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Old 09-15-2018, 11:15 AM
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Yes, you might say I'm starting at ground zero. Decided I've had enough of paying for factory ammo so I am jumping in with both feet.

I've read all the reloading forums and watched youtube videos until I couldn't see straight, then ordered a Hornady progressive press with all the parts/pieces to do 380, 45ACP and 9mm. Already had a wet tumbler and a huge collection of brass to keep me in business for years.

First, I'll be fabricating a few bench mounts while I wait for the rest of my equipment and by next week I should be ready to roll, slowly and patiently of course. More to come...
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:34 AM
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I have the style equipment and powder scales.
Built a shelf to where the scale was at eye level for easy reading.
Now that I am older, the reach up to the scale is getting old and
I wish that I could lower it about 6" but that would mess up everything.
However there is the new fancy , powered, automatic dispenser
type units out there that might work later on.

Good planning for now and later helps in the long run.
Have fun.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:54 AM
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a mentor will save you years of hard lessons.


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Old 09-15-2018, 12:01 PM
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Many think it's better to start off learning how to reload vs. learning how to operate a reloading machine, big difference. For beginners, a single stage teaches the basics and an important fact often overlooked; frequent die adjustment practice.

Personally, I'd stay out of youtube as I've seen too many BS and really questionable videos there (a new reloader's "BS filter" isn't developed enough to spot poor reloading practices). I would suggest you find a good reloading text, The ABCs of Reloading is probably the most popular, and use that as your only reference. (often if a simple, basic question is asked by a new reloader on a forum, the thread morphs quickly into a "discussion" of advanced reloading techniques and theory.). Get a couple good reloading manuals that have "how to" sections, Lyman and Hornady are excellent.

In that same vein, I suggest new reloaders pay very little (no) attention to any forum expert, range rat, gun counter clerk, well intentioned friend, pet loads website, or gun shop guru when it comes to load data. Get your data from a published reloading manual, start at the starting loads. Find a load with in your manual before you buy any components, many fewer headaches and unused components that way.

K.I.S.S.. Go Slow. Double check everything. And most important, have fun...

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Old 09-15-2018, 12:15 PM
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Bingo! on what mikld recommends. The only thing that I might suggest is to add to the list LEE Modern Reloading.

I started out with a LEE Classic Turret system & Dies about 4-years ago and am happy with it. Not wanting to start a "discussion", just offering another source of reading material to consider.

Above all K.I.S.S. and enjoy the trip/adventure!
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:27 PM
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I did the same thing just over a year ago - bought a Hornady LnL as my first press and dove in.

I'll offer some tips:

1. Medium speed powders are a good place to start - Unique, Universal, Herco, others in that range. Many folks only use medium powders.

2. I had metering issues with the Hornady powder drop, and it is slow to adjust to different shell lengths. I switched to an inexpensive Lee Auto Drum and absolutely love it. You do have to use Lee powder thru expansion dies, though. It is the perfect powder drop if you plan to load multiple powders on the same press. If I were you, I'd sell the Hornady drop while it's new in box and use the money to finance the Lee and dies.

3. For that matter, I initially started off with RCBS dies but have fully transitioned over to Lee. They are great.

4. I've had issues with seating large primers. It's been pretty frustrating. I disassembles the little plunger that pushes the primer into place and ground it down a tiny bit to extend the plunger further, which fixed it for a while but it's acting up again.

5. The shell plates work their way loose after a few hundred rounds. I bought a lock washer which greatly helped but didn't cure the problem.

6. I suggest you track down small primer 45 ACP brass so you only have to mess with small primers. That said, I have some Winchester Train small primer 45 ACP where the pockets are so tight it's impossible to seat a new primer in them. I typically buy used brass, but it's probly worth splurging for Starline to get small pocket 45 ACP that you can actually load.

7. People who use single stage presses have to check powder weights very carefully, but *one advantage* of a progressive is to take human error out of the equation, so a lot of checking powder weights is just a waste of time and increases the likelihood of a double charge. So, once you get the weight set and it's reliably dropping your desired powder weight, stop weighing and just look down into the shells to be sure about the same amount is being metered.

8. To see down into the shells, you need good light, and they make a led strip that fit perfectly into the LnL. It's sticky but mine had to be zip stripped on. This makes it much easier to visually verify you have powder in the shell.

That's all I can think of right now.

*= edited to add a bit of clarity

Last edited by dr. mordo; 09-15-2018 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:52 PM
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a mentor will save you years of hard lessons.


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I've spent hours at others homes going through the basics..It was much appreciated.
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:35 PM
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a mentor will save you years of hard lessons.


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I agree with that. I am a self taught reloader and a mentor would have been a big help.

After several years of straight wall cartridge reloading YouTube and this forum were great resources when I got into bottleneck cartridge reloading and precision reloading for bench rest. But I was able to sort the "wheat from the chaff" because I already had reloading experience.
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Old 09-15-2018, 03:02 PM
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7. People who use single stage presses have to check powder weights very carefully, but the whole point of a progressive is to take human error out of the equation, so a lot of checking powder weights is just a waste of time and increases the likelihood of a double charge. So, once you get the weight set and it's reliably dropping your desired powder weight, stop weighing and just look down into the shells to be sure about the same amount is being metered.
I rarely criticize other member's posts bit I'll take exception with this item. First sentence is waaaaay out of line. The purpose of a progressive press is to make ammo faster. I seriously doubt if any "human error" is removed, but there is a greater possibility of "mechanical error" when several operations are taking place at the same time, and "separated" from the user. Checking powder weights is a waste of time? Seriously? Routine checking of powder charges (some say "throws") is an important method for consistent, safe powder charges (very few if an powder measures are a "set it and forget it" tool, as too many variations during a session are possible so checking often is essential.).

I don't mean to be offensive to the above poster, but I would warn any newer reloader to completely ignore that post, and after reading #7, all credibility is removed from the entire post...

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Old 09-15-2018, 03:30 PM
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I rarely criticize other member's posts bit I'll take exception with this item. First sentence is waaaaay out of line. The purpose of a progressive press is to make ammo faster. I seriously doubt if any "human error" is removed, but there is a greater possibility of "mechanical error" when several operations are taking place at the same time, and "separated" from the user. Checking powder weights is a waste of time? Seriously? Routine checking of powder charges (some say "throws") is an important method for consistent, safe powder charges (very few if an powder measures are a "set it and forget it" tool, as too many variations during a session are possible so checking often is essential.).

I don't mean to be offensive to the above poster, but I would warn any newer reloader to completely ignore that post, and after reading #7, all credibility is removed from the entire post...
We're going to have to agree to disagree.

The whole point of a progressive press is speed and quantity, and weighing every other charge would cut the hundreds of rounds per hour down significantly. I carefully set up the drop and measure many loads to be sure it's dropping consistently, then I turn out 200-300 rounds. If I think about it, I might check my powder weight once or twice in that run, but I might not. I have loaded several thousand rounds on this press, and so far the drop weight has not changed a single time after I set it.

However, in the beginning when I was following internet expert advice and constantly checking my charge weights, I almost double charged a few times after checking my weight. I ultimately realized the threat of a double charge due to excessive weighing was far more real than the threat of my powder drop somehow suddenly changing the amount it is dropping.

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Old 09-15-2018, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the tips guys. I have a good friend who's been reloading for decades so, I have all the mentoring I can ask for in that regard.
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for the tips guys. I have a good friend who's been reloading for decades so, I have all the mentoring I can ask for in that regard.
Iím only about a year ahead of you and I wish I had a mentor to get me started. I went out and bought a Lee Classic Turret and read the book that came with it, then just started putting it together and using it. I did go to youtube a few times for good setup videos for the press when the instructions werenít that clear. I get all of my load data from Leeís book and websites of the various manufacturers. So far so good. Iíve loaded a couple of thousand each of 10mm, .40, .357sig, and .45acp. I just got the dies for .357 mag and .41 mag and will start doing them soon. I think the Classic Turret is a great learner press. Maybe in a year or so, Iíll graduate to a progressive.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:50 PM
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Invest in several reloading manuals , cross checking data really helps. You will find conflicting data and with so many variables all the information for every variable could never be contained in one book.

Start off with a single stage press to learn . Progressives are for the advanced loader and most useful for reloading mass quanities of one caliber , with one bullet and one powder charge.
Get your feet wet with a basic before getting into the more complicated machines.
You will always have a need for a single stage , the little odd jobs that pop up and small lots of tests loads will save you time...adjusting and readjusting a progressive loader just to do 10 or 20 rounds with a new bullet or powder charge gets old quick !
Trust me on this one.
The measuring and dispensing of powder is the one place you can be anal and OCD about . You must have the correct type and weight powder and every case must have only one charge in it. Two charges and no charges will all cause problems. Check, double check and triple check the charge before seating a bullet.
Progressives do not eliminate the powder dispensing problems , most of the time progressives are the reason a new reloader has 500 rounds loaded up and then realizes at some point in the run his powder measure ran out of powder....the only way to fix this is pull all 500 rounds and start all over. Trust me on this one too !

You might want to pick up a bullet puller...sooner or later you will need to take a few apart....trust me on this one also .

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Old 09-15-2018, 07:26 PM
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We're going to have to agree to disagree.
. . .
You really should re-read . . . or perhaps read for the first time . . . what you originally said. Because you are now disagreeing with yourself, starting with "the whole point" and ending with "stop weighing".
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:44 PM
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..the only way to fix this is pull all 500 rounds and start all over. Trust me on this one too!
OOF...I can only imagine. In a year of reloading Iíve only pulled maybe 20 bullets. Screwed up a lot more than that, but gave up on pulling most of them when they wouldnít pop loose after a few good whacks and just tossed them. Thank goodness I was using cheap bullets and in most cases, the brass was mangled. Pulling bullets is definitely the worst part of reloading, IMHO.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:42 AM
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My suggestion is to limit propellants to no more than two. There is virtually no handgun caliber which cannot be loaded satisfactorily using Unique and/or Bullseye, and they can be used to make good loads for .380, .45 ACP, and 9mm. Also, try to limit yourself as to bullet styles and weights. I'd suggest also that unless there is a very good mitigating reason to the contrary, stick to using lead bullets only. Don't believe much of the uninformed and erroneous information you might read here and elsewhere about primers. In your case, all you need are standard small pistol and large pistol primers. Any brand, repeat, any brand, of primers will be OK.

In my case, I have used a Posness-Warren MetalMatic press for all my handgun loading for many years and it has been highly satisfactory, even though not a progressive press. For rifle calibers I have always used a RCBS single stage press. Don't overlook eBay and gun shows as sources for reloading tools, dies, powder scales and measures, and other reloading knick-knacks. My opinion on reloading dies is that all of them are good, but Lee dies are usually the least expensive and work well for me. I personally have over 40 die sets (many of which get little use), most fairly evenly split between Lee and RCBS, with a few other brands included like Lyman, C-H, and even a few old Herter's die sets.

I am a firm believer in safety, and to do that, I always charge primed cases with powder in batches before bullet seating. I then visually check and double check the powder level in every case using a flashlight or bright sunlight to ensure there are no double charges or empty cases.

Last edited by DWalt; 09-16-2018 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:06 AM
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I’ve only been reloading for 5 years and learned what I know from YouTube videos, reading some manuals, and most importantly, members here. But I am still very basic in my reloading.

I use a Hornady single stage press and Lee 4 die sets for the crimping die. I use Hornady lock and load bushings so I don’t have to unscrew the dies. I set them while watching videos on the Lee website. Members here talked me through a few problems. I loaded up a few dummy rounds, did the plunk test, and called it done. I’ve reloaded and fired probably 6000 rounds and have not had one squib or any other Malfunction.

So I’m very basic and by no means an expert. I read guys on here talking about medium burning powders and my eyes glaze over. I’ve settled on HP38 for all my calibers so no need to worry about mixing them up. I have the loading data for each of my calibers (.38, 9MM, and .380) on the wall above my bench. I verify the data, weigh every charge, and just keep cranking them out. Last night, I hand primed 400 .38 cases as I watched Jack Ryan on Amazon. Good show, by the way. I look down into the primer to be sure the primer is properly seated before I insert the case. One time, early on, I squeezed the handle without looking and the primer wasn’t seated right. It got squashed into the case. Didn’t detonate, though. Never make that mistake again.

There is a real science to reloading if you care to get deep into it. I don’t. I don’t own a chronograph and never will. I just want to reliably and safely produce my own ammo at a much reduced cost.

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Old 09-16-2018, 11:48 AM
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Besides recommending to find a mentor;

I am a member of the cry once club. Pay the money once and get the best.
Hassles abound with a newbie in handloading. Changing out dies and re-adjusting is at the top of the PITA list.

Many progressive presses can do single stage. I started with my Dillon 550 by making one round at a time, one stage at a time. It was a great experience using it as a single stage.

This is the fastest, easiest way to do single stage handloading. A great way to get started.


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Old 09-16-2018, 12:49 PM
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I carefully set up the drop and measure many loads to be sure it's dropping consistently, then I turn out 200-300 rounds. If I think about it, I might check my powder weight once or twice in that run, but I might not.
I'm speechless...
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:42 PM
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I carefully set up the drop and measure many loads to be sure it's dropping consistently, then I turn out 200-300 rounds. If I think about it, I might check my powder weight once or twice in that run, but I might not.
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I'm speechless...
I agree...wooow. 200 to 300 rounds is allot. People just don't understand things can go wrong real fast when it come to reloading. Inspecting each and every cartridge case to insure powder is "present"....is paramount (high priority). Not checking you're cartridge cases is something that shouldn't be taught to new reloaders.

Dr. Mordo...my advise, you shouldn't be giving advise to new reloaders cause you, sound just like a newbie yourself. SMH
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:53 PM
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a mentor will save you years of hard lessons.


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I learned mine out of a book, but with the youtube videos (be careful, some are better than others) and this forum to ask questions, new reloaders today have it a lot better than we did back in the 'old days'. Whippersnappers.And I walked to school in knee deep snow 10 miles uphill in both directions.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:11 PM
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I started reloading on a single-stage press in 1975 and still follow the same standard procedures. In all those years of reloading rifle, handgun, and shot shell rounds, I've had exactly two dud handgun rounds, both CCI primers from the same package, none since. I've never had a squib, overload, double strike, nor any other failure.

I'll stick with my SS press and procedures. Reloading is a past time for me, not a production number.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:22 PM
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I agree...wooow. 200 to 300 rounds is allot. People just don't understand things can go wrong real fast when it come to reloading. Inspecting each and every cartridge case to insure powder is "present"....is paramount (high priority). Not checking you're cartridge cases is something that shouldn't be taught to new reloaders.

Dr. Mordo...my advise, you shouldn't be giving advise to new reloaders cause you, sound just like a newbie yourself. SMH
Please note that I originally posted:

"7. People who use single stage presses have to check powder weights very carefully, but *one advantage* of a progressive is to take human error out of the equation, so a lot of checking powder weights is just a waste of time and increases the likelihood of a double charge. So, once you get the weight set and it's reliably dropping your desired powder weight, stop weighing and just look down into the shells to be sure about the same amount is being metered.

8. To see down into the shells, you need good light, and they make a led strip that fit perfectly into the LnL. It's sticky but mine had to be zip stripped on. This makes it much easier to visually verify you have powder in the shell."

I absolutely agree that checking each case is critical - but a visual inspection is sufficient on a progressive once it is set up.

I was just googling how often folks check weights on their progressives, and the most common response I found was that folks check at the beginning of a session then do not check again for the rest of the session. At the other extreme, one gentlemen has multiple presses and leaves them set for the same caliber all the time. He rechecks every pound of powder.

So, I seem to be checking more frequently than the average progressive user. I've loaded several thousand rounds at this point, so I'm pretty comfortable with it.

In any case, I'm done arguing about it. I don't want to hijack the thread.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:29 PM
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Changing out dies and re-adjusting is at the top of the PITA list.
I realized early on with a Lee Classic that buying extra turrets at $12 each made life so much easier, so I bought a bunch. Now the only adjusting I have to do is between .40/10mm and .38/.357. Changing between calibers is pretty quick and easy. I usually stick with one caliber for awhile anyway. I stick with the tried and true, following the tables...no experimenting here. When I first start out, Iíll weigh several charges to make sure theyíre consistent, then when Iím cranking out rounds, I visually check each shell to make sure it got a drop. Iíll weigh about every fifth charge through the first fifty or so, then maybe every eight or ten. I still continue to visually check each one. Right now, Iím still using the disk powder measure and Iíve noticed that in the Lee tables, using the corresponding disk orifice usually gives a light charge, about 0.2 grains below the starting load. I will go up one orifice and it puts me midway between starting and do not exceed loads. Has anyone else experienced that with the disk measure? My next upgrade is going to be a Lee drum measure and an electronic scale to back up the Lee safety measure.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:36 PM
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I realized early on with a Lee Classic that buying extra turrets at $12 each made life so much easier, so I bought a bunch. Now the only adjusting I have to do is between .40/10mm and .38/.357. Changing between calibers is pretty quick and easy. I usually stick with one caliber for awhile anyway. I stick with the tried and true, following the tables...no experimenting here. When I first start out, I’ll weigh several charges to make sure they’re consistent, then when I’m cranking out rounds, I visually check each shell to make sure it got a drop. I’ll weigh about every fifth charge through the first fifty or so, then maybe every eight or ten. I still continue to visually check each one. Right now, I’m still using the disk powder measure and I’ve noticed that in the Lee tables, using the corresponding disk orifice usually gives a light charge, about 0.2 grains below the starting load. I will go up one orifice and it puts me midway between starting and do not exceed loads. Has anyone else experienced that with the disk measure? My next upgrade is going to be a Lee drum measure and an electronic scale to back up the Lee safety measure.
My experience with electronic scales has not been good. The one that came with my Hornady lock and load kit and another Frankford Arsenal. Weigh a charge, take it off, put it back on and always fluctuated .1-.3 grains. Beam scale from then on. Never a shift.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:47 PM
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While I have a Lyman digital scale with powder dribbler, about the only time I use it is if I am attempting very uniform rifle loads, and in such situations, I weigh and sort cases and bullets also. Otherwise I use my old Redding single beam magnetically damped balance. I also occasionally use an Ohaus quad beam lab balance capable of weighing to a precision of 0.01 grams for weighing and sorting cases and bullets. Every so often I check the accuracy of all my balances with standard weights.

Most of my powder charging is done manually with a pair of Lyman 55 powder dispensers which I have equipped with home-made internal powder reservoir baffles. I never use the knockers, in fact I removed them. For a long time I used the knockers and found that charge weight uniformity was better without them. I am also of the camp that once I have carefully adjusted the Lyman 55 to throw the desired powder charge, I usually do not check-weigh the powder charges after that. I used to many years ago, but found that once the Lymans are properly adjusted, confirmed, and locked, they do not change. I will typically reload in batches of at least 200 rounds, sometimes considerably more, up to 500. And as I previously mentioned, I always visually check and recheck the powder levels thrown in each and every case prior to bullet seating, normally 50-60 charged cases at a time.

I have always adjusted my Lyman powder dispensers for handgun loads by throwing multiple charges totaling at least 20 grains. For example, if I want a 5.0 grain charge, I set up my Redding scale for 25.0 grains. I throw 5 charges onto the balance pan and see if it is over or under 25.0 grains and adjust the Lyman dispenser accordingly until I throw 5 charges which weighs in aggregate 25 grains +/- a few tenths of a grain. I confirm that several times and then I am good to go.

Last edited by DWalt; 09-16-2018 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlawler View Post
...[snip]...
...I’m still using the disk powder measure and I’ve noticed that in the Lee tables, using the corresponding disk orifice usually gives a light charge, about 0.2 grains below the starting load. I will go up one orifice and it puts me midway between starting and do not exceed loads. Has anyone else experienced that with the disk measure? My next upgrade is going to be a Lee drum measure and an electronic scale to back up the Lee safety measure.

May I suggest trying/adding the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar to your existing Classic system, in place of using the discs. I find them extremely accurate and repeatable. I now have three of them though they have no slop and very easy to adjust. And at $10 you can't go wrong.


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Old 09-16-2018, 09:21 PM
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Finished the mount plates and got the small Lee press mounted. Tomorrow I'll get the big one done. I even found the time to de-prime a few hundred cases.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:26 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is offline
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You should really put a lot of effort into how to adjust your reloading dies. Take some time and measurements to see/learn what the different dies are actually doing and learn how those changes actually affect your reloads.

Too many (actually 99%+) reloaders screw the sizing dies down with pistol calibers until the die either touches the shell holder or cams over in the press. Cams over ='s pressure on the handle when it bottoms out from the ram pressing the shell holder tight against the sizing die. Take a little time and measure your fire formed cases. If you have several different firearms with the same caliber, measure all of them. Most mfg's make their sizing dies small. The end result is oversized/cases that are sized to small. I've seen sizing dies size the cases down 4/1000th's+, way too much. I like to adjust mine so that they are no more than 2/1000th's less then the fired cases. Use your bbl/bbl's as a guide. You don't need a bullet in a case to test it in a bbl. Typically when a case is sized down 2/1000th's less (max) then the fire formed case it will sit +/- 10/1000th's below the hood of the bbl.


pistol sizing dies:
I've had to open up factory sizing dies before with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper, oil, wood dowel with a split in the middle and a drill. The same setup also works to remove junk in them that causes scratches on the cases.

Under sized cases will work but the extra slop when they are used/chambers puts extra strain on the extractors, slide faces and will affect accuracy. This is with the semi-auto's, but it will also affect the accuracy of revolvers.

Take a little time and measure/tinker with sizing dies. What you learn will pay off in spades at the range with not only highly accurate reloada. It will teach you how to identify issues that come up with cases, fliers on targets, group size, etc.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:39 AM
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I'd suggest using either the powder measure or even powder scoops to charge a case and then immedietly seat the bullet.
I still use this method for my rifle & pistol reloading. It's not lightning fast as there's no progressive motion of charging a block of 50 or so cases all at once involved., But the back and forth about wether a powder measure and the use of one may have led you to double charge a case is out of the picture.

I use powder scoops as they are simple and convenient.
The old orange Lyman powder dispenser is still there on the shelf but to set it up each time for a different caliber would take more time than worth it for the amt of ammo I'm loading.

I should set it up for my often used 12gr of RedDot. I use that load in many different cast bullet loads in CF rifle. Just can't seem to find the time.
I'd still charge a single case, check the level,, and then immed seat the bullet.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:29 PM
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Congrats on the new presses.
I would recommend that you mount the LnL AP so that you ensure the table does not move when you pull down hard on the press. Nothing is worse than a wobbly press. My bench is against a wall in my garage. I mounted the LnL AP on a 2"x6" with countersunk holes on the bottom to allow carriage bolts and fender washers to be flush mounted on the bottom of the wood. The plank is long enough to allow the press to hang over the end of the table to allow access to everything under it including the primer drop chute. The other end of the wood is flush against the wall and anchored to the wall stud with an inverted bookshelf bracket. This offsets the tilting motion of the press hanging over the edge of the table.

The height of the press and handle make a big difference when loading big batches. You want a comfortable and natural height when performing hundreds of handle pulls and pushes (primer seating). The height of the press is perfect for loading while either standing or sitting.

I did the same with my single stage press which is a Lee Breechlock Challenger where I have to crank down when sizing .308 and .223 brass. For that press, a 2x4 is sufficient.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post
Please note that I originally posted:

"7. People who use single stage presses have to check powder weights very carefully, but *one advantage* of a progressive is to take human error out of the equation, so a lot of checking powder weights is just a waste of time and increases the likelihood of a double charge. So, once you get the weight set and it's reliably dropping your desired powder weight, stop weighing and just look down into the shells to be sure about the same amount is being metered.
.
Not original post. Been edited...
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:31 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is offline
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Expander dies can be more difficult to adjust correctly simply because there are so many different bullets. Typical sets of reloading dies come with expanders designed for jacketed bullets. Here's that 2/1000th's thing again, cases sized to 2/1000th's less than the fire formed case/the expander ball should be 2/1000th's less than the bullet diameter. If you use nothing but jacketed bullets to reload with, the factory expander is fine. Simply adjust the expander down until it flares the case mouth enough so the bullet will fit inside the case. It's when you use plated, coated or cast bullets/bullets with larger diameters than their jacketed counterparts. They make expanders that are longer/larger in diameter for these bullets.


Lyman & rcbs use whats call a m-die for the plated, coated, cast bullets. If you look at the factory expander in the picture above you can see where the top of the cases left a ring make on it. That shows how deep in the cases that factory expaner goes.


THe m-dies have a step in them that flares the case mouth enough to allow the bullet yo seat/start strait and woun't let the case lip scrap the sides of the bullets. It's also longed and expands the cases deeper protecting the bullets bases from being swaged down.


This company also sells custom expander at an excellent price. Call them an tell them what you want to do. They are a wealth of info and really like interacting/1 on 1 with customers.
NOE Bullet Moulds

I have/use 2 different expander balls for every caliber I reload for. 1 for jacketed bullets and the other is for plated/coated/cast bullets.

Using the correct expander for the bullet makes excellent quality ammo. Starting the bullet strait in the cases is huge for accuracy. Even case neck tension is also extremely important. If you can clearly see your bullets base on the sides of the cases of your reloads (wasp waist). You have too much case neck tension/too small of an expander/too short of an expander. 45acp reloads using a 200gr cast .452" bullet/h&g #68 clone.

10-shot group @ 50ft with the ammo pictured above. Not hand picked/cherry picked target by any means. Nothing more then the test target used that day testing different reloads.

2 different bullets I reload for the 9mm, both bullets are sized to .358". Note both bullets are seated to the same oal but there's 1/10th of an inch difference in length.


Using the correct expander in the 9mm cases allowed me to use the .358" bullets. Start them strait and not deform the bases & have no case bulge. The green bullet pictured above/10-shot group @ 50ft.

The red bullet pictured above/10-shot group @ 50yds


Again not hand picked/cherry picked target by any means. Nothing more then the test target used that day testing different reloads.

Using the correct expander/bullet combo plays a huge role in making accurate reloads.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:07 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is offline
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Choosing bullets and crimping them.

The 1st thing you should look at is a fire formed case. Here's that 2/1000th's thing again. What you want to do is take 7 or 8 fire formed cases and measure the inside/hole of the fired case.
EXAMPLE: Measured several 9mm cases and the fire formed cases measured .360"/ I could fit a .360" bullet inside the fire formed cases.

Subtract 2/1000th's for the measurement you get from the average from cases of mixed brass. That tells you the maximum diameter of bullet you can use in that firearm.

Selecting a bullet style/desigh depends largly on the bbl's of your firearms. MFG's have been cutting a step in the bbl making process to save $$$. A picture of an bbl that was not throated from the factory, note the small length of angle/sharp angle of the lands.

Same bbl but it have had a throating reamer used on it. This is how the MFG's save money buy omitting a simple step in the bbl making process.
Note that the ferrbore is longer in the throated bbl (freebore ='s length from the end of the chamber to the start of the angle cut of the lands). The angle cut on the lands is also longer/softer angle.


BBL's with no throats tend to do better with fn & rn bullets. That tight small freebore length and abrupt angle of the bbl that's not throated makes it harder to reload swc's, coated, plated bullets. The oal's are a lot shorter with those types of bullets. BBL's that have throats can shoot anything.

The chamber/freebore/throat on my nm 1911 9mm bbl from the factory.


Some people crimp, others do not. Myself, I crimp everything. I put a 2/1000th's to 3/1000th's crimp on anything I taper crimp. Doesn't matter if it's a 9mm, 45acp or a bullet without a cannalure with any caliber. It's my belief that a taper crimp on semi-auto reloads aids in the feeding of the rounds. And it also helps with consistent ignition & consistency ='s accuracy. Range brass can be different thicknesses, some have more spring back then others, length, ETC. All this affects neck tension/force used to expand the case to seal the chamber & release the bullet.

I also seat in 1 stage and crimp in another stage when I use a taper crimp. Doing this gives me a more consistent oal.

I'm sure you've seen this before.


What I DO NOT DO is set my oal's flush with the hood of the bbl's. Most reloaders see the "BEST ACCURACY" in the picture and they set their oal's at that MAX length. If you measure 15 or 20 of your reloads you'll see that the oal's will very +/- 5/1000th's if your good closer to 10/1000th's is extremely common.

I set my oal's so the base of the reload sits 10/1000th's below the hood of the bbl. Remember the setting up the sizing die so the sized case sits 10/1000th's below the hood of the bbl. Bullets will very in oal, measure some that you have laying around. If they very 5/1000th's in their oal your reload will very 5/1000th's in oal at best/if your perfect with your setup. The other thing is with extended range sessions gunk/fouling can and will build-up in the chamber/freebore/throat of your bbl's. Setting your oal's to 10/1000th's under max (flush with hood in picture above) will give you a buffer for the difference in the bullets oal's, reload variance oal's & fouling in the bbl.

Anyway just something to think about. It all starts with your bbl's & how they were made. Once you've identified what your max bullet diameters are and throat types in your bbl's. You can choose the different bullets you want to try/use. Once you have chosen the bullets you want to use you can choose the correct expander for the bullet size/coating.

Myself, I use/shoot nothing but throated bbl's in my semi-auto's. I adjust my sizing dies so the sized case sits 10/1000th's of an inch below the hood of the bbl. I use the max bullet diameter that I learned from measuring the fire formed cases. I set my oal's to 10/1000th's" below max. What this does is the case aids in alligning the bullet to the bore, the freebore alligns the bullet to the bore, the throat/lands align the bullet to the bore. The case has minimum expansion which makes it seal the chamber quicker/more evenly/consistently. All that add's up to accuracy.

Take your time and measure/study/think about what you're doing. At the end of the day it costs the same to pull the handle to make ammo that hits dirt clods at 10 paces or shoots bugholes @ 50ft. There's a lot of excellent reloaders on this website. If you take pictures and ask, I'm sure you'll get different perspectives/answers to the same question.
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  #35  
Old 09-18-2018, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post

2. I had metering issues with the Hornady powder drop, and it is slow to adjust to different shell lengths. I switched to an inexpensive Lee Auto Drum and absolutely love it. You do have to use Lee powder thru expansion dies, though. It is the perfect powder drop if you plan to load multiple powders on the same press. If I were you, I'd sell the Hornady drop while it's new in box and use the money to finance the Lee and dies.
I spent the day in the shop getting familiar with the press and powder drop. I'm not sure how accurate these things need to be to be considered acceptable but here's what I got while playing around. Picked an arbitrary number of 3.1 grains and was getting averages of 3.13 - 3.14. This was using Hodgdon HP38 powder.

It is a little tedious dialing in a different number but I don't find it that time consuming. I'm considering getting a micrometer to make caliber changes a bit quicker though. I know they're not an exact science but it will put the numbers in the ball park more quickly.

The only issue so far that I see with the LNL is some powder was being jarred out of the case whenever the plate advanced and popped into the detent balls. This was using 380 cases and the 3.1 grains of powder. Does the detent get any more gentle as things break-in, or is this something we just have to deal with?
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:49 PM
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4 comments for you to consider:

1) IME getting 85% of your drops within 0.06gr of target is about the best you can expect from a volumetric powder measure using a "well-metering" powder.

2) Personally, after adjusting the PM I'll throw 3 drops to settle it, then 5 drops into a tared pan . . . looking of course for 5 x my target on the scale. I want to see less than 0.1gr from 5 x target.

3) Adjusting the Hornady PM's standard powder meter isn't fun. The micrometer dial meter accessory is quite a bit better.

4) There are two kinds of powder popping on the AP.

4a) If the popping occurs on indexing, the little ball bearings are standing too proud off the bottom of the shell plate. They will "reach" for the detent holes in the sub plate, yank the plate forward, then stop it dead . . . popping powder. Use a punch and tap them further into the shell plate so that the pawls do all of the indexing and the ball bearings only ensure the plate is perfectly positioned. Properly adjusted, there's almost no noise, no change in plate velocity while indexing. If you tap them in too far, turn the plate over, tap them back out, try again.

4b) Powder popping right at the PM: If your shell plate is just a little loose, the shell plate will lift off the subplate just a hair. You will feel resistance to your "ram down" stroke as the brass case is pulled off the PTX flaring insert. The shell plate then slams the case into the subplate, popping powder as the ram is coming down.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funflyer View Post
I spent the day in the shop getting familiar with the press and powder drop. I'm not sure how accurate these things need to be to be considered acceptable but here's what I got while playing around. Picked an arbitrary number of 3.1 grains and was getting averages of 3.13 - 3.14. This was using Hodgdon HP38 powder.

It is a little tedious dialing in a different number but I don't find it that time consuming. I'm considering getting a micrometer to make caliber changes a bit quicker though. I know they're not an exact science but it will put the numbers in the ball park more quickly.

The only issue so far that I see with the LNL is some powder was being jarred out of the case whenever the plate advanced and popped into the detent balls. This was using 380 cases and the 3.1 grains of powder. Does the detent get any more gentle as things break-in, or is this something we just have to deal with?
Twoboxer gave great advice to which I'll add just a bit.

HP38 meters great through the LnL drop, as do other fine powders. I could not a consistent drop with flake powders like Trail Boss or 700x. With the Lee Auto Drum, Trail Boss has worked great, and I haven't tried the 700x yet.

Personally, if I get plus/minus 0.1gr I'm happy, and to cover the difference I generally load at least 0.2 under max and above minimum.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:53 PM
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Loaded some test rounds and hit the range today with both the R1 and Shield. COL was 1.252 and I set the taper crimp to give it .001" squeeze, about the same as most factory rounds I measured.

Ran 5 each of 4.8, 5.0 and 5.2 grain (HP-38) through the R1 and found it is most accurate with 5.2gn, although it functioned flawlessly with all loads.

Ran the same loads, along with some 5.3gn through the Shield. It also ran flawlessly, but was the most accurate with 5.3gn.

Target was set at 12 yards for the R1, shooting off hand with gloves. I shoot more accurate bare handed but used gloves for my own piece of mind. Top left was 4.8gn, top right was 5.0gn and lower right 5.2gn from the R1. Center and lower left was the Shield @10 yards.

Only 36 rounds so far, but hey, they all functioned perfectly. All in all I'm quite happy.
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