First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:11 pm

This question is for my brother, but I will need to be doing the same thing in a couple of weeks on my own press, a RCBS Pro-2000.


My brother has a S&W Model 52, and he bought a Dillon 550 reloading press.  All I knew about Dillon was how to spell the name.  I helped him set the press up, and we first tried to make some standard 38 Special loads for his Ruger.  Everything eventually worked nicely, by the time we learned how the Dillon works.  We still haven't gotten the primer tube working - for now, he's doing that manually with a RCBS hand primer.

I will be with him this coming weekend, and I'd like to ask a few questions.

First, from what i've read about the Model 52, I know that the bullets can't protrude beyond the shell case.  What I didn't know until recently was that the case has to be trimmed to a specific length.  What case length should we use for the Model 52?

Second, I don't remember which bullets he purchased (will find out), but once I know, I'll be asking for suggestions for the powder load.  I think he bought the same bullets that others use for this gun.  From what I've read here, apparently Bullseye, Winchester 231, and HP38 are the appropriate choices for powder.  He already has Unique powder, but apparently it doesn't load accurately because it's "flakes".  If we need to get different bullets, the local source near him is Bass Pro Shops.

Third, something I puzzled over the last time I was with him, was how much to crimp the bullets.  My first attempt wasn't too good, as the bullet fell out of the shell case.  I then set things to where it's barely possible to feel the crimp, but it is noticeable.  Are there any guidelines for how much crimp to use?

Final question - I think I'm learning that for Bullseye shooting, people use less powder than the minimum listed on the reloading tables.  Is there a thread here about what might be a good load to start with, for shooting paper targets?  



When I get home, I'll need to do the same thing for myself, but I'll have all the time in the world to get things set up.  With my brother, I have about one day.  That's why I'm trying to find some suggestions ahead of time.

mikemyers

Posts : 96
Join date : 2016-07-27
Age : 72
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by cdrt on Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:24 pm

I've used 2.7 grains of Bullseye with a 148 HBWC with good results in the 52.  I taper crimp them to .375 at the case mouth.  I have never trimmed a .38 case, but if you feel the need, just trim them to what your reloading manual says.  My old Lyman manual says to trim to 1.149.

cdrt

Posts : 117
Join date : 2016-04-12
Location : Amarillo, Texas

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by Wobbley on Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:53 pm

It sounds like you have too many issues to deal with in a forum.  I suggest that you find a person who has loaded on a progressive press locally to help you.

Wobbley

Posts : 627
Join date : 2015-02-13

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:55 am

'cdrt' - thanks.  That sounds like all the information I needed.  I read somewhere that the cases needed to be trimmed constantly to make them the precise length.  If you're not doing it, I'll check them, but maybe that's not as big a deal as I thought it was.

'Wobbley' - I agree.  The problem is mostly one of learning how to speak Dillonese.  You can only learn so much from watching YouTube videos.  I don't know anyone up there to ask.  With the information from 'cdrt' I think I know enough to load on my RCBS press.  As for the Dillon, my "solution" to this is to have him use the hand priming tool, and then load one round at a time, as if he had a single station press (which I wanted him to buy), checking the powder load for each shell.  Zero efficiency, but minimal safety issues.

mikemyers

Posts : 96
Join date : 2016-07-27
Age : 72
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by AllAces on Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:53 am

I load for my M52 on a Star progressive press which turns out a lot of quality ammo.  I periodically check my ammo by dropping rounds into the M52 chamber.  If rounds will not readily drop into the chamber you will need to pass the rounds through a factory crimp die such as the Lee die.  Another thing to check is how much of the bullet protrudes beyond the brass.  Too far and the rounds won't even load into an M52 magazine.  Once adjusted, the Dillon should churn out lots of quality ammo.

AllAces

Posts : 538
Join date : 2011-08-30

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:10 am

If I bought a 38 Special case length gauge, and checked each round, would that be adequate for the M-52, or as you suggested, would it be better to actually use the gun?  Midway USA has one from Wilson for about $18.

mikemyers

Posts : 96
Join date : 2016-07-27
Age : 72
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:34 am

It might be worth it to try a couple dummy rounds  (NO POWDER OR PRIMER) to check overall fit feeding, but if they fit the Wilson gage things are most likely good.

STEVE SAMELAK

Posts : 308
Join date : 2011-06-10

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by AllAces on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:39 am

mikemyers wrote:If I bought a 38 Special case length gauge, and checked each round, would that be adequate for the M-52, or as you suggested, would it be better to actually use the gun?  Midway USA has one from Wilson for about $18.
I use the M52 barrel as I have not found a gauge that duplicates the M52 chamber.  For .45 I use a gauge.

AllAces

Posts : 538
Join date : 2011-08-30

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by LenV on Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:13 am

There is zero reason to trim the case. You will be putting a nice roll crimp on the case and any additional case length is just taken up in the roll. I have found that the cases actually get shorter over time and use. I think you might be over stressing on the case length. I use 2.8 gr of Bullseye but 2.7-2.8 WST would also work great. I use a Magnus 148gr HBWC and have great results.

Len

LenV

Posts : 1714
Join date : 2014-01-25
Age : 66
Location : Oargun

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by BE Mike on Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:46 am

You need to call Dillon to get your primer feed system working. Make sure that the primer tube itself is clean. Just run a dry small patch through it. Don't bother with trimming the .38 SPL cases. The bullet should be seated flush with the case mouth or slightly below. The seating dies usually have the crimp built in (usually a roll crimp). I just back out the seating die so it only seats the bullet and doesn't crimp. I then use a light taper crimp (special die) as separate operation in the final loading phase. .375" (measured at the mouth of the case) is a good place to start. You only need a light crimp to keep the bullet in the case. Some folks add a slight roll crimp, but it isn't necessary. The S&W model 52 shoots well with swaged 148 gr. hollow base wadcutter lead bullets (not plated). Zero are a good brand and some folks swear by Remington, but they can be hard to come by and have a filthy lube to deal with. You don't want to drive the swaged 148 gr. hollow base wadcutter bullets very fast. If you do, it can cause leading and if driven extremely fast, the hollow base (skirt) can be separated from the rest of the bullet and cause a dangerous condition, as well as, put unwanted holes in the target. The classic loads with Alliant Bullseye powder are 2.7 or 2.8 grains. With Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP-38 is 3.1 or 3.2 grains. You can bump them a tenth of a grain at a time, if there are cycling problems, but I wouldn't go more than a couple of tenths of a grain over the charges I mentioned. Good luck. Reloading is an ongoing learning process.

BE Mike

Posts : 1145
Join date : 2011-07-29
Location : Indiana

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by jglenn21 on Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:21 am

+1 on giving Dillon a call..some of the best service in the business..
 the primer setup is the toughest piece to learn on most any progressive... once you get it right the 550 will produce excellent ammo

jglenn21

Posts : 542
Join date : 2015-04-07
Age : 68
Location : monroe , ga

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:55 am

Thanks guys, especially BE.  If we actually get to do it, I am printing out your post to tape to his reloading bench.

Dillon - I've already called them last year several times, just to get the thing assembled and working with typical bullets.  I have an extreme dislike of primer tubes - to me they look like pipe bombs.  There is more than enough to be concerned about just now, without my worrying about that as well - so I won't feel comfortable until we/he loads at least 25 rounds, hand primed, running one round at a time through the press.  

I expect we will load 5 rounds, then test.  

(I'll also print out your advice and put it on my own reloading table; I feel much more comfortable using my RCBS Pro-2000 press.  I bought a new RCBS 3-Die Carb Set.  How essential might a separate crimp die be?)

mikemyers

Posts : 96
Join date : 2016-07-27
Age : 72
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by Wobbley on Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:03 pm

For the 52' mine prefers a slight roll crimp just like the factory rounds. Taper trumps can sometimes give feeding issues in some pistols.  So I never went there.  Scrounge around a gun show and see if you can get another seating die so you can roll crimp separately,

Wobbley

Posts : 627
Join date : 2015-02-13

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by LenV on Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:14 pm

I also have an extra die to do the roll crimp separately. I forgot to mention I use a swaged bullet also. I had to make a seating die by modifying a smaller caliber round nose insert into my 38 special die. I made it flat and capable of fitting inside case mouth without touching case. Someone can probably tell you where to find that part from Dillon but I have a lot of extra parts here to play with. This is what my loads look like finished.

LenV

Posts : 1714
Join date : 2014-01-25
Age : 66
Location : Oargun

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by cdrt on Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:52 pm

AllAces wrote:I load for my M52 on a Star progressive press which turns out a lot of quality ammo.  I periodically check my ammo by dropping rounds into the M52 chamber.  If rounds will not readily drop into the chamber you will need to pass the rounds through a factory crimp die such as the Lee die.  Another thing to check is how much of the bullet protrudes beyond the brass.  Too far and the rounds won't even load into an M52 magazine.  Once adjusted, the Dillon should churn out lots of quality ammo.
I use a Star as well, but I added a taper crimp die on the last stage instead of letting the rounds drop through the empty slot.  One of our shooter's as a 52 that works better with a slight roll crimp, but that's always the way; what works for one pistol may not work for another.

cdrt

Posts : 117
Join date : 2016-04-12
Location : Amarillo, Texas

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by orpheoet on Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:14 am

I load for my 52-2 on a Dillon 550. Starline brass, Zero 148gr HBWC, winchester primers, 2.7 gr WST 1.155 oal taper crimp. I had feed issues using 1.16 oal which is a number I've seen used a lot. at 1.155 it runs flawlessly.

orpheoet

Posts : 364
Join date : 2014-07-29
Age : 48
Location : Lakewood, Oh

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by james r chapman on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:12 am

If you look at bullet sites like Precision Delta, they often have close up pictures of loaded ammo.

james r chapman

Posts : 1596
Join date : 2012-01-31
Age : 67
Location : HELL, Michigan

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by BE Mike on Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:18 am

mikemyers wrote:Thanks guys, especially BE.  If we actually get to do it, I am printing out your post to tape to his reloading bench.

Dillon - I've already called them last year several times, just to get the thing assembled and working with typical bullets.  I have an extreme dislike of primer tubes - to me they look like pipe bombs.  There is more than enough to be concerned about just now, without my worrying about that as well - so I won't feel comfortable until we/he loads at least 25 rounds, hand primed, running one round at a time through the press.  

I expect we will load 5 rounds, then test.  

(I'll also print out your advice and put it on my own reloading table; I feel much more comfortable using my RCBS Pro-2000 press.  I bought a new RCBS 3-Die Carb Set.  How essential might a separate crimp die be?)
Get a separate crimp die, like I said, I use the taper crimp and have had no issues in thousands of rounds, but some folks like a slight roll crimp. The crimp die should be the last stage in your progressive loading press. Give the Dillon a chance and I think you'll get quite comfortable with it. The primer tubes aren't dangerous. If they were, we'd have law suits piled up from NY to CA.

BE Mike

Posts : 1145
Join date : 2011-07-29
Location : Indiana

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by jglenn21 on Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:43 am

Only seen one primer feed tube  blow... was it a pipe boom ...no!
 This was on an old C&H inline auto champ.. very early model..

but it did shoot the primer rod straight up 2" into the ceiling....  never did get Dad to say exactly how it happened... but I stay away from metal rods unless they have a soft tip and Never force anything on the machine

jglenn21

Posts : 542
Join date : 2015-04-07
Age : 68
Location : monroe , ga

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by orpheoet on Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:00 am

Yup, a small primer .45 case snuck into my brass. Fortunately I live by the 'don't force it' code....

orpheoet

Posts : 364
Join date : 2014-07-29
Age : 48
Location : Lakewood, Oh

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by SW-52 on Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:11 am

OldMaster66 wrote:I also have an extra die to do the roll crimp separately. I forgot to mention I use a swaged bullet also. I had to make a seating die by modifying a smaller caliber round nose insert into my 38 special die. I made it flat and capable of fitting inside case mouth without touching case. Someone can probably tell you where to find that part from Dillon but I have a lot of extra parts here to play with. This is what my loads look like finished.
nice rounds. what brand of bullets,zero or other brand?? crimp,roll or taper for 52 pistol?

SW-52

Posts : 186
Join date : 2015-07-20
Age : 32

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:55 am

My RCBS Pro-2000 is a 5-station press

  1. deprime
  2. expand and seat primer
  3. powder drop
  4. lockout die
  5. seat bullet and crimp


If I leave out the lockout die, I can seat the bullet in station 4 and roll crimp in station 5.
With the small amount of Bullseye powder being used for the M-52, how important is the lockout die?
I *always* look at the powder before placing a bullet on the casing, even though I also use the lockout die now.


Regarding Dillon - while reading about reloading over the years, I have read far too many stories of primer tube accidents.  The final straw was this one:  http://www (dot) thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=776339&highlight=dillon+primer+tube+explosion   ...and I know it's not typical, and I know lots of people like the Dillon, but it's why I never bought a progressive press until I finally got the RCBS Pro2000.  I'm not saying why anyone else should or should not use any given press - only explaining my own reasons.

(That the RCBS is a 5-station press is another bonus to me.)

mikemyers

Posts : 96
Join date : 2016-07-27
Age : 72
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by LenV on Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:15 pm

To answer SW-52's questions. I use a Magnus #514 swaged 148gr HBWC. http://saas.shopsite.com/magnusbullets/store/page11.html These are new Starline cases that the bullet is seated with a tiny bit of lead past the case. C.O.L. is 1.163. This length works great in all 5 of my magazines. I use a rather heavy roll crimp to give the case mouth a nice rounded shoulder to aid in feeding. The "tiny" bit of lead past the case is to insure that the roll crimp is touching the bullet and not just crimping air. I load this case with 2.8 gr of Bullseye powder.

Len

LenV

Posts : 1714
Join date : 2014-01-25
Age : 66
Location : Oargun

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by james r chapman on Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:29 pm

They look just like factory Remingtons, except the bullet of course.

james r chapman

Posts : 1596
Join date : 2012-01-31
Age : 67
Location : HELL, Michigan

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by jglenn21 on Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:36 pm

interesting thread about the primer tube explosion... no excuse for not having 100% functional equipment with Dillon.. call the 800 # and they will send you any part for free.... I have a 30 year old 550 that I have rebuilt a few times...  I do agree about Federal primers or at least  the old ones being more sensitive..  I run nothing but Win for the most part

jglenn21

Posts : 542
Join date : 2015-04-07
Age : 68
Location : monroe , ga

Back to top Go down

Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by Sponsored content Today at 4:07 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum