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Old February 16, 2010, 13:01   #1
EricCartmanR1
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Cartmann's complete .308 Win and .45 ACP Reloading step by step (with pictures)

WARNING!!! Reloading is dangerous! Triple check reference all data points using difference sources and triple check all measurements. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!

Users assume all risk, responsibility and liability whatsoever for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data, whether or not occasioned by publisher’s negligence or based on strict liability or principles of indemnity or contribution. EricCartmanR1 neither assumes nor authorizes any person to assume for it any liability in connection with the use of any data.



Cartmann’s complete .308 and .45 ACP Reloading Step by Step (pictures included)

Case Prep is a pain for .308 NATO Brass! However, once you case prepped this stuff once, it will be much easier next time. .308 NATO Brass is bad ass, and the strongest of all .308 brass.

Here we start with some Once-Fired Lake City .308 Military brass cases that Cartmann got from the FALfiles. This brass was dirty but it cleaned up real nice. Prepping this brass was very tough and not as easy as 556 NATO brass. Most .308 Military brass cases were shot from machine guns such as a M60 or M240B, these guns tend to have excessive headspace (sometimes overly excessive), and brass will balloon up bigger than normal making sizing very difficult. Also the primers on these cases are crimped on super tight and difficult to knockout. Sizing and Decapping in one motion is very difficult so it is done in separate steps for the first time when working with this brass.


7 steps in the Cartmann case prep plan when working with Military 762 NATO Brass

Case Prep #1 - Tumble #1
Tumbling - Off she goes into the tumbler. For the first tumble, Cartmann only tumbles for half hour with a cap full of NuFinish Car wax and 2 sheets of used dryer sheets. It does not get super shiny after half hour, but is clean enough to go through the sizer die. [More on Tumbling Later, see below]



Case Prep #2 - Decapping
Decapping – is another name for removing old primer. Reason Cartmann does not decap and size in one motion for this Once-Fired NATO Lake City Brass is because this brass is too tough to size and decap in one motion (as already mentioned). After sizing this once-fired case the first time, there will be no need to decap and re-size in separate steps in the future. The Lee Universal Decapping die is probably one of the best $10 Cartmann ever spent.


Lake City 05 Military Brass with NATO cross.


Decapping tube almost filled with old primers.



Case Prep #3 - Sizing
Sizing – Stuck cases in dies are common with .308 Military Brass if you do not take the time to lube every case. In the pic Cartmann is using a q-tip, but have since replaced that with a large piece Pelican foam that he drench with Mobil-1. Just roll the the bottom portion of the case on the foam, then dip the neck in the foam. RCBS X-die and Hornandy New Dimension dies both dented the brass because of excess lube. The regular RCBS full sizer die claims it does not dent brass, but even it dents brass if you use excessive lube. Only die Cartmann found that did not dent the brass was the $10 Lee Full Sizer Die, it has a very generous hole on top to release the excess lube. With this batch of .308 LC Brass, Cartmann discovered that he needed to lube every case in order to prevent stuck dies. In addition, LC brass shot from Machine Guns seems to have a lot of bounce back after sizing, so it is a good idea to resize each case 2 times to make sure these case are sized properly (2 pulls on the handle of the Press). For 5.56 LC Brass batches Cartmann has encountered, he only has to lube about 1 every 5 cases and die will still go through smoothly.



Before you size every case in the batch, best to check to see if your full sizing die is set up properly and the cases are in spec. Dillon Case gauges are pretty awesome, just drop the case in and the base of the case should fall between the 2 lines.



Case Prep #4 - Swaging
Swaging is another name for Primer Pocket Crimp Removal. Military primers are crimp in, to remove this crimp Cartmann uses the Dillon Super Swager. Cartmann started with RCBS Swaging die, but using this die was very tedious. Do yourself a favor and get the Dillon Swager! Swaging only needs to be once, the first time you work with once-fired Military Brass.

Here is the RCBS swaging die. This die works pretty good but it is much slower than a Dillon Super Swager. Cartmann no longer swages this way, and now he just uses the nipple of this kit to as a "crimp check" to see if an un-crimp is needed. If he finds un-crimp is needed, he will then use the Dillon to swage.


Here is a Dillon Super Swager.
There is nothing Cartmann can say about the Super Swager that has not already been said. Cartmann hate's buying a new tool when the old tool already does the job (RCBS Swager). However, after 5 months staring at 4000 Military Cases, Cartmann figured it is time he gets the Dillon. He had to tell myself since he save countless hours with Dillon over the RCBS, that the money was justified. This thing is easy to use and adjust, best of all it is super fast. Cartmann has his Dillon
Swager on a wood block so he can also swage in huge batches on the couch in front of a TV.



Case Prep #5 - Tumbling #2
Remove lube and make brass more shiny – Cartmann does not like wet SS tumbling or wet sonic cleaning, or at least have not felt the urge to do it yet. Most of the time Cartmann is tumbling, he is doing something else so it's not a big deal. Only thing wrong with traditional tumbling is the primer pocket does not get clean, which for Cartmann is not really a big deal.

Here you will tumble for another 1-2 hours, the longer you tumble the shinier the brass will get. Cartmann’s preferred Media is 24 grit walnut shells, it does a good job in cleaning and smoothing. It also lasts a very long time. 25 pounds of this stuff goes for about $25 at a hobby store and should last about about 80,000 cases (or more).


The Tumbler should be about 75% full with Media (walnut). Now put in about 2-3 cap full of NuFinish (or more) in media and tumble for about a minute to work the NuFinish in the Media. You do not want the Media too wet with Nufinish, because it will fail to clean if Media has too much NuFinish in it. Not enough NuFinish and cases will take longer to get shiny.


Now put in the brass till the Tumbler till it is almost full with brass along with 2-6 sheets of used Bounce Dryer sheets just like in the pic below. The more Bounce Dryer sheets you use, the cleaner your Media will stay. The Bounce Dryer sheets will also clean the oily brass, you will notice this when you are finished tumbling and observe how grimey the Bounce dryer sheets are when you finish tumbling but yet the brass and the media is pretty much grease free.


1.5 hours later in the tumbler brass comes out looking pretty good. If left for another hour they will look even better.


Into the RCBS media separator


The RCBS media separator does a good job of separating the media from the brass, takes about about 25 rotation to knock out close to 100% of the Media from inside the cases. Here is the brass after those 25 rotations:



Case Prep #6 - Trimming
Trimming and deburring – After sizing, case will grow and you have to bring it back down to spec. Max length for .308 case is 2.015", but trim length should be around 2.005 (no lower than this). The Giraud trims, deburs, and chamfers both inside and outside in one motion. Case trimming is the absolute worse thing about reloading but Giraud makes it easy and kinda fun, it's almost as good as sex. The Giraud is one bad ass tool. It not only trims, but also chamfers. You can easily do 500 cases per hour going at an easy pace.


Before Cartmann bought the Giraud, This is how trimmed his brass:
These mostly-Lee Tools only cost about $25 total. It works, but man, don't want to do this if you have to do huge batches as it's very painful and slow. But if you are only doing 100 or so cases, then this is not a bad route to go.
- Lee Ball Cutter $6
- RCBS inside and outside the case chamfer tool ($12)
- Lee lockstud for drill or electric screwdriver ($5)
- Lee .308 shell holder for lockstud ($3)
- Drill or electric screwdriver that can turn slowly (Free - you should have one already, if you don't then check in your man card and apply to be a female at the nearest FEMA office)

The Ball cutter is easy to use, it has a case length gauge and you cut until it does not cut anymore more. The gauge hits the bottom of the base thereby ceasing to cut, no thinking involved. For the chamfer tool, just half a second for each the inside and outside of the case is all you need for nice chamfer. These Lee trimmer tools are easy to use, and they work. However, they are about 10 times slower than a Giraud. Also you get the pleasure of cramped fingers with these tools if you are doing 100 or more in one sitting.



Notice the nice Chamfer the Giraud puts on the cases.



Brand New Virgin Lapua Brass. You would think these cases are full sized and ready to go, they are not. Cartmann found about 20% of these cases still need full sizing. Lapua Brass is awesome, but Cartmann prefers LC. Lapua does seem to be more consistent though when it comes to weight and volume.



Case Prep #7 - Final Inspection
Final inspection – Step 7 is important because you don’t know where your once-fired brass came from or how it was shot. Here you are looking for visible signs of brass weakness such as cracks on the walls or at the mouth. Also you want to check the flash hole to see if it is obstructed. If 762 NATO brass was fired from a Machine Gun with really excessive headspace, you will see a ring outside or inside the case. This ring is a good indication case separation will occur. Cartmann inspects about 1 out of every 10 for this sign of case separation by using a flashlight to peek inside the case for this ring.

CASE PREP COMPLETE and now we are ready to Reload!



Here are some options for Components we use for reloading.

Bullets - 4000 FMJ-BT bullets. Winchester 147gr FMJ in the white boxes, Hornandy 150gr FMJ in the big brown box



Bullets Part 2 – 1200 Hornandy 150gr Softpoint bullets received as a bonus with the purchase of Hornandy’s LNL Progressive Press. These make great hunting rounds.



Bullets Part 3 – Precision Bullets - Sierra Match Kings 168gr HPBT and 175gr HPBT bullets with fully loaded rounds (in blue boxes) using SMK bullets.



Primers – Cartmann's favorite Primer is the Federal Gold Medal Match 210M (not shown), he finds these to be the most consistent so he uses these primers with all his precision .308 Loads. Cartmann also has used CCI, Wolf, and Magtech with good results. Primers (as well as powder) is something that is good to stock up on, because you will find that there will be periods of up to a year where you will not be able to get Primers or powders. Also both Primer or powder require a Hazmat fee if you get it shipped, so it's a good idea to buy these in bulk.



Powders – For Precision .308, Cartmann prefers Varget over all others because it is insensitive to temperature and very consistent. .308 and Varget is a match made in heaven. Cartmann can also recommend H4895 for .308 and it too is a nice choice and it seems to be just as consistent as Varget. The best all around powder Cartmann has found for both 223 and 308 is Ramshot TAC. Both Ramshot TAC and H335 is what Cartmann uses on the progressive press because both are ball powders that meters nicely. H335 is Cartmann's preferred load for 223 55gr FMJ, but it also works great for .308 147 gr FMJ. Cycles great and very reliable.

Last edited by EricCartmanR1; June 09, 2014 at 13:44.
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Old February 16, 2010, 13:02   #2
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Bulk Reloading on the Hornandy LNL Progressive Press. Up until now, we only used a single stage press. However now that the brass suitable to work with, we will now complete the process by going on the LNL .

Hornandy Lock and Load Progressive Press
1) Station 1 – Resizing (skipped stepped because cases are already sized. Not just that, but Cartmann never full size rifle rounds on the progressive press, it causes more problems than it cures)
2) Station 2 – Priming (some don’t consider this a station as it requires no dies)
3) Station 3 – Powder Dispenser
4) Station 4 – Powder Check (to make sure cases are properly charged)
5) Station 5 – Bullet Seating
6) Station 6 – Lee Factory Crimp Die (shown as not being used here, but Cartmann now always crimp when he uses cannelured FMJ bullets).



Here Cartmann replaced the Station 4 Hornandy LNL powder check die with the RCBS powder check die. The RCBS die did not stick as much as the LNL powder check die because it is heavier, and it comes with 3 different rod heads to match calibers better. The powder check die is not really used for precision, more to let you know that the case is properly charged, or you did not double charge (which is impossible to do for rifle, but very possible for pistol).
Here, when the top of the rod (white cap) aligns with the O-ring, it means there is approximately 41.6 gr of TAC.



The components we will use for our rounds:
Bullet: Winchester 147gr FMJ
Powder: Ramshot TAC (because it meters nicely, within .2 grains)
Brass: LC (already prepped)
Primer: Wolf LR or CCI400



Primer pickup to load in the Hornandy LNL. We use the Hornandy supplied tubes to pick up primers. Notice Cartmann’s high speed Primer-Flipper-Tool (a Dixie paper plate) to get the primers right side up for pickup.



Once primer pick up tube is full, place other end of tube in the LNL then remove the cotter pin and Primers will fall right into the LNL primer tube.



Here is the primer station in action. Pull the lever and primer tube will feed the primer slide. Push the lever and you just primed the case.



Completed rounds fall into the red bin. For the first round you should confirm powder charge (before seating bullet of course) and the OAL of the round. When using Military bullets with Cannelure, Cartmann likes to load halfway to the cannelure, which is 2.79” for the Winchester 147gr bullet.



See how Factory ammo measures up for even more comparison.



404 Rounds complete! and ready for Duty.



Cartmann was watching the Pitt/WVa game and thought he would be useful by putting the rounds on stripper clips and into the ammo can.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Making Precision Match Rounds

When Cartmann was done with the stripper clips it was not even half time yet. So he thought he would make some precision match rounds using the Single Stage Press Again.

Lee Collet Neck Die -
If you are shooting your cases out of a Bolt Action Rifle, there is no need to full size the case, instead you just re-size the neck. This way you get a custom fit case for that rifle. Cartmann has found that Neck sizing is one of the single greatest improvements you can do to produce accurate rounds. Neck sizing is much easier on the brass than full sizing and does not require lube. So remember to save all your fired brass from your bolt action rifle in a particular box. Here is a pic of the Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die from Lee's site.



Cartmann uses the RCBS Chargemaster to weigh every charge. The Chargemaster is a must have, gets the precise load about 90% of the time. Every once in awhile it will be about .1-.2 grain too high because it trickled too much. .1 grains is good enough for most people, but if not, then just pour the powder back in the dispenser and put tray back on. The Chargemaster will automatically fill the tray each time an empty tray is placed on the unit. It takes about 40 seconds for the Chargemaster to fill the tray with 43.5 grains of Varget, which is faster than I can prime a case and seat a bullet.



If cost is a concern, the only option in place of a Chargemaster is to manually weigh each charge. This is very time consuming.



The better option instead of weighing every round is to use the the Lee Perfect Powder Measure ($20). It works great, but will have variances sometimes greater than +/- .04 grains because stick powders such as Varget will have inconsistent powder drops when using a volume type dispenser such as the Lee Perfect Powder Measure or the Hornady LNL. Pic of the Lee Perfect Powder Measure (From Lee's Website)



Weigh brass and bullets for consistency. Remember we are loading match ammo here so not only are the best components used, but also we make sure the best components have the same weight. Notice how the 175gr SMK’s are exactly 175gr! Actually not all of them were, this box varied in weight from 174.8 to 175.2…. good enough.



Flash Hole deburring -
The saying goes.. this tool makes your flash hole "uniform" so it will get a more consistent flash and powder burn. Normally Cartmann never deburs the flash-hole as part of his case prep. Cartmann is not sure if this tool is even needed or how much of a difference it makes. If there is a difference, he is not seeing it. When Cartmann is making precision rounds, he flash hole deburs every case with this tool, but that's only because it's a simple process and better safe than sorry right? Same goes for adding a drop of holy water to each round, not sure if helps, but better safe than sorry.



Primer Pocket Cleaning - Cartmann only cleans the primer pocket for his precision loads. Just like Flash Hole Deburring, Cartmann is not sure if Primer Pocket cleaning helps, again it's like sprinkling Holy Water, better safe than sorry.

One option to clean the flash hole, is to use the RCBS primer pocket cleaner hand tool.



Another and faster option is to use the RCBS Trim-mate. The trim-mate is a great tool to have on the bench, it comes with a motor that slow rotates 5 "heads". In addition to primer pocket cleaning, this tool can also be used to clean inside the cases (again, for the anal peep), and also an inside and outside the case chamfer after you are neck sizing.



Hornandy Concentricity Gauge Tool -
Difference in weight of powder and bullet seating has very little affect in accuracy. Inaccuracies and "Flyers" come into play when the bullet is not perfectly concentric. This tool right here not only measures concentricity (also called "runout"), but also corrects it. Cartammn was able to get all his test bullets to within .002" runout.

At the range: even though Cartmann's groups did not tighten after using this tool, it seems to work as advertise as he did not get any "flyers" with his 20 test loads. Cartmann would not recommend using this tool to correct the runout! It seems the rounds that he "corrected" caused them to have more of a chance to be flyers.

Jury is still out on this one and more testing still needed. Cartmann has not used this tool for almost 2 years so testing this tool is still on his to do list.



MCR Bullet Meplatt Trimmer -
At 100 yards, Cartmann's groups did not improve with this tool. He was told that only time he would notice is at distance. However, Cartmann is finding the wind (or luck of the wind) to play a bigger role in accuracy than this tool. One thing Cartmann can say about this tool, is it sure does put a nice looking chamfer on the hollow point bullets. So if you are into artistic bullets, than you have already spent your money well . Some guys swear by this tool. One of the precision guy Cartmann knows says we will see a difference once we go past 600 yards when wind becomes more of a factor (noticeable as in .25 MOA). Though lots of precision guys swear by this tool, Cartmann is not sold and really think it does not help much at all (but jury is still out for Cartmann).

Here is the tool, as you can see it comes in 3 pieces, a with a trimmer, an inside chamfer, and the main body that holds the bullet. On the far left, you can see Cartmann placed a bullet inside the body.



Bullets on the left are 175gr Sierra Matchkings right out of the box. The Bullets on the right are the same bullets, but trimmed with the MCR Meplatt trimming tool.



Cartmann likes to label and mark his match loads if they are sharing the same box.



Hornady LNL Quick Change Bushings Adapter -
This thing right here can convert any press with 1 1/4 -12 threads to a press that will be able to use Hornady quick change bushings. Here it is on a Lee Classic Press. No adjusting of dies ever again. Just place in, turn 1/18" turn and the already adjusted die locks into place at the exact same position it was set at before.

However, Cartmann has since ditched this conversion bushing and replaced with the standard threads + Hornady Lockrings, reason is a full size die will frequently come loose with this bushing. Hornady lockrings also works great, no adjustment of dies again, but most importantly is the lockring on the die allows the die to stay put, something the Die Busing Adapter could not do.



Reloading gets messy, so now it is time to cleanup using a portable shop vac, a paint brush, and a oil rag to wipe everything down.



The Cartmann man room is all cleaned and ready to be used for the next time

Last edited by EricCartmanR1; April 13, 2014 at 16:00.
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Old February 16, 2010, 13:04   #3
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---------------------
At the Range

Recipe Cartmann have found that works great with 4 different Rifles. Believe it or not, Savage Fireform Brass works great for Remington and even the AR10! The AR10 was able to properly cycle neck size only Savage Fireform Brass. This is because Savage Chambers are much tighter than both the Remington and AR10s chambers.

- LC cases Savage fireformed Brass (Neck Size only with Lee Collet Die)
- trim after neck sizing (case will grow a little)
- .308 175gr SMK bullet
- 42.5 gr Varget
- CCI 200 LR primers
- flashhole deburred
- OAL 2.805" (approximate)
- Concentricity measure to <.002" using Hornady Concentricity Gauge

Here is what the load above did for a Stock Remington 700 Barrel and Action. Cartmann never loaded for this particular gun, he thought he would just try it out and it shot... 0.1" group at 100 yards!!!! This rifle was also able to shoot 3" 4-shot groups at 550 yards with this same load (wind was our friend that day).



This is the gun that shot the group above. It was consistently under .50 MOA all day long with the above load (no wind and a cold bore).



.308 is a very forgiving round to load, with Varget, the sweet spot is very wide. Here is a pic just for the hell of posting a family pic. The .308 kids in the Cartmann Family

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Old February 16, 2010, 13:05   #4
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---------------

Reloading Pistol on the LNL Progressive Press

The only complaint Cartmann had about my Hornady LNL Press was he could not not reload .45 the way he truly wanted.

1) He could not run all 5 die stations because the ejector wire got in the way on the last die when loading for .45 ACP
2) He only had one powder dispenser, the one that came with the press, and it's a PITA to adjust each time he swap calibers
3) He had to expand (the case mouth) and charge in 2 separate steps.

#1 above was fixed by ordering the Hornady EZ-eject conversion kit ($30 + $10 for each plate to be modded)
#2 was fixed by buying additional powder dispensers
#3 above was fixed by using the Lee-Auto-Disk with Lee Expander Die, this die expands the mouth and powder drops in one die.

Big prop again to Lee Dies! They do not disappoint. The Lee .45 ACP die kit comes with 4 dies. Best part is the whole kit is only $35. In addition to the 4 dies, you also get excellent instructions, a shell holder, and a powder cup.

Another big Prop to Lee for the Lee Auto-Disk Powder dispenser! This thing is super consistent, Cartmann believes it to be even more consistent than the Hornady LBL powder dispenser. It was +/- .1 grain with Titegroup Powder.

The Lee Auto Disk is only $40, while the Hornady is $80. The Auto-Disk works perfect with the Lee expander/powder-through die. In addition, it also works great with the Hornady LNL press!

Here are the 5 dies in action with 6 stations.
1) Station #1 is the Resizing + Decapper station
2) #2 is the Priming Station (no dies here)
3) #3 is the Case-Mouth-Expander + charging station (Using the Lee Auto-Disk Powder Dispenser)
4) #4 is the Powder Check die. This station is not really important for rifles, but extremely important for Pistols, as it will prevent you from accidentally double charging. It also warns you when your cases are not charging... because as we all know, there is nothing like loading 100 rounds and finding out later that none of them have charges in them because powder dispenser failed to drop properly!
5) #5 is the Bullet Seating Die
6) #6 is the Bullet Crimp Die



Another addition Cartmann made to the LNL awhile back. Brass rod with flag on top for "out of primer indicator". When Primer runs out the flag will be at the bottom, but in addition, the primer feeder will not return to it's natural position because the rod will jam in the primer feeding hole.



.45 Reloading in action
The .45 is an awesome round to reload because it's low pressure. Brass for .45 pretty much last forever. Also, when loading Pistol rounds, no case prep necessary, and no sizing lube necessary. Just tumble cases and they are ready to go. The savings reloading pistol is significant. About 19 cents a round total for .45 ACP. 15 cents per bullet, 3 cents per primer, and 2 cents per charge (powder).



Hornady Quick Die Bushing
What is nice about the Hornady LNL Progressive Press is the ability to swap out the dies easily with no adjustment necessary. This is possible with the Hornady LNL Die Bushings. Dies are preset to the Bushing, and the bushings (with die) just drop into the Press with a 90 Degree rotation. Here is Cartmann's .45 ACP Drop-In Die Set preset with the Hornady Die Bushings. Notice the Expander/Powder-Drop die is already on the Powder Expenser. Cartmann use Teflon Tape for all the Dies so they stay on the Press tight and the dies do not come loose. With the Die Busghings and Powder Drop that is preset, swapping calibers only take about 2 minutes at most.



If you are using the Lee Auto-Disk for rifle reloading, you will need the Rifle Charing Die. Below is Cartmann's Drop-In .223 Die Set Kit with the Lee Rifle Charging Die



"Cartmann's Drop In .223 Powder Drop and Die Set" in action

Last edited by EricCartmanR1; December 06, 2013 at 12:11.
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Old February 16, 2010, 17:00   #5
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Eric, I *really* enjoyed the read. Thank you.

I process my 308 brass in pretty well the same way, other than using a small hobby lathe to trim to length (using the Lee tool) and then in/out chamfer. I use my LNL AP in exactly the same way.

43+ grains of RL-15 for a 175gr bullet ? Man. That must be right on the edge of 308 pressure. I can see why you would be temperature sensitive.

Again, thank you.

Steve.

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Old February 16, 2010, 19:39   #6
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I did not get any signs of over pressure in my AR10 with 43.1gr of RL15 and 175gr SMK. Actually I was kinda dissapointed in the velocity, got me to about 2530 average.

I was reading M118LR (uses the same 175gr SMK and RL15) by the military gets a smoking 2700 fps! I am trying to get about 2560, at that velocity it will keep me supersonic past just over a 1000 yards, which is I why I went 175gr SMK's in the first place, to have a 1000 yard round.
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Old February 16, 2010, 21:25   #7
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Looks like I was mistaken. Lyman #49 shows 44.3 grains of RL15 delivering 2697 fps out of a 24" barrel (1:10) as a max load for the 175 SMK. So, you still have a little to go, but I don't know how long the barrel of your AR10 is. I would imagine that the 2700 fps number comes from a Rem 700 bolt action with a 24" barrel..
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Old February 16, 2010, 22:35   #8
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44.3 of RE15 was the original M118LR load. Seems it was tearing up M14's at this charge when they decided to use them again as a DMR. (why no schuester plug? its a $30 solution for the army) Also very accurate for me in the 5R. 1/3 MOA as far as I have shot it yet. More accurate than FGMM 175. .9 @300 yds for 5 rds. Test out to 200 0r 300 if you can, you will be able to see more of the true accuraccy. Use the optimal charge weight method, or if your running bergers try the seating depth test they describe in the tech section on thier site. I did this at 300 with the 185's and started in the lands then -.040 and on in .040 increments... . one will shoot noticeable better than the other. and i ended up with 5 groups, one was an inch, the others were 3-5 inches. -.130 is what i ended up with as I couldn't reach the lands in the remchester 5R but could get to -.010 to start with. Bergers can jump, but only in a certain sweet spot.
Did the same thing with the 223 5R the other day and 75 and 74 VLD's. They like the .040 jump in my rifle. look like little missles too.



Cartman, I get 2680 fps with that load in winchester cases, and 2730 with it in military cases. from 10 feet, and 24 inch barrel. winchester 308 cases are almost as roomy as an '06 compared to the mil case though.Friend of mine gets 2580 out of a 20 inch with it. no pressure issues. in mil cases, 42.5 of H4895 will get you there too, and its temp insensitive like Varget and is as accurate and less recoil than the RE15 load.. ALL of Hogdons "extreme" powders are insensitive to temp as Vargay is. Lot of people overlook that. I think H4895 was the first one, but Varget was the first advertised as such. I am not a Varget fan. sorry. In the mil cases go with H4895, others such as the lapua the RE15 will be fine.
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Old February 16, 2010, 23:30   #9
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Panzer, just to confirm, you got 2730 with 44.3 gr of RL-15 from a 24" barrel?

How come you don't like Varget? Does not group for you? It has worked great for me.

However, I am open to anything everything and I'll try 4895 and do some more RL-15 testing.

Do you know if RL-15 is insensitive to temp? I have heard it is, but my bottle's description says it is not.
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Old February 17, 2010, 05:55   #10
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Great post- I need to check out the Girard. I have never been good at case lengths and will usually avoid it. I've never seen a Girard before.......
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Old February 17, 2010, 10:47   #11
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Yes, with LC04 cases. 2680 in winchester cases. Made a difference. I like to load the military cases with H4895.

RE15 is temp sensitive. The reason it was hurting the M14's in Iraq. They have since switched to a different powder, that no one knows about.

Varget is dirty, and the lots aren't known for consistancy. Its a good powder, just I have had better results with others.
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Old February 17, 2010, 11:44   #12
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Did I miss the step where you check the dimension of the resized brass, to make sure the shoulder is set to the correct dimension to fit a 1.630" chamber?

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Old February 17, 2010, 12:24   #13
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chromies guide to reloading

1. open closet
2. decide what you wanna shoot
3. grab fresh full case
4. open case
5. open battle pack
6. load magazines
7. enjoy
8. repeat as neccassary
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Old February 17, 2010, 14:26   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by W.E.G.
Did I miss the step where you check the dimension of the resized brass, to make sure the shoulder is set to the correct dimension to fit a 1.630" chamber?
[/IMG]
I actually need that tool to also measure my chambers. I did the visual eye and caliper measurement and compared it with factory ammo.

I have tested the accuracy of my processed LC cases (using Lee Dies I might add) and compared it with rounds using brand new Lapua cases and accuracy of my LC cases are just as accurate

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Old February 17, 2010, 14:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by chromestarhustler
chromies guide to reloading

1. open closet
2. decide what you wanna shoot
3. grab fresh full case
4. open case
5. open battle pack
6. load magazines
7. enjoy
8. repeat as neccassary

I like that method better than mine!
Myths of reloading:
1) It will save you money

Truth about reloading:
1) Very time consuming and just another hobby that wastes your time.
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Old February 17, 2010, 14:40   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by EricCartmanR1


I actually need that tool to also measure my chambers.
How would you use the Precision Mic to measure your chamber?
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Old February 17, 2010, 14:49   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by W.E.G.


How would you use the Precision Mic to measure your chamber?
I don't know, you tell me. I was reading some of the reviews on it on Cabela's site and guys were saying they use this tool to measure their chamber. I guess they are measuring their cases after shooting?

http://www.cabelas.com/p-00127262105...roduct-reviews


I might skip on the RCBS unit, it's $50 per caliber. I'll probably go to the Hornandy LNL headspace gauge ($35 for multiple calibers) and pick up the Lyman case length gauge to check case length ($17 per caliber). I have read good reviews on all of them.
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Old February 17, 2010, 15:08   #18
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You cannot use the RCBS tool to measure your chamber.

Yes, it does come with that bullet-looking-thing.
Supposedly you can use the bullet-looking-thing to measure base to ogive.

Provided that all your bullets are shaped just like the bullet-looking-thing.

The bullet-looking-thing is a complete PIECE OF SHIT.
If you buy the RCBS Precision Mic, throw the bullet-looking-thing away immediately.

The micrometer parts are excellent, and well worth the investment.



.
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.
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You measure your CHAMBER with headspace gages.
Never anything else.
Always use headspace gages.



.
.
.
.
.

You can use the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) tools to measure base to ogive for whatever particular bullet you are loading.







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Old February 17, 2010, 15:14   #19
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NEVER measured fired cases from a gas-operated center-fire rifle, and expect to have even a remotely close, or consistent, measurement of the chamber.

Fired cases from a a gas-operated center-fire rifle will always measure MUCH LARGER than the actual chamber. Furthermore, the cases will be inconsistent sizes.

The firing-and-ejection process stretches the "headspace" dimension of cases fired in a gas-operated center-fire rifle.
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Old February 17, 2010, 16:00   #20
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Info is much appreciated WEG.

Yeah they were probably talking about base to ogive in the Hornandy reviews. Which is very important for a precision bolt gun, but not so important for me where my chambers are a bit looser as they close on the 1.634 SAAMI NO-GO gauge.

I have no idea what they are talking about measuring chamber with the RCBS unit so thanks for the clarification. The micrometer thingy for the RCBS tool is not needed for me, I just need to know if they are 1.63 or not and that's all I need, so that's were the Lyman gauges will be more useful. Like I said, my chamber is on the loose side anyways.

As you can see I have 4 Forster headspace gauges, and that is what I use to measure headspace to see if my rifle is in spec. All my .308 gas guns closes on the SAAMI NO-GO 1.634 gauge, but this is expected with semi auto battle guns. The Forster SAAMI NO-GO gauge is more for precision bolt guns. I should add none of my guns closes on the SAAMI Field gauge (except for my Polytech M14S, but this is also expected, but the Poly does not close on the 1.6455 NATO Field gauge).

Right now all the measurement tools (only calipers and headspace gauges) I have are good enough for me for my gas guns. I am working on building a precision bolt gun though, when I do I'll make sure I get all the goodies and load super duper precision rounds.

BTW: Those groupings above were using Lee sizer Dies with the LC once-fired-machine-gun brass... good enough for me and my AR10
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Old February 17, 2010, 16:22   #21
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i say mircometer reloading dies for a precsion bolt gun, and you dont have to check the shoulder angle on a bolt gun, once the brass is fire formed to that rifles chamber you are good to go. but the ogive tool is desireable so you can seat the bullet a set distance off the grooves everytime. and case volume uniformity becomes a bigger factor than case weight.
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Old February 17, 2010, 22:33   #22
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Copied & stickied in the Ammunition forum.

Thanks Cartmann.
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Old February 17, 2010, 23:19   #23
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Saved to favorites,thanks. After just reloading 45 ACP I am slow to get into rifle reloading. I have just about everything needed and will use some of the CARTMAN steps and substitutes for chemicals used to enhance my limited experience.

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Old February 17, 2010, 23:29   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by EricCartmanR1
Yeah they were probably talking about base to ogive in the Hornandy reviews. Which is very important for a precision bolt gun, but not so important for me where my chambers are a bit looser as they close on the 1.634 SAAMI NO-GO gauge.
Exactly.

Look at my numbers on the caliper.

Base to lands on the IMBEL barrel is more than a tenth of an inch longer than can be obtained when loading to magazine length.

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But, you get the base to SHOULDER dimension off by more than a hundredth of an inch, and you'll be dealing with a bolt that won't close (if too long), or you'll get head separations (if too short).
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Old February 18, 2010, 11:09   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by chromestarhustler
i say mircometer reloading dies for a precsion bolt gun, and you dont have to check the shoulder angle on a bolt gun, once the brass is fire formed to that rifles chamber you are good to go. but the ogive tool is desireable so you can seat the bullet a set distance off the grooves everytime. and case volume uniformity becomes a bigger factor than case weight.
+1 and that's the route I will be taking. seating bullet by ogive, micrometer dies, neck size only fire formed brass, is the way to go for a precision bolt gun.

For bench rest competition all these little things add up for more precision, for a semi auto gun though, they are not needed. My AR10 got .60 groups using LC Machine gun brass, and off the rack $10 Lee sizer dies. To get to .25 I will need a bolt gun and the steps you mentioned above. That's a lot of work just to get to .25 and in the end I am still manually feeding and cycling the bullet! Hey at least it's fun work
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Old February 18, 2010, 11:20   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by English Mike
Copied & stickied in the Ammunition forum.

Thanks Cartmann.
Quote:
Originally posted by billyreed1
Saved to favorites,thanks. After just reloading 45 ACP I am slow to get into rifle reloading. I have just about everything needed and will use some of the CARTMAN steps and substitutes for chemicals used to enhance my limited experience.
Your welcome guys.

Took me about 3 of weeks for the pictures and the writeup, did it slowly. It was originally done on Word for a friends to show them the steps in reloading. I thought I would go ahead and post it too since this is the few places I am not banned from All the other ninja forums (AR15.com, calguns.net, lwrc-forums, m14 firing line, xdtalk, and nevadashooters) banned me for reasons that varied from HK mag art, to believing in the FAL is the greatest battle rifle of all time, to believing dolphins are not people too . NevadaShooters was my best ban, I called out a forum sponsor for trying to sell a WASR for $800. He personally complained to the mods that I was ripping people off? ahhahaha.. seriously, how? I was not selling the WASR.

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Old February 26, 2010, 21:13   #27
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Updated OP with Chargemaster

Also on WEG's insistance, added re-sized case check with Dillion case gauges.

I did not like wasting time weighing powder for precision loading, so Cartmann plunked down dinero for a RCBS Chargemaster. This Chargemaster is a must have, gets the precise load about 90% of the time. Every once in awhile it will be about .1 grain too high because it trickled too much. .1 grains is good enough for most people, but if not, then just pour the powder back in the dispenser and put tray back on. The Chargemaster will automatically fill the tray each time an empty tray is placed on the unit. It takes about 10 seconds for the Chargemaster to fill the tray with 44 grains, which is faster than I can prime a case and seat a bullet. I have no idea how I even got by without the Chargemaster.



Dillon case gauges to check if your re-sized cases are in spec. .308 and .223.
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Old February 26, 2010, 21:55   #28
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Your Chargemaster's faster than mine - 59.5gr of H4831sc takes 20-25 seconds but that's just about right for seating a bullet & getting the next case ready.
Worth every penny IMO.
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Old February 28, 2010, 02:34   #29
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Correction mine is also about 20 seconds

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Old February 28, 2010, 07:19   #30
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A most excellent thread! Thanks Cartman!
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Old February 28, 2010, 11:32   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by EricCartmanR1
Correction mine is also about 20 seconds
Couldn't you dump powder into the pan manually and have it top it up from there if you wanted faster operation?
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Old March 01, 2010, 01:21   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by [486]

Couldn't you dump powder into the pan manually and have it top it up from there if you wanted faster operation?
maybe, but at most it will only cut off about 5 seconds, it's the tricking part that takes long.
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Old May 20, 2010, 11:42   #33
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Some really good information and pictures. I can only hope my bench will be that organized someday.
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Old June 24, 2010, 16:26   #34
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Picked up some more doo-dads and gidgets. Reviewed here:
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showt...hreadid=291073
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Old April 13, 2012, 20:28   #35
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Accurate reloads

The gent that showed me how to reload looked at the spread in the charge weight, divided the spread evenly, and loaded several rounds at each point. The loaded rounds were stored to keep them in order. The only difference between each set was the charge weight. The make of brass, propellant, primer and bullet was the same. Typically I have 5 propellant charge levels with 4 or 5 rounds loaded to each level. The more data points the better.
Starting at the lowest charge level (safety first), each set was fired at a clean target. The piece was kept as stable as possible. Rests up front, sand bags in the rear. Firing proceeds slowly so barrel heating doesn't affect the results. Each charge level is shot at a clean target. I mark the target with enough data to identify it later.
Most (95%+) of the time you will notice a "sweet spot", where the group size is the smallest. As the propellant charge weight goes up, group size shrinks to that smallest point, and then opens back up as the charge weight continues to climb. If you ignore the load books and add more propellant, the group size keeps getting bigger. You may blow up your gun too! The gun you're holding in your hands right in front of your face. How special.
No, I want the load the gives me those itty bitty groups. You can move the bullet in and out to tweak a bit more accuracy out of that load too. I can't think of an application where an accurate load wouldn't kick butt over one 5% hotter but shoots 2 or 3X larger groups.
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Old January 10, 2013, 17:25   #36
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updated
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Old February 26, 2013, 13:41   #37
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thank you

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

A great inspiration and please have this LOCKED for eternity.
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Old July 30, 2013, 11:12   #38
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Update:

The Lee Auto Disk Powder Dispenser works great!

Right now I have my Hornady LNL Powder Dispenser as a dedicated .308 Ramshot (ball powder) powder drop. I only reload .223, .308, and .45 in bulk now. When I say in bulk, what I mean is using a volume powder dispenser such as the LNL. I do not use stick powders such as Varget for my volume powder dispenser, as charges will very inconsistent.

I have 2 dedicated set up with the Lee Autodisk Dispenser, one for .45 (with the all in one Lee Powder drop die + case mouth expander, this one is set up for 4.7 gr of Titegroup) and one for .223 (set up for 24.5 gr of H335). The Lee Auto Disk kit is only $30 each. Well worth it for no adjustments ever.

My dedicated .45 set up. Notice how I have the dies pre-adjusted with Hornady quick change die bushing (just drop the dies into the press and no adjustments ever). I also put plumbling teflon tape on the die bushings so they lock in place on the press easier and do not come loose due to hard resizing.


My Dedicated .223 set up
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Old December 06, 2013, 12:19   #39
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Just put the pics back.
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Old December 06, 2013, 20:45   #40
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Just ran across this for the first time, after all these years?. I must be getting old.

This is a great thread that was very interesting to read even for a veteran reloader. WELL DONE Sir.
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Old December 07, 2013, 12:02   #41
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This was a very well done write up and very informative. I've been reloading for about 20 years and even learned a few things too.

Cartman you should look into getting a Dillon Square Deal B for loading pistol ammo. Early on I was using a freinds Dillon after he learned that I was using a single stage press to load 200- 300 rounds a week to keep up with my shooting sports I was doing. Instead of taking 4 to 5 hours each week, I could spend about 2.5 hours a month at his house and load 2k of ammo on his Dillon SDB, required one loading the case while the other loaded the bullet. I've found over the years of pistol shooting that there is little one can do on the reloading bench to improve the accuracy of a pistol. The Dillon has proved to dispense powder pretty good, depending on powder about -/+ .2 of a grain which is perfectly good for me.

I've looked at the same Hornady press you have and have decided to stick with the single stage press as it doesn't seem to make a lot if since to me (cost vs speed). I have thought about up grading to the LNL single stage press for the quick change feature. I also like the Hornady lock rings, I think they are the best on the market.
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Old December 07, 2013, 16:03   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82ndRecon View Post
Just ran across this for the first time, after all these years?. I must be getting old.

This is a great thread that was very interesting to read even for a veteran reloader. WELL DONE Sir.

Thanks! Normally when I put things on the web I only expect Haters to comment. Hahaha
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Old December 07, 2013, 16:09   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy1 View Post
This was a very well done write up and very informative. I've been reloading for about 20 years and even learned a few things too.

Cartman you should look into getting a Dillon Square Deal B for loading pistol ammo. Early on I was using a freinds Dillon after he learned that I was using a single stage press to load 200- 300 rounds a week to keep up with my shooting sports I was doing. Instead of taking 4 to 5 hours each week, I could spend about 2.5 hours a month at his house and load 2k of ammo on his Dillon SDB, required one loading the case while the other loaded the bullet. I've found over the years of pistol shooting that there is little one can do on the reloading bench to improve the accuracy of a pistol. The Dillon has proved to dispense powder pretty good, depending on powder about -/+ .2 of a grain which is perfectly good for me.

I've looked at the same Hornady press you have and have decided to stick with the single stage press as it doesn't seem to make a lot if since to me (cost vs speed). I have thought about up grading to the LNL single stage press for the quick change feature. I also like the Hornady lock rings, I think they are the best on the market.

My Pistol Reloading is on post #3, and here I am using the Hornady LNL.

My pistol reloading is good to go now that I have a dedicated .45 Powder Dispenser that is within +/- .1 grains! Believe it or not the Lee Auto-Disk is that good. It is also fairly inexpensive at only $40 complete.

My caliber conversion on my Hornady LNL from say .308 Rifle to .45 Pistol is literally 2 minutes.

Only thing that will speed up my Pistol reloading output now is a Case Feeder, but I can still crank out 400 rounds an hour going at a very easy pace where my QC is tops. Which is more than enough rounds for weekend (at least for me it is).
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