Reloading 50BMG or CA legal 50DTC?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LDBennett, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    There seem to be two presses available for 50BMG: Lee and RCBS.

    The Lee supposedly does not have a threaded hole that will take the CH/4D dies and will only accept the smaller Lee 50BMG dies. That's a bummer because in CA I have to use 50DTC and Lee apparently does not make that die set, only their smaller 50BMG set. CH/4D supposedly makes the correct 50DTC die set but its thread and body diameter are bigger than the Lee threaded hole will accept.

    There is supposedly a new version from Lee that does take the larger CH/4D dies (???) but I have yet to see it cataloged. It is also suppose to be taller, too, making seating bullets easier. Anyone know about this press?

    The RCBS press features a threaded hole that accepts the larger CH/4D 50DTC die set but the price is $500. Anyone know how well this press works and if the 50DTC die set is available from RCBS with the press.

    I intend to contact both Lee and RCBS but I want to be at least a little educated on these presses and die sets. Can anyone give current info on them?

    My original plan was to convert an old CH press but the stroke appears to be insufficient. I'd have to drill and tap the top of the press and the tap is near to $100. Rather than kludge it I may have to bite the bullet, so to speak, and buy a specific press (??).

    The reloading part of this 50 cal project may become very expensive to say nothing of the cost per cartridge to shoot it (maybe as much as $3 a shot!) but we are committed to it, I suppose.

    Then there's the BOHICA gun blowup last month in Los Angeles where the shooter got hurt (really serious damage to his left hand while holding the gun and operating the bolt). I have yet to hear why it happened but the father of the guy said there was no abuse to the gun or cartridge but only normal operation (???). The gun fired out of battery, supposedly. Since it is on an AR-15 lower, was the trigger in the gun safe? Why did the firing pin fall when the bolt was not fully closed? It has me a little worried and I will question BOHICA. We can not afford one of the other 50cal guns as the BOHICA is the entry level 50 cal gun.

    LDBennett
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I believe LEE does offer a custom die service.
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Dang, this just came to me... Perhaps it would be easier to move out of kommifornia;)
  4. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    LD: I have the RCBS set up for 50 BMG and the best price I have seen lately is from Midway at about $400.00. I bought mine from Huntingtons in Oriville CA about 12 years ago and back then as I recall it cost around $220.00 for a 50 BMG kit. It came with two top plates and everything I need to load including the priming tool and primer pocket expander. I really like the setup I have and with the second top plate I can easely load 470 and 577 Nitro without pinching a finger trying to seat bullets.

    Freebore here on the forum just rebuilt a Hollywood press that you could see if he would sell and it will handle the 50 and already has the larger die size hole you need.

    Ron
  5. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    LD
    I picked up a cast Lee single stage press about a year ago at cabelas. It's not the breech lock but has a removable bushing to use the larger dies.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    howlnmad


    The 50DTC dies sold by CH/4D are 1 1/2 inch by 12 TPI. I am told the Lee dies are smaller (1 1/4 inch in diameter) and are only available in 50BMG. In California I need to use 50DTC to be legal. It is the 50BMG case reshaped to be different enough to get around the CA law.

    What exactly is the size of the hole in the top of your Lee press and are your dies 50 BMG? Some one said the "new" Lee 50BMG press is bigger and takes the bigger dies but I can not confirm this at the Lee web page. Nor can I confirm that they also make a 50DTC die set (???). CA put me in a corner here with their stupid no 50BMG law.

    LDBennett
  7. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry I didn't investigate that further. You are correct, the Lee press is tapped for 1 1/4-12 dies. My apollogies on that, I was hoping I could help.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    howlnmad:

    No problem and thanks for trying to help.

    LDBennett
  9. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    I did some further looking and the Lee press has been enlarged to handle the big 50. Went searching and found a site called snipers hide and a member there confirms that Lee males a 50 DTC die. you may hafta call Lane in customer service.
  10. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    coldwarshooters.net is supposed to have Lee 50 DTC dies. .My mobile device won't open the page completely so I cannot confirm.
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    howlnmad:

    I don't see the die set on the coldwarshooters.com site. They are actually not that far from me. I just bought a couple of guns from them. I'll talk with them about it but in the mean time I sent LEE an email. We'll see how good their customer service is. They offer a kit that includes the press, the 50BMG die set, and several other accessories needed for 50 BMG reloading. I asked LEE if that kit is available in 50DTC(??).

    LEE does list a 510DTC Europ (??) dies set on closeout, I believe. I have no idea if that is what the BOHICA 50DTC conversion is chambered for. I have a bit of homework to do on all of this CA legal version 50 Cal gun and reloading stuff!

    The LEE press is also supposed to be a bit short and requires a bit of maneuvering to get the bullet into the case and the nose of the bullet into the seating die. But someone said a latter version of the press is taller (??). I asked LEE about that in the email too.

    Then there is the "Los Angeles Incident" where one of the BOHICA conversion blew up severely damaging the shooters hand to the extent a hospital stay and operation were required. Everybody who really knows what happened and why is very closed lip about the whole thing . I sure don't want to buy a dangerous weapon (dangerous from the wrong end), so I am trying to get info on that too, without much success. I contacted BOHICA via email and no answer back (lawyers got in there, I'll bet).

    Thanks all for the help.

    LDBennett
  12. snowshooze

    snowshooze New Member

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    It is a very easy job for a machine shop to open up that 7/8" x 14 TPI to 1 1/2" x 12 TPI..
    Probably the cheapest way out. I have a $75 minimum in my shop, but violate it regularly..it just depends if there is enough meat there for the bigger threaded hole.
    Try your local shops.
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    This is a very old thread and things have progressed way beyond this.

    I went with the RCBS press (1 1/2 threaded die hole) and CH/4D dies. I have reloaded about 50 rounds and taken one trip to the desert to shoot about 13 rounds before the BOHICA broke the scope (may have been my fault as the scope moved in the rings and the mag ring was hit by the mount and the reticule was left at a 45 degree angle). Millet made it good by giving us another scope. The scope is a 6x to 25x LRS scope with a 35 mm tube diameter that is made for 50 cal guns. This time it is mounted with two sets of rings, the bottom rings were lapped, the scope was glued to the lower rings with LocTite 680, and an indicator put on the scope tube so we can see if the scope moves. We also repositioned the mounts far away from any of the scope control rings.

    As with anything, there are learning experience. The scope was one and how far to seat the primers was another. The bottom of the primer pocket is where the legs of the primer "spider" must touch and that is a whole lot more than just below flush as with smaller calibers. We are ready to go again as soon as I am ready physically (sciatica acting up).

    The first trip had us shooting a bus brake drums (about an inch thick) at 200+ yds. The steel cored bullet would go completely through the side of the drum and bounce around inside and fall on the ground. The hole was impressive as was the remains of the bullet. Good fun!

    LDBennett
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