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Old 09-06-2017, 12:45 AM
Brian Brazier Brian Brazier is offline
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Default Where to Start?

Hi
I am completely new to reloading, I am ready to start reloading 44 magnum since the price of my favorite ammo (Remington HTP) is about $1 a round depending on where I can find it, tax, and shipping etc... My Dad never reloaded and I have no immediate family that does either so everything I know I learned from watching YouTube. I want to make a round as close to the Remington HTP as possible, they do sell the 240gr bullets that they use in that round, but I have no idea what powder to use. What type of press I should get, what manual or books would be best, any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:37 AM
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Start here: So you're thinking about getting into reloading...

When you've thought about things and learned enough you'll be able to ask questions that can actually be answered.
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:42 AM
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Think about what type of shooting you'll be doing most of. Then get one of the bigger reloading manuals and START TO READ before you commit yourself to major expense.

Reloading is all pretty much the same. Size and prime cases, charge with powder and press in the bullet. BUT each type of cartridge has their peculiarities such as rimmed and unrimmed cartridge, semi auto rimless rifle and pistol (and shotgun if you need it. Safe practices vary slightly between different cartridges.

For example, .38 Spec reloading involves seating a bullet through a wide range of depths, then roll crimping to hold the bullet in place.

However, a 9mm round requires much more precision to get the proper bullet depth and instead of roll crimping, the bullet is taper crimped and the bullet is actually held in place by neck tension.

Rifle cartridges are a world unto themselves and require some special knowledge to adapt the reloading process to suit.

So the bottom line is read good 'how to' section in a book. The same books contain data for loading. Powder manufacturers have reloading data on their websites, also. Data is of secondary importance to learning proper steps and SAFETY.

And while learning you can decide on a few loads you want to try so that you can purchase or acquire the components. Cases, primers, powder and bullets.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:15 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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44 mag is a nice cartridge to reload! But starting from scratch, you need to make decisions on the type of reloading you want to do. A buck a round can be a lot of money, setting up some reloading rooms similar to ones seen on this forum can cost as much as a condo.

Cheapest form of reloading is a Lee Loader, but the start up costs can add up;
Lee Loader, used $20 (I have found the for $5, but that was decades ago!)
Can of powder, $23-35 (this will do several hundred rounds)
Primers, about >$5.00/100
Bullets, $28.49+ shipping (at Midway)Rem 240 grain jacketed.
Brass, Free left over from factory ammo

Lowest cost; $60-80/100 It can easily considerably cost more to set up for your first 100! This is assuming you don't consider your time!

I started with this basic set-up in 1979 for about $30 in 303 British. If you don't enjoy the process, you can walk away for less than $100. If however, you get into reloading but don't do large volumes of ammo; you can spend way over $400 for equipment and supplies plus time and space. The amount of shooting you do determines if $1 a round for fresh/factory ammo is a value or not!

It is already too late for most of us, but save yourself from a lifetime of reloading and testing and reloading and trying something different. It can be therapeutic or compulsive!

Ivan
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:48 AM
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Read, then read some more. I liked Reloading For Handgunners. The Lyman 50th Edition manual is also good.

Don't write off lead bullets--they'll be cheaper to learn with, and perform just fine in the .44 Magnum. You're going to crunch a few cases and bullets to begin with. Everglades Ammo sells 240-gr jacketed softpoints for $99/500. A 240-grain lead semiwadcutter from Missouri Bullets, on the other hand, goes for $49/500.

I would suggest going with a lighter load, as well. A modest charge of Alliant Unique gives you plenty of leeway top and bottom--less sensitive to squibs*, and far from maximum pressure. Later on, you can always switch to 2400 or H110 (the latter of which is known for its potential to squib if downloaded).

*A squib is when the powder fails to achieve the pressure needed to burn properly, resulting in the bullet becoming stuck in the barrel. If another round is fired, the second bullet strikes the first, drastically increasing the second cartridge's combustion pressure. This can result in severe damage to both gun and shooter.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:18 AM
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Researching the reloading process is the way to start. MidwayUSA has all the reloading equipment and supplies you will need. Look at their website to decide. You will get hundreds of advice on which reloading equipment to buy. As well as supplies. You have to decide.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:25 AM
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The Lyman manual is a good place to start as it feature loads using numerous bullets and powders for each caliber and is easy to use, but many powder and bullet makers publish manuals, and all are useful. Get as many as you can find/afford if you stay in reloading because eventually they will come in handy.

Whichever manual you start with, read the how-to section thoroughly before getting started. The information there will be applicable to any and all reloading you'll do in the future. Follow the procedures outlined exactly and you'll stay safe.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:42 AM
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Don't know if other's will agree with me but I would DEFINITELY start with a Progressive Press and NOT a Single Stage as others might recommend to start on. No matter which style press you start out with, there will be mistakes, errors, and awkwardness - just go slow and learn! I started out with a Dillon Square Deal B (small Progressive Press) and purchased a Single Stage (Rock Chucker) Press 10 years after that for specific Rifle Calibers that the SD-B couldn't do. A few years back I sold the Square Deal-B and bought a Dillon 650 which I should have done instead of buying the Rock Chucker because the 650 does the Rifle calibers I bought the Rock Chucker for.

If you get a Single Stage Press first to learn on, you will rapidly master it and them be relegated to a slow and tedious regiment in which to do you reloading. Setting up and mastering a Progressive Press is slightly more involved (not too much different as the basics are all the same - just all going on at the same time) but after you get it all done the learning curve goes quickly and then at least you are left with a modern, efficient and easy to use progressive Reloading Press.

Guys here on the Forum all have their own opinions on types and brands so I can only give you mine. I'd go for the Dillon 650. Yes, it might be a tad more $$ than some others but you will ALWAYS be able to sell it and not loose much - (or anything at all) if you think reloading is not for you. I'm sure you heard of Dillon's Lifetime NO BS warranty and their top tier customer service. PLUS, IMHO I think Dillon Presses are #1!

I wish someone had grabbed me and given me the same advise and recommendations I am now giving you. It would have saved me money, time and frustration in the long run.

PS: No matter which brand, model and style of Press you buy, you STILL NEED a Tumbler, Media, a Separator, Dies, Components, Tools, Storage boxes, etc. and so the only difference in a Progressive vs Single Stage Press is the Press itself.

Hope this helps.............
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:04 AM
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To keep it simple and cheap I'd buy a single stage press,a good scale,a hand primer and a reloading manual or two.Youll need carbide dies and a pound of 2400 to go with those bullets. I would add a pound of unique and 500 cast lead 240 grain semiwadcutters to make less expensive loads.Youll want to add a quality powder measure and a vibratory cleaner as the budget allows at some point.If you decide to use a turret or progressive press to speed things up sell the single stage or use it for test and rifle loads
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:04 AM
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As others have said, First, get a good reloading book / manual and read it, at least a time or three. ( personally Lyman is my first choice , Hornady my second )

Second, there are some youtube video and articles on the web that the people know what they are talking about.. There are a lot more on there that the people just THINK they know what they are taking about. Same way with people you talk to about reloading. Check and double check what people tell you.

Third, How many rounds are you going to shoot a year, a month, a week ??
If you are going to shoot a couple hundred a year, a good single stage press might be what you need / want.
If you are going to shoot a couple hundred a week then maybe you should consider a progressive press.

A single stage is a good press to learn on. A progressive has a steeper learning curve and you can screw up a bunch in a hurry. But, nothing wrong with starting with either one.
I started reloading almost 50 years ago. I still have, and use, a single stage press on my reloading bench,, along with two progessive presses.

By reloading I roughly figure I can save at least half ( maybe more) the price of factory pistol & rifle ammo.. So that should give you a rough idea of how much you shoot -vs- cost of equipment. (Press,, dies,, scales,, powder dump,, reloading manuals ,, calipers ,, etc )

Plus you can tailor your loads from bunny farts to full blown magnums. Good Luck ,, be careful ,, Read a lot.

Last edited by old&slow; 09-06-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:27 AM
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For a 44mag, shot soaringly as most ate a solid singke stage press will be fine. At some point you may want to load semiauto rds & the time suck of a ss press will wear onyou. Still a solid ss press will always get some use in even the most advanced rooms.
At least two good manuals, i like Soeer & Lyman. The ABCs of Reloading is a lot of good info. Best is to take a reloading class if available. The nra has cert instructors. Some are very good & some dont know poop. Same for any free class your local shop may have or boobtube vids. Why you need the books to know what is what.
The best part about reloading is making your own. There is no need to shoot expensive jhp at paper. Fwiw, none of my magnums see jacketed bullets. There are many good suppliers of coated lead bullets & even more of conventional cast lead bullets. Now we are talking versatility, 900-1400fps with the same or better accuracy than jhp.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:26 AM
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If you post your location in your profile, just a state and general area you are much more likely to find a mentor. I started in the 80's and sold the only progressives I ever owned. [Dillons]. You can make enough ammo to shoot 200-500 rounds a month with a little effort on a single stage or turret type press.
Go to Abe Books or a used book site and get 2-3 old manuals. Read everything but the data tables and you will have a great foundation. I like Lyman #47 but any older books should get you plenty of information.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
chief38 wrote:
If you get a Single Stage Press first to learn on, you will rapidly master it and them be relegated to a slow and tedious regiment [sic] in which to do you reloading.
I've been reloading for 40+ years, 38 years of it on a single stage. I never found the regimen to be slow or tedious. In fact, I like the opportunity to put eyes and hands on each round as I am crafting it.

And, there's nothing that says having started out on a single stage press you are married to it for life; you can always buy a progressive once you 1) know what you're doing, 2) know you want to keep doing it, and 3) know that making the considerable investment in a progressive will be a wise move for you.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:33 PM
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Welcome to the wonderful, oft confusing and frustrating world of reloading.

One of the most popular and most recommended texts is The ABCs of Reloading. It will explain the components, equipment needed and the "how to" of reloading. Every question I've seen on reloading forums from new reloaders is covered in this text. A very good start, and a good reference to keep on hand for reloaders...


Unfortunately, if you ask "what's the best___", 99% of the time you will get answers about what the poster uses, their opinion, and very few if any tests/comparisons. You'll have to research your equipment choices more than asking on a forum, to find what suits your reloading needs (I've seen equipment suggestions for a new reloader that cover everything from a Lee Loader to a Dillon 650). It might seem daunting, but The ABCs and another good manual (or three) like the Lyman 50th will give you a good idea of what you'll need...

Go slow, double check everything, and most important, have fun...

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Old 09-06-2017, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdwhit View Post
I've been reloading for 40+ years, 38 years of it on a single stage. I never found the regimen to be slow or tedious. In fact, I like the opportunity to put eyes and hands on each round as I am crafting it.

And, there's nothing that says having started out on a single stage press you are married to it for life; you can always buy a progressive once you 1) know what you're doing, 2) know you want to keep doing it, and 3) know that making the considerable investment in a progressive will be a wise move for you.
Crafting, funny. A lot of old timers shun the progressive & somehow think that ammo that comes off one is inferior to that of a ss press. Just so not true. I have been reloading for 40yrs, still have my first ss press. YES, loading more than 100rds is VERY tedious. Especially tedious if you have to do it every week. After more than 300K rds loaded, I even find my 650 tedious at times. It an individual perception. For many "old timers", reloading 100rds a week is a lot of ammo.
Most magnum revo guys are shooting less than 100rds a month. So a ss press will do fine, just buy sturdy, high quality, not the latest bushing craze stuff. I want a solid press that I can reload up to 50BMG if I need to, bullet swage, case form, etc. The Lee Classic Cast is a good heavy duty press that can be used for decades. At some point, if one advances to a progressive, then the solid SS press can still get used for more than just simple reloading tasks.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:43 PM
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hdwhit wrote:

[QUOTE=hdwhit;139736558]I've been reloading for 40+ years, 38 years of it on a single stage. I never found the regimen to be slow or tedious. In fact, I like the opportunity to put eyes and hands on each round as I am crafting it.

You are correct and I should have mentioned that some Re-loaders actually DO enjoy the process. Unfortunately, I am not one of them but do it mostly so I can taylor the loads to my own needs, control ammunition flow and be able to shoot as much as I do without breaking the bank. I don't despise it either, but to me it's sort of tedious and I'd much rather be shooting, Smithin' or doing something else.

With my Dillon 650 I crank out around 750-800 rounds an hour if I pre-fill all my Primer Tubes. In one day I can easily load up thousands of rounds. With my Rock Chucker Single Stage after a couple of hundred rounds I'm done. Again, if you enjoy the process you might love the Single Stage method. YMMV

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Old 09-06-2017, 08:25 PM
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After nearly 40 years of reloading rifle and handgun ammo, I'm not giving up my single-stage press now. I've got all the time in the world to do it right the first time.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
44 mag is a nice cartridge to reload! But starting from scratch, you need to make decisions on the type of reloading you want to do. A buck a round can be a lot of money, setting up some reloading rooms similar to ones seen on this forum can cost as much as a condo.

Cheapest form of reloading is a Lee Loader, but the start up costs can add up;
Lee Loader, used $20 (I have found the for $5, but that was decades ago!)
Can of powder, $23-35 (this will do several hundred rounds)
Primers, about >$5.00/100
Bullets, $28.49+ shipping (at Midway)Rem 240 grain jacketed.
Brass, Free left over from factory ammo

Lowest cost; $60-80/100 It can easily considerably cost more to set up for your first 100! This is assuming you don't consider your time!

I started with this basic set-up in 1979 for about $30 in 303 British. If you don't enjoy the process, you can walk away for less than $100. If however, you get into reloading but don't do large volumes of ammo; you can spend way over $400 for equipment and supplies plus time and space. The amount of shooting you do determines if $1 a round for fresh/factory ammo is a value or not!

It is already too late for most of us, but save yourself from a lifetime of reloading and testing and reloading and trying something different. It can be therapeutic or compulsive!

Ivan
You omitted the most important piece of reloading equipment, IMO, - a SCALE (and a good one)

Many libraries carry reloading manuals in the reference section. You Tube can be good or bad - depending on whose videos you're watching. I have seen some excellent ones and some that were too scary to think about folks using them for reference.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:37 PM
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Thanks to for the fast replies, I bought he ABC's of reloading, Loadbooks USA Remington 44 magnum, and the Horniday, and Lyman Reloading manuals. My shooting buddy was here yesterday and told me it is boss is selling a Dillon 650 with all of he attachments (although I am not 100% sure what it includes) for $600 and he says its like new. I am going to go and take a look at it this weekend, i really don't think I need a turret press, but if its is what he says and is in like new condition I will probably buy it. I m not sure what does or reloading he did, but he can give me a basic idea of how to use the Dillon 650, he might even have some reloading manuals, powder, bullets, and brass. All I know for sure is its a Dillon 650 and he is selling everything he has with it. I want to stick with a Jacketed bullet since I shoot allot of 44 magnum out of my Desert Eagle as well s my model 29 and it is easier to use 1 type of bullet for both.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:45 PM
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A Dillon 650 is a high-volume progressive press; most folks do not recommend something like that for a brand new reloader, but if you have the aptitude and hopefully someone to show you how to tweak it as necessary, it is a good machine with good customer service.

Don't know what your definition of "a lot" is, but if it isn't in the high 100s or 1000s per month, the 650 might be more expensive than necessary to start.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:55 PM
Brian Brazier Brian Brazier is offline
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A Dillon 650 is a high-volume progressive press; most folks do not recommend something like that for a brand new reloader, but if you have the aptitude and hopefully someone to show you how to tweak it as necessary, it is a good machine with good customer service.

Don't know what your definition of "a lot" is, but if it isn't in the high 100s or 1000s per month, the 650 might be more expensive than necessary to start.
I shoot every Saturday, 200 to 500 rounds of 9mm, and as much 44magnum as I can afford to, usually 100 to 200 rounds. I really don't think I need a Dillon 650, but I might buy it as well as a single stage press to get the basics down first, then when I am comfortable and I have some good load info I can progress o the Dillon. I was considering reloading 9mm as well but I clget it so cheap right now I am not sure its worth it.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:57 PM
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Thanks to for the fast replies, I bought he ABC's of reloading, Loadbooks USA Remington 44 magnum, and the Horniday, and Lyman Reloading manuals. My shooting buddy was here yesterday and told me it is boss is selling a Dillon 650 with all of he attachments (although I am not 100% sure what it includes) for $600 and he says its like new..
. .
Simple, buy it. Especially if he's selling "everything (reloading) he has" along with it.

Be prepared for a bit of frustration at the start, but if you stay patient eventually you will learn what to look for when (eg) the handle gets difficult to move. The learning curve is substantial, but not difficult IF you can RTFMs, WTFVs (that's the same but with videos), have PATIENCE and some semblance of mechanical ability.

You can start by making one round at a time, which is using the press as if it were a turret press. That way you can keep your eyes on one thing at a time and observe how the press is working at each stage. Hopefully you will have a couple of problems while doing this, and you are more likely to see what caused them. Quicker learning.

Then try 2 . . . then 3 . . . you get the picture.

It won't be long before you move to full progressive.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:39 PM
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Default Things change....

I bought my first gun and reloaded for home defense and a range trip that burned a few boxes of ammo every couple months.

Fast forward through several stages in life


Nowdays I consider home as well as carry defense practice and I shoot a LOT of rounds every few weeks for both defense practice and fun.

I've still got my single stage press, and I'm not pushed for time because I'm now retired. But for my consumption I often wish I had a turret or maybe even progressive press. There's a lot of handle pumping if you don't have a progressive.


PS: I'll leave out the part where I started out using Lee hand tools because that's not like reloading with a press in a lot of ways so you don't get the full picture. You can just turn out some bullets to shoot.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdwhit View Post
I've been reloading for 40+ years, 38 years of it on a single stage. I never found the regimen to be slow or tedious. In fact, I like the opportunity to put eyes and hands on each round as I am crafting it.

And, there's nothing that says having started out on a single stage press you are married to it for life; you can always buy a progressive once you 1) know what you're doing, 2) know you want to keep doing it, and 3) know that making the considerable investment in a progressive will be a wise move for you.

Put me down as another reloader with 30+ years on a "slow, tedious" single stage. True, I am not and never have been a tremendous high-volume shooter -- and I've known a few guys who burned thousands of rounds a month. But I can quite easily turn out 2-300 rounds in a pleasant afternoon and enjoy a nice Saturday shoot with my buddies, I never run short of precision-built hunting ammo, and I've never had to call any manufacturer's help line or make a claim on any equipment maker's warranty, no matter how good it might be. Simple is a great way to learn, and a single-stage loader may just serve you perfectly well all your shooting life and is handy to have on hand even if you move up to a progressive later on.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:54 PM
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After nearly 40 years of reloading rifle and handgun ammo, I'm not giving up my single-stage press now. I've got all the time in the world to do it right the first time.
Been doing it right for 40yrs. Changing to a progressive just let me do it faster.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:58 PM
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I shoot every Saturday, 200 to 500 rounds of 9mm, and as much 44magnum as I can afford to, usually 100 to 200 rounds. I really don't think I need a Dillon 650, but I might buy it as well as a single stage press to get the basics down first, then when I am comfortable and I have some good load info I can progress o the Dillon. I was considering reloading 9mm as well but I clget it so cheap right now I am not sure its worth it.
If you are shooting 500rds of anything a week, a 650 is exactly what you need, especially at $600. Certainly a steeper learning curve, but doable with patience.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:14 AM
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I would be all over that Dillon. Don't be scared of a progressive press, there are tons of videos on youtube that will show you how to set it up and the common problems.
I started on a 650 and it's the cats meow. Don't get me wrong, I have a single stage too and it has it's place, but the progressive is the way to go if your time is valuable to you.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:49 AM
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I would be all over that Dillon. Don't be scared of a progressive press, there are tons of videos on youtube that will show you how to set it up and the common problems.
I started on a 650 and it's the cats meow. Don't get me wrong, I have a single stage too and it has it's place, but the progressive is the way to go if your time is valuable to you.
For 'how to' demonstrations, manuals, etc. the Internet has been a godsend. That is as long as you are careful and check several 'experts' before you take their advise. Often there is no error. Just that one vid might show what you are looking for better.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:19 AM
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At that volume, you're well into progressive country. 500/week, even loaded on a turret, will amount to 2.5 hours a week, plus case cleaning and general maintenance.

The 650 for $600 may or may not be a good deal. It depends on what accessories are included. A base price for a brand-new one is a hair under $600, so for this guy to be offering a decent deal, it had better include some options. Get a list of what he's throwing in, price it out on the Dillon website.

As to reloading 9mm--depends. Personally, I don't care that I'm only saving $5 a box. I could save exactly $0 a box and I'd still prefer to reload. You don't have to slave yourself to savings or accuracy--do what you want to do. If that means sticking to 9mm factory, so be it. If it means spending an hour to save $10, but enjoying yourself, that's good too.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:32 AM
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If you can get a Dillon 650 for that cheap, then by all means do it. That is a good deal and a progressive makes reloading pistol ammo fast and handy. But I also recommend that you get yourself a good single stage press too, to use loading ammo that you don't shoot enough of to justify buying a new setup for the 650. I load for several calibers, but the only ones I load on my older Dillon 450 are 9MM, 38/357 and 44 Mag. I also load for 380 Auto, 223, 260 Remington, 264 Mag and soon will be loading for .30-06 but don't see the need to spend $50 for each different new shell plate and powder funnel setup these calibers would need. Plus, I just feel more comfortable loading the rifle rounds on my single stage as I use a lot of long grain stick powders in them, which meter poorly and I weigh them individually.

As for reloading 9MM, once you set up for it, you can still reload for cheaper than buying new, especially if you are picky like me and don't run any of that cheap steel or aluminum crud ammo in my guns. Using Zero brand jacketed bullets I can load 115 grain FMJ ammo for around 15 cents a round. And if you don't mind polymer coated lead, you can cut another 3-4 cents a round off of that.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Brazier View Post
Hi
I am completely new to reloading, I am ready to start reloading 44 magnum since the price of my favorite ammo (Remington HTP) is about $1 a round depending on where I can find it, tax, and shipping etc... My Dad never reloaded and I have no immediate family that does either so everything I know I learned from watching YouTube. I want to make a round as close to the Remington HTP as possible, they do sell the 240gr bullets that they use in that round, but I have no idea what powder to use. What type of press I should get, what manual or books would be best, any help is greatly appreciated.
You may be well on your way, Not sure your budget or volume of shooting, or if you will ever shoot competition. If you are only loading the >44 mag, 50 rounds a week would be plenty. I would just get a GOOD single stage press, GOOD Dies (not Lee anything) a good scale and measure. Learn how to load, then if you need volume look into a progressive. I just think youre putting the cart before the mule. Redding is my #1 choice, then RCBS, after that, nothing.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:31 AM
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I've been reloading since the early nineties, on a Rock Chucker single stage and really dont see myself ever moving to a progressive press. If you think of reloading as something to hurry through, why reload at all? You're not saving money despite what we tell ourselves, so if you dont look at it as an enjoyable hobby to take your time with why bother? Going slow is safer too...how does the saying go. "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast"? I think it's important to start on a single stage so you get to "feel" what you're doing, and really experience each stage and of the process. That "feel", when you're sizing brass, seating, crimping...feel the powder kernels cutting as you run the lever on a powder measure...even trickling powder and watching the scale move slightly as the tiniest spec of powder drops into the pan. This should all be savored and enjoyed...not rushed through for the sake of doing it. After a few years you may find yourself moving to a progressive, and that's perfectly fine. I promise you, you'll still have and use that single stage for things at the bench.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:13 PM
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I found the Lee reloading manual is a good place to start,It has a lot of good information for beginners and experienced re loaders.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:54 PM
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I'd urge you, regardless if you buy the Dillon, to get a good single stage press and learn the craft by focusing on each step along the way. Get a few thousand single stage reloads under your belt.

But, that's' just me and there's really no One True Path.

When it was time for me to get my own reloading setup, 44 mag was what I first set up for.

Whatever you decide, have fun.

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Thanks to for the fast replies, I bought he ABC's of reloading, Loadbooks USA Remington 44 magnum, and the Horniday, and Lyman Reloading manuals. My shooting buddy was here yesterday and told me it is boss is selling a Dillon 650 with all of he attachments (although I am not 100% sure what it includes) for $600 and he says its like new. I am going to go and take a look at it this weekend, i really don't think I need a turret press, but if its is what he says and is in like new condition I will probably buy it. I m not sure what does or reloading he did, but he can give me a basic idea of how to use the Dillon 650, he might even have some reloading manuals, powder, bullets, and brass. All I know for sure is its a Dillon 650 and he is selling everything he has with it. I want to stick with a Jacketed bullet since I shoot allot of 44 magnum out of my Desert Eagle as well s my model 29 and it is easier to use 1 type of bullet for both.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:20 PM
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I've been reloading since the early nineties, on a Rock Chucker single stage and really dont see myself ever moving to a progressive press. If you think of reloading as something to hurry through, why reload at all? You're not saving money despite what we tell ourselves, so if you dont look at it as an enjoyable hobby to take your time with why bother? Going slow is safer too...how does the saying go. "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast"? I think it's important to start on a single stage so you get to "feel" what you're doing, and really experience each stage and of the process. That "feel", when you're sizing brass, seating, crimping...feel the powder kernels cutting as you run the lever on a powder measure...even trickling powder and watching the scale move slightly as the tiniest spec of powder drops into the pan. This should all be savored and enjoyed...not rushed through for the sake of doing it. After a few years you may find yourself moving to a progressive, and that's perfectly fine. I promise you, you'll still have and use that single stage for things at the bench.
So much wrong with this I don't even know where to start. Again, many just don't know what they don't know. It's 2017, not 1917. The idea you can't learn on a progressive or load the same quality ammo is a pretty outdated. Yes I am old enough to remember when Dillon came out with their first progressive & everyone else since has been playing catch up. Not everyone needs a progressive, but 500rds a week? The savoring part is gone at that point.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:20 PM
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The Dillon could be a real good deal or not depending on what it comes with. If it doesn't come with items you're interested in try and knock down the price some.

Anyone who thinks a single stage press is safer probably hasn't done much reloading on auto indexing progressive. With a progressive you only touch each case once and remove the potential for errors that can happen by having to repeatedly handle every case numerous times.

I enjoy reloading on my Hornady LNL just as much as I enjoy my Rock Chucker. There is no difference in the amount of enjoyment I get from either. The difference is that the LNL spits out 4 rounds for every 1 round the Rock Chucker spits out.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:25 PM
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Definitely get a good reloading manual and read the front part about how to reload before going any further. There are NRA reloading classes available. Call some of your local gun shops and ask about reloading classes in your area. If we knew where you lived (city) maybe someone here lives close and could put you under his wing.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:25 PM
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I enjoy reloading on my Hornady LNL just as much as I enjoy my Rock Chucker. There is no difference in the amount of enjoyment I get from either. The difference is that the LNL spits out 4 rounds for every 1 round the Rock Chucker spits out.
Actually way faster than that. If you are really organized, you might get 75rd an hour, busting your azz, on a SS press. Just loafing along on any decent progressive is 300rds an hour, one pull of the handle every 12sec. So 301 handle pulls vs 301 handle pulls, in the same hour, 75rds vs 300rds. No contest for speed or accuracy btw.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:53 PM
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Learning to reload on a progressive is not impossible. But it's like learning to drive in a '72 Peterbuilt with a 13 speed trans vs a Toyota Camry with auto trans. Many folks will tell you to go ahead and start with a progressive as some day down the line you may want to make 500 rounds at a setting. Mebbe, but it ain't worth the trouble (learning to operate a ammo machine vs learning how to reload). I've been reloading for over 30 years and I have no intention of getting a progressive press. I don't shoot as much as I did but it's no big deal to sit down in front of my press, Co-Ax, and get up 100 rounds later. I batch load, I load in stages; size decap a bunch. If loading rifle ammo, measure and trim if needed. Later flare and prime and save charging and bullet seating for last. Save your $600.00 and get a single stage (pick one as they will all produce good safe ammo if you do your job) a die set, a scale and mebbe a powder measure and manuals (manuals as opposed s many to "one cartridge" load books) and use the left over for powder, primers and bullets. One thing to remember for reloading; the best method is K.I.S.S.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:34 PM
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Default While were are hashing out....

....whether it's better to start on a single stage or progressive unit you can get a Lee Challenger single stage press for well under $100. When you get your progressive you still have a single stage to use for a few 'quickies'.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:20 PM
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I started loading .44 Magnum in 1964 using a Lee Loader (about $10 at that time) and a powder scoop. I had no powder measure and no powder scale back then. I used another Lee Loader for 12 ga shotgun shells, also measuring powder with a scoop. Just starting out, you really don't need a powder measure or powder scale right away. Lee makes a set of plastic powder scoops that will work fine for measuring most powders, but it's slow. I still have my first Lee powder scoop set, and for some things, I still use it, even though I now have three powder measures and two (actually three) powder scales. The third scale I have not used since the 1970s. BTW - I have two single stage presses, never had a progressive.

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Old 09-07-2017, 07:27 PM
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I might be wrong here but the OP is a beginner;I don't see anything wrong at beginning with a ss press and then,if need be,move up to a turret or progressive depending on his needs.
Taking time to understand each operation on a ss is an asset that will be usefull when he moves to a progressive.And besides,having a ss nearby is always usefull.
I've got a couple of progressives but I wouldn't do without my Rockchucker!It's still used for a few usefull tasks to perform now and then.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Brazier View Post
I shoot every Saturday, 200 to 500 rounds of 9mm, and as much 44magnum as I can afford to, usually 100 to 200 rounds. I really don't think I need a Dillon 650, but I might buy it as well as a single stage press to get the basics down first, then when I am comfortable and I have some good load info I can progress o the Dillon. I was considering reloading 9mm as well but I clget it so cheap right now I am not sure its worth it.
I only load 9mm, and my cost per round (not including my labor) is $0.12 per round. I can't buy loaded ammo for anything near that cost (unless it's at a gun show in a paper bag). I've found that with a 650, it's almost impossible to get a double charge, or a squib load. I've actually tried to induce a failure but if you pull the handle a full stroke every time, something has to break to get a failure to load a proper round every time. I've loaded over 200K on mine and other than a couple of springs, everything works like clockwork. Like has been suggested, see what you're getting, then go on the Dillon site and compare the prices. But unless that price is for the basic 650, without a case feeder or any other accessories, I'd jump on that deal as fast as I could get the money out of my pocket. You can always add other options. (or put them on your Christmas wish lists, that's how I got my bullet feeder). Have fun and be safe.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:34 AM
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Default The OP is now well informed.....

.... he'll have make the decision whether to accept a steep or not so steep learning curve.

I suppose that you could use the progressive like a SS until you get all the mechanics worked out. If I were to do it all over again I'd do it that way. (But I'd still want my Rockchucker)
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:40 AM
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.... he'll have make the decision whether to accept a steep or not so steep learning curve.

I suppose that you could use the progressive like a SS until you get all the mechanics worked out. If I were to do it all over again I'd do it that way. (But I'd still want my Rockchucker)
I load on a 550 & 650, still use my Rcbs ammo master for say 50rds of 44mag & preCision rifle. I'm not breaking down the 550 to load 50rds of something else.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:43 AM
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If this has already been said, I'll repeat it. First, buy a good reloading manual, Speer, Hornady, Lyman etc, and read it. Don't rely on you tube, a lot of that info is shaky at best.

Be safe second after reading the reloading book

Have a blessed day,

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Old 09-08-2017, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Brazier View Post
I shoot every Saturday, 200 to 500 rounds of 9mm, and as much 44magnum as I can afford to, usually 100 to 200 rounds. I really don't think I need a Dillon 650, but I might buy it as well as a single stage press to get the basics down first, then when I am comfortable and I have some good load info I can progress o the Dillon. I was considering reloading 9mm as well but I clget it so cheap right now I am not sure its worth it.
300 + rounds a week !! Dillon 650 with extras for a good price !!
I'd be on that like stink on a skunk !!

Some people have NO mechanical ability. They Shouldn't be allowed to have tools or sharp objects.
IF you are one of those people,, then don't get a progerssive press !!! Actually just keep buying factory ammo,, it's much safer..
Yes, a single stage is easier to learn on, IMO. BUT, you can also learn on a Dillon progessive with just a little more patiences and attention to detail. ( and mechanical ability )

I started on a single stage ,, moved to a Dillon 550 when my need for ammo was more than the SS could supply in a timely manner. A few years ago I purchased a second 550. I would have purchased a 650 except I'm not shooting as much as I use to. I wanted one for large primers , one for small. Plus everything I had would be interchangable with the other..
If I found a really good deal on a 650 right now,, I'd probably have to expand my reloading bench. Because I would probably get it just because...

I still use my single stage for loading rifle ammo for my long range rifle.. IT takes Forever to load a hundred rounds ! Thank goodness I only go thru about 100 rds. a month with it...

BTW, I haven't been reloading for 50 years like I said earlier ,, it's only been 47 years.. Sorry had to think about it for awhile..

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Old 09-08-2017, 10:00 AM
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If you are somewhat mechanically inclined and are good at reading manuals and applying what they offer, you may be able to set up and use the Dillon 650. At this point, it is probably more machine than you need, but for $600.00, why not? If you do go that way, I'd suggest Dillon's DVD. Dillon's Instructional DVDs for Reloading Machines (dillondvds): Misc: Books & DVDs at Dillon Precision
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:18 AM
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Default A Different Track

The replies you've gotten so far relate to equipment for reloading. But based upon your question you may as a suggestion, delve a little more into the history and background of the 44 Magnum cartridge and you'll find a very interesting story that will most likely affect your reloading desires. And yes that takes into consideration that most people start with the "standard " loads with Unique and move on from there. But based on how much shooting you do you may like the 44 Special loads way more and which also give you a pretty wide reloading menu to work with. I don't want to confuse you here, only to tell you that you're about to embark upon a wonderful shooting journey if you take the time to get yourself settled slowly, learn all you can and don't worry so much about round count but rather cartridge performance out of the firearm you will be using. Read articles by Elmer Keith, learn the background. Take a look at Taffin's Sixguns.com and read some more. Learn the "mind-set" of big bore handgunning and your journey will be all the more satisfying. The best advice I can give you is start slowly, on a single stage press and learn learn and then, learn some more. And by all means....have fun!!
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:11 PM
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I wish I could find a 650 for that price where I'm at!! I have found for myself I have had more close calls for screw ups on a single stage Rockchucker and zero times on my LNL.
Learning to load on my LNL for me was easier than on the Rockchucker I have.
About the only thing it gets used for is sizing bullets now.
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