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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
but have no idea where to start.

I want to reload .223, .45acp, maybe 12ga.

I dont care about match grade ammo. This is a survvial tool in case ammo gets scarce due to legislation.

To me, quanity is more important than quality.

I know there are manuals that give "recipes" to various rounds, but would like equiptment recommendations. Somewhere in the $800 - $1000 price range, max, for all hardware.

Thanks
Kent
 

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Kent said:
To me, quanity is more important than quality.

Kent
Hi Kent,

You can have both quantity plus quality with Dillon reloaders. I have the RL550B and use it to load handgun ammo. Very simple, fast and safe to use. You can buy separate toolheads which makes changing calibers quick and easy. You can load rifle calibers on it too. I load my rifle ammo using a RCBS Rockchucker single stage press. Most all the rifle ammo I shoot is milsurp so loading is reserved for precision target and hunting ammo. I have been thinking about getting 308 and 223 dies for it though.

Dillon also makes a shotshell reloader though it seems rather pricey. I would check out the MEC progressive shotshell reloader.

Link: http://www.mecreloaders.com/

IMO Dillon makes the absolutely best progressive reloader on the market.

Heres the link: http://dillonprecision.com/template/p.cfm?maj=12&dyn=1&cookieClean=1

Be sure to get several reloading books and a precision powder scale.

Good luck.

RIKA
 

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For $800-$1000, you should be able to get a Dillon RL-550B (get the optional accessories pack, comes with a scale, calipers, etc which you'll need, might as well get it from the same source), dies, etc AND an MEC shotshell loader. I'd also get at least 3 reloading manuals. I like the Sierra, Speer and Lyman the best, however if there is a certain brand of bullet you really want to use, I'd get that company's reloading manual (if they have one).

After that, it's just a matter of components. It's cheaper, per round, if you buy in lots of 1,000 or 2,000, of course the upfront cost will be a lot higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Rika and Magnum! 2 who know say Dillon, Dillon it will be.
 

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Heck I am a reloader junky myself but have gotten jealous of how I spend my time any more. Reloading just takes time. Time that I might want to be shooting instead. Yeah you can save money reloading, but that is the tradeoff. Time/money. Rifle cartridges are much more time consuming then reloading handgun cartridges.

You can buy a LOT of milsurp .223 ammo for what you are aiming to spend on reloading gear. How much of that are you planning to stockpile before you feel comfortable you have enough? If you just want something as a fail safe, then a plain old Rock Chucker will be a cheap way to provide that insurance. It's slower then a progressive unit, but let's be honest, if ammo suddenly costs an arm and a leg due to legislation, are you REALLY going to be shooting up 1,000s of rounds every weekend? I don't think so. If loaded ammo skyrockets in price, so will the components. So you will be taking an entirely different attitude about your stock of ammo at that time.

Honestly, the way I look at reloading now is that it is a method to get a loading that you can't buy anywhere. If it is just plain vanilla shooting fodder, heck I would rather just buy the stuff outright.

That is my opinion, of course, and your mileage may vary, but at least think about how your time and money is best spent.
 

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If you do like I do, then a single stage press will work just fine.

I will clean and prep a couple hundred cases. Basically a single evening task. Then I will store them.

Eventually, I will get around and prime them using a hand priming tool. Do a couple hundred at a sitting.

Then, when I'm in the mood, or need to load some, I will load 100-200 rifle rounds.

All in all, I can make a large volume of ammo, but I don't do it as a continuous process.

If you approach it this way, you don't need to invest in an expensive progressive reloading press.

But, if you feel you want to, then the Dillon is the way to go - watch garage sales / bulletin boards at gun ranges, etc.

:devil:
 

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ha! aslan, thats the way i've been doing it for years!
if a person is not careful he will start finding 15 year old 'stock' crated away!

to bad it wasn't 'scotch' crated away :dgrin:

although, i have acsess to a d-650, when ever a need for.223 arises,

the last batch[1000] is miserable in the bushmaster, the k-2[korean] eats/spits them o.k.....?.....? :shrugs:
 

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Yeah, I do the Aslan method as well. Generally I work on a five gallon bucket full at a time. It just seems most time efficient to do each step for the reloading process for ALL of the brass at the same time.
  • Clean theml
  • Lube, resize, & deprime theml
  • Clean them all again (remove lube and shine them up)
  • Trim them
  • Deburr them
  • Seat primers
Then you have a five gallon bucket full of primed brass ready to go. When you get ready to load the powder and seat the bullet, the final steps will go very quickly.
 

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Yep good idea, although I wait to prime them just before I load them, I have this paranoia about primers getting contaminated somehow.
 

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Gotta be careful though. I was digging around and found a bag of primed but not loaded 7x57 brass that Dad squirreled away 25 years ago. Made up some test cartridges and they shot okay though. Now I know where I get my squirrel instinct. :D

RIKA
 

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I suggest an RCBS Beginners kit. Go Single stage and learn quality reloading before you go with speed on a Dillon.
 

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If you're willing to go single stage, the Redding Big Boss kit is about as good as the RCBS, but cheaper as it skips the powder dispenser (should probably weigh each charge if you're starting out anyway).
 

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Don't skip the powder dispenser, reloading can be very tedious without it!!
 

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I bought one of those automated units that combines a powder measure with a dispenser connected via an infrared signal to allow fairly precise loadings for each push of the button. I think it is a Pact unit, if I remember correctly. Of course, now they have all in one units. :/

When I got it, I thought for certain I would hate it, so I kept the packing materials handy thinking I would be sending it back for sure. But you know what, I LIKED it! Quite a bit, actually. Only two problems I found with it: (1) I could not punch in the weight of a powder load for .50BMG, and (2) I did not like the fact (which is inherrent in all electronic scales I have seen) that it is only accurate to within 1/10th of a grain. For rifle loadings, the 1/10the limitation is no big deal, but in handgun cartridges when you are trying to work up a load in 2/10th grain increments, each throw will be plus or minus 1/10th of a grain. So you will actually be increasing the charge by anything from 1/10th a grain to 3/10ths of a grain. Maybe it's hair splitting, but I would like it to me more accurate then that. Probably doesn't make any realistic difference, but heck, I'm just that way about things.

Does anyone know of a reloading powder scale is available that is accurate to 1/100th of a grain?
 

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Can anyone comment on just how fast those automated powder dispensers/weighers are. I'd like to have one if they operate pretty quick but have read that they are slow as Christmas.

RIKA
 

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Well, it depends on how you use them and your method of reloading.

If you are the type that tends to weigh every powder charge, then the automatic scale/dispenser will likely be quick enough for you. But if you adjust your manual dispenser until it is throwing the correct average powder weight you want then you load all of your rounds without re-measuring them, then no, this might not be for you.

A lot also depends on what you are reloading. Naturally, .380 ACP will tend to have that powder charge dumped and ready long before .50BMG loads will.

The way I do it is to line up the loading block with 50 primed and ready cases, calibrate the powder measure/scale (it has to be calibrated every time you use it and for every time you change the type of powder you are using), then dial in the weight of powder that I want. When the first shot of powder is ready, I dump it into the case, set the powder scoop back on the scale and punch the button to drop another load. While that is taking place, I place the ready casing w/powder into the press, put a projectile on top and crank the press to seat the bullet. By the time I grab that loaded round out of the press to put it back into the loading block, the powder load is ready for the next round. It flows pretty smoothly, actually.

I have seen fully contained units for sale now, instead of the separate dispenser and scale that I have that talk to each other via an IR port.

Personally I like it, but certainly it won't fit everyone....
 

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no more rds of pistol ammo that have to be weighed at ALL, (ie, 20 a year, TOPS, for hunting and defensive loads) it's no big deal. For practice ammo, just check the powder measure every time you load, or every few hundred rds. don't mix in the unchecked batch with the proven ok ammo.

I once had a Star Progessive that came without the little sliding wt for the powder hopper. I didnt know that it was supposed to have such a wt, and as long as I always dumped out the powder after each loading session, all was well.

However, when I was living in a tent at Harry's range, in a pasture, I left the powder in the hopper, cause I was loading and firing 4000 rds a week, for 6 consecutive weeks. the powder "bridged over" and I had about 20 rds with either no powder or minimal powder. I had to knock about 7 bullets out of the bore, and a bunch more could be SEEN to fly only 50 ft or so. :)
 

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Thats "quality" reloading if I ever heard of it!!!!! Generally I weigh every 40th round when reloading on either a single stage or my Dillon. With my single stage press alone this year I've loaded in excess of 9,000 rds of ammo this year.
 

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Before I got the combo electronic scale and dispenser, my method of reloading was such that I had to check every round every step of the process. For instance, I would turn all of the primed and ready cases primer down in the loading tray, and load them in sequence from my manual powder dispenser while they were still sitting in the tray. Then when I finished that step, simply glancing down the rows of cases (this only worked for handgun rounds) I could instantly see if any of the cases had an abnormal volume of powder in them. About the only negative aspect of doing it this way, that I learned the hard way, was DO NOT SNEEZE! :laugh:

Rifle cartridges were more problematical, since I couldn't easily see the powder charge. So I would just glance into the neck of the case prior to loading the projectile in and seating it with the press.

Yeah, time consuming work. But I tried to load each and every round I did as if THAT bullet would be the one in my gun when I really REALLY needed it to go BANG!
 

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I guess I'm too anal, I like to weigh every charge. Of course lately I've been using a lot of 296, which you're pretty much supposed to stay towards the "max charge" end of things.

As for the charging of the cases, I'll dump the powder in and then seat the bullet right away. Skips the whole "did I load every one?" or" did I drop a double charge?" line of questioning.

If I'm making "I don't care" plinking loads, I'll just use the powder scopps I have. They're suprisingly accurate.
 
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