Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Reloaders... what an expierience

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by jvbutter, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    37
    Hello all, I just got back from a grueling week in Cali doing some reloading at dads shop... and what an experience it was. After reloading I have relaized that the there are great features on both the Lee and Hornady models... One has a turret that can be pulled out to change full calibers quickly (Lee did) and yet the other has no plastic parts and better lineup feature in the primers. Both have crappy design in decapers. Well in comparison to the RCBS we end up buying... RCBS has a replaceable pin vs the lee and hornady have a replaceable pin but it is not just the tip, rather the whole rod... $$$$ I was also quite shocked to find very little reloading hardware in all of So Cal. We drove around all of the Inland Empire and could not find lee or hornady parts. Few places had RCBS. Lets just say I have learned quite a bit about operation and models this past week, Did finally manage to get about 1500 rounds churned out before heading home... this brings me to my question.....

    What is your favorite reloader setup and why???/
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    5,780
    Likes Received:
    4,980
    I have used a single stage RCBS press for nearly 30 years now. I work in batch's of 50 rifle and 100 pistol rounds at a time. But then I also weigh each powder charge too so I tend to work a bit slower then others.

    My son, son in law and I are looking at going in together on a RCBS progressive press since we are all shooting so much more handgun calibers. 9mm .40S&W and .45ACP would do it. Maybe a .30M1 setup as well.
     
  3. k7grc

    k7grc Banks, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    50
    I have only used one progressive press, and couldn't be happier.. Dillon 550b, actually I have 2 Dillon 550b's, one setup with large primer, and one with small primer. I have 6 tool heads(more to come) set up with 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 25-35, 257 Roberts, 444 Marlin, and 32-40. I average 300 rounds per hr of the 45 calibers,, about half that doing rifle cartridges.
    So far no reason to try any other brands..
    I do have a RCBS Rock Chucker, I use it to develop loads.
     
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,593
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    I have mostly green stuff. I had a rockchucker for years and it still gets used to work loads up or do very small batches of stuff.

    Went to a RCBS 2000 about a decade ago. It sees lots of use in both pistol and rifle. Problem I found is I do a lot of a couple different things, so I bought a second since it is all interchangeable. Now I can leave one all set up for whatever I am doing large batches of and do quick batches of other stuff.

    I load a lot of different calibers and in some calibers a couple different loadings.

    Sorry for the mess but here you go,

    DSC06637.jpg

    DSC06632.jpg

    In rifle I do things like this;
    Tumble
    Stage 1 lube/deprime die
    Stage 2 Size

    Trim, swage, ect

    Tumble

    Stage 2 prime
    Stage 3 powder
    Stage 4 seat
    Stage 5 crimp if need

    I put out a lot of quality rounds for my rifles. I am not shooting in competition or anything but Sub MOA for sure.
     
  5. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    338
    I have a Dillon 550 and a Lee single stage. I actually prefer the Lee, but I have lots of time, and do a lot of what some might consider time consuming prep steps. I spend a lot of time at 300 yards and beyond, so accuracy is more a concern for me than a range bag full of ammo.
     
  6. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    37
    Nice reloading table... very similar to dads setup, except I don't see any dust... LOL I will say this I sure do like replaceable tips for the RCBS decapper, and the smooth operation of the powder stage of RCBS.
     
  7. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Likes Received:
    836
    RCBS, RCBS, RCBS, or for the guy who wants production over quality, K7 is on the right track with RCBS for load workup, and the Dillon for cranking out quantity.

    I cannot understand why a guy would go through a lot of decapping pins. In 45 years of reloading, I think I may have replaced 6 or 8. And only then because I did something wrong. (tried to de-cap a berdan case, or such). I also have some Redding dies for wildcats, and I really like the Hornady sliding seating plug, and so I have a few sets of those dies.

    The biggest and most frequent mistake I have seen is guys new to reloading buying the Lee econo-package. The scale is accurate, but takes some concentration to set it, the collet neck sizer takes a steep learning curve, and the powder measure is kinda chincey. Okay for a guy who wants to produce a couple boxes a year for hunting, but in the long term (and for quality handloads), money can actually be saved going with RCBS from the start, avoiding the need to upgrade later when one realizes he's shooting more, and loading more.
     
  8. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    38
    I have a RCBS Rockchucker and a Dillon 550b.

    The Dillon is my 9mm range round cranker....it does a really great job at spitting out rounds. It's reliable and fast and I am very happy to have it. At this point, I think I am approaching 6K 9mm rounds through it...so it's still a baby. I also have a tool head for .223 bulk rounds. I prep all my AR 'plinker' rounds using the Rockchucker (deprime, size) and then the final step of loading is done on the dillon(primer, powder, bullet). It's just a lot more efficient.

    The Rockchucker, like others here, is what I use for the .223 range rounds. Usually do small batches at a time and I make sure loads are consistent. Great bit of kit. it just works.
     
  9. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    45
    I like RCBS or Lyman single stage for hard work, like case forming or specialty low number production.

    Dillon for general reloading. Only problem with Dillon, It makes me lazy, does a lot for a little work. I have a bunch of their stuff, case trimmer, primer tube filler, etc,

    Lyman Black powder measure with drop tube.

    MEC 410 shotgun press

    Ponsness-Warren press for 20 and 12 gauge.

    Pacific 10 gauge press.

    reload2.jpg
     
  10. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    37
    After the 2nd broke, we called it a night and evaluate in the AM. The next morning after a clear head, we found out that the press seem to not be indexing correctly and precisely... so the primer / shell location was not over the drop out hole. The pin was then pushing on solid plate. I'm glad in your experience you have had better luck than I.

    So do you like RCBS or just mocking us for the consistent reference??
     
  11. nubus

    nubus Guest

    I love the looming stuff up on top of the cabinet waiting to fall and knock you out.
    It reminds me of my own shop area!!!
     
  12. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    45
    Moral of the story, If you are going to build a shop, once the plans have been decided, double the size. There is never enough room. I guess I should post a Hard Hat warning.
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,674
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    I've broken a lot of RCBS pins on crimped 5.56 and 7.62 military primers, and a few Lee "unbreakable" pins too

    The RCBS pins can be replaced with the steel rods from steel pop rivets.. buy a bag of those and you're set for a long time

    I tend to not want to be replacing broken pins all the time so I use a Lee universal decapper. I still break a pin once in a while if the press (Hornady Pro 7) gets a little out of whack.. so I have 10 spare Lee pins in my kit. I have a spare Lee decapper die so I don't have to spend time replacing the pin on the spot while on a project.. just swap the die

    No pics but I have a custom steel table.. well over 5 feet long and 3 feet wide so I can have stations all around it. I currently have the Pro 7, a Mec 550 shotshell press, a Lee Load all shotshell press, a Dillon RL1050 press (set up for .45 ACP with the electric case feed and hopper) an RCBS case trimmer, and a cast iron grain grinder with electric motor. I still have room for a single stage press that I will use for a decapping station when I obtain one
     
  14. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    207
    I only have one single stage Lee. My neighbor purchased some RCBS dies for his .30-30 and after the 15th case we decapped, the pin snapped. I happened to be at Cabelas the next day and picked up some more pins for him. I found it nice that they changed out so quickly/easily, but I found it strange that they sell them in bags of 5! Is it just because they are POS? I did snap the decapper on my Lee -06 die, and I couldn't figure out what happened. My other sets of Lee dies have held up a bit better than those .30-30 dies, and Lee will replace the mandrel if you send it back to them.
     
  15. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    80
    Dillon 550b and a Dillon RL 1000: 1500 rounds in an afternoon is no problem. Stuff doesn't break and reloading goes on.
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,674
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Read my post above yours.. no need to buy them from RCBS at a huge markup when steel pop rivets work just as well
     
  17. NWnewguy

    NWnewguy Poulsbo New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    To answer the original question, it really depends on what and how much you plan on reloading. I think, and a lot of guys into the accuracy game will probably agree with me, the Forster Co-ax is real hard to beat for consistent ammo. If you are looking for high volume pistol or rifle, I would say that the Dillons are pretty nice and the Hornady LNL progressive is better than I thought it could be. My friend has it and I like it better than my Dillon and it is faster and cheaper to boot. If money is a concern get the Lee classic cast turret press and it will work real good for you. I would also buy Lee dies. I have found them to be as accurate as any and more accurate than most. It doesn't hurt my feelings that they are cheaper than everyone else either.
     
  18. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    2,166
    Likes Received:
    120
    Dillon's all the way. Spendie by todays pricing, the lee, and other turrets load well. Saving many dollars... but having 2 -650's set up, for small and large primers allows alot of ammo to be made. 2- 550's set up also, the work well on the 50AE. and 308 stuff. slower, but hundreds of rounds per hour..
     
  19. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    37
    Basically I want good reliable pistol ammo... and lots of it. I typically load min 500 ea more in the neighborhood of 1500-2000 at a shot. I dont like issues... such as the indexing of dads Lee... its got some little bar that rides up the outside of the frame. there is a bump that pushes it out. Well it has a grouve in in and the rod does not move freely and smoothly, indexing is poor. His Hornady seems much better. I don't want to spend a fortune, but do want quality. The time it takes to break down a round when its not correct is a PIA after a while...sounds like Dillon is the ticket...
     
  20. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,805
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    The lee progressive presses are garbage, I used to own two of them, 5 years after getting rid of them, I still have a bucket of .45ACP that is pooched because the powder measure wasn't dropping charges all the time, yea something I should have checked, but I had a little too much faith in lee.

    Dillon isn't bad, I'll admit to being a bit jaded on the issue since I spend much of my time at work rebuilding dillon 1050's when they get all foxtrot'ed up. The 1050 is a fast machine, and you could probably load 1500-2000 rounds in about 2-3 hours (dillon always says their machine load faster than they actually do, I suppose if someone was putting the primers in the machine, bringing bullets over to you, filling up the case feeder, and you never had a problem dillon's numbers would be correct). I don't recommend the 650 at all, it has a few flaws in it, and having the whole primer magazine explode is not an uncommon experience, also the primer wheel will occasionally jam and it's a real pain to unjam. Also, if you see Dillon and the Ponsness-Warren Autodrive, and think "what a great idea" forget about it, that thing is utter garbage and a great way to lose fingers. Don't waste your time.

    I ended up buying the Hornady LNL for home use, it's a really nice machine, takes a bit of getting used to with that half index thing it does, but it makes sense. It's cheaper than a dillon 550, and it's a fully progressive press, not some garbage turret press, and the conversion units are cheaper. (I also have a dillon 550 I use rarely) The only thing I don't like about the hornady is it uses those funky twist lock adapters. I much prefer a real slide-in shellplate, but the wobbly performance of the dillon shellplate is a great thing to miss.

    Also, since you were down here in socal, the place to go for all your reloading stuff is Phillip's Wholesale over in Covina Phillips Wholesale | Home
    I don't think he stocks much in the way of replacement parts (few people do as RCBS provides these replacements for free) and both lee and hornady charge for replacements (hornady wants an arm and a leg, which is why I do not recommend their dies).