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Last Rites
04-12-2010, 11:27
I plan on diving into my research and digging up all the intel I can about reloading and how to do it. I wanted to hear some opinions from folks out there that have some experience at this and what they think is the best company / manufacturer of reloading equipment.

I've been reading a lot on Hornady reloading presses and so far they sound really impressive. I'm already assumed the initial cost is going to run me about $1,000 to get into this right. It sounds like an incredibly fun and rewarding hobby that I've been very interested in learning for a long time now for the sake of saving myself some cash on the ammo cost.

I could use some help with suggestions and what I should look at to buy.

My plans are to reload for many different calibers for both pistols and rifles. I'd like to start out with the basics and most popular calibers for my own guns at first and then move into more calibers at a later time when I can invest the money into more. I would like to reload for myself first, and friends secondly at cost. I would really like to consider the possibility of reloading for my own gun shop I will eventually own one day and sell to customers as my own branded specialized reload ammo.

I would like to hear from anyone that can steer me in the right direction with my first press and what company / manufacturer I should buy from. Currently I've partial to Hornady and redding dyes.

ALL and any input is appreciated and greatly welcomed... even if you think I'm an idiot. Lay it on me man! I need some noobie starting out advice.

And keep in mind, I know nothing about reloading or how to do it. I will have to find a place or some resources on learning this.

Thanks!
:2gun:

sdelam
04-12-2010, 11:51
Ohh a 1k wish list.... Where to start.

P-press I have a LNL and works fine, You cant go wrong with a dillon either as I'm sure someone will chime in. you will probably want a single stage as well. I like the Lee classic cast.

Trimmer- if you plan on loading rifle, than you will need a case trimmer, handgun dosnt normally req this. I have a RCBS that works fine.

Scale, I like the dillon eliminator, it is a good scale at a fair price.

-Calipers, personal choice but no real need to spend alot for what we do with them.

-Tumbler, again personal preference,but Thumblers is probably the best but cost accordingly.

-dies, dosnt matter much, Lee's work just as good as any others in my exp. i mostly use Lee and RCBS.

-manuels, get several so you can compare loads

-Powder measure, if you get a progressive it will come with one, if not than most work pretty well.

-If you shoot alot of mil .223 brass you will want a dillon super swage to remove the primer crimp.


Just about everything else is a nice to have and it will be up to you whether you need it or not. Hope this helps

edit to add: I would not reccomend loading for others due to liability reasons. Even if it is family and you dont hink that they would sue you, think about how you would feel if something you did injured a friend or family member. A better suggestion would be to let them use your equipmqnt to load thier own.

Hoser
04-12-2010, 11:55
Dillon 550. Call Brian Enos and tell him what you want.

fredj338
04-12-2010, 13:02
Dillon 550. Call Brian Enos and tell him what you want.
If yo uplan on loading for many dif calibers, the 550B is a pretty good middle road between ease of change over & use combined w/ speed/volumn. Get The ABCs of Reloading & read it. Buy a good laoding manual like the Lymna or Speer & read them.
AS to loading for friends, I don't, never, not ever. If you are selling, you need an FFL & liability ins. Then you should be looking at something a bit higher volumn, ike the Dillon 1050 w/ a bullet feeder.

kcbrown
04-12-2010, 13:42
The best press manufacturer?

For a progressive, it has to be Dillon, if only because of their warranty (they back their equipment to the hilt, and they're not kidding about it).

For a single stage, it appears it would be very difficult indeed to call a true winner. There appears to be a wide range of prices for which there is little to no correlation with satisfaction level. On that basis, I suspect the "best" single stage press is likely to be the Lee Classic Cast, followed by the Breech Lock Challenger. But since the only single stage press I own is the Lee Reloader (well, I guess the Thighmaster I have also qualifies as a "single stage" press), I can't really offer any experience-based opinions of single stage presses.


If your budget really is $1000, I'd go with the Dillon 650 for sure.

unclebob
04-12-2010, 13:54
Hands down my vote is for a Dillon. What Dillon would depend on what and how much you shoot? Now and in the future. How much time do you want too spend reloading? Do you want a case feeder? Or even a bullet feeder?

fredj338
04-12-2010, 13:55
The best press manufacturer?

For a progressive, it has to be Dillon, if only because of their warranty (they back their equipment to the hilt, and they're not kidding about it).

For a single stage, it appears it would be very difficult indeed to call a true winner. There appears to be a wide range of prices for which there is little to no correlation with satisfaction level. On that basis, I suspect the "best" single stage press is likely to be the Lee Classic Cast, followed by the Breech Lock Challenger. But since the only single stage press I own is the Lee Reloader (well, I guess the Thighmaster I have also qualifies as a "single stage" press), I can't really offer any experience-based opinions of single stage presses.


If your budget really is $1000, I'd go with the Dillon 650 for sure.
I agree, not much diff between the sturdier single stage presses. I would hesitate to buy a 650 for a bunch of calibers though. Change over is going to cost yo uquite a bit & you may not need the speed offered for a few hundred rounds of an oddball caliber.:dunno:

IndyGunFreak
04-12-2010, 13:57
I plan on diving into my research and digging up all the intel I can about reloading and how to do it. I wanted to hear some opinions from folks out there that have some experience at this and what they think is the best company / manufacturer of reloading equipment.

I've been reading a lot on Hornady reloading presses and so far they sound really impressive. I'm already assumed the initial cost is going to run me about $1,000 to get into this right. It sounds like an incredibly fun and rewarding hobby that I've been very interested in learning for a long time now for the sake of saving myself some cash on the ammo cost.

I could use some help with suggestions and what I should look at to buy.

My plans are to reload for many different calibers for both pistols and rifles. I'd like to start out with the basics and most popular calibers for my own guns at first and then move into more calibers at a later time when I can invest the money into more. I would like to reload for myself first, and friends secondly at cost. I would really like to consider the possibility of reloading for my own gun shop I will eventually own one day and sell to customers as my own branded specialized reload ammo.

I would like to hear from anyone that can steer me in the right direction with my first press and what company / manufacturer I should buy from. Currently I've partial to Hornady and redding dyes.

ALL and any input is appreciated and greatly welcomed... even if you think I'm an idiot. Lay it on me man! I need some noobie starting out advice.

And keep in mind, I know nothing about reloading or how to do it. I will have to find a place or some resources on learning this.

Thanks!
:2gun:


Get the books mentioned, and then start researching equipment. All presses have their good and bad. You might sour on the idea of selling your own reloads when you see the costs/licensing involved in becoming an ammunition manufacturer.

IGF

jwc17
04-12-2010, 15:54
If you are considering a single stage press, the Lee Classic Cast Press is an excellent value. I have one and am very pleased with how well works:

90998 Lee Classic Cast Single Stage Press
90997 Lee Safety Prime Small and Large Primer Feeder
90429 Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure
Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set
044000 Hornady Sure-Loc Die Locking Rings 7/8"-14 Thread

I have owned single stage, turret and progressive presses. I shoot about 500 rounds per month and have concluded my quest for speed was foolish for that quantity. I personally see more benefit in using a single stage press at this time. Starting out with a single stage press may make sense and meet your needs too.

Although using a progressive press will allow you to significantly reduce the number of times and amount of time you spend pulling the handle, you must account for the time required to prepare, adjust, measure and cleanup during each reloading session too.

A solid single stage press like the Lee Classic Cast will allow you to build about 100 rounds of very consistent pistol ammunition per hour. It is easy to use and maintain and allows you to focus on each step of the reloading process. Although I have never used any of Lee’s other single stage presses, I have seen them all side by side and can tell you the Classic Cast press is significantly more substantial in terms of size, heft and apparent strength.

Loading the tray of the Lee Safety Prime system takes only seconds and minimizes the chances of sympathetic detonation compared to tube fed priming systems. You can resize, deprime and prime in one step and the used primer collection system (a simple tube connected to the bottom of a hole in the RAM) is very effective and easy to use. Priming takes place on the down stroke and provides excellent feedback on seating.

I have had great success with the Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure too. Although I have only used it with Bluedot and Winchester 231, I can tell you it is amazingly accurate with those powders. The expanding die bells the case mouth and allows the powder measure to charge the case in one step. Placing each charged case into a loading block lets you to inspect each case very carefully before seating a bullet and minimizes the chance you will build a squib load.

You can build rifle rounds on a progressive press too, but everything I have read suggests you may have better results using a single stage press. Since you want to build pistol and rifle rounds, I would encourage you to start with a single stage press. You can always buy a progressive press to build your pistol rounds after you become more experienced and confident reloading on a single stage press. If speed is your priority, you will probably want a progressive press. If you enjoy the reloading process, 100 rounds per hour is an acceptable rate of production and you want to built consistent and accurate rounds a single stage press may meet your needs.

Take your time, load only when you can devote absolute attention to the process and stop when you have a question or something does not seem right. Check and recheck your work at all stages too.

Reloading is a very rewarding aspect of the shooting hobby. I am sure you will enjoy using whatever system you choose.

Bamamedic
04-12-2010, 16:14
I have been reloading for years. You can everything for half of that 1k. I use a single stage RCBS reloader special 5. Check midway. they have a set for around 300 dollars. Still need dies, tumbler and calipers.
I use RCBS brand for everything. Great customer service.

jwc17
04-12-2010, 16:17
I use a single stage RCBS reloader special 5. Check midway.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=133068

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=893867

IndyGunFreak
04-12-2010, 16:52
I have been reloading for years. You can everything for half of that 1k. I use a single stage RCBS reloader special 5. Check midway. they have a set for around 300 dollars. Still need dies, tumbler and calipers.
I use RCBS brand for everything. Great customer service.

A single stage is fine, a turret is fine, but it all comes down to what your needs are going to be.

Buying a Hornady LNL/Dillon XL650 w/ case feeder, when you shoot 300rds a month, is obviously silly. Buy something smaller and spend the savings on components. If you shoot 1500rds per month, spending money on a single stage, is equally silly, because you'd probably spend about 40hrs a month at the bench getting your ammo together.

chris in va
04-12-2010, 20:43
I agree...silly to go buy all this expensive equipment right off the bat. He'd do fine with a Lee Turret and some dies to get his feet wet, and then some.

It's just like these guys I see at the range with their $2500 1911 and don't have a clue how to shoot it. Or like my other 'hobby', kayaking. All the latest gear, boats, racks...then the guy flips in the first little wave because he doesn't know how to handle that spiffy playboat.

kcbrown
04-12-2010, 21:03
I agree, not much diff between the sturdier single stage presses. I would hesitate to buy a 650 for a bunch of calibers though. Change over is going to cost yo uquite a bit & you may not need the speed offered for a few hundred rounds of an oddball caliber.:dunno:

Perhaps. I have to admit a caliber change was more annoying than I was hoping it would be (I switched from 9mm to .40 S&W and relegated 9mm to my Pro 1000 or Loadmaster, under the theory that .40 S&W was more demanding in terms of precision).

However, I believe the extra flexibility of the auto-indexing to be a notable win for the 650. I haven't tried it, but I'd bet it's possible to disable the auto-indexing on the 650 if one really prefers things to be that way. It's certainly a matter of personal preference, but I'd rather have the machine do more of the "manual labor" if possible, if only because I find machines to be much more consistent about performing operations than I can be as long as they're designed and set up properly.

I also like the fact that the 650 has 5 stations, and find this to be immensely useful because it allows me to put a powder cop in place. Since I don't rely on it exclusively (I always peer into the case to check its powder charge as well), it serves to increase the safety of the operation.

What's the biggest advantage the 550 has over the 650 in terms of the caliber change (aside from cost, perhaps)? The priming system?

Colorado4Wheel
04-12-2010, 22:03
As with most things in life you generally get what you pay for. Ussually the most expensive is the most expensive for a reason. Presses are lifetime purchase. As a press gets faster it gets more complicated. It becomes less versatile at the same time. Casefeeders add complication. Simple is sometimes good. Speed comes at a price in more then one way. Thankfully, you now have many good choices. Just don't expect a fast press with a casefeeder to be versatil as some of the simpler setups. Be realistic with what you are going to expect your finest/best press to do.

IndyGunFreak
04-12-2010, 23:51
I agree...silly to go buy all this expensive equipment right off the bat. He'd do fine with a Lee Turret and some dies to get his feet wet, and then some.

It's just like these guys I see at the range with their $2500 1911 and don't have a clue how to shoot it. Or like my other 'hobby', kayaking. All the latest gear, boats, racks...then the guy flips in the first little wave because he doesn't know how to handle that spiffy playboat.

I'm not really saying a Hornady or Dillon isn't what this guy needs, or that a single stage is a bad idea.. just saying he didn't really give us enough info about what he needs, to give an informed decision. If you start throwing stuff at him now, its more or less fanboy silliness.

I think to often people watch cool videos of these automated setups, and think "Wow, cool, I want that"... Well, as C4W said, all that automation adds a considerable amount of complication.

IGF

kcbrown
04-13-2010, 00:36
As with most things in life you generally get what you pay for. Ussually the most expensive is the most expensive for a reason. Presses are lifetime purchase. As a press gets faster it gets more complicated. It becomes less versatile at the same time. Casefeeders add complication. Simple is sometimes good. Speed comes at a price in more then one way. Thankfully, you now have many good choices. Just don't expect a fast press with a casefeeder to be versatil as some of the simpler setups. Be realistic with what you are going to expect your finest/best press to do.

This is true as far as it goes.

However, there's complexity and then there's complexity. Some additional features add quite a lot more complexity than others. Some remove flexibility while others don't. It just depends.

For instance, the 650 has an autoindexing system. But that system can be disabled if desired: it appears all you'd need to do is remove the indexer block (item 18 on the "Machine Assembly" diagram, page 48 of the 650XL manual). So you don't get any additional complexity there unless you want it. As such, the autoindexing capability of the 650 adds flexibility that the 550 doesn't have.

The 650's casefeeder does add some complexity compared with the 550, but the bottom end of the it is quite solid and generally foolproof, in my experience. The only failure I've had of it resulted from a screw working itself loose, probably because it wasn't tightened quite enough at the factory (at least, not enough to withstand the rigors of shipping). And if you don't want to deal with the complexity that comes with the electrically-driven upper end of the casefeeder, you can probably adapt a Lee case collator assembly (with the 4 tubes and all that) to the unit without too much work (indeed, there are people that have actually done this, e.g. here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=228575). That gets you most of the benefits of having the upper portion of the casefeeder (which is an optional accessory on the 650) without the complexity (the Lee case collator is the embodiment of simplicity).

What this means is that the casefeeder assembly that comes with the 650 doesn't really add much real complexity to the system in my experience. It's certainly not quite as simple as simply feeding the cases into the shellplate by hand, but it's reliable enough to not really make any practical difference. But I suppose it does remove a little flexibility (or, rather, trade one kind of flexibility with another), in that it will feed a case whether you want it to or not.


I'm not sure how much of a difference in versatility there really is when all is said and done. What can the 550 do that the 650 can't?


I think the bottom line is that if you get the right machine, the extra money you spend gets you more options and optional additional complexity.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2010, 06:55
So the 650 is not more complicated then the 550 because you can disable the auto indexing???? Thats silly. How do you index quickly and easily if you have it disabled? Grab the case and push it around? Thats a huge step back and you have to take the machine apart to do it. 650 primer feed setup is far more complicated then the 550 setup. Plastic tray shuttling primers around and dumping the live primers that don't get used when you pull the handle on a station with out a case. Thats more complicated then a simple system like the 550/LnL that presents the primer and doesn't care if the primer is used or not. 550 takes longer to become fast with because of the lack of automation. It's all a trade off in the end.

STI
04-13-2010, 07:03
All advice is good, BUT get a progressive press over a single stage or both if you can, if you shoot mush the SS will get old quick.
I load all pistol on a Star Universal that I bought new and the rifle on a RCBS and arbor press with Wilson dies for the good stuff.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2010, 07:09
I think to often people watch cool videos of these automated setups, and think "Wow, cool, I want that"... Well, as C4W said, all that automation adds a considerable amount of complication.

IGF

Thanks. And the more you change calibers the more you have to reset things like a powder measure, shellplate (and it's adjustment), primer setup, casefeeder adapters (never mind emptying the thing). The LCT has got to be the easist press ever to switch from one caliber to the next. Things like Micrometers make things a lot easier (for seating depth and powder measure). I am learning how to adjust my Dillon Measure with just the dial on the back to get my powder throw to the same as last time much faster. I may get a micrometer to make this quicker. It's amazing how much fiddling you can do just switching from one bullet profile to the next even in the same caliber.

kcbrown
04-13-2010, 08:45
So the 650 is not more complicated then the 550 because you can disable the auto indexing???? Thats silly.


Um, no.

I wasn't commenting on the complexity of the machine as a whole, only the complexity presented by the features I discussed.

I agree the 650's primer setup is more complicated than the 550's, and frankly I don't really understand why Dillon decided upon it instead of making use of the 550's priming system.


How do you index quickly and easily if you have it disabled? Grab the case and push it around?
I imagine you'd do it basically the same way as you would with the 550, but perhaps not. On the 650, you'd be able to move the shellplate with your left thumb, by pushing against the base of the case. You might be able to index it by pushing on the shellplate in the area between cases as well, if you want to avoid touching a case. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to move the shellplate.



Thats a huge step back and you have to take the machine apart to do it.
You have to remove two hex screws and a single part. The part is exposed on the left hand side of the machine. I hardly think that qualifies as "taking the machine apart", but as we all know I like to tinker with things so perhaps my standards are a little "loose" when it comes to these things. :supergrin:



650 primer feed setup is far more complicated then the 550 setup. Plastic tray shuttling primers around and dumping the live primers that don't get used when you pull the handle on a station with out a case. Thats more complicated then a simple system like the 550/LnL that presents the primer and doesn't care if the primer is used or not. 550 takes longer to become fast with because of the lack of automation. It's all a trade off in the end.I completely agree here. But I should note that there is nothing about the feature set of the 650 that required Dillon to use the primer transport design they chose. In other words, I think they added complexity for no good reason except perhaps that they wanted to try out a different primer transport design.

ron59
04-13-2010, 09:17
I was going through the same question last year (which press to buy) and decided on the Dillon 550 and am GLAD I did. Great press for the money. Unless you only shoot occasionally, I would not recommend a single stage press unless you pirimarily shoot rifle or something. But you will quickly become frustrated by the amount of time it takes to assemble a bunch of ammo with a single stage press.

The 550B can be used as a single-stage press by simply not filling all the "stations" with brass. Just put in one piece and track it around until it is completed, then starting again. Once you get comfortable with that, you can slowly start using it as progressive, then just build speed over time.

It's a few hundred dollars more than a single stage, but MORE than worth it. Heck, I almost wish I had gone with a 650. In fact... a 650 or even a 1050 is in my future, as I shoot 2000+ rounds a month, and that takes too long even on a 550.

fredj338
04-13-2010, 09:28
However, I believe the extra flexibility of the auto-indexing to be a notable win for the 650. I haven't tried it, but I'd bet it's possible to disable the auto-indexing on the 650 if one really prefers things to be that way. It's certainly a matter of personal preference, but I'd rather have the machine do more of the "manual labor" if possible, if only because I find machines to be much more consistent about performing operations than I can be as long as they're designed and set up properly.

I also like the fact that the 650 has 5 stations, and find this to be immensely useful because it allows me to put a powder cop in place. Since I don't rely on it exclusively (I always peer into the case to check its powder charge as well), it serves to increase the safety of the operation.

What's the biggest advantage the 550 has over the 650 in terms of the caliber change (aside from cost, perhaps)? The priming system?
You kind of got it backwards. Auto indexing is not more flexible, less so. The 550B manual index allows you to go as fast or slow as you like. Pretty easy to use a 550B as a SS if you want to learn that way. Yes, the 5 stn of the 650 is nice, allows a powder COP but I don't like relying on them, seen them fail if not adjusted correctly. Even running w/ one on my friends LNL, I still like to visual check powder drops. The tool heads & plates are slightly more expensive on the 650. If you use a case feeder, that too. Yes, the priming system is a bit more time consuming to swap from large to small.
Really, 90% of the guys loading on a progressive probably don't need one. At 450rds/hr on a 550B, I was able to keep my 2K-3K rds of CAS ammo going loading 1-1.5hr a week. Most shooters aren't even come close to 3K rds/m. If you have the money, the 650 is a great machine, but if you are loading for 15 diff caliber, it is gonna get expensive & take a bit more time to do change overs.:dunno:
A 650 is great to leave setup for one caliber & produce buckets of ammo. I keep thinking I need to sell the older 550B I have & get a 650, just to leave it setup for 45acp, the caliber I shoot the most. Leave the other 550B for loading the other 20 or so calibers. Maybe someday.:supergrin:

Matt Berry
04-13-2010, 10:45
When I jumped into reloading I went out and bought the Dillon 550. It has been a very reliable and nice press to learn on. Now that I've gained more experience I'm not looking to upgrade my press as it still meets all my needs. Since my original purchase I have bought an additional primer assembly (makes changing from SP to LP a lot easier and faster), additional powder measures, roller handle (huge difference) and case cages (Very handy to have, should have bought them first thing).

Good luck, and just remember go slow, only have one powder out at a time, and pick up a few of the books already mentioned above.

IndyGunFreak
04-13-2010, 10:49
When I jumped into reloading I went out and bought the Dillon 550. It has been a very reliable and nice press to learn on. Now that I've gained more experience I'm not looking to upgrade my press as it still meets all my needs. Since my original purchase I have bought an additional primer assembly (makes changing from SP to LP a lot easier and faster), additional powder measures, roller handle (huge difference) and case cages (Very handy to have, should have bought them first thing).

Good luck, and just remember go slow, only have one powder out at a time, and pick up a few of the books already mentioned above.

The 550 is a good press, but at this point, if I was gonna get a 550, unless it was a screaming deal, I'd just get an LNL. It's roughly the same price, has 5 stations, and if you reach the point where a case-feeder is worthwhile, its an easy addition. I'm sure the case feeder on the 550 is fine, I just don't like the idea of having a case feeder, and no powder check die. Maybe its because my experience w/ the 550 is very limited..

IGF

Last Rites
04-13-2010, 12:24
Thank you for all the great input. You've certainly given me quite a bit to think about! I'm not exactly setting aside a $1k budget for my reloading hobby adventure, but seeing that it seemed to be what I find that I'll end up expecting to spend on it. I never considered the points about loading for others and selling ammo. I think you're all right about not wanting the liability and cost of licensing for it. It's gotta be more trouble then it's worth.

I know that I will definitely want to reload several different calibers, and that I will absolutely want to reload for both pistol and rifle. However, the amount of shooting I would do with each will have to be weighed into consideration and worthwhile if I want to reload in these, right?

Should I be more concerned about reloading for just the caliber I shoot on a consistent basis, or would you recommend going ahead and getting into reloading for accuracy of say my elk gun? If I only shoot 100 rounds a month at BEST in 300 win mag... do you think I'm wasting my time reloading for it and just buy factor ammo instead?

I was kind of under the impression that reloading allowed you the luxury of creating very accurate rounds.

I'm doing what you all suggested and getting the manuals first then going to google and researching different manufacturers and presses.

I really appreciate everyone's input! It's a learning experience totally and I'm just starting out on the learning.

So far I've been able to find some video's on youtube and actually see the process of reloading so I know what it looks like. After reading a lot on the whole process and taking a lot of everyone's suggestions, I'm just not sure I guess what my needs are until I actually get into this.

Speed and production isn't going to be a huge concern of mine. I would prefer to understand and know what I'm doing correctly and enjoy the hobby. It sounds like a single stage press is the way to go for what I'm looking to do. I just don't know right this moment. Got a lot of reading to do still.

IndyGunFreak
04-13-2010, 13:09
Thank you for all the great input. You've certainly given me quite a bit to think about! I'm not exactly setting aside a $1k budget for my reloading hobby adventure, but seeing that it seemed to be what I find that I'll end up expecting to spend on it. I never considered the points about loading for others and selling ammo. I think you're all right about not wanting the liability and cost of licensing for it. It's gotta be more trouble then it's worth.

I know that I will definitely want to reload several different calibers, and that I will absolutely want to reload for both pistol and rifle. However, the amount of shooting I would do with each will have to be weighed into consideration and worthwhile if I want to reload in these, right?

Should I be more concerned about reloading for just the caliber I shoot on a consistent basis, or would you recommend going ahead and getting into reloading for accuracy of say my elk gun? If I only shoot 100 rounds a month at BEST in 300 win mag... do you think I'm wasting my time reloading for it and just buy factor ammo instead?

I was kind of under the impression that reloading allowed you the luxury of creating very accurate rounds.

I'm doing what you all suggested and getting the manuals first then going to google and researching different manufacturers and presses.

I really appreciate everyone's input! It's a learning experience totally and I'm just starting out on the learning.

So far I've been able to find some video's on youtube and actually see the process of reloading so I know what it looks like. After reading a lot on the whole process and taking a lot of everyone's suggestions, I'm just not sure I guess what my needs are until I actually get into this.

Speed and production isn't going to be a huge concern of mine. I would prefer to understand and know what I'm doing correctly and enjoy the hobby. It sounds like a single stage press is the way to go for what I'm looking to do. I just don't know right this moment. Got a lot of reading to do still.


If you're going for accuracy, you'll almost definitely want a single stage. If you load target pistol in addition to what you want for your "accuracy" loads... a Lee Classic Turret would be a halfway decent option. You could use the index rod, to churn out about 180-200rds per hour... or when you're doing precision rifle, remove the index rod, and run it like a single stage.

dla
04-13-2010, 13:44
Thank you for all the great input. You've certainly given me quite a bit to think about! I'm not exactly setting aside a $1k budget for my reloading hobby adventure, but seeing that it seemed to be what I find that I'll end up expecting to spend on it. I never considered the points about loading for others and selling ammo. I think you're all right about not wanting the liability and cost of licensing for it. It's gotta be more trouble then it's worth.

I know that I will definitely want to reload several different calibers, and that I will absolutely want to reload for both pistol and rifle. However, the amount of shooting I would do with each will have to be weighed into consideration and worthwhile if I want to reload in these, right?

Should I be more concerned about reloading for just the caliber I shoot on a consistent basis, or would you recommend going ahead and getting into reloading for accuracy of say my elk gun? If I only shoot 100 rounds a month at BEST in 300 win mag... do you think I'm wasting my time reloading for it and just buy factor ammo instead?

I was kind of under the impression that reloading allowed you the luxury of creating very accurate rounds.

I'm doing what you all suggested and getting the manuals first then going to google and researching different manufacturers and presses.

I really appreciate everyone's input! It's a learning experience totally and I'm just starting out on the learning.

So far I've been able to find some video's on youtube and actually see the process of reloading so I know what it looks like. After reading a lot on the whole process and taking a lot of everyone's suggestions, I'm just not sure I guess what my needs are until I actually get into this.

Speed and production isn't going to be a huge concern of mine. I would prefer to understand and know what I'm doing correctly and enjoy the hobby. It sounds like a single stage press is the way to go for what I'm looking to do. I just don't know right this moment. Got a lot of reading to do still.


You don't learn anything or control anything better on a single stage. The only thing a single stage does is guarantee that you will go slow. You're actually more likely to double-charge or Squib with a single-stage.

IF you decide that you were just joking, and you don't really know if you want to reload or not, then buy the Lee Classic Turret. You won't have much money into it, it is flexible and you will find it handy for experimenting/development even after you buy the Dillon 650. But under no circumstances should you buy a RCBS Rockchucker - it is a tired product that has been surpassed by many other vendors.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2010, 13:56
The 550 is a good press, but at this point, if I was gonna get a 550, unless it was a screaming deal, I'd just get an LNL. It's roughly the same price, has 5 stations, and if you reach the point where a case-feeder is worthwhile, its an easy addition. I'm sure the case feeder on the 550 is fine, I just don't like the idea of having a case feeder, and no powder check die. Maybe its because my experience w/ the 550 is very limited..

IGF

I would get the 550 to have one simple machine to do rifle and pistol. I would not get the 550 if you want a casefeeder. I don't know what the LnL has for a casefeeder. What calibers it allows. It seems to be pretty common for the LnL casefeeder to not be as good as the Dillon Casefeeder. It probably better then the 550 casefeeder which is really hard to adjust right with the slider. But I have no experiance with the LnL casefeeder.

kcbrown
04-13-2010, 14:16
You kind of got it backwards. Auto indexing is not more flexible, less so.


An autoindexing system that can be disabled (i.e., switched to a manually indexing system) is surely more flexible than a manually indexing system that cannot be turned into an autoindexing system, no?

What really makes the 650 somewhat less flexible is its integrated casefeeder. That, too, can be disabled, but reaching around back there to place a case by hand is nowhere near as easy as placing the case on the 550.



The 550B manual index allows you to go as fast or slow as you like. Pretty easy to use a 550B as a SS if you want to learn that way. Yes, the 5 stn of the 650 is nice, allows a powder COP but I don't like relying on them, seen them fail if not adjusted correctly.
I don't rely on my powder cop die as such: it's an additional check and nothing more. I always peer into the case whether or not I'm making use of a powder cop die.



Even running w/ one on my friends LNL, I still like to visual check powder drops. The tool heads & plates are slightly more expensive on the 650. If you use a case feeder, that too. Yes, the priming system is a bit more time consuming to swap from large to small.
I guess it depends on what pieces you have for the priming system when changing it over. There's a "fast primer change" kit that makes changing out the primer system quite painless, but it's expensive. However, you only have to buy it once.



Really, 90% of the guys loading on a progressive probably don't need one.
Possibly. There are so many variables involved that it's difficult to really say this, though. I mean, an hour a week may seem like very little time to you lazy retired folks :tongueout: :supergrin:, but it may be all a very busy individual can really spare. I do sometimes wonder what a progressive (well, anything less than a 1050, at least) really buys you for rifle, given all the crazy case processing you have to do.



At 450rds/hr on a 550B, I was able to keep my 2K-3K rds of CAS ammo going loading 1-1.5hr a week.
I have a 650 but I'm never able to hit that much in the way of rounds produced per hour from beginning to end. Possibly because I box my ammo up (which takes a decent amount of time because I'm using used factory ammo boxes), but also because I very nearly always have at least one press stoppage that requires me to investigate and fix something. And I tend to run the press relatively slowly in order to maintain smoothness.



Most shooters aren't even come close to 3K rds/m. If you have the money, the 650 is a great machine, but if you are loading for 15 diff caliber, it is gonna get expensive & take a bit more time to do change overs.:dunno:
Yeah, true enough. Most of that time is spent changing over the casefeeder parts, I think.



A 650 is great to leave setup for one caliber & produce buckets of ammo. I keep thinking I need to sell the older 550B I have & get a 650, just to leave it setup for 45acp, the caliber I shoot the most. Leave the other 550B for loading the other 20 or so calibers. Maybe someday.:supergrin:As it happens, that's how I use my 650. I have it set up for .40 S&W now and produce 9mm on my Loadmaster (or, if that fails me at some point, my Pro 1000). The 650 has been a very sweet machine for me when all is said and done. The stoppages I occasionally get have rarely been the fault of the machine.

Hydraulicman
04-13-2010, 14:47
I would go with a dillon 550b

unless you plan to meter lots of w296 or h110 or fine powder.

Murph33
04-13-2010, 14:56
I recently purchased an LnL with Hornady dies and have loaded roughly 1000 rounds with it (all pistol, don't have much rifle brass yet) and have zero complaints. It was easy to set up, with the help of a buddy who has been reloading for years the dies were a breeze to set up (easy on my own after I learned the basics), and the press itself is easy to use.

I could probably easily pump out 2x the ammo that I do now, but I feel that quality, and safety, is much more important than quantity even though the ammo is just for range use.

I like the idea of being able to add the auto case feeder to the LnL in the future if I deem necessary. Although at the moment I feel that I can hand feed my cases and use the $300 for the case feeder the purchase more components or other tools when it comes time to reload my rifle brass.

Because I went with Hornady for everything else I purchased a Hornady tumbler and powder scale. Both of which I am very happy with. Keep in mind my college major is Microbiology and I spend a fair amount of time in the lab so a high quality scale maybe was not a necessity to me, but I feel much better having a scale that is at least of the same quality of those that I use in the lab.

Keep in mind I am a novice in reloading and there are many others that frequent the reloading forum that can help you much more than I am. I just thought that since I was new, as you will be, my opinions may have a little bit of merit.

Hydraulicman
04-13-2010, 18:33
one of the reasons i chose the dillon 550 over others is the ergonomics

I don't use a case feeder so i like the "bullets on the left brass on the right set up.

just a thougt . I'm not trying to sell dillon.

the lock n load is a fine press and I would love to have one on my bench

mboylan
04-13-2010, 21:23
Thank you for all the great input. You've certainly given me quite a bit to think about! I'm not exactly setting aside a $1k budget for my reloading hobby adventure, but seeing that it seemed to be what I find that I'll end up expecting to spend on it. I never considered the points about loading for others and selling ammo. I think you're all right about not wanting the liability and cost of licensing for it. It's gotta be more trouble then it's worth.

I know that I will definitely want to reload several different calibers, and that I will absolutely want to reload for both pistol and rifle. However, the amount of shooting I would do with each will have to be weighed into consideration and worthwhile if I want to reload in these, right?

Should I be more concerned about reloading for just the caliber I shoot on a consistent basis, or would you recommend going ahead and getting into reloading for accuracy of say my elk gun? If I only shoot 100 rounds a month at BEST in 300 win mag... do you think I'm wasting my time reloading for it and just buy factor ammo instead?

I was kind of under the impression that reloading allowed you the luxury of creating very accurate rounds.

I'm doing what you all suggested and getting the manuals first then going to google and researching different manufacturers and presses.

I really appreciate everyone's input! It's a learning experience totally and I'm just starting out on the learning.

So far I've been able to find some video's on youtube and actually see the process of reloading so I know what it looks like. After reading a lot on the whole process and taking a lot of everyone's suggestions, I'm just not sure I guess what my needs are until I actually get into this.

Speed and production isn't going to be a huge concern of mine. I would prefer to understand and know what I'm doing correctly and enjoy the hobby. It sounds like a single stage press is the way to go for what I'm looking to do. I just don't know right this moment. Got a lot of reading to do still.


You are not going to want to load .300 Win Mag on a Dillon 550. You want a single stage RCBS Rock Chucker or Forster CO-AX. You are going to want to spend some time on case prep and double checking everything for accuracy.

The progressive machines are good for churning out high volumes of pisol or 5.56 rounds in a short period of time.

If you load for high volume pistol shooting and accuracy in a rifle, you are going to end up with both a single stage and progressive press.

unclebob
04-14-2010, 07:14
You have to remove two hex screws and a single part. The part is exposed on the left hand side of the machine. I hardly think that qualifies as "taking the machine apart", but as we all know I like to tinker with things so perhaps my standards are a little "loose" when it comes to these things.


You do not take off the Indexer Block. Unless you want a timing problem when you put it back on. The easiest way is too remove the shell plate and pull out the index pawl. The little piece that looks like a hatchet.
Why anyone would want too disable the auto indexing anyway beats me. So I have better control? Better control of what. So they advance one station. Does it make any difference if the case that was in station 2 is now in station 3?

kcbrown
04-14-2010, 10:19
You do not take off the Indexer Block. Unless you want a timing problem when you put it back on.


I thought about that. I was hopeful that they built the interface between the block and the machine such that there would be no adjustment of it (and no need for such an adjustment).

Guess not.



The easiest way is too remove the shell plate and pull out the index pawl. The little piece that looks like a hatchet.
I'll have to examine my machine when I get home. Or not. I like my autoindexing.



Why anyone would want too disable the auto indexing anyway beats me. So I have better control? Better control of what. Better control of the indexing, of course. :supergrin:


So they advance one station. Does it make any difference if the case that was in station 2 is now in station 3?There have been occasions where I wanted that kind of control, usually as a result of my powder cop die stopping the upstroke before it could be completed (the die was barely out of adjustment such that occasionally it would stop operations even though the powder charge was correct). Under those conditions, the press autoindexed when I didn't want it to and the Dillon design is such that you can't reverse the shellplate.

But generally speaking, I much prefer it to autoindex.

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2010, 11:39
This is all way to complicated. I recommend a Hand Press and Lee's very fine Powder Scoops now for all reloaders.

kcbrown
04-14-2010, 13:04
This is all way to complicated. I recommend a Hand Press and Lee's very fine Powder Scoops now for all reloaders.

:rofl:


The Thighmaster is an excellent choice. Not only will it make it possible for you to reload your ammunition, but you can also integrate it into your daily workout regimen! :rofl:

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2010, 13:18
I figure I can make up for the lack of speed by reloading while I drive, watch tv, eat. All those tedious tasks.

fredj338
04-14-2010, 13:33
An autoindexing system that can be disabled (i.e., switched to a manually indexing system) is surely more flexible than a manually indexing system that cannot be turned into an autoindexing system, no? Yes it can, but one more thing to fuss with & get wrong.

What really makes the 650 somewhat less flexible is its integrated casefeeder. That, too, can be disabled, but reaching around back there to place a case by hand is nowhere near as easy as placing the case on the 550. I don't see how a case feeer makes it more flexible?


I don't rely on my powder cop die as such: it's an additional check and nothing more. I always peer into the case whether or not I'm making use of a powder cop die.


I guess it depends on what pieces you have for the priming system when changing it over. There's a "fast primer change" kit that makes changing out the primer system quite painless, but it's expensive. However, you only have to buy it once.


Possibly. There are so many variables involved that it's difficult to really say this, though. I mean, an hour a week may seem like very little time to you lazy retired folks :tongueout: :supergrin:, but it may be all a very busy individual can really spare. I do sometimes wonder what a progressive (well, anything less than a 1050, at least) really buys you for rifle, given all the crazy case processing you have to do. Not lazy or retired. Every person on the planet can find 15m a day, that is 100rds easily on a 550B.:dunno:


I have a 650 but I'm never able to hit that much in the way of rounds produced per hour from beginning to end. Possibly because I box my ammo up (which takes a decent amount of time because I'm using used factory ammo boxes), but also because I very nearly always have at least one press stoppage that requires me to investigate and fix something. And I tend to run the press relatively slowly in order to maintain smoothness. I don't count my boxing time or inspection. I usually do it in front of the tube.

Yeah, true enough. Most of that time is spent changing over the casefeeder parts, I think.


As it happens, that's how I use my 650. I have it set up for .40 S&W now and produce 9mm on my Loadmaster (or, if that fails me at some point, my Pro 1000). The 650 has been a very sweet machine for me when all is said and done. The stoppages I occasionally get have rarely been the fault of the machine.

I agree, if I get a 650, it will just stay setup for the 45acp.:supergrin:

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2010, 14:05
A case feeder is a total waste of time if you are going to be loading multiple calibers on one machine. Just emptying the thing out and refilling it for every caliber change is a PITA. Just not worth the trouble. I would rather have two LnL/550's one in small primers another in LP then a 650 with a casefeeder. Assuming I needed both large and small primers.

unclebob
04-14-2010, 14:22
The reason why some people thank that the 650 is complex and complicated is that they see a picture or look at it and think it is complicated. Too may things that have been said on GT and others about the press, are by people that have never used the press and just passing on what other people have said that either donít know what they are doing or have never used the press.
Changing the press over is almost ĺ the same as changing over a 550. Even if Iím only going too load 10 or 20 rds. And the press is not set up for it I well change it over. Just because it is so much easier too do than trying to do it on the single stage press. I can go from 9mm and ready too load 45 in about 7 to 9 minutes.
For the people that think it takes too long in setting up the press Yes it takes a couple of minutes more too do than a 550 but you make that time up in loading.
The priming system on the 650. I like it a lot better than what is on the 550. I had more trouble with the priming system on the 550 than I ever have had on the 650. Yes you can set off primers on the 650. I still like the 650 better in every way shape and form.

unclebob
04-14-2010, 14:34
A case feeder is a total waste of time if you are going to be loading multiple calibers on one machine. Just emptying the thing out and refilling it for every caliber change is a PITA. Just not worth the trouble. I would rather have two LnL/550's one in small primers another in LP then a 650 with a casefeeder. Assuming I needed both large and small primers.

I load multiple calibers on the 650 and I do not think it is a PITA. The case feeder on the 550 might be.
I use the small primer punch on the 650 for both the small and large primers.

Steve do you ever travel too Florida?

kcbrown
04-14-2010, 15:40
Originally Posted by kcbrown http://glocktalk.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15117622#post15117622)
An autoindexing system that can be disabled (i.e., switched to a manually indexing system) is surely more flexible than a manually indexing system that cannot be turned into an autoindexing system, no?


Yes it can, but one more thing to fuss with & get wrong.


Only if you go to the trouble of fussing with it and manage to get it wrong. If you prefer manual indexing, you can set it up that way and then leave it that way forevermore. Or you can leave the autoindexing enabled forevermore. Or you can complicate things and switch back and forth. Point being that it's your choice at that point: the machine isn't constraining you. That's the very essence of flexibility...



What really makes the 650 somewhat less flexible is its integrated casefeeder. That, too, can be disabled, but reaching around back there to place a case by hand is nowhere near as easy as placing the case on the 550.
I don't see how a case feeer makes it more flexible?
It makes it less flexible, because disabling it doesn't really buy you anything and it generally forces you into feeding a case whether you want it to or not.




Possibly. There are so many variables involved that it's difficult to really say this, though. I mean, an hour a week may seem like very little time to you lazy retired folks http://glocktalk.com/forums/images/smilies/tongue%20out.gif :supergrin:, but it may be all a very busy individual can really spare. I do sometimes wonder what a progressive (well, anything less than a 1050, at least) really buys you for rifle, given all the crazy case processing you have to do.
Not lazy or retired. Every person on the planet can find 15m a day, that is 100rds easily on a 550B.:dunno:
I was kidding about the lazy bit, of course. You're not retired??? :shocked:

If it were really just 15 minutes a day then sure, I could agree with that. And I suppose you can achieve that if you're willing to compromise on safety somewhat. I'm not. I always keep my primers stored away safely, not in the tubes, so I have to spend time filling the priming system. Then I double check the press settings to make sure everything is what it needs to be, and double check my powder charge. All these things add time, about 10 minutes when all is said and done. That's not a problem for me because I produce batches of 500 rounds typically. But it would be a problem if you incurred that overhead every day and only got 100 rounds out of it each time.

The nice thing about this is that each person can approach the problem differently, as suits his needs.





I have a 650 but I'm never able to hit that much in the way of rounds produced per hour from beginning to end. Possibly because I box my ammo up (which takes a decent amount of time because I'm using used factory ammo boxes), but also because I very nearly always have at least one press stoppage that requires me to investigate and fix something. And I tend to run the press relatively slowly in order to maintain smoothness.
I don't count my boxing time or inspection. I usually do it in front of the tube.
Oh. Well, I don't watch TV (at all), so that's not really an option for me (I hate commercials). I do watch movies and DVDs but like to actually watch them, which would take my mind off of what I'm doing when inspecting and boxing my rounds. I'm the sort of person who has to apply conscious thought to pretty much everything he does (not very many people out there like me, it seems).

So I do count the time it takes for me to inspect and box my rounds. I probably average about 200 rounds an hour from my 650 when all is said and done. Not very impressive, but my overall rate from my LCT is half that so the progressive does help with the speed.

kcbrown
04-14-2010, 15:48
A case feeder is a total waste of time if you are going to be loading multiple calibers on one machine. Just emptying the thing out and refilling it for every caliber change is a PITA. Just not worth the trouble. I would rather have two LnL/550's one in small primers another in LP then a 650 with a casefeeder. Assuming I needed both large and small primers.

This depends entirely on how often you change calibers, and how large your batches are.

If you're loading a couple of thousand rounds between caliber changes, chances are the caliber change is going to represent a small fraction of the time you spend loading, so it winds up not being a big deal.

Emptying the casefeeder on the 650 is trivial: just detach the tube from the press, swing the assembly over a bin, and turn on the casefeeder. It'll drop all the cases into the bin. It's easy, but takes a couple of minutes.


Of course, having at least one press per caliber is going to be more convenient regardless.

I strongly prefer a casefeeder over feeding cases by hand, because I'm clumsy enough that feeding cases into the shellplate reliably and then finding the handle again to pull it probably takes much more time than it would for most people. I most certainly can't feed a case and a bullet at the same time, because I can't concentrate on more than one thing at a time. So manually feeding cases has a very significant impact on my production rate. I'd say it cuts it roughly in half.

IndyGunFreak
04-14-2010, 16:15
What really makes the 650 somewhat less flexible is its integrated casefeeder. That, too, can be disabled, but reaching around back there to place a case by hand is nowhere near as easy as placing the case on the 550..

You know, that is the one thing that has steered me towards the LNL when I purchase a progressive... I'm hoping to get one later this year, but I don't want to get a case feeder right off the bat. The Dillon really has no way to easily use it w/o a case feeder. Filling the tube 15-20 at a time, is more annoying than feeding a case one at a time.

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2010, 16:19
I load multiple calibers on the 650 and I do not think it is a PITA. The case feeder on the 550 might be.
I use the small primer punch on the 650 for both the small and large primers.

Steve do you ever travel too Florida?

Not any longer. Used to live there. Havent been back in 15 years.

550 and 650 casefeeder are similiar. Dillon can convert the 550 casefeeder to the 650. For me the PITA is having to unload the bin, empty to tubes. If you want to run small batchs of maybe 300 rds for 3 calibers it's hardly worth the effort. I got really sick of just emptying the thing to switch from 9mm to 10mm and back. Then I would miss a case, get a 10mm lodged in my 9mm tube and have to take the adapter off to clear it. I am probably not the norm when it comes to it. I may still get a 650 but it would only ever load 9mm.

unclebob
04-14-2010, 16:43
You know, that is the one thing that has steered me towards the LNL when I purchase a progressive... I'm hoping to get one later this year, but I don't want to get a case feeder right off the bat. The Dillon really has no way to easily use it w/o a case feeder. Filling the tube 15-20 at a time, is more annoying than feeding a case one at a time.

For me the loading of the case and bullet on the same side would drive me nuts. You can put longer tubes on the 650. Some people use tubes that go all the way too the ceiling. Granted the press is really designed too be used with the case feeder. Once youget use too it you wounder how you ever got along with out it. At least with the Dillon you have the option. And a lot more other options.

unclebob
04-14-2010, 16:51
Not any longer. Used to live there. Havent been back in 15 years.

550 and 650 casefeeder are similiar. Dillon can convert the 550 casefeeder to the 650. For me the PITA is having to unload the bin, empty to tubes. If you want to run small batchs of maybe 300 rds for 3 calibers it's hardly worth the effort. I got really sick of just emptying the thing to switch from 9mm to 10mm and back. Then I would miss a case, get a 10mm lodged in my 9mm tube and have to take the adapter off to clear it. I am probably not the norm when it comes to it. I may still get a 650 but it would only ever load 9mm.

Granted the case feeder is the same. But once the case leaves the case feeder from there down they are not the same. It is very easy too dump the cases out of the feeder and the drop tube. And there is nothing too adjust.
The screw on the case feeder that anchors it too the post, replace it with a thumbscrew.

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2010, 17:38
Granted the case feeder is the same. But once the case leaves the case feeder from there down they are not the same. It is very easy too dump the cases out of the feeder and the drop tube. And there is nothing too adjust.
The screw on the case feeder that anchors it too the post, replace it with a thumbscrew.

Adjustment on the 550 is a PITA for a casefeeder. 650 slider looks to be a piece of cake.

Last Rites
04-20-2010, 01:08
What's everyone's opinion of the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP (click here for Hornady's website to view) (http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-AP/) 5 stage progressive? I'm leaning towards this press because I guess you can say the marketing hype is convincingly good. I mostly shoot .40 S&W .357 SIG and 10mm. I'm getting the mixed impressions that changing over to different calibers will be a pain and also at the same time nothing I should be concerned about. About 7-10 minutes to switch over from one to a different caliber?

I kinda dig this Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive 5 station press, but again, don't want to make a poor decision based on my lack of experience or any know how whatsoever. I mean I don't even fully comprehend exactly how it'll all work I guess until I actually start doing it and get myself a press.

I have the idea in my head of what I will do with it... but of course things will always be slightly different once you actually do them for the first time. I've already built myself a work bench out of 6x6's and a gluelam beam scraps I managed to get for free from a construction sight. Had to buy about $40 of hardware from the store to build this monster, but it was worth it. I have the vision that I will have fun doing this and enjoy it, while reloading maybe a thousand rounds of .40, and then switch out equipment to reload a hundred or two hundred of each .357, .45, and 10mm in the same day.

I've even installed my work vise and air compressor hose reel to this enormous freakin work bench / table I just built in the work shop. That's just for general purpose and use though, but I had in mind the space for reloading too, and decided to get started with the preparation. Don't know what all I'll need and what sort of space I'll utilize, but I put up a pegboard up on the backing for bins and storage thinking I'll probably need the space and might even install some overhead cabinets and fluorescent lighting underneath.

On the subject of brass preparation...
I'd love to hear everyone's opinions about this sonic cleaning gig.

Ultrasound Cleaner By Hornady (Click Here To View) (http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-ultra-Sonic-Cleaner/)

The marketing video is again... pretty convincing and being completely at the mercy of having absolutely no first hand experience at reloading or brass prep, I'm taking their word for it. Does anyone know if this machine will make brass prep a lot easier / faster then a tumbler and does it in fact clean as good as it is showing? On the video they have two cartridges cut in half where one is supposed to be a tumbler that left all sorts of carbon and the other one is shiny brass clean as a whistle from a supposed sonic cleaned cartridge.

I know all the hype is meant to get folks to believe in their ads and buy the products; but what do you all think about this gig? IS ultrasound cleaning the way to go now? Like I said in opening, I'm persuaded easily by their marketing and it sounded like a great machine that I could use to clean gun parts with as well. I've found the Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner for $94 online from a retailer on sale... so I'd love to hear opinions on this, because I'm already convinced it's the way to go and would hope my inexperience and lack of knowledge about reloading and brass prep would steer me into a wrong choice here.

Thanks again dudes and dolls! I really appreciate all your input.:2gun::yourock:

unclebob
04-20-2010, 07:04
Adjustment on the 550 is a PITA for a casefeeder. 650 slider looks to be a piece of cake.

There is no slider. And yes it is a piece of cake too change. Unless you are going from rifle too pistol there is nothen too adjust. Even then it is not hard. Pull a screw out rotate the case insert slide & slide cam, align the top and bottom piece, replace the screw. Then more or less 3 pieces pull out and the other ones drops in and one piece you screw out and replace with the other one for the calibur you well be loading for.
The way I do it I can go from 9mm and have the press changed over too load 45acp in about 7 minutes. A little longer too fill up the primer tubes and add powder.

Bob2223
04-20-2010, 11:58
What's everyone's opinion of the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP (click here for Hornady's website to view) (http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-AP/) 5 stage progressive? I'm leaning towards this press because I guess you can say the marketing hype is convincingly good. I mostly shoot .40 S&W .357 SIG and 10mm. I'm getting the mixed impressions that changing over to different calibers will be a pain and also at the same time nothing I should be concerned about. About 7-10 minutes to switch over from one to a different caliber?



Nothing to be concerned about, changing calibers is easy on the LNL.
It's a nice press I wouldn't part with mine.

Bob

Colorado4Wheel
04-20-2010, 12:48
There is no slider.

Then what do you call the thing that pushes the case into the shellholder?

unclebob
04-20-2010, 15:12
Nothing to be concerned about, changing calibers is easy on the LNL.
It's a nice press I wouldn't part with mine.

Bob

Case Insert Slide & Slike Cam. I thought you were talking about a different part. Iím not all that up on the 550 case feeder. I have only seen in person one time and that was for about 1 minute. Sorry for the confusion.

sdelam
04-22-2010, 05:40
What's everyone's opinion of the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP (click here for Hornady's website to view) (http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-AP/) 5 stage progressive? I'm leaning towards this press because I guess you can say the marketing hype is convincingly good. I mostly shoot .40 S&W .357 SIG and 10mm. I'm getting the mixed impressions that changing over to different calibers will be a pain and also at the same time nothing I should be concerned about. About 7-10 minutes to switch over from one to a different caliber?



On the subject of brass preparation...
I'd love to hear everyone's opinions about this sonic cleaning gig.


I have a LNL and like it. it's a huge advance over a single stage but I still use the single stage for most rifle loading.

Changing calibers isnt bad if you buy the extra parts. if you want fast change overs you will need to get not only shellplates and bushings for each caliber but also a Quick change powder die for each. This will prevent having to set up the powder die each time you change.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=231522

You will aslo want a quicker way to change the powder load, there are two ways to do this, one is to buy a seperate metering insert for each caliber and the other is to buy the micrometer metering insert that has numbers on it allowing you to track and return to the correct position. I went with the secound option because it was cheaper in the long run.

If you have the extra parts, changing over takes about 15 min. without rushing.

Honestly unless you shoot more than 4-500 rounds a month, its kind of a waste. If you buy extra primer tubes you can load 400 rounds in an hour fairly easy on a LNL. I normaly load 1-2k of a caliber before switching out, (I still dont like switching over even with all the short cuts.) This means I can go a year or more easy between runs of some calibers. I have full ammo cans coming out of my ears it seems these days because I enjoy loading as much as I do shooting.

If you shoot less than 4-500 rounds a month, a turret press is probaly a better option. You will still be able to do a 1-200 rounds an hour and changeing calibers is a bit simpler. plus you can use it as a single stage press if you wish.


I have never used the sonic cleanser, I have always used a vibratory cleaner andcrushed walnut.

PsychoKnight
04-25-2010, 21:01
Add to your list of items chamber gauges for each caliber you shoot, especially for auto feed pistols. After you are done loading, pop each one into the gauge and if it slides in smoothly and and doesn't protrude, you know it will chamber. If not, you now which ones to cull and dismantle for another day.

Also, a checkweight set. I like the Lyman deluxe set. As a lab guy, you probably know that even a properly calibrated scale does not always read accurately across the entire range. I calibrate at the target weight for each use, and this can only be done with a set of checkweights. E.g., if I want my scale to read dead on at 200gr, I will pop 200gr of checkweights in the pan, then zero out the beam. I don't ever zero out w/ an empty pan, because you won't ever use your scale to check for zero weight.
{On an electronic scale, once you determine the amount of discrepancy at target weight, its a matter if minutely pre-weighting the pan when taring, or replacing the pan and using a lower sum of checkweights when taring to adjust for the discrepancy you experience at target weight.}

I like your choice of LnL AP. I don't know what the 650 has in advantage to it, other than the killer infinite warranty. On the 650, I know I don't like the powder meter, the plate system for die change-out, nor the primer changeover requirements. I did have some hassle with warranty with the 1st gen ejection wire fiasco, but that problem is now solved; albeit I also had to PAY for what should have been a free recall update-replacement. But if I choose between design and warranty, I choose design. The 650 and all Dillon press work well, attested by the gazillion of happy users. I and a loyal cult following just feel the AP does everything the 650 can do, yet just a tad better here and there.