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polizei1
01-21-2010, 17:52
Hi everyone, I'm turning 21 this summer, and have always been fascinated in weapons...so it's natural that I can't wait to get shooting more.

Now I'm curious. I've searched this site quite a bit, and have spent the last 2-3 days extensively researching reloading, because it caught my eye and seemed interesting. Now, I've watched many videos and have read a ton of info (appreciate it all BTW, VERY helpful), but that has also lead me to have a few questions.

First off, I wanted to research the cost. So, using all the research I've done, especially with the links provided, really helped me get a grasp for it. Now, is there a direct-reason why one should reload? Or more in a sense, why do people reload? Is it for costs reasons, a hobby, experimental/personal load variation, competition loads?

Now, excuse my ignorance, but it seems that it costs just about the same (my comparison was 4,000rds I think) as far as reloading rounds, vs. buying cheap target ammo. I should establish that I will initially just shoot for fun at the range, but would also like to get my CCW (though I won't use reloads, so that doesn't matter), and I would also like to get into some competition (both pistol and rifle). Is it more cost-effective to reload vs. buying cheap ammo? I know there is an ammo shortage, does that play into it for some/most people?

After all is said and done, like most hobbies it appears that reloading is quite expensive at first. Specifically, I was looking at the Hornady LnL AP, plus everything else you need to purchase to get started. It's my understanding that it would require at least $1,000 or so to get started, with rounds, powder, etc. Now I also understand (unless I'm wrong, of course) that primers seem to be the most expensive, and there is often a shortage of them. It seems like bullets, casings, powder, etc. are all pretty much always reliable. Is this accurate?

So lets say I get my first pistol in the summer, and I start reloading. Obviously there is a LOT to learn, but for the relevance of this post, I'll just say is it going to be beneficial to start reloading if I only use 9mm/.40S&W and maybe some .223/.308win? I would love to shoot a lot, so I was thinking about getting a membership to my local range. I would ideally like to be able to shoot at least 200rds/month, which equals 2,400rds/year. It seems like average price for 9mm would be ~$12/box of 50. Is that accurate? If so, 2,400rds/year would be $573. I'm getting my prices from here: http://www.aimsurplus.com/cart.aspx which is 115gr Winchester FMJ. So overall, would reloading overtime (well say a few years for this example) save me money? I would love to shoot more than 2,400rds/year, but this is just a minimal standard I have set forth for myself.

Any additional information would be fantastic, especially from old salt reloaders. Also, if this does not comply for whatever reason, please mods delete this.

Thank you,
-Cody

IndyGunFreak
01-21-2010, 18:00
You can start w/ a setup quite a bit cheaper than an LNL.. If cost is a concern, it will allow you to recoup your costs quicker. There's a lot of options out there as far as what press to use. First question would be how much do you plan to shoot per month. I shoot a little over 1k per month on most occasions, and I'm just now getting to the point where I feel like I'm outgrowing my Lee Classic Turret, but I would probably be OK up to 1500 a month w/o getting frustrated.

As for why... I reload for cost. Some reload because they want to create the most accurate ammo possible. Jack reloads to get away from his ex-wives.. we all have our reasons.

Edit: By the way, typically reloaders don't save a whole lot of money, simply because they end up shooting more. So where you might shoot 2400rds on your current budget, you would probably be shooting quite a bit more on that budget if you're reloading..

IGF

RustyFN
01-21-2010, 18:18
Hi Cody, welcome.

I started reloading to save money. After around a month it turned into an enjoyable hobby that I enjoy as much as shooting and casting bullets. To save money you need to buy in bulk. A couple offriends and I max out a hazmat order. That would be 50,000 primers, 48 pounds of powder or 48 pounds of powder and primers mixed. As far as bullets I used to buy Zero bullets and they shoot good. I don't buy bullets any more because I still have a good supply of FMJ and I also cast so no need to buy any. Buying in bulk you should be able to load for around half of what cheap factory ammo cost.

9mm would be ~$12/box of 50.

I don't think that's accurate. I am loading with components that are a year old and am loading 9mm for $7 per 100. I would think you should be able to load with todays prices for $10 to $12 per 100. Save all of your brass and pick up anyother brass you can find.

It's my understanding that it would require at least $1,000 or so to get started,

You can get started a lot cheaper than that. I started with the Lee classic turret four years ago and still use that press. You can buy the kit for just under $200 and with a few other things you will need you should be ready to go for around $300 to $350. The classic turret will load close to 200 rounds per hour, that would be one hour a month for what you want to shoot. Check out this video to see the classic turret in action.

http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/videos/Turret%20Press/loading%20on%20turret-1.wmv

Pylot7
01-21-2010, 18:20
If you reload to save money you will have to do a lot of shooting. And you will be better off going with a good progressive set up.

I got started with a lee single stage press and a marginal set of everything else for about $300. Then you can add a bit here and there until you will have quite a collection of stuff.

My motivation for reloading was always to be able to dial in a round for any one of my rifles. If you look up "optimum charge method" or "ladder method" you will see that you can get an accurate round for about anything without a lot of costly tricks.

So the luxury of reloading for me is that I can create ammo that you can not buy. And if I want to knock out a couple hundred plinker rounds for a .38 or .357 or a 45 70 I can easily do so.

Either way don't buy new. Most reloading equipment is very durable and with a little shopping you can get someone elses progressive for much less than a new one.

decibels5
01-21-2010, 18:28
reasons to reload, save money, accuracy, getting the right load for a specific purpose, time to relax

brass 100 free
primers 100 3.00
bullet 100 9.00
powder approx lets say .50cents

this is low quantity items, buy bulk, save more. 12.50 around here that is one box of ammo. qty 50

now for .380, same cost. a box of that in 50 is 30.00

I use a 100.00 setup. I saved that in less than a thousand rounds.

fredj338
01-21-2010, 18:31
If you reload to save money you will have to do a lot of shooting. And you will be better off going with a good progressive set up.
Well, not really. You are saving money per shot regardless of how much you shoot. How long it takes to recover your equip. investment will vary though.
I think most of us started reloading to dave money, & regardless of the comments like, "you won't save money, you'll just shoot more", you do sve on a per round basis.
How much depends on how yo ubuy your components. Buy in some kind of bulk, like 5K primers, 4# of powder & 1K bullets, you can reload for 1/2 the cost of the cheapest factory ammo. You are probably counting the cost of brasss in your reload. Brass ends up eing the cheapest part because it is used as many as 20x. Buy once fired or shoot factory ammo & keep your brass, amortized cost is less than 1c each. Bullets are the next most expensive component, shop around, prices vary quite a bit. Primers are next on the list & the most important. I can make bullets, scrounge powder from sg shells but I can't make a primer. Then powder is your cheapest item & 4# would last you quite a long time (1200-1600/#).
Do you NEED a progressive, most shooters DO NOT. Should you buy one" Depends on how much you want to shoot & how much time you have to reload. You can get a top of the line singlestage setup for less than $400 & about the same for a Lee turret. Yes production will be slow, but 50rds/hr on the ss & 150/hr on the turret are possible. So either will work for 150rds/week & would be the cheapest way to get into reloading.

Zombie Steve
01-21-2010, 18:45
Cost - depending on what you load, breakeven on your tooling up costs will vary, but it will happen... then ammo for the rest of your life is gravy. For me, .45 Colt is less than half of what you'd pay for factory cowboy loads. 9mm I save less, but it's still savings.

The other big reason to reload is to tune it to your gun or a specific purpose. For example, any .44 mag you buy from a factory is going to be full balls. If you want an intermediate load, you're SOL.

It's about tinkering, it's about control, it's about saving money and sometimes it's just fun to have some hermit time in the garage.

BK63
01-21-2010, 18:58
Keep reading this site and you will learn a lot young Jedi. The force is strong in this one :supergrin: First of all you are young and just getting started. You have to understand that this is a disease to which there is no cure. It will only get worse. Your startup costs will seem high but you will use this equipment for years and years, maybe your whole life. Over time you will collect a lot of stuff. Brass many of us pick up a lot at the range. A lot of factory off the shelf ammo is pretty hot because it is made to function in a variety of guns. I like to load mid range stuff for the range maybe 60 to 70% of max loads, and what shoots and functions good in my guns. If I'm thinking of going to the range on the weekend I'll go to the loading room different nights during the week after work and load a box of this or that, whatever I think I might want to shoot that weekend. For me loading takes away some of the stress of the day. I buy bullets and primers/powder in bulk and when I need some I load them up for the weekend. That way I don't have to make a trip to some gun shop for over priced ammo. I shoot mostly 45 and it's about half the price to load a box. I am now getting the wheel guns out again and loading the bulk cast bullets I have on hand. You will collect more guns, more bullets, more equipment. Don't be concerned, you can't help it, it's just a guy thing. You are young and there is no hurry to have everything at once so get started and enjoy yourself.

n2extrm
01-21-2010, 19:08
Welcome.
I started because everytime I went to the range I would shoot a couple of hundred pistol rounds, and 40 or so rifle rounds. I needed to find away to save a buck. Once I started I found I could "build" a better round. I could have a plinking load, a target load, a match load and a hunting load. I could tune the round for the paticualr firearm and purpouse. I ended up shooting more, and I saved more doing it. I also had a hobbie tied to my main hobby that I can do when I can't shoot. To me it was an all win situation.

I started with a Dillon 550. I felt it was a good rate per hour for the cost. It may not be in your budget, or the right pess for you but I love mine. It is simple fast and reliable, with a great warrenty and customer service. Watch the want adds or clasifieds here, used presses do come up. Remember shiping can be expensive on a press, they are heavy. Check the prices and shipping before you commit. Grafs and Brian Enos have the presses and shipping is cheap to free. Start with one caliber and add as you grow. Also check out the sticky colorado4wheel has at the top. He really did alot of work to help you pick a press, explains alot about them.

polizei1
01-21-2010, 19:40
Thank you everyone for all the comments, they are well appreciated! I would like to say that I'm not exactly concerned with the initial costs as much as I might have accidentally made it sound like in my post.

It's my fault, but I should have explained that I tend to get into hobbies, and most (actually I think ALL) have been quite expensive. That said, I don't like cheap things, and I typically don't like the basics. Now, I understand starting small is a good thing, especially in a new hobby. My main concern is this: from watching various videos and whatnot, I feel that the Hornady LnL AP would be the best choice. The main reason for that is it has the 5 stations, which I feel would greatly reduce my frustration! I've watched videos of single station presses, and the Dillon 550, and I honestly think that would frustrate me to the point of throwing various things. lol.

I love the idea of the Hornady because it auto-loads the casings, seems like quite an easy setup, and I also like the powder-check device. And I like how I would only have to put the bullet on the casing!

I appreciate all the comments, and hopefully if I decide to do all this, I'll start and let everyone know how things went. I'll be on the lookout for some used items. Is there anything specific I should avoid?

Now, does anyone recommend starting soon, even though I have ~6months until I turn 21? I figure that would give me plenty of time to get the basics down and get some ammo ready for when I can purchase my first gun. Now I'll have to do some testing as I don't know exactly what to get! I'm thinking a G19 or H&K P2000sk .40S&W...hrmm. I guess my hand will be the judge of that!

Any other comments would be appreciated. I hope this thread isn't just another noobfest. I hope I had some well warranted questions.

Edit* Also, like I said earlier, I would probably start at ~200rds/month, but if I get my buddy involved (he has a piston-AR and a M1A, but no pistols), I would hope to shoot quite a bit more. He wants to start shooting competition with me as well, both being in the Marine Corps, we naturally are very competitive and love shooting! However, I just haven't been able to do much because of being underage. There's only 2 other people in my family that shoot, and they don't shoot regularly at all.

-Cody

GioaJack
01-21-2010, 20:05
Hello Cody, and welcome to our little band of misfits:

Turning 21, huh... when I was 21 I'd already been loading for 7 years so the excitement for me was knowing that I'd no longer have to stand in front of a liquor store and beg someone to buy me a six-pack. Now to avoid the embarrassment I stand in front of Safeway and beg someone to go in and buy me a box of Depends.

Contrary to what IndyGunFreak says, I do not reload to get away from all of my ex-wives... I have all of the ex-wives because I reload.

The previous posts all contain excellent information that will hopefully make your upcoming decision both easier and more educated.

Perhaps the one area of reloading that hasn't been covered is the intangible... the knowledge gained of how things happen and why they happen when you pull the trigger.

To most people, shooters included, 'twist' is a dance that was popular in the '60's. To a loader it is an essential part of the equation when predicting how a given weight projectile will perform at a given distance. Loaders use that knowledge to their advantage... shooters hope for the best... anti-gunners sit home and eat tofu.

Unlike other sports where the body succumbs to the rigors of physical abuse, or the ravages of tasty pastries, loading can be enjoyed well after erotic fantasies have been replaced by reruns on HBO. Bob2223 and Cobra64 are classic examples of octogenarians still enjoying the thrill of loading.

Will you save money, probably not... you'll just shoot a lot more for the same money you would have spent anyway. Will there be a net gain... definitely so. You'll develop a keener knowledge and greater appreciation for the art of arms but more importantly, have the privilege of being part of a great camaraderie.

Again, welcome.

Jack

(This message has been brought to you by Hornady, maker of the Lock N Load... the preferred loading press of the Big Boys the world over.)

Colorado4Wheel
01-21-2010, 20:20
My main concern is this: from watching various videos and whatnot, I feel that the Hornady LnL AP would be the best choice. The main reason for that is it has the 5 stations, which I feel would greatly reduce my frustration! I've watched videos of single station presses, and the Dillon 550, and I honestly think that would frustrate me to the point of throwing various things. lol.


Sorry. I am going to try and be nice about this, but choosing a LnL over a Dillon to "reduce your frustration" is just funny. :rofl: Dillon is just about the most reliable, simplies to use presses made. Hornady, if people are honest, is a great press but will require just a little more fiddle time to set up and learn then a Dillon. Not bashing, but you see it all the time on this forum. Instructions are not as good for starters. Press is a little more complicated in some ways as well. It's not like you can't learn the thing. It's a fractional difference but a difference none the less. The 550 has almost NOTHING to adjust. It's so simple. Thats it's role in life. Autoindexing progressives are more complicated by design. It's really not that complicated. What a 5 station press has to do with reduced frustration is WAY beyond me. That just makes zero sence.

For some reason just from the title I knew I shouldn't open this thread. Now I am going to get sucked into a debate just defending my above post. After I said just a second ago I was trying to be nice as well.

fredj338
01-21-2010, 23:48
Sorry. I am going to try and be nice about this, but choosing a LnL over a Dillon to "reduce your frustration" is just funny. :rofl: Dillon is just about the most reliable, simplies to use presses made. Hornady, if people are honest, is a great press but will require just a little more fiddle time to set up and learn then a Dillon. Not bashing, but you see it all the time on this forum. Instructions are not as good for starters. Press is a little more complicated in some ways as well. It's not like you can't learn the thing. It's a fractional difference but a difference none the less. The 550 has almost NOTHING to adjust. It's so simple. Thats it's role in life. Autoindexing progressives are more complicated by design. It's really not that complicated. What a 5 station press has to do with reduced frustration is WAY beyond me. That just makes zero sence.

For some reason just from the title I knew I shouldn't open this thread. Now I am going to get sucked into a debate just defending my above post. After I said just a second ago I was trying to be nice as well.
Loading on a 550B & playing w/ my buddie's LNL & another guys 650, the 550B is pretty user friendly. The more the machine does on it's own, the more likely you are to have a problem (like messed up case or upside down primer). The LNL works great, but at least for my friend, did not run well out of the box & required tinkering to get it right. The case feeder still drives him nuts from time to time. I can load 450-500rds in an hour of straight reloading on the 550B w/ no case feeder. I honestly can't see needing more than that or I would have traded one of them off & gotten a 650 along time ago.

MarioS
01-21-2010, 23:57
Shooters reload for a variety of reasons, including all of the ones you listed. For me, I got into it when ammo was really scarce a little while ago. I like to shoot a lot of rounds and saw the need for being able to produce some ammo myself; availability. I also could not see myself being able to sustain my habit by paying the prices for factory ammo at the rate I was shooting. I invested in a press and have not looked back.

For me, I can load pistol calibers for about half the cost of factory ammo at Walmart; that is, if I reuse my old brass cases and don't have to buy them from another source. Now that I've been into it longer, I am starting to get a feel for modifying my loads to get something I like that shoots great out of my guns. Overall, I definitely recommend reloading for any hobby shooter. There are a lot of reasons to get into it but availability is at the top of the list for me. It is also quite therapeutic at times...but that could also be because I use a Dillon. :supergrin:

Hydraulicman
01-22-2010, 03:40
The Lee turret is a great press. But I don't imagine it meters W296 very well. My dillon cant do very well with w296. I bet the LNL has no problem with it.

BK63
01-22-2010, 06:05
Just remember that the more "auto" a press is the more complicated it can be. Auto indexing, auto case feed. I also have a 550. I put an empty case on stage 1 and a bullet on stage 3 and crank the handle, then I index the whole thing with a flip of my thumb and repeat. It doesn't get much easier than that. In my opinion any more auto than that is more than I need. In fact I have two 550's. I sat at one last night and loaded a box of 45's in 10 minutes, then went to the other and loaded a box of 38 special cast and I'm set for the range on Saturday morning. In less than a half hour I have what I'm going to shoot in an hour plus at the range Saturday. Of course when I'm done with that I have to pull out the 22 and do some plinking with that as well. Since it takes time to aquire this stuff, get started now.

Bob2223
01-22-2010, 06:26
Welcome to the forum Cody!
I got in to reloading for most of the reasons mentioned above.
The main reason for me was the $ saved per round regardless of caliber but I also just enjoy it. If you do really get in to it and enjoy it as much as some of the addicts here you will pay off your equipment quicker then you think.
I'm betting once you start reloading you will shoot more then 200 rounds a month. Then later on after you got the basics down you might be interested in casting your own bullets, to save even more $.
Which press ? this question always starts a big debate, so I'll just say I agree with your 1st choice. :thumbsup:

Bob

ChaneyD
01-22-2010, 06:38
I have a loading calculator that gives the cost of batch, each, 50, or 100. Input the cost of the components and it spits out the cost. 6.96 for 50 rounds of lead. Caliber doesn't matter for the cost of lead. All the same unless you're loading 250gr .45 Colt. I got this calculator which is in Excel somewhere on the internet for free. Quite handy. Prints labels, figures out the total cost of your reloading machine and how long it would take you to pay for it by reloading.

ChaneyD
01-22-2010, 06:42
Sorry. I am going to try and be nice about this, but choosing a LnL over a Dillon to "reduce your frustration" is just funny. :rofl: Dillon is just about the most reliable, simplies to use presses made. Hornady, if people are honest, is a great press but will require just a little more fiddle time to set up and learn then a Dillon. Not bashing, but you see it all the time on this forum. Instructions are not as good for starters. Press is a little more complicated in some ways as well. It's not like you can't learn the thing. It's a fractional difference but a difference none the less. The 550 has almost NOTHING to adjust. It's so simple. Thats it's role in life. Autoindexing progressives are more complicated by design. It's really not that complicated. What a 5 station press has to do with reduced frustration is WAY beyond me. That just makes zero sence.

For some reason just from the title I knew I shouldn't open this thread. Now I am going to get sucked into a debate just defending my above post. After I said just a second ago I was trying to be nice as well.

Colorado4Wheel I've got your back.

Love my 550 and have tried several others in the past. Ditto on the tinkering. Pain the A**. Bought my Dillon and had it up and running in 45 min. Got concerned after loading a box of shells that NO tinkering was required. Got nervous over that. Oh well, years later still no tinkering. Guess that'swhat it's all about. You get what you pay for.

unclebob
01-22-2010, 06:46
Also look at the Dillon 650. If you want to compare presses compare the LNL with the 650 and not the 550. I had a 550 and sold it and bought the 650 and have never looked back.
Too save money like what has been already said you need too buy in bulk. Also look at either plain lead bullets or copper plated. I think the last order we did my finial cost was $68.00 a thousand delivered. Of 135gr. X-treme copper plated bullets.
Welcome too the world of reloading.:welcome:

Brucev
01-22-2010, 07:04
Now, is there a direct-reason why one should reload? Or more in a sense, why do people reload? Is it for costs reasons, a hobby, experimental/personal load variation, competition loads? Yes... reduction of cost, tailoring of particular loads to ones own firearm and needs, ability to produce ammunition when one needs/wants it rather than being dependent upon what a local retailer might/might not have in stock.

Now, excuse my ignorance, but it seems that it costs just about the same (my comparison was 4,000rds I think) as far as reloading rounds, vs. buying cheap target ammo. I should establish that I will initially just shoot for fun at the range, but would also like to get my CCW (though I won't use reloads, so that doesn't matter), and I would also like to get into some competition (both pistol and rifle). Is it more cost-effective to reload vs. buying cheap ammo? I know there is an ammo shortage, does that play into it for some/most people? For 9mm you are correct. There would be little cost savings in reloading 9mm unless one uses lead bullets. In loading .40 and .45ACP the cost savings of handloading rather than buying even the most inexpensive practice ammunition is significant.

After all is said and done, like most hobbies it appears that reloading is quite expensive at first. Specifically, I was looking at the Hornady LnL AP, plus everything else you need to purchase to get started. It's my understanding that it would require at least $1,000 or so to get started, with rounds, powder, etc. Now I also understand (unless I'm wrong, of course) that primers seem to be the most expensive, and there is often a shortage of them. It seems like bullets, casings, powder, etc. are all pretty much always reliable. Is this accurate? Initially one can spend as much or as little as one might want to spend to begin reloading. I have used a RCBS single-stage press for 30 years to load for all my rifles and handguns. For high volume, I just process cases in batches of 1,000 so that over the course of a week or so of working in the evening I can produce 2,500-3,000 rds. of my favorite .45ACP rounds. That amount of ammo last me for about three-four months. If you want to use a progressive press, the Dillion Square Deal-B is excellent and cost effective. Cost of components is a factor. Buying in bulk greatly reduces the cost of components including primers. At the last gunshow I attended (last Saturday) primers were $131/5000 which figures out to about $26/1000. I did not price bullets or powder.

So lets say I get my first pistol in the summer, and I start reloading. Obviously there is a LOT to learn, but for the relevance of this post, I'll just say is it going to be beneficial to start reloading if I only use 9mm/.40S&W and maybe some .223/.308win? I would love to shoot a lot, so I was thinking about getting a membership to my local range. I would ideally like to be able to shoot at least 200rds/month, which equals 2,400rds/year. It seems like average price for 9mm would be ~$12/box of 50. Is that accurate? If so, 2,400rds/year would be $573. I'm getting my prices from here: http://www.aimsurplus.com/cart.aspx which is 115gr Winchester FMJ. So overall, would reloading overtime (well say a few years for this example) save me money? I would love to shoot more than 2,400rds/year, but this is just a minimal standard I have set forth for myself. Your estimates of cost are accurate. Locally I pay $10/50rds. of 9mm and $15/50rds. of .40 S&W and $34.50/100rds. of .45 ACP. At those prices, one can recoup the cost of a reloading outfit in about two years of shooting. This is especially true when one starts loading .223/.308 rifle rounds.

Any additional information would be fantastic, especially from old salt reloaders. I do not consider myself a highly experienced reloader. However, I have been making my own rifle and pistol ammunition for 30 years. During that time I have loaded a tremendous quantity of ammunition. I have never had a problem with my reloaded ammunition. I have used it with complete satisfaction to permit me to practice my shooting skills. This practice has made it possible for me to shoot effectively in competitive pistol matches. And on two occasions, this ability to shoot accurately and fast has stood me in good stead when the need was not to shoot at a paper target for score but to deal with a more serious situation. I have used it to win a number of local matches. I have found great pleasure in reloading my own ammunition for hunting. I have only rarely used a factory loaded round in deer hunting. Handloading has allowed me to tailor my ammunition to suit myself and my firearms. The result has been that I have had the pleasure of firing 5, 10 and 20 round groups with my rifles that I once only dreamed about shooting.

In conclusion I would encourage you to thoughtfully consider what are your immediate and long term interest in shooting. Then make your decisions accordingly. For my part, handloading has allowed me the opportunity to greatly enjoy a broader and richer experience of the shooting sports. Sincerely. Brucev.

ChaneyD
01-22-2010, 07:08
I shoot around 300rnds a week pretty steady. I think I recouped my initial purchase of my reloader/components in about 8 months. All profit now. Under 6.00 a box of 50. You can't touch that price anywhere nowadays.

polizei1
01-22-2010, 07:27
Thanks for the responses everyone, they are well appreciated. I should have established that in a few years I plan to become an LEO, so naturally, I'll be shooting all my life. I'm sure I'll make my money back in that time!

Now, the Hornady debate, yea I knew that was a touchy subject. My point on that I think was missed, as I clearly didn't explain it. It's not the machine, it's me. I tend to have a hard time doing little time-consuming things, so putting a bullet and a casing down every time would probably frustrate me! Not necessarily the machine. As far as setting it up, I would hope it wouldn't be too difficult. I like tinkering with things, and if I got started soon, would have plenty of time to research and have everything setup correctly.

I will however check out the Dillon 650. I have to say Dillon seems to get the most praise.

-Cody

Colorado4Wheel
01-22-2010, 08:22
Now, the Hornady debate, yea I knew that was a touchy subject. My point on that I think was missed, as I clearly didn't explain it. It's not the machine, it's me. I tend to have a hard time doing little time-consuming things, so putting a bullet and a casing down every time would probably frustrate me! Not necessarily the machine. As far as setting it up, I would hope it wouldn't be too difficult. I like tinkering with things, and if I got started soon, would have plenty of time to research and have everything setup correctly.

I will however check out the Dillon 650. I have to say Dillon seems to get the most praise.

-Cody


650 and LnL are going to do the same "functions" once set up the same. They do not ship set up the same. 650 ships as a 5 station with 1 station free. LnL ships as a 5 station with all the stations utilized (if you seat and crimp separately like most people). Get the aftermarket PTX setup to open up that 5th staton

Here is the thing. If you don't have the patience to place a bullet in the top of the case and put a case in the shell holder you probably should not be reloading. Neither of those steps is difficult. They are both just part of the process. MORE automation means you need to be a better reloader. More automation does not make you a better reloader. Your not even 21. Take reloading as an opportunity to slow down, become patient, and become attentive. Don’t spend your way into everything being done automatically and expect that to be your best reloading experience.

I never say this. EVER. But maybe you should start on a single stage press.

LoadedTech
01-22-2010, 09:03
Welcome Polizei, there are many knowledgeable people here to help us noobs out. I started reloading a few months ago due to not being able to find ammo at WW. I hated paying absorbent prices at the range. Being new and starting from scratch on a budget, I too did the research, watched U-tube video's, decided on the lee loadmaster set up with .40 dies. It also has 5 stations and case feed. Initial cost for press, scale, bullets, powder#1, primers, manuals, cases were saved for a while, was around $500/1000 rounds. After the initial hit, making rounds at .16/rnd, as apposed to buying WWB 100 pack @ $30 or .30/round. So, it cuts it in half and I don't cast. Yes, it will take me 3500 rounds to break even, but I am more then 1/2 way there already. The best thing is I have plenty of them waiting to be shot, and don't have to guess when WW will have a box in. I could have saved more in bulk purchase, but had to do it on a budget. 1000 bullets here, pound of powder there, it adds up but pays for itself every time you shoot. I would put in an order for the primers now, they seem to be the hardest component to find. Good luck and again, welcome to reloading.

polizei1
01-22-2010, 10:05
Thanks again everyone, I'll continue to do more research and debate on what to do.

C4W, it's not that'll have not have the patience or time to put down the casing and bullet, it's more of the fact that I don't really see the point. Now, who knows...honestly, I might just start with taking one round through all of the steps for a while (basically like a single stage press), until I learn more about it. Though after a while, I find it hard to convince myself to buy a single press first, when I can just get a 5 stage progressive press from the start, which when I do get better and more advanced at reloading, will save me probably money, and having to buy/sell another press. Not to mention, the LnL case feeder is another ~$300 new, so that would most likely be a purchase some time down the road.

I think my point was somewhat addressed, but somewhat missed as well. The problem is, I'm not quite sure how to word what I'm trying to convey. And regardless, my buddy has a few single stage presses that I'll probably ask to use to get used to it, before I get "more involved."

-Cody

jaybirdjtt
01-22-2010, 10:21
Wow! Great replies. I started at 15 loading for a 264 WM and I did it to save money and develop accurate loads. Get a good reloading manual like Hornady or Speer, one with something other than just loading data and read it from cover to cover. Figure out what you want to load and go from there. If you want to avoid spending more money than necessary, find a powder that works well for your caliber and produces adequate results with a variety of bullet weights. You really don't need to be doing alot of experimenting with every combination under the sun when you are getting started.
You can do alot of loading with a simple, single stage press like the RCBS and you might be able to find one used. Then, do one step at a time in quantity, so to speak. Get all your cases cleaned and sized and set them aside. Next get them primed and ready to load. I keep them this way, one form or another, in large mason jars, labeled with appropriate data written on a piece of masking tape. Very simple.
Important.....label your loads! If you hunt, don't save ammo for years! Fresh ammo for hunting only! Buy a notebook and record all your loading data with results. I've got data from almost 50 years ago!

dudel
01-22-2010, 11:38
Just remember that the more "auto" a press is the more complicated it can be.

Not to mention the longer it takes and more expensive it is to change calibers. Opps, I mentioned it.

+1 on the 550b BTW. It's a great press. It's hard to get frustrated when equipment is working right; it's easy when it's not.

The 550b is not a frustrating piece of equipment.

Don

dudel
01-22-2010, 11:46
I never say this. EVER. But maybe you should start on a single stage press.

YES! :faint:

hoffy
01-22-2010, 12:30
or you will make mistakes. If you are only going to load 300 rounds a month you do not need a progressive.I can put out 300 pistol rounds in two hours or less with a single stage rockchucker and an rcbs bench mounted automatic priming tool. I am really worried about your statement regarding handling each case and bullet, it doesn't take that much time, and I look down each case as I insert it to see if there are any debris down there, it happens all the time. It is good to have a single sage press for things like depriming cases to clean the pockets, which will need cleaned every 4-5 times or less. When I was your age I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 and loaded them really hot, I mean tighten the screws every 50 hot. That was stupid, and I see it a lot with beginners, I use to sell the stuff when I worked at a retail gun shop for 6 years. I load because I like it almost as much as I like shooting, especially if I get a gun that does not want to group well and I have to work to get it to shoot(though some are hopeless) . Good luck with shooting a lot being an LEO, around here(might as well be dogpatch) departments have very little to spend on shooting, and reloading will be the way to go. I have met and shot with many different LEOs over the years and most dread qualification, the lesser percentage are really very good shots who are into guns and shoot all the time. I speak from 30+years of shooting and collecting and loading. Working in the shop really opened my eyes re LEOs abilities. If you go federal you will shoot more(I would imagine, I quit the shop in '92), I shot a bunch with some Deputy Marshals, or their team leader , that guy was really good. Oh one more thing, get several loading manuals and compare the loads, if one shows a lighter load than another it is better to start out light and work up. I am lucky I didnt destroy the Ruger when I was younger, but I was reading Elmer Keith and Skeeter and how they loaded up the 44 spl . As for presses- all have advantages and disadvantages. In my mind I like 5 stages as you will be able to seat and crimp in different operations, more important with auto cartridges but not a necessity. Look at all of these replies and make your own mind up, and I don't recall if I saw it suggested but the book ABCs of reloading is a good source, I have three or four editions, and the first edition is one of the finest, but you will have to dig for that. A buddies boxer puppy ate mine years ago and it took three years of looking at gun shows to find another that was not 50$. Patience is your friend. :wavey:

polizei1
01-22-2010, 13:03
Thanks for the replies! I guess I should have been more clear, that's my fault. I in no way, plan on trying to pump ammo with no regards to checking the powder for debris, etc. I understand it's important and time consuming, because it's dealing with explosives.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. I would NOT be lazy with it, and just want to simply put out ammo as fast as possible, that's not my intentions. I would also not even come close to loading hot rounds, as they will be strictly for range duty. Now, if/when I got better, perhaps I would load for competition as well, but that's a while down the line.

And as far as LEO goes, I don't feel sorry for those officers that don't practice. However, when SHTF, I'll know that my training will save my life. I've been trained well in the Marine Corps and currently shoot expert with pistols, but we only have to qualify once a year. And since I'm reserve, we don't shoot more than once or twice a year, so I really want to shoot more often.

Now, I've been reading a lot of information, I'm just not sure what I exactly want yet. I still need to decide what my first pistol will be, so I have a lot of work left. Can anyone give me insight as far as loading .40S&W? It's my understanding that .40S&W's tend to have a higher pressure, and they spike faster, no? Are these typically more difficult rounds to reload, or do you just have to watch how much powder you use? I'm sure my first pistol will either be 9mm or .40S&W, I just have to go to the range and try some different models.

-Cody

OgenRwot
01-22-2010, 13:17
As others have said, you can start up on the "cheap" so to speak. I got into it for under 400 bucks with a single stage press. You're gonna save a lot of cash reloading, especially if you shoot a lot. Right now I'm saving over half when loading .223 for my AR. I'm about to dive into 9mm as well which is going to save me quite a bit as well. Not only does it cost less to shoot, it's a great way to relax after work/school. It's a good de-stresser for me, I love to do it. There is a lot of good information here in the GTR, get a few books too and keep learning!

fredj338
01-22-2010, 14:09
Now, I've been reading a lot of information, I'm just not sure what I exactly want yet. I still need to decide what my first pistol will be, so I have a lot of work left. Can anyone give me insight as far as loading .40S&W? It's my understanding that .40S&W's tend to have a higher pressure, and they spike faster, no? Are these typically more difficult rounds to reload, or do you just have to watch how much powder you use? I'm sure my first pistol will either be 9mm or .40S&W, I just have to go to the range and try some different models.

-Cody
Buy the pistol you like, caliber is not a big issue. All load the sme way. Some, like the 40 & 357sig, require a bit more attention because of the higher op pressures. Proably the easiest service round to reload for is the 45acp, but requires a large platform than the 9mm or 40. BTW, you will not be able to load more than 60rds/hr on a ss from start to finish. That requires at least 900 pulls of the handle, plus priming plu powder charging. I'm sure hoffy is starting w/ brass already sized & probably primed to get even 150rds/hr. Sorry hoffy, just keeping it real.:wavey:

polizei1
01-22-2010, 14:24
I will have to go a few times, but I have a couple of months left to decide. I'm just not sure if I want to pick up a G19 so I can shoot GSSF (and possibly CC), or get an H&K P2000sk to CC with. We'll see...

-Cody

Bob2223
01-22-2010, 14:44
YES! :faint:


:rofl:


Bob

unclebob
01-22-2010, 14:49
I will have to go a few times, but I have a couple of months left to decide. I'm just not sure if I want to pick up a G19 so I can shoot GSSF (and possibly CC), or get an H&K P2000sk to CC with. We'll see...

-Cody

I would get the Glock 19 Since you would like too shoot GSSF. Also the 9mm bullets are cheaper too buy. That is one of the reasons I got rid of the 5 Glocks that I had in 40 S&W. Also for the lighter recoil for shooting GSSF.
The things that you write, I would look real close at the Dillon 650 with case feeder. Unless I miss reading in what you are trying too say. The difference in price between a 650 and a LNL with case feeder is about $50.00 Yes the conversion kit is going too cost you more with the 650. But for me it is well worth paying the extra price.

polizei1
01-22-2010, 15:27
I don't want to get too off-topic, but it's my thread. :p

Anyway, do you have any idea how hard it would be to conceal the G19? For reference, I'm 5'4", 125lbs, so I'm a little on the small side. :D

Also on the Dillon, I read somewhere that you have to add a few parts to make the Dillon work. I found a site for a brand new LnL for $400. The Dillon is ~$150 or so more, but what extra parts would be required? Well really, for both I guess.

-Cody

Colorado4Wheel
01-22-2010, 15:32
G19.

It's not about the Gun. Start shooting IDPA and USPSA. Thats the real key to getting better.

polizei1
01-22-2010, 15:34
Thanks C4W, I'll look into it. I actually had a packet a few years ago when I started to learn about it, but since then I haven't really paid much attention to it. I'm not dead set on doing competitions, I just like the idea of competing, and it gives me an excuse to shoot more and practice, which can never hurt.

-Cody

Colorado4Wheel
01-22-2010, 15:36
I don't want to get too off-topic, but it's my thread. :p

Anyway, do you have any idea how hard it would be to conceal the G19? For reference, I'm 5'4", 125lbs, so I'm a little on the small side. :D

Also on the Dillon, I read somewhere that you have to add a few parts to make the Dillon work. I found a site for a brand new LnL for $400. The Dillon is ~$150 or so more, but what extra parts would be required? Well really, for both I guess.

-Cody

What have you been reading. If anything its the oppisite. You end up adding non Hornady parts to the LnL. For instance the Hornady PTX setup is finicky. Some are OK others a pita. Aftermarket solved that for you with a non hornady PTX. LnL does not come with a primer alarm or a PTX of any kind standard. Dillon comes with both. Dillon sells a ton of upgrades for their presses. Hornady doesn't even offer a lot of them. But that doesn't mean the Dillon's or Hornady's need those things. Hornady doesn't offer them and some how people seem to makes them work just fine with out all those extras.

Colorado4Wheel
01-22-2010, 15:37
Thanks C4W, I'll look into it. I actually had a packet a few years ago when I started to learn about it, but since then I haven't really paid much attention to it. I'm not dead set on doing competitions, I just like the idea of competing, and it gives me an excuse to shoot more and practice, which can never hurt.

-Cody

Competing puts you under stress and helps you shoot in those situations. Closest thing most people can get to real practice.

kcbrown
01-22-2010, 16:23
Thanks again everyone, I'll continue to do more research and debate on what to do.

C4W, it's not that'll have not have the patience or time to put down the casing and bullet, it's more of the fact that I don't really see the point. Now, who knows...honestly, I might just start with taking one round through all of the steps for a while (basically like a single stage press), until I learn more about it. Though after a while, I find it hard to convince myself to buy a single press first, when I can just get a 5 stage progressive press from the start, which when I do get better and more advanced at reloading, will save me probably money, and having to buy/sell another press. Not to mention, the LnL case feeder is another ~$300 new, so that would most likely be a purchase some time down the road.


With respect to starting on a single stage press, just pick up a Lee Reloader. If you get the Lee book ("Modern Reloading"), it's very nearly free. You certainly won't have to worry about selling it and you may even find that it's useful once you have your progressive.



I think my point was somewhat addressed, but somewhat missed as well. The problem is, I'm not quite sure how to word what I'm trying to convey. And regardless, my buddy has a few single stage presses that I'll probably ask to use to get used to it, before I get "more involved."


Of course, if you already have access to a single stage press then you don't necessarily need one of your own, but as I said, the Lee Reloader is essentially free (and surprisingly decent, as it happens) if you pick up that book (which is useful if you can see past Richard Lee's self-promotional style).

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 16:28
Plastic guns are for wussies, get yourself a real gun... go find a good used Star PD. Based on your size it would be perfect for you and you'd be the coolest guy on the range.

Oh, a question... based on the fact that you're a Marine, does the mean you couldn't pass the Air Force test? :supergrin:

Semper Fi.

Jack

unclebob
01-22-2010, 17:38
The difference in price of the Hornady and the Dillon 650 is that the Dillon if you want the case feeder that is all you need too buy. The Hornady you buy the case feeder and the parts that make it work. So that is why up front the Hornady looks like it is cheaper. The Hornady, with out the case feeder have too put the case in the shell plate and add a bullet. The Dillon 650 you if you do not want the case feeder, you fill the case tube with cases and then in actual loading, you only add the bullet. Some people make a bunch of tubes that go all the way too the ceiling. The tube that comes from Dillon well holds about 30 9mm cases
The Dillon press comes with everything you need other that dies and set up the caliber that you want. The Hornady you have the buy the dies also and also the shell plate.
Remember some of the post that is on the Internet. Are by people that donít have a clue in what they are talking about. They hear something and pass it on not know if it is true or not.

unclebob
01-22-2010, 17:50
Plastic guns are for wussies, get yourself a real gun... go find a good used Star PD. Based on your size it would be perfect for you and you'd be the coolest guy on the range.

Oh, a question... based on the fact that you're a Marine, does the mean you couldn't pass the Air Force test? :supergrin:

Semper Fi.

Jack

I guess Iím a wussie I have or have owned I think 13 Glocks.
I well take my Glock for CC any day of the week over anything else.
I well take my Glock and you take your Star PD. I well start shooting and you pour sand in my gun while Iím shooting then we well do the same with your Star. Been down that road with a friend of mine that thought that a Glock was a piece of crap. That the 1911 was God. Guess what he carries now.

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 18:06
Oh Unclebob... yoo hoo, it's me, your little Colorado buddy. I think you might be a little bit behind the curve on the LNL case feeder.

The only 'part' you have to buy for the case feeder is the plate for size brass you'll be using, i.e. SP, LP, SR, LR., and they're only twenty something bucks apiece. Even Cabelas keeps them on the shelf in their stores and they're readily available on-line.

The only time you need to buy a conversion sub-plate to make the case feeder work is if your machine has a serial number of 7000 or lower. They haven't made those in a long while... as a matter of fact those were the old wire-eject system.

Oh, Steve, (C4W0, I agree with you that the LNL instructions left a lot to be desired but they have rectified that by including a DVD with the machine that covers set up and operation. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Dillon charge an extra $19.95 for their DVD. I believe that's what I had to pay when I got my 550B.

Please check my information, I certainly don't want to be one of those internet people who passes on information not knowing if it's true or not. :supergrin:

Jack

Colorado4Wheel
01-22-2010, 18:12
I don't know anything about the DVD. I don't see the point. If you can't read instructions maybe you shouldn't reload. Between the instructions and the phone to get CS at Hornady and Dillon. What more could you want?

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 18:26
HA! Six minutes, what are you doing, hovering over your computer? I saw in one of your earlier posts that the instructions for the LNL weren't worth a damn and I was agreeing with you. When I set up my first one I had to go on YouTube to get a better idea how to do it.

Never even watched the one that came with the second machine, still in the wrapper... once you understand what's going on it's pretty easy.

Was cold up here today but stayed warm casting up a couple thousand 121 grain RN .358 for the grandson to shoot. Oh, that's right, you don't cast... can I have the wheel weights off your truck? :whistling:

Jack

polizei1
01-22-2010, 19:08
Ha Jack...I chose the Marine Corps for several valid reasons. Without starting a big debate, I'll just say that, the Marine Corps was the only branch for myself. Are you a Marine as well? Takes one to know one...

And I was under the impression that all I would have to purchase for the LnL would be a shell plate and die set, which seems to be true for the Dillon as well (maybe minus the shell plate). Which honestly is a few bucks. I would probably end up getting the case feeder later, as it's ~$300 for both presses.

And to clarify, the single stage press I *might* be able to use is ~an hour away from me...and could only use it when my buddy is there. So, that wouldn't be realistic. Just something that I might be able to use if we go shooting one day to try out.

*Crunch, Auntie Anne's pretzels. Yum. :whistling:

-Cody

kcbrown
01-22-2010, 19:45
I can't imagine that someone hasn't tried somehow combining the Lee case collator with the casefeeder system on either the Dillon or the LNL.

The Dillon 650, in particular, already has all the parts necessary for moving the cases into position in the shellplate, so when you buy the "casefeeder" on the Dillon what you're really buying is their case collator. A very, very nice unit, certainly, but it's $300. The Lee case collator is $12.

It sounds like the modern LNL may be the same as the Dillon 650 in this regard. I'm sure Jack will be happy to tell us all about it. :supergrin:

If it can be made to work with the Dillon or the LNL then one could get a huge amount of the benefit of the casefeeder system with very little extra cash outlay.

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 19:49
Ha Jack...I chose the Marine Corps for several valid reasons. Without starting a big debate, I'll just say that, the Marine Corps was the only branch for myself. Are you a Marine as well? Takes one to know one...

And I was under the impression that all I would have to purchase for the LnL would be a shell plate and die set, which seems to be true for the Dillon as well (maybe minus the shell plate). Which honestly is a few bucks. I would probably end up getting the case feeder later, as it's ~$300 for both presses.

And to clarify, the single stage press I *might* be able to use is ~an hour away from me...and could only use it when my buddy is there. So, that wouldn't be realistic. Just something that I might be able to use if we go shooting one day to try out.

*Crunch, Auntie Anne's pretzels. Yum. :whistling:

-Cody

Nope, I wish, just another one of my many failures in life. Would loved to have worn the blues with a blood stripe but when my father found out I'd been to the recruiter he made it very plain that he'd kill me long before I ever got to Vietnam. I ended up being a lowly air force dog handler. I admire anyone who's been in the Corp, guess I just didn't have the balls.

With the LNL you need dies, obviously, and a separate shell plate for each caliber, although many of the plates work for multiple calibers, i.e. .380/223, etc. Once you have your initial setup and want to change calibers you'll need dies, again, obviously, the correct shell plate, ($27 at Cabelas, cheaper on-line, don't buy from Hornady, too expensive), and although you don't absolutely need them you'll want another set of bushings for your new caliber dies. With the bushings you set your dies once and that's it, just turn out the bushings and install a new caliber. If you don't have to change primer size it takes less than a minute to change calibers... plus the time to reset your powder measure. Changing primer size adds 3-4 minutes. A pack of 3 bushings runs about $12. They come in 2, 3 and ten.

There are a bunch of guys here that run the LNL. I think Myke_Hart has two of them with case feeders, Jumper runs one, Glock21Miami, DoctaGlocka and we can't forget about bob2223 and Cobra64. They're hard to get information from though... bob2223 is usually out feeding his goats, (that's what he says he does with 'em), and Cobra64 is either taking one of his many naps or celebrating because his Metamucil kicked in.

Although I have 2 LNL's I also have 2 Dillons, (550B and SDB) and will be the first to say that both companies make top notch machines and you really can't go wrong with either. (SDB won't load rifle calibers.)

Okay, now we'll wait for unclebob to comment... Security Exchange Commission filings indicate that he's the majority shareholder in the Dillon 650. :supergrin:

Carry on.

Jack

shotgunred
01-22-2010, 19:55
Maybe its just me but I think you should just jump to a Dillon 1050 and be done with it.

polizei1
01-22-2010, 19:57
Ha, sorry that you had to serve in the AF. :whistling: No really, thanks for your service! My uncle was in the AF. I commend you on being a K9 handler, that's what I'm going for in when I become an LEO. I'm an MP, but since I'm reserve, I couldn't do K9. Oh well...

As of right now, I'm leaning heavily towards the LnL. I like the little "quirks" it has. :)

-Cody

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 20:02
Ask bob2223 if he's read any books on dog handling. :whistling:

Jack

F2blica
01-22-2010, 20:20
I can't imagine that someone hasn't tried somehow combining the Lee case collator with the casefeeder system on either the Dillon or the LNL.

The Dillon 650, in particular, already has all the parts necessary for moving the cases into position in the shellplate, so when you buy the "casefeeder" on the Dillon what you're really buying is their case collator. A very, very nice unit, certainly, but it's $300. The Lee case collator is $12.

It sounds like the modern LNL may be the same as the Dillon 650 in this regard. I'm sure Jack will be happy to tell us all about it. :supergrin:

If it can be made to work with the Dillon or the LNL then one could get a huge amount of the benefit of the casefeeder system with very little extra cash outlay.

I did just that 6 months ago and it works pretty sweet. I had a Lee Pro 1000 prior to my XL 650 and made a bracket that I attached to the press to the existing holes in the frame. I attached the Pro 1000 feed tubes and collator to the bracket. Between the four Lee tubes, it holds approx 100 cases. Works out so when I have to load the tube of primers I load the collator with cases.
+

unclebob
01-22-2010, 20:36
Oh Unclebob... yoo hoo, it's me, your little Colorado buddy. I think you might be a little bit behind the curve on the LNL case feeder.

The only 'part' you have to buy for the case feeder is the plate for size brass you'll be using, i.e. SP, LP, SR, LR., and they're only twenty something bucks apiece. Even Cabelas keeps them on the shelf in their stores and they're readily available on-line.

The only time you need to buy a conversion sub-plate to make the case feeder work is if your machine has a serial number of 7000 or lower. They haven't made those in a long while... as a matter of fact those were the old wire-eject system.

Oh, Steve, (C4W0, I agree with you that the LNL instructions left a lot to be desired but they have rectified that by including a DVD with the machine that covers set up and operation. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Dillon charge an extra $19.95 for their DVD. I believe that's what I had to pay when I got my 550B.

Please check my information, I certainly don't want to be one of those internet people who passes on information not knowing if it's true or not. :supergrin:

Jack
So you are trying too tell me that the Hornady basic press comes with the post that holds up the case feeder. Or has Hornady come up with a way to defy gravity? The case tube that takes the brass from the case feeder down too the press. And the mechanism that takes the brass from the case tube and puts it into the shell plate. Iím not talking about the case feeder plates. As far as I can tell all of those parts do not come with the basic Hornady press. But they do with the Dillon basic press. That is why the basic Dillon press costs more. And the price for the Hornady case feeder cost more than a Dillon.
So am I right or wrong in my statement?
As far as I know the Dillon DVD does not come with the press. But you really do not need it. There instruction manual is great and there are a lot of You Tube videos showing how too set up the press. Even thought a lot of them show how do things the hard way. And leave some steps out.

unclebob
01-22-2010, 20:44
As of right now, I'm leaning heavily towards the LnL. I like the little "quirks" it has. :)

-Cody

So you like quirks more than loading?:headscratch:

n2extrm
01-22-2010, 20:45
Just a word of warning, Jack really owns all LNL but he painted 2 of em blue because he is jealous of the Dillon owners.

No seriously I love my 550. I think it is a great press. as C4W has said some of the grace is in the simplicity. I run 2 presses a Rock Chucker supreme and a 550. I have toyed with the idea of a 3rd, because I am lazy and hate chaging over the primer system from small to large. Well and reloading and shooting are my only hobbies and like Jack I love my toys. The 550, 650 and LNL are all possibilties. But some how I keep coming back to the idea of a secong 550. For me the case feeder and auto indexing are ALMOST a down side. It is more to adjust and change over from one caliber to another. I will say buy the MOST press you can afford. Even if you decide it is not for you, they generaly hold a fair resale value. Especialy the Dillon stuff. :whistling: :tongueout: :rofl:

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 20:50
No, no unclebob, the basic press DOESN"T come with anything for the case feeder except for the sub-plate... you're absolutely right on that.

With the old machines you had to buy a new sub-plate in addition to the case feeder... the new machines are set up to accept the case feeder as a bolt on addition. (You still have to buy the correct size shell plate for the feeder.)

The instruction manual for the Dillon is much, much better than the Hornady. I suspect they include it now because of too many complaints or phone calls.

I don't know about the cost difference between the two case feeders, I don't use one, I have trouble reaching up to fill the bin so it really wouldn't help me any. Besides, I have to take a break every few minutes or so anyway... I usually just do a primer tube full then go sit and fill another tube.

I don't come close to loading at a rate Dillon or Hornady are capable of. They just make it so I can keep loading... going back to a SS for any length of time would kill me.

Jack

unclebob
01-22-2010, 20:52
Just a word of warning, Jack really owns all LNL but he painted 2 of em blue because he is jealous of the Dillon owners.

No seriously I love my 550. I think it is a great press. as C4W has said some of the grace is in the simplicity. I run 2 presses a Rock Chucker supreme and a 550. I have toyed with the idea of a 3rd, because I am lazy and hate chaging over the primer system from small to large. Well and reloading and shooting are my only hobbies and like Jack I love my toys. The 550, 650 and LNL are all possibilties. But some how I keep coming back to the idea of a secong 550. For me the case feeder and auto indexing are ALMOST a down side. It is more to adjust and change over from one caliber to another. I will say buy the MOST press you can afford. Even if you decide it is not for you, they generaly hold a fair resale value. Especialy the Dillon stuff. :whistling: :tongueout: :rofl:

What would you be adjusting on a 650 other than the locator tab and that is like adjusting the paper clip on the 550?

unclebob
01-22-2010, 21:02
No, no unclebob, the basic press DOESN"T come with anything for the case feeder except for the sub-plate... you're absolutely right on that.

With the old machines you had to buy a new sub-plate in addition to the case feeder... the new machines are set up to accept the case feeder as a bolt on addition. (You still have to buy the correct size shell plate for the feeder.)

The instruction manual for the Dillon is much, much better than the Hornady. I suspect they include it now because of too many complaints or phone calls.

I don't know about the cost difference between the two case feeders, I don't use one, I have trouble reaching up to fill the bin so it really wouldn't help me any. Besides, I have to take a break every few minutes or so anyway... I usually just do a primer tube full then go sit and fill another tube.

I don't come close to loading at a rate Dillon or Hornady are capable of. They just make it so I can keep loading... going back to a SS for any length of time would kill me.

Jack

Stepladder. I think a case feeder would help you out. Also you should look at the RCBS bullet feeder. So about all you would have too do is keep the components full and just pull the handle.
I donít know about the Hornady case feeder but on the Dillon you can cut some off the feeder post and make it shorter.

n2extrm
01-22-2010, 21:07
What would you be adjusting on a 650 other than the locator tab and that is like adjusting the paper clip on the 550?

I assume once you get into the case feeder it would require adjustment based on caliber. I could be wrong. Like I said, all three 550 650 and LNL have crossed my mind. The 550 is more logical also because I have several calibers already on 550 tool heads. I also don't mind loading the case manualy with one hand as I place a bullet with the other. Then again no one I know has a case feeder so I have not been spoiled. The powder check is a EH kinda thing. Don't know I REALY see the need or trust it. The dillon powder measure seems to run pretty ture for me and I trust it. I check it atleast ever time I refil primers or if I stop for any reason. Just MHO. It could be invaluable to some.

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 21:11
Stepladder. I think a case feeder would help you out. Also you should look at the RCBS bullet feeder. So about all you would have too do is keep the components full and just pull the handle.
I donít know about the Hornady case feeder but on the Dillon you can cut some off the feeder post and make it shorter.


When I get the SIL to the point where he really understands loading, not just how the machines work, I might consider a case feeder for the 550B or the LNL's, although C4W says he really didn't gain that much on the 550B.

If I'm not around long enough to teach him everything he can buy his own casefeeder, assuming he doesn't sell everything at a garage sale.

Hey, what the hell are you doing up... it's after eleven down there. :supergrin:

Jack

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 21:26
I assume once you get into the case feeder it would require adjustment based on caliber. I could be wrong. Like I said, all three 550 650 and LNL have crossed my mind. The 550 is more logical also because I have several calibers already on 550 tool heads. I also don't mind loading the case manualy with one hand as I place a bullet with the other. Then again no one I know has a case feeder so I have not been spoiled. The powder check is a EH kinda thing. Don't know I REALY see the need or trust it. The dillon powder measure seems to run pretty ture for me and I trust it. I check it atleast ever time I refil primers or if I stop for any reason. Just MHO. It could be invaluable to some.


AH HA!!! It just occurred to me why I tend to prefer the LNL over the 550B and I didn't even realize it until I read your words.

With the 550 you place the new case with your right hand and the bullet with your left, no problem... for most people.

I have to load sitting on a bar stool height chair and because of my pesky little bone problem I have a big problem trying to sit up without supporting myself against something with one hand.

I hadn't thought about it before but with the LNL you feed the new case with your left hand and place the bullet with your left hand... the two stations are only separated by the loaded round ejection station.

While I'm inserting a new case and seating a bullet my right hand stays on the press the whole time supporting me. I'M SUCH AN IDIOT! I can't believe I haven't noticed what I've been doing all this time.

I've always said that both presses were great and that no one could go wrong buying either one but for some reason I preferred the LNL> Now I know why, it's just physically easier for me. I'll be damned.

I'm so smart sometimes I even amaze myself. Okay, the debate is over, they're all good machines... turns out one is just easier for ME to use. Too bad this little discovery is useless for everyone else. :crying:

Jack

unclebob
01-22-2010, 21:44
When I get the SIL to the point where he really understands loading, not just how the machines work, I might consider a case feeder for the 550B or the LNL's, although C4W says he really didn't gain that much on the 550B.

If I'm not around long enough to teach him everything he can buy his own casefeeder, assuming he doesn't sell everything at a garage sale.

Hey, what the hell are you doing up... it's after eleven down there. :supergrin:

Jack

It not 11 yet. 10:44

GioaJack
01-22-2010, 21:47
It not 11 yet. 10:44



Oh, that's right, you're in that weird time zone... same as my sister in Tallahassee.

Jack

Colorado4Wheel
01-23-2010, 07:42
Polizei1,

I know we were all newbieís at one time. I know for a fact I didn't know much when I started and this forum was a great help to me from the start. So I understand because I have been there on my own journey. The key to this whole process is you. Not the press. I don't know why youíre stuck on the LnL for the reason you are posting because it honestly makes no sense. There is NOTHING wrong with the LnL. Thatís not what is bugging me. What bugs me is youíre rational for choosing that press. When you say you have a low frustration tolerance, get tired of time consuming things, but will check the powder for debris? (thatís probably just a lack of knowledge) and like the quirks of the LnL. Itís contradictory to say those things.

1) That tedious task of placing the bullet on the case is the MOST important part of the process. It's not to check for debris. It's to check the case for powder. You are checking the case visually for to much powder, too little powder or no powder at all. Powder check dies are useful, but itís still a device that can fail. With pistol there is no reason to not visually confirm the powder charge.
2) Reloading is full of tedious tasks. Thatís just a reality. If you can't do time consuming little things, DONT RELOAD. With that said, my advice is if your serious about this hobby you need to closely examine how you are going to adapt yourself to this hobby. You are going to have to slow down and become more comfortable with those "time consuming" things. In the end thatís a good thing for anyone to learn. Itís a little ďZen LikeĒ Itís also part of the process of become a better action shooter. I have to practice it, you never finish practicing it, thatís why they call it a ďpracticeĒ. It's one reason I take breaks. BUT, you have to be aware of yourself enough to know when you are zoning out and need the break. Thatís the important part of awareness, thatís the Zen part.
3) Liking the quirks of the press is just freaking NUTS. I loose sleep over the times my press has "quirks". Try loading 300rds, having some issues with the press at the end. Laying down at night and then wondering ďDid I just make a squib or a double chargeĒ? "Stoppages" of any kind are the most dangerous moment in the reloading process. You think you have done everything right but later, that moment of doubt can hit and thatís what really can drive you nuts.

I want to be clear. There is nothing at all wrong with you starting on a LnL. Something has drawn you to the LnL. Maybe it's the price, color, that it's the anti-dillon, whatever doesn't matter. Get a LnL. The most important thing is you take every step of the reloading process very seriously, that you stay aware of what you are doing while you are reloading and that you realize how easy it is for things to go horribly wrong when you have a press malfunction of any kind (quirks?). My 550 just had some adjustment issues with its priming rod. I hated every moment of reloading when that was happening. Of the thing I do to myself itís clearly horrible to assemble bullets that can injury you and it would be your own fault.

Good luck with your new hobby, be safe.

The main reason for that is it has the 5 stations, which I feel would greatly reduce my frustration! I've watched videos of single station presses, and the Dillon 550, and I honestly think that would frustrate me to the point of throwing various things. lol.

I tend to have a hard time doing little time-consuming things, so putting a bullet and a casing down every time would probably frustrate me!

I in no way, plan on trying to pump ammo with no regards to checking the powder for debris, etc.


As of right now, I'm leaning heavily towards the LnL. I like the little "quirks" it has. :)

-Cody

Colorado4Wheel
01-23-2010, 07:46
I can't imagine that someone hasn't tried somehow combining the Lee case collator with the casefeeder system on either the Dillon or the LNL.

The Dillon 650, in particular, already has all the parts necessary for moving the cases into position in the shellplate, so when you buy the "casefeeder" on the Dillon what you're really buying is their case collator. A very, very nice unit, certainly, but it's $300. The Lee case collator is $12.

It sounds like the modern LNL may be the same as the Dillon 650 in this regard. I'm sure Jack will be happy to tell us all about it. :supergrin:

If it can be made to work with the Dillon or the LNL then one could get a huge amount of the benefit of the casefeeder system with very little extra cash outlay.


I have seen pictures of it done. It would seem to be pretty easy to do. 4 tubes hold about 100rds of 9mm. I never used the "case collator" flipping thing. It would need to be 99.9% reliable for me to trust that. Even loading them by hand I was not that accuarte. I would get rushed and throw one in upside down. I had a rod with some sticky tap to get it out with out jaming the press. Have you used the flipper thing on the top of the tubes? Is it reliable enough?

kcbrown
01-23-2010, 09:14
I have seen pictures of it done. It would seem to be pretty easy to do. 4 tubes hold about 100rds of 9mm. I never used the "case collator" flipping thing. It would need to be 99.9% reliable for me to trust that. Even loading them by hand I was not that accuarte. I would get rushed and throw one in upside down. I had a rod with some sticky tap to get it out with out jaming the press. Have you used the flipper thing on the top of the tubes? Is it reliable enough?

I use the case collator on top of the tubes on my Pro 1000.

Because I load 9mm on it, I modified the case collator to reduce the diameter of the inlet holes. That has had the effect of making it much more reliable. With that mod in place I get an upside down case perhaps once every 300 to 400 cases, and that's usually because I attempt to stuff too many cases into it at one time.

For it to work right, you have to put the cases in at the edge of the collator bowl and let them slip down towards the holes from there. The main reason a case can get in upside down is that it gets dropped directly into the hole mouth first, which bypasses the mechanism the collator uses to do its thing: the fact that the location of the case's center of gravity (and thus its balance point) is near the base.

It works amazingly well. For $12, I'll take it!

jaybirdjtt
01-23-2010, 09:37
Just getting started? Give it a few years and you'll be right here. Regards to Gavin.

http://ultimatereloader.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/gavintoobe#p/a/u/2/F1iavV5IGag

Colorado4Wheel
01-23-2010, 09:40
I use the case collator on top of the tubes on my Pro 1000.

Because I load 9mm on it, I modified the case collator to reduce the diameter of the inlet holes. That has had the effect of making it much more reliable. With that mod in place I get an upside down case perhaps once every 300 to 400 cases, and that's usually because I attempt to stuff too many cases into it at one time.

For it to work right, you have to put the cases in at the edge of the collator bowl and let them slip down towards the holes from there. The main reason a case can get in upside down is that it gets dropped directly into the hole mouth first, which bypasses the mechanism the collator uses to do its thing: the fact that the location of the case's center of gravity (and thus its balance point) is near the base.

It works amazingly well. For $12, I'll take it!

The Dillon Case feeder is about $200. So the Lee setup would be $25 or so in parts plus some work to make it fit the 650.

Beware Owner
01-23-2010, 09:49
First off, I wanted to research the cost. So, using all the research I've done, especially with the links provided, really helped me get a grasp for it. Now, is there a direct-reason why one should reload? Or more in a sense, why do people reload? Is it for costs reasons, a hobby, experimental/personal load variation, competition loads?

For me, the reasons have been all but competitions loads. I save a ton of cash shooting my reloads, then I save a ton of cash while I test to find different loads by experimenting myself than having to buy a box each of whatever load I'd like to test, I get much better accuracy through my loads, and I have the satisfaction that I made them myself. Don't even get me into casting!

Now, excuse my ignorance, but it seems that it costs just about the same (my comparison was 4,000rds I think) as far as reloading rounds, vs. buying cheap target ammo. I should establish that I will initially just shoot for fun at the range, but would also like to get my CCW (though I won't use reloads, so that doesn't matter), and I would also like to get into some competition (both pistol and rifle). Is it more cost-effective to reload vs. buying cheap ammo? I know there is an ammo shortage, does that play into it for some/most people?

You must not be factoring in that you reuse your casings, with each use, their initial cost goes down to zero. In some cases you can save up to 80% from cheap target ammo, you get better accuracy, and you get to shoot again! The good thing about reloading is that you buy components, and you can mix and match (within specifications and reason, of course) powders, primers, bullets, etc. It is a good measure to keep a stash of components apart from what you use to reload and shoot regularly. You'll never be out of lead love to shoot.

After all is said and done, like most hobbies it appears that reloading is quite expensive at first. Specifically, I was looking at the Hornady LnL AP, plus everything else you need to purchase to get started. It's my understanding that it would require at least $1,000 or so to get started, with rounds, powder, etc. Now I also understand (unless I'm wrong, of course) that primers seem to be the most expensive, and there is often a shortage of them. It seems like bullets, casings, powder, etc. are all pretty much always reliable. Is this accurate?

Those who tell you there's a shortage of primers simply don't know where to look. 'Nuff said. If you don't cast, the bullet is the most expensive component of them all.

So lets say I get my first pistol in the summer, and I start reloading. Obviously there is a LOT to learn, but for the relevance of this post, I'll just say is it going to be beneficial to start reloading if I only use 9mm/.40S&W and maybe some .223/.308win? I would love to shoot a lot, so I was thinking about getting a membership to my local range. I would ideally like to be able to shoot at least 200rds/month, which equals 2,400rds/year. It seems like average price for 9mm would be ~$12/box of 50. Is that accurate? If so, 2,400rds/year would be $573. I'm getting my prices from here: http://www.aimsurplus.com/cart.aspx which is 115gr Winchester FMJ. So overall, would reloading overtime (well say a few years for this example) save me money? I would love to shoot more than 2,400rds/year, but this is just a minimal standard I have set forth for myself.


The thing is that it's always going to be beneficial for you to start reloading IF you're interested in shooting a lot, whether it's one caliber or more, whether you save as much as you potentially could, simply for the fact that you'll get all your equipment and learn. Once you get to shooting more and other calibers, your experience, knowledge, and equipment will allow you to do so much more than you realize.

polizei1
01-23-2010, 11:08
C4W, the quirks I was referring to on the LnL are the things like the ten rotation points, the 1/8 turn die sets, etc. The little "interesting" things about the machine that the others don't have. Now, do those make a difference? No idea...they just interest me. lol.

You seem to not like automated presses at all. How do you feel about the link jaybirdjtt posted? Using that setup is basically like doing nothing at all. Plus, there's not a way to visual inspect the powder. Sure, you can have the die for it, but like you said, those fail too. I'm sure you have to hate that setup though.

-Cody

Colorado4Wheel
01-23-2010, 12:41
C4W, the quirks I was referring to on the LnL are the things like the ten rotation points, the 1/8 turn die sets, etc. The little "interesting" things about the machine that the others don't have. Now, do those make a difference? No idea...they just interest me. lol.


All good things.


You seem to not like automated presses at all. How do you feel about the link jaybirdjtt posted? Using that setup is basically like doing nothing at all. Plus, there's not a way to visual inspect the powder. Sure, you can have the die for it, but like you said, those fail too. I'm sure you have to hate that setup though.

-Cody

Never said I don't like automated presses. You seem to think automation is important. It's not. I do think some level of automation is safer then having none. I think single stages can be as dangerous as a progressive. I would love to own a 1050 Super with a Bullet feeder. Nothing wrong with it that all. Same goes for all the presses we have talked about in this thread. Your focus from the start has just been "bass ackwards". 550 would drive you nuts? Give me a freaking break. It's a tool to do a job. Get your head in the game and use the tool. Bullet feeders and automation can all be good, but at the same time they can cause as many problems as they solve. Problems are mistakes just waiting to happen. Re read my post and stop telling yourself "he just doesn't like automation" and listen to what I am saying about the person doing the reloading. It's the reloader that is important. You got your head into the "bushings, case feeder, bullet feeder, auto indexing, powder check die" world. If you don't have “attention” all those things 'can' actually distract you more then help you, especially at the start. The truth of yourself is in your words from your previous post. I’m just trying to warn you before you make a huge mistake. Start simple, focus on the basics. Add other stuff as you gain experience.

polizei1
01-23-2010, 12:53
All good and well, I just might have come off wrong. Believe me, I know attention to detail is important. After all, I am a Marine. If I don't pay attention to small things, it could very well cost me my life. It's something that has been drilled into me since the first day.

Yes I realize reloading can be fun, but yes I also realize it's extremely dangerous, just like almost everything else I've done in life. I might only be 20 years old, but I've had quite a lot of experience with many firearms most people only dream about. A cookoff from a .50cal would never be a good thing. And yes, I've even had spent brass in my face, it's not fun. So, I like to think I know the importance of firearm safety, and you can be assured I will carry that unto reloading. It is in fact a tool, but something you must be careful about. I fully understand the importance of everything you've said.

-Cody

n2extrm
01-23-2010, 18:29
C4W has givin you some real honest and truthfull insight here. I once looked at the more automated presses in aw. I thought case feeders and powcer check dies would make me a "better" reloader. Once I realy got to the heart of how it works, not how it's "done" I realised they are more or less toys. I need the break to change my mind set. I load some primer tubes and reset myself. Yeah the case feeder and bullet feeder are cool, and I am sure you will gain some speed from them. But everything has a cost and not just the dollar. Maintnance, set up, storage, even the noise when they run. I say diffrent strokes for diffrent folks, so if you like it go for it. But simplicity is nice, even safe to a degree.

Hydraulicman
01-24-2010, 20:36
I can load more than enough ammo on my 550B. Even If i shot 1000 rounds a month it would load those with ease.