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Old December 26, 2017, 11:30   #1
K. Funk
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Reloading Press Question.....

I am looking to upgrade my reloading equipment. I have been using a Rock Chucker for many years. I buddy of mine has been doing my high volume 9mm , .45 ACP and .38 special on a Square Deal B. If money was no object, well mebbe a small object, what would be the ultimate practical set-up? I am thinking that 2 Dillon 550's, one for large primer and one for small primer, would be the cats meow. The 650 seems a bit much in terms of complication. My high volume rounds would be 9mm, .38/.357 .40 S&W/10mm, .45 ACP, .223. .308 and .30-06. Medium volume would be .44 Mag, .44 Sp. .45 Colt. Low volume would be lots of oddball military rounds and various hunting rounds. They would stay on the Rock Chucker. Any opinions appreciated.

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Old December 26, 2017, 11:41   #2
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A 550 with the quick change plates already set up would be a good choice. For large rifle brass like 308, I size on the chucker because the force needed sometimes to full length size. You know how sometimes the ball wants to hang on the sizer die? It can wad the system up and if your not careful you will stroke it again and dump powder all over the place on a double charge. Then it's a mess to clean up because it will gum up the the shell holder plate and block the rotation For a pistol case the 550 is great.

As far as moving between large and small primers, the change isn't that much problem. Maybe 10 minutes to change out the tube magazine and the anvil.
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Old December 26, 2017, 14:32   #3
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I love my 550 and often dream of having a second one set up for the "other" primer size. To be honest though it would be a waste of space and as noted it is not that bad to change over. Gives a fellow a chance to clean stuff up while swapping out. One thing I have learned, my 550 prefers to run cleaner rather than dirtier. I did trade into a 9mm SDB and like having a press set up just for 9mm as it is currently my high volume caliber. But if you really want my advice, buy a 1050 (for each caliber) and be done with it.
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Old December 26, 2017, 15:26   #4
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I have a Dillon 650 with the rotary case feeder set up for 9mm. and I have not changed to anything else for quite some time. The thing is fast and trouble free once dialed in correctly. They were not cheap when I bought mine and they certainly are not cheap now. I really do like mine a lot.
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Old December 26, 2017, 15:27   #5
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"If money is no object" - buy premium ammo by the truckload and forget about this reloading nonsense.

Money is ALWAYS an object, even for a multi-millionaire. I have a 550b and love it. It's easily quadrupled my shooting for about the same cost. I primarily load .308 and .45 on it, but also do some 9mm and .223 (don't tell anyone!).

If you're wanting to crank out more than a thousand rounds a month and will very rarely change calibers, go with the 1050. Otherwise, I'd say start with one 550 and if you really see a need for a second order one later.
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Old December 26, 2017, 15:48   #6
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I have the hornady lock n load automatic progressive. Loaded only small primer stuff on it.

Pros: cost it's really cheap especially if you buy from cabelas with discount gift cards bought from plus they have a promo for 500 free bullets.
I had a lee progressive before which was terrible so the hornady is a lot better in every way than that.
Super fast caliber changes. They have quick trim bushings to instantly change dies. Much faster and cheaper to change calibers on this than most other presses unless you spend a ton of money on Dillion quick change kits. The Dillion quick change costs about as much as the entire hornady press.
Powder measure is very accurate and consistent with most powders. Much better than the lee products in my experience. I have not done much with dillion so I can't compare to that.

If you're talking really high volume like thousands a week and want to have a really fast and consistent bullet feed and case feed the Dillon is better. Maybe even a 1050 but it's going to cost significantly more especially with the amount of Calibers you're talking about.
I've had some trouble with the primer tube slipping and the primers getting jammed. Not a frequent problem but when it happens it's annoying and you have to dump all primers and pick em up again.

Overall I'd say the hormady ap is worth a look especially for as many calibers as you talk about as long as you aren't talking massive production numbers.
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Old December 26, 2017, 16:12   #7
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Been loading on a 550B for 26 years. Thousands of rounds. Have never seen a need to buy anything else for volume work.

When I do high volume rifle loading, I prep all my brass first in a Redding Ultramag single stage set up with my Dillon RT-1200 sizer/trimmer. Then I hand prime.
From that point, I can load as many as I like. The only things that slow me down are adding more primers and powder to the press, and occasionally checking the powder charges. With extra primer tubes loaded, I can easily do 6-800 rounds an hour. Pistol stuff gets the whole treatment in the 550B after cleaning the brass.

I got a neighbor into shooting/reloading years ago. He's one of those "bigger is better", types. Tried to talk him into a 550B, even had him try mine out. Had to have a 650, was way overkill to his needs. He quickly learned to hate the auto-index feature...a real pita when a particular round gets buggered up in process.

Sold it and bought a 550B for rifle stuff, and a Square deal B for 9mm/.45 ACP. He lived happily ever after.

Imho, you need to be loading in excess of 10k + rounds a year to need anything bigger than a 550B. As always, YMMV.
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Old December 26, 2017, 16:24   #8
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Yanno Rich, I hand primed my last 2k of 308. I thought it went smoother than priming using the press. Also the thing about sizing off line is that you need to clean the lube after sizing anywho unless you want to clean loaded rounds
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Old January 04, 2018, 13:05   #9
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Regarding the use of once fired military 7.62 brass:
I have loaded close to 5,000 pieces of LC and US contract brass(TAA,SBS,PSD...etc).

It's a non issue.
99% of this brass WAS fired in a 240B machine gun. The base of the web is bloated beyond anything you will see from a civilian chamber.

Buy an RCBS Small Base die and a Sheridan slotted case gauge.
The issue is NOT.....I repeat NOT a headspace problem.

The slotted case gauge will allow you to feel what the issue is. Bad headspaced brass will drop right into the case gauge against the shoulder but the head will protrude out of the gauge.

A bloated case will swage to a stop in the case gauge just before it contacts the shoulder. It may or may not have the shoulder bumped back far enough to be in spec but it's irrelevant if it can't fit in the chamber.

Also....use lots of lube. I wet tumble range brass for a few minutes to remove any dirt. Dry the brass in the sun. Dump 200 pieces into a gallon zip lock. Spray RCBS case lube cut with alcohol in the bag. Tumble bag. Dump the brass out and let the alcohol evaporate.
Adjust your die until ALL rounds drop into the case gauge to proper headspace.
VERY VERY's not complicated.
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