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themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 00:47
I am taking the next step in my shooting hobby. I am going to get started into reloading in the next couple weeks. I am ordering a dillon 550 next week. With that, and being a first time reloader I have some questions. Please forgive me if they have already been answered.
I am looking at the brian enos site, and the dillon site. I seem to be noticing a few things that in my case, seem to be uneeded. Example a powder sensor... The propellent tube is clear, and on top of that right in front of your face. For me definatly seems to be extra stuff that I wouldnt use. I'm not trying to cut corners by any means. Is a case gauge really needed? What tumblers are you guys using? What sort of bench setup do you have? Pics would be appreciated. I live in Missouri, and it gets pretty humid. I am thinking about reloading in my garage. If the humidity is going to be aproblem I will take it to my basement or my computer room. Where are your set ups at?

IndyGunFreak
05-05-2010, 06:22
case Gauge, I would absolutely get one...Powder Sensor?.. Not really..

My setup is in a spare upstairs bedroom. Used to be in the basement, moved it for reasons completely unrelated to humidity, etc..

IGF

unclebob
05-05-2010, 06:39
You do not need the powder sensor. I would get the spare parts kit, roller handle, strong mount, and bullet tray.
You need too decide if you want too load sitting or standing. Get the press first, and then decide on what height you need. I highly recommend loading standing.
My reloading setup is in the house in the computer room. Me personally I would not load in the garage, or anywhere that was not climate controlled in a humid environment
Do a search on you should come up with a whole bunch of pictures of reloading setups.

Homechicken
05-05-2010, 06:52
Case guage is a good idea. You may not need to use it every time you reload, but I'd check the cases with it every few reloads, cases do stretch over time and the gauge will tell you if you need to trim the cases. Of course you could do the same with a set of calipers. I can't comment on the powder sensor, I have a single stage press and weigh each charge individually and then set them aside at arms length to keep them well separated from the empty cases, then use a flashlight prior to seating the bullets to be sure they all have powder. As for the humidity, reloading in the garage may be fine, but I'd store the powder and primers in a drier place, or in sealed separate containers with a desicant pack in each. The containers and desicant is a good idea though, no matter where you store them.

ron59
05-05-2010, 07:37
Case gauge is a necessity. I case gauge every single round I load. Sometimes the brass splits when loading, and doesn't fit the gauge properly. Other problems occasionally crop up also. I don't want to have to fix a "jam" at the range, I want my ammo to feed reliably. It's just one step of Q/A I consider to be essential.

Powder sensor is not necessary... like you said it's right there in front of your face.

I got the Cabelas tumbler... you can get it WITH a bag of corncob media and some brass polish in a "kit"... it's a good deal. Someone else recently asked about tumblers, and the Cabelas one got good reviews. I like mine.

I live in North Carolina, it's equally humid here. I load in my garage... no problems. I even keep my powder in there and haven't seen any issues related to that.

I just started a thread where I mention that I just bought the roller handle after loading 15,000+ rounds with the standard one. I didn't get it at the time because yeah, buying all the stuff (plus loading components) is a big outlay of money. But it's only $40, so you can argue either way. It's *really* worth it.

MarcusT
05-05-2010, 07:58
The low powder alarm is definetly a waste of money I bought one when I ordered my press and it has never gone off its very easy to tell when the powders low.

tlafrance
05-05-2010, 08:23
The low powder alarm is definetly a waste of money I bought one when I ordered my press and it has never gone off its very easy to tell when the powders low.


UNLESS.........You're in the middle of a marathon loading session thoroughly "In the groove" and don't notice. Runners get that "high" resulting from a release of endorphins when they hit their stride. Reloaders get the same "high" during extended periods of time at the bench pulling the handle. If you haven't gotten there yet, have no fear. Training is what it's all about. Keep building on your current sessions, adding a hundred rounds or so every week. By the time you hit 1k in a sitting, you SHOULD be at the perfect Nirvana and ready to order your low powder sensor.

Tom

ron59
05-05-2010, 08:51
UNLESS.........You're in the middle of a marathon loading session thoroughly "In the groove" and don't notice. Runners get that "high" resulting from a release of endorphins when they hit their stride. Reloaders get the same "high" during extended periods of time at the bench pulling the handle. If you haven't gotten there yet, have no fear. Training is what it's all about. Keep building on your current sessions, adding a hundred rounds or so every week. By the time you hit 1k in a sitting, you SHOULD be at the perfect Nirvana and ready to order your low powder sensor.

Tom

At which point, he could get the sensor then? There's such a BIG outlay of cash up front, some of the things can be delayed, such as me with my roller handle.

I also think that the sensor isn't necessary Day 1, when there's so much else being bought. Add it at a later time if you need it.

unclebob
05-05-2010, 11:55
At which point, he could get the sensor then? There's such a BIG outlay of cash up front, some of the things can be delayed, such as me with my roller handle.

I also think that the sensor isn't necessary Day 1, when there's so much else being bought. Add it at a later time if you need it.

Unless you are loading large capacity cases that well deplete the powder measure before you use up 100 primers. There is no need for a powder sensor no matter how much you are in the zone
Whenever Im loading and the powder measure gets to empty I refill it when I replenish the primers.

fredj338
05-05-2010, 11:57
UNLESS.........You're in the middle of a marathon loading session thoroughly "In the groove" and don't notice. Runners get that "high" resulting from a release of endorphins when they hit their stride. Reloaders get the same "high" during extended periods of time at the bench pulling the handle. If you haven't gotten there yet, have no fear. Training is what it's all about. Keep building on your current sessions, adding a hundred rounds or so every week. By the time you hit 1k in a sitting, you SHOULD be at the perfect Nirvana and ready to order your low powder sensor.

Tom

If you are that "into the zone", you probably shouldn't be reloading. Really, the guy pulling the handle is responsible for safe reloads, not the piece of equip. Pay attention to what you are doing, you don't need a low powder sensor or a COP die (650 users).
The roller handleis nice, but not req'd. The strong mount may or may not be for you, depends on the bench height. The bullet tray, almost useless IMO (yes, I have one on each of my 550B), put the box of bullets on the left & feed from that.
Calipers, spare parts kit, extra tool heads & powder thru die for each caliber, tumbler is nice, case gages nice (but also not needed). Two reloading manuals. If you haven't already, get THE ABCs of Reloading & read that.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 12:11
If you are that "into the zone", you probably shouldn't be reloading. Really, the guy pulling the handle is responsible for safe reloads, not the piece of equip. Pay attention to what you are doing, you don't need a low powder sensor or a COP die (650 users).
The roller handleis nice, but not req'd. The strong mount may or may not be for you, depends on the bench height. The bullet tray, almost useless IMO (yes, I have one on each of my 550B), put the box of bullets on the left & feed from that.
Calipers, spare parts kit, extra tool heads & powder thru die for each caliber, tumbler is nice, case gages nice (but also not needed). Two reloading manuals. If you haven't already, get THE ABCs of Reloading & read that.
Yes so far I know I am getting the 550, spare parts kit, (I wont be getting the roller handle) We usea single stage press at work with a ball handle for gas checks and I am ok with it. The manuals I think I will go with are the lyman #49, and spear#13 (maybe its 14 I think its 13 though) Beam scale (dillon) Digital calipers, Flip tray (dunno where to find one yet though other than brianeno or dillon) Dies, a tumbler and puller. Then components. I may get a case guage seein as its my first time, and I figure its not crazy expensive, I will also (when I go to another caliber) be getting a spare tool head

Colorado4Wheel
05-05-2010, 13:31
Yes so far I know I am getting the 550, spare parts kit, (I wont be getting the roller handle) We usea single stage press at work with a ball handle for gas checks and I am ok with it. The manuals I think I will go with are the lyman #49, and spear#13 (maybe its 14 I think its 13 though) Beam scale (dillon) Digital calipers, Flip tray (dunno where to find one yet though other than brianeno or dillon) Dies, a tumbler and puller. Then components. I may get a case guage seein as its my first time, and I figure its not crazy expensive, I will also (when I go to another caliber) be getting a spare tool head

Midway sells primer flip trays for 1/4 the price of the Dillon. Dillon has a nice set of dial calipers that have a lifetime warranty. Nothing wrong with that. I would get the roller handle. But I did not buy it right away. I used the press as is for about a year. I added the roller handle. Built a bench @ 45" tall so I don't need a strong mount. My bullets sit on the bench right next to the press. That works fine for me. Cases on the bench to the right of the press. Both in lids from a christmas tin of some sort. I can load over 500 rds a hour like that so I don't think I'm missing much. I like the case gauge. It's cheap, get it. Dillon beam scale is nice enough especially for the price.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 13:50
What about case lube? What is it, and do I need it for pistol cartridges

Colorado4Wheel
05-05-2010, 13:55
What about case lube? What is it, and do I need it for pistol cartridges

No you don't need it if you have carbide dies. But get some anyways. Get some Hornady One Shot or Dillon Spray lube. Spray a big empty ziplock bag, dump in the brass, shake it around. Your ready to load and no spray inside the case.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 14:03
No you don't need it if you have carbide dies. But get some anyways. Get some Hornady One Shot or Dillon Spray lube. Spray a big empty ziplock bag, dump in the brass, shake it around. Your ready to load and no spray inside the case.
Will do then, it wont kill the primer will it? Also as far as flip trays go what is prefered metal or plastic? Or does it just not matter?

Colorado4Wheel
05-05-2010, 14:25
Your going to be using the spray before you prime the case. So no, it won't kill the primers. But just spray the bag, insert brass, shake and your done. It can't get inside the case at all like that. I have used the Lee and the Dillon flip trays. Lee are attached to the press so that not much help. Neither is that great. Dillon is big. So I dump primers on the tray, shake it to get most upright, pick the ones up that are ready to be picked up with the primer tube, then flip the tray and get the others. Shaking the tray for 30secs just to get that one primer to flip properly is a PITA. I just get 95% and get the stubborn ones before I flip the rest of them. Get a big tray. Thats what matters.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 14:31
Your going to be using the spray before you prime the case. So no, it won't kill the primers. But just spray the bag, insert brass, shake and your done. It can't get inside the case at all like that. I have used the Lee and the Dillon flip trays. Lee are attached to the press so that not much help. Neither is that great. Dillon is big. So I dump primers on the tray, shake it to get most upright, pick the ones up that are ready to be picked up with the primer tube, then flip the tray and get the others. Shaking the tray for 30secs just to get that one primer to flip properly is a PITA. I just get 95% and get the stubborn ones before I flip the rest of them. Get a big tray. Thats what matters.
Youv been much help. Thank you. I'm going to order it all this weekend. Hopfully it arrives soon after.

fredj338
05-05-2010, 14:46
I will also (when I go to another caliber) be getting a spare tool head
Make sure you get the extra powder thru die as well. Then you only have to swap tool heads w/ your dies already to go for the next caliber. Welcome to the fraternity of reloading kooks.:rollingeyes:

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 14:51
Make sure you get the extra powder thru die as well. Then you only have to swap tool heads w/ your dies already to go for the next caliber. Welcome to the fraternity of reloading kooks.:rollingeyes:
Yup will do. I really just wanna load n go, so the less tinkering with adjustments the better. Every caliber will get its own tool head/dies/dispenser. I am very excited to get this going. Also it will give me a far better excuse to buy new guns.
"but honey...I already have the dies, I can't let them go to waste"

fredj338
05-05-2010, 14:57
Yup will do. I really just wanna load n go, so the less tinkering with adjustments the better. Every caliber will get its own tool head/dies/dispenser. I am very excited to get this going. Also it will give me a far better excuse to buy new guns.
"but honey...I already have the dies, I can't let them go to waste"
IMO, the add'l. powder measure for each caliber is quite a luxury. You have to verify the pwoder charge each time you sit down to relaod, regardless of whether you cahnge it or not, is't just prudent. So having one powder measure works for all pistol calibers IMO. I do have an extra measure for rifle roudns as it takes a diff powder bar.

Colorado4Wheel
05-05-2010, 15:08
Get this instead. It takes no time to swap the powder measure back and forth. That will let you just dial it back to where it was before very quickly.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1231

BUT, if you want a extra Powder Measure, I will sell you the one I have that is very lightly used. I would rather have that dial then the extra measure I have now. 20% off list and I will ship it for free if the cost is fair on shipping to your area.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 15:08
IMO, the add'l. powder measure for each caliber is quite a luxury. You have to verify the pwoder charge each time you sit down to relaod, regardless of whether you cahnge it or not, is't just prudent. So having one powder measure works for all pistol calibers IMO. I do have an extra measure for rifle roudns as it takes a diff powder bar.
I'm just, doing 9mm for the moment. In a few months i'll get into other calibers. After I get into it, i'm sure I will understand better what I will need, what would be nice to have and what will be really really nice to have. The additional powder measurer may be as you said, unneeded

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 15:11
Get this instead. It takes no time to swap the powder measure back and forth. That will let you just dial it back to where it was before very quickly.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1231

BUT, if you want a extra Powder Measure, I will sell you the one I have that is very lightly used. I would rather have that dial then the extra measure I have now. 20% off list and I will ship it for free if the cost is fair on shipping to your area.
Bingo, that it! Maybe not right off the bat but soon I will be getting the dial. It's kinda like the ones we use. I may take you up on the offer, but it will be awhile before I get into anything other than 9mm for the moment. The initial cost of getting set up is pricey. I think it will be well worth it though

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 15:34
ok...More questions. What propellants are recomended for 9mm? Will I be able to use the same propellant in 38/357 aswell? As far as primers go, I will need small pistol for 9mm correct? Will I be able to use those same primers in 38/357 or do I need magnum primers for 357? Any recomendations on bullets?

Colorado4Wheel
05-05-2010, 15:45
Time to start reading a load manual.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 15:48
Time to start reading a load manual.
lol yep, I suppose it is. Can't wait till I order all this and it gets here.
T minus 2.5 days till I order

BBJones
05-05-2010, 16:43
lol yep, I suppose it is. Can't wait till I order all this and it gets here.
T minus 2.5 days till I order

Time to start reading a load manual.


Read 2 loading manuals.

ps. after a while you won't be satisfied with one powder for all your loading. You will be trying to make the perfect load in each. That is when you know you are hooked.

themighty9mm
05-05-2010, 16:53
Read 2 loading manuals.

ps. after a while you won't be satisfied with one powder for all your loading. You will be trying to make the perfect load in each. That is when you know you are hooked.
I'm ordering 2 the lyman49 and speer 13

ron59
05-05-2010, 18:55
Get this instead. It takes no time to swap the powder measure back and forth. That will let you just dial it back to where it was before very quickly.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1231


I have one of those and LOVE it. Replaces the stock 28tpi screw with a 40tpi micrometer. Let's you fine tune your adjustment, record that setting, and return to it with good accuracy.

tlafrance
05-05-2010, 19:14
If you are that "into the zone", you probably shouldn't be reloading. Really, the guy pulling the handle is responsible for safe reloads, not the piece of equip. Pay attention to what you are doing, you don't need a low powder sensor or a COP die (650 users).

Fred, perhaps a switch to decaf is in order:tongueout:
By the sound of it, you have a Dillon product, THANK YOU for supporting AZ businesses:supergrin: That said, since it's necessary to load any BLUE product with primers every 100 pulls, common sense would dictate looking at the powder measure during this refill. A low powder sensor IS nice, I agree not a necessary item, but nice none the less. Kind of like the allen wrench holder that bolts to the back of the machine, NICE, but again not necessary. If you load large capacity cases or do huge runs of .223/.308, then get one of these---->http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1277

Tom

Homechicken
05-06-2010, 06:48
Mighty9, Unique powder is a good place to start. It'll work in 9mm, .38 & .357
and should give satisfactory results once you find the right load for your particular gun. Bullseye works for most or all loads in 9mm & .38, but isn't listed much for .357 loads in the Speer 13 manual. Both are Alliant powders. Bullseye is a fast burning powder that works well for target loads. Unique is slower burning and yields higher velocities, and can be used for target also, though I've not had as great a success building extremely accurate loads with it compared to Bullseye. When my Bullseye ran out I bought Unique since it has a broader range of applications than Bullseye, I can use it for all my handgun reloads. Because I don't reload as much as I used to and didn't want to have several different powders sitting around not getting used much, Unique is all I have on hand. All three calibers use small pistol primers. I believe Winchester's small pistol primers are rated for use in standard & Magnum loads, but most .357 loads in the Speer 13 don't require magnum primers.

One thing I'd like to mention is the amount of crimp you put on the cases. Its easy to set the crimp on a revolver load and compare it to a factory load to see the crimp is similar. Its not so easy with taper crimped auto loads. I'd suggest you experimiment with dummy loads, adjusting the crimp to find the lightest amount that will keep the bullet from being set deeper in the case during feeding and then tighten the crimp just a little more. The 9mm works at high pressures to begin with and too heavy a crimp can result in even higher pressure buildup before the bullet can exit the case, too light and the bullet can set back into the case causing higher pressures by effectively changing the case volume. Anyway, I could go on, but its better that you read a manual or three, than listen to what I have to say.