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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for experience and input.

With the newest addition, model 42 for fiance to open Thursday, this may (not?) be the latest push to start handloading.

I would think the 380 would be worthy of the time/energy to save brass and add another downstream value to the equipment needed but want to hear back from others. I've been waiting for the ROI factor to become clear.

The other calibers I currently have and would like input on:
380 ACP
40
9mm
45 ACP
460 S&W
454 Casull
5.56
44 Mag
357 Mag
12 Ga

I don't expect to save money, especially in the beginning with the gear needed, but would like to shoot more for the same cost after recovering the cost of equipment. Plus having another activity during foul weather should keep me out of trouble. "SHOULD"!
 

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No time like the present. I started about 1 year ago. Even through the craziness of no primers, no bullets, and no powder I am very glad I got started. Powder is the only component that is tough to find today. Not impossible just more difficult than it should be. With the list of calibers you have I would pick you two highest volume and start with those. Shotgun will require a separate press. I jumped in the deep end and started with a Dillon XL650. No regrets. I now have two of them. The 650 will do everything on your list except the shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Silly question but are the 9mm dies "backwards compatible " to 380?


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Discussion Starter #4
And Dillon is what I'm leaning towards. I want a progressive press to grow into.


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Thanks. Silly question but are the 9mm dies "backwards compatible " to 380?


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I have accidentally put a .380 in my Dillon when loading 9mm and something was not right :)
The .380 is not tapered like the 9mm is. With the Dillon it even takes a different shell plate, I think.
It would not take you long to see the need for all separate tool heads, each one for the caliber your loading.
ImageUploadedByGlock Forum1419348883.530859.jpg
You pull 2 pins, remove tool head and replace it with what you want to load. You don't have to re measure everything. Just verify that you still have the proper settings.
If your just getting into reloading and thinking about a Dillon, look up Brian Enos. He has put together "everything needed packages" to get a person started.


NRA member, GSSF member, GCA/retired
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9mm dies will not work with .380. I also have unintentionally run some .380 through my 9mm setup. The 9mm dies do not properly size the brass and the crimp is not right. I agree with Chuck on having a separate tool head for each caliber. It makes change over so much easier. Even easier is additional presses. lol. Tons of info on the Brian Enos site as well as Youtube. Do not get your load recipes off of the internet unless it is a trusted source. By some reloading manuals first.
 

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Dillion precision two thumbs up !! I reload 40cal on a square deal B. They are reliables machines. Good luck


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Discussion Starter #8
9mm dies will not work with .380. I also have unintentionally run some .380 through my 9mm setup. The 9mm dies do not properly size the brass and the crimp is not right. I agree with Chuck on having a separate tool head for each caliber. It makes change over so much easier. Even easier is additional presses. lol. Tons of info on the Brian Enos site as well as Youtube. Do not get your load recipes off of the internet unless it is a trusted source. By some reloading manuals first.

Thanks! Sounds like this has been decided: dedicated dies it is.


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Discussion Starter #9
9mm dies will not work with .380. I also have unintentionally run some .380 through my 9mm setup. The 9mm dies do not properly size the brass and the crimp is not right. I agree with Chuck on having a separate tool head for each caliber. It makes change over so much easier. Even easier is additional presses. lol. Tons of info on the Brian Enos site as well as Youtube. Do not get your load recipes off of the internet unless it is a trusted source. By some reloading manuals first.

Able to post a pic or two?


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Tommycourt1
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If you want to start reloading and leaning towards the Dillon, I would recommend start out with the Dillon Square D. It is self indexing and you won't run into the chances of doubling your powder charge. They are accurate, easy to use and Dillon basically has a lifetime guarantee. They are located in Scottsdale Az, and should you have any procedural problems, they are glad to help you in any way they can. Just my opinion is all. Plus, they are a lot cheaper. The basic price of the Square D is
much cheaper than they higher priced models and you can get the same results. Only thing different is the amount of rounds per hour. Starting out you might want to start at a slower rate and build up from there. And should you end up buying the higher priced models later on, you won't have to change anything out when you are loading, for instance, a 9mm.
Tommy
 

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As you will discover the G42 can be a bit picky on ammo.

I started loading 380 ACP this year, not nearly as forgiving as 357 Mag for sure.

Here is my progression (not a recommendation)
I used the two of the three powders I had available, (Unique this pound cost $11.99 FYI, so it is over 10 years old) and 700X, new powder. I did not try Blue Dot, my other powder, deeming it not suitable.

Gun G42 with about 500 rounds put through it.
OAL of each round was .970 inch
Factory crimp with Lee 4 die set.
Bullet Berry 100gr coated round nose
Brass was a mixture of new Winchester, Double Tap, and various range brass that I saved from manufactured loads I was testing.

Groups A
.35cc Unique weak failed to cycle but fun to shoot.
.3cc 700X weaker than Unique failed to cycle slide

Groups B
.4cc Unique still weak almost cycles slide.
.35cc 700X Still weaker than Unique

Groups C
.43cc Unique 3.91 grain good recipe
.4cc 700X not great but usable for range.

Group D
Saving my Unique I just reloaded with 700X this time.
.43cc 700X Cycles strong, sometimes slide locks back before mag is empty. Accuracy seems off a bit. After several hundred rounds of this load, I think it is wrong. (I will go back to .4cc for 700X and .43cc for Unique, and move in the OAL to around .96 or .95. That may give me just the pressure boost for good function, and prevent the rare slide lock back)

It is a lot more fun to reload revolvers! However I found some Titegroup last week and may give it a try, sure is a fast powder, 3 grains in 380 is a tiny amount of powder, I will have to be very careful.

PR
 

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As you will discover the G42 can be a bit picky on ammo.

I started loading 380 ACP this year, not nearly as forgiving as 357 Mag for sure.

Here is my progression (not a recommendation)
I used the two of the three powders I had available, (Unique this pound cost $11.99 FYI, so it is over 10 years old) and 700X, new powder. I did not try Blue Dot, my other powder, deeming it not suitable.

Gun G42 with about 500 rounds put through it.
OAL of each round was .970 inch
Factory crimp with Lee 4 die set.
Bullet Berry 100gr coated round nose
Brass was a mixture of new Winchester, Double Tap, and various range brass that I saved from manufactured loads I was testing.

Groups A
.35cc Unique weak failed to cycle but fun to shoot.
.3cc 700X weaker than Unique failed to cycle slide

Groups B
.4cc Unique still weak almost cycles slide.
.35cc 700X Still weaker than Unique

Groups C
.43cc Unique 3.91 grain good recipe
.4cc 700X not great but usable for range.

Group D
Saving my Unique I just reloaded with 700X this time.
.43cc 700X Cycles strong, sometimes slide locks back before mag is empty. Accuracy seems off a bit. After several hundred rounds of this load, I think it is wrong. (I will go back to .4cc for 700X and .43cc for Unique, and move in the OAL to around .96 or .95. That may give me just the pressure boost for good function, and prevent the rare slide lock back)

It is a lot more fun to reload revolvers! However I found some Titegroup last week and may give it a try, sure is a fast powder, 3 grains in 380 is a tiny amount of powder, I will have to be very careful.

PR
Titegroup will be a much better powder for .380.
 

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The only way your slide is locking back unless the last round is your thumb is pushing slide lock up when the firearm recoils.


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Discussion Starter #15
Unless I'm referencing incorrectly, Dillon Square Deal doesn't have dies for 460.

What other progressive Dillon model would any of you consider? Other brands?


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All I can say is a friend of mine handloads .380 ACP and with the cost of .380 ACP, I can definitely see why. So I know at least that caliber will save you some money....
 

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Unless I'm referencing incorrectly, Dillon Square Deal doesn't have dies for 460.

What other progressive Dillon model would any of you consider? Other brands?


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I was fortunate enough that my buddy has both 550's and 650's that he let me learn on. Knowing the volume I would be doing the 650 was my choice. It's a little more complex to get up and running but nothing too bad. Once you learn the basics of the machine the operation, maintenance, and caliber change is easy. The 650 was my first press. No regrets. I a little less than a year's time my first 650 has run about 25k 9mm and my second 650 about 5k .40cal.
 

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Tommycourt1
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Do not get your load recipes off of the internet unless it is a trusted source. By some reloading manuals first.

Silver_Bolt is dead on on this information!!! Buy a couple of manuals for reloading and study them well. Lyman's 49th edition will cover a lot of aspects on reloading and give you a lot of info on different cartridges and bullet sizes. However Lyman's does not have the bullet velocities when using different bullets and powders which I had years ago and can't find my book for that now. If anyone can give me an idea of who is publishing that book now, I would sure appreciate hearing from them. BUT going back to Silver-Bolt's comments, by all means buy the manuals and use them. Best of luck!!
Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have my procurement schedule set and assuming the appropriations committee (fiancé!) approves, I'm starting February to buy pieces.

My immediate question to others: what brass do you NOT collect from the range?

Often, there are hundreds of brass tossed in trash cans at the range on a slow day. Not knowing the history of any particular brass, do you leave it?


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I collect all but steel, aluminum, and rimfire. I check every piece before loading (looking for cracks, splits, bulges, etc).

Free brass is free brass! ;)
 
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