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Reloading Die and Media Tumbler Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by MilitantBEEMER, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. MilitantBEEMER

    MilitantBEEMER Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    So over the last 10 months or so I have been collecting all of the components needed to reload. I was given a new set of RCBS dies for 45 and will also be reloading 380. My question is what dies should I go with for 380 and other calibers such as .223 and maybe .40, RCBS or Lee? What is the difference. Lee .380 are $31.49 at Midway and the RCBS are nearly double that.

    Last Component needed is a reasonable but capable and reliable Media Tumbler. Also what kind of media corn or walnut?

    I know preference may be subjective, just want to get the advice of those much wiser.


    I will be using a RCBS Single Stage Press for everything but de-priming, I have a Lee Jr press for that.

    Thank you in advance for the advice!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Get some Lee dies.
    And to needing a tumbler, no you don't. We/they've been reloading for a very long time with no such shenanegites.
     
  3. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    cabelas has a nice tumbling /sifter combo

    personally I just went stainless pins...
     
  4. MilitantBEEMER

    MilitantBEEMER Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Correct I do NOT need a tumbler, I WANT a tumbler.... I like shiny! :)
     
  5. gunfreak

    gunfreak Boise Well-Known Member

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    I use mostly Lee components and have loaded thousands of rounds with it and never had a problem. You should clean your brass in some way, it keeps your dies from wearing out faster.
     
  6. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I bought a plain old, lightly used, Cabela's vibratory from a member here almost two years ago, it's still gong strong. For hand gun that cleans just fine for me. I would think if you were doing a ton of long gun brass that the ultra-sonic, or especially the stainless pin, leaves brass incredible! I did start adding some ( NON-ammonia) polishing compound to the media and that makes a big difference.

    I just use a medium walnut. I believe corn is more for a follow-up to the walnut for super shiny brass. A member here currently has walnut for a great price and I was thinking of getting another 50# sack and would be happy to part with some of it to get you started if you'd like.

    Dies.....I'm using Lee, Hornady, and a Lyman set. The will all work, there are just some subtle differences that are hard to explain here. I did get rid of the RCBS in .45acp because the seater plug would crush the nose of the plated hollow points I was using. Get what you can for the least you can, as long as you're not getting rusty, corroded junk. You will always be able to sell dies in good condition in the classifieds.

    You're stepping into a whole new world of "FUN".:bluelaugh:

    Mike
     
  7. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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    Lee Dies are the best bang for buck and I love the Lee factory crimp die!
    I have 2 tumblers (both Barrys/Cabelas... In one I use Walnut which is best for cleaning and I'll tumble them for about 4 hours. THEN I tumble in Corncob with IOSSO polish for 2 hours and my brass all looks shiny new!!! Just make sure to look at every flash hole and clear if required after tumbling.
     
  8. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I really enjoy my Lee crimp die. I use Lee, RCBS, Hornady and Dillon dies. I use "lizard litter" from Petsmart in my tumbler, along with a bit of Nu Finish car wax. Run the tumbler for 10 minutes without brass to avoid the Nu Finish clogging up in the brass. And as you probably already know, if you polish 9mm with 40 cal or larger brass, the 9's will nest inside the larger brass more than you would think. Most importantly, enjoy your reloading experience. It's a hoot!
     
  9. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I have one set of Lee 9mm pistol dies for my 550s and I would trade them for RCBS or any other brand in a fast heart beat. I had to grind down lock rings just to make them thin enough to use with the Lee dies . I have a Frankford Arsenal tumbler and a Dillon 500 that I only use walnut shells and Nu finish with, the Dillon is way faster at polishing than the Frankford, both do the job. I'm not knocking the Lee stuff, I've got a couple whack a moles that work great, but it's nowhere near my first choice either.
     
  10. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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    My Dillon 550 has the Lee Factory crimp die on both the .357, the 9mm and the 45LC setups. No grinding was required but I only replaced the Dillon Crimp die. Never tried Nu finish but it's probably cheaper than IOSSO
     
  11. filsonhand

    filsonhand In the Silicon Forest Smooth as a Rhino 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    The nu finish works like a champ..I run mainly rcbs because of local availability but have lee dies also both are good...welcome to the jungle no turning back now ;-).... the factory crimp dies are a good way to go
     
  12. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Arlington, WA Member

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    I picked up the cabelas tumbler package a few months back and have run a few hundred cases thru it, 380, 40, 44 and 7mm mag. I am plenty happy with it and it beats cleanin them all by hand like I used to do.
    As far as dies, I prefer RCBS, but have come to like the Lee dies too. Lee was all I could find a few months back when I wanted to reload for 380. I liked that set well enough that I picked up the 4 die set for 44 special/magnum that comes with the factory crimp die. Very pleased with it so far, have loaded about 150 rounds with great results.
     
  13. Papercidal

    Papercidal Vancouver ,Wa Active Member

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    I use a cheap harbor freight ultrasonic for cleaning and just use a frankford vibratory with walnut for vanities sake (I do like shiny). I would take Lee dies over anyone else (At least the sizing die) you just have to switch to the thin dillon lock rings to get deep enough on a dillon toolhead.
     
  14. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    We use stainless steel. It gives the group of us like new brass and cleans out the primer pockets. You never have to buy media again. A couple of us went in on the setup and it was well worth it.
     
  15. MilitantBEEMER

    MilitantBEEMER Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    This has been a great conversation all, thank you any additional opinions or advice is appreciated.
     
  16. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    There happens to be a nice tumbler in the reloading classifieds currently.....

    Also a powder thrower....
     
  17. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    this is my stainless tumbler... an hour or so in this thing and over 2000 cases of .45acp is sparkling clean...
    mixer was 100$ at HF and about 150$ worth of stainless pins

    [video=youtube_share;scjaf6pjCMY]http://youtu.be/scjaf6pjCMY[/video]
     
  18. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    this has the lid on it.. [video=youtube_share;gCAMm4iaYwQ]http://youtu.be/gCAMm4iaYwQ[/video]
     
  19. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I guess you don't shoot much do you?

    LOL
     
  20. MilitantBEEMER

    MilitantBEEMER Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    That is awesome... I think my wife may hurt me if I bring one of them home!