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Old 04-13-2017, 10:59 PM
triemferent triemferent is offline
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I recently joined the reloading world by picking up a Dillon 650 and have pulled the handle on about 1k of 9mm rounds. I think Im starting to get the hang of things and considering moving up to rifle rounds (223 and 308). I wont be starting this adventure right away but Id like to start gathering the necessary tools for reloading rifle. So Im looking for suggestions on what to buy for the case prep process. I have a wet tumbler but I need recommendations on a swager, trimmer, deburring, etc ..... Im trying to take the "buy once, cry once" route so I dont mind opening up my wallet if its going to streamline/simplify things. So what are the must have tools I should get and tools you wish you had bought when you first started?
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:10 PM
otisrush otisrush is offline
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I recently bought this Lyman multi-tool. I wish I would have purchased this first. It has attachments for inside & outside deburring tools, large & small primer pocket cleaners, and large & small primer pocket reamers. I bought it primarily for the reamer. I just gave it its first test. Cases primed very well after using this tool to ream out crimped pockets.




I have an old RCBS trimmer. It works fine. I don't have experience with the current offerings to make a recommendation.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:26 PM
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I own a couple of Dillon machines including the 550 and the 650 XL but use them exclusively for handgun ammunition. Prefer to load rifle using a couple single-stage RCBS presses.....I am looking for precision/quality not quantity or speed when I load for rifle.

I go through the efforts of checking for case length, uniforming the primer pocket, deburring the flash-hole, etc. But that's what makes for accurate shooting in my book.

Of course if you are looking put out a high number of rounds.....the Dillon can be set up to do it and it will do it well. I have a buddy who shoots a ton of varmint rifle calibers and he uses his 550 set up with a case trimmer attachment and has excellent results.

Check on the Brownells website for some excellent precision tools including Wilson, Sinclair, etc.

Good shooting and keep your powder dry!
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:05 AM
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Rifle brass does "grow", and needs to be trimmed. It is best trimmed after it is resized. If you are going to use military brass, it does need the primer pockets either swagged or reamed to relieve the crimp ring. I have used the Dillon swagger very well and it does a good job.

If you are shooting for accuracy over long ranges, you should start with new brass from the same lot, ream the flash hole (inside), uniform ream the primer pocket, resize, Trim, de-burr case neck and then you are ready to load. For .223 I would plan of trimming at least every other loading.

I bought a RCBS Prep center a few years ago, and am well satisfied. I use a RCBS trimmer, but removed the handle and attached my cordless drill.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:35 AM
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I got a good deal ona hornady case prep center. It does everything to the case in one place. It is pricey but i like the convenience.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:50 PM
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I bought the Lyman Universal Case Trimmer with the power adapter. You can use the old hand crank or with the power adapter attach a cordless drill. I got creative and rigged it up to use in the drill press for large batches which works very well.

For the chamfer and debur I have just the cutters I chuck up in a drill and run them through. I also use the RCBS Military Crimp reamer in the drill to remove the crimp. Reloading rifle cartridges are much more labor intensive than pistol rounds.

I load all my 223/5.56 stuff on a progressive and have been happy with it. It all gets fed through various AR's and I'm not a bench rest shooter. So far my stuff has been at least as accurate as any factory ammo I've shot.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:27 PM
bigedp51 bigedp51 is offline
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I'm still using my Rockchucker press I bought in 1973 and have never used a progressive press. To me the purpose of reloading is to make better quality ammunition than factory loaded ammunition. And to me this means inspecting the case and ammunition at each stage of the operation.

1. For reloading quality rifle ammunition I would recommend a good single stage press. With 60,000 psi going off next to your face you want quality and not quantity. So start "slow" and check and double check everything.

2. Buy a Hornady cartridge case headspace gauge with a digital readout vernier caliper. This will be to measure your fired cases and adjusting the dies for proper shoulder bump.

3. I buy preprocessed Lake City 5.56 and 7.62 cases from Once Fired Brass | Military Brass for Reloading to save time money. If you plan to do it yourself then buy a Dillon super swage 600. Any type hand reamer is hard on your hands and fingers when doing large batches.

4. Neck thickness gauges and runout gauges help greatly in inspecting cases and die setup and reducing neck runout.

5. I prefer full length Forster benchrest dies with their high mounted floating expander. These Forster dies produce the most concentric ammunition than any other type die.

6. Chambers and dies vary in size so never assume your full length resized case is a perfect fit to your chamber. Example I have a standard .223 Lee full length die that will reduce the case diameter "more" than a small base die. And this same die will push the shoulder back .009 shorter than a GO gauge.

7. Most Wilson type cases gauges do "NOT" check case diameter. Below the only case gauge I know of that checks case diameter is the JP Enterprise case gauge. I use the JP Enterprise gauge as the final "plop test" of my loaded rounds for my AR15 rifles. In a semi-auto the full length resized case should be .003 to .005 smaller in diameter than its fired diameter for reliable extraction.

Below Wilson and Dillon .223 case gauges do not check case diameter and only check case headspace length. The JP Enterprise gauge below is made from a chamber finish reamer and checks case diameter. As you can see the rear of the case does not drop as far into the JP Enterprise gauge.



Bottom line with the Hornady cartridge case heaspace gauge you do not need to buy a separate case gauge for each caliber. And if loading for semi-autos the JP Enterprise case gauge is invaluable in making sure your loaded ammo will chamber and eject reliably.

Last edited by bigedp51; 04-14-2017 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigedp51 View Post
I'm still using my Rockchucker press I bought in 1973 and have never used a progressive press. To me the purpose of reloading is to make better quality ammunition than factory loaded ammunition. And to me this means inspecting the case and ammunition at each stage of the operation.

.
This misconception still survives but the press has little to do with the quality or the process, It is just faster. I inspect all my match ammo cases prior to loading them. I still gage all my ammo before boxing & that is my final QC check. I am just pulling the handle less times to get the same thing you get. Plenty of guys are loading sub moa ammo on their progressives. My handgun ammo is far better than the cheap bulk factory stuff & it all comes off a progressive.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:39 PM
Lasor1 Lasor1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigedp51 View Post
I'm still using my Rockchucker press I bought in 1973 and have never used a progressive press. To me the purpose of reloading is to make better quality ammunition than factory loaded ammunition. And to me this means inspecting the case and ammunition at each stage of the operation.

1. For reloading quality rifle ammunition I would recommend a good single stage press. With 60,000 psi going off next to your face you want quality and not quantity. So start "slow" and check and double check everything.

2. Buy a Hornady cartridge case headspace gauge with a digital readout vernier caliper. This will be to measure your fired cases and adjusting the dies for proper shoulder bump.

3. I buy preprocessed Lake City 5.56 and 7.62 cases from Once Fired Brass | Military Brass for Reloading to save time money. If you plan to do it yourself then buy a Dillon super swage 600. Any type hand reamer is hard on your hands and fingers when doing large batches.

4. Neck thickness gauges and runout gauges help greatly in inspecting cases and die setup and reducing neck runout.

5. I prefer full length Forster benchrest dies with their high mounted floating expander. These Forster dies produce the most concentric ammunition than any other type die.

6. Chambers and dies vary in size so never assume your full length resized case is a perfect fit to your chamber. Example I have a standard .223 Lee full length die that will reduce the case diameter "more" than a small base die. And this same die will push the shoulder back .009 shorter than a GO gauge.

7. Most Wilson type cases gauges do "NOT" check case diameter. Below the only case gauge I know of that checks case diameter is the JP Enterprise case gauge. I use the JP Enterprise gauge as the final "plop test" of my loaded rounds for my AR15 rifles. In a semi-auto the full length resized case should be .003 to .005 smaller in diameter than its fired diameter for reliable extraction.

Below Wilson and Dillon .223 case gauges do not check case diameter and only check case headspace length. The JP Enterprise gauge below is made from a chamber finish reamer and checks case diameter. As you can see the rear of the case does not drop as far into the JP Enterprise gauge.



Bottom line with the Hornady cartridge case heaspace gauge you do not need to buy a separate case gauge for each caliber. And if loading for semi-autos the JP Enterprise case gauge is invaluable in making sure your loaded ammo will chamber and eject reliably.
I am not sure what model Dillon case gauge you have but they do make a case gauge that does check diameter and length of case. I Have one for 5.56 and it works great. I would have to look and see if I still have box it came in to see if part number Is on It. I know I gave a good penny for it but it's worth it lol
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:00 PM
bigedp51 bigedp51 is offline
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This misconception still survives but the press has little to do with the quality or the process, It is just faster. I inspect all my match ammo cases prior to loading them. I still gage all my ammo before boxing & that is my final QC check. I am just pulling the handle less times to get the same thing you get. Plenty of guys are loading sub moa ammo on their progressives. My handgun ammo is far better than the cheap bulk factory stuff & it all comes off a progressive.
I'm 67 and have been reloading over 47 years and have never needed or wanted a progressive press. This is not a misconception, I do not not think anyone should start reloading on a progressive press until they learn the basics.

The OP is just starting to reload rifle ammunition and there is nothing wrong starting with a single stage press and doing "ONE" thing at a time.

Below "Froggy" has both type presses and reloads his rifle ammunition on a single stage Rockchucker press. So send him a email and tell him about his "misconception" and choice of reloading press for rifle ammunition.

Part II — RELOADING
Elements of Accuracy — Making Perfect Ammo

Q: With the micro-sized groups you shoot, you must be doing some special voodoo. What is the secret to super-accurate reloads?

The secret to accuracy is that there is no secret–a good robust process that is repeatable every time is the key.

Q: OK, then, describe your reloading process…

When I get home from the range, I tumble the brass for a couple of hours to clean the necks up. After taking the brass out of the tumbler, I clean out all residual walnut media and walnut dust. I then use a little Imperial sizing wax on a RCBS pad to lightly coat the neck area of the cases.

I use a RCBS Rock Chucker single stage press. When using this or any other press, ensure that the ram has no lateral play or side-to-side slop–that will kill your bullet run-out.

Bugholes from Bipod
Precision Shooting with Froggy
http://www.accurateshooter.com/shoot...es-from-bipod/
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:04 PM
bigedp51 bigedp51 is offline
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I am not sure what model Dillon case gauge you have but they do make a case gauge that does check diameter and length of case. I Have one for 5.56 and it works great. I would have to look and see if I still have box it came in to see if part number Is on It. I know I gave a good penny for it but it's worth it lol
Well go stick a case upside down in your Dillon gauge, if it drops in as far as pictured in my post then you are misinformed.

On top of this you can not check your fired case length with Wilson/Dillon type case gauges with larger diameter military chambers. This is why the Hornady case gauge is better for measuring fired cases to get proper shoulder bump.

Last edited by bigedp51; 04-14-2017 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:48 AM
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Used to use a Wilson case trimmer,now use the lee cutter and lockstud on a variable speed drill. That was for case trimming. I have the large and small reamers for the Wilson to ream out the primer pocket crimps. Uniform the flash holes also. And last but not least uniform the primer pockets as well. For accurate bullet seating in the 308 I use the RCBS adjustable seating die. This is for what I will call precision ammo. For regular ammo for hunting clean primer pockets, prime and seat the bullet.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:28 AM
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Much of the answer will depend on how many rounds you intend to reload. If your like me and load 1000s of rounds per year you might want avoid hand trimming and prep. After sizing I trim .308 and .223 with Little Crow Gunworks trimmers in a drill press, they're fast and accurate. For the final prep I use a Lyman case prep xpress for removing the crimps, Chamfering, reaming and primer pocket cleaning.
These tools are not cheap but you wanted a cry once option...LOL.
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