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Anthony
01-09-2007, 6:05 PM
Will a $400 get me a descent reloading machine. I will only be reloading pistols in .45, possibly a 9mm. I looked at RCBS Rock Chucker at a local gun shop and it seems like it fits the bill, including dies and shell holder. Any reason to stay away from RCBS get something else?

gose
01-09-2007, 6:10 PM
Anyone who tried a Dillon swears by it.

For 379 you'll get a 550 and a 650 for 489. If you plan to load a lot of ammo, go for the 650, it's definitely worth the extra money...

Anthony
01-09-2007, 6:49 PM
I wish I could afford the Dillon but it is a bit out of my range. I think that the $379 only includes the press.:confused:

Blue
01-09-2007, 7:12 PM
Get the Dillon. If you can't afford the whole thing you can special order an AT500 from them. It's the same thing as an RL550 but it is more stripped down. They're $209 and have a universal shell plate. Doesn't come with an automatic powder measure or auto prime system. It won't reload nearly as fast as a full blown 550, but in the future when the funds allow you can beef it up. That's what I would do.

ETA now that the wife is off of my back.

The AT500 comes with a universal shell plate. It has four sizes that they some how fanangled it to fit a ton of calibers. You can only use one slot at a time. So you put a shell in, size/decap it, then you can either take the shell out and do a bunch more, or you can take the shell out, put a primer in, put the shell back in, and prime it, and then move to the next reloading station. I normally size/decap a metric buttload, and then prime afterwards. The AT500 doesn't come with an auto powder measure either. So you've gotta scoop the powder into the little funnel thing on top. So I'm thinking for your $400 budget, you can buy the AT500, some dies, a powder thrower and a scale. Where in San Jose are you at? I live near the pink poodle :D I've got a 550 that started life as an AT500 (still don't have the auto prime system...) and I can show you alot about that press. I've been reloading a ton of 45 on it.

50ae
01-09-2007, 9:02 PM
If all you want is 9mm and 45acp then the Dillon Square Deal B will suit you just fine. You'll need some extra money for a scale and reloading books on top of components. Harbor Freight sells tumblers to clean the brass and they will work just fine for what your doing.

Anthony
01-09-2007, 9:52 PM
... Where in San Jose are you at? I live near the pink poodle :D I've got a 550 that started life as an AT500 (still don't have the auto prime system...) and I can show you alot about that press. I've been reloading a ton of 45 on it.

Now that's nice. I've spent a lot of time reading, but actually seeing the actual process is something. I'd like to see the actual setup and steps involve for the following reason:

1. Space required to have it setup
2. A safe location in the house to set it up. (I've got smokers in the family
3. How much time is involved.
4. My dog likes to eat stuff that falls in the floor:D

LCAZES
01-10-2007, 5:56 AM
All good advice so far. If you are planning on loading for matches stay away from a single stage like the rockchucker. It is a good press but you will quickly outgrow it and want something faster. I have one sitting on a shelf that I use for small amounts of rifle cals only. The dillon square deal is a good setup if you cant afford a 550B. the 550B is gonna run you $500+ before you are done with evverything you need not including components but it will last a lifetime.

sargenv
01-10-2007, 7:06 AM
One thing I've not seen mentioned is maybe you should look for a used 550. You may be able to get a deal on a press that someone is trying to get rid of. Same goes for the square deal press.

Vince

50ae
01-10-2007, 8:53 AM
Used is a great idea. With the No BS warranty you don't even have to worry if it's broke in half, they'll fix it.

zyl8tr
01-10-2007, 5:28 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=646599

Hey how about this one? Seems like an good deal.

50ae
01-10-2007, 5:57 PM
It'll get the job done and done well but it will be insanely slow.

Anthony
01-10-2007, 7:01 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=646599

Hey how about this one? Seems like an good deal.

That's the kit that I was looking at.

50ae, when you said "insanely slow", how slow is slow?

chunger
01-10-2007, 7:20 PM
I've seen the Dillon Square Deal go regularly for $200 used. I just sold 2 at that price just a few months ago 'cause I found them local, and they followed me home. Keep your eyes out in the usual places, and if you're not in a huge hurry, you can find one. Square deal comes with dies, so that saves another $50 on the front end.

Also, don't forget your "extras":

caliber conversion and dies
powder scale
dial caliper
primer flip tray
case tumbler
Hornady one shot case lube :)
Loading manual or 2 (amazon.com) I found the Lee manual to be very helpful in .45 and 9mm.

I got my mechanical balance scale on Ebay for $25. . .primer flip tray from Midway for ~$3 (it works), and I had a pair of cheap chinese dial calipers that I've used for years and years on other things. If you buy new from dillon (which is inside your budget if you go Square Deal) buy it from Brian Enos.

www.brianenos.com free shipping, good prices, and TONS of gettings started info and support.

You'd be surprised how small a footprint you can set up a functional loading bench in (here's mine). I just started loading a very short while ago. Wife got me a 550 for Xmas :)

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y274/chungsteroonie/Reloading-13.jpg

eckerph
01-10-2007, 7:36 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=45445

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=44448

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=43809

LCAZES
01-10-2007, 8:20 PM
That's the kit that I was looking at.

50ae, when you said "insanely slow", how slow is slow?

HAHA! "Insanely slow" is pretty self explanatory and quite accurate. Last night I loaded 300 rounds of 38super for the TASC match this weekend in 1 hour on my 550B. I guess you have to ask yourself if you want to spend the bulk of your spare time shooting or loading ammo. I choose to shoot so the rockchucker sits on the shelf :)

Anthony
01-10-2007, 8:38 PM
Chunger,
Thanks for the pics. It finally gave me an idea how much space and bench table I need. Is the vice on the table to counter-act the weight of the reloader? I guess you sit on the floor while reloading:D

eckerph,
Thanks for the links. I think I've read those threads so many times.

LCAZES,
I'm going to TASC this weekend too and finally can meet you. I may have to bug you there once in a while. :)

I am not in a hurry as I only shoot on weekends. I'll probably wait for a good used deal on Dillon.

chunger
01-10-2007, 9:07 PM
Hi Anthony,

I don't know of very many other people who prefer loading on the floor like me, but I do most things on the floor starting with legos when I was 3 :) Your back should be the decider. The lever does sit about 3" above my shoulder height when I'm in the "loading position" though, so everything from the waist up is ergonomically correct for cranking out loads. I find that I'm more prone to load if I can put my rig somewhere in the house instead of out in the garage or in the basement.

I'm remodelling my house so things are in flux and rooms get shifted around a lot. I had to keep my rig "portable". The vise was already mounted to the sturdy little table I found at a garage sale. I used the vise for midnight gun tinkering and had it set up in my room. . . and yup, the weight stabilizes the table. It's not as stable as it really really should be (bolted to floor and wall), but I make it work.

Blue
01-10-2007, 9:13 PM
I've got my Dillon bolted to a piece of wood as wide as my dinner table. When I want to reload, I use C-clamps and clamp that SOB to the table. Works good, and when I'm done I throw it all into the "gun closet".

Bing
01-10-2007, 9:40 PM
There's a posting on Craigslist SF Bay Area for a used Dillon Square Deal for $200.00 setup for .40 SW.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/spo/260830073.html

It's not mine but is not a bad deal if you want a Dillon.

zyl8tr
01-11-2007, 9:06 AM
There's a posting on Craigslist SF Bay Area for a used Dillon Square Deal for $200.00 setup for .40 SW.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/spo/260830073.html

It's not mine but is not a bad deal if you want a Dillon.

Seems like a deal to me. Offer $175.

chunger
01-11-2007, 1:25 PM
Sounds like a feasible option. . . the caliber conversions sell on Ebay lots of times for near retail. I don't think it'll be that big of an issue to sell off the .40 SW dies/shellplate and buy the calibers you need.

LCAZES
01-11-2007, 6:45 PM
Chunger,

LCAZES,
I'm going to TASC this weekend too and finally can meet you. I may have to bug you there once in a while. :)

I am not in a hurry as I only shoot on weekends. I'll probably wait for a good used deal on Dillon.

Looking forward to meeting you. My wife and I will be there unless there is snow on the ground when we get up :) Ask Mark, who teaches the class, to point us out to you. Its a very friendly club and none of us mind helping new shooters out at all. Anything I can do to help dont hesitate to ask.

Larry

Anthony
01-25-2007, 10:32 PM
After much thinking and after buying 2 boxes of .45 WWB for $26.00/box at Walmart for this Saturday's match, I guess buying a reloader is worth it. Just as recommended by most, I'm going with a Dillon 550B. I'm building my reloading package and so far here's what I've got.

RL550B & .45 ACP Conversion Kit
RL550B Strong Mount
RL550B Bullet Tray Kit

What else is needed to get me started. I know I needed a scale, what kind? Reloading Dies for .45, which kind? I've already some got digital calipers and ammo boxes.

Also, where's the best place to buy this with fast shipping :) ? Dillon themselves?

Thanks a bunch :)

GW
01-26-2007, 1:22 AM
If you're just going to load pistol, then get the Square Deal B Its cheaper, it auto indexes and the big plus is that it will come with the dies set up and ready to go. Get the powder scale at the same time and save yourself a few steps. Order the primer flip tray and some extra primer tubes while you're at it (Do this regardless of which Dillon you get)
Get the balance beam IMHO they are more reliable
Then get the Lyman pistol reloading manual I think this one is the best as they aren't selling a particular powder or bullet brand plus they have lots of loads for cast bullets
Unique & Bullseye from Alliant and Hogdon Clays are the powders I like for 45 and pistols in general

Really consider the Square Deal. I think its the best choice for what you want to do
Plus you will always find a buyer for it if you do decide to upgrade
AND when you upgrade save up the extra $$$ and go straight to the 650

God luck with whatever you decide to go with
One thing for sure--You won't regret going with Dillon

Blue
01-26-2007, 4:06 PM
I'd buy straight from Dillon. And their shipping is normally super fast. I've got an RCBS 5-0-5 scale that works great. I've also used Dillon's digital scale and REALLY liked that. I like my RCBS dies too. Although you're going to need an extra crimp die if you buy the RCBS set.

fairfaxjim
01-26-2007, 8:40 PM
+1 on the Square Deal B if you are just doing pistol calibers. I picked up a 9mm SDB NIB (I'm the third owner, and it was never assembled, much less used) from Chunger for $250 a few months ago. I built a riser stand to mount it on a 5 drawer rollaway tool cabinet. Storage, work table, press, everything in one easy to move package.
BTW, thanks Chunger. That was a great deal.

Blue
01-26-2007, 11:00 PM
RL550B & .45 ACP Conversion Kit



You don't need to buy a conversion kit, they come with one caliber of your choice, you just need to buy the dies.

50ae
01-27-2007, 8:00 AM
Whatever Dillon you buy remember to buy a spare parts kit. Yea, Dillon has their no BS warranty but you still have to wait a couple days to get the parts from them.

Anthony
02-05-2007, 5:48 PM
Yohooo, my 550B is on its way here. Now I know what my weekend looks like. The wife is happy though that I get to stay home for the weekend. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Anyway, I cheaped out on the Dillon tumbler and decided not to buy it and get somethiing else. I figured I could go with liquid solution, I tried it but it didn't turned out good. Any recommendations?

50ae
02-05-2007, 6:12 PM
Harbor freight sells tumblers that will work just fine but you'll want to buy the small Dillon brass/media separator and a decent scale.

Tzvia
02-05-2007, 7:15 PM
I don't like to buy stuff when I can make due with what's free. Been reloading about 13 years or so. Never needed a media seperator. First off, there is lead dust in the media from the primers. SO get a good mask that removes lead. Spend the money, it's your health. Any time you handle media, wear the mask.

Instead of a media seperator, I go to the kitchen and grab the onions or apples. Not that I am hungry, but you see those plastic fishnet thingies they are in? Carefully open and dump out the contents, then wash the net-baggies. Now you have a media seperator. Put an appropriate amount of brass in the baggie, tie the end and toss in the tumbler. Lift out the baggies when done and carefully rotate around untill the media is out. you could also put it in a large ziplock bag and shake if you are worried about the lead dust. Takes about a minute. Takes up zero space in the garage too. And it's free. It wasn't my idea, but when I saw lyman tumbler baggies at the reloading store I thought-onion bags!

Anthony
02-06-2007, 8:12 PM
I've read people talk about the reloader mounted on a board and clamp to the table. Anyone got a picture of it?

Anthony
02-07-2007, 8:26 PM
I've got my equipment sorted out. 550B should arrive tomorrow and also got me a new tumbler today. (that thing is so noisy that my dog won't stop barking at it) :)

Anyway, what's a good recipe to start with for a .45 ACP match load? A friend of mine gave me a box of 200gr RN bullets, is that something that I could I use?

ns3v3n
02-07-2007, 11:56 PM
my local gun store owner told me a cheap way to clean casings is with a big bowl and lemon-lime coolade lol. he said there's alot of acid in there and it cleans it real well.

grammaton76
02-08-2007, 1:11 AM
I've read people talk about the reloader mounted on a board and clamp to the table. Anyone got a picture of it?

Think that mighta been me talking. No, I'm still being a loser and haven't gotten around to posting pics. :(

Franksremote
02-08-2007, 1:41 AM
I've got my equipment sorted out. 550B should arrive tomorrow and also got me a new tumbler today. (that thing is so noisy that my dog won't stop barking at it) :)

Anyway, what's a good recipe to start with for a .45 ACP match load? A friend of mine gave me a box of 200gr RN bullets, is that something that I could I use?

http://www.reloadbench.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro&BypassCookie=true

Lotsa good stuff there.

grammaton76
02-08-2007, 2:32 AM
Finally got around to posting the pic of my easily-relocatable-650 setup:

http://www.cheapspeech.com/Pics/Guns/Reloading//s_Dillon650-onbench.jpg

Full res: http://www.cheapspeech.com/Pics/Guns/Reloading/Dillon650-onbench.jpg

As noted... the 650's on a Strong Mount, screwed to a board via washers and such.

The board it's screwed into, is clamped down on all four corners to the tool bench.

Lastly, between the board and the tool bench, are sandwiched some polymer discs meant to secure furniture on carpet. They do an admirable job of preventing the board from shifting any.

SnWnMe
02-10-2007, 1:55 PM
650 is the WTG IMO. 550 doesn't auto index and sets you up for a double charge.