I have joined the ranks of reloading!

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Mike P, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Just got home from getting a smokin' deal on a Dillon RL550b. I'm pretty busy tonight and probably won't have time to deal with it but will get pics up soon after I get it set up.

    Already have over 12000-14000 of once fired brass so I'll be crankin out 1000's upon 1000's of 9mm very soon. Man I'm excited.
     
  2. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    I was wondering about your decision on the 550 reloader....

    Good on ya, man!

    I've had misfires with reloaded ammo, and some ammo I did not want to shoot, so I'll share a few tips:

    1. Primer seating. This cannot be taught, it has to be felt. Protruding primers are a no-brainer, but primers set too deep can be easily felt. When new to the hobby, I was afraid of pressing too hard with my hand primer, and had a lotta protruders that needed re-squeezing. Deep primers, well, you feel them when you run your fingertip across the case head. "Feel up" a lot of factory ammo, then compare to how deep they are seating in your rig. This is what has caused my initial misfires.

    2. Overcrimping. Took me a lot of experimentation until I arrived at this really easy procedure: mic the case mouth on factory ammo, and when crimping your ammo do not exceed the factory mic. Also, assemble a round with brass and bullet only. Now disassemble it with an inertial puller. If it takes more than 3 or 4 good whacks to get the bullet out, it is overcrimped. This mistake resulted in a whole batch of .40SW that I had to disassmble, re-expand, and recharge.

    3. Always makes notes. You will find some powders are better than others for the exact same thing (was wasting Hodgdon HS6 on 115-gr 9mm when I could have been using -my current favortie- Accurate #2; save the heavy powders for heavy loads like 147-gr or 162-gr bullets, Accurate cheaper'n Hodgdon by about $3/lb.)

    That being said....POST PICS OF YOUR FIRST PRODUCTION!

    Congrats, and cheers!
     

  3. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

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    It is very helpful if you have a buddy that reloads you to "supervise" the first couple of batches. I would have been lost without my friend's expertise. I still consider myself a total novice.

    The book "Modern Reloading" is pretty helpful too. If nothing else it has a ton of load data.

    Enjoy your new hobby. Costs a bit to get going but in the long run it will save you. It allows you to get into more exotic calibers too. It is the only hobby that save you money. :) Congratulations on the purchase.
     
  4. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    @Brutusvk:
    By Richard Lee?

    Yes, I agree it is a very informative book. Once you get past all the "Lee designs are better than anyone else's" propaganda. :p
     
  5. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

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    Yeah, it is like a infomercial for Lee. But there is good basic info in there. lol

    I have a bit of every brand so I can't endorse anyone. :)
     
  6. KeenansGarage

    KeenansGarage Hiding in plain sight....

    Congrats Mike! I had a buddy today trying to sell me a Dillon Square Deal...and I seriously am considering it!

    Good luck on your journey of learning and saving mucho dollores!
     
  7. malladus

    malladus New Member

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    YouTube is your friend with the Dillon 550b. There is a guy who has a well narrated series of videos that covers the common stuff with Dillons one step at a time. I will try to post up a link or two, but my suggestion from experience is this:

    1. Read the instructions and set up the basics, I.e. mount it to the bench and attached the accessories if it came with any.

    2. Watch the video on setting up the primer feeder. It should have the large tube in and you want the small one.

    3. Watch the video on setting up the shell plate and indexing. It isn't as intuitive as it looks and it's easy to over tighten it and cause yourself grief. The video this guy does is excellent on that.

    4. More video and set up station 1 with the sizing and decapping die. Run some rounds through with out primers in the system. Remember to practice the back push to seat primers.

    5. Powder die and measure set up. Another good one for a video. Also the trickiest to setup. Because you have to have the measure on, but loose it's very tricky. Then you have to get the dump actuator running right as well. Again run some brass through without primers in the tube.

    6. Seating and crimp dies, stations 3 and 4. The instructions in the manual are good for these, just tinker and adjust until you have a few dummy rounds done that meet you specs from your reloading manual. You can also try this in your your weapon to see if they will chamber and hand cycle correctly.

    7. Run one shell through station 1 and prime it. You will want to hand insert the primer in the seating cup at this point and not load the tube since it will want to dump a primer everytime you cycle the handle in this step which is adjusting the powder weight.

    Once you have a primed piece of brass, move it to station 2 and charge it. Weigh the charge and repeat until you are getting the charge you want.

    With that you are ready to start loading your test batch. From there the fun really begins.

    malladus
     
  8. What's his user name?
     
  9. jamierat

    jamierat New Member

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    I am starting to consider reloading. How much does it actually save? If I am paying $19 for .45 box of 50 what would it cost me reloading? How much time would it take me to reload each box of 50 approximately
     
  10. malladus

    malladus New Member

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    Johniac7078

    He has bunch of videos, not all on the dillon. But he is highly recommended over at the BE forums and the BE dillon store.

    malladus
     
  11. malladus

    malladus New Member

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    Time wise I can churn out about 300+ rounds in an hour with all the other stuff going on. With a dillon without a case feed that is about average. Speed increases if you can have a bunch of primer pickup tubes all ready to go.

    Speed depends on press type though. With my Dillon 550 you could easily do 50 rounds every 10 minutes after you got your motions down. For single stages the time goes up, but by wiring in batches and having stuff lines up in an assembly line manner you can usually stay ahead of your needs.

    Cost wise with out really cringing the numbers I would say I am paying about 6 - 8 bucks per 50 depending on my components for 230 FMJ.

    malladus
     
  12. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    @Jamierat:

    When you start reloading, forget making 50 rounds, you will be thinking in terms of 500 rounds (because bullets are sold in 100, 250, 500 and 1,000 round boxes).

    Rivalarrival posted a convenient spreadsheet in another thread (Reloading for a Glock) that allows you to manipulate the factors in loading ammo to determine a real-life cost analysis (his post is #29 in page 2 of that thread). The thread can be found here : https://www.glockforum.com/forum/f12/reloading-glock-437/

    There is a bunch of information that you might find helpful in your quest on that thread.

    Cheers!
     
  13. My goal for this loader is 9mm because I shoot waaaaaay to much of it. Currently I pay roughly 210-280 per 1000 of 9mm factory ammo depending on where and when I buy it. Considering I already have more brass than I should ever need, I will be able to load 1000 9mm for roughly $150.

    What I've always been told about loading.....you don't necessarily save money, you will just be able to shoot a lot more for money spent. I see that to be true.
     
  14. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    Lemme see, just off the top of my head....

    2 boxes (500 eac box) of Hornady 9mm 115-gr FMJ costs (locally) $59/box, so that's $118.
    Using a load of 4 grains or so per charge of Accurate #2, you'd get 3,500 loads per pound, at $21.99
    a box of 1,000 Winchester Small Pistol primers is $27.99

    Will give you a cash outlay of $167.98, assuming you pick up brass, and not accounting for your work and time for case prep and loading, for 1,000 rounds of Hornady 9mm 115-gr FMJ ammo, with enough gunpowder left over to load an additional 2,500 or so rounds.

    Using the Wallyworld Winchester White Box ammo to compare, 100 rounds at $25, so $250 for 10 boxes, or an overall savings of under $40 per 1,000 rounds.

    If we change to use cheaper bullets, say Berry's Plated RN bullets at $21/box of 250, we arrive at $84 for 1,000 bullets,
    which brings our total outlay down to $133.98 for 1,000 bullets, or a savings of over almost $120 per 1,000....again, remember you have enough powder left over for 2,500 more rounds!

    Hope that helps somebody!
     
  15. Glocked

    Glocked New Member

    I have to say, that's an impressive summary.
     
  16. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    Thanks, Glocked....I think (I say, as I run the calculator program to make sure my addition is correct...) :D