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Reloading Press

Noob 550 650 Reloading Press

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#1 ZachJ

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 12:20 AM

So in my range diary I mentioned that the Handgun Club Prez recommended I get a reloading press and start getting prepared for all that crap.

 

Since doodie is the wisest shooting forum with the most experienced shooters(probably reloaders too), I wanted to ask here since I want to keep the chance of me fucking this up and blowing something up to a minimum.

 

Single-Stage or Progressive? Everywhere on the interwebs says start with single, but the Handgun Club Prez recommended either a 550 or 650 right off the bat for a couple of reasons and said something along the lines of "you're a smart guy, I think you can figure it out". One of the reasons was that there is a gunsmithing shop on the island that also deals with Dillon close by and they apparently sell the presses and all the accessories needed. The other was that he used to shoot IPSC before he joined this club, so he guessed that I would be shooting a lot and said single stage is too slow for the amount I want to be shooting eventually. 

 

Components? He said something about ordering at least 5000 primers at the very minimum at a time. Also said that most of the other components like powder and bullets are also bought in bulk. Is that how much I should be buying at the minimum?

 

Load Data? What?

 

Chronograph? I'm assuming I also need to get a chrono or I won't know a thing about if the loads I work up meet minor. After shooting S&B 124 gr which is supposed to be 145 PF, and I believe it, what PF should I strive for when I start loading?

 

Any tips and tricks would be appreciated in this endeavor.


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#2 Roons

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 01:17 AM

Start with a 650 so you can regret not getting a 1050 later.  Only Fudds will tell you to start with a single stage.
 
Components? Yes.  He with the most powder/primer wins.  Type?  See below.
 
Load Data? Remember when you used to study for a class?  Probably not, but you'll get to experience it again.  Do your homework.
 
Chronograph? Yes.  Else you can go without one and enjoy the fun that is shooting for no points after all the money you spend for a lvl 2/3 match.  Go for +5 to +10 PF to be safe.  Else, see the former statement.

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#3 pmt

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 01:23 AM

Buy a 650 with a casefeeder. Buy the DVD to set it up. Buy a loading manual or two. Talk to friends at your club. Start with a case (5000) of primers, 5000 124gr plated or coated bullets, and start looking for powder. 8lb of  Titegroup would be a good start. 4gr of Titegroup under any 124 willl give you 130-135 PF. Oh, and talk to people at your club. 



#4 mookman

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 02:54 AM

Please don't buy anything Red and Plastic , It will age you Ten years..650 with case feed is the way to go.

And don't get paranoid over different OAL,This will also age you for no reason..


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#5 Sprewell

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 06:17 AM

 

Only Fudds will tell you to start with a single stage.
 
 

 

Start with a single stage press.

 

You haven't even shot a match yet have you?  When you are beat, broken and driven across the tundra this summer and quit, you will still have the single stage press to load moose hunting ammo with.



#6 Vagetarian

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 06:22 AM

Go to www.Brianenos.com and read all the threads there on reloading.  I even recommend starting a few new threads as they dig that.  Then when you've decided come back here so we can cast doubt on your decision and make you all squirmy inside.  

 

Buy a fucking Dillon.  Fuck warranties, they're all the same now.  It's all aboot the resale.  If you can afford a 650 with case feeder get one.  Remember additional calibers cost more.  If not, get a 550.  I just sold mine after using it for years (bought a 650).  

 

Only buy Federal primers and I highly recommend Xtreme Bullets.  In fact, if you order today during their two day cyber sale, you can receive free shipping.  You can't beat that, great quality bullets at a great price.  Only at Xtreme Bullets.  Order now!!!


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#7 George

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 07:12 AM

I'd suggest a cheap non progressive to start out.  To learn about reloading, and how not to blow yourself up.  Lee Classic Turret Press is pretty good for the price. 

 

You will then want to move to a Dillon 650 unless you can spend several hours a day reloading.

 

Then when you get the 650, you will apprecate it more.  And you will have the non-progressive for load development (Dillon 650 is really not ideal for this) and loading the one-off calibers you don't shoot as much and don't want to invest in setting up a whole Dillon toolhead for.  Like those 50 round of 30-06 you might need a year, or the like.

 

I love my 650, but I would not want it as my *only* press.  Perhaps a 550 is OK as an *only* press, someone with one can chime in.


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#8 RDS

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 07:44 AM

 

Start with a 650 so you can regret not getting a 1050 later.  Only Fudds will tell you to start with a single stage.
 

 

 

 

Fudds and precision rifle.  But this isn't precision rifle.

 

We rag on Benos.  Benos b cool tho. 

 

Go there absorb. 

get an N50.  N=5 or 6.

Get a 12 pack of beer.

Find a buddy who reloads.

Offer beer to help get started.

Profit. Normally this stage is profit, but all your money now goes to reloading components.

Win


It's not about winning, it's about emasculating your friends in front of their loved ones

 

 


#9 aceinyerface

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 08:18 AM

I happen to be off today, so...

 

Rule 1 Reloading is about saving $$$ so how much you pay and not buying extra shit is important.

 

Meaning, you can buy ammo that just makes minor, but you are going to pay 2X+ what you can load for. The break even point of my rig was 20,000 rds. 

 

For action pistol, volume is king. A single stage for the random guy is a good idea but you will not get the volume you need. You will need a progressive for action pistol.

 

Go blue, buy from Brian Enos. The logic here is you want to get the free shipping and no taxes. Do not buy the Competition Reloading DVD.

 

I learned on a single stage when I was a kid and have the 550b now. I don't feel I could load faster with a 650 without spending more time in case prep. I currently separate the brass with a very brief visual check, then as I put each case in the 550 I give it a quick look for bulges, splits, other things (like Aguila with a groove or crimped/NATO brass.) I find it easier to handle each piece of brass once instead of having a separate step for sorting. This is why I couldn't use a case feeder without changing process. Take more time to save some time seems like a wash to me.

 

I assume you will be loading bulk range brass, this involves checking the brass for condition.

 

You will need a case cleaner/tumbler of some sort, I got a hand me down Lyman and it runs fine. See what some other people are using and how they like it. Try not to spend too much, so find what you want and search around for free shipping and the best price. There is a kit from Frankford Arsenal that looks interesting.

 

I'd say get the 550B, get the Maintenance kit, you will need the extra primer tubes. Fuck the expensive Dillon flip tray, get the cheap ass Lyman. Strong mount yes, roller handle no, tool kit no (use regular tools).

 

Get the light, it is worth the money.

 

You need a good scale, do not get the beam scale. Spend some money here so you don't have to throw 10 charges and take an average.

 

A cheap digital caliper is needed. A bench with some work space away from kids.

 

Components- the key here is to stay ahead. Especially when there are shortages caused by threats of bans, stay ahead by quite a bit on your components, you may go months without finding any. This will save on frantic facebook messages looking for primers. Ordering primers and powder online requires a hazmat fee, so I try to go local.

 

Primers have varying hardness, Federal seems to be the easiest to pop. There is a Cabelas near me so I can order and go pick them up (saving shipping) and they often run a sale. There are occasional shortages, so stock up.

 

Powder sucks balls here lately, very difficult to find your shit. Lots of frantic facebook messages. I currently use 7625 which has been discontinued, but I still have a year's worth. I will be switching to TiteGroup and already have a year's worth. I have identified about a dozen powders I could use, don't be limited to "pistol" powders, shotgun powders will work as long as you can find reliable load data. Be prepared for butt rape on the price, but you have to pay it. Just remember the fucks who charge $30+/lb when it was $15/lb a few years ago. The price a company pays in charging high prices is a loss in customer loyalty.

 

For projectiles, you need perspective. You will be flinging mass quantities at short ranges in short periods of time, you don't need Camp Perry Bullseye level accuracy. So while maybe a jacketed bullet or high end lead could be more accurate by fractions of an inch at 50 yards, you have to decide if you are going to get the benefit per dollar spent. I started with Xtreme which is excellent price for plated, plated ended up having no benefit over the Hi Tek coated and was more expensive. I'd use Bayou Bullets except I live in the same state and would have to pay tax and their discounts start at 10000 rds, so I use Black and Blue with free shipping and discounts at 5000 rds. Side by side, they look like the same product.

 

I forgot to address the chrono. Once you get your shit set, don't monkey with it. This minimizes the need for the chrono. You can probably find someone you can bribe into helping you chrono your shit, then you don't have to worry about buying one.



#10 GuruOfGuns

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 08:44 AM

Back in Ancient Times when I first started reloading and you had to get your instructions from gun rags and books full of technical errors,  I'd be in the start with a single stage camp. Now with YouTube and all the other resources there is no reason to buy a one lunger to learn on unless you will have a use for it later. A 550 will do fine, I'd skip the 650 and go right to the 1050 if money is no problem.

 

I never saved money reloading I just shot more ammo for the same money.


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#11 GuanoLoco

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 08:55 AM

I ended up liking my analog calipers far more that my battery munching digitals. Even after finding bulk batteries for cheap. Even if the digital didn't munch batteries.

I love a quality precision scale but mostly end up measuring charge weight x 20, so does it really matter? I rarely measure individual loads and if I do it's a double-check not precision rifle work. Hell my 550 was loading 308 with .75 MOA accuracy and I'm pretty sure the .75 is more me than the blammo. Get a set of check weights and proceed with confidence.

I need to start selling the ton-o-gear that I have accumulated and no longer use.
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#12 aceinyerface

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:01 AM

 I never saved money reloading I just shot more ammo for the same money.

 

You are not required to put your money into a Savings Account to experience a savings.

 

If you went from paying .35¢ a shot to paying .13¢ a shot then you did save money.

 

Sounds like you chose to spend your savings on more ammo, that is what I did.


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#13 LeadChucker

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:07 AM

OK, I'll be the decenting voice.

Get a 1050 and never look back. Cost? They have a payment plan just for nursing students.

I'm not a technical person (if I can do it anyone can do it), but take your time and you can figure it out. The 1050 is FAR superior to the 650 (I learned progressive reloading on a 650) and it is the only way to go. Go slow at first and you will be good to go. The priming system on the 1050 alone makes it worth it.

As stated above, ALWAYS be on the lookout for primers and powder. Never let your primer supply get below 10,000, and never let your powder supply get below 15 pounds. Those are panic level low threshold numbers!!!

#14 GuanoLoco

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:10 AM

I think reloading is more about control and shooting more for your $. I don't see "savings" as being a particularly valid argument, at least not the way I do it. And I do value the time that I could spend doing something more productive, like dry firing or working to make $ faster than I can 'save' it.

You can do better than that with effort - Free pickup brass, primers < $0.03, powder @ >= $0.01, then BULLETS. I like Bayou in bulk and can get 9mm x 135gr for >= 0.06. That's about $0.10 US/$12.57 Canadian per round.

For cost control its all about optimizing bulk component buys, minimizing hazmat, exploiting opportunities.
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#15 GuanoLoco

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:24 AM

Also, 1050 is cool IF you have $ and can focus on a caliber and plan to shoot 20K+ a year like I do

I was and still am multi-caliber, and my upgraded dual head 1050/MBF is still only 9mm & 223. I might replace the starter 550 with a 650 someday, maybe Vag will cut me a good deal on his.
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#16 Vagetarian

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:27 AM

Take your time and look for a deal on Craigslist, Armslist, Enos, etc.  550, 650, lifetime no BS warranty.  1050=commercial press and 1 year.  I used to be a big fan of the 1050 but it's complicated and a one trick pony.  If you need a dedicated press to crank out 1000 rounds an hour and get a lot of crimped brass, go for it.  650 with a bullet feeder will do 1000 RPH easy and it's half the price and a quarter of the time to switch out calibers.  


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#17 Vagetarian

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:28 AM

Also, 1050 is cool IF you have $ and can focus on a caliber and plan to shoot 20K+ a year like I do

I was and still am multi-caliber, and my upgraded dual head 1050/MBF is still only 9mm & 223. I might replace the starter 550 with a 650 someday, maybe Vag will cut me a good deal on his.

Buy low sell high.  I sold my 550 gear at exactly 80% of new retail.  


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#18 LeadChucker

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:30 AM

For cost control its all about optimizing bulk component buys, minimizing hazmat, exploiting opportunities.


This

Also, as stated above, its all about making your gun run the most efficient

#19 Stubb

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 10:17 AM

A 650 with a case feeder would be a good place to start and a very versatile machine. You can load just about anything on it.

 

The 1050 is worth the extra money for high-volume loading of range pick-up brass. You can also laugh at your peasant friends pushing to prime on their 650s and 550s. Several companies produce motors for the 1050 that let you crank out loaded rounds like a boss.

 

You can rig a Mr. Bulletfeeder to both the 650 and 1050.

 

Loading for IPSC on a single-stage press is dumb. You have to seriously not value your time to even consider this.

 

I'd freak the fuck out if I only had 5k primers sitting around.



#20 Sprewell

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 10:26 AM

I realize that as a retiree I have more free time than most of ya'll here.  A thousand rounds a month on a single stage press works out to about 20 minutes a day of work.







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