly, I wasn't trying to imply it is 'better', just from my 1% knowledge so far it looked like auto indexing would be much easier. I'm probably missing a very larger implication of it though, other than it just automatically spinning when you pull the handle vs you having to use your thumb. 

I go back to the "The faster you reload, the faster you make mistakes." I do not recommend a 650 or 750 to a beginner. A lot of stuff is going on that you have to keep track of. With a single stage press, you can focus on one process at a time and have great quality control. If you have a progressive press, you can create a whole lot of dangerous loads fast, or make a whole batch of rounds that need to be pulled and redone. Reloading takes your full concentration. No talking on the phone, no watching TV, no talking to the wife. When I am using my 550 and something comes up (dinner, phone call, killing a spider) I finish the rounds in the press before I stop so I don't have to figure out what I was doing when I came back to it. The action of turning the press is a minor action, but it keeps you in control of the process.

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Just now, DeaconKC said:

Oh, and a PS to the above: If you start out with a single stage or turret, DON'T sell them off once you do go to a progressive! You will still use them occasionally.

I find I use my single-stage press more than my progressive. Like Ranger Dan said, it takes time to work up a load. I may only want 50 rounds of a particular caliber. It is far cheaper and easier to do that on a SS press. So, no, never sell your SS press. It will be a constant companion for the rest of your reloading life.

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Ok, that's very great advice. I'm still leaning toward 550 simply because of how I'm shooting (quantity over quality at the moment). I can only go to the range on weekends when it's open, so fine tuning and testing my work in a cycle is somewhat out of the question (in a timely fashion anyway). It would be completely different if I could shoot in my back yard and just walk out there and see the result of my work. But in this case, I'm just trying to load 1-2K of each caliber at once.


With that said I 1000% understand the appeal of the single stage. Given that it's so cheap I may still do that, I havent fully decided, I'm sort of 50/50.


I'm an engineer so I'm not afraid of learning complex things, in fact I much prefer it as otherwise my mind gets bored.

 

I do have 2 more questions

 

1) What parts of reloading give the most lead exposure. From what I've read its dry tumbling. I'm extremely meticulous about exposure during normal shooting, so I want to do the same thing with reloading

 

2) When you guys say 550, are you referring to RL550C? I like how it automatically feeds the powder

Edited by Tallboy
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Handling fired cases is the biggest cause of lead exposure, second only to the actual firing of the cartridge itself. Priming compounds used to be mercury based, but the switched to lead (lead azide) for "health" reasons. lax

 

Handle fired cases, dry tumbling cases outside, not in the house. Or in a detached garage, tool shed, etc.

 

Wash your hands after handling or use rubber gloves. Also wipe off your face around your nose and mouth.

 

I was a bit lazy doing this and my blood lead levels jumped four points.

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@Cholla They actually have that rock chucker by my house, I never would have expected that as I literally live in the middle of nowhere... perhaps I'll go pick it up today.


Do I need anything else thats not in that kit? Youve already really helped me a lot so I won't keep pestering you with questions, just figure while I'm right here about to buy it if you have any last input that would help.

 

I'm assuming if I get a 550 I can re-use some of this stuff?

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7 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

Handling fired cases is the biggest cause of lead exposure, second only to the actual firing of the cartridge itself. Priming compounds used to be mercury based, but the switched to lead (lead azide) for "health" reasons. lax

 

Handle fired cases, dry tumbling cases outside, not in the house. Or in a detached garage, tool shed, etc.

 

Wash your hands after handling or use rubber gloves. Also wipe off your face around your nose and mouth.

 

I was a bit lazy doing this and my blood lead levels jumped four points.

Awesome, thanks. I called the D-Lead company to find out the exact specifics of how well their stuff works, and its 99.9% if used properly (D-Lead wipes, D-Lead laundry detergent)

 

When I come back from the range I look a bit OCD and weird but thats OK, cause my lead level is 0.0 (below the accuracy threshold, maybe 0.05). I have heard lead above 5 ug/dl can cause deficits in cognition, and considering my career 100% uses my brain for 12+ hours a day I cant have that :lol:

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