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Old 01-16-2010, 00:05   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Posts: 6,101
Originally Posted by PCJim View Post
I picked up a new (to me) pistol this week in 40S&W. It's the first 40 that I've owned, having stayed with either 9mm or 45acp except for the revolvers. The deal was just a bit too sweet to pass up, and it gave me a reason to do something with all the 40 brass that I've been storing.

A Lee die set and Hornady pills that I ordered Wednesday arrived today - Midway is fast! I hadn't ordered the caliber conversion yet for the 550b, thinking that the dies wouldn't arrive until next week. Well, everyone knows that new reloading equipment creates an itch that needs scratching. So, after dinner, I decided to sit down for a love session with my ol' Reloader Special 2. This is the first press I bought, still sturdy and more than capable of reloading for any caliber in my collection. And it sure knows how to cure an itch!

I grabbed a few handfuls of brass from storage and resized/deprimed close to a hundred rounds, one pull at a time. Good, on to the primers. I decided to use primers already in the 550b. One at a time, I developed a rhythm - down stroke to load a primer, then up stroke to expose it, pick it up and toss it in a container, repeat. I suppose I could have just emptied another tray, but I learned a relatively quick way to unload that primer system without disassembly.

Priming the cases - the RS2 uses a primer seating rod that is held in a button on top of the ram where the shellholder would normally sit. The shellholder is held in a special die on top of the press. Raise the ram up, load primer, lower ram below shellholder, insert case, raise ram and seat primer, lower ram, remove case - another 50 short double strokes.

Well, after setup (that went relatively quick - I'm a pro at this press) and processing, I spent about an hour and now have 50 primed 40S&W cases for which I have pulled a lever some 150 times. And I have yet to powder and pill them!

I suppose this post is just to show how spoiled we can become when we own a very efficient press (550b) and haven't yet acquired all that's necessary to use it. I'll be ordering the caliber conversion tomorrow.
Heads up there is a current thread in the for sale section of BE. The guy had several 550b tool heads for $17, and I believe a .40 conversion for $30. Just do a search for 550b.
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