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Beanie-Bean
09-15-2011, 17:27
If you're testing new powder or bullets on a progressive press, do you empty everything afterward? Or do you leave the powder and primers in the press ready to go?

I'm concerned about kids' safety. The powder isn't going anywhere without a case being present, but I am worried about the primer tube. After I sent the last piece of brass through, I removed the primer which was sitting in the cup, and wondered how you guys handle a partial run. That was one of the reasons I picked up the Hornady SS recently. I can break everything down pretty quickly, and leave the press in a relatively harmless state. Previously, I'd run the 550 similar to a turret press, just sending one case through to get a few loads out. I've got a bunch of different powders, and I don't want to load out 100 at a time, only to find out that I don't like that load. So, I'd run 10 through, then adjust the powder charge, then run some more through.

Are there any tips/tricks/methods for breaking down a powder and primer setup in mid-flight? I'm looking to load out some other calibers with the same powder, but will be switching from LPP (.45 ACP) to SPP (.45 GAP and 9X19.)

Still learning how to do this correctly and safely, and appreciate the information here on the forum. Thanks in advance!

WiskyT
09-15-2011, 19:48
The biggest hazard I see in your situation is the possibility of confusing data and components with all the different variables you are working with. Be very methodical with your process.

As for the general idea of leaving a press filled with components, I secure my loading room with a locked door.

An enterprising person could figure out some way to lock a press so kids can't pull the handle and eject components.

njl
09-15-2011, 20:07
AFAIK, it can be bad for the powder (can absorb water from the air) and bad for the hopper (discolors the plastic) to leave powder in it long term. There's also the issue of confusing what kind of powder was in there last. I always empty the powder back into the appropriate jug (which is the only one on the bench while loading) after I'm done with a loading session.

If you remove the primer follower and put a locking cover over the press, I wouldn't worry about leaving primers in the magazine.

The easiest way to empty the powder is to remove the two retaining pins and pull the entire tool head out of the press (with the powder measure still mounted to the powder die). Place a funnel in the powder jug, invert the tool head, pouring the powder into the funnel. Then invert again, and hand cycle the powder slide a few times with the powder die over the funnel to make sure its really empty.

Colorado4Wheel
09-15-2011, 20:18
I don't have kids. But I leave my press with a loaded shellplate and the handle down. No one can take a case out of the press. Not that anyone would at my house.

michael e
09-15-2011, 20:33
I dont have kids so not worried about that, but I do leave powder and primers in the loader when no in use. But I go and load a few every couple of days. I use the same powder for all calibers and if I didnt would still be able to tell what powder it was by the dies that in it.

GioaJack
09-15-2011, 20:34
Unlike black powder, smokeless powders are virtually non-hydroscopic. Leaving powder in a measure, even for great periods of time poses no problems other than slightly discoloring some plastic hoppers.

Exposing it to intense, direct sunlight for extended periods may have a minor effect on efficacy.


Jack

PCJim
09-15-2011, 21:42
I reload in the garage, in very humid Florida. While I used to leave powder in the hopper for weeks at a time, I don't anymore. Not that it diminished the effectiveness of the powder, I just didn't want to discolor the plastic hopper any more than necessary. I'm with Jack on that one, and a google search can probably uncover some scientific authority on the subject.

As to emptying the hopper, njl covered it. Very simple to do, takes all of about a minute to completely empty the hopper and any remaining powder in the charge bar.

Primers are another story. If you only have ten or twenty in the primer magazine, just operate the arm with an empty shellplate, removing each exposed primer when you push the arm forward. This is the fastest means to empty the system with a small remaining quantity.

If you've almost a full primer magazine, its quicker to completely remove the primer system. Remove the two screws from beneath the mount, remove the return spring and carefully lift the entire system off the press. Invert the priming system over a collection bag or bin to catch the primers as they fall out of the magazine. Be sure to reinsert the follower rod to insure that all primers are removed.

Emptying the primer magazine is one area that I wish Dillon would revisit, as regards an easier method of emptying the magazine. Of course, if you have plenty of primers on hand, you could just resize enough cases and prime them for your next reloading session. I've done this also, although it requires some mental attention to the altered methodology required at the beginning of the next session.

RRTX11
09-15-2011, 21:53
You should have taken notes when you came and visited my press. Just kidding. Leaving powder in hopper is finel Always put the powder container you are reloading with on bench, all other powder containers else locked away. I personally finish a load of primers, and leave the primer feed tube empty. I don't load unless I know there will have plenty of time to complete a load of primers. Still waiting on invite to come by and check out your set up. Soon as dove season is over with we can go out to the farm to shoot at the range.

emptying powder can be pain at first, after a couple of times it is easy.

Greg

Beanie-Bean
09-16-2011, 07:33
WiskyT: I've adopted the "one bullet/one powder on the bench" approach, as outlined here on the forum. I even have a notebook to log what I'm loading out, to include powder/charge/bullet/COL. I'm sure I'll add more columns as I progress in my experience. I wish that I could secure the area with a lock, but I'm currently setup in the garage. I'll figure something out for sure.

njl: I like the idea of removing the primer follower, and use of the locking cover. It's going on order today. Thanks for the powder measure emptying tips, too. I have a nice funnel from my Hornady kit that'll do just fine when I empty back the powder to its respective bottle.

C4W: I like the handle-down approach, and will employ that method when I have stuff in mid-flight and have to step away. I'm leaning toward the locking cover for end-of-operation procedures.

michael e: I have about five different powders to test out on all the different calibers, so I'm still in the experimental phase, and have to be

careful about not mixing things up. Some of the powders only allow 0.5 gr from start to max, and I'd hate to confuse one for another. Hence, the "one bottle on the bench" approach I've adopted.

GioaJack: Thanks for the info. I hope to have the battle scars of a discolored powder measure hopper some day. My rookie setup still smells new.

PCJim: Thank you for the leftover primer notes. I read a post from Bayou, and I noted that just priming some empty cases will work. I'm just worried that I'd go to resize and decap a case that has a live primer. I do push the lever forward to retrieve the straggler sitting in the primer cup/punch so that it doesn't accidentally fall out to be stepped on or set off at a later date. Everything else stays in the fill tube. If I will swap calibers and change the priming system over from large to small or vice-versa, I'll do as you prescribed and just remove the entire priming system.

RRTX11: I am going to invite you guys over when it is safe to barbecue, and I'm hoping sooner than later. Can't wait to show you the rig, and you'll see that it has a lot of your influence in its components and setup.

**

Sincere thanks to all for the excellent words of wisdom, helpful notes and tips, and for encouraging me to jump into reloading sooner than I expected.

I'm having a lot of fun now, and find myself thinking of what new things to try out in reloading land.

PCJim
09-16-2011, 08:25
I'm having a lot of fun now, and find myself thinking of what new things to try out in reloading land.

Yeah, I have to admit, it is rather addictive. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my hands on the ultimate black powder rig - a 3lb cannon. I watched some exhibitions at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine a couple of years back and became really enthused.

Guess I'd have the one up on Jack at that point.... :supergrin:

unclebob
09-16-2011, 09:36
I donít leave powder in the powder measure. Itís just too easy to empty it to not to. If Iím doing load development and I am only going to load say 50 rounds I only put 50 primers in the primer magazine. For load development I have a RCBS Charge Master. Makes it a lot easier for load development. I see no reason to have to us a SS press. Unless when you get done that is what you are going to use. Sizing the case is the same, seating a primer is the same. Pull the case out of the progressive press add the powder put the case back into the progressive press. And a bullet to the case seat the bullet, crimp. There is so many different ways that you can add the powder to the case, without having to adjust the Dillon powder measure.

DoctaGlockta
09-16-2011, 09:40
I have 4 young kids. After loading the powder hopper gets put away under the bench (with powder still in it). Primers are never left out where they can get at them. Primers are locked up or if in my Lee Hand prime they are placed well out of arms reach.

Beanie-Bean
09-16-2011, 10:28
PCJim: I'm still in the early stages now, not quite up to the black powder cannon yet :)

unclebob: that's what I've been doing with the 550--just running loads through one at a time during the development stages, and pulling the locator pins out at the different stations, depending on what I was looking at (powder charge, OAL.) You've got me thinking about the Chargemaster (plus the rebate!) I am a fan of the Dillon beam scale, though, and it's really easy to zero out, read measurements, and adjust the amount thrown from the powder measure. I will still look at the chargemaster, though.

doctaglockta: in addition to the Dillon 550 shroud/cover, I'll also be ordering one of the caliber stands, so that I can put the powder measure there when I'm done. Nice tip--thanks!

unclebob
09-16-2011, 10:45
PCJim: I'm still in the early stages now, not quite up to the black powder cannon yet :)

unclebob: that's what I've been doing with the 550--just running loads through one at a time during the development stages, and pulling the locator pins out at the different stations, depending on what I was looking at (powder charge, OAL.) You've got me thinking about the Chargemaster (plus the rebate!) I am a fan of the Dillon beam scale, though, and it's really easy to zero out, read measurements, and adjust the amount thrown from the powder measure. I will still look at the chargemaster, though.

doctaglockta: in addition to the Dillon 550 shroud/cover, I'll also be ordering one of the caliber stands, so that I can put the powder measure there when I'm done. Nice tip--thanks!

As far as I know Natchez is the cheapest place for the Charge Master. 300.00 with a 50.00 mail in rebate. You can also load with all of the stations full. You just pull the case out at 2 on the 550 and 3 on the 650 and put it back in at station 4. Once you learn how to do it you will never go back to the SS.

GioaJack
09-16-2011, 10:51
Yeah, I have to admit, it is rather addictive. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my hands on the ultimate black powder rig - a 3lb cannon. I watched some exhibitions at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine a couple of years back and became really enthused.

Guess I'd have the one up on Jack at that point.... :supergrin:


No you wouldn't, flatlander... we have cannon competition, (and mortars) at our annual Memorial Day shoot.

We shoot at refrigerator boxes set-up on the side of the mountain out to 200 yards. After the shoot we pay the kids to scour the range and find the cannon balls. Way too much lead to leave it there.


Jack

RustyFN
09-16-2011, 11:11
I always dump the powder back into the factory bottle after I'm done. I always Load until the primer tube is empty. I don't like to leave anything in the press.

NW-Warlord
09-16-2011, 11:16
I believe the Dillon machine covers have a provision for a lock. Just cover it, and lock it... done.

cole
09-16-2011, 11:50
I never leave primers in any of the Dillon tubes. I label the hoppers now. No reason to empty the powder each time IMO as long as hopper tube discoloration is okay with you. My presses are mounted to a 2x6 that is c-clamped to my bench. The whole operation can be removed in about one minute. So, if you had a locker of some type you could lock up the whole operation. Just an idea. Very old pic, but note clamps at bottom:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-KNZ7M93Lj9o/TL5vclD0bZI/AAAAAAAAD9w/j90y3XKDfhE/Dillon%252520SDBs%252520%2525282%252529%252520%252528Small%252529.JPG

PCJim
09-16-2011, 12:45
No you wouldn't, flatlander... we have cannon competition, (and mortars) at our annual Memorial Day shoot.

We shoot at refrigerator boxes set-up on the side of the mountain out to 200 yards. After the shoot we pay the kids to scour the range and find the cannon balls. Way too much lead to leave it there.

Jack

Son of a .... Thought I'd have you on that one. Ever do any anvil shooting at those events? (Do a google search on anvil shooting). While it looks interesting, I don't believe it'd be as much fun as a 3lb cannon. :supergrin:

Colorado4Wheel
09-16-2011, 19:57
C4W: I like the handle-down approach, and will employ that method when I have stuff in mid-flight and have to step away. I'm leaning toward the locking cover for end-of-operation procedures.


It would be fairly simple to take a chain/bicycle lock, a padlock and devise a setup that would hold the handle in the up or down position.

Beanie-Bean
09-16-2011, 20:50
unclebob: I'm going to place the chargemaster or the hornady units higher on my list than the pistol rotor/metering assembly for the SS powder measure. It'll be nice to have that option available for me while developing new loads, and not have to mess with the adjustments on the press.

rustyfn: I emptied out the powder measure after I got back from the range today. Gotta figure out if there is any kind of anti-static spray to use on the inside of that thing. Lots of powder granules stuck in there.

nw-warlord: yup, I'll have the Dillon press cover ordered this weekend. Still deciding on what other pieces I need to get to finalize the order.

cole: thank you for the note and the pic to describe your setup. I'll be adopting the toolhead removal/storage as outlined by you and others on this thread. I'll sleep better knowing that all that's left on the bench are inert pieces of metal.

GioaJack and PCJim: you guys are having way too much fun here!

C4W: you must have read my mind. I was cleaning the pistols up after I got back from the range (testing out the Power Pistol loads, along with the new 0-4-3 RSA for my G19 Gen4) and saw the bike lock from my son's bike and thought about rigging something to keep the press immobilized/inoperable.

unclebob
09-16-2011, 20:59
unclebob: I'm going to place the chargemaster or the hornady units higher on my list than the pistol rotor/metering assembly for the SS powder measure. It'll be nice to have that option available for me while developing new loads, and not have to mess with the adjustments on the press.

rustyfn: I emptied out the powder measure after I got back from the range today. Gotta figure out if there is any kind of anti-static spray to use on the inside of that thing. Lots of powder granules stuck in there.

nw-warlord: yup, I'll have the Dillon press cover ordered this weekend. Still deciding on what other pieces I need to get to finalize the order.

cole: thank you for the note and the pic to describe your setup. I'll be adopting the toolhead removal/storage as outlined by you and others on this thread. I'll sleep better knowing that all that's left on the bench are inert pieces of metal.

GioaJack and PCJim: you guys are having way too much fun here!

C4W: you must have read my mind. I was cleaning the pistols up after I got back from the range (testing out the Power Pistol loads, along with the new 0-4-3 RSA for my G19 Gen4) and saw the bike lock from my son's bike and thought about rigging something to keep the press immobilized/inoperable.

Get the RCBS Charge Master. Forget the rest.

Beanie-Bean
09-25-2011, 12:40
Get the RCBS Charge Master. Forget the rest.

Done. I took the boy to Cabelas today to get some Airsoft targets for his rig, and picked up the RCBS Charge Master Combo while I was there. Really looking forward to putting it through its paces for load development.

After bellyaching over whether or not to get something else (another caliber pistol, some dies/shellplates/toolheads and other stuff) I decided that this would provide the most value at this time, and will help me sort through the 5 bottles of powder I've got.

As soon as I have some loads that work well in the pistols, I'll setup the 550's powder bar to throw the best loads for me so that I can crank out higher volumes of ammo.

unclebob
09-25-2011, 17:38
Done. I took the boy to Cabelas today to get some Airsoft targets for his rig, and picked up the RCBS Charge Master Combo while I was there. Really looking forward to putting it through its paces for load development.

After bellyaching over whether or not to get something else (another caliber pistol, some dies/shellplates/toolheads and other stuff) I decided that this would provide the most value at this time, and will help me sort through the 5 bottles of powder I've got.

As soon as I have some loads that work well in the pistols, I'll setup the 550's powder bar to throw the best loads for me so that I can crank out higher volumes of ammo.

If you did not get it at the store. Go to the RCBS web site and print out the $50.00 mail in rebate

Beanie-Bean
09-25-2011, 17:59
If you did not get it at the store. Go to the RCBS web site and print out the $50.00 mail in rebate

Yup, I've got the form, and will be stopping by the post office tomorrow. I just sent off for the 600 free bullets (100 for the dies, 500 for the press kit( to Hornady, and all of those will be the .451 185 gr. XTP rounds, which I can use in both .45 ACP and .45 GAP.