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Progressive press and case prep?

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Old October 4th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #1
 
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Progressive press and case prep?

How many of you still perform some sort of case preparation before loading with a progressive press?

I'm have been trying to talk myself into getting a progressive press for some time now but I really enjoy loading on my old Rock Crusher. I perform a lot of case prep before I start reloading. Maybe I think case prep is more important than it really is. For example I size my 357 cases twice, once with the Lee die which smoothes out the bulge then a half case size with a Redding die which sizes down even more for a really tight bullet fit. I also like to prime with my RCBS bench primer as it has just the right seating feel to it. All cases get a slight inside and outside deburr and a primer pocket cleaning. I use a Lyman expanding die for all calibers that I reload.
I'm getting serious now that I'm going to be loading .223.
My wife has already given me the OK for a Dillon, she pointed out the 550B in the Dillon monthly mag as what I should get but a 650 is what I have been looking at.



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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #2
 
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I am just starting out and have fairly well figured out my Dillon press. Sort of, maybe.

After tumbling I check primers pockets and clean etc. if necessary.
I check for length and trim them as a group if I find a couple too long in that group.
If I have to trim I will deburr afterwards.
My first station sizes them and the second station gives them a .020 flare for the bullet.
That's it for me but like I said I am just learning and I am following my manual as closely as possible.

I am at the point where the initial confusion and fear of blowing one's self up has dissipated and it is just starting to be fun.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #3
 
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I still chamfer ever brass but it goes quick with a drill and run everything through the tumbler. Only trim .223 if needed but thats the only rifle I do. I do not expand .223 at all, just have a slower smoother motion with the .223 than with the pistol and they slide in well, dont crimp .223 but it for a bolt action. Recently been lubing the case necks beforehand. Besides that, the Dillon does the rest
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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #4
 
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I reload a bunch of range brass that is new to me. The first time I reload a case that is new to me I will give it the full treatment. I handle each case enough so that if there is something wrong hopefully I will see it. So far, so good.

Those I have already reloaded once don't need as much attention. I don't over load my rounds.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Case prep is even more important in my mind. If you are using a progressive press, at some level, speed of production is some concern. If you expect to pull the handle without a bunch of minor problems as you work, the cases MUST be clean, clean, clean. Any grunge on the case will cause it to drag as it moves from the feeder, down the tube and onto the plate.

Then if the primer pocket is not clean and uniform the new primer will not seat the same as the others. The feel of the primer seating will change from round to round if their not clean too.

Every time there is a change in the feel of the press, I'm looking it all over to see where the problem is. That causes lost time. Also the most important thing about any reloading is consistency. Prepping the cases completely, makes for consistent reloads.

Its one of the reasons I've really gotten into the ultrasonic cleaner, it washes everything sparkle clean.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #6
 
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I only reload handgun, 9mm, 38/.357, and my friend .45 ACP.

We tumble the brass for about 2hrs in still clean medium and that's it. A quick look over for a defect and into the Sq. Deal B reloader it goes. No primer pocket cleaning, etc, etc.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hightechredneck123 View Post
Those I have already reloaded once don't need as much attention. I don't over load my rounds.
I reload my 9mm and .357 fairly hot but my .38spl very light. Even the light loaded .38s split after a certain amount of using. Out of about 180-200, I lose about 8 or so every loading at this point so this statement isnt too valid depending on the caliber. Now with 9mm, Ive had primers literally fall out due to recoil while in a magazine and I have never seen one split so those never really get looked over like my revolver brass do.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #8
 
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I have a single stage and a progressive hornady press and do all my handgun except 50AE on the progressive, which includes 380,9,40,44spcl,44mag,45acp etc. I load all my rifle .223, .243, .6.8spc, 7.62x39, .308, 30.06, 7mm rem mag all on the single stage due to having to trim, chamfer and debur the cases since i don't have the progressive attachment to do them without removing them from the press. After I have tumbled them the get sized/deprimed, checked for length and trimmed, they go back in the tumbler to remove the oneshot lube, then i take up the process priming with a hand primer, and charge them and seat my bullets. It may take longer this way but it works for me and I have worked out alot of great rounds using this process.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 10:37 PM   #9
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scooter, I bought a Dillon RL550 20 years ago and have never been sorry ... great machine with lots of features. You might want to download this freebie from the forum Library. I wrote it a few years ago but I think everything is still current.

See: http://rugerforum.net/library/36988-dillon-rl550b.html
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Old October 5th, 2012, 12:01 AM   #10
 
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If you enjoy what you are doing, keep it up.
Unless you are shooting long-range precision rifle, case prep is really not gaining you anything.
If you really care, load about 20-30 rounds with you preferred loading procedure and the standard recommended procedure. Shoot at 25 yards or longer, from a rest, and measure group size. This will actually tell you something.
Of course, you really need to do it without knowing what the load is until after you shoot. I place rounds in plastic baggie and shoot. Take note of which bag shot which target and when I am done, I collect the target, mark it, and determine if there was any REAL difference.
I have found the following for my handguns (not counting single-shot long-range handguns):
1) sorting cases makes no difference. I was shocked when I compared matched brass and rounds loaded with all the oddball cases I could find. I have done this at least five times with various cartridges, and every time the mixed cases produced smaller groups. Now, I didn't know I was shooting mixed or matched at the time and, while I will not say that mixed is more accurate, I will say that it doesn't appear to matter.
2) Sorting straightwall cases that head space on the case mouth, I have found that the few cases that are within 0.005" of the max case length will produce better accuracy. For this reason alone, I keep telling people who trim all their 9x19 case for uniformity, because the key to accuracy is uniformity, that they are in fact making all their cases uniformly inaccurate.
3) If cleaning primer pockets really makes any difference in rifle rounds (something I haven't found to be true, but my shooting is all at 200 yards or less), it has zero impact on my reloads.
4) If precision of charge weight means any thing in handgun rounds, it doesn't have any effect at 50 yards or less. Unless the charge weight is under 2.0 gn, a weight variation of 0.2gn will not have effect on paper.
5) Part of the fun of reloading is discovering for yourself what actually improves performance and what is a waste of time. Start to have fun.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #11
 
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Scooter;

I have three 550Bs, and love them! I have them set up for small primer pistol and large primer pistols, the other one I have it set up strictly for rifles (223/5.56 & 308).

For pistols, there is nothing you need to prep before reloading. Well maybe cleaning the brass in a tumbler, but the brass doesn't require any prepping. Now, for rifle, I it is a completely different ball game because now you have to lube every piece of brass before resizing. This is where it gets slow, but not that slow once you get a nice smoth rhythm going, you'll be faster than a single stage.

I still use my single stage press for my hunting rifle calibers.

I hope this helps.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 05:15 PM   #12
 
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I'm a case prep nut. All the things you've mentioned plus some. And loading black powder for single action shooting I also loaded brass shot shells and went overboard there too. Seems like it would take a month to cast and load what I shot at the shoot each month. Too much hassle. Now I'm not shooting as much (no SASS) and just have three calibers. One is rimfire and the other two are 44 and 38. I buy a little 44 to keep one gun fed and the fun shooting stuff and all the rest of my guns are 38. So for me it's just easier to buy reloads/factory ammo. Smithy.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter.maclusky View Post
How many of you still perform some sort of case preparation before loading with a progressive press?

I'm have been trying to talk myself into getting a progressive press for some time now but I really enjoy loading on my old Rock Crusher. I perform a lot of case prep before I start reloading. Maybe I think case prep is more important than it really is. For example I size my 357 cases twice, once with the Lee die which smoothes out the bulge then a half case size with a Redding die which sizes down even more for a really tight bullet fit. I also like to prime with my RCBS bench primer as it has just the right seating feel to it. All cases get a slight inside and outside deburr and a primer pocket cleaning. I use a Lyman expanding die for all calibers that I reload.
I'm getting serious now that I'm going to be loading .223.
My wife has already given me the OK for a Dillon, she pointed out the 550B in the Dillon monthly mag as what I should get but a 650 is what I have been looking at.
I just started reloading with my Dillon SDB. From all the literature I read, it seems that most don't recommend case sizing, trimming, deburring, etc, for pistol rounds. My SDB won't do rifle rounds, so I may look into getting a press at some point that will. If I do, I intend to carefully inspect, trim, debur, whatever is needed for them. If I do go that route, I have 3 .308 rifles and my AR-15 in .223/5.56.

I'm subscribed to a YouTube channel by LoneWolfUSMC. He's got a lot of great advice about rifle reloading.
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