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Old 12-18-2008, 16:13   #16
zauber1
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RCBS Jr.

My 1980s vintage RCBS Jr. is still turning out straight walled pistol cartridges with surprising durability. The wife says I can buy a new press when this one wears out. Do these things EVER wear out?
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Old 12-18-2008, 16:19   #17
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Originally Posted by zauber1 View Post
My 1980s vintage RCBS Jr. is still turning out straight walled pistol cartridges with surprising durability. The wife says I can buy a new press when this one wears out. Do these things EVER wear out?
Your wife obviously thinks so. I never argue with my wife.
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Old 12-18-2008, 16:52   #18
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Honey.....

Honey, they don't wear out but they are like shoes. You need a green one for pistol bullets, a red one........

See if you can make it out the door before the frying pan hits the back of your head.

Pete
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Old 12-18-2008, 20:20   #19
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I ascertained that from reading around and talking to people, I never said they will make bad bullets, but they (the presses and dies) are the lower end from everything I have heard. Buying a Hornady press and getting the value of the press in free bullets means I don't have to look for the lowest price, my press was basically free. The last thing I can afford to do right now is decide to be the judge of a press a lot of people dislike, so I bypassed Lee when I upgraded to progressive. I test gear, not reloading equipment.
Understood.


As for progessive systems I think you would have a hard time beating Dillion. When I was reloading hard and heavy they were my dream machines. From what I read and heard they put alot of time in R&D for their equipment and the needs of their customers. Their customer service is supposed to be one of the best. That was the biggest selling point in my opinion.
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Old 12-18-2008, 20:26   #20
RichL025
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Well, enough people here have spoken well about the 550, which is the one I was seriously looking at (already being comfortable with the Square Deal previously).

I'm looking forward to a late christmas present to myself... the advantage of being recently divorced, no one to clear the purchases with!!!
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Old 12-18-2008, 21:50   #21
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accessories for the 550.

The strong base, the new style roller handle, extra powder measure, cover, bullet tray for base and some arco plastic boxes. Also some extra primer tubes help or the primer tube filler.

You can live without the new handle, powder measure and base w/tray. Maybe make you own cover. I like the arco boxes. The press is designed to use them to catch the loaded rounds.

I have always had extra primer feed tubes. In reloading the filling of those tubes seems like a bottle neck to me. So I like to do fill several tubes all at once.
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Old 12-18-2008, 21:57   #22
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What Hollis said. The accessories aren't absolutely necessary but they definitely improve efficiency and therefore productivity. Caliber conversion kits with extra toolheads so you can set you dies permanently are invaluable (and relatively inexpensive). It takes me less than five minutes to change calibers - and that's because I double check the powder throw before starting production.
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Old 12-19-2008, 20:20   #23
Gene Econ
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Originally Posted by optactical View Post
Hornady Lock and Load AP, came with 1000 free bullets and it works just fine for me. A few Dillon owners have switched to them and written comparative reviews. Do a Google search for reloading forums and start to read up on the different systems. Certain communities tend to use certain brands, ie Military and Dillon, this doesn't mean it's the best, it's just a paradigm within that community. Also check webstores that allow feedback on products, such as Midway USA, a lot can be found there as well. Avoid Lee presses and dies like the plague, this seems to be the concensus anywhere you look.
OPT:

Second you on the Hornady Lock-N-Load auto progressive. I started out with a Dillon 450 (yes -- 450) and still have it. I bought a 550 around 1992 and it was screwed up beyond belief with no hope of ever reliably working. Got rid of it and several years later bought the Hornady. No complaints at all.

Second you on the Lee stuff. My experience is first hand and covers about 20 years. Don't even think about it IMHO.

Gene
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Old 12-19-2008, 20:55   #24
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Gene, I bought my first 550 about then too. I had several issues. I think part of it was just a transition issue. One of aspect of a progressive, is stopping and then re-starting in the middle of a load. It is much easier, if one has to stop, is to run all the case through first.


The other aspect was primer seating, It took a while to get it all sorted out. I think I was the most of the problem that I had with my 550. I have friend who have other progressive or multiple stage presses. They would be a good way to go, if a person only has a few calibers they reload.

I would be interested in knowing more on what your complaints where. I fell like I need to still learn a lot.

H.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:47   #25
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This is a great thread. I am looking at a 550B and was looking for some info on it yesterday to post on my blog, but really couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I guess maybe I should have come here first!

I talked to a certain retired friend of mine who works at Ed's, he highly recommends the 550. He did say that getting the quick change kits save a lot of time and trouble. I am thinking that with the reloader, quick change kit and dies for two calibers it will run at least $600. That doesn't include all of the other "stuff" needed to start reloading. Do I need a brass tumbler? What else do I need as getting prepped?
Since I have NO experience in the arena of reloading, can someone give me some tips on the best way to learn the basics? Yeah, I can look on the net, but that gets old after a while. I was looking for a particular book or something of that nature. I know the NRA also has a course I can order, so if any of you have done that, please let me know if it's worth the $50.00.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:23   #26
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That depends.

What calibers do you want to load, and what do you want to shoot at with it?

TR
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:29   #27
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A6 - Go to Shooters Pawn in Fayetteville and "fondle the merchandise". They've been retailing Dillon for years (at factory prices so you can save S&H). The sales staff is knowlegeable and they've usually got everything you might need in stock. If not the internet (Midway and Dillon) can provide everything else.

Get the latest Lyman Reloading Manual BEFORE you buy anything, and study it. It's well written, has good instructional chapters, and is not specific to any particular bullet/powder manufacturer (you can get any of their data off the net). After you've gained experience you will build the usual library. Everybody's manual is oriented towards their particular strengths and you will eventually (probably) want more references.

The best way to learn is to get instruction from somebody who knows what they're doing. It's a "hands-on" skill; "hands-on" is the only way to learn it.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:56   #28
RichL025
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Angels,

My 550B is on it's way (Merry Christmas, me!) so I'll be able to give you a personal report on it soon.

I am a previous owner of a Square Deal B - if you are only going to do pistol calibers, I heartily recommend it - my old one did a great job for me!

When I first started reloading, I was in Germany, and this was pre-internet (well, pre- "useable" internet at least). I read the Lyman's and Sierra manuals several times before starting. I also had two friends who had reloaded in the recent past who I could bug with questions - they were invaluable. I havent looked around for any dedicated internet reloading forums, but I would wager they are there.

Also, like Peregrino suggested, going to the stores that sell the stuff can be very useful. Reloaders tend to be very friendly, open, and excited about helping other people get started.

As far as other gear to start with, here is the basic list I used:

Press + Dies (like I said, I went with the 550B this time)
electronic scale + cover
primer flip tray
extra primer tubes
bullet puller
vibratory case cleaner
case / media separator
associated nit-noid press accessories (bench mount, cover, etc)

And then of course you need your bullets of choice, cases, primer and powder.

If you're starting out with clean brass (ie, purchased) you don't need the case cleaner & separator right away, but you will before you start re-using your brass.

Good luck and have fun with reloading - back in Germany I reloaded for cost reasons (I was shooting 600 rounds a weekend trying to improve my glaring deficit) but the reason I am starting again is because I noticed that with a very little attention to detail and experimentation with different loads, I could get way more accurate pistol ammo than I could buy.

RL
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:57   #29
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A6, I have a Hornady Pro7 that was factory modded to the Pro Jector. I mounted it to a 2X10 or 12 and clamp it in a Black & Decker Work Mate!! This makes for a very stable platform and it gives you ample work-space while you're using it. When finished unclamp the Board/w Machine attached, fold up the Work Mate, and you can store the whole thing in a small closet!! Plus, you can take it anywhere quite easily!!

Good luck and enjoy!!
Martin
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:03   #30
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I will primarily be doing pistol for now, 9mm, .40, .45. As I get more experience I want to start doing some custom .556 loads.

Thanks for all the advice so far. I am going to go look for those books and start doing some reading.
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We must always fear the wicked. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men - Boondock Saints

Iraq was never lost and Afghanistan was never quite the easy good war. Those in the media too often pile on and follow the polls rather than offer independent analysis. Campaign rhetoric and politics are one thing - the responsibility of governance is quite another.
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