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Old 11-14-2012, 20:40   #1
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Reloading tips for newbie?

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!
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Old 11-14-2012, 21:11   #2
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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
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Old 11-14-2012, 21:12   #3
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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
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Old 11-14-2012, 21:15   #4
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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.
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Old 11-14-2012, 21:41   #5
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Universal Clays is another powder good for 9mm that's really hard to double charge (with 147gr bullets, it might be possible).
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Old 11-14-2012, 21:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F106 Fan View Post
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by F106 Fan View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by njl View Post
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
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
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!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:39   #8
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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..
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:25   #9
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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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:29   #10
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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
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:34   #11
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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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 17:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter7 View Post
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!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoker View Post
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..
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDGlock23 View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by F106 Fan View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
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
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:08   #13
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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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:18   #14
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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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:13   #15
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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.

Last edited by KIDRAY; 11-16-2012 at 13:33..
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:59   #16
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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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:10   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDRAY View Post
- 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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:44   #18
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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
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:52   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDRAY View Post
...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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 13:18   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDRAY View Post
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.
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.
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Last edited by fredj338; 11-16-2012 at 13:20..
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Old 11-16-2012, 16:29   #21
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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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 16:55   #22
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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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 17:18   #23
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Originally Posted by Pinki View Post
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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 18:15   #24
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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...
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Old 11-16-2012, 18:20   #25
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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.
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