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hung380
10-30-2006, 7:09 PM
hello, I want to start pressing my own ammo but i need some help figuring out what kit to buy. I've been looking on midway usa for some press kit and found this one that has good reviews. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=305282
i also see some cheap ones selling as low as 85.00 but dont know what the differences are. I plan to reload .223 and .40 cals. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks alot:)

grammaton76
10-30-2006, 7:33 PM
hello, I want to start pressing my own ammo but i need some help figuring out what kit to buy. I've been looking on midway usa for some press kit and found this one that has good reviews. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=305282
i also see some cheap ones selling as low as 85.00 but dont know what the differences are. I plan to reload .223 and .40 cals. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks alot:)

I went with the Dillon 650 from www.brianenos.com.

On the other hand, it also depends on how dedicated you are and how sure you are that you're going to be sticking with it. A lot of guys buy a high-end rig and then decide they don't like to reload after all.

Gunsrruss
10-30-2006, 8:22 PM
The RCBS stuff is good plus they will replace anything that breaks. The worst I've used is Lee. But then there will be those that will swear by Lee. Just my opinion. Do not get a Lee progressive press. If you get a five stage progressive press then buy a Dillon

Remember in reloading that cheap is expensive and expensive is cheap. In other words if you cut costs you really won't.

grammaton76
10-30-2006, 8:46 PM
I'll say that I do like Lee for their hand press. Little $20 thing that gives you an awesome arm workout while using it to swage primer pockets on 5.56mm brass. :)

50ae
10-30-2006, 8:52 PM
I've had a Dillon 650 with case feeder for over 10 years and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

thmpr
10-30-2006, 9:36 PM
+1 on the XL650! The only problem with the 650, can't reload the 338 lapua cartridge. Currently reloading 6.5G, 6.8 SPC, .223 and 308.

ivanimal
10-30-2006, 10:02 PM
Dillon, if you think you are going to be reloading for years I own the 550B. Otherwise the Lyman reloading gear is quality. The turret press is very easy to use and universal.

Pulsar
10-30-2006, 10:03 PM
Yeah the XL650 is nice, planning on picking one up here in a month. And the fact that it can't do .338 lapua isn't that big a deal. I wouldn't want to use a progressive press for lapua, just can't get the fine tuning and consistency for a round that is specifically designed for accuracy.

50ae
10-31-2006, 12:35 AM
+1 on the XL650! The only problem with the 650, can't reload the 338 lapua cartridge. Currently reloading 6.5G, 6.8 SPC, .223 and 308.

Why? One of those shellplates has to fit. I reload 50ae on mine though I can't use the case feeder when doing it because they don't make a fat enough feeder tube.

tankerman
10-31-2006, 4:48 AM
For low volume reloading, such as hunting rounds, go with a single stage RCBS. High volume, pistol/AR's etc. Dillon progressives are an excellent choice. If you are going to stay with reloading as a permanent hobby/addiction, just go ahead and buy both types now and probably an extra single stage to bring to the range. A used single stage can be picked cheap.

ryang
10-31-2006, 6:54 AM
If you have the time, look around for a used Dillon Square Deal B (if only loading pistol), or 550 (if loading both pistol and rifle). If you don't shoot that much rifle it may not be worthwhile to get the 550. Just save up the rifle brass until you do.

Pistol is easier to reload because it's a straight wall case, no neck to worry about.

Besides the press itself you will need the following items:
A good reloading manual. Lyman or Speer is recommended.
Balance beam for weighing powder charges.
Dial caliper for measuring diameters and overall lengths.
Case gauge to verify finished rounds do not exceed maximum size.

xrMike
10-31-2006, 8:18 AM
hello, I want to start pressing my own ammo but i need some help figuring out what kit to buy. I've been looking on midway usa for some press kit and found this one that has good reviews.

This one is widely acknowledged as being one of the best turret presses out there (read the reviews), and you can't beat the price:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=814175

You will also need these items to go with the press:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=548630
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=348753
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=114080 (ignore the description; this is required in all scenarios of dies, etc.)
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=712103

You'll also need a set of dies for each caliber you want to reload (I'd get the Lee 4-die sets that include a factory crimp die), a loading manual, and decent calipers for measuring overall length, crimp, etc. A tumbler or vibratory cleaner is nice too.

I would get this also; it's not required, but allows more precise powder metering than the disks that come with the powder measure shown above:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=150005

Lee products have a lifetime warranty. Something breaks, you send it to them, they send you a new one, no questions asked.

I just started loading 45ACP last weekend, and I'm really impressed with the apparent quality of the ammo I produced. All my powder charges measured within .1 grain of the desired charge, all my rounds were within .003 of the desired overall length (1.255"), and all my crimps measured right at .47".

We'll see how it shoots this weekend. Reloading is fun! If you're a careful, detail-oriented person, it can help you take that next step towards improving your accuracy too.

fractionalflyer
10-31-2006, 12:52 PM
I bought the Lyman starter kit a while back. I don't necessarily stick with one brand anymore. I go with whatever works. Lyman is good quality. RCBS is still the best in my opinion, and their customer service is great. But RCBS you pay for. I reload Black Powder Cartridges, and some smokeless powder rounds. I think that you're safe going with the Lyman until you've figured out how much you actually like to reload.

WARNING:
It can be just as big of a money pit as your firearms collection.

Brasspolisher
10-31-2006, 4:06 PM
Here's something you might want to put on the shopping list before the other stuff:

http://lymanproducts.com/lymanproducts/books.htm

Spending a couple evenings' worth of focused reading time with a good reloading manual will give you a good foundation of the processes and tools required, and help you make informed purchasing decisions regarding what you need, don't need, and don't need now but might later (as the warning in fractionalflyer's reply indicates, that last list does have a way of growing). :D

It's a fascinating field in its own right, and quite enjoyable, but it also takes knowledge, discipline, and attention to detail, particularly when setting up. Books are good, discussion boards are good, a mentor to look over your setup and watch you make your first few rounds is *extremely* good, and there are NO dumb questions until you're confident you understand what to do and why.

Welcome to the self-rolling club, and please keep us posted!

hung380
11-01-2006, 9:45 AM
i shoot about 300 rounds of .223 a week and seeing that a case of ammo is running about 250 to 275 and keeps going up makes me want to start pressing my own ammo. I've been doing lots of research on the dillon 650 and i think thats kinda expensive but you get what you paid for. Im gonna get that:D along with lyman 48th edition. I have lots of spare time at my machine shop so i can always press ammo at my shop and resize the casings if needed on my turret lathe. I got one more question for you guys, How many .223 cal. ammo can i make with 8lbs of powder? thanks for all your help guys and i'll keep you guys updated on the ammo pressings.

thmpr
11-01-2006, 11:14 AM
Dillon stated that the XL650 will not accodomate the cartridge size which is true. But the 550 will... I guess I need to buy another Dillon...

ryang
11-01-2006, 12:38 PM
How many .223 cal. ammo can i make with 8lbs of powder? Convert 8lbs into grains. Divide by max charge listed in reloading guide of your choice. Voila.

C.G.
11-01-2006, 11:14 PM
For low volume reloading, such as hunting rounds, go with a single stage RCBS. High volume, pistol/AR's etc. Dillon progressives are an excellent choice. If you are going to stay with reloading as a permanent hobby/addiction, just go ahead and buy both types now and probably an extra single stage to bring to the range. A used single stage can be picked cheap.

That is what many have said and I am glad I listened. Best price I could find was here and they ship fast:
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=000449357

Brasspolisher
11-01-2006, 11:24 PM
There are 7,000 grains in a pound, so:

7000 (gr) * 8 (lbs) = 56,000

Divided by 25 (gr -- a middle of the road charge, depending on bullet weight and powder type)

= 2,240 rounds.

Call it 2,000 to account for charges slightly closer to max and/or the inevitable few granules lost to static in the powder measure, 'oopses,' etc.

If you've been saving your brass, just price out a keg of the powder of your choice, a couple thousand primers ($20/1K is a realistic round number), and 2,000 bullets, and you're on the way to figuring out how soon your reloading setup has 'paid for itself!' (Truth is, if you end up enjoying reloading you'll shoot more, or spend your 'savings' on new toys. But the truth hurts -- ignore it for now. :D )

If you're familiar with machine tools, you've probably got a leg up when it comes to understanding the assembly of the press, calibration, measuring, etc., and perhaps some of the necessary/useful gear (such as a good set of calipers).

Sounds like your're doing well already, by researching your equipment and getting some good reference material -- here's looking forward to seeing your first pressings in the "Ammo Pics" thread! :cool:

grammaton76
11-02-2006, 3:27 AM
The post above causes me to think it's time for the obligatory link to the reloading cost analyzer...

http://thegunwiki.com/Gunwiki/ReloadCostAnalyzer