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Offline khuffy

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Reloading
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:09:45 PM »
So a friend and I are going to be putting together a reloading kit.  I know very little about the subject and want to get as familiarized as possible before I try anything like this.

He is pushing this kit:  http://www.opticsplanet.com/lyman-t-mag-expert-kit-deluxe.html

Not knowing much about it, I was hoping someone on here had some experience and could weigh in on the topic. 

Equipment suggestions, equipment to avoid, general advice, etc. is all welcomed.

Offline giaka

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 11:27:43 AM »
I have used RCBS, Lyman and Lee. I honestly I have never run into any equipment I would tell someone to avoid. Reloading is a blast, you will love it.  8)
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Offline stew71

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 12:43:08 PM »
He is pushing this kit:  http://www.opticsplanet.com/lyman-t-mag-expert-kit-deluxe.html



Excellent kit.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I started with the same thing. Still use it to this day. Since then, I've upgraded to a Pact digital scale and powder dispenser to speed things up. I also upgraded the trimmer to use a cordless drill chuck. I stick with RCBS and Redding die sets, but that's just out of personal preference than any technical reasons.

Get a couple of reloading manuals. Lyman is good. Since I tend to use Sierra bullets and IMR powders, I use their reloading manuals almost exclusively.
Make sure to mount the press to a very solid workbench. Re-sizing brass can involve some serious leverage.

I like Hornady's case lube spray. Much cleaner than rolling the brass on the lube pad.

I also use Cabela's vibratory case cleaner. It can hold about 120 30-06 cases or about 250 pistol cases. Dump the empties into the cleaning media, add some cleaner, turn it on, and let it run for about 2 hours. Your brass will be shiny and new.

You're about to discover a very addictive hobby.   ;D
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Offline misanthropist

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 12:54:28 PM »
I have zero experience with that particular press (in fact zero experience with any single stage press) but if it wasn't for reloading, I would have put five hundred rounds through my 10mm, not five thousand.

I encourage anyone who likes to shoot to get into reloading.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 01:04:57 PM »
How many times can a pistol case be reloaded / what factors pull them from consideration?
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Offline stew71

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 01:39:43 PM »
How many times can a pistol case be reloaded / what factors pull them from consideration?

Depends on the load. Full power pistol loads will probably earn you no more than 3 or 4 reloads before signs of case weakness appear. Look for a thin ring just above the base. That's a sign of case stretching. At that point, the brass is getting thin and may separate upon extraction, leaving the case in the chamber. Also look for small cracks at the case mouth after re-sizing. If you see them, chuck it. Since you should be loading the same cases in batches, if you see multiple cases within a batch showing signs of wear, be safe and chuck the whole batch. Pistol brass is cheap in the long run. I do the same with my semi-auto rifle brass. After 3 or 4 loadings, if I see multiple signs of failure in a batch, I'll chuck it and start with a new batch.

Revolver brass, however, can generally be used more due to the lack of extraction wear. Semi-auto pistols and rifles abuse brass like nobody's business. Wheelguns do not.  Also, you can build up nice soft-shooting plinking loads that are easy on the cases.  Full-power SD or hunting loads won't last as long. I have a friend who gets 10 or 12 reloads out of his .45 Colt and .44 cases simply because he keeps the power levels low.
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Offline misanthropist

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 04:26:11 PM »
I would tend to agree with the above.  I have 10mm cases that have had 8 or 10 loadings and are fine.

I have also thrown out 10mm cases after one load because I ran max loads of 2400 and shot holes in the space-time continuum (incidentally all singularities created with 10mm will wormhole you back to about 1986 and you will wake up living on a boat and wearing a shoulder holster and see-through socks, so...heads up there).
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Offline DNA

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 04:48:20 PM »
I have a complete Dillon set up.

If you can afford it - go Blue:
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25792/catid/1/BL_550_Basic_Loader

Progressive reloaders make 100 rounds in about 30 minutes once you get it up an running.

As a side note - back when I was shooting a lot - I was very consistent and had a routine system.  The major danger you have is double charging the powder. 

I did manage to double charge a 9mm and fired it form the USP.

Result: Loud boom, big fireball and stove pipe with a split case

I was shooting a very high quality gun well overbuilt so had no issue but it could have been worse I suppose.  Set up a system to systematically check powder measure ( some people rely on overfill if doubled charged).

Have fun and post up pics.

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Offline misanthropist

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 05:02:35 PM »
Dillon is the route I went as well...XL650, case feeder, etc etc etc.

I find I can run about 500 rounds through it per hour, although everything has to be lined up for that to work.  Including everything I think 300/hour is probably more realistic.

That is a good setup for me because the overwhelming majority of shooting I do is pistol stuff and I need thousands of rounds on hand.  Most of the guys that I know who shoot more than I do went with the 1050 but for me the 650 was enough.  The highest volume guy I know runs a 1050 with casefeeding, bullet feeding, and now automated primer feeding.  It's the most automated system I have seen short of a Camdex.

If I was primarily a hunter or a long range rifle shooter I think I might be more inclined to go with a high end single stage press.  But that's a guess...I have no experience outside of progressives and very little experience outside of Dillon progressives.
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Offline DNA

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 07:40:39 PM »
Yup - I find loading the primer tubes and checking the powder throw takes a while to set up.
Once you start pounding them out it goes great as long as you don't stop or break the rhythm.
For rifle I do them individually across each station so a progressive is not that helpful.
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Offline misanthropist

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 08:43:44 PM »
For sure, that really changes the dynamic.
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Offline Smilodon_Con

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 05:25:31 PM »
Stay away from the T-Mag. The rotating head is great for leaving your dies set and in place, but that pivot point is also a weak spot during substantial pressure on the piston upstroke. I had one and used it quite a bit for 6.5x55 and .270 Win but started noticing lateral movement of the rotating turret during operation after a couple hundred rounds.
Go for the Rockchucker for small qty. rifle loading. Die mounted in solid steel frame, nothing there to move on you.

My edjumicated IMO based on heavy real world use.

For pistol, my Dillon 550B with all the goodies was the cat:s ass. Great press for pistol rounds. I've loaded thousands upon thousands of .45 ACP, 9mm, .380, .38 Special and wadcutter, and .44 Mag. on the Dillon.
Money well spent on a good progressive press.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 05:44:28 PM »
Why the difference between reloading setups for pistol and rifle?

To me, the main difference is that rifle typically has a longer length and possibly larger diameter case though I fail to see why a different reloading setup is needed.
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Offline Smilodon_Con

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 07:53:07 PM »
Manual single stage---consistency, more suited for large rifle cases.
Slow.

Progressive--speedier, higher production loading for pistols. Also consistent if you do it right. Less force involved in loading pistol. Shorter, thinner cases. For rifle on a single stage press, powder chages are manually weighed for every load. A progressive press has a powder charge chamber that is set to a given charge weight. Pretty accurate, but not as accurate as weighing each charge for a rifle.

Resizing a rifle case takes quite a bit of force.
Cases must be lubed, deprimed and sized in the die, trimmed and deburred, then cleaned before priming and charging and seating a new bullet with a different die setup.

Pistol cases arent so finicky. Tumble the brass, then resize and eject spent primer in one shot, prime + charge, seat bullet and crimp. 1 complete round off with every handle stroke. The key with pistols is to keep your brass sorted by brand and known number of firings. I used to keep good "match brass" and "misc plinking brass" seperate from each other.

TIP: use a seatimg die, then a seperate crimp die for pistol. Better more uniform results than seat/crimp die in one operation without a doubt. I used to pound my .45 reloads through one ragged hole off the bench at 25 yards. My loads would X-ring at 50 yd through my Les Baer wadcutter gun with a red dot sight.

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« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 02:23:33 PM by Smilodon_Con »

Offline Jim

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2013, 07:58:59 PM »
Thanks - bottom line seems to be quality control with a case that is more difficult to process.
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Offline Smilodon_Con

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2013, 08:10:24 PM »
Yes. A great deal of attn to detail is needed. Also, go by the books. DO NOT DEVIATE unless you know what you are doing. There are high and low load ranges for any given caliber. A load too light can be just as dangerous as a load too hot. Double charging a pistol round can be disasterous. Loading a squib (primer only, no powder) can be disasterous. Everybody likes 9mm, 9mm are easy to crank out by the hundreds. 9mm is also a very high pressure round with a very narrow range of proper load. Pay the F*** attention amd do it in a place where there are no distractions while loading and also pay attention while firing reloads. Look for normal recoil and muzzle report. Loading can be a dangerous business when approached nonchalantly.

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« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 10:51:50 AM by Smilodon_Con »

Offline DNA

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2013, 12:46:08 AM »
My loads would X-ring at 50 yd through my Les Baer wadcutter gun with a red dot sight.

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Sounds like a nice set up - got  pic?
Any idea how much that wold set you back today?
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack  -You may find yourself in another part of the world
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Offline Smilodon_Con

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2013, 11:53:54 AM »
Long gone. Sold to a fellow who runs a major bullseye shooting board. Won his class at Camp Perry with the pistol. It was the Champion's Choice .45 wadcutter gun, built by Les Baer, sold by CC. Guaranteed to shoot 1.5 inches at 50yd. I paid extra to get the "plus" edition, which was worked to tighter tolerances
Guaranteed for 1.25". Mine shot just over an inch. A real shooter's .45. I put a Clark slide mount scope rail and a 1" Ultradot on it. Took 1000 rounds of break in before you could rack the slide by hand the gun was built so tightly. When it was new you had to break the lockup by pressing on the muzzle if the gun with one hand and gripping the pistol grip with the other. You literally could not pull the slide back in the normal manner.

I had about 1400 into that back in the late 90's early 2000's. Probably run around 2k now I would venture.
I had a brand new Hammerli 208s to go with that for 2700 matches.
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Offline giaka

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2013, 12:54:19 PM »
My Christmas presents are in. A set of 300 AAC Blackout dies and a mini chop saw for making 300 AAC brass from spent .223/556 brass. Woot......
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Offline khuffy

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2014, 08:32:43 AM »
Planning on taking a reloading class that is offered through the local range I just joined.

Already informed the wife I'll be spending a great deal more time out in the shop.

Offline giaka

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 02:19:07 PM »
Spent the morning turning 100 223/5.56 brass into 300 ACC Blackout brass. WOOT!

223 brass, cut off shoulder, re-size and trim to length.

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Offline DNA

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2014, 03:08:19 PM »
300 AAC looks an awful lot like 7.62x39 to my untrained eye.

How do the ballistics compare?

Looking into it a bit - seems like a good option for a suppressed gun - but as that is a no go in CA - what is the attraction?
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Offline giaka

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2014, 03:48:42 PM »
300 AAC looks an awful lot like 7.62x39 to my untrained eye.

How do the ballistics compare?

Looking into it a bit - seems like a good option for a suppressed gun - but as that is a no go in CA - what is the attraction?

Double the bullet size easy (over a 223) and at a decent velocity using 115 or 120 grain bullets. These will be going in an AR pistol with a 7 inch barrel. Shorter barrels have less of an effect on the 300 than they do on the 223. Overall it just seems like a much better choice for an AR pistol or a rifle for 150 yards or less.
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Online bedlamite

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2014, 04:38:59 PM »
300 AAC looks an awful lot like 7.62x39 to my untrained eye.

How do the ballistics compare?

Looking into it a bit - seems like a good option for a suppressed gun - but as that is a no go in CA - what is the attraction?


Yep, 300 BO/Whisper is probably the best option for a suppressed SBR.
7.62x39 if you don't reload and want cheap blasting ammo.
6.5 Grendel if you want a medium range target rifle (400-800 yds)
6.8SPC if you want an AR for hunting

These are all from a 16" barrel with a 200 yd zero:

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Offline misanthropist

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2014, 04:48:19 PM »
300 AAC looks an awful lot like 7.62x39 to my untrained eye.

How do the ballistics compare?

Looking into it a bit - seems like a good option for a suppressed gun - but as that is a no go in CA - what is the attraction?

The thing that tends to appeal to me is just this: I hate leaving unburned powder to go flying out of short barreled guns.  The 300BLK lets you maximize a short barrel.


But I will say this: I briefly started to chase subsonic 300BLKs down a particular rabbit hole after doing a bunch of suppressor stuff.  I was looking for the ultimate silent load and ended up with a subsonic 150 grain load out of an integrally suppressed bolt gun that belongs to a friend of mine up here.

It was really impressive.  Shooting it was DEAD quiet.  I started screwing around a bit with loads like that, and messing with an AR to perform at its best with that load, and I had some issues with pushing the performance envelope of the AR to run that round.  And it was annoying because of course 150 grain .308s aren't designed to open up at 1000 FPS.  So then I started screwing around with the projectiles.  It became this insane headache but there was a point where I thought I was finally starting to get close to a reliable gun with reliable ammo, and it was just going to be really expensive and time consuming.  But it would work.




Then I realized I'd been spending an outrageous amount of time and energy building a 9mm subgun.  I bought some 147gr 9mm ammo, loaded them into another friends MP5, fired them, and called it a day.


I'm a lot less interested in 300BLK now.
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Offline giaka

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2014, 05:54:59 PM »


The thing that tends to appeal to me is just this: I hate leaving unburned powder to go flying out of short barreled guns.  The 300BLK lets you maximize a short barrel.


There is a lot more load data for sure. Folks have been messing around with small (grains) loads of pistol powder in them as well.  There might be a better selection of bullets now? Either way its something I wanted to try.  :bigok:
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Offline coucours grad

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Re: Reloading
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2014, 09:56:48 AM »
nevermind
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