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Pinki
11-14-2012, 21:40
Just purchased a used Dillon RL550B and plan to start out with 9mm. Any all around tips and recommendations? Any tips for where to buy powder, primers, etc, brandnames, etc. ? Thanks in advance!

F106 Fan
11-14-2012, 22:11
There are several stickies at the top of the forum that contain a lot of the information you will need.

Short answer for supplies: Powder Valley for primers and powder. Montana Gold or Precision Delta for jacketed bullets.

I buy my lead bullets from Dillon but S&S Casting sells direct (I believe).

Richard

F106 Fan
11-14-2012, 22:12
Try YouTube for videos re: the 550
Download the manual from Dillon
Make sure you have a decent scale, calipers (dial or digital) and, in my view, a case gauge (from Dillon, among others).

Richard

CitizenOfDreams
11-14-2012, 22:15
Some random tips from another newbie (started a year ago, successfully reloading 9mm)...

- Unique powder is fool-proof, you can't double-charge a 9mm with it even if you try.
- Can't go wrong with CCI 500 primers.
- The cheapest FMJ bullets are Precision Delta.
- Plated bullets look cute and shiny but they are not worth the trouble.
- Buy powder/primers in bulk to save on hazmat fees.

And a general reloading advice:
- Read the manuals. Understand what you are doing. Pay attention. Take your time. Measure. Check your work. Have fun.

njl
11-14-2012, 22:41
Universal Clays is another powder good for 9mm that's really hard to double charge (with 147gr bullets, it might be possible).

Pinki
11-14-2012, 22:51
There are several stickies at the top of the forum that contain a lot of the information you will need.

Short answer for supplies: Powder Valley for primers and powder. Montana Gold or Precision Delta for jacketed bullets.

I buy my lead bullets from Dillon but S&S Casting sells direct (I believe).

Richard


I saw the stickies but was looking for the "short answer" ==
Thank you :)

Try YouTube for videos re: the 550
Download the manual from Dillon
Make sure you have a decent scale, calipers (dial or digital) and, in my view, a case gauge (from Dillon, among others).

Richard

Some random tips from another newbie (started a year ago, successfully reloading 9mm)...

- Unique powder is fool-proof, you can't double-charge a 9mm with it even if you try.
- Can't go wrong with CCI 500 primers.
- The cheapest FMJ bullets are Precision Delta.
- Plated bullets look cute and shiny but they are not worth the trouble.
- Buy powder/primers in bulk to save on hazmat fees.

And a general reloading advice:
- Read the manuals. Understand what you are doing. Pay attention. Take your time. Measure. Check your work. Have fun.

Universal Clays is another powder good for 9mm that's really hard to double charge (with 147gr bullets, it might be possible).

Thank you folks for the good ideas :hugs:

skeeter7
11-15-2012, 05:40
Some random tips from another newbie (started a year ago, successfully reloading 9mm)...

- Unique powder is fool-proof, you can't double-charge a 9mm with it even if you try.
- Can't go wrong with CCI 500 primers.
- The cheapest FMJ bullets are Precision Delta.
- Plated bullets look cute and shiny but they are not worth the trouble.
- Buy powder/primers in bulk to save on hazmat fees.

And a general reloading advice:
- Read the manuals. Understand what you are doing. Pay attention. Take your time. Measure. Check your work. Have fun.

This pretty much sums it up. Get a good manual and read it. When you do load, only load a small batch at first, maybe 20 rounds or so, and test those first to be sure it is a load you are happy with. Wear safety glasses and lastly, don't smoke while reloading. Haha!

Smoker
11-15-2012, 07:39
Don't be lazy!! Read the tons of info already out here. Cutting that corner that early in your reloading days is a bad sign in my books. Cutting corners in reloading rarely works out..

SDGlock23
11-15-2012, 08:25
Good choice on the 550B, mine has pumped out quite a few rounds over the years. For jacketed bullets I use Precision Delta and for lead bullets I use Missouri Bullet Co. I have good results in 9mm (and others) with Unique, WST and TiteGroup, but there are many choices out there.

Take your time and don't get in a hurry. Don't just look at one source for load data either, you will find that there are some discrepancies among them, some higher, some lower. Always compare it to manufacturers data, and play it safe if in doubt.

F106 Fan
11-15-2012, 08:29
You should also have a copy of "ABC's Of Reloading", available at Amazon - also available as an eBook.

Loading Manuals (3 recommended):
Hornady Handbook Of Cartridge Reloading 9th Edition
Lyman 49th Reloading Handbook
Speer Reloading Manual #14
All are available at Midway USA

Many newcomers complain about multiple manuals but the rest of us have a lot more than 3. I'm a lightweight and I have 10, not including historical copies. The Speer manual will feature their bullets and Alliant powder, Hornady is more encompassing of powders but features their bullets and Lyman has a lot more information re: cast bullets. You still use the load data even if the bullet isn't exactly the one in the manual but you load carefully working up from the starting load. But bullets aren't interchangeable. It matters...

BTW, read along starting at page 59 in Speer #14 where they suggest that you really can't look at primers and determine whether you are overpressure.

You should be familiar with the web sites for the two major powder manufacturers:
http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

I prefer Hodgdon powders and, therefore, I use their site more often than Alliant. Others have a different view.

Alliant doesn't give starting loads. They simply state, in the disclaimer, to start 10% below published data.

Some references give pressure data for their load info. That allows you to pick a powder that will give the desired velocity while still minimizing pressure.

I suppose it is worth remembering that we are working with products formed with nitroglycerin or nitrocellulose. A small mistake goes a long way.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
11-15-2012, 08:34
IMO Learn to seat the bullet on station two before indexing. Use about .015" of flare and the bullet will stay in place (manual explains how to measure flare).

And read the manual before you get the press, read it while you set it up and after you have owned it a couple weeks. Do no rely on videos of any sort. Read the manual.

Pinki
11-15-2012, 18:58
This pretty much sums it up. Get a good manual and read it. When you do load, only load a small batch at first, maybe 20 rounds or so, and test those first to be sure it is a load you are happy with. Wear safety glasses and lastly, don't smoke while reloading. Haha!

Don't be lazy!! Read the tons of info already out here. Cutting that corner that early in your reloading days is a bad sign in my books. Cutting corners in reloading rarely works out..

Good choice on the 550B, mine has pumped out quite a few rounds over the years. For jacketed bullets I use Precision Delta and for lead bullets I use Missouri Bullet Co. I have good results in 9mm (and others) with Unique, WST and TiteGroup, but there are many choices out there.

Take your time and don't get in a hurry. Don't just look at one source for load data either, you will find that there are some discrepancies among them, some higher, some lower. Always compare it to manufacturers data, and play it safe if in doubt.

You should also have a copy of "ABC's Of Reloading", available at Amazon - also available as an eBook.

Loading Manuals (3 recommended):
Hornady Handbook Of Cartridge Reloading 9th Edition
Lyman 49th Reloading Handbook
Speer Reloading Manual #14
All are available at Midway USA

Many newcomers complain about multiple manuals but the rest of us have a lot more than 3. I'm a lightweight and I have 10, not including historical copies. The Speer manual will feature their bullets and Alliant powder, Hornady is more encompassing of powders but features their bullets and Lyman has a lot more information re: cast bullets. You still use the load data even if the bullet isn't exactly the one in the manual but you load carefully working up from the starting load. But bullets aren't interchangeable. It matters...

BTW, read along starting at page 59 in Speer #14 where they suggest that you really can't look at primers and determine whether you are overpressure.

You should be familiar with the web sites for the two major powder manufacturers:
http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

I prefer Hodgdon powders and, therefore, I use their site more often than Alliant. Others have a different view.

Alliant doesn't give starting loads. They simply state, in the disclaimer, to start 10% below published data.

Some references give pressure data for their load info. That allows you to pick a powder that will give the desired velocity while still minimizing pressure.

I suppose it is worth remembering that we are working with products formed with nitroglycerin or nitrocellulose. A small mistake goes a long way.

Richard

IMO Learn to seat the bullet on station two before indexing. Use about .015" of flare and the bullet will stay in place (manual explains how to measure flare).

And read the manual before you get the press, read it while you set it up and after you have owned it a couple weeks. Do no rely on videos of any sort. Read the manual.

Thank you :hugs:

njl
11-16-2012, 10:08
After reading lots online, my Speer #14 manual, watching the youtube and Dillon DVD videos, I was kind of disappointed in the ABC's book's lack of detail or new info. I'd say check it out if your library has it. Otherwise, skip it.

CaptainXL
11-16-2012, 11:18
Load and test small 10 round batches using different powders, bullets, etc. before loading large batches to determine what works best and is the most accurate in your particular gun. Keep concise records for each batch of reloads. Powder, powder weight, bullet mfg - weight -type, OAL, primer brand, etc.

Shoot all test batches from a rest at a given distance and records group sizes. (I use a separate target for each new batch and save the targets.) Check for pressure signs with the first round of every batch. After shooting the whole batch check all brass in that test batch for pressure signs.

Take your time when reloading and don't try to break any speed records. Increased speed will come about naturally as you become more experienced.

KIDRAY
11-16-2012, 12:13
I reload 9mm empty brass for approx 12.5 cents a round, here is what I use.

- Either Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP38 powder
- Winchester small pistol primers
- The cheapest double struck FMJ/JHP bullets are Berrys Mfg. St. George Utah (free shipping orders over $50)
- Jacketed bullets are your friend, thus barrel cleaning festivities are more pleasant.
- Don't waste your money on fancy press name brands, I have used Lee for years and years without any issues.

I will also state that when I reload, I am not trying to break the world record for number of rounds reloaded in an hour. Consistant, accurate, dependable reloads is what I reload for. You can bash Lee all you want, I've been reloading for years, watch out who you are calling a noob.

Pay attention to OAL (over all length) specs.

m2hmghb
11-16-2012, 12:59
PINKI!!!! You're reloading now??

Anyways I'd suggest 3-4 loading manuals, from different brands and bullet manufacturers. Lyman, Lee, Hornady, and ones from bullet manufacturers are a good idea. The ABCs of reloading is a good place to start. I would suggest you get a bullet puller now rather then later, either a collet or an impact model. Work up your loads, never start at max. Good luck and enjoy being able to shoot more.

Colorado4Wheel
11-16-2012, 13:10
- Don't waste your money on fancy press name brands, I have used Lee for years and years without any issues.


Could not disagree more. Unless your only talking Single Stages.

F106 Fan
11-16-2012, 13:44
After reading lots online, my Speer #14 manual, watching the youtube and Dillon DVD videos, I was kind of disappointed in the ABC's book's lack of detail or new info. I'd say check it out if your library has it. Otherwise, skip it.

Yes, ABCs should come first! It is somewhat superficial and other manuals cover the same things. But it's only $13 as an eBook so it might be worth reading before spending a lot of money on equipment and manuals.

Richard

SARDG
11-16-2012, 13:52
...Plated bullets are your friend, thus barrel cleaning festivities are more pleasant..
...and I couldn't disagree more about plated bullets. Nearly every newb that begins with plated bullets has one issue or another. Reserve plated for the months down the road when you are more in tune to the subtleties of the components you choose.

Plated are no cheaper than jacketed apparently - but that ain't the point anyway. Donít leave the gate with one hurdle directly in front of you.

fredj338
11-16-2012, 14:18
I reload 9mm empty brass for approx 12.5 cents a round, here is what I use.

- Either Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP38 powder
- Winchester small pistol primers
- The cheapest double struck FMJ/JHP bullets are Berrys Mfg. St. George Utah (free shipping orders over $50)
- Plated bullets are your friend, thus barrel cleaning festivities are more pleasant.
- Don't waste your money on fancy press name brands, I have used Lee for years and years without any issues.

Pay attention to OAL (over all length) specs.
Spoken like someone that has never used better gear. Most Lee guys will say their regressive is fine, "why waste money". Then proceed to tell you they only get about 200rds/hr. So if the point is a lot of ammo in a short period of time, you just have to have better gear, period. So yes, $1000 for a 650 setup to go is worth it when I can easily turn out 700-800rds/hr, every hour, every day.:dunno:
As to plated bullets, like Sardg notes, they are not a good bet for the noob. There is little load data & they have their own little issues w/ crimping & accuracy. So noobs, best bet is start w/ jacketed bullets, PD or MG for best price.

RWBlue
11-16-2012, 17:29
Start a spreadsheet for the cartridges you are interested in. Add all the data from your reloading manuals for those cartridges. Then down load all the free manuals you can from the web. Add that data. The go looking for data on the web for particular cartridge.

Then analyse the data. The outliers will stand out mark those because sometime one manual will just be WRONG or someone you trust on GT typoed a load. Your starting load should fall in the middle of the load data. You maximum load or velocity should be appropriate. If you get good at this you can go off book.

breacher1
11-16-2012, 17:55
As to plated bullets, like Sardg notes, they are not a good bet for the noob. There is little load data & they have their own little issues w/ crimping & accuracy. So noobs, best bet is start w/ jacketed bullets, PD or MG for best price.

huh? can't you just assemble them using light to mid-range lead data for plinking rds? I realize you can't +P them like true jacketed.

RustyFN
11-16-2012, 18:18
Just purchased a used Dillon RL550B and plan to start out with 9mm. Any all around tips and recommendations? Any tips for where to buy powder, primers, etc, brandnames, etc. ? Thanks in advance!

Hey Pinki long time no see. Welcome back to GTR. Congrats on the 550. Very nice press you should be very happy with it. A lot of great info so far. I would stay with powders like 231, WSF, Bullseye. I hear Unique is good but doesn't measure as well as most powders. If you are looking to buy in bulk then Powder Valley and Graf's are hard to beat for powder and primers. Montana Gold has pretty good prices on jacketed bullets. As far as primers go I have used CCI, Win, Wolf and Magtech without any problems. Good luck. Take your time and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Zombie Steve
11-16-2012, 19:15
Pinki!!!!

:wavey:


Powder valley is a great source for components.


I'm assuming you're creating a minor load for matches...


???


WST will work well with the Dillon powder measure. If you want full power loads, WSF...

shotgunred
11-16-2012, 19:20
I saw the stickies but was looking for the "short answer" ==
Thank you :)


The short answer = hold my beer and watch me blow up my gun.

fredj338
11-16-2012, 19:24
huh? can't you just assemble them using light to mid-range lead data for plinking rds? I realize you can't +P them like true jacketed.
Yes, but my point, there is no laod data & they do NOT load like jacketed. Add to that the cost & accuracy/crimp issues, not the best bet for noobs.

Pinki
11-17-2012, 00:50
After reading lots online, my Speer #14 manual, watching the youtube and Dillon DVD videos, I was kind of disappointed in the ABC's book's lack of detail or new info. I'd say check it out if your library has it. Otherwise, skip it.



Load and test small 10 round batches using different powders, bullets, etc. before loading large batches to determine what works best and is the most accurate in your particular gun. Keep concise records for each batch of reloads. Powder, powder weight, bullet mfg - weight -type, OAL, primer brand, etc.

Shoot all test batches from a rest at a given distance and records group sizes. (I use a separate target for each new batch and save the targets.) Check for pressure signs with the first round of every batch. After shooting the whole batch check all brass in that test batch for pressure signs.

Take your time when reloading and don't try to break any speed records. Increased speed will come about naturally as you become more experienced.

I reload 9mm empty brass for approx 12.5 cents a round, here is what I use.

- Either Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP38 powder
- Winchester small pistol primers
- The cheapest double struck FMJ/JHP bullets are Berrys Mfg. St. George Utah (free shipping orders over $50)
- Jacketed bullets are your friend, thus barrel cleaning festivities are more pleasant.
- Don't waste your money on fancy press name brands, I have used Lee for years and years without any issues.

I will also state that when I reload, I am not trying to break the world record for number of rounds reloaded in an hour. Consistant, accurate, dependable reloads is what I reload for. You can bash Lee all you want, I've been reloading for years, watch out who you are calling a noob.

Pay attention to OAL (over all length) specs.

PINKI!!!! You're reloading now??

Anyways I'd suggest 3-4 loading manuals, from different brands and bullet manufacturers. Lyman, Lee, Hornady, and ones from bullet manufacturers are a good idea. The ABCs of reloading is a good place to start. I would suggest you get a bullet puller now rather then later, either a collet or an impact model. Work up your loads, never start at max. Good luck and enjoy being able to shoot more.

:quiet: well, I'm going to try.. :) too expensive to shoot much these days...

Could not disagree more. Unless your only talking Single Stages.

Yes, ABCs should come first! It is somewhat superficial and other manuals cover the same things. But it's only $13 as an eBook so it might be worth reading before spending a lot of money on equipment and manuals.

Richard

...and I couldn't disagree more about plated bullets. Nearly every newb that begins with plated bullets has one issue or another. Reserve plated for the months down the road when you are more in tune to the subtleties of the components you choose.

Plated are no cheaper than jacketed apparently - but that ain't the point anyway. Don’t leave the gate with one hurdle directly in front of you.

Spoken like someone that has never used better gear. Most Lee guys will say their regressive is fine, "why waste money". Then proceed to tell you they only get about 200rds/hr. So if the point is a lot of ammo in a short period of time, you just have to have better gear, period. So yes, $1000 for a 650 setup to go is worth it when I can easily turn out 700-800rds/hr, every hour, every day.:dunno:
As to plated bullets, like Sardg notes, they are not a good bet for the noob. There is little load data & they have their own little issues w/ crimping & accuracy. So noobs, best bet is start w/ jacketed bullets, PD or MG for best price.

Start a spreadsheet for the cartridges you are interested in. Add all the data from your reloading manuals for those cartridges. Then down load all the free manuals you can from the web. Add that data. The go looking for data on the web for particular cartridge.

Then analyse the data. The outliers will stand out mark those because sometime one manual will just be WRONG or someone you trust on GT typoed a load. Your starting load should fall in the middle of the load data. You maximum load or velocity should be appropriate. If you get good at this you can go off book.

huh? can't you just assemble them using light to mid-range lead data for plinking rds? I realize you can't +P them like true jacketed.

Hey Pinki long time no see. Welcome back to GTR. Congrats on the 550. Very nice press you should be very happy with it. A lot of great info so far. I would stay with powders like 231, WSF, Bullseye. I hear Unique is good but doesn't measure as well as most powders. If you are looking to buy in bulk then Powder Valley and Graf's are hard to beat for powder and primers. Montana Gold has pretty good prices on jacketed bullets. As far as primers go I have used CCI, Win, Wolf and Magtech without any problems. Good luck. Take your time and don't be afraid to ask questions.

I've been reading more, posting less....Working much :crying:

Pinki!!!!




Powder valley is a great source for components.


I'm assuming you're creating a minor load for matches...


???


WST will work well with the Dillon powder measure. If you want full power loads, WSF...

:wavey: Yes..potentially, but I haven't shot matches in a while but hope too again before too long

The short answer = hold my beer and watch me blow up my gun.

I hear you, but I have less time for reading and need to get to the point...and the good experiences of those here can prevent me (and others) from wasting time on superfluous or inaccurate information as it has always done in the past and will continue.

Yes, but my point, there is no laod data & they do NOT load like jacketed. Add to that the cost & accuracy/crimp issues, not the best bet for noobs.

Thank you for the information and well wishes all of you! :hugs:

Jon_R
11-17-2012, 16:54
A good site for checking a load if you use one of the included powders.

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

Free. I always make sure I get a few cross references that match up or are very close.

Specifically on the 550 the primers are 90% of the issues I run into. Usually the bar not picking one up. Not saying I have lots of issues just when I do that is what it is.

If you have not done it get the roller handle. Good upgrade. Strong mount is nice pending where the loader is in relation to what height you want it. If you get the strong mount though you almost also have to get the bullet tray and the other one to hold the empty brass. I forget what they call it.

I also like having a lot of primer pickup tubes as I hate stopping every 100 rounds to load the pickup tube so I load 7-8 pickup tubes at a time so when I run out of primers I am down a minute or two then back to cranking out ammo.

Check powder a lot as you are dialing in the machine then spot check. Anytime you come back to the machine or every primer tube or two. The method I prefer is using my digital scale. I take a case that has completed station 1 and use it to zero the scale. Then I take that exact case after it gets the powder drop and weigh it. Don't kill yourself chasing that last .1 grain. IMO it is within the +- of the powder drop and / or the scale. If you are trying to hit 4.5 and scale says 4.6 you hit it.

Make sure your shell plate is pretty tight. If you get a lot play in the brass laterally it will have sporadic issues with the powder drop. Sometimes it will hit it wrong and dump powder on your press. Can test by pushing down on the silver part you use to push them around the reloader and see how much the top of the brass moves laterally. I generally put it as tight as it will go and still allow me to move the brass without it being jerky.

I also like to do double powder drop on purpose when I am loading a new caliber or new powder. I want to see what it looks like. If it is so much you can't seat a bullet that is good to know. If you can seat a bullet with a double powder drop that is something I just want to know to.

I remember a thread along time ago where someone was worried he double fed a .223 round. Still trying to figure out what powder that is possible with...

Make sure station 2 is very consistent with getting the powder bar fully actuated. That is usually where my eyes are. I had that little plastic thing on the powder bar come lose once and the powder bar didn't move for an undetermined amount of rounds that it then dumped in my hopper of completed rounds. No way to undo that or tel which ones. You can pull them or just know some percentage of those are junk / squibs.


Good luck and go slow check often.

For 9mm I use win 231 of HP-38 same powder. Never figured out if it was best just very versatile in lots of calibers and works well in the 550. I usually load in batches of 3-5K for pistol. :cool: I am working on about 1500 .308s. That is a chore and powder goes quick at 42.5Grains a round.