New to reloading

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New to reloading

Post by Mightyheb on 3/18/2017, 7:10 pm

Hello bullseye brothers,

I am very new to bullseye shooting. As a matter of fact I just bought my first 1911 and am having it accurized now. 

I am looking to do reloading and have ample space in my garage for a bench. Unfortunately I have zero handyman abilities so I need on already done or that can just be put together with some screws etc..

Any thoughts from the brainpower here would be greatly appreciated

Also if anyone has any items they don't use anymore or have so much brass you can't handle it
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Re: New to reloading

Post by Tim:H11 on 3/18/2017, 7:26 pm

Personally I have used Lee reloading equipment for a long time. There are headaches involved from time to time and a learning curve to get acclimated to all the kinks in the designs they use. 

Recently however, I borrowed a Dillon 550B. It's pricey compared to the Lee stuff but it's money WELL spent when you look at the consistency of the ammunition dimensions, and how many rounds of ammunition you can make in a session. 

The Dillon comes with a great and detailed manual on assembly and how to use and how to adjust. Any monkey could figure it out. Plenty of Youtube vids too. 

Dillon. Don't waste time on much else. Lee will save you on money but not time.

Other brands... I don't know.
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Re: New to reloading

Post by Chris Miceli on 3/18/2017, 7:42 pm

Get a Dillon 550. Press that will last a lifetime. If you order it in 45 the shell plate and primer tube is already set. Bolt down press. Install dies and powder system. Go reload
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Re: New to reloading

Post by jglenn21 on 3/18/2017, 8:52 pm

you don't need a lot of room to reload really

a wood workers bench is not a bad option

http://www.harborfreight.com/60-inch-workbench-93454.html

the heaver the better and more stable..

the Dillon 550 is a great and very versatile reloader but..... I would highly suggest you start with a single stage press until you learn what all is involved in reloading... learn all the stages of producing a round before you jump into a progressive like the 550...once you know what to do and Not do on a single stage you can move to a progressive.. RCBS makes excellent single stage presses that will last you and your children a lifetime.. I have a 40 some odd year old RCBS rock chucker that I still use for Hunting ammo. can't wear it out.

get some reloading manuals(plural) and read everything you can on reloading before starting.. The ABCs of Reloading is a great starters manual..

the best way to learn is find a old reloader that is willing to teach you one on one.
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Re: New to reloading

Post by Chris Miceli on 3/18/2017, 9:00 pm

I don't believe in the single stage press garbage. Any moron can reload    A progressive, watch a YouTube video you'll see how easy pulling a handle is. If you don't know how to set dies watch a YouTube video . You will need a scale that is capable of measuring grains
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Re: New to reloading

Post by kjanracing on 3/18/2017, 9:26 pm

I'm looking at reloading also. The Dillon 650 looks great with the case feeder. Anyone reload on a 650?
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Re: New to reloading

Post by Tim:H11 on 3/18/2017, 9:28 pm

In all fairness you don't have to overwhelm yourself with the multiple actions at once with the Dillon 550B. Just do one round at a time until you get a feel for it. Then start adding more brass and away you go.
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Re: New to reloading

Post by Wobbley on 3/18/2017, 9:56 pm

Buy a Dillon 550, 650 or Hornady Lock and Load AP in 45 ACP with dies and the whole she-bang.  Then get this to learn the process by loading a couple hundred rounds. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/807734/lee-reloader-single-stage-press

As for benches.  Consider a reloading stand.  Benches have a tendency to become repositories of all sorts of stuff.  This usually has to be moved before you can reload.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by jmdavis on 3/18/2017, 10:13 pm

I have reloading stands and portable workmates type benches for pistol. But one of the best permanent reloading benches uses 2x4s and composite connectors.

You supply and cut the wood.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200226224_200226224
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Re: New to reloading

Post by zanemoseley on 3/18/2017, 10:21 pm

I recommend either the Dillon 650 or Hornady LNL, I want the extra stage for a powder check die, it's saved my butt several times. I have the LNL but was on the fence between it and the 650.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by John Dervis on 3/18/2017, 10:43 pm

To the OP - a basic work bench is all you need to mount a press to.  I started with an old two drawer dresser which gave me some top space and I used the drawers for storage.  I used a small L bracket and screwed it to the wall so it was nice and sturdy.

I agree with Chris that you don't have to start with a single stage press.  I've been reloading for 25 years and have never used one.  I did buy one recently because I thought it would be useful for small runs or load development but I got it used for a bargin so it was worth it for me.  

I have used a Dillon XL650 for over 20 of those years.  I specifically chose this model because it has a fifth station which is used for the powder check system.  This is a must have in my opinion.  The only flaw it has is when changing between primer sizes.  The ram requires a wrench and there is very little room to get it in there.  Maybe they have improved that but mine is a challenge.  Other than that, it is a first class piece of equipment and recommend it to anyone looking for a progressive press.

Good luck.
John

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Re: New to reloading

Post by Sc0 on 3/18/2017, 11:00 pm

Ditto on the 550 recommendation, cheaper conversion kits and can be used as a four station single stage press.  The 650 has a few more capabilities but if your wanting those then you might as well spring for the Super 1050.  Whichever press you get, might want to invest into the InLine Fabrication QD mounts for the table for future considerations.  I currently use a Super1050 for volume loads and a 550BL for a few hundred rounds, test, or oddball loads. I had a CoAx and a 650XL but am happy with what i have now...  Many single stage presses are also on the market that can get you loading if not wanting a Dillon.  If your JUST going to load .45ACP then take a look at the Square Deal B from Dillon, arrives ready to go!


As for a reloading bench:
 http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2012/01/build-your-own-reloading-bench-with-free-plans/ and a bunch more are floating around the WWW on firearm forums.

Now being in the garage you might have dust and moisture issues, so keep that in mind.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by HogCommander on 3/19/2017, 12:44 pm

One option for a bench is to look on Craigslist or Freecycle for a work bench or even a heavy desk.  You can usually find them used at reasonable prices.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by Froneck on 3/19/2017, 1:51 pm

I have the 650, had the 550 too until my son "borrowed" it. If new to reloading I'd start with the 550. 650 with a case feeder is fast though not as fast as Dillon claims it to be but it keeps me in 45 ammo. Problem with the 650 is that it's not easy to work-up loads with. When I had my 550 I did all my load testing on it. I'm thinking of getting another 550, possibly the stripped down version.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by Chris Miceli on 3/19/2017, 1:55 pm

Froneck wrote:I have the 650, had the 550 too until my son "borrowed" it. If new to reloading I'd start with the 550. 650 with a case feeder is fast though not as fast as Dillon claims it to be but it keeps me in 45 ammo. Problem with the 650 is that it's not easy to work-up loads with. When I had my 550 I did all my load testing on it. I'm thinking of getting another 550, possibly the stripped down version.
Dillon makes a case feeder for the 550...I want one
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Re: New to reloading

Post by hp246 on 3/19/2017, 4:38 pm

I have a 550B and love it.  I'd still start with a quality single stage press.  I have a 40 year old RCBS Rockchucker that still gets quite a bit of use, if for nothing else, sizing bullets.  A good quality set of reloading dies can be used both on the single stage and on the Dillon 550.


Last edited by hp246 on 3/19/2017, 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New to reloading

Post by Froneck on 3/19/2017, 4:47 pm

The case feeder is convenient and works well, jams once in a while but not that often to worry about. Seems to jam more when a lot of cases are in the hopper, I may have slightly over loaded it. I've often thought of making a sensor to determine if the tube was empty due to a jam. When it happens and it's not noticed until there is no case in the turret. Removing the jam is easy, all of mine were another case was wedged in with the case transported to the feed tube opening. The result is there are now 2 empty spaces in the 650 turret and 2 primers not used and fall onto that small tray provided to capture those primers however they usually fall on the floor. A low torque motor stops turning before any damage to the feeding mechanism or the case. A micro switch detects when the tube needs cases and turns the motor on and off. A switch is provided for fast/slow/off motor operation but no light to indicate if power is on. Another item I intend to add. There is about twenty .45ACP cases in the tube when the micro switch shuts off the motor. I worry on those days when I load a last minute batch to go to the club on practice day that I leave without shutting down the motor while it's jammed. May cook the motor.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by orpheoet on 3/19/2017, 6:56 pm

My personal experience is that my reloading process has run parallel to my Bullseye shooting. When I decided to try Bullseye about 4 years ago I bought a Lee single stage. I made a lot of crappy rounds that were adequate for my crappy shooting BUT they were all safe rounds and I learned about crimping, COL, matching the length of the round to the chamber, the perpetual frustration of digital scales(I use a beam scale now)..... I do not regret for a second starting with a single stage. To date I've never had a squib or a double. I have moved on to a Dillon 550 and I also think it is fantastic.I mounted it to a junky bench and I have to say that Harbor Freight bench looks pretty nice....
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Re: New to reloading

Post by KenO on 3/19/2017, 8:59 pm

If your building it yourself, Dillon and RCBS recommend the press be at elbow high. This is so your arm is doing the work, and not your back. The bottom of the stroke will be with the arm extended. Most build too low, or have no choice when buying something premade, then end up having to buy a "strong mount" or Inline Fabrication mount to bring it up to proper height.

With your top at the right level, plenty of room for your bullets and brass at the same level.  And, everything is right there easy to see. If you need/want to sit, just get a bar stool. I like to stand.

I recently made another bench out of 2X4s, the top is 2 2X12s and two shelves made out of 2X10s. I cut 12 footers in half to make it a 6' bench. The cost was around $100.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by Rotwang on 3/20/2017, 1:30 pm

Harbor Freight has a nice assortment of workbenches that bolt/screw together.  Some of them are large and sturdy.

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Re: New to reloading

Post by Mightyheb on 3/20/2017, 6:06 pm

Thank you all. This is great info.
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Re: New to reloading

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 3/20/2017, 7:30 pm

When I can't find my work bench I can always find a workmate to fill the bill.  I just have to remember to move it before the boss pulls into the garage.
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Re: New to reloading

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