Improving the reloading process?

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Improving the reloading process?

Post by beeser on Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:27 am

As the need arises I've made changes or modifications to my reloading equipment.  Now after a total of a few months of reloading experience and being less overwhelmed by taking on something entirely new I decided to think a little forward about how my reloading process could be improved.  What changes have you done to your reloading process to make it more efficient or enjoyable?  When I first purchased my Dillon XL650 I thought ... nah, I don't need a case feeder.  I won't be shooting that much ammo.  And later after a little experience it was nice taking a break after about 20 rounds to feed the case tube.  I'm still not convinced about getting an automatic case feeder but as you can see the seed is planted.  So, again, what worthwhile changes have you made to your reloading setup?

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Re: Improving the reloading process?

Post by Rob Kovach on Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:44 pm

can you tell me more about the case tube system that you are using? That sounds like something I would like to add to my 550.

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Re: Improving the reloading process?

Post by Toz35m on Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:34 pm

I could live with the lower end of the case feed system on my 550 and not have the hopper part. Then just fill the tube manually but not sure that really even makes sense.  Not sure it will speed things up.

The two things I would like is the micrometer adjusting capability for the seating die which allows for switching back and forth between bullets faster.  

http://www.redding-reloading.com/online-catalog/12--competition-bullet-seating-die-for-handgun-a-straight-wall-rifle-cartridges

and the power measure so changing powders is faster

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1231

There are also knobs you can buy so you can make adjustment to power load without a wrench.

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Re: Improving the reloading process?

Post by Jack H on Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:26 pm

For 550 Dillon

I converted the Dillon newer powder bellcrank to the older spring return style by removing the spring and pop-riveting the bellcrank as pictured. The rivet is part covered by the rod in the picture.


The wire that drives the priming slider was stiff in the hole at the top.  I cleaned up the hole with a drill and hold the wire with the rubber band.


To help turn the powder funnel for adjusting the case bell, I added an old die ring.


Spend $ on extra heads and dies for different combinations of work.  Deprime only.  Size and bell only. Seat and crimp only, etc.

And I relocated the Dillon bullet tray on the strong mount to better have a wrist-rest when placing bullets on the charged case.  Just had to drill new holes.


Last edited by Jack H on Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add)

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Re: Improving the reloading process?

Post by mspingeld on Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:45 pm

On my Hornady I added a primer alarm from inlinefabrication.com. When I would run out of primes I would get spilled powder and a waste of time. No more. I do recommend the case feeder.

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Re: Improving the reloading process?

Post by CR10X on Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:39 pm

Well, it depends are you in the sport for reloading, or just shooting, or shooting bullseye competitively?  Time in not just money, its more valuable because its time we can spend getting better shooting.  Every minute we spend reloading or cleaning or whatever, is time that we could be training.  So, I'll answer from this perspective.

You don't generally need modifications to make it easier to change things as much as we need modifications to make sure the press runs smooth, settings stay the same and you can return to the same setup after maintenance, etc.  That means using set screw rings for the dillon sizing die and dillon seat and crimp dies for easy cleaning.  

Get the casefeeder, not to reload faster (rounds per minute) but to get your reloading done in the least amount of total time.  

Use case lube, even with carbide dies.  Put a couple hundred .45 cases on a an old towel, make sure they are laying on the side.  Lightly spray with case lube.  Fold the towel over, grab both ends and shake back and forth a couple of times.  Only takes a few seconds, and doesn't leave so much lube on as to make a mess.

Make sure the wavey washer or whatever spring you have in the power bar adjustment is STRONG.  You don't want it to move lightly.  Match mark the bolt and bar so you can see if it has moved. Make sure the bars are not binding but are the closest fit possible. If you see powder its too loose, if you see graphite like smudges, OK. 

Lightly stone the bottom of the shell plate and clean up the holes where the locator ball sits for each station.  You're not removing metal, just making it smooth.  Take a look at the primer wheel and see if it has been marred or gouged by the seating pin or advance arm.  Clean up or replace as needed.  Be sure to check and set the holding screw for this part as well.  Smooth operation is the key. 

Same for the shellplate bolt and the surfaces where it touches the bolt. I never found the need for the washer needle bearing addition, but others like it.  Be sure to set the bolt tight enough to not wobble, but loose enough to turn smoothly.  Apply light grease as needed and be sure to carefully tighten the set screw after setting up the bolt. 

Personally, I seat the .45 in two steps, losing the powder check position, but seating the bullet half way with a nose fit seater at station 3 and finishing with a shoulder seating die at station 4.

Mark the power measure with the load you are using in big red letters and number on removable label. 

Find the load, set the machine, load rounds.  Then use the time saved to dryfire more.

(Ha, I already dry fired and shot air pistol today so I can post without feeling guilty).

CR

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