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Old 04-05-2015, 01:19 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Lightbulb Finally "Bit the Bullet$" & bought my "system"

After a long time spent researching I finally decided to but my reloading system, vs. someone's "kit", whether it was a "Classic", ANNIVERSARY, Custom and/or DELUXE version.

LEE Classic Cast Single Stage Press (not the "Breechlock") + mounting kit
LEE Shellholders

RCBS Universal Hand Primer
RCBS Powder Trickler + Funnel Kit

LYMAN 55 Powder Measure

The above were a total of about $325 delivered.

PREVIOUSLY PURCHASED:

Hornady Lock-n-Load Bushing Kit(s)
Hornady New Dimension (pistol calibers) & Custom (rifle) Dies

INHERITED:

OHAUS 1010 Balance Beam Scale

I have a friend with the whole Lock-n-Load AP set-up, so I also got the shell plates for the calibers I load but he doesn't, figuring for production at his local and still having the ability to reload at the Beach...

So, how did I do?

Not really looking for pats-on-the-back as much as your experienced opinions on my choices and logic: I wanted to get the exact equipment (I thought?) I needed without duplicate items (vis-a-vis primer systems & scales), etc.

Thanks in advance for your kind consideration and experienced opinions! I really do appreciate all the information I've found on this Forum!

Cheers!

Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 04-05-2015 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:28 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I'm down to 3 or 4 single stage presses and kept one like yours as an auxillery. My most used scale is a 5-0-5 and wish I had a 10-10. I learned to reload with a Lyman 55. The Bench Rest guys use powder measures that cost several times what a 55 does but the results are marginally better. Harry Pope, towards the end of his life, shot remarkable 200 shot groups with all loads coming from his Lyman 50 (same mechanism with cast iron hopper) all loaded in the same piece of 32-40 brass, Shutzen style! I load with a Redding BR-30, and longed. for that old Lyman 55, so I finally broke down and bought one in the Black Powder version. That little flapper thing on the front is called the "HAMMER" and when making tiny loads of flake powder, you flick it once or twice to get all the powder out, It is one of the only measures you can load 32 short and 25 ACP with, and still load 458 Win Mag too.

I have no idea how the dies and shell plates worked out, but between the to presses you are able to make some good ammo! Ivan
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:59 PM
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You're going to become quite knowledgeable and adapt at feeding nearly anything with a hole in the end of the barrel.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:31 PM
Thomas15 Thomas15 is offline
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l
Quote:
Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
...... have a friend with the whole Lock-n-Load AP set-up, so I also got the shell plates for the calibers I load but he doesn't, figuring for production at his local and still having the ability to reload at the Beach...
It took me a little while to figure out what you are saying. My understanding is that you are going to sometimes load at home on your single stage and at other times go to your friends house and use his progressive press?

If I'm understanding you correctly, you are correct in that you will need the LnL bushing system to get your dies on your friends press. However that will be the extent of the convenience because you will still have to re-adjust your dies to his press and change them back when you go home to your single stage.

On my bench I have 3 presses, an RCBS single stage, an RCBS turret and a Hornady LnL Progressive. My most popular calibers are 9mm, 38 spl and 45 ACP. I like the idea of being able to load any of the 3 calibers either on the turret press or the progressive. I wanted my progressive to have an RCBS lock out die and separate bullet seating and crimp dies. I might add that on my turret press I also seat bullets and crimp with separate dies.

Soooo, this basically forced me to purchase separate die sets for each of my presses. I have in effect, 2 sets of 9mm, 38 spl and 45 acp dies. Depending on how your friend has his LnL set up you might also need to get a PTX for each caliber you load. The PTX puts the bell in the case mouth at the same time it drops the powder. This eliminates the expansion die allowing you to free up one of the 5 stations on the LnL. If you are using a lock out die (or powder cop) and seating/crimping with separate dies, you will need this ability.

Now, if you are still with me, I personally use RCBS and Lee dies on my RCBS Turret press and Dillon dies (with Hornady LnL bushings installed), an RCBS Lock out die (also with a LnL bushing installed) and the Hornady PTX on my LnL AP press. True it is a cost item but it saves me mucho headaches switching between presses. And my two presses are only two feet apart, not X amount of feet between your place and your friends place.

Much of what I'm saying may make no sense to you. Assuming that you are a beginner (I mean no offense), you have enough to learn without learning both a Single Stage and Progressive press at the same time. My advice is stick to your single stage until you have a complete understanding of what you are trying to accomplish before trying to comprehend the working of a progressive press. Granted, your friend should be a tremendous help. But switching dies between presses is probably going to be a major PITA. At least from my experience it is. For me, when I was beginning to handload, getting my dies and in particular my crimp dies properly adjusted was the hardest thing for me to comprehend.

Anyway I wish you the best of luck. While I chose Dillon dies because they are sold as 3 pc sets that exclude the expansion die and include separate bullet seat and crimp dies. You could accomplish the almost same result by using Lee 4 pc die sets at about half the cost of the Dillon. How you ask? Use the sizing die as intended, use the expansion die if you don't use the PTX, then use the combo bullet seating/crimp die to seat the bullet only and finally use the factory crimp die to put do the final crimp.

Again good luck. My prediction is that you will probably want to get your own LnL AP in short order so you can use the shell plates anyway.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:44 PM
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Good pieces in your kit, but I thought I'd note the following:

I assume you bought the Hornady Bushing Conversion kit, otherwise the bushings won't work.

Good idea to have the shellplates for your calibers if you want/need a second place to reload. Note that your dies will have to be re-adjusted each time you swap presses - you can't just drop the bushing/dies into a different press and get the same results on your cartridges.

The same would be true even if your press were a Hornady LnL Classic. Some important dimensions on all of these presses are not standardized.

Have fun, stay safe, and grats on your new ammo factory
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:06 AM
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Default You messed up......

You bought a 'system' where nowadays everybody needs a 'platform'.

That's a great setup. Sounds like you are ready to roll your own.


PS. I hand prime too.
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Last edited by rwsmith; 04-06-2015 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:51 AM
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Congrats Storminorman! You'll have to post some pics once you get it set up on your bench.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:20 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Lightbulb Thanks for the responses!

The plan for my "platform" was to be able to use the Hornady Lock-n-Load features on the LEE press. The reason for the LEE was two-fold: cast iron & MADE IN AMERICA. Same regarding the RCBS Universal Hand Primer & the LYMAN 55.

I really liked the LYMAN press but no-go for the "conversion" bushing system. Maybe there's a turret press somewhere in my future, but I think I'll have the best of both worlds vis-a-vis production and the ability to work up a couple loads...

Not really a benchrest or competition shooter, just wanted to (re?)generate my practice ammo economically and insure that I shouldn't ever run out...

I am aware that the dies would need to be re-adjusted going from press to press, but that's probably the case even going from one Hornady AP to another, as far as fine-tuning is concerned?

Probably will re-size and hand prime all my cases and bring them to my friend for finishing up the process when production is an issue. At the Beach I'll probably plan to reload in the "conventional" single stage way.

Bought a supply of WIN231 for the pistol calibers (.380ACP, 9mm, .38/357Mag & .40 S&W) as there seemed to be quite a few published loads. When I get around to the .223/5.56 I'll probably get the shell plate, but what I'm really kinda' looking for is a suggestion(or two?) for a rifle powder that would be appropriate for it and .270 Winchester, basically the only rifle calibers I would plan to reload.

Thanks, again, &

CHEERS!
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:15 PM
bwxmas bwxmas is offline
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Varget
Not my choice, as I use 4831 for my 270.
But varget will get you where you need to be
The new CFE 223 might also work, but I have not used it.

Last edited by bwxmas; 04-06-2015 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:04 PM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
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Varget is an excellent powder for 223 or almost any non Magnum Rifle caliber. However, it meters VERY poorly so you'll want to stop at a pharmacy to get some tweezers to adjust your load. Note, I'm only half kidding here, if you have any OCD tendancies you WILL end up adjusting your charge weight one granule at a time. BTW, one granule of Varget weighs in at about 0.025 grain so just 4 granules adds up to 1/10 grain of powder.

A couple of big positives for Varget is that it's sort of the Unique of Rifle powders, so you will find data for it in a multitude of calibers. Another big plus is that it works well at starting level charges so if you want to add to your barrel life by using moderate level powder charges you won't find your Bolt Carrier looks like it's been residing in a coal bin.

Another good powder for 223 is CFE223. However my limited experience with it so far leads me to the conclusion that it's somewhat pressure sensitive for Ignition. What this means is that light loads shoot very dirty and there a rather large spread in produced velocities with somewhat poor accuracy. The good news is that when you start getting close to the maximum charge level it cleans up considerably and there is a noticeable improvement in accuracy. Another distinct positive is that Copper Fouling Eliminator aspect actually seems to be more than advertising hype. My AR features a stainless steel precision Match barrel and after doing load development for the CFE223 I now have a barrel that has no visible trace of copper fouling in the rifling. That wasn't the case when I was shooting with Varget. The final positive is that CFE223 looks identical to H110 and meters just as well as H110, so it is one of the finest metering powders on the planet. Basically, with a good powder measure the maximum deviation you'll ever see is in the range of +/- 0.05-0.06 grain and you'll see that extreme in only about 1 in 200 thrown charges.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:46 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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On your 270/223 powder situation. I would plan on two powders, the they will cover a wide variety of ammo. On 223 I use the old stand by Win 748 for 50 & 55 grain (H-322 did great in my Cooper 21) and Varget for 75 grain A-Max. I don't load 270 but have a 264 Win Mag and 6x284 which are both in the same neighborhood. H-4831SC is my powder of choice and it meters well in a Lyman 55. The IMR powder division of Hodgdon has come out with 3 new powders that may servr you well so some research is in your future!

BTW; on the shell plates for the L-N-L AP, 9mm Luger and 223 REM are sometimes interchangeable. Since you have the 9, try it before you spend $35-40! Ivan
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:13 PM
Thomas15 Thomas15 is offline
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W231 is a great all purpose pistol powder and will serve you well as you start making your own ammo. W231 and HP-38 are the same by the way.

Have you decided on what kind of projectiles you are going to use?

To add, if you use 4g of W231 (just saying) then you will get about 1700 rounds out of a pound of powder. As a general planning rule of thumb, I plan on 1400 rounds per pound. So you might consider a variety of projectiles/caliber and perhaps several different small pistol primers. For 9mm (I shoot Glocks) I use CCI primers but for 38 spl I use Federal primers. Reason is my S&W 686 revolver has a light spring and will not fire using CCI primers. My glocks eat up anything. Around here CCI primers are about $28.00 per 1000, Federals are $34.00

Last edited by Thomas15; 04-06-2015 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:28 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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IVAN: Thanks for the heads-up vis-a-vis the shellplate! According to Hornady the .380 ACP and the .223 both use the P/N 460 (the 9mm uses the P/N 458, BTW) and my friend has that one.

Thomas15: I am planning on using the 100 FREE! Hornady XTP (and eventually the .270 Winchester 130 gr. SP) in the 110 gr. .38/.357Mag & the 155 gr. .40 S&W calibers, once I get a little more experience in actual reloading. I have Berry's .55 gr. FMJBT in .223, their 124 gr. RNHB in 9mm, 180 gr. RS in .40 S&W and their HARD CAST 125 gr. LRNFP for .38/.357Mag to "learn on". These all (well, the pistol calibers, anyway) have specific published loads for Win231 on the Hodgdon (Hogdon, IMR, Winchester powders) website.

Hence me looking for suggestions as to a (as in "one") rifle powder to use for the two rifle calibers. From strictly an econimic standpoint I will only have to reload my existent stock of "older" .270 Winchester ammo one time to re-coup the investment in dies and bullets. The .223/5.56 will take even less time (trips to the range?) to break even.

Scooter: thanks for the heads-up on the metering of the Varget: with the Lyman 55 and the powder trickler I ought to be able to come pretty close to the 25.5-27.5 gr. load suggested for the .223 and 43.0-46.0 gr. suggested for the .270 Winchester. I even bought a set of LEE Powder Dippers for a 2nd way to check weights, throws and cc's for consistency purposes. I don't think I'm really going to deviate too much once I have developed an acceptable recipe for each caliber/bullet combination.

Thanks, again to all for their kind responses!

Cheers!
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