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Posted: 9/6/2010 5:29:02 PM EDT
Decided to do a mock up order for a new progressive today with dies for 5 calibers(9mm,45acp,223,308,300rum), ultra sonic cleaner, and a chrono. Sitting at about $1100 before any brass,bullets,powder etc etc. I think this is going to hit $2k before all said and done.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:51:04 PM EDT
It'll pay off.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:58:39 PM EDT
Shit yeah it'll pay off.

You're doin' it the expensive way, even gettin' a chrono right off the bat! Progressive is great though for doin' pistol.

My initial investment was around 160 for one caliber to start with.

Of course...I'm still on a single stage.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:05:43 PM EDT
It does pay off. I bought my latest gear about a year ago and have since loaded 3k .223, 5k .308 and 1.3k .45 ACP. I figured that I saved $2000 over buying the ammo outright, and I only counted reloading the cases just this 1st time. I don't count the time involved as it is a hobby rather than a for profit venture. The .308 was what really pushed it over the top in quality ammo for cheap.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:16:55 PM EDT
Yeah I figured do it right the first time and cry once (for a long time). I have been useing my dads Lee Single stage press from time to time but I havent jumped in to reloading 100% yet, but if I hit the submit button at midway then its on! The way I look at it is the 308 and the 300rum is where I am going to make money so to speak.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:24:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 7:08:33 PM EDT by Dinothewap]
If you discount the cost of loaded ammo it works out well.

BTW Starting out with a progressive is a BIG learning curve if you haven't spent quite a bit of time loading single stage. ALL progressives are sensitve to the way they are run. (insert cussing here)

ETA: As Max said below don't waste the money on any cheap progressive if you plan on loading bottle next ammo. You will break a cheap one.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:24:43 PM EDT
I have had a progressive set up for about 15 years. I have saved no money. I have just shot more.

If you are going to get into it buy the good stuff now cause you will end up with it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:38:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By maxdun:


If you are going to get into it buy the good stuff now cause you will end up with it.


What this reloader heard max say was "buy Dillon now or buy it later." Wait till you get into casting.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:46:13 PM EDT
Well I was between the Dillon and the Hornady and the Hornady is what I am going to go with. I just like some of the features it has.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:46:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 6:47:19 PM EDT by ViniVidivici]
Habu: Blue koolaid drinker.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:55:24 PM EDT
Drop the chrono. Once you get the round dialed in, you can always find a chrono to use.

Figure out the main rifle and main pistol, get those two first.



Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:04:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hunter121:
Well I was between the Dillon and the Hornady and the Hornady is what I am going to go with. I just like some of the features it has.


You might want to seriously do some poking around before you pull the trigger.

I shoot weekly with a bunch of guys that reload. Hornady and Dillon both come up frequently.

Hornady makes a good press, but it's not the best.

I shall refrain from further comment except to say I hope you do your homework, whatever you buy.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:34:00 PM EDT
I've played around with an ultrasonic, and a tumbler is way simpler. The ultrasonic can get the brass pretty spiffy, but you have to fiddle with it a lot, do small batches of brass at a time, and worry about drying the brass.

It's hard to get simpler than the tumbler. Just toss it in, turn it on, and go to another room.

I'm using a Hornady progressive to load .223. Smooth and fast.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:02:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dinothewap:
If you discount the cost of loaded ammo it works out well.

BTW Starting out with a progressive is a BIG learning curve if you haven't spent quite a bit of time loading single stage. ALL progressives are sensitve to the way they are run. (insert cussing here)

ETA: As Max said below don't waste the money on any cheap progressive if you plan on loading bottle next ammo. You will break a cheap one.


A big +1 on this...I started with a progressive and was quickly frustrated...went and bought a turret press....now I load all my rifle rounds on the turret..and pistol/revolver rounds on the progressive.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:20:42 PM EDT
Lots of good experience talking above.


I started out Single stage and am still glad I did. Its still set on my bench and has dies in it right now.


The guys at Kesslerings pointed me towards a Lee Anniversary kit and was very glad they did. With that setup you have everything you need (except pills, brass, primers, powder and dies) to make ammo. If you decide you dont like it you are out less than $100.00


Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:22:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gwitness:

went and bought a turret press....now I load all my rifle rounds on the turret..and pistol/revolver rounds on the progressive.

I think I got one used off EE for $20.


Possibly the very best non-gun shooting sport money I ever spent. Right after electronic ears.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:27:26 PM EDT
I think I spent about $600 for my Lee turret setup. .223 and .45 right now. No chrono, but I got the digital scales. I don't like their powder feed much though –– damn thing leaks with the smaller grains so I had to rubber-band a bag around the base of it.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:30:34 PM EDT
I started on an rcbs single stage, did about 1k each of .223 and .308 before stepping up to the plate and getting a dillon. I still use the single for match .308 and since I bought components in bulk 3 years ago I am still loading match ammo for under .25 a round.

I have paid off my Dillon with about 4k of .223 run through it. I stopped counting the 9mm!

Pull the trigger.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:37:29 PM EDT
Check the EE and tyat bastion of american consumerism (ebay) and you may be able to find some good deals.

I started loading with a Lee Loader, then an RCBS Jr, then a Rockchucker, then a Dillon RL550, and now an RL650. I still use the Rockchucker from time to time.

At one time I had 2 RL550's - one setup with small porimers for 40 and a second setup for larger primers for 45.


You could start with the Dillon AT 500 as a single stage and then add progressive options as you get more comfortable with the process.

Dillon: You can buy it now, or you can buy it later.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:40:35 PM EDT
Looks like he's already had some experience with a single stage Lee press.

A progressive press isn't that all that hard to figure out.

Dillon's can come pre-configured from the factory with their dies, etc.

The best place to purchase Dillon's is BrianEnos.com. I went with the 650 with the case feeder and never looked back. But then, the pricing will blow you out a bit

The old Hornady LNL AP had a real finicky shell ejector wire which never worked right for me. The new version fixed this problem and has reportedly works really well.

RCBS has an optional bullet feeder, but I hand feed bullets today just fine.

From a price perspective Hornandy LNL AP (with case feeder) is much more cost effective and yes I like their features / design better (especially primer seating).

For cleaning, use this tumbler at Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/18-lb-vibratory-bowl-with-liquid-drain-hose-96923.html it'll do both liquid and regular media. I'm thinking of getting this as liquid media reduces the dust and is even faster than regular media (dry using a dedicated towel of course)

I have an ultrasonic cleaner but haven't used it yet (as the liquid cleaning gives just as good a result), but maybe I'll try ultrasonic and liquid cleaning just to see.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 9:24:57 PM EDT
Progressives are tricky to start with, especially with rifle rounds. They are simple with handgun rounds. A good single stage will serve you well as a companion to the progressive.

Case prep is a bit of a drudgery if you do it in large batches. A decent case trimmer is worth it's weight in gold. So are case gauges. Set yourself up a comfortable work area and read up before you get started.

I'm not all that high speed, I run a Lee Loadmaster, an RCBS Jr. and use Possum Hollow trimmers. Very ghetto, but I get a lot loaded



Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:18:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 10:22:35 PM EDT by charliez]
A really nice case prep machine is RCBS's all in one. It cleans the primer pocket, crimp removal, neck deburring, and 2 other tasks I forget (5 in total).

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=565099 eta: trimming and chamfer were the 2 other tasks

I don't like Dillon's swager, it's lame as you've must pretty much adjust it for every case, or use it after you've trimmed the cases all to the same length.

Also, don't buy the Dillon primer filler (RL-100?) I could never get the vibration and mouth adjusted correctly so it would feed 100% anvil up and bottom down. It would have at least 3-5 reversed primers which ruins 3-5 complete rounds.

I like the Dillon case trimmer, but it is fuggin finicky to adjust, you can't really get repeatable results unless you dedicate a complete trimmer per caliber (which costs $250 + $50 for the caliber die).
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 6:03:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By charliez:
I don't like Dillon's swager, it's lame as you've must pretty much adjust it for every case, or use it after you've trimmed the cases all to the same length.

Link Posted: 9/7/2010 8:15:48 AM EDT
I knew there were a few "man reloaders" here, but I never figured you for one. It's a brave new world...
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 8:23:02 AM EDT
WTF is man loading??
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 8:33:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 8:35:22 AM EDT by bobbitybobbity]
As if you didn't know.You shoulda been at Tweak's, you could have learned sword fighting, too.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 9:20:32 AM EDT
More Man Loading on Page #2
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 11:26:40 AM EDT
This thread makes me wish I had a paycheck.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 11:42:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HABU:
Originally Posted By maxdun:


If you are going to get into it buy the good stuff now cause you will end up with it.


What this reloader heard max say was "buy Dillon now or buy it later." Wait till you get into casting.


QFT! Been there done that. Dino mentioned Progressives being finnicky, he left out except for Dillon machines.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 2:24:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 2:25:39 PM EDT by charliez]

Originally Posted By 45ColtBisley:

Originally Posted By charliez:
I don't like Dillon's swager, it's lame as you've must pretty much adjust it for every case, or use it after you've trimmed the cases all to the same length.


Dillon's primer pocket swager indexes on the case mouth, so case length is important. Otherwise you'll have to tighten or loosen the case indexer for every case.

I run the swager after I've trimmed all the cases to the same lenth.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 5:33:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 5:38:08 PM EDT by gascan4]
Here is my 2 cents........I used to hand cast bullets and reload commercially. So I am not just blowing smoke. I have reloaded with everything from a RCBS Rockchucker, Hollywood Turret Press, Lee single stage, Lee progressive, Dillon 1000 (not made anymore) these are all manual operated machines. I have also used Ammo Loads and Camdexs automatic machines. I think a guy can learn the finer points of reloading with a single stage press, but if your intention is to reload quantity I would suggest the progressive reloader a Dillon would be my reloader of choice.. As stated earlier there a lot of things you need to be mindful of when running a progressive reloading machine. So don't skimp get the powder checks and low powder sensors. It would pay dividends to find someone with extensive reloading experience and have them help set you up. Don't forget the small things like go no go gauges for your calibers. I too would pass on the Chronograph. Don't let speed determine your powder charge or bullet config. let accuracy be your guide. I always start low and work my way up in .5 gr increments. Any questions feel free to ask. Gary

Link Posted: 9/7/2010 6:41:57 PM EDT
Thanks for all the replies guys, tons of good info backed up with the experience. I still have a few months before I get home so I still have time to research this a little better. I do agree that a single stage is great and will still be my go to machine for any of my precision based rifles since I can take more time on the QC. As far as dropping the Chrono, thats just not going to happen. I need the numbers for the ballistics software that I got on my comp and PDA. I do agree that I wont allow the numbers base what my load is going to be, but they sure will be nice to have.

Once again guys, I appreciate all the help and info.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 9:11:25 PM EDT
If you go with Dillon I have a "tape", not CD. from them on how to set up a 550 or 650. It took me a day to make my first bullet. At the time it seemed very complicated. It was my my first machine so I kept rewinding and watching every part till I did it correct.

I can still remember shooting that first bullet. It was like catching a fish on a homemade fly.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:14:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By maxdun:
If you go with Dillon I have a "tape", not CD. from them on how to set up a 550 or 650. It took me a day to make my first bullet. At the time it seemed very complicated. It was my my first machine so I kept rewinding and watching every part till I did it correct.

I can still remember shooting that first bullet. It was like catching a fly with homemade chopsticks.

.


Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:06:33 AM EDT
Sometimes I can reload a couple of times in a night but most of the time I just wait for the next day.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:19:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SNorman:
Sometimes I can reload a couple of times in a night but most of the time I just wait for the next day.


Is it really reloading if your doing it by yourself
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:49:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Road-kill:
Originally Posted By SNorman:
Sometimes I can reload a couple of times in a night but most of the time I just wait for the next day.


Is it really reloading if your doing it by yourself

Now we're back to man reloading. Excellent segue, BTW.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 10:02:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bobbitybobbity:

Originally Posted By Road-kill:
Originally Posted By SNorman:
Sometimes I can reload a couple of times in a night but most of the time I just wait for the next day.


Is it really reloading if your doing it by yourself

Now we're back to man reloading. Excellent segue, BTW.


Link Posted: 9/8/2010 10:22:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Road-kill:
Originally Posted By SNorman:
Sometimes I can reload a couple of times in a night but most of the time I just wait for the next day.


Is it really reloading if your doing it by yourself


Hey whether it's me or someone else shooting my bullets it's always up to me to reload. That reminds me this one time I tried a Cialis and it was like having a 15 round magazine!
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 11:56:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 11:56:20 AM EDT by maxdun]
Sounds like you need a new brass cleaner.
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