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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for some advice on equipment needed for a newbie reloader. I've got a draft list for you all to evaluate, add to, or take away.

Hornady GS-1500 Electronic Powder Scale 1500 Grain Capacity –
CCI Small Rifle Primers #400 –
Lee Auto-Disk Rifle Powder Charging Die
Lee Deluxe 3-Die Set .380
Stack-On Reloading Bench 20" x 42" Top
Hodgdon Varget Smokeless Powder
Cleaning Media Treated Tufnut (Walnut) 3 lb Box –
Lyman Turbo 1200 PRO Sifter Case Tumbler 110 Volt –
Lee 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index Deluxe Kit
Frankford Arsenal Perfect Fit Reloading Tray – 2 –
Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure Riser -
Hornady Electronic Caliper 6" Stainless Steel –
Lee Factory Crimp Die .380
Hornady One Shot Case Lube

I know this may be too much but I'm committed.

Thanks in advance,

Jack
 

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You have a good start and the Lee four hole is a good press to start on. Once had two of them side by side so the wife and I could reload together at night. Take your time and enjoy your new hobby. That was twenty five years ago and finally sold both presses and replaced them with one Lee Classic turret press. The only problem I ever had with the old four hole was the plastic ratchet wear and needed changing every 5-7K rounds. The old three hole had a metal ratchet, Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You have a good start and the Lee four hole is a good press to start on. Once had two of them side by side so the wife and I could reload together at night. Take your time and enjoy your new hobby. That was twenty five years ago and finally sold both presses and replaced them with one Lee Classic turret press. The only problem I ever had with the old four hole was the plastic ratchet wear and needed changing every 5-7K rounds. The old three hole had a metal ratchet, Good luck
Thanks for the reply.
 

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Keep the turret lubed and put a drop or two of Hoppes gun oil on the ratchet and your good to go. If the press ever locks up STOP and check everything this is how squibs get made. Good lighting is also a real plus so you can see the powder inside the case every time. I still reload 380 with my own cast 90 grain swc's. The only advantage of the Lee Classic turret is I can reload rifle ammo 30-30 30-06 and 223/5.56. I must have a dozen turrets with Lee dies just waiting to be used. The turret you are using will work on the classic if you ever decide to do rifle. Have bought turret seconds from FS for a reduced cost..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Keep the turret lubed and put a drop or two of Hoppes gun oil on the ratchet and your good to go. If the press ever locks up STOP and check everything this is how squibs get made. Good lighting is also a real plus so you can see the powder inside the case every time. I still reload 380 with my own cast 90 grain swc's. The only advantage of the Lee Classic turret is I can reload rifle ammo 30-30 30-06 and 223/5.56. I must have a dozen turrets with Lee dies just waiting to be used. The turret you are using will work on the classic if you ever decide to do rifle. Have bought turret seconds from FS for a reduced cost..
Thanks. What's swc's and FS?
 

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Welcome to TFF Jak, what are you loading the Varget in?

I would build my own bench, but that's up to you. I like a very stout bench and the best way to do that is to start from scratch.

I would avoid the disk measure and go with a good bench mounted or if you go with a good progressive press, then the Dillon and Hornady's are both great.
 

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I was looking at the Dillon RL 550B, do they have and auto indexing non-progressive?

I kind of like the Hornaday LocknLoad AP as well.
indexing is what makes a press progessive or non, there is auto indexing on the 650 and manual index on the 550 machines.

The LNL is auto index only.
 

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I'm seeing a BIG problem in your list. You don't have any reloading manuals!

Manuals are not optional. They are not suggestion books. They are the difference between making ammo for your gun and making your gun into a bomb that goes off in your hands.

You have listed .380 dies but rifle primers and rifle powder. If you combined those together, you'd be lucky to wake up in a hospital the next day.
 

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So - I'm the only one that saw 380 DIES, which is pistol and CCI SMALL RIFLE PRIMERS?

Them two things do not go together. You want CCI 500 - Small PISTOL Primers
 

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Well, Josh saw it. :thumbsup: I didn't catch the powder - don't use Varget, so did not know what it was for.
 

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I have another newbie question about reloading.

This one has to do with shell trimming tolerances. I have an RCBS Trim Pro Manual Case Trimmer and a set of electronic calipers accurate to 0.001 inches with a resolution of 0.0005 inches.

The Trim Pro Manual says to trim .223 cases to 1.750 inches. But the Trim Pro is more than a little cumbersome to set up. It is all together likely that I am not using it properly because after tweaking it carefully I am getting a wide range of different lengths to the cases I trim. After about a half an hour of tweaking I got 1 case that was 1.750. The next case was 0.003 short. After trimming 20 cases I am getting measurements of between 1.744 and 1.753.

The question is are these within tolerance. Or do I need to trim to exactly 1.7500.

I should also tell you that I just got the trim pro today. I do not have a press yet or a polisher. The cases I tried to trim have not yet been De-primed or polished so I may be measuring the deformation on the primer where the firing pin struck it. I just now thought of that.

The trimmer is a new toy and I had to try it out. This was a dry run sort of thing not a serious attempt to trim shells. I don't even have the thing screwed down yet, But the question remains. 1.750 + or -.... how much?

I also plan on making a trim gauge for setting up the trimmer. It should be easy to take a bit of brass rod and cut it to nearly 1.750 inches and then file it down to exactly 1.750 inches. Then with the guide removed from the cutter it will be a simple thing to set the trim stop.
 

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Trim after polishing and resizing/primer removal. The brass will change length when resized. I've been told that the tolerance is -.010". Trimming to the low end might save you from trimming everytime. More like every other firing.

To make a gauge, take a piece of brass that is right on and set it aside. Use it to set the trimmer up everytime.
 

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jakmak52:

The Dillon RL550B is a Progressive press regardless that it does not have auto advance. The definition of a Progressive press is that it does multiple operation at once where a raw case is input and a finished one is output with each single pull of the handle. The RL550B is more universal because it does not have auto advance as it is very easily used as a single stage press, a turret press, or a Progressive. Auto advance mechanism are the achilles heel of progressive presses (ask recent Hornady LNL press owners about that). If there is a problem at one of the stages it is hard to fix it as the table is not easily moved forward and backward manual making the problem worse.

The RL550B is at least 25 years or more old. It is basically unchanged because it works. It has received free updates along the way. Both Hornady and RCBS progressive press are the current version of several models. It took both those manufacturers several models to get to where they are today while the good old RL550B just stayed basically the same. Then there is the Dillon service. They provide free repair parts quickly with no argument about you paying for parts you broke...They are all free. My 25+ year old RL550 B after many years of hard use has been totally re-built by Dillon for free two times with very little down time. The Lee progressives are not in the same ball park as the Dillon and the Hornady progressives.

Lee equipment is generally inexpensive and you get what you pay for. Many start out with LEE only to graduate to better reloading equipment. If you buy better reloading equipment in the beginning then you avoid having to replace it in the future. Lee's problem is innovative designs done with poor, non-durable material choice in their manufacture (like plastic advance claws in their progressives and plastic powder measures and steel alloy choices that are not durable enough and internal die machining that is rough).

While many suggest starting with a single stage press (not a bad idea) there is a better less expensive way in the end if you stay with reloading. The Dillon RL550B can be a single stage for starting out, a turret as you gain confidence in reloading, and eventually a progressive in the end. Other progressives, because of the auto advance table, are not so friendly. And, if you need to in the future, you can always load a batch single stage no problem.

Many here don't like to hear what I say on these issues and that's fine with me but 25 years with a Dillon RL550B and my negative experiences with both LEE and Hornady are worth something.

One more thing. Do buy a good electronic scale (the Hornady will work OK but a better one with accuracy of less than plus and minus 0.1 grains would be better yet). There is nothing more frustration than waiting for the stupid beam scale to quit swinging back and forth during a measurement. On the Electronic scale it reads almost instantaneously and the right one is as accurate as a beam scale.

There are lots of opinions on reloading equipment and these are mine. They may not agree with other reloader's opinions. We all get to choose.

LDBennett
 
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