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Apologies for not posting, but I can still report lots of progress!

Posted 02-08-2011 at 01:22 by MakeMineA10mm

I've been continuing to work on the reloading room. Since we moved into this place, my back-bench (which came with the house and is made out of simple, cheap kitchen counter-top) has been somewhat cluttered, including a microwave sitting there... Well, that bench is almost completely cleaned up.

In the process, I ran across about 100 lubed and sized 135gr Slippery boolits and 130 sized, bell-mouthed, and primed 9mm cases... Well, as has been happening a LOT with my "clean-up" process, I'm finding cases and bullets to load up. I'm going to wind up having enough "loose" ammo for a multi-day range trip!

The 30-06 Dillon TRIM die came in from Grafs. Now, I've got to say, I'm a big fan/supporter of Dillon. Really like their products. They're thought-through and engineered very well, but one of the issues I have with them are these trim dies. When I bought my trimmer, I bought one die with it (for the caliber I needed at the time), thinking that the dies would not be that expensive. At that time (when the RT1200 first came out) the dies WERE cheap, like $15-$20.

Well, something has happened, because Dillon has become A LOT more proud of their trim dies. They are running $40-$55 now!! These are basically really tall sizing dies with no de-priming pin stem and neck ball. Instead, they have a windo cut through them transversely (a vacuum is hooked up to the die which sucks the chips of trimmed brass away), and a set of finer threads on top so you can screw the cutting head down onto the die. In other words, there's just nothing here that makes it worth half of $50, at full retail price!

Then, to top it all off, what really ticked me off is that the way you adjust the length you trim the brass to, is to use a lock ring that fits these special fine threads, and you screw the motor housing down until it contacts the lock ring. And, guess what? On a $50 die that should retail at half that price, there was NO lock ring for the motor!!

I'm going to call Dillon tomorrow to discuss this situation. First off, for the price they're charging, the lock-ring should be included. Second, the lock-ring is the typical Dillon style that has NO set screw to tighten it down, once you set the adjustment.

This is a problem too! Basically, you have to leave the darn thing set up in your press until you've finished the entire lot of cases you are doing, or you are going to risk each batch being a different length, or a lot of PITA adjusting to duplicate the prior setting (or at least coming REALLY close)... (Remember, this top end of the die has different threads, so I can't buy ANY other lock-ring and get it to work. You buy Dillon's or none...)

So, basically, they're making the lock ring cheaply (no set screw), and then they don't include one (which should cost only $3, retail) on the double-over-priced die...

The design on the RT-1200B is very robust and good for trimming lots of brass, but for the price they charge, they could and should make it worth the money and better.

I'll let you all know how the phone call comes out.

On another note, I made my own Dillon Case Lube! Bought a "Horse Sprayer" trigger-squeeze spray-bottle from Tractor Supply. Got a 16-oz bottle of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol for $.99 and then found some pure medical-grade lanolin at the pharmacy (on sale!). Came home, put the alcohol bottle and lanolin in a sink of hot running water to get them ready to combine. After about 10 minutes in the hottest water I could get out of the tap, I poured the alcohol into the horse sprayer, and then squirted the lanolin in. Shook it like heck for several minutes and then put the horse sprayer bottle under the hot water to help keep things loose until they combined. Kept shaking, and after about 5 more minutes, I had an identical substitute for Dillon case lube.

Just put cases in a ziploc bag, pump the spray trigger 2-5 times (depending on size/number of cases), and then close the bag and work the cases around, getting the lube covering them all evenly.

Finally, before starting to trim the cases, I realized I need to get the instructions to the X-Die to find out what length to trim them to... So, I ordered the X-die on Friday. Should be here tomorrow.

Oh, and all the 30-06 cases are annealed now! I have noted that there is still some black tar-like sealant in the case mouths, so I might do another processing step on these and run a 31-cal bore brush on the drill and clean out the necks.
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