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  #26  
Old 07-08-2020, 08:52 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
Lots of Dillon guys, but we haven't heard from a Lee Loadmaster user?

Anybody?
They're both afraid Nitro will chastise them!
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  #27  
Old 07-08-2020, 09:14 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Nitro!
Knock it off.
Yer scaring people.
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  #28  
Old 07-08-2020, 09:15 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL Perdido View Post
That should tell you something right there...



Tells me you guys have deeper pockets than I do.
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  #29  
Old 07-08-2020, 09:58 PM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Progressive reloading presses....

My first venture with a progressive reloading press was when I was shooting NRA Bullseye. I purchased a good used Star Machine with Hulme case feeder for loading my .45acp rounds. I still have the press after 45 years, and it still makes excellent ammo. Early on I went with a powder charging bar set up from Pacific, that uses a Star sizing bar with a somewhat large hole, to accommodate Pacific powder bushings in various sizes to be able to change powder drops with any powder....

My next press was a Lee Pro 1000; it was a piece of junk, and I ended up throwing it in the trash.....

Then I purchased a D550, and loaded various small primer ammo like .380, 9mm, and .38 super. When I got hooked on shooting USPSA, I shot an average of 500 rounds per shooting practice, twice a week. At one time I was shooting 20K rounds per year.... I ended up selling some of my S&W revolvers, which I seldom used, and purchased a Dillon 1050. I still have my D1050, and it still makes great ammo. I have two different tool heads with dies, to change as needed. Once my D1050 is set up with brass in the hopper, bullets in the bullet tray, and 100 primers in the tube, I can crank out 100 rounds of 9mm in roughly 8 minutes!
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  #30  
Old 07-08-2020, 10:19 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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Oops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post
It's funny that nowadays, nothing is true without video proof. ...lol

Do you only own 1 primer tube? Years ago I bought a 6 pack of primer tubes and when I have a few minutes of down time, I fill a tube. That way when I load, I always have 6 or 7 ready to go.

With the bullet tray at the left and a brass bin at shellplate height on the right, there is no wasted movement.

Think about it this way, 400/hr is 100 every 14 minutes (giving you a minute to add fresh primers) that's only a pull of the handle every 8 and a half seconds. That's slower cycle rate than those loading 100-150/hr on a SS press. And they are changing out dies and weighing/hand dispensing powder with each round.

OOPS!

I thought we were starting with boxes of primers! Not tubes of primers!

Yes, I have multiple tubes for SP and LP's!

I just watched a video, 40 rounds of .223 in 6 minutes! Did not include loading primer tubes and did not include lubing cases.

Very impressive! I'll stick with my pace of 200 rounds an hour on my Hornady LNL with "Powder Cop"!

Yes, I too have a 550 dedicated to 45ACP I still prefer 200 rounds per hour for Q/C! And the same for dedicated SDB for 9mm and 38 Spl.!

Smiles,


Smiles,
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Last edited by jjfitch; 07-08-2020 at 10:31 PM. Reason: Syntax
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  #31  
Old 07-09-2020, 06:55 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
Lots of Dillon guys, but we haven't heard from a Lee Loadmaster user?

Anybody?
Oh man, you just screwed up my entire morning. You take that back!
I am a reformed professional on the Loadmaster. I have gone off on them too many times on this forum and Iíll spare the audience from a rant (again).
If you are even barely considering one, please PM me and I will fill you in on a couple decades of hair pulling and bloody knuckles from punching the damn things!
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  #32  
Old 07-09-2020, 07:14 AM
f1racefan f1racefan is offline
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I bought a Lee Pro 1000 for loading 9mm years ago. It takes a little time to get used to it and issues that you have to watch for (running out of powder, trying to push primers into cases with crimped primer pockets, etc.). But once I learned the press, it actually ran very well. I can easily load a 200-300 rounds per hour, including loading cases, primers, etc.

I've thought about upgrading to a Loadmaster so I can add the crimp die. But so far I haven't.
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  #33  
Old 07-09-2020, 09:05 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfitch View Post
OOPS!

I thought we were starting with boxes of primers! Not tubes of primers!

Yes, I have multiple tubes for SP and LP's!

I just watched a video, 40 rounds of .223 in 6 minutes! Did not include loading primer tubes and did not include lubing cases.

Very impressive! I'll stick with my pace of 200 rounds an hour on my Hornady LNL with "Powder Cop"!

Yes, I too have a 550 dedicated to 45ACP I still prefer 200 rounds per hour for Q/C! And the same for dedicated SDB for 9mm and 38 Spl.!

Smiles,


Smiles,
Whatever pace is comfortable and enjoyable is the right number per hour!

I often load at a more relaxed pace and with certain powders will pull and weigh every 5th or 10th charge for verification. Some days I just enjoy an easy loading session like a cold craft beer on a hot day... and some days I enjoy putting up 500 rounds of some particular ammo, for upcoming shoots. Part of it is seasonal as I shoot way more in the cold weather.


I look into the case just filled to verify powder as I lower the plate and again as a separate check as I place a bullet on top... doesn't "cost" me any time as I'm lowering the plate or reaching with a bullet. My scale is also at eye level behind the bench so I don't move to check powder- my left hand takes the case and dumps into the scale pan, already set on what the charge should be. Just a few seconds to verify powder charge midstream.

The point to all that was to say you can load 400 per hour without skipping QC checks and still making quality ammo. The key is in your set up and how efficiently you move about the bench.

I really enjoy loading so I usually have plenty of ammo on the shelf... which makes the actual loading pace much less important to me.
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  #34  
Old 07-09-2020, 10:11 AM
BrokenGrunt BrokenGrunt is offline
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The June issue of the Dillon Blue Press has an article about precision loading on a Dillon. This article covers how accurate the Dillon powder measure is.

Everyone should read this article. The June issue should be available for download soon.

The July issue covers OAL variation. It's going to knock the socks off of a lot of people.
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  #35  
Old 07-09-2020, 10:47 AM
blindshooter blindshooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
In the video I linked above, in 15-16 seconds I load about 11 rounds. So that is about 40-45 rounds a minute which comes out to about 2,400 - 2,700 rounds an hour. Subtract some time to add primers and a couple handfuls of bullets and I am still over 2,000 rounds an hour.

I cant keep that pace up for 60+ minutes, but I will crank out a thousand or so rounds and walk away for a few days. Then come back and do it again hopefully keeping my loading schedule ahead of my shooting needs.
This is what I do, try not to have much more than than the next range/match session loaded. Things change and not having a bunch of rounds that don't work or don't work well is not good. Even with a trusted load things can go wrong. Its no problem to knock out 5-6 hundred pistol rds on the 1050 then clean the guns, go back and finish that sleeve of primers. I have some shoulder problems so the 1050 at a leisurely pace with breaks works without hurting my shoulder. Might automate because of that, not more speed.
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  #36  
Old 07-09-2020, 12:20 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
Oh man, you just screwed up my entire morning. You take that back!
I am a reformed professional on the Loadmaster. I have gone off on them too many times on this forum and I’ll spare the audience from a rant (again).
If you are even barely considering one, please PM me and I will fill you in on a couple decades of hair pulling and bloody knuckles from punching the damn things!

Copy that, Nitro.

The attraction is, of course, affordable price.

However -

I have already rejected the Lee disk type powder charger.
It was going to take a ton of fiddling, polishing, sanding, fitting and tweaking
to get the thing even running properly at all.
And then it couldn't actually match my load requirements.
Not to mention variations.
So it went back to Amazon.
(I bought it there just so I could try it and see for myself )

The Lee Safety Primer system, however, has performed flawlessly for me.
It has been a real asset in upping my production numbers.

I'm not really obsessing on output numbers.
But I did want a little better return on the time invested.
I can turn out about 50 an hour - if things go smoothly.

I drop powder from an RCBS Uniflow.
It's fairly accurate, but I do see drifts in the weights.
So every charge is weighed - on an RCBS beam scale.
80% of the time it's nuts on.
But then it starts to drift and I have to trim the load.
That's the biggest time hit.

The press (Lee Classic Turret) can hold within 5 thousandths OAL.

When I get a thousand or so round made I usually sort by OAL anyway.
It's just that it takes so long to produce that many that I've been
wondering about upgrading to a progressive.

Looking forward to reading the Blue Press article o the powder dropper
and OAL control that Grunt referred to.

But it's still going to take some serious proof to get me okay spending that
kind of money on a new press!
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Last edited by cavelamb; 07-09-2020 at 12:23 PM.
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  #37  
Old 07-09-2020, 01:59 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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is loading a hobby or a necessary evil to you?

If it's a necessary evil, the blue press is cheap. If it's a hobby the blue press can make it more enjoyable. If it's a hobby and you enjoy single stage loading, have lots of free time and don't have high ammo count needs, then a single may be just fine. My own feeling is that the 550 is so versatile that it's like having 2-3 presses in one and is a very good value at full retail price.

You can run a 550 as a single stage and batch each station independently.... or like a turret, running singles around the shellplate or as a manually indexed progressive... or as a 4th option you can do like I used to in that I would run as progressive but still weight each charge. (once you work on the powder dispenser a little you can get so consistent that you will quit doing this)

Or if you really want a single stage version of it you can buy an adapter to the shellplate and toolhead to run it as a true single stage.
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  #38  
Old 07-09-2020, 02:10 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is online now
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cavelamb - the RCBS Uniflow powder measure is very consistent with some powders (like ball powders and small granularity extruded) but not all that great for the large flake or large granule extruded powders - for the most part, just about any powder measure that measures by volume will share those attributes; at least in my experience.

I completely understand your statement about a better return on your time invested, and I think many reloaders discover that same thing - time invested versus yielded return.

If I was in your shoes here is what I would do - contact Brian Enos to get a feel of how many 550's he sees traded in for upgrades to 650/750/1050; you may be able to save some money on a upgrade trade-in 550. At worst, he doesn't see very many, but may be able to direct you to someone who is thinking about selling theirs to buy the next level machine up. You don't lose anything to ask - all they can say is no at worst.
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  #39  
Old 07-09-2020, 03:03 PM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
Copy that, Nitro.

The attraction is, of course, affordable price.

However -

I have already rejected the Lee disk type powder charger.
It was going to take a ton of fiddling, polishing, sanding, fitting and tweaking
to get the thing even running properly at all.
And then it couldn't actually match my load requirements.
Not to mention variations.
So it went back to Amazon.
(I bought it there just so I could try it and see for myself )

The Lee Safety Primer system, however, has performed flawlessly for me.
It has been a real asset in upping my production numbers.

I'm not really obsessing on output numbers.
But I did want a little better return on the time invested.
I can turn out about 50 an hour - if things go smoothly.

I drop powder from an RCBS Uniflow.
It's fairly accurate, but I do see drifts in the weights.
So every charge is weighed - on an RCBS beam scale.
80% of the time it's nuts on.
But then it starts to drift and I have to trim the load.
That's the biggest time hit.

The press (Lee Classic Turret) can hold within 5 thousandths OAL.

When I get a thousand or so round made I usually sort by OAL anyway.
It's just that it takes so long to produce that many that I've been
wondering about upgrading to a progressive.

Looking forward to reading the Blue Press article o the powder dropper
and OAL control that Grunt referred to.

But it's still going to take some serious proof to get me okay spending that
kind of money on a new press!
Not a dern thing wrong with that set up!! At all!!
It's the hinkey linkey snap crackle pop that you get with the progressives that will turn your stomach. Nothin wrong with the other red product either. Take your time...you are already waaay ahead of those guys bitching that they cant find any ammo. When they do, its $20 a box for steel cased crap!!
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  #40  
Old 07-09-2020, 05:01 PM
BrokenGrunt BrokenGrunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpas50AE View Post
cavelamb - the RCBS Uniflow powder measure is very consistent with some powders (like ball powders and small granularity extruded) but not all that great for the large flake or large granule extruded powders - for the most part, just about any powder measure that measures by volume will share those attributes; at least in my experience.

I completely understand your statement about a better return on your time invested, and I think many reloaders discover that same thing - time invested versus yielded return.

If I was in your shoes here is what I would do - contact Brian Enos to get a feel of how many 550's he sees traded in for upgrades to 650/750/1050; you may be able to save some money on a upgrade trade-in 550. At worst, he doesn't see very many, but may be able to direct you to someone who is thinking about selling theirs to buy the next level machine up. You don't lose anything to ask - all they can say is no at worst.
Brian Enos quit selling Dillon a few years back.
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  #41  
Old 07-09-2020, 05:26 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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This!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post
Whatever pace is comfortable and enjoyable is the right number per hour!

I often load at a more relaxed pace and with certain powders will pull and weigh every 5th or 10th charge for verification. Some days I just enjoy an easy loading session like a cold craft beer on a hot day... and some days I enjoy putting up 500 rounds of some particular ammo, for upcoming shoots. Part of it is seasonal as I shoot way more in the cold weather.


I look into the case just filled to verify powder as I lower the plate and again as a separate check as I place a bullet on top... doesn't "cost" me any time as I'm lowering the plate or reaching with a bullet. My scale is also at eye level behind the bench so I don't move to check powder- my left hand takes the case and dumps into the scale pan, already set on what the charge should be. Just a few seconds to verify powder charge midstream.

The point to all that was to say you can load 400 per hour without skipping QC checks and still making quality ammo. The key is in your set up and how efficiently you move about the bench.

I really enjoy loading so I usually have plenty of ammo on the shelf... which makes the actual loading pace much less important to me.
Well I did It! I was able to reload 100 9mm's in 13.5 minutes which makes the "400 in an hour" doable! The first time in over 40 years using progressives that I timed my progress! The pace was quite a bit faster than my normal pace but I put a little "southern rock" on and ....!

This was on a Dillon SDB that's easily 35 years old that gets worn out prats replaced on a regular basis since it gets used the most in the last 15 years. I even managed to break the operating handle a few years ago!

Next week I'll try it on one of the 550's reloading 45ACP!

All the best brother!
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Last edited by jjfitch; 07-09-2020 at 05:29 PM.
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  #42  
Old 07-09-2020, 06:30 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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That's great!

Ha! I laughed reading that because before I ever timed it, I also thought "there is no way!" but once I timed it, I too, was just about there. ...lol

45's go faster for me, the big ol case mouths are easier to set bullets in and I don't have to lean to see the powder.
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  #43  
Old 07-09-2020, 06:45 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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I don't know if I want to wait for Christmas (to see if we still have a functioning nation?)
Or?
Go ahead and get the silly thing so it will be up and running by then?

Considering that components are scare now too, based on what I have on the shelf
I should probably just keep plugging along - on a daily basis and get everything loaded.
It could certainly be done quicker with a 550.
But the financial outlay might be better aimed at another AR556?

I'm in pretty comfortable shape in regards to in stock ammo.
At least for the current political climate.
But come November all bets are off - no matter who wins.

Gramps?
Are you set up to make 9 on your machines?
Have you tried Black Rifle coffee - Gunship flavor??
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Last edited by cavelamb; 07-09-2020 at 06:48 PM.
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  #44  
Old 07-09-2020, 06:58 PM
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Tom Freeman Tom Freeman is offline
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Get it now. Dont wait until the election gets closer...

The learning curve with any press is steep. The nice thing about Dillons is that you dont have to fight the press at every turn. I still have my Hornady and RCBS progressives because I didnt feel right selling them to someone knowing they are a pain to keep running. They just sit in a box waiting for the cockroaches to take over.
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  #45  
Old 07-09-2020, 09:00 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Have I ever mentioned how much trouble you guys get me into?
peer pressure!

So please correct me (politely, damit!) if I have something incorrect here...

This page doesn't look too bad price wise.
https://www.dillonprecision.com/bl-550-basic-loader_8_1_25792.html

Bare Loader for $300
Is there anything excessively limiting about the BL model??
Or is that just the basic press and all the do-hickies will still fit?

What else would I really need?
Assume it will be mainly for 9mm - for now.

The 550 is a FOUR station machine.

I already have two sets of Lee 4 die sets for every caliber I load.
One set loaded on a turret plate, the other still in the box.
So I can use my spare sets.
That savings might make it possible - financially.

I trust the Uniflow powder measure (and RCBS scale )
Probably not going to drop blind anyway. (Shudder)
Also substantial cost savings.

I would need a tool head for each caliber. This hold dies. $28 each
A shellplate - to hold cases. $39 each
Kit # 20127 for 9mm includes powder funnel and locator buttons?
I know how to button buttons, but don't always locate them right.

And a casefeed plate??? What does it actually do?
https://www.dillonprecision.com/case...121_23822.html
Or is that for an auto case feeder?


I really really like to seat and crimp in separate steps.
That's simple enough that I can actually do it.

It's looking like:
.. decap and resize
.. primer - but unknown how that's accomplished on a Dillon.
.. Powder - pour through
.. seat
.. crimp
Same same as my turret press.

I'm sure there are things that I'd want to add along the way to help
automate the process...

Right off the bat I think automating the primer would be nice.
But I haven't figured out what that would entail yet.
It is not included with the press (above).
That one says the primers are "placed by hand"
(Why does that sound so bad??)

What does it take to automate primer positioning?
I don't see one listed specifically for the 550.
AT500 Autoprime? for a hunderd bucks?
Not too bad - some day?


So a basic Dillon 550 machine - using my existing accessories -
Still (almost) under $400?
Is that really possible?
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Last edited by cavelamb; 07-09-2020 at 09:04 PM.
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  #46  
Old 07-09-2020, 09:25 PM
Jackhammer Jackhammer is offline
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The plate is for an auto case feeder.
Quote:
This page doesn't look too bad price wise.
https://www.dillonprecision.com/bl-5...8_1_25792.html

Bare Loader for $300
Is there anything excessively limiting about the BL model??
Or is that just the basic press and all the do-hickies will still fit?

What else would I really need?
Assume it will be mainly for 9mm - for now.

The 550 is a FOUR station machine.
I bought the BL 550.
It is a 550C less the auto primer and powder system.

You need a conversion kit (shell plate, expander tube, buttons).

The funnel sits on top of the Dillon expander body at station 2.

The BL 550 is quite easy to operate.

Place primer in cup, place case at sta 1.
Check powder charge at sta 3, place bullet.
Run the ram up. While it's up you pour the powder charge in the funnel at sta 2.
Run the ram back down and push on the handle to seat the primer.
Advance the shell plate.

My 9mm setup;

Sta 1 Lee size/decapper
Sta 2 Dillon expander die with adapter and Redding 10X on top
Sta 3 Redding comp seater
Sta 4 Redding taper crimp
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  #47  
Old 07-09-2020, 09:36 PM
Jackhammer Jackhammer is offline
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I thought I was going to add the auto prime system, but don't think I will.
I enjoy the simplicity of hand placing them, never any trouble like you read about with the auto prime system. Plus no prep work in filling tubes, no primer early warning system to buy.....
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  #48  
Old 07-09-2020, 09:55 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
I don't know if I want to wait for Christmas (to see if we still have a functioning nation?)
Or?
Go ahead and get the silly thing so it will be up and running by then?

Considering that components are scare now too, based on what I have on the shelf
I should probably just keep plugging along - on a daily basis and get everything loaded.
It could certainly be done quicker with a 550.
But the financial outlay might be better aimed at another AR556?

I'm in pretty comfortable shape in regards to in stock ammo.
At least for the current political climate.
But come November all bets are off - no matter who wins.

Gramps?
Are you set up to make 9 on your machines?
Have you tried Black Rifle coffee - Gunship flavor??
Yes - set up to make 9's. I've tried Black Rifle coffee, and it tastes over-roasted to me, but that's just me.
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  #49  
Old 07-09-2020, 11:02 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpas50AE View Post
Yes - set up to make 9's. I've tried Black Rifle coffee, and it tastes over-roasted to me, but that's just me.



I might ask, if you wouldn't mind some time, to show me how it runs?
That would take a lot of guess work out of setting one up.
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  #50  
Old 07-09-2020, 11:48 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb
A couple of friends have Dillon 550s.
(my friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends)
They claim up to 400 an hour.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ6rP-rcYHk

Glad I got that out of my system!

Ya know, the Lee Turret does the job. Yeah, it's not that fast but I bet it would end up being faster than a Lee Progressive!

There have been a few drive-by reports of how some Rube Goldberg types have made the Loadmaster run well and, well, JMorris is just some kind of wizzard and I'm not worthy to sweep his shop. But the guys that do the drive-by praise of the Loadmaster get one thread stirred up and after a little bit they fade away. I don't know what breaks that they can't do a workaround on but at some point those threads expire.

There is a website somewhere that lists the crosses so you won't have to order a full caliber change kit. For instance, .45ACP, .308 and .30-06 all use a #1 shell plate and .223/5.56Nato share the same shell plate as a .380ACP (I don't reload 9mm so I don't know about that). This leaves you buying less and saving some money on the caliber changes.

If you reload for only a few cartridges a used 650 or the new 750 may be the way to go due to the capacity to hotrod them. If you're like me, well, with a dukes assortment? The 550 is way less expensive to change calibers and it sounds like you already have the dies you need...

I love mine, one of the best things I ever did! Hey, feeding a self loader with a single stage isn't fun, the revolvers and lever guns were bad enough and as was pointed out life is too short!

And here is a hint for shortages...

Primers and powder aren't things that we are going to be able to make in our garages or sinks but it doesn't take that much to cast bullets and get workable product in a pinch. At the worst of the last Great Ammo Shortage when the best price on .22 LR was about ten cents a round I was reloading .45 ACP for about six cents a round using free wheel weights!
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Last edited by Capt. Methane; 07-10-2020 at 12:09 AM.
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