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reloading questions/advice if you would please?

Old_Me

Hellcat
ok, so i got that new credit card the other day, but sleep schedules have been off, so to order what i want will actually be for another day.

i have "planned" on getting the Lee Pro 4000 from one of the online places i do business with.

my first choice of ammo to reload will be .45 ACP, as this is my favorite to shoot.

i "may" buy other dies and plates for (maybe) 38 special, 357, 9mm, and maybe 44 special (even though i haven't any 44 caliber gun, and may never own a 44 caliber gun. my "thoughts" are geared up, for when i go to sell the equipment, i can offer more to the buyer and not limit myself to only the .45 ACP, if you get what i mean?

ok, so i got a hold of a possible purchase of used tumbler and digital scale (Frankford Arsenal) from a RSO.

then i still need a bullet puller, case gauges (maybe one block, rather than separate ones) and a few other odds and ends, like a digital caliper for OAL measurements.

i already have the latest Lyman reloading book. i know that the gun powder websites have specs, as well as another book (or 2) will be in my future.

now, regarding just the gun powder, i'd like "smoke free"? and if so, what do YOU reloaders use for good, dependable, gunpowder for a new guy like me, that right now, just wants, near factory specs. at my age, i am not into competitions, or hot loads, PLUS it is NOT smart to go off the specs for anything BUT factory specs.

as far as primers, i know i'll need (if i can find them) large pistol and small pistol primers. name brand not withstanding, price may dictate what i can buy.

as far as bullets, i have heard of Berry's, and a few others that i have in my search favorite, but what is the general consensus of what YOU buy?

right now, we all know cost is a factor, i clean my guns regularly, so leading may not be an issue, if i do not go FMJ bullets.

also, do ANY of you write down your "recipes" for your reloads, as well as day, date, performance, maybe lot number of the powder, etc, etc?

i will have other questions in the near future, thanks in advance to all that read and help, advise, recommend..!!
 

shanneba

Master Class
Get the Carbide dies, skip calibers you don't have.
I see the Lee 4000 includes carbide dies.

I always liked Sierra for jacketed bullets. (I loaded for rifles too)
Hornady for lead, I liked their lube coating.

I also used 231 for my 38spl HBWC and 45 200 SWC lead loads, Hodgdon HP 38 is the same powder.

Watch out for small primer 45ACP cases, I know Win, CCI/Speer and Federal make some 45 ACP loads with a small primer.

You can reload them but do not try to put a Large Pistol primer into a small primer pocket!
 
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michael.ed

Master Class
Founding Member
OM, I’m kinda in the same boat as you are, although I have purchased some of what you mentioned. I got the Frankfort Arsenal Tumbler and have used it to clean my brass. It works very well, so I can recommend it. I got the HS-6 powder for my initial reloading (9mm). I used Berry’s for the bullets. I also need some extra primers. A friend found a Dillon 550 B press for me (in an unopened box—brand new) at a considerable savings over what Dillon sells them for. In fact, I will be upgrading to a 550 C and the cost to make it that way (automatic primer system, powder system, etc.) will still be below the cost of the Dillon 550B. I will be doing my first reloads next week after we get back from Oklahoma to pick up the press. I’ve been catching brass on sale, plus picking up what I shoot at the range. I have the scale, caliper, and bullet puller. I’ll let you know how it goes. I purchased the Lee Carbide Dies.
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
Get the Carbide dies, skip calibers you don't have.
I see the Lee 4000 includes carbide dies.

I always liked Sierra for jacketed bullets. (I loaded for rifles too)
Hornady for lead, I liked their lube coating.

I also used 231 for my 38spl HBWC and 45 200 SWC lead loads, Hodgdon HP 38 is the same powder.

Watch out for small primer 45ACP cases, I know Federal makes some 45 ACP loads with a small primer.
yes, the LGS always has sales on Federal ammo. as a result, this is why i have already started to separate LPP from SPP cases.

my "plan" would be to box them according to primer sizes, so as to not get them mixed up in the cleaning, decapping/priming phases.
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
I've been in the reloading hobby since IIRC the early-mid 1970's, and have yet to load even one box that I did not label with the following info. And I've not used any press other than "Lee" models since I started.

Labels included: Date of loading, caliber, powder, charge weight, bullet weight, bullet brand, primer brand, COL. There are many pre-printed labels available for purchase, but I made mine up not long after I started re-loading and just printed them off as needed.

The only exception to this is the loads for my silhouette competitions back in the late 70's through the late 80's. All practice loads were labeled, and comp loads done on Saturday night for Sunday comps were listed in my log book, but not shown on any boxes used for the day's comps.

One thing I noticed you didn't mention in your list of things to gather was a case trimmer of some sort. Consistent case length is important to ensure consistent ammo. And let me congratulate you on using good sense in your selection of equipment. "Lee" stuff is as good as it gets, more often not as sophisticated/complicated, and far less expensive than some others. This is not to say any other brands are not good, or as good, but I'll guarantee they're more expensive.
The "Pro 4000" is a great progressive press ...... you won't regret it. In fact it may be way more press than you really need for the amount you'll be loading.

With all due respect, consider that if only loading one caliber and no competition is involved, you may not really need a 'progressive' press. You might want to take a look at the turret press ...... not a true progressive, but is capable of loading some impressive numbers in a short time with the right accessories.

I've recently built myself a roller cart mounted loading station using a simple little single stage "Lee" 'O' frame press and can easily load a couple hundred rounds in a couple hours after dinner. However, just last night I loaded 100 rounds of 9mm and right now I'm down to my last box of small pistol primers. When this 100 are used, I'm out of business until primers are again available. Good luck, good loading !!! (y) (y)(y)
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
I've been in the reloading hobby since IIRC the early-mid 1970's, and have yet to load even one box that I did not label with the following info. And I've not used any press other than "Lee" models since I started.

Labels included: Date of loading, caliber, powder, charge weight, bullet weight, bullet brand, primer brand, COL. There are many pre-printed labels available for purchase, but I made mine up not long after I started re-loading and just printed them off as needed.

The only exception to this is the loads for my silhouette competitions back in the late 70's through the late 80's. All practice loads were labeled, and comp loads done on Saturday night for Sunday comps were listed in my log book, but not shown on any boxes used for the day's comps.

One thing I noticed you didn't mention in your list of things to gather was a case trimmer of some sort. Consistent case length is important to ensure consistent ammo. And let me congratulate you on using good sense in your selection of equipment. "Lee" stuff is as good as it gets, more often not as sophisticated/complicated, and far less expensive than some others. This is not to say any other brands are not good, or as good, but I'll guarantee they're more expensive.
The "Pro 4000" is a great progressive press ...... you won't regret it. In fact it may be way more press than you really need for the amount you'll be loading.

With all due respect, consider that if only loading one caliber and no competition is involved, you may not really need a 'progressive' press. You might want to take a look at the turret press ...... not a true progressive, but is capable of loading some impressive numbers in a short time with the right accessories.

I've recently built myself a roller cart mounted loading station using a simple little single stage "Lee" 'O' frame press and can easily load a couple hundred rounds in a couple hours after dinner. However, just last night I loaded 100 rounds of 9mm and right now I'm down to my last box of small pistol primers. When this 100 are used, I'm out of business until primers are again available. Good luck, good loading !!! (y) (y)(y)
thanks, but regarding a "case trimmer"...i thought that was solely for rifle cases.>???

i was told by another RSO, about a "swagger die" (or something like that??)

as far as mounting the Lee press, i am undecided, whether to mount it onto my work bench, or buy a cheap Craftsman tool chest, with wheels of course, and then i can lock up, or at least store, the components in that..???
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
Case trimmers are most definitely NOT just for rifle cases, and are most important on those straight walled cases that headspace on the case mouth. I'm pretty sure the .45 auto does so.

When selecting your case length trimmer, be sure it's compatible with whatever press you finally choose. Some are hand tools and work totally away from the press, some are more automatic and some are completely automatic and electric powered. They all do the same job, some just a little easier and usually more expensive. Keep in mind (unless you're independently wealthy) that you're reloading for your personal use and enjoyment. You're not going into a production shop to reload for resale. (???)

Case length is also especially important if you're using a roll crimp as opposed to a taper crimp, which is just a little more tolerant of variations in length. And even more so if the projectile has no cannelure groove.

There are some folks who will tell you to seat your bullets 'extra' deep if you're running into headspacing problems and never consider the possibility of creating a 'compressed' load ...... which can be big trouble under the right conditions. All things considered, please be very cautious who you take advice from.

The "swagger" die I think you're referring to is called a 'swager' die. It's used for sizing home made lead bullets, especially wad cutters. A home poured lead bullet will be close to but not exactly the OD you're trying to achieve. A 'swager' die is simply a die you force the home made lead bullet though under pressure to form it to the final intended diameter of your intended projectile.

A sizing die is also a 'swaging' die, but does just the opposite. It squeezes the brass case to a smaller diameter than existing. "Swaging" works both/either way .... to enlarge a metal tube, or to make smaller a metal tube, rod or wire.
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
Case trimmers are most definitely NOT just for rifle cases, and are most important on those straight walled cases that headspace on the case mouth. I'm pretty sure the .45 auto does so.

When selecting your case length trimmer, be sure it's compatible with whatever press you finally choose. Some are hand tools and work totally away from the press, some are more automatic and some are completely automatic and electric powered. They all do the same job, some just a little easier and usually more expensive. Keep in mind (unless you're independently wealthy) that you're reloading for your personal use and enjoyment. You're not going into a production shop to reload for resale. (???)

Case length is also especially important if you're using a roll crimp as opposed to a taper crimp, which is just a little more tolerant of variations in length. And even more so if the projectile has no cannelure groove.

There are some folks who will tell you to seat your bullets 'extra' deep if you're running into headspacing problems and never consider the possibility of creating a 'compressed' load ...... which can be big trouble under the right conditions. All things considered, please be very cautious who you take advice from.

The "swagger" die I think you're referring to is called a 'swager' die. It's used for sizing home made lead bullets, especially wad cutters. A home poured lead bullet will be close to but not exactly the OD you're trying to achieve. A 'swager' die is simply a die you force the home made lead bullet though under pressure to form it to the final intended diameter of your intended projectile.

A sizing die is also a 'swaging' die, but does just the opposite. It squeezes the brass case to a smaller diameter than existing. "Swaging" works both/either way .... to enlarge a metal tube, or to make smaller a metal tube, rod or wire.
see, now i am already confused. when ever i see a video on a press, they only mention these dies,


* Carbide Factory Crimp Die
* Powder Through Expanding Die
* Bullet Seat & Feed Die
* Carbide Sizing Die

now we are throwing in yet another step. i have watched nearly all the "GavinToob" videos, and i never hear mention of a case trimmer in the set up. i just now checked the Lyman book, all it shows is rifle cases being trimmed, not any hand gun cases.

i have seen other reloading videos, and none (that i recall) mention case trimming of handgun ammo,

so now, can you see my confusion about this case trimming.???

 
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Jfal

Custom
Don't feel bad, Old_Me, I've watched dozens of videos on reloading and 90% of them say they don't trim straight-walled pistol brass, only necked cartridges. I am NOT saying you don't have to measure and trim the brass....just concurring that GavinToob and many others have said this.

Regarding primers, the going rate I see is about $125/1000, when you can find them (which will be very rarely). I've seen them for as much as $220/1000.

The one thing that always bothered me about SOP with reloading is cleaning used brass with the old primer still in the case, rather than removing it to allow cleaning of the primer pocket. Seems no one cares how dirty the pocket gets on a pistol casing. Others I've heard complain of media getting stuck in the primer pocket when you remove the primer before putting in the shaker....If I were to reload, I'd darn-well remove the used primer before cleaning to make sure the pocket gets cleaned...I know, go ahead and tell me that's a waste of time and effort...
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
CONFUSION is the word of the day when starting out in reloading. Don't let it get to you.

Dies are simply a tool/fixture that performs some function in the process of re-loading. There are many different types of dies .... sizing dies (carbide is just material sizing dies can be made from), decapping dies (usually part of the process done by the sizing die), powder through expander die (is a simply the die expanding the case mouth to accept the bullet after full length resizing being hollow so as to allow for the powder charge to 'drop' through into the case during one action of the press), bullet seating dies (often includes a crimp process), etc, etc.

Basically to reload any handgun cartridge, it only requires minimum of 3 dies. Rifle cartridges usually only 2.

1st- Resizing die by caliber .... this die is used to force the fired case back to near factory size before the bullet is inserted. Usually with most dies sets, this die will also push out the old primer during this process by use of a pin that extends through the body of the die and extends out the bottom of the case though the ignition/primer/flash hole. Better quality sizing dies are usually made from carbide, or at least have a carbide liner.

2nd- Expander die/powder through expander die ..... this die opens the mouth of the case back out just enough to accept the bullet after the sizing die has squeezed the case to factory dimensions. This die will usually be hollow through the center of the die so as to allow for the powder charge to be 'dropped' into the case with just the one action of the press. This function requires either the operator to drop the powder by hand and scoop, or to use a powder measure mounted on the press/die and activated by the press action. This die is usually a stainless or chromium body with maybe a carbide expander stem. Various manufacturers will vary, as will cost.

3rd- Bullet seating die ...... this die will seat the bullet to your requirement. This die will usually also be able to perform a roll crimp of some validity to your finished cartridge. Sometimes, with .45 auto being one, a roll crimp is less desirable than a taper crimp because the cartridge does headspace on the case mouth. That's not to say it can't be used effectively, many millions of rounds have been crimped this way over the years. However, it's generally accepted that a taper crimp is preferred for those cases that headspace on the mouth. To do a good taper crimp on a cartridge requires one additional die.

4th- The "Factory Crimp die" or taper crimp die...... that's basically just two names for the same thing. They both work the same way and produce a taper crimp onto the sides of the projectile leaving a clean, squared edge of the case mouth for headspacing. This die will sometimes be offered with a carbide collet or sleeve, but not generally necessary.

With just the first 3 dies you can begin loading all the rounds you can shoot. Just remember there are all kinds of accessories for each step of the process that can make it seem complicated. Keep your setup as simple as possible for awhile until you get a good grasp on what you're doing. Remember what you're working with .... an explosive combination of powder and pressure. Well, it's not truly an explosive with modern powder, but that's an argument for the purists.

Just remember, a die is a die is a die, and dies are used not just in reloading, but in all forms of industry. A die is simply s tool made to perform a certain function. Dies can be made of several different materials and even designs. Keep it simple, and buy the best quality you can the first time around ..... you won't regret it. Best quality does not always mean highest cost or flashiest advertising. I'm not related to "Lee" in any way but I will tell you that for my money a "Lee" carbide 4 die set can't be beat.

And as for the case trimming..... I would never even consider loading a case that I had not personally determined to be within SAAMI tolerances for overall length. And ESPECIALLY if I were inclined to use 'range pick-ups'. Some might not require trimming, but those that do will require you to have a means of trimming them, rifle or handgun. And although you may have seen some videos that don't show the use of a trimmer, I doubt you'll ever find one that says you don't ever need a trimmer.

And here's one last little tip I'll offer .... since you're already into using some "Lee" stuff, buy the "LEE" loaders manual, 2nd edition, and read it through from cover to cover. I've been doing this stuff for a long time and I'm still impressed with how much easy to understand info there is in that one book. It will explain to you all about the various types of tools and dies and how to use them as well as tips to help you make better, safer loads as well as a complete and comprehensive set of load tables. There are other good manuals too, but this one I know of personally. It's all valuable info and they make it very easy for the beginner to understand.

As always, there are many here on the forum that are very competent and experienced reloaders, all who are ready, willing and able to help any way they can. Don't be afraid to ask any question, then take every answer you get into consideration. Then if you have a question about anything you've heard or read, ask for clarity. (y)(y)(y)
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
Don't feel bad, Old_Me, I've watched dozens of videos on reloading and 90% of them say they don't trim straight-walled pistol brass, only necked cartridges. I am NOT saying you don't have to measure and trim the brass....just concurring that GavinToob and many others have said this.

Regarding primers, the going rate I see is about $125/1000, when you can find them (which will be very rarely). I've seen them for as much as $220/1000.

The one thing that always bothered me about SOP with reloading is cleaning used brass with the old primer still in the case, rather than removing it to allow cleaning of the primer pocket. Seems no one cares how dirty the pocket gets on a pistol casing. Others I've heard complain of media getting stuck in the primer pocket when you remove the primer before putting in the shaker....If I were to reload, I'd darn-well remove the used primer before cleaning to make sure the pocket gets cleaned...I know, go ahead and tell me that's a waste of time and effort...
I would never say it's a waste of time and effort, but there is a better way, at least in my mind. I throw all my brass into my tumbler for a good cleaning with the primer still in place for the very reason you mentioned .... to keep tumbling media from getting lodged in the flash hole. But, then after I resize them and punch the old primer out, I clean and inspect the flash hole by hand with a small, made for the job reamer. This works well for me since I rarely prime on the press.

Occasionally I'll prime on the press when using brand new cases, but I haven't used any new ones in a long time. On even rarer times I'll prime on the press if I've cleaned and deprimed a bunch of cases, then put them aside for a later time to load them. I'll run them through the sizing die just so that I can prime them on the press even though they've already been resized. Far more often than not though, I'll use a hand priming tool.

But either way I agree with you the flash holes should be cleaned and inspected before being reprimed. (y)(y)(y)
 

shanneba

Master Class
thanks, but regarding a "case trimmer"...i thought that was solely for rifle cases.>???

i was told by another RSO, about a "swagger die" (or something like that??)
If you look in the Lyman manual at the "Test Components" section, it gives a "trim to length" of 0.888 for 45 ACP

The case length difference will give different amounts of crimp, more noticeable with roll crimping.

The swagging die could be for cast bullets, or they may have been referring to a "primer pocket swager" used to remove the crimp / staking around the primer (common in Military ammo)
 
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jumpinjoe

Professional
Hey Old_Me, I just watched the video you provided with your post #10 above and here's what I'll say about it ......... the host made several assertions that are true, and a few I would consider next to naive.

1- He said rifle cartridges stretch more than straight walled handgun cartridges when fired.... that's generally true.
2- He said rifle cartridges develop higher pressures and could be potentially dangerous when fired...that's also generally true.
3- Then he said that in order to make reliable roll crimps all cases must be the same length.... again, generally true.
4- And finally he said that cases didn't have to be all the same length if using a taper crimp, also true.

If the video had ended there, I wouldn't even be writing this post .......................................

But then he said that he had never had to trim a straight walled case.... that may be true but I would doubt it.

1- He said several times how trimming wasn't as important with straight walled handgun cartridges as with rifle cartridges for the above reasons. Yes, I know he didn't outright say it, but he did imply that trimming was not necessary. I would consider that statement potentially liable and certainly not responsible to make that assertion to an audience of unknown experience levels in any event of accident where his video had been the guide for a new reloader.
2- By these two statements what he's saying is he'd not want to chance an issue with the rifle cartridge due to the higher chance of problems with case length and/or pressures, but he was willing to chance it with the lower pressures of the straight walled handgun cartridges. (Agreeing the two cases do headspace differently)
3- He also never qualified the difference in cases fired from your gun vs another unknown gun (no two chambers are exactly the same and often competition shooters will intentionally not resize a comp case fire formed in his chamber).
4- He also never qualified how the number of times any case might have been reloaded and might have/have not been full length trimmed. (This is especially important when the loader is using unknown range 'pick-ups' as opposed to using only those brass fired in his gun by himself)
5- While straight walled cases do not stretch as much as a bottle neck or shouldered rifle case when fired, it does often stretch more (% wise) than a rifle case when full length resized.

While this video could be picked at over and over, it obviously was intended for the more experienced reloader. Nothing he said was literally untrue and it was obvious he knew what he was talking about. If he had clarified a few of his assertions it would have been a much better and more informative and productive video. I'll guarantee there are some on this very forum reading this tonight who watched that video and determined it was probably not necessary to trim straight walled handgun cartridges. I'm pretty sure even Old_Me would admit that was his earlier impression. I'm willing to bet he has a much better impression now.

I would only suggest the video host should have made it clear that he was talking to the more experienced reloader who had a better grasp on the process. And more than that, he should have made perfectly clear that even though it is not absolutely necessary to trim each and every case one would reload including rifle cases, it is absolutely critical that every case be verified to be within acceptable tolerances, usually SAAMI specs. I can truthfully say there has been many .270Win, 30/06 cases, and 30/30Win cases I've reloaded over the years with nary a trim.

But they were first, fired in my rifle, I knew exactly how many times they had been fired in my rifle, and I used them without full length resizing (only neck sizing) for 3-4 times before ever trimming them. Most of us recognize a 'fire formed' case is the best chamber fit available for a reload. However, I never loaded even one case without measuring it with a quality dial or digital caliper. I have never made a habit of using GO-NOgo gauges.

Now understand I've taken a stance here on the most basic instructional requirements ......... that's an old left over for me from my many years of 'Hunter Safety Instruction' primarily to kids 8-80 yrs old for the state game and fish commission. I always taught to the lowest level of experience in the class rather than to the highest level of experience. In going back over everything between Old_Me and I tonight, I don't think at any point I ever said every case must be trimmed. I'm pretty sure what I emphasized was that every case had to be ensured safe to reload. And that rule applies to many aspects of the process of reloading, trimming to length just one.
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
Just one last statement here tonight ......... I'm from the old school of competition where it says something about the only way to shoot consistently is to make consistent ammunition. To that end I'm a firm believer in that if I trim one case out of a box of 50, I'll trim every one of the other 49 to exactly the same length before I load them.

I'm convinced that the friction of the case on the pull of the bullet can only be consistent with every bullet being seated to the exact same depth inside every case, and with the same exact amount of crimp tension.

Does that tiny difference make a difference ..... maybe not in reality. But in my confidence level during competitions, I know I've done everything possible to achieve the very best possible results.

I dunno, maybe jus' me !!! (y) (y)(y)
 

Pitdogg2

Professional
I reload, I've never trimmed my pistol brass. When I started in the 90's, several pieces of literature I studied at the time mentioned it was optional. Most state hangun pressures are not high enough to stretch handgun brass. Granted this was way before the .460 or .500 Smith and Wesson.
So far my reloads have save tons of money and all worked excellent with very good accuracy.
I could see if you really wanted the nth degree of target accuracy trimming could be useful.
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
I reload, I've never trimmed my pistol brass. When I started in the 90's, several pieces of literature I studied at the time mentioned it was optional. Most state hangun pressures are not high enough to stretch handgun brass. Granted this was way before the .460 or .500 Smith and Wesson.
So far my reloads have save tons of money and all worked excellent with very good accuracy.
I could see if you really wanted the nth degree of target accuracy trimming could be useful.
and this is why my perplexed state of confusion. i have asked a few people at the LGS that i know, who reload, and they never mentioned about trimming a case for handgun ammo, yet it is mentioned here, that it should be done.

i'll at least measure the case, to see if they are with-in specs.

but i;ll also get many more opinions on trimming them, for handgun ammo.
 
I tumble brass with the primers and decap as I reload on my progressive presses. I have no issues with dirty primer pockets. I got rid of my Lee presses 20 years ago and went with Dillon. You may do ok with a Lee press, but I don't recommend them. I do use Lee dies and also their factory crimp die for .32 mag., .38 Special, .45 Schofield and .45 Colt. I don't trim brass for handguns. My main machine is a Dillon 650 with a case feeder. I also have a Dillon SD in .45 acp and another in .380 acp. Those SD's are progressive, but do have proprietary dies. I don't recommend them, but one was free and the other, nearly so.
For .45 acp, I would try 180 & 200 gr SWC bullets. I like 231, but many other powders work well also. Check your manual for powders that work for everything you will load for.
Bullet companies I've used: SNS Casting, Chey-Cast Bullets, Bang and Clang, Missouri Bullets, Badman Bullets, and others I've forgotten. Do not order thousands until/unless you know your gun(s) like them. Then order away. Most will ship in those if it fits it ships boxes.
If you have a buddy who reloads, it would be helpful to have him get you started, OTW, lots of good videos on the Internet.
I don't reload as a hobby, I reload to shoot. I don't save money, but I can shoot more for the money I would have spent shooting factory ammo.
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
I tumble brass with the primers and decap as I reload on my progressive presses. I have no issues with dirty primer pockets. I got rid of my Lee presses 20 years ago and went with Dillon. You may do ok with a Lee press, but I don't recommend them. I do use Lee dies and also their factory crimp die for .32 mag., .38 Special, .45 Schofield and .45 Colt. I don't trim brass for handguns. My main machine is a Dillon 650 with a case feeder. I also have a Dillon SD in .45 acp and another in .380 acp. Those SD's are progressive, but do have proprietary dies. I don't recommend them, but one was free and the other, nearly so.
For .45 acp, I would try 180 & 200 gr SWC bullets. I like 231, but many other powders work well also. Check your manual for powders that work for everything you will load for.
Bullet companies I've used: SNS Casting, Chey-Cast Bullets, Bang and Clang, Missouri Bullets, Badman Bullets, and others I've forgotten. Do not order thousands until/unless you know your gun(s) like them. Then order away. Most will ship in those if it fits it ships boxes.
If you have a buddy who reloads, it would be helpful to have him get you started, OTW, lots of good videos on the Internet.
I don't reload as a hobby, I reload to shoot. I don't save money, but I can shoot more for the money I would have spent shooting factory ammo.
thanks. regarding semi wad cutters.

i have at least 2 guns that will not shoot them.

i had to return the boxes i had bought, of reloads, and the guy at the store simply exchanged them for round nose.

so i'll be staying away from swc's.



i did try looking at Dillon, (both the Square Deal B, and a 550c), but they have back orders on dies. last time i checked, like a 14 week back order, THEN you are on the list, as in first come, first served, from what i read on thier site.

screw that. the Lee set up, it is all there.

i do have "some" of those aforementioned bullet companies in my search favorites list.

saving money.?

no, from what i have been reading from others across a few other sites, there really isn't any actual savings.

you too have entered the zone of, "i don't trim hand gun cases"...looks like that'll be a general consensus.
 
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