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reloading questions/advice if you would please?

Jfal

Custom
When I first starting shooting handguns, circa 1993, wadcutters were common and readily available everywhere I went. I started on revolvers, so cycling an action was not an issue...and this was before reactive targets (or before I knew of them), thus it was EASY to see your hits with a wadcutter without retrieving your target. I have not seen a wadcutter or semi-wadcutter as a retail cartridge in well over a year...maybe longer. Now I read about guys having actual self-defense applications in some calibers and guns...funny how the circle of life keeps spinning.
 

Old_Me

Professional
When I first starting shooting handguns, circa 1993, wadcutters were common and readily available everywhere I went. I started on revolvers, so cycling an action was not an issue...and this was before reactive targets (or before I knew of them), thus it was EASY to see your hits with a wadcutter without retrieving your target. I have not seen a wadcutter or semi-wadcutter as a retail cartridge in well over a year...maybe longer. Now I read about guys having actual self-defense applications in some calibers and guns...funny how the circle of life keeps spinning.
yeah, all my revolvers will shoot semi wad cutters. i have been able to get .38 special either factory new, or reloaded. so all my revolvers work flawlessly with them EXCEPT my Korth Mongoose.....

that son of a gun, will ONLY SHOOT factory new ammo, of any caliber, .38 special or .357..

if i use ANY reloaded ammo..??

it jams up the wheel with all that soot, making for a complete tear down of the wheel, and all those tiny pieces in the extractor..!!!!

fun times....

but my Colt Python, Ruger GP 100, and S&W 686+, eat up anything, and beg for more.

but as for the .45 ACP guns? they all work great on ball or round nose ammo, reloads or new.
 

Old_Me

Professional
well that took a while.

i just ordered up a boat load of reloading stuff. (and everything is IN stock)

including the Lee Pro 4000, digital scale, digital calipers, case gauge block, bullet puller, base plate.

i have to see what the RSO at the range has for case cleaning equipment, it's a frankford arsenal, and about 2 years old. i might buy it from him, for cheaper than new, if not, then i'll go back and buy new. i cannot recall if he said he had the wet cleaner or the dry media cleaner type. i prefer dry.

i am also paying for shipping, rather than free, cuz UPS will pick it up, then turn it over to USPS.......and frankly, for the way they have mucked up things, i don't trust them.

what i don't know right now is, if all my stuff will be put into one big box, or piece mealed, but from the shipping charges, i'd think it will be one big box.

so that, is about to start my journey into the abyss.

just for the Schlitz and giggles part, i did go to Dillon and a couple of presses which WERE available as a kit, are now on back order......i think the 550c is one of them, especially the .45 ACP, which i would have ordered, BUT for what i am buying today?

it comes to about $500 less than the Dillon set up, and that don't include the case cleaning equipment either.
 
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Old_Me

Professional
apparently MidwayUSA is expanding, some of you may have already known this.

i got this email earlier

Dear Valued Customer,
Thanks to you, we’ve experienced tremendous growth in our business volume and number of products we offer. A couple of years ago, we projected we’d soon be out of space, so we started the largest project in company history. We’re now in the final stages of moving our Distribution Center about 5-miles down the road to a new facility, just west of Columbia, MO.

Our new Distribution Center is 400,000 square feet, with plenty of room for expansion. The unique new NITRO Express® Shipping System we’re installing consists of brand-new state-of-the-art equipment. This new system will be faster, more accurate and more efficient than our previous system.

The conveyor and product storage/retrieval speed will allow us to receive and ship products faster, meaning we’ll get products in stock quicker and your orders will arrive sooner. Increased accuracy comes from precisely picking every order and verifying the correct weight with a high-tech scale to ensure no mistakes were made. Increased efficiency comes from custom building precisely sized cartons for each order, reducing the average box size by over 30%, meaning there is less room for products to shift in transit and become damaged. The remaining area (void) in the cartons is filled with one of three different types of materials, depending on the characteristics of each order, resulting in intact deliveries. We’re building the best package possible – extremely accurate, efficient, and durable!

We’ll be completely done with our inventory and operational transition in about 2-weeks. During that time, your order may take a few days longer than normal and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

I hope you enjoy the results of our new NITRO Express® Shipping System. Thanks so much for being a valued MidwayUSA Customer!
Matt Fleming,
President & CEO
 

Old_Me

Professional
I'm happy for you.
I just loaded about 1,000 .38 Special and changed over to .45 Schofield. I'll do a bunch of those tomorrow. I enjoy pulling those 100 round count plastic boxes off the shelves and heading out to shoot.
yeah, i am stoked to start a new phase of the sport. in the morning, if i get up alive, i will build a bench for the press. nothing fancy, it'll be a lot of mis-matched pieces of wood, some of that, "pressed" plywood, from those "you build it bookshelves, tv stands, whatever" that i got from various family members. heck, i even save the screws, and locking doo-hickeys" the screws fit into for added (cough-cough) strength.

just enough to support the press, a storage shelf would be nice too, i dunno yet, it's too dark in the basement, and cold...i'm skeered of the dark and cold....to go looking now......

i'll ask my wife to hold my hand, but then, i'm equally afraid she'll want "some"............

and i ain't got no candy in my pockets. which means, i'd have to "perform"............oh God.......
 

Pitdogg2

Professional
I use a Dillon 550b and have for 30+yrs, I'll never buy another brand. I will move up the ladder maybe one day. They work great, the Dillon dies are excellent and there's a very good reason why they're so popular.
Honestly afaik the only difference between the B + C models is a grease zert on the piece the handle goes into. I've put untold thousands of rounds through my machine and not one problem.
I can add a case feeder and other stuff on mine like the upper machines, I like the manual feel of handling the brass. Over the years I can get in a rhythm and crank out the cartridges.
 

Old_Me

Professional
I use a Dillon 550b and have for 30+yrs, I'll never buy another brand. I will move up the ladder maybe one day. They work great, the Dillon dies are excellent and there's a very good reason why they're so popular.
Honestly afaik the only difference between the B + C models is a grease zert on the piece the handle goes into. I've put untold thousands of rounds through my machine and not one problem.
I can add a case feeder and other stuff on mine like the upper machines, I like the manual feel of handling the brass. Over the years I can get in a rhythm and crank out the cartridges.
originally i wanted to go with the square deal B....but they were back ordered, then the dies were also back ordered, so as it stood, i have been waiting for about a year, to get into reloading, but gathering as much information as i could, and will still be asking for more information/advice, in the coming days, weeks, months, as i have seen others on various websites, still asking for help as well.

my recent search for a Dillon 550c, turned up the same :poop:, of back orders of "up to" 14 weeks for dies, and now some presses are back ordered as well.

i said screw it, the online retailer (Midway USA) has EVERY THING in stock, regarding the Lee Pro 4000, i dove in with my new interest free credit card, and went full bore on the purchase of everything NOW, rather than wait for God only knows when parts (press and accessories) will be available for the Dillon. and what's to say that there won't be another panic buying in the coming months? then i gotta wait some more????

several guys at the range, and one of the LGS's i go to have said (and it's true) that Dillon is the Rolls Royce, of reloading, while Lee may very well be the Toyota....

well, i am currently the owner of my 3rd Toyota, and they have been as dependable and cost effective as can be, and have never let me down.

will the Lee hold it's value as a reloading press..??

most likely yes, it just will not command a higher resale price than a Dillon, but it'll get the job done for me, a newbie in reloading.

but then, it'll probably have paid itself off after x number of reloads. by that time, who knows, at my age i may just clean out the basement, and the Lee goes up for sale.

it's a toss up, what to buy, but many others here on this site nad other sites have Lee presses, and don't regret thier choice.
 

youngolddude

Master Class
If you want space on your bench for doing other things, you can fasten the press to a piece of plywood and mount it to the bench with one bolt. My 650 is permanently mounted, but I have 3 others that are attached to plywood. I have a t nut attached under the top that I can fasten any press with one bolt.
I can't believe it took me decades to buy an electric heater for reloading. :rolleyes: I also have a pedestal fan for when the seasons change. If you have room, you can get a metal shelving unit to store your reloading stuff. The particle board shelf on one broke under bullet weight, so I replaced that shelve with real wood. No messes so far.
 

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Old_Me

Professional
If you want space on your bench for doing other things, you can fasten the press to a piece of plywood and mount it to the bench with one bolt. My 650 is permanently mounted, but I have 3 others that are attached to plywood. I have a t nut attached under the top that I can fasten any press with one bolt.
I can't believe it took me decades to buy an electric heater for reloading. :rolleyes: I also have a pedestal fan for when the seasons change. If you have room, you can get a metal shelving unit to store your reloading stuff. The particle board shelf on one broke under bullet weight, so I replaced that shelve with real wood. No messes so far.
funny you posted about a work bench.

i have a bench in my shop, but i wanted one for reloading only, so i just minutes ago, finished the build stage of one.

in my house, i keep a LOT of scrap wood, metal, nuts, bolts, washers, well you name it, i must have it in a coffee can somewhere..lol

so here are some pics of my uncomplete reloading bench..

#1, this was actually a longer piece, that i had made up, with supports and bracings for our washer/.drier to sit on top of, but then i never used it, and cut it up years ago, for other things, these 2 piece are what was left. (the blue you see is my "work bench", it's really a very old wooden box.

1646931851790.png



#2, this is the lay out of the stiffeners, and in the middle, you see 2 boards. later, when the press arrives, i will then bolt them down, and then the press plate will be bolted to those.

1646931993131.png


#3, the orientation of the legs, which i had, from an old 8 foot long wooden table i built for family gatherings, for the holidays.

1646932123441.png


#4, standing on it's own, no front cover yet

1646932185124.png



#5, scrap of wood, for the front....i musta done something right, the dang thing IS level..>!!!!

1646932234031.png



#6,

the backside, (what was already attached when i started this)

1646932322994.png

i had to lightly sand the top of the table/bench to be rid of large paint splatter. then i had to do some caulking of the holes from previous screws, and when that drives, another quick sanding, then i got like 42,000 gallons of Battleship gray paint..........

this is "normal sitting height", for the time being, if i need to raise it higher, i might just make riser blocks outta the 27,000 pieces of scrap wood i got.

now, seriously.......i don;t know where it's gonna go.......it measures 24" deep, X 36" wide......

i may have to get rid of my 2 snow throwers to make room......:eek:....:LOL:...:rolleyes:
 
If you want space on your bench for doing other things, you can fasten the press to a piece of plywood and mount it to the bench with one bolt. My 650 is permanently mounted, but I have 3 others that are attached to plywood. I have a t nut attached under the top that I can fasten any press with one bolt.
I can't believe it took me decades to buy an electric heater for reloading. :rolleyes: I also have a pedestal fan for when the seasons change. If you have room, you can get a metal shelving unit to store your reloading stuff. The particle board shelf on one broke under bullet weight, so I replaced that shelve with real wood. No messes so far.
I didn't like the t-nut being on top, so I drilled threw and put the t-nut on the bottom. Made it more sturdy.
 
More too come for the best. Will be adding 2' either between the 2 benches or on the end? I don't fish, but use those plastic organizers for parts. Mounting tv/monitor (just a bit too big). Trying too clean the back off for a cleaner more organized look.
 

Jfal

Custom
Old Me, looks like you're well on your way...keep up the good work! If you find your bench wobbles from the force of operating a press, you might consider triangular braces on the bench legs, as well as a bracket for bolting the bench to a stud wall behind its eventual placement position. It might be sturdy enough as is, but if it's not, pretty simple fix...if you have concrete walls in the basement, anchors are cheap and easy to install with a hammer drill (heck, a regular drill would be plenty for only 3 or 4 anchor holes...). Sorry if you already addressed this in an earlier post...
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
originally i wanted to go with the square deal B....but they were back ordered, " ................................... "

several guys at the range, and one of the LGS's i go to have said (and it's true) that Dillon is the Rolls Royce, of reloading, while Lee may very well be the Toyota....

" .................................... "

will the Lee hold it's value as a reloading press..??

most likely yes, it just will not command a higher resale price than a Dillon, but it'll get the job done for me, a newbie in reloading.

it's a toss up, what to buy, but many others here on this site nad other sites have Lee presses, and don't regret thier choice.
I know you earlier said you had ordered the "Lee" Breech Lock 4000 Pro and all the accessories you expected you'd need. I think you made a great decision and won't be sorry. Again I'll say you may find it's more press than you actually need, but you'll never regret having too much rather than not enough.

I'll also mention that the "Dillon" Square Deal you were considering is very proprietary. It will not accept and/or use normal dies manufactured by/for any other press than the Square Deal, regardless of manufacturer. In other words you would not be able to buy any other manufacturer's dies for use on that particular "Dillon". That in itself is not a 'deal killer' normally, but there may be other parts/pieces/accessories for the Square Deal that are not common to the industry and must be specifically "Dillon". I don't know of any other "Dillon" models that may be proprietary.

None of this says anything bad about "Dillon", only the question do you really need the 'RR' of loaders when the Toyota will do exactly the same things at a much lesser cost, and just as efficiently? You said yourself you're on your 3rd Toyota with nary a regret .... likewise you will be with your choice of reloading presses/tools.

The "Lee" will never resale for the same amount a "Dillon" will, but then it never cost originally what the "Dillon" would have cost up front. But I'll wager the resale return on the "Lee" will be closer to it's original cost (% wise) than the "Dillon" will ever be.

And by your own words...... "but many others here on this site nad other sites have Lee presses, and don't regret thier choice." ....... and you won't regret it either.

And finally, the "Dillon" equipment is all top notch stuff designed more for the high production loaders like world class competition shooters and some smaller retailers whereas the "Lee" stuff is typically for the blue collar loading crowd. And keep in mind, you can load ammo every bit as accurate using a simple hand loading tool and a small hammer as with any progressive press, regardless of manufacturer. Some of the finest shots in the country use them right on the tailgate of their trucks, etc.

Congratulations on your wise purchase, and welcome to the world of 're-loading'.
 

Old_Me

Professional
Old Me, looks like you're well on your way...keep up the good work! If you find your bench wobbles from the force of operating a press, you might consider triangular braces on the bench legs, as well as a bracket for bolting the bench to a stud wall behind its eventual placement position. It might be sturdy enough as is, but if it's not, pretty simple fix...if you have concrete walls in the basement, anchors are cheap and easy to install with a hammer drill (heck, a regular drill would be plenty for only 3 or 4 anchor holes...). Sorry if you already addressed this in an earlier post...
actually i do believe i will have to do some sort of "bracing". but my situation is this, one one wall, i have a brick support column, and very little actual wooden area to support bracing, that's one area.

in another room, i have a 20 amp electrical wall socket, (for a portable heater, fan, coffee maker, etc) but NO room to put the bench up against that wall, or even near by.

in another room, it faces the city street, ground level, and only one overhead light bulb, and limited wall spacing.

living in an old Victorian home, limits what and where i can do this, and i simply cannot take this equipment up into the house, as the only real "spare room" is reserved for when the grand kids do a "sleep over"........

so even though the equipment is "due" to arrive this saturday, i have way more things to figure out.
 

Old_Me

Professional
I know you earlier said you had ordered the "Lee" Breech Lock 4000 Pro and all the accessories you expected you'd need. I think you made a great decision and won't be sorry. Again I'll say you may find it's more press than you actually need, but you'll never regret having too much rather than not enough.

I'll also mention that the "Dillon" Square Deal you were considering is very proprietary. It will not accept and/or use normal dies manufactured by/for any other press than the Square Deal, regardless of manufacturer. In other words you would not be able to buy any other manufacturer's dies for use on that particular "Dillon". That in itself is not a 'deal killer' normally, but there may be other parts/pieces/accessories for the Square Deal that are not common to the industry and must be specifically "Dillon". I don't know of any other "Dillon" models that may be proprietary.

None of this says anything bad about "Dillon", only the question do you really need the 'RR' of loaders when the Toyota will do exactly the same things at a much lesser cost, and just as efficiently? You said yourself you're on your 3rd Toyota with nary a regret .... likewise you will be with your choice of reloading presses/tools.

The "Lee" will never resale for the same amount a "Dillon" will, but then it never cost originally what the "Dillon" would have cost up front. But I'll wager the resale return on the "Lee" will be closer to it's original cost (% wise) than the "Dillon" will ever be.

And by your own words...... "but many others here on this site nad other sites have Lee presses, and don't regret thier choice." ....... and you won't regret it either.

And finally, the "Dillon" equipment is all top notch stuff designed more for the high production loaders like world class competition shooters and some smaller retailers whereas the "Lee" stuff is typically for the blue collar loading crowd. And keep in mind, you can load ammo every bit as accurate using a simple hand loading tool and a small hammer as with any progressive press, regardless of manufacturer. Some of the finest shots in the country use them right on the tailgate of their trucks, etc.

Congratulations on your wise purchase, and welcome to the world of 're-loading'.
yes, as i was searching for reloading equipment back in the middle of the pandemic, as prices of ammo and availability were nearly non existent, the one thing i would see, is that Dillon IS proprietary. this did not rattle me away from Dillon, but the back orders of xx number of weeks, and that just would not do for me.

yes, the Lee as i mentioned may hold "it's value", but not be anywhere near the resale value of a Dillon for sure, i had already known that.

my regrets are that i started this sport/hobby too late in life. i had the opportunity to start as far back as 40 years ago, but just didn't, but then again, work, family, and other things took precedence over my personal time, we all make those choices.

then the pandemic hit, and it was way too late there too. just like an upcoming winter season. you gotta buy what you need BEFORE the end of September, otherwise here where i live..??

people rush out and grab up all the snow shovels, rock salt, kitty litter and snow blowers..

(i usually buy ALL my winter supplies in August, if they are available)

i'll gain experience (over time) with the Lee, i haven't decided to buy dies and plates for the other calibers i shoot like 9 mm, 38, 357, and then add to those 44 special, 44 magnum, if to just have those on hand, for when it comes time to sell, and make the "package" more attractive for a fast sale?

the cost of those extra dies/plates are (right now) cheap, God only knows the future, and if we enter WWIII or not.
 
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