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Okay fellas. After years of considering whether to get into the reloading game, I have decided to jump in with both feet.

I’ll start by saying that my budget for this new hobby is quite large (up to $4,000 with components to start).

So far I have the following which was given to me as gifts for Christmas and other occasions:

  • Dillion Super Swage 600 (which will be modified by a machinist as some point to “automate” it)
  • Dillion Primer Flip Tray
  • Multiple Large and Small Primer Pickup Tubes
  • Lee Precision 90685 Cast Iron Reloading Hand Press with multiple Shell Plates, a Lee Precision Decapping Die and a couple of Lee Precision Lock-Ring Eliminator
  • Bushings. This will primarily be for decapping prior to case cleaning/prep.


I have already decided to get a Dillion Precision XL750 press kit:

Dillion XL750 Kit

I will be loading 9mm, .45 ACP, 300 Blackout, .223/5.56 and .308.

I am going to start by learning with the 9mm, then cut my bottleneck teeth on .223/5.56. These are the 2 calibers I shoot most often (plinking, classes, target shooting for score/bragging rights among friends, etc.).

I will want to load for plinking and then later precision.

What else am I going to need?

  • Tumbler or Rotary Case Cleaner?? I like the idea of the stainless pins in the rotary, but what are the drawbacks?
  • Steel or carbide dies?
  • I would like to be able to prep 300 Blackout brass from 5.56 brass. I would like something powered to trim the cases, but not sure if I need something on the press itself or a separate powered trimmer.
  • Annealer?? I will be policing my brass and would like to get 4 or more reloadings out of the rifle brass. Do I need to anneal?
  • Books. What 1 or 2 books are must haves?
  • Chronograph?


I already have 5-gallon buckets full of brass. I am going to get started on decapping and sorting what I have.

I am really in no rush, but I want to be in a good position to reload some 9mm by mid/end of winter and maybe some .223 by spring of next year.

Also, are there any go-to forums for reloading, or is this section of SIGForum the place to be?

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks…


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
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you are at a good place for information,if you are going to cast your bullets then [cast boolets] is also a place for that.
We have first class competitor shooters here for accuracy.
Lots of folk here love dillon products,myself included and powder valley is my go to for powder.
 
Posts: 22033 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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Go read Nikons post about reloading...all the pages.
Find someone to mentor you...
Get at least two different loading books..I have Lyman and Sierra books.
Read the front chapters on reloading...do it again.

You really don’t need a lot of pricey stuff. But keep in mind that buy once- cry once is a real thing.
-



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 6551 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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45 Cal and MineinNC...

Thanks. No plans on casting, will instead buy factory or precast, powder-coated bullets from someone who knows what they are doing.

The local gun store does an intro to reloading class that I will take (presented by Hornady), but there are no scheduled classes at this time. When it is available again, I will take it.

I am a bit of an introvert and do know anyone who currently reloads, but I have been watching hours of YouTube videos on reloading and I am fairly good with technical/mechanical subject matter, so I think I am going to rely on books, videos, and advice from this forum.

I already have the Lyman book and will begin reading tonight.

I am very detailed oriented and quite organized, so I am not really too afraid of teaching myself if I have to.


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stainless Tumbler is great for getting cases super clean. But, figure in drying time. On a decapped case - figure a day or so. On an uncapped pistol cartridge upto a week.

Carbide dies for pistol....won't need to use case lube. Standard dies for rifle - have to use case lube regardless. No since in spending extra $$$ on carbide dies for rifle.

I'm sure there are some articles about creating 300 BO brass from standard 5.56 cases. It generally requires a metal cutting saw. Most guys I know ….. just buy prepped brass.

Case trimming in the precision rifle world is frequently done on a Giraud Cast Trimmer. It's one of the best.

Annealing..... This is predominately done for precision rifle. 4 or 5 loadings on 5.56 for plinking or semi-accurate shooting is prob achievable without annealing.

Yes Books and info are a must. But a mentor or a current, detail oriented reloader is even better. Ask around.

Chrono.... helpful. But mostly in the precision world where muzzle velocity is a must know. For someone starting out, not so much.

Dillon is great equipment. But jumping straight into a progressive press is a big move. I'd get comfortable with a mentor then move up. Generally most rifle cases can't hold a double charge. Pistol cases can definitely hold a double charge. Regardless - mistakes can have very serious outcomes.

Just my thoughts

Andrew



Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
 
Posts: 654 | Registered: May 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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I would buy a good tumbler and clean with lyman cob on the bucket of brass.
For four decades I have a ultra vibe 18 tumbler,had to replace the cord years back as it just plain got rotted.
Was pricey back then also but its is still working .
I got into coating my cast years back,so much nicer than that cast grease in your guns.
Nice pair of calipers and a case gauge for starting out
I built my own trimmer and chaffer/deburer . Little crow is how I trim my rifle brass mounted in that contraption. d/c variable drive.
Stronger than that thing sold by a company I will not name.
Lyman is a good book,but I use several,they are all with the basic data but the new one are slightly less in their powder charges for our safety.
 
Posts: 22033 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On the 300 BO you should check out the Dillion RT 1500. It is a powered case trimmer that is used with a case forming die. https://youtu.be/Odv93TBgvAY

I use it to make 300BO brass from .556 cases. Works nice.

I bought an Annealeeze machine. I find it to works well to fill my annealing needs.

https://annealeez.com/

Buy lots of supplies the election is coming.
 
Posts: 331 | Location: NH | Registered: March 29, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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El Cid 92, 45 Cal and jsjac... Thank you.

I actually have 2 books already in my possession. The 49th edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook and The ABCs of Reloading. I have begun reading the ABCs first. I am also working through Nikon's stickied post on reloading.

As I will not be doing 300 Blackout for a while, I will not worry about equipment for that right now, although the Dillion Trimming setup from the linked video was very informative and makes trimming and sizing of 300BO appear to be fairly simple once setup. That will be on my radar for the future.

I will probably start out with a vibratory cleaner vs rotary. Even if I do go to rotary in the future, the vibratory can be used for rifle case lube cleanup. Is bigger better? Harbor freight or something branded?

I will look for a pair of calipers. I have a rotary and a digital set of calipers, but neither are very high quality. Would vernier or rotary calipers be preferred over digital, or are digital what everyone uses? How expensive should I go? Mitutoyo-grade (high-end), or something that just provides repeatable accuracy?

A case gauge for each caliber is a given. Is there a brand that is better than others? Are there any features I should be looking for in gauges?

I am pretty set on a progressive. I am extremely OCD when it comes to completing procedures like those involved in reloading (private pilot, EHS compliance officer/ risk manager as a profession, amateur gunsmith, etc.). I will have a powder check device on the press and will make it a habit of checking the powder drop weight quite often. I will have nothing else going on in the room as a distraction, like a TV or radio. When I am reloading, that is all I will be doing.

I considered a 550, but as MikeinNC said buy once, cry once. I will not be happy in a relatively short amount of time with the 550 (speed of production and other limitations) and will end up purchasing the 750 anyway.

I am getting into this not to save money, but for the enjoyment of doing something that is technical and to keep me busy in retirement. AND of course, to shoot more.

Thanks so far...


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay… Time to purchase a brass cleaning setup.

I have decided to go with a dry-media tumbler vs. a wet tumbler to start.

I am looking at these 3. Which would the majority of you purchase? Remember, I would like to purchase quality, but do not want to waste money either.

  • Thumler's Tumbler Ultra-Vibe 18
  • Dillon's CV-2001 Vibratory Case Cleaner
  • Lyman Turbo 2200 Case Tumbler with Auto-Flo


Would you use corn cob or walnut shells?

Also, what media separator would you get?

I am not looking for new, shiny looking brass, just clean.

Again, I am starting with 9mm, then progressing, over time, to bottleneck rifle rounds (.223/5.56).

Thanks,


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
Picture of benny6
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Here's a video I did a while back on the basics of what I do to SAFELY reload 308 for autoloaders from a dimensional standpoint and from a floating firing pin standpoint (primer seating depth).

This will apply to the 5.56 as well.



Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 3494 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
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quote:
Would you use corn cob or walnut shells


Lyman green cob,walnut deposits red shit on your brass[cleans great but you need second tumbler to get that shit off]
Don't waste your money on others.
When lyman get black it still is better than new other cob in the cleaning arena.
 
Posts: 22033 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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quote:
Originally posted by 45 Cal:
quote:
Would you use corn cob or walnut shells


Lyman green cob,walnut deposits red shit on your brass[cleans great but you need second tumbler to get that shit off]
Don't waste your money on others.
When lyman get black it still is better than new other cob in the cleaning arena.


I started out using cob with a dash of NuFinish car wax..
Then I used crushed walnut (lizard litter) in a regular tumbler

now I use stainless steel pins in a thumblers tumbler and decap first...makes old brass like new

I will never go back to dry tumbling



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 6551 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Love how clean the brass comes out when wet tumbled. But hate the process of dealing with the pins. So, I usually tumble with with walnut. Not as clean, but doesn't seem to matter.

Would suggest reading the Lyman book on reloading both pistol and rifle. It'll tell you what need. The list is long.

The 750 is nice choice for your first press. I started out on a 650. I might sell my 650 for a 750 since I like how simple the priming system is after recently buying a 550.
 
Posts: 597 | Location: DFW Area | Registered: January 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay, MikeinNC and ed308... You got me to rethink my plans.

Last night I ordered an Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17, the Frankford Arsenal Wet/Dry Media Separator and 10 lbs. of stainless steel "chip" media from Southern Shine Media.

Should have everything by Friday to start cleaning all the brass I have decapped since last week (~2,000 5.56, ~1,000 9mm and ~750 .45 ACP).

Next step is to order the press(es). I may be working a deal with a member to purchase his old Dillion 550, so we will see how that goes.

More questions for the collective to follow soon...


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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quote:
Originally posted by bozman:

Last night I ordered an Extreme Tumblers Rebel 17, the Frankford Arsenal Wet/Dry Media Separator and 10 lbs. of stainless steel "chip" media from Southern Shine Media.


Sorry, you're not going to like this.
Oh yeah, the tumbler is great (I have one too) but you need to dry your brass or it will get spotted.
Nothing worse than watching that pristine brass turn ugly. Frown
Sooo, what works the best is one of those food dehydrators (beef jerky etc).
Got mine from Bed Bath & Beyond (spent around $60-$70 or so as I recall.
SORRY for the bad new ...enjoy your tumbler. Cool
 
Posts: 17395 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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smschulz...

Understood. That is one of the reasons I was initially against it as a starting method. However, I did quite a bit of research and it appears that dealing with wet brass is relatively simple if one does not overcomplicate things.

My plan is to separate from the media, dump onto a large bath towel, use the towel as a "sling" and roll the brass around, then onto baking trays in a low oven for 15-20 minutes (170° F "ish").

I am okay with taking my time on case prep (sorting, decapping, cleaning, resizing, cleaning again). I will be less patient when I am sitting in front of the press making candy.

Thanks for the heads-up though...


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Get a magnet like Frankfort Arsenal sells. You'll need it with that wet tumbler and pens. Just run it over work area and it will find stray pens.
 
Posts: 597 | Location: DFW Area | Registered: January 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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ed308... Yes, I got the Frankford Transfer Magnet and a 1/50th-inch sieve for quick dumping and straining of media. The sieve is like one would use for sorting materials by size (soils, sands, minerals, etc.).


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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What those guys said!

I remove the lid in the sink and turn on the water and let most of the black water flow over the top of the tumbler. Then I remove the brass by hand and dump the pins back into the tumbler. Then the brass goes on a large drying towel and I slosh the brass around in it and just like you said, it goes into the oven at 200 for a few minutes until it’s dry.

I do find the occasional pin in the cookie pan. I then take the brass and bag it and label what I’ve done to it on the outside of a ziplock baggie.

Follow the instructions. Fill to about an inch from the top, squirt of Dawn and a half a teaspoon of lemon-shine for the sparkling brass you’ve seen. I think I can only run 15 pounds in my tumbler, that includes brass, pins and water or you can burn the belt



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 6551 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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MikeinNC...

Thanks.

Been watching a bunch of YouTube videos and seeing what others are doing. I came to my process by watching other peoples struggles (and bitching).

I will be doing all of the dumping and separating in the guest bathtub. Many of the videos where people did not seem to struggle as much, did it in the bathtub.

I can have the separator, tumbler drum and everything contained by being in the tub. Dump out most of the dirty water, rinse, close the tub drain and then start separating. Even if you have a couple of gallons of water in the tub, it will only be an inch or 2 of water. With that shallow of water, you can easily see and pick up whatever stray media gets out of the separator with a small magnet.

If you are interested in watching the video that gave me the idea, let me know and I will find and post a link.

For now, my storage of clean brass will be in small 2 gallon HDPE buckets. I have a bunch that I got on sale at Lowe's with lids. They have a bail wire handle and stack nicely. I can have quite a few of those and keep the brass organized a little more securely than in Ziplocks (already had 1 split when moving a bunch of 9mm brass).

1 question... Do you use regular water or would distilled water be better for a final rinse (no minerals to leave spots)?

Already have the Dawn and Lemi-Shine. Tumbler and media will be here Wednesday per the tracking I got today.

Thanks!


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 961 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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