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How do you reload rifle cartridges on an AP press? Login/Join 
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Picture of sigcrazy7
posted
Sorry for the newbie question, but over my lifetime of reloading, I have never used an AP press to load rifle cartridges. I have used one for pistol, but never rifle. I typically like to load for accuracy or stuff with a big payback, like 338's, 375's, and soon, a 416 Rigby.

Now my boys are at an age where they have discovered some AR's buried in the back of my safe, and with big eyes and fast fingers, are able to empty an ammo box lickity-split. I bought 6,000 Hornady bullets for .06 ea, dusted off some forgotten A2230, and loaded up 250 rounds on my T-7. I almost grew old doing it.

I now have the motivation to set up a new L-N-L AP that has been sitting around for five years (it was a Christmas present in 2012). Yesterday I set it up, and am all ready to start making some 5.56 ammo for the kids. My question is this:

What is your process for case trimming and checking brass length when using an AP press? Do you pull each round off the plate after the decapping/sizing station, trim and camfer it, and then replace it? Do you just trim it all beforehand and hope for the best?

I'm thinking about sizing/decapping on a single stage press, and then starting on the AP at the priming stage. To those who do this, what is the best practice?

I know about using a progressive, since I've been using an antique Pro-7 for my 9mm and 40. But I don't trim pistol cases, so I've never even contemplated how to trim while using a progressive press.



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Posts: 4738 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of exx1976
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On my Dillon, I have two Toolheads. One with only the sizing die, the other with everything else.

Lube brass, and run it through the press to size.

Tumble clean.

Trim.

Then swap the Toolhead and run em through to load.

Easy.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15543 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Persian
Picture of PPGMD
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Dillon makes a trimer and mounts to progressive presses. It will trim every cartridge to length.


-------
A turbo: Exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens, and you go faster.

Mr. Doom and Gloom
"King in the north!"
"Slow is smooth... and also slow.
 
Posts: 20052 | Location: At the wall | Registered: February 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of exx1976
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quote:
Originally posted by PPGMD:
Dillon makes a trimer and mounts to progressive presses. It will trim every cartridge to length.


Yes, they do, but it is louder than an airplane, and doesn't chamfer.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15543 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
quote:
Originally posted by PPGMD:
Dillon makes a trimer and mounts to progressive presses. It will trim every cartridge to length.


Yes, they do, but it is louder than an airplane, and doesn't chamfer.


From what I can tell, it is still a separate setup, right? You'd do the sizing and trimming in one operation, and then start with trimmed cases.

It sounds like you are using your separate Dillion toolhead like I'm thinking about using a single stage. I'll need to go to the LNL with prepped cases.



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Posts: 4738 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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It's a two pass process, I size/deprime and trim on the first pass.



Swage and load on the second.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La83ZVKnBzw

I only loaded a few hundred rifle round on one of my LNL's though. The half index seemed like a great idea but it use it was a PITA.

Loading 308 using their 150gn "free" bullets with RCBS dies, if I set the bullet on top of the case and began to lower the handle, as the ram came up the bullet was already too high before it finished the second half of the index. So it hit the bottom of the die and was knocked off.

That forced me to put the bullet up into the die, raise the ram until it completed the index then lower the bullet down into the mouth, get my fingers out of the way and complete the stroke. I would have quit before the 200 but I wasn't at home and it was the only press I had with me.
 
Posts: 391 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
quote:
Originally posted by PPGMD:
Dillon makes a trimer and mounts to progressive presses. It will trim every cartridge to length.


Yes, they do, but it is louder than an airplane, and doesn't chamfer.


From what I can tell, it is still a separate setup, right? You'd do the sizing and trimming in one operation, and then start with trimmed cases.

It sounds like you are using your separate Dillion toolhead like I'm thinking about using a single stage. I'll need to go to the LNL with prepped cases.


I might only be performing one operation on it during sizing, but there's nothing single stage about it. Casefeeder, auto-index, all I do is keep pulling the handle. It's quick and easy.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15543 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Blue68f100
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It's a 2 step process.

Here is my procedures for most all rifle loads on a LNL-AP w/brass feeder.

1. Clean the brass. Since I use a wet system I de-prime using a universal die before cleaning. This way the primer pockets gets cleaned.
(I run my brass through my annealer after cleaning.) This makes sizing easier and more uniform.
2. Run all the brass through the sizing die. I use One Shot for the lube since it's the least messy and you don't have to remove it like other lubes. (I've switched over to using the Redding S bushing die for sizing. This makes things run smoother since there is no internal expander needed. )
3. Now it time to trim. I use Trim-It II (3 way cutter) mounted in a drill press. I find it's faster to just trim them all than to measure then trim.
4. Once trimmed they are ready to load.
5. Now I run them again through the LNL-AP without the Sizing die in. Powder selection is key when using a AP. You want one that meters fairly accurate. I use CFE-223 and TAC.
I use the auto dump with the dispenser. Fairly easy to setup for the 223.

I've had fairly good accuracy using the Hornady 55gr FMJ-BT bullets in only 1 of my gun. I get 1.0 - 1.5" groups at 100 yrd with good consistency. This gun has a 24" Bull barrel, 1:10 twist, 223R match chamber. My other AR with the Wydle barrel does not like any thing less than 65gr. The best I could do with the 55 gr FMJ-BT was 3" groups.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3389 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Persian
Picture of PPGMD
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
quote:
Originally posted by PPGMD:
Dillon makes a trimer and mounts to progressive presses. It will trim every cartridge to length.


Yes, they do, but it is louder than an airplane, and doesn't chamfer.


Most users report that any additional processing is unnecessary as long as the blades are sharp.

Besides he is loading blasting ammo for his boys, not ammo that will win at Camp Perry.

I did research on his very topic, I haven't done it yet because price to performance. But this is based on how some 3 gunners on BE reload 223. I am leaving it just the die types as there are a million combinations and everyone seems to use a different one.

Dillon Tool head one
Full length resizer
swager if needed
Dillon Trimmer

Dillon Tool head two
Expansion die
Powder Die
Bullet Dropper Die
Seating die
Crimp die


-------
A turbo: Exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens, and you go faster.

Mr. Doom and Gloom
"King in the north!"
"Slow is smooth... and also slow.
 
Posts: 20052 | Location: At the wall | Registered: February 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PPGMD:
quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
quote:
Originally posted by PPGMD:
Dillon makes a trimer and mounts to progressive presses. It will trim every cartridge to length.


Yes, they do, but it is louder than an airplane, and doesn't chamfer.


Most users report that any additional processing is unnecessary as long as the blades are sharp.

Besides he is loading blasting ammo for his boys, not ammo that will win at Camp Perry.

I did research on his very topic, I haven't done it yet because price to performance. But this is based on how some 3 gunners on BE reload 223. I am leaving it just the die types as there are a million combinations and everyone seems to use a different one.

Dillon Tool head one
Full length resizer
swager if needed
Dillon Trimmer

Dillon Tool head two
Expansion die
Powder Die
Bullet Dropper Die
Seating die
Crimp die


Not sure where that info about "most users" come from, but you need to chamfer rifle rounds. And the Dillon doesn't do it.

Depending on what the projectile is that's being used for blasting, chamfer becomes even more important. If you don't chamfer, and try to load lead or plated, for example, you'll shave the bullet.

Jacketed bullets with thin jackets will also have an issue.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15543 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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I load 223 & 308 on my 550B, same thing. Brass doesn't tend to grow randomly, ie, if one is long I trim all. The easiest way though is the RCBS 'X' die. Trim once then forget it. I have 8x reloaded w/ no appreciably case stretch on a test batch of 20. I started losing them to neck/shoulder splits after that.
So now you reload like pistol, but you still need case lube. I like Hornady OS for simplicity, just follow the directions or you will stick cases.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7602 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I load 223 on my Dillon first tool head I lub brass, then used a universal decap die, then size and trim with Dillon 1200.

Tumble the lube off, then swage.

Second tool head, I run the expander ball through the neck, prime, fill with Dillon powder die, seat bullet, crimp.

I use a light crimp for I am using gas guns.
 
Posts: 354 | Location: Minnesota  | Registered: June 14, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
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As I thought, it's a two step process it seems.

Fred, how does the X die work? Where does the brass go when the case is resized?



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Posts: 4738 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
As I thought, it's a two step process it seems.

Fred, how does the X die work? Where does the brass go when the case is resized?

I'm not really sure. There is a mandrel that the case mouth butts against inside the die. I think this os what is causing my neck/shoulder splits after 8-9x sizing but the time saved by not trimming is fine for 223 imo.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7602 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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quote:
Not sure where that info about "most users" come from, but you need to chamfer rifle rounds. And the Dillon doesn't do it.


No you don't, I'm not sure how many tens of thousands I have loaded in 223, 300blk and 308 using Dillon's trimmer with no other inside/outside chamfer.

Even with the bullet feeder I posted above, it's not a problem.

If the cases are not comming out ready to load, it's time to index the carbide cutter.
 
Posts: 391 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jmorris:
quote:
Not sure where that info about "most users" come from, but you need to chamfer rifle rounds. And the Dillon doesn't do it.


No you don't, I'm not sure how many tens of thousands I have loaded in 223, 300blk and 308 using Dillon's trimmer with no other inside/outside chamfer.

Even with the bullet feeder I posted above, it's not a problem.

If the cases are not comming out ready to load, it's time to index the carbide cutter.


I've seen me do it. Lead on the outside of case necks, case mouths crimped/folded over from cutting into a jacket and getting pulled under, screwed up crimps, all sorts of nonsense.

Chamfering stopped all those problems.

It's roughly akin to failing to bell your pistol case mouths. Chamfer provides a "ramp" for the bullet to enter the neck.

Cleaning up the outside of the case is called deburring, not chamfering. Wink That, supposedly, is not needed with the Dillon trimmer.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15543 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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I only load rifle roads I don't shoot in bulk, and I use a single stage.

But as you see, you do the resizing and trimming in one step, and the rest in another step.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 43289 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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quote:
Cleaning up the outside of the case is called deburring, not chamfering.


Not according to definition or the terminology used in a machine shop.

quote:
cham·fer
ˈ(t)SHamfər/
verb
1.
a symmetrical sloping surface at an edge or corner.



quote:
de·burr
dēˈbər/
verb
neaten and smooth the rough edges or ridges of (an object, typically one made of metal).
"hand tools for deburring holes in metal"


Actually I suppose you could deburr both inside and outside, if you used a deburr knife, sand paper, etc.

If you machine or precisely cut a given angle into the inside and outside of the case mouth like the 3 way cutters do you are chamfering inside and outside.

Maybe I have just been lucky all of these years not needing to perform the additional manual tasks but I generally don't fix what's not broken.
 
Posts: 391 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I do most bottleneck cases on a Co-Ax.
For a progressive, it is rather a waste of the press. I have 1050s, so my steps are:
I take cleaned, deprimed cases and size them.
Then I remove them and measure them and trim if needed. If I really cared, I might invest in the Dillon RT1500, but I am not loading that many rounds.
Put them back in the press and swage the primer pocket (automatic with 1050), prime the case, drop the charge, remove the case and inspect the powder charge height, seat the bullet, and I have a finished round.
On a single stage, it is size, measure and trim as needed, prime (or, primer and then measure/trim), charge case from bench-mounted powder measure, immediately inspect the powder charge height in the case, and immediately seat a bullet. This way I can't miss a case in a charge tray as every case is immediately inspected and a bullet seated so there is no risk of charged cases being knocked down or missing a case.
It just seems easier with the single-stage..
 
Posts: 132 | Registered: July 28, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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quote:
I do most bottleneck cases on a Co-Ax.
For a progressive, it is rather a waste of the press...I am not loading that many rounds.


Yes a progressive is a waste of money and time converting from one caliber to another if your not loading that many rounds.

I like my co-ax too but when I open a 6000 count box of bullets the co-ax isn't on my list of presses I want to load them with.



That's where the OP is at at this point.

quote:
bought 6,000 Hornady bullets for .06 ea, dusted off some forgotten A2230, and loaded up 250 rounds on my T-7. I almost grew old doing it.
 
Posts: 391 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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