Help A New Guy Get Started?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by XrayDoc88, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. XrayDoc88

    XrayDoc88

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    I've been saving multi caliber pistol and rifle brass for awhile. I'd like to start buying reloading equipment and take the plunge. I don't really want to start small with a beginner setup and was thinking about purchasing a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP. I also thought I'd start by reloading 9 mm ammo and then expand. But now I realize I have some questions about reloading procedures and how to best use a progressive press.

    1. I like the idea of wet tumbling with the primer pockets removed so everything looks shiny. Do people run their dirty brass through the automatic case feeder just to remove the primer before tumbling? Doesn't this step also resize the brass? Resizing dirty brass seems wrong to me.

    2. Isn't case length trimming, chamfering and deburring done after a clean case is resized? Wouldn't this step be skipped using a progressive press?

    3. Is case length trimming, chamfering and deburring only practically done on rifle cartridges? Is a single stage press preferred for rifle reloading?

    4. How does one best use a progressive press to include all the important aspects of reloading? In other words, what is your sequence of reloading steps, including brass preparation, so that you can reload efficiently? It seems to me that a progressive press would be best used with all new brass. Can you add the brass preparation step and still use a progressive press well?

    Thanks. This is a little confusing. Any advice or clarification would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    1. Totally personal preference , I have both but 99%i tumble in the dry tumbler...

    2. Yes , for .223 for a ar-15 where your useing up to 4 dies then a progressive is great... I resize on a single stage , tumble to get lube off then do all the work on the brass then use my Dillon to do powder drops , bullet seating and crimp....

    On say a .308 for a bolt action I use my single stage only because there's only two dies , resize and seat.... Not much advantage in a progressive there...

    3. See #2...

    4. I prep and check every single piece of Rifle brass before loading , makes me no difference new or used.... I also either length sort my pistol brass into groups or even sometimes trim...

    All your brass prep is done after resizing so I doesn't matter what press you use...

    I say get the Dillon 550 because it can be used as a progressive or a single stage although I have and recommend having both single and progressive.......

    The Dillon will load amazing match quality ammo both rifle and pistol and for pistol it's worth every dollar spent on it.... But yes it's a progressive so using two dies or two steps can just as easily be done on a single stage... You add 4 dies for like pistol loading or for .233 and the Dillon is hands down the winner... From an hour+ to load a box of 9mm to 10 to 15 minutes to do it SAFELY... The only question is why did I what so long to go to the Dillon.... My answer is simple it was cost , the Dillon system is expensive , if you can afford it then you should have already done it...

    Any questions about what to buy can be easily addressed here , you can go bare bones or decked out either way it just plain works... You got questions or problems , they got answers.... There no BS warranty is just that.... Plus if you call them they won't try and sell you stuff you don't need , that's truly amazing.... Save the headaches with the Hornady and get the best for a few bucks more... Dillon....
     
  3. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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    No dog in this hunt but with 9mm so cheap, isn't reloading that cartridge an exercise in working for a buck an hour?
     
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  4. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    Agree you only save a few bucks but that's NOW , I remember a few years ago were you couldn't buy 9mm or hardly any other ammo... Didn't effect me at all but did the people who don't reload... I promise you the days of easy to find and buy ammo will come to an end again sooner than later... Probably around 2020.... Not to mention you get quality ammo with your reloads...

    Just my opinion and another view point...
     
  5. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'm sorry, but I'd recommend any beginner start out on a single stage press to simply learn the fundamentals (and importance) of each single step of the process. I just think that it will give you a better and safer understanding of things before you bring it all together on a progressive. jd
     
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  6. XrayDoc88

    XrayDoc88

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    Do you clean before or after resizing?

    I agree that 9 mm is super cheap and I may never save money reloading. But we do shoot a lot of pistol ammo and less rifle ammo, including 380 auto, 9mm, 40S&W, 10mm, 5.56 and 300BLK. I feel that learning how to reload could be a valuable skill for when SHTF, kind of like knowing how to grow your own food.
     
  7. XrayDoc88

    XrayDoc88

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    I guess I was just trying to avoid multiple purchases if I'm likely to end up wanting a progressive as I "mature". Could I just practice on a single stage of the progressive press as I learn?
     
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  8. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    As @jds holler said you should get your feet wet with a single stage press to learn the fundamentals. It will also work as a great decapping station for all your brass.
    Then by all means @Rsadams stated a Dillon is the bees knees.
     
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  9. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Yes
     
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  10. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    When I was eighteen years old, I went straight from high school to a local state college. I enrolled in the Machine Processes program. The first year was the same courses for Machining, Welding, and Gunsmithing.

    Our first machining class took place in a large beautifully equipped shop that was full of lathes, vertical and horizontal mills, shapers, surface grinders, you name it. -- Our first projects were done with hack-saws, chisels, and files. :(

    It seemed ridiculous to all of us at the time, but we learned to carefully do by hand what was easily done by machine. I have since had many occasions to appreciate and use the skills that I learned in that first term. jd
     
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  11. farmerjohn

    farmerjohn Gold $$ Contributor

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    What he said! If you want go ahead and start with a Forrester co-axis, I don't care how many other rigs you get in the future you will always use it for a lot of things...
    Farmer
     
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  12. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    I clean before resizing to keep the nasty stuff out of my dies..... Carbon in your dies can lead to no good..
     
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  13. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Same here with high school metalworking. Learned the why before getting into the potentials of powered how.

    Chambering rifle barrels never got addressed though, must be why I still stick with hacksaw & files for my metalworking, leave gun stuff to folks with the tools & experience to earn my business.
     
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  14. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    I absolutely started with a single stage and spent years useing it , still use it.... If time is not a factor , then a single stage press will work like a champ..... I went progressive because I load alot of pistol... With my rifle loads I am in no hurry so it doesn't matter..... Exept .223 for the AR platform which I shoot iron sights so it's only as accurate as I am....

    Starting on a single stage will definitely help you understand what's happening and why.... The progressive is for speed and that speed can definitely get you in trouble.... I still look at every stage of the progressive press before I pull that handle... If there's any doubts I stop... In my opinion having both kinds of press is a must and you will never out grow either of them.... Alot of people quit reloading because of the time involved , it's truly a labor of love....

    If you're brand new to reloading , buy a single stage and a reloading manual , then read it... Watch you tube videos and ask questions here... That can help you make up your mind what you want...a single stage rcbs rockchuker kit is around $300 , a decked out Dillon 550 around $1200... Either way you will need a good scale.... Ask plenty of questions before buying anything.... Ohhhh and you will need a study bench....

    How deep you go is up to you as long as you're safe and have the money...
     
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  15. Pwc

    Pwc

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    I have and have used xclusively Pacific press (1942) for all my reloading. If I were to begin now I'd get a Hornady LNL to start. It has the benefits of both single stage and progressive, albeit a slower one. Upgrade to Big Blue later if needed, but I would keep the LNL.
     
  16. XrayDoc88

    XrayDoc88

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  17. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'd be concerned about movement from the wheels.
    Harbor freight has a killer wooden bench for around $100 even has a vice on the end that would work out great for gun care.
    What about a spare bedroom?
     
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  18. JMayo

    JMayo

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    For pistol I think a lee turret is a great one to learn on that won't break the bank and won't be all about setting up dies.
    I've only used a single for bench rest rifle so I don't know about loading for an AR type. Couldn't imagine a single stage for large quantities.
     
  19. AJC

    AJC

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    With so much to learn a single stage will let you focus on each step in the process. I'm just a few baby steps ahead of you and there is no way I could focus on all the things that need checking on a progressive.
    A universal decaping pin to pop out primers and then a good wet wash is my preferred method. If your doing pistol carbide dies are amazing. I jumped into 9mm rcbs carbide and now have the 45, and 38/357 set. You may want a cooler more fancy press along the way but the rumor is quality dies are how quality ammo is made.
     
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  20. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    Build one that has wide feet so it doesn't pull over.... Some 4x4 legs a fey 2x4 and some 3/4 plywood and your in business....
     
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