Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by cricketdave » Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:41 pm

The Lee single stage press works fine, the progressive presses suck great big donkey dicks. The primer feed is a total pain and hardly works you are constantly having to adjust which means whack it to get it to work. Their stuff works sort of, if you use it for many rounds though and then try your buddies hornady progressive you will be pissed that you bought the lee. I did the same thing, ended up with dillon and never looked back. Spend once cry once. Really either go single stage or pony up for the more expensive better designed presses. RCBS, Hornady, Dillon all are outstanding.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Black Sheep » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:58 am

Get the Lee Anniversary single stage, dies and supplies for your favourite caliber. Learn to reload and develop loads using the Optimal Charge Weight method. When you're getting great results and you can't believe you didn't start reloading sooner, buy more dies and start researching what kind of progressive press you want.

When you have that progressive press cranking out ammo way faster than you ever could with the single stage, the single stage will still be a really handy tool that you will never regret buying. I've been using the Lee Anniversary for nearly a year, have zero problems and don't feel any need to upgrade just yet.

I've heard the same story all over the interwebs and real world, it's very true for me.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:10 am

Black Sheep wrote:Get the Lee Anniversary single stage, dies and supplies for your favourite caliber. Learn to reload and develop loads using the Optimal Charge Weight method. When you're getting great results and you can't believe you didn't start reloading sooner, buy more dies and start researching what kind of progressive press you want.

When you have that progressive press cranking out ammo way faster than you ever could with the single stage, the single stage will still be a really handy tool that you will never regret buying. I've been using the Lee Anniversary for nearly a year, have zero problems and don't feel any need to upgrade just yet.

I've heard the same story all over the interwebs and real world, it's very true for me.
Can't the Lee singles be converted to a progressive, or am I out of my gourd?
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Black Sheep » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:13 am

Not that I know of. I watched a youtube video of someone with a really big progressive that seemed to be doing everything automatically except dropping the projectile onto the case. It was faster than I imagined, but looked expensive.

Get a single stage and put the accumulated savings towards a top end progressive if and when you want to go there.

Some things are worth going top shelf straight away, but I don't think reloading is one of them. Too much learning curve to know what you want to end up with before you start.

I hope that makes sense...
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:27 am

Herp. I meant turret. I think you can convert the Lee Challenger to a turret press, which is faster than a single-stage, but I could be mistaken.

A Dillon automated progressive is a terrifying thing to behold.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by zobmiedown » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:09 pm

I have a Dillon 550 that I load on and my brother in law has a lee. Both my father in law and my self way more prefer to load on the Dillon than the lee. Almost every reloader I talk to either at the two stores that sells components/supplies in my area uses a Dillon press. Their customer service is amazing and they warranty any and all parts of the press for life. All you have to do is send the press back if its not functioning right or if a part breaks and they will repair it, service the entire press and return it to you in near brand new condition. I too agree with the buy once cry once theory. You may only be doing one caliber for now but I guarantee that will change rather quickly. I started with 38spl in October 2013 and now load for 7 pistol calibers and 6 Rifle calibers. Since I started I have loaded over 16k of pistol and rifle. It can become addicting.

That being said I also have a lee single stage that I got off of EBAY for around $25. I have never loaded a round on it since I have the Dillon. I do however keep a lee universal de-priming die in it and use it to de-prime casings in all the calibers I load for and some I don't even load for. So if you decide to start with a inexpensive single stage you can upgrade to a better system and still have a use for the single stage in the future.

Some one else will have to weigh in on priming on a single stage as I have never done it. I have never primed on the Dillon either. I prefer to do my priming with a lee handheld priming tool. I have a hornandy handheld priming tool as well but prefer the lee. I have broken the plastic primer tray on both and both companies sent me a replacement tray at no charge after I emailed them a picture of what broke.

Lastly you will need more than a press and dies to get started. Reloading manuals, a tumbler, a supply of primers and billets and powder. All of those add up in your initial investment rather quickly.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by cricketdave » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:32 pm

I've had a RCBS single stage press for 30yrs or so, I often use it to run a very small run up to test a load before going to the Dillon and running off a bunch. I use the RCBS hand primer when doing that. Other than that using favorite loads i prime and load all on the dillon.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by NapalmMan67 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:10 pm

I've been using a Lee Classic 4 hole Turret for a few years- Can be used as a single stage if desired. Cost efficient and easy die changes with the removable turrets. I use this for my lower volume shooting calibers, I can easily load 150 rounds an hour- all inclusive of decapping, priming, powder charging etc. on it. You can load 3" long rifle cases on this in auto index mode, and 4" cases in single stage mode. I load my .308 rounds on this press no issues.

I also have a Dillon XL 650. Best I've done on it so far is about 600 rounds an hour of .45 ACP. Longer time for caliber changes, more costly- but a lot more fun, at least to me.

I can't speak to any of the Lee progressives, I've never used one or know anyone who reloads that has one. Always have heard they are finicky until you get them tweaked "just so".
As for the turret, like I said it can be used as a single stage- which I do once in awhile for load development. IF you go with a Lee turret, get the Classic- the linkage is heavier duty than the standard turret press.

So you have to ask yourself, what's the goal for output? Future considerations?


FWIW- Years ago my grandfather loaded everything on an old Herters single stage including- .25, .32, 9mm, .38/357, 44, 45, .308/30.06, 45-70, 7.35 and 8. I can't imagine how tedious that was with all the die changes!


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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Black Sheep » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:10 am

Thanks for posting those rounds / hour numbers, nice to have something empirical to consider.

I totally agree about the extra expenses beyond press and dies, this might be a factor for someone starting out. For many people the cost of a big progressive press might cause a huge wait time before they can start hands-on learning.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by eugene » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:59 pm

That's why I started with the little Lee hand press, I was able to start for only a couple hundred investment in tools which easily paid for themselves in a few hundred rounds. Now I bought a turret.
Seems powder is coming back in stock, I got some power pistol and unique last week and one hp38 today.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by AS556 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:07 pm

I've just started on a Lee single stage press. It's slow, but I'm enjoying it immensely.

Anybody have experience with the velocity needed to get a 125gr XTP to expand? Hornady says 800 IIRC but looking for first hand experience. Any load recommendations? I have Bullseye and Unique, currently loading the XTP on top of 5.5gr Unique from a 3" K-frame.

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by cricketdave » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:41 pm

Try handloads.com they have a lot of well documented loadings for pretty much anything. Always work from minimums and slowly work up never start at a max load. 4.0 of bullseye is a starting load with 4.4 being right around 1000fps which is a medium hot load. If you don't have a chrono its defiantly something to consider getting. Some loads have to be worked up with individual guns watching for pressure issues and keeping the Fps close without large jumps.

You probably know all that but it bears repeating.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by eugene » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:48 pm

Range was cold this weekend but my unique loads were fine. 700x loads would FTE, need to increase a little bit. Image
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by brothaman » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:07 am

Does a Factory Crimp (ie Lee factory crimp die) Eliminate the need for a cannelure when a crimp is absolutely necessary?

I've come into a large quantity of older Hornady .357 cal 180 grain FMJs. These only have the single cannelure for revolver length loading unlike the XTPs that have 2. I'm loading for a 357 Max rifle and need to load them long like SSP bullet. I hope that all made sense.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Black Sheep » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:30 am

Lee says you can crimp without a cannelure on the instructions. I always have and am getting good results.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by brothaman » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:13 am

Cool. Really didn't want to try to dev a new load if that factory crimp die wasn't going to work for me.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by chills1994 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:05 am

When I was shooting either a USPSA or IDPA or steel plate match every weekend, I was cranking out some ammo. So I had a Dillon 550. Then I bought a Dillon 650.

That was for 9mm, .40, and .45ACP. So I had dedicated toolheads for each caliber. The last station in each toolhead was always a Lee Factory Crimp Die. And none of those bullets ever had a cannelure.

You set up the Lee FCD just enough that it kisses the case's mouth....definitely takes out the bell or flare, and just slightly pushes it inward towards the bullet.

You will see the brass is just slightly "burnished".

I just tried doing a google image search for "case mouth crimps", and I wasn't able to find a really good picture.

This is where having a case gauge to check your rounds really helps.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by chills1994 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:08 am

I stumbled across this new round. It is called the .277 Wolverine.

It is a .223 or 5.56 case necked up to fit a 6.8 bullet.

It was one of those things that made me go, "DAYUMMMNNN! I wish I had thought of that!"

Here is some more reading from the originator of the round if you're interested:

http://www.maddogweapons.com/277-wolverine.html

The advantage being....just like with .300 Blackout...all your regular AR15 parts work...including magazines and bolts.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by brothaman » Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:25 pm

chills1994 wrote:I stumbled across this new round. It is called the .277 Wolverine.

It is a .223 or 5.56 case necked up to fit a 6.8 bullet.

It was one of those things that made me go, "DAYUMMMNNN! I wish I had thought of that!"

Here is some more reading from the originator of the round if you're interested:

http://www.maddogweapons.com/277-wolverine.html

The advantage being....just like with .300 Blackout...all your regular AR15 parts work...including magazines and bolts.
It looks like most of you what you save on the gun build is getting soaked up by the reloading cost. $100 dies ain't cheap. And still its not much better that 223 in side of 200 yards and marginal on game at 300 yards. If you just want more from a 223 case, look at the 6x45 and shoot 85 gr and 90gr bullets. Dies are $40, you get a better range of bullet weights for the speeds a 223 case can push, and the trim length is the same as 223. If your want boutique, go all out. ARP's 270AR is pretty neat. 308 case chopped and necked down to .277. Slings 130grs bullets to 2800 fps from a 20 inch barrel. That still pushing over 1000 FPE at 300 yards. That's slick I think feeds it from of 6.8 mags. 308 brass is as easy to get as 223. I understand the case form is simple. Chop, Form, Trim. No annealing. If I had the extra cash to build a boutique hunting rifle on the AR15 platform, this is what I'd do. But I'd want an 18 inch ultra light.

Which leads me to another thought,... Why didn't the 30 Rem AR make it? That cartridge was pushing 300 Sav. power with shelf ammo.
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a few questions from a beginner

Post by tedbeau » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:20 pm

I am about to start reloading, as in I bought a press and dies, but haven’t set it up yet.
I have a few technical questions;
Since I want to load ammo for shooting IDPA I need to make a power factor of 125 for 40 caliber 180 grain bullets. By my calculations I need to be above 700 FPS.
Most minimum loads I see listed keep the speed up around 850 to 975 FPS.
I planned on starting at the minimum listed load and dropping down a tenth of a grain of powder until I got to 750 FPS allowing some wiggle room for variation in cases etc.
My 49th edition of the Lyman reloading manual says to be careful using less than the minimum powder load for a given caliber or excessive pressures can result. I can understand why too much powder or not enough case volume could create overpressure but how could too light of a load make too much pressure?
My question is other than failing to cycle the gun, or failing to push the bullet out of the barrel, is there any other issue with loading to a lighter load?

Also if anyone has a favorite load for a 40 caliber 180 plated bullet using HP-38 or W231 powder that makes 750-775 FPS I would like to see it.

Next question, regarding bullets, I have 250 berrys bullets, which I think are plated. (At work so I don't have the box in front of me).

How do I tell the difference between plated and jacketed and make sure I am using the right data from reloading charts? I understand there are differences in the loads required but is there a sure fire way to tell a plated bullet from a jacketed bullet?

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by procyon » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:07 pm

tedbeau wrote:My 49th edition of the Lyman reloading manual says to be careful using less than the minimum powder load for a given caliber or excessive pressures can result. I can understand why too much powder or not enough case volume could create overpressure but how could too light of a load make too much pressure?
My question is other than failing to cycle the gun, or failing to push the bullet out of the barrel, is there any other issue with loading to a lighter load?
I have heard of light loads having pressure issues before - but have never actually seen it. It seems to most often occur when using very fast or very slow burning powders. That said - I have loaded light loads for my .38's (in target loads) a LOT, and never had an issue. But for all intents and purposes - I would just start with the minimum load and go from there. Going lighter is more likely to cause issues with cycling a gun or ending up with a squib load and a bullet stuck in the barrel - than blowing up the gun.

But I don't have a .40, and have no experience loading for one. Sorry.

As for plated vs jacketed - plated bullets are supposed to have a thin jacket of metal electroplated to the lead instead of a jacket that was swaged. From what I have seen of the folks who have come out and shot plated rounds at my house, the plated bullets are a bit less consistent in accuracy than jacketed or cast/lubed - but not enough that you would care unless you are a bullseye shooter. An extra quarter to half inch in your group at 25 yards probably isn't going to make much difference.

And plated bullets don't lead barrels - but they do leave a healthy amount of copper fouling. Pick your poison as both are a pain to get out of a barrel.

And on a different note, we were just experimenting with some of the buckshot and found out that our 20 ga shells, when loaded with fiber wads (or I suppose you could cut the petals off a plastic wad) will hold 8 pellets of 0 buck. The weight is the same as a standard 7/8th oz load. We have only tried it with 8 pellets over 17 grains of Unique so that it duplicates a trap load, but so far it works fairly well in the old IC pump. I'm not sure that it will replace our 18 pellet 4 buck loads, but it has been fun to test out.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by tedbeau » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:28 am

Well I almost have my reloading press set up. I bought a Hornady AP press and I spent about three hours yesterday setting up the press. I got all the dies set and had a little trouble with the primer tube. It appears that the tube they sent me doesn't want to press into the tube base properly. I can manage to get the large primer tube in but the small primer tube doesn't get tight when I insert the end. Also it seems like the primer tube is to long because when I thread the outer sleeve over the tube and but the plastic guide in the sleeve the primer tube sticks up past the plastic guide. There is supposed to be a pocket between the face of the guide and the primer tube so you can place the primer pickup in place to dump the primer. I think the shoulder was either off center or to large and kept the tube from sitting down far enough. I was able to file a shoulder on the other end of the tube and get it to work.

I am going to call Hornady and see if they will send me a new tube.

All I have to do now is degrease/clean the powder measure and related components and set it up. Hopefully I will be able to make my first batch of ammo by the end of the week.

I am still researching for loading data for 40 Caliber using 180 grain plated flat nose bullets, (Berry's) that will make minimum IDPA power factor in my Glock 27.
I have a starting point, using Hodgdon's HP-38, that should get me a speed of 850 but want to load it lighter and get closer to 750 FPS.

I plan on loading about three or four batches of loads decreasing it by a tenth of a grain at a time and seeing where it seems to still cycle the gun ok. I do know a guy that has a chronograph and may see if I can get him to bring it to the range before my next IDPA match.

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by zobmiedown » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:47 am

Tedbeau,

I have six different reloading manuals here four of which have load data for 40 S&W with 180 grain bullets. So to narrow it down what powder will you be using? That way I can check all of the books and see what they say for load data for you.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by tedbeau » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:26 am

zobmiedown wrote:Tedbeau,

I have six different reloading manuals here four of which have load data for 40 S&W with 180 grain bullets. So to narrow it down what powder will you be using? That way I can check all of the books and see what they say for load data for you.
Thanks Zombiedown, I am using Hodgdon HP-38 which apparently is exactly the same as Winchester 231 powder. I am using 180 grain plated flat face bullets (Berrys) and Winchester small pistol primers. I know that the minimum starting charge is 4.4 and the max is 5.1.

According the Hodgdon web site the 4.4 grains should net 872 FPS out of a 4" barrel. Ideally I would like to get the speed down to 700 FPS which would still make minor power factor for IDPA. I realize that with my Glock 27's shorter barrel I would be below that. That's ok because my loads only need to make power factor in the longest barrel allowed in my class so a 4" barrel at 700 FPS would be legal. That being said I would want to error on the high side due to variables like temperature.

Shooting one of the shortest/smallest gun in the division I can use all the advantage I can get.

I'd appreciate any date you can send me.

I do know a guy that has a chronograph and I may bug him to see if I can shoot over it next time he's got it set up

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