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Old 01-14-2022, 04:32 PM
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Hi, Just going to get back into reloading after many years like 30ish. I have a Dillon 450B converted to a 550 many years ago. At the time I was mostly loading .45acp, a little .44 special//44mag. I had a small amount of 231, 2400 and PB left around from then that I would guess is still good???
I recently purchased a friend's 550/ converted 450B fully set up for .9mm. I would also like to now load for .38sp. and .357 Mag since I own several of those. I never loaded for or owned a 9mm years ago and now have six.
I have the large Dillon tumbler from years ago and just purchased a steal pin set up with everything I need to go that direction.

Current powder suggestions for the above would be appreciated.
Any other thing that I need to consider in this new undertaking?
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:35 PM
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Well, things being what they are, powders are sorta catch as catch can. For my money, you can’t beat Unique for an all around powder. Red Dot /Promo works well, too, in just about anything I have tried it in. Maybe some of the larger shops in Grand Junction would be worth the trip. Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:38 PM
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231 is my preferred powder for 9mm, 45acp, and 38 sp.
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:44 PM
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I like WW231/HP38 for target loads, IMR4227 or H4227 for magnum loads.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:01 PM
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I have a 450 converted to 550B, I envy you! Leave one set up for Large Primers and the other set up for small. Buy enough tool heads for all your cartridges plus one more. You don't need a powder drop for every cartridge, I bet you could get by with 2 or 3. (I have about 15 tool heads set up, but only 4 powder drops)

I think you will want 10 primer tubes in each size. I have no idea how good tube fillers work. I need a break after loading 1000 and refilling the tubes by hand is part of the wind down process for me! I use a small Cotter Key on each tube after filling to avoid spillage.

When loading, my family knows not to bother me unless it is a Fire, Blood, or Flood emergency! I play upbeat music that I am already familiar with, so I'm not distracted, No TV or movies in the background. These routines have helped me load over half million rounds without a single squib!


I am a huge fan of WW231 for non-magnum handgun rounds. Unique can do everything else!

I have the automatic case feeder on my 550, It can make loading easier, but not faster! (I say it is a waste of money!)

Have fun! PM me if you have questions.

Ivan

PS, bench height and press height are very important. They are also very personal, to your body, so experiment some before committing to them. I started with a bench mounted press, then I wanted an elevated press. I spend 3 years before I committed. I built 2x8 wood mounts, and played with different angles. I ended up with the strong mount, because it fit what I was doing! ITB
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:15 PM
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I've been loading the .38 Special on a 450 and then a converted 450/550 (I like to call it a 500) for nigh on 40 years. My go-to load for the last 30 years has been 4.0 gr of W231 with a 158gr cast lead (now coated ones) SWC. I shoot a couple of thousand of these a year. Before that I was shooting 148gr WC.

3.7gr of WST with the same bullet is also a great combination. But W231 is really hard to beat as a versatile pistol powder.

I've struggled with the 9mm and cast bullets. But W231 seemed like it wanted to work. That's still a work in progress for me. With jacketed bullets and W231 or Universal I got good results.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:41 PM
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If you can find Unique, please buy some for your good friend Hyena. Been looking for over a year.
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:36 AM
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Sounds like you're pretty well set with the powder you have. 231 for 9mm, 38 sp, 44 sp. should work great. I use it and love it for all of those. The 2400 will be great for your magnum loads. Never used PB personally, but should work for 45 ACP if you plan to load that cartridge. There is an abundance of good powders out there, but IMO you are in good shape with what you already have.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:47 AM
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I use almost nothing other than W231/HP-38 for the 45 ACP and .38 Special and I'm told it's very good for the 44 Special too. W231 will also work in the 9mm for range ammo. It might not develop the highest velocity but will still work well and be accurate.

PB is a bit dirty IMO but can be used for the .38 Special with acceptable results from what I'm told.

2400 that you already have will work well with both the .357 Magnum and 44 Magnum. Welcome back to reloading.
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:11 AM
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231 is a good choice .
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:50 AM
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Go shopping, take your reloading manual, and buy the powder sitting on the shelf. 2# of powder on the shelf beats 8# of perfect powder that can't be found.
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Old 01-15-2022, 09:02 AM
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HS-6 is a good powder for .357. I have loaded thousands and thousands of rounds with it, and it all went through K frames. It isn't the hottest powder, like say W296, but I prefer it to 231/HP38 in .357, and also have used it occasionally in .38spl.
One good thing to come out of the component shortage is the opportunity to try new powders. Get on Hodgdon's web site and look up their suggested loads with various powders, especially ones you've never considered. A lot of times these are the powders that are the last ones left on the shelf in times prior to our current shortage.
As I visit gun shops, I pull a list I have made up out and have tried powders that are at least equal to if not better than my old standbys.
As you go through Hodgdon's listing, look at the velocities, pressure, and charge weights. I have to admit I have found better options to my old standbys.
Even if you are not out of your usual powders, it is fun to look for the best prices and try new components. You can also do the same with bullets i.e., weights, profiles, lead v. jacketed v. plated v. coated.

Last edited by crows; 01-15-2022 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 01-15-2022, 09:14 AM
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I have an older, 4 station turret press, works fine. I just added a single-stage press, Redding, for certain tasks & to use single shell holders instead of a plate. I’m already a fan, easy to setup for side tasks, especially if one switches around a fair bit.
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Old 01-15-2022, 09:53 AM
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First thing I would do after a 30 year lay-off is pick up some new loading manuals . Speer , Hornady and Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 4th Edition (if you plan on loading any lead) are my 3 main go to's .
Keep your old manuals but a lot has changed ... new powders , new bullets and you just don't know what you will be able to get in this market today .
One of the New powders is nice to find but useless without data ...
If you are like me ... I like to have the manual in front of me and read the informational chapters .
A lot of things are still the same but some things have changed .
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:48 AM
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There were many good suggestions, but people left out the obvious. Start looking for primers! Buy whatever primers you can find, then you can reload while you keep looking for what you want or what you are willing to pay.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I forgot to mention that I did obtain some Unique from my friend, large and small primers and a load of his bullets. I also have a lot of shells in .38, .357, .44sp, 44mag and 45acp. I can get all the 9mm I need from our range. I do need to obtain some .38/357 bullets and the loading manuals.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:24 PM
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Any powder from Bullseye to Unique will work for standard loads in the 9mm and 38/357 cases.

Slowers powders from HS-6 on will give maximum loads in the 38/357 cases if you need to push the envelope.

If you only had just one powder, Unique would get my vote for both those calibers, that makes for a lot of happy loaders, over the years.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:45 PM
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During the obumma shortage I could not find any Unique, but there was Universal available at a couple stores. I bought one pound liked it so I bought one more. Thinking ahead I bought a 6 lb. jug and use it in nearly all my handgun reloading. I use other powders but if I had to go the "if you had to use only one powder..." route it would be Universal. Performs as well as Unique but meters much easier...
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crows View Post
HS-6 is a good powder for .357. I have loaded thousands and thousands of rounds with it, and it all went through K frames. It isn't the hottest powder, like say W296, but I prefer it to 231/HP38 in .357, and also have used it occasionally in .38spl.
One good thing to come out of the component shortage is the opportunity to try new powders. Get on Hodgdon's web site and look up their suggested loads with various powders, especially ones you've never considered. A lot of times these are the powders that are the last ones left on the shelf in times prior to our current shortage.
As I visit gun shops, I pull a list I have made up out and have
tried powders that are at least equal to if not better than my old standbys.
As you go through Hodgdon's listing, look at the velocities, pressure, and charge weights. I have to admit I have found better options to my old standbys.
Even if you are not out of your usual powders, it is fun to look for the best prices and try new components. You can also do the same with bullets i.e., weights, profiles, lead v. jacketed v. plated v. coated.
A powder burn rate chart is your friend. Look at the chart. If powders are close friends on the chart, chances are they will work in your application . Some are real close in burn rate. Different manufacturers have their own powder for the same applications.
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:22 PM
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Just to help the OP out, there are many powders from fast to light medium.
W231/HP-38, W244, AA#2, Bullseye, Red Dot, Green Dot, Ramshot Zip and Unique. There are others but these are most popular. Like said above, check the powder burn rate chart to see how fast the powders are and where they fit for your needs.

For the Magnum rounds there are also many choices.
Slower powders: W572, AA#7, HS-6, Longshot and a few more.
The slowest powders: AA#9, 2400, Enforcer, W296/H110, Power Pro 300-MP and IMR4227. 4227 seems to work exceptionally well in the 44 Magnum but IMO not so much in the .357 Magnum.

There are others, these are the powders I thought of without checking burn rate charts. I listed so many because powders are hard to come by right now so it's good to know what else can be used.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:25 PM
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I use Hodgdon TITEGROUP exclusively for 9mm and .40 S&W. I like Titegroup because it is not case sensitive and is a very clean burning powder. Another advantage is that my favorite load is 4.4 grains for both 115 grain 9mm and 180 grain .40 S&W, so I don't have to change the powder drop adjustment on my Dillon 550B when I change tool heads.
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:34 AM
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You've been given lots of good advice and sounds like you are fortunate enough to have most of what you need. Unfortunately this is a poor time to be looking for anything you don't already have. Supplies are limited and the prices are high. I wish you the best of luck with it and welcome back to the fold.
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:07 AM
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you may do this already but when working up a load make only a mag or 2 no more to test function and accuracy. I had in early days of my dillion look up a load then make a few hundred to find they did not function my autos learned my leason
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:18 AM
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It's too bad we don't live near each other. I could lend you some primers and powder but shipping them is out of the question!

I have lent some primers and powder to two shooting buddies when they ran out.
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Old Yesterday, 12:50 AM
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Just a little note on all those burn rate charts that are out there.

Please read then with a grain of salt..........
since they are all different and can be 2-3 powders off from another companies listing.

I don't agree with the fastest powders on many of the charts and with
my test loads over the years I have my ideas of where many powders fit in the burn rate sections but they may vary from your test.......

so please use as a guide and not a 100% solid fact.
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