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  #26  
Old 08-13-2020, 07:19 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Originally Posted by Plantar5 View Post
Is there a consensus or preferences on what tumbler? I was looking at a few ie Frankford arsenal,hornady.
Also, wet or dry?
Thanks.
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Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
Oh boy! Youíre in for it now!!
The dry media vibratory cleaners are probably the most simplistic and easy to use. Then you have wet tumble and ultrasonic. All come with increasing costs and time. I switched to a wet tumble after decades of the vibratory ONLY because I was bored and wanted to try something new. It kept the dust down and was fairly easy.
You will now be pelted with 100 different opinions (good thing).
Keep it simple to start with....just get a small vibratory cleaner and some corn cob and buzz away......itís perfectly effective!
Consensus? No! There are some reloaders that don't clean their brass before reloading.

Nitro pretty much nailed it on the basics of cleaning brass.
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  #27  
Old 08-13-2020, 08:37 AM
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Plantar - Nitro pretty much put it in simple terms. I will elaborate a bit for you though based on my experience. If you are going to use dry media, like so many folks do, either a tumbler or vibratory will work just fine for you and produce nice clean brass. If you want to go with wet cleaning and stainless pins, decapping prior to cleaning produces the best results and a tumbler is the way to go. I used a Thumbler's Tumbler for many years with walnut or corncob media and a little polish, and my younger brother still uses it today 50 years later. For walnut or corncob media, I now use the vibratory; most all the brands will do just fine. For wet, which I'm getting back into, I recently bought a National Metallic tumbler from Midway USA and a package of stainless pins, but have not decapped my brass yet to test it out; I suspect it will work just fine too (all other brands of tumblers were out of stock). I bought the universal depriming die kit from Midway (it is the Redding set) to use on my Rockchucker press, and again the Redding were the only ones that were in stock. I have been at this a very long time, so I suspect this set-up, in conjuction with my Dillon vibratory brass cleaner, will work very well for many years.
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  #28  
Old 08-13-2020, 03:11 PM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is online now
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Thank you gents. Apologies for asking such a ‘loaded’ question...lol. I’ll be attending YouTube university to help decipher this puzzle also...

I just recently turned down some free reloading equipment ( not smart in retrospect).
Oh well.
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  #29  
Old 08-13-2020, 04:34 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
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The Lyman 1200 is available from many local stores, works well and will last quite decently. Some kind of additive like Lyman Turbo-Brite case polish and a dryer sheet cut into strips will keep the dust down and seems to keep the media clean longer.

If you have any brass that you don't plan on reloading you can sell that brass to fund your addiction. During the last panic I actually sent one of the forum members who was in need a hundred 9mm cases I'd picked up since I don't have any use for them for the cost of the postage...

At the time I was shooting .45 ACP with bullets I had cast from free wheel weights for about six cents per round-cheaper than .22LR if you could have found any of it to shoot!

If things keep going the way they are, I'm going to be digging those things out of my backstop, cleaning them and recasting them...
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  #30  
Old 08-13-2020, 10:34 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Consensus?
Ha!

I've been wet tumbling for a couple of years now
I got the Frankford Arsenal tumbler and love it.

I haven't been decapping before rumblin.
Maybe it would be better, but that makes another step.
I've had no problem with primer pockets - except the occasional crimped ones.

A 9mm case full of Lemishine and a squirt of Dawn for cleaning.
The water comes out black!
Be careful drying after wet tumbling.
I had a damp episode a while back that was no fun at all.

Usually I'll run brass through the walnut shell vibrator just to put a bright shine on it.
A dollop of NewFinish polish on a USED dryer sheet (or two) works wonders.
Since the brass is already clean the walnut media doesn't get that dirty.
Lasts a long time.

I do that because I already have one.
I would go out and buy one just to polish brass!
But it also insures that the brass is dry inside.



Things that will make ugly (albeit clean) brass....
Too much Lemishine Too much heat in the dryer (oven)
In the oven too long.
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  #31  
Old 08-14-2020, 01:49 AM
NCGunz NCGunz is offline
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Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
Consensus?
Ha!

I've been wet tumbling for a couple of years now
I got the Frankford Arsenal tumbler and love it.

I haven't been decapping before rumblin.
Maybe it would be better, but that makes another step.
I've had no problem with primer pockets - except the occasional crimped ones.

A 9mm case full of Lemishine and a squirt of Dawn for cleaning.
The water comes out black!
Be careful drying after wet tumbling.
I had a damp episode a while back that was no fun at all.

Usually I'll run brass through the walnut shell vibrator just to put a bright shine on it.
A dollop of NewFinish polish on a USED dryer sheet (or two) works wonders.
Since the brass is already clean the walnut media doesn't get that dirty.
Lasts a long time.

I do that because I already have one.
I would go out and buy one just to polish brass!
But it also insures that the brass is dry inside.



Things that will make ugly (albeit clean) brass....
Too much Lemishine Too much heat in the dryer (oven)
In the oven too long.

How much money do you save tumbling and reusing the casing? I assume you can only reuse it one time?

Given the cost of the tumbler, and time spent cleaning, and all of that, I was just thinking it may be similar to just buy the brass or aluminum casings.

Would love to hear the ROI on the cost of cleaning old casings vs. just buying them.

Thank you.
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  #32  
Old 08-14-2020, 01:52 AM
NCGunz NCGunz is offline
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Originally Posted by flechero View Post
Buy a loading manual/book and read it cover to cover before proceeding. One like the Lyman 50th reloading handbook is OK and inexpensive on amazon.


1. You should decide what caliber(s) and rifle, pistol or both and some idea of ammo qty's you need, before deciding on a press. You may be fine with a single stage or you might really benefit from a progressive press set up.

2. For loading the ammo- you only need Brass, primer, powder, bullet.
2b. If you forego tumbling and and reloading your brass - to just buy prep'd brass you might as well just buy loaded ammo. Take the $1k you would spend on loading equip and buy a few cases of ammo as back stock and then buy as you shoot. (tough right now but so is finding primers) But if you really don't want to pick up your brass- you can shoot at my home range anytime!

As for equipment & supplies, Brownells/Sinclaire, Midsouth, Natchez, powder valley, midway,Titan reloading, etc. For bullets specifically you should look at the mfrs, like Missouri, Acme, Galant, etc.
I would love to shoot at your home range. You can keep all the brass droppings. I usually shoot 300 - 500 rounds when I go to the range. This is an expensive situation and expensive to become a decent shooter.

And if you shoot for fun like me sometimes, it is rediculously expensive. Like throwing away $300 a day at the range.
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  #33  
Old 08-14-2020, 02:01 AM
NCGunz NCGunz is offline
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Originally Posted by Twoboxer View Post
Given what you say below, it's hard to understand why you want to get into reloading. When reloading supplies loosen up, so will ammo supplies.



This cannot be answered in a single post on a forum. It also cannot be PROPERLY answered without knowing what and how much you plan to reload.



The "best" equipment depends not only on your budget, but on the calibers you plan to reload and their volumes. Doing significant volumes of popular pistol (and sometimes rifle) calibers may "require" a progressive press, which fully adorned can take up most if not more than your budget. Most consider precision rounds and low-volume reloading are best done on a single stage press. Turrets can be an in-between step, especially for pistol rounds, medium volume. NONE of those recommendations apply in all cases.

Not cleaning brass cannot be addressed when prices are skewed by shortages . . . which occur every election year now. Under "normal" pricing, using brass one time only is cost prohibitive. If you can get the brass through normal channels, you can get the ammo too. Why waste all the investment, space, and time in reloading?



Where to buy depends on what and when. So if you want serious advice on reloading, provide the caliber(s), purpose, and volumes of each you think you will reload.

And reconsider your decision to not clean brass. There are several methods of cleaning brass beside tumbling, but cleaning and re-using brass is the primary reason reloading exists and is called what it is

Well, it looks like maybe reloading is not cost-effective unless I reuse old casings. I am not planning to clean old casings and deal with all that lead floating around my home, and also wasting time and money cleaning them. I was only considering buying the casings, but if it is the same cost when all said and done as just buying ammo when things loosen up, then I will just keep buying ammo.

As for the caliber, I am looking exclusively at 9mm.
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  #34  
Old 08-14-2020, 06:42 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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I understand your confusion now.
You can reload the empty casings dozens of times. Of course it depends on how hot you load. The casing IS the magic behind the savings. That, and buying your bullets in bulk. Remove the brass price completely and do the math. You can load a box of 9mm for less than $5.
Cleaning the brass isnít a hassle at all. Less work than ordering and waiting.
If reusing brass was not possible, 90% of us wouldnít have bothered to learn in the first place.
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  #35  
Old 08-14-2020, 07:22 AM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is online now
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Ncgunz, if you’re just shooting 9mm, I’m not sure its worth it unless you just wanted to learn. For me, I plan on cleaning/tumbling used brass in my garage before it comes inside.
The tumblers/vibrating machines aren’t that expensive or require a lot of work imho.

But for, the brass I’ve been picking up after shooting In the various calibers and todays availability and prices of ammo, I probably wouldn’t be revisiting the reloading question.
Right now, I’m just looking at 3x 5 gallon buckets of spent brass doing nothing but taking up space in my garage.

I plan on going to harbor freight and a local LGS for a tumbler, and pick some more brains to see where that gets me. What the heck, TV sux, can’t really go to dinner, the politics can get a bit maddening after a while and the only good sport to watch at this point is a corn hole match!!..
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  #36  
Old 08-14-2020, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by NCGunz View Post
Well, it looks like maybe reloading is not cost-effective unless I reuse old casings. I am not planning to clean old casings and deal with all that lead floating around my home, and also wasting time and money cleaning them. I was only considering buying the casings, but if it is the same cost when all said and done as just buying ammo when things loosen up, then I will just keep buying ammo.

As for the caliber, I am looking exclusively at 9mm.
We don't call them "old" cases. We call them once-fired, or twice-fired, etc. Most of us re-use (reload) our brass cases at least 10 times, with my 45acp cases I've gotten 20+ reloads.

For us, cleaning cases is not wasting time and money. Yes, it takes a little time to clean the cases, but pulling the handle on a press takes a little time also. But, in no way is cleaning cases for re-use a waste of money. Re-using fired & cleaned cases is THE major factor in the cost effectiveness of reloading.

Many of us reload our own ammo for important reasons other than cost savings. The most important is "quality" of ammo. Not only do we have more confidence in the quality of our ammo but we can tailor design our loads to meet our shooting needs (bullseye, plinking, hunting, self-defense, etc.). Also we can make it when we need it. Don't have to run to the LGS to buy ammo on our way to a match or the range.
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  #37  
Old 08-14-2020, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NCGunz View Post
How much money do you save tumbling and reusing the casing? I assume you can only reuse it one time?
You can save the full cost of the brass... I get it free from guys like you. (thank you very much!!) I have yet to wear out a 45acp case [some loaded over 15 times] and only seen a few 9mm cases loose primer pocket tension- some I have loaded 8-9 times or more. (and I've only been loading 9mm for 2 years)

Put it this way- my costs for 9mm ammo is between 12 and 16 cents ea., depending on the bullet loaded... and the 16 cent rounds are JHP's. So I spend $6/box for range ammo and the time spent loading is free since I enjoy it and consider it a stand alone hobby.

The "cheap stuff" ain't too shabby... here is the 20 yard test group target from a 6.5 cent /ea. ammo with blue bullets 125gr.
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  #38  
Old 08-14-2020, 12:16 PM
mikld mikld is offline
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Originally Posted by flechero View Post
Why throw shade? It's not essential, just cleaner and healthier. This has been discussed over and over... shiny brass is but a by product of clean brass. Many of us wet tumble for health, lead and general cleanliness concerns... I load in the house, the last thing I want is any of the post shot dust & debris in my office.


Sure, some people wet tumble for the glossy brass- but why does that bother you? Just because it was done another way for many years doesn't mean the old way is better. I suspect you use [some] modern equipment and tools.
My post was intended to say, brown cases shoot just as well as glossy. Shiny brass is cosmetic only. I don't remember exactly when shiny brass became necessary but today, post web, that seems to be an essential part of reloading (I helped a friend reload a lot of 45 ACP rounds for competition. He shot well and used a large home made tumbler 15 gallon size and used anything he could find as media and only got the dirt and grit off the cases, no shine. He shot his dull brass handloads quite well).Too many new reloaders are told to include a tumbler. (preferably wet tumbling to make sure the case interiors and primer pockets are pristine and adding more time and $$$). I question the "health" issue about tumbling, but that's another issue...

FWIW, I tumble all my brass, for cleaning only, 90% of the time. I do tumble my 30-06 Garand brass and my 45 ACP brass to a shine because they are easier to find in the dirt/rocks of the "range" where I shoot. And no, I'm not stuck in the '50s as far as reloading technology.

Tumbling, shining/polishing brass is probably the most talked about but least important part of reloading...
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  #39  
Old 08-14-2020, 12:24 PM
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My post was intended to say, brown cases shoot just as well as glossy. Shiny brass is cosmetic only. I don't remember exactly when shiny brass became necessary but today that seems to be an essential part of reloading(I helped a friend reload a lot of 45 ACP rounds for competition. He shot well and used a large home made tumbler 15 gallon size and used anything he could find as media and only got the dirt and grit odd the cases, no shine. He shot his dull brass handloads quite well).Too many new reloaders are told to include a tumbler. (preferably wet tumbling to make sure the case interiors and primer pockets are pristine and adding more time and $$$). I question the "health" issue about tumbling, but that's another issue...

Tumbling, shining/polishing brass is probably the most talked about but least important part of reloading...
You are correct about this, the primary reason for using a tumbler or virbratory is not to polish, but clean off dirt and grit particles so that your brass doesn't damage the sizing die surface - almost a forgotten concept. Having said that, the polishing (in the same step as cleaning with any media) with any of the waxes or polishes, adds to a minimum amount of "slickness" on the cases; that aids in reducing the amount of force it takes to size the cases. Not really necessary, but nothing wrong with it either, and if it produces a shiny case or not really doesn't matter functionally.
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  #40  
Old 08-14-2020, 12:53 PM
Jennifers Jennifers is offline
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OK, first (I tell this to all new reloaders) is go to your local library and get the following reloading books: Lee Modern Reloading (ignore all the nlies about how good all Lee reloading equipment is, the presses are junk, the dies are great. The warranty is worthless too.) as it has great reloading info and data (compiled from Lyman/Winchester, etc), Lyman (any of the last two or three editions, if you buy, buy the lastist one). and which ever bullet/powder maker (Hogdgon, Nosler, Hornady, Speer, etc.) you want to use. Get them through the interlibrary loan system for free! HUGE bargain available at any public library! Read them all, they all cover stuff differently, not "wrong", but from different view points. You wILL learn a lot!

Next, buy a quality press! How do you know? Look at the warranty. If LIFE TIME (RCBS, Dillon, Lyman Redding, Hornady, etc.,etc.) you are good to go. If they have a so-called "2 year warranty" like Lee does, which they do not stand behind anyway, well they know what they put out!

The RCBS Rock Chucker is a great single stage press. You will find a good single stage press handy to do stuff with, and it is not a waste of money, unless you buy some over priced light weight junk with a lightweight warrenty. I still have my 45 year old RCBS RC I bought new!

Don't let someone tell you they aren't worth owning! As you advance you will be using it for case swaging, heavy case resizing (the cheap potmetal presses will break resizing .300 Win Mags or other large cases fairly often, and the warrenties are useless for the low quality presses), bullet swaging, etc.

As to progressive presses, buy Dillon. It has a life time warranty they stand behind. Reloader 7 is also popular with IPSC shooters who shoot a LOT! I have not used a Reloader 7 press, so can not say from actual experience if it is good or not, but bought a used 550 and it has never let me down, plus it has a LIFE TIME WARRANTY they stand behind. A Dillon 550C (550 with everything) will cost - MSRP - $457. A Lee Load (of crap) Master will cost - MSRP - $400 with a warranty that literally isn't worth the paper it is written on. So for $57 more you get Dillon quality, Dillon LIFE TIME warranty. No matter if you bought it used, where you bought it, no matter if it went through a house fire, Dillon stands behind it. Look at my post in the progressive thread for more.

Dies: The best bang for the buck is Lee dies hands down. The best dies PERIOD are (in no special order) Dillon, Redding, Forster, and cost it! Excellent dies are RCBS, Hornady, Lyman "and others" (can't think of the rest off hand). Really, there are no junk dies any more, but some people like certain dies better than other for various reasons, just junk presses and powder measures. If a company claims their cheap plastic powder measure is "perfect", well you can be sure they are lying to you!

For straight walled handgun cartridges like .380 ACP, 9mm (actually tapered), .38 Special/.357 Mag, .41 Mag, .44 Mag, .45 ACP, .45 Colt (and many others), get carbide (or whatever they use) resizing dies. Lube every third to fifth case to make resizing easier and your carbide/titanium/whatever die will last longer.

That should get you started right. Don't let some person who does not have your best interests in mind tell you what you need, like a Lee press. I Have owned or used all of them, except the latest one and they are not good.

Last edited by Jennifers; 08-14-2020 at 02:18 PM.
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  #41  
Old 08-14-2020, 02:03 PM
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My take on cleaning the brass? I'm not entering it in the county fair so while clean is mandatory shine doesn't matter.
I use an ultrasonic cleaner.
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  #42  
Old 08-14-2020, 04:36 PM
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My post was intended to say, brown cases shoot just as well as glossy....
I agree with that.

My additional commentary was really only meant to clarify that there are other considerations (for some of us, anyway) in cleaning method, beyond just getting brass to shine. Apologies for going further that that, had been one of those days. /tip hat/
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  #43  
Old 08-14-2020, 04:44 PM
BrokenGrunt BrokenGrunt is online now
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My "dirty" brass out shoots most of the polished brass at my club matches.

I use a vibratory tumbler with corn cob to knock the dirt off. I've actually got four vibratory tumblers. I also have a wet tumbler that I use maybe once a year for really grungy brass.
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  #44  
Old 08-14-2020, 05:19 PM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Originally Posted by Plantar5 View Post
Ncgunz, if youíre just shooting 9mm, Iím not sure its worth it unless you just wanted to learn. For me, I plan on cleaning/tumbling used brass in my garage before it comes inside.
The tumblers/vibrating machines arenít that expensive or require a lot of work imho.

But for, the brass Iíve been picking up after shooting In the various calibers and todays availability and prices of ammo, I probably wouldnít be revisiting the reloading question.
Right now, Iím just looking at 3x 5 gallon buckets of spent brass doing nothing but taking up space in my garage.

I plan on going to harbor freight and a local LGS for a tumbler, and pick some more brains to see where that gets me. What the heck, TV sux, canít really go to dinner, the politics can get a bit maddening after a while and the only good sport to watch at this point is a corn hole match!!..
Ahhhh, but you see, these are precisely the times that make the most sense to reload 9mm and 223/5.56!
You cant find diddly squat on the shelves. Online is a rip off and you are stuck with whats available.
The reloader can casually load what they want when they want it. Accuracy is far better and the cost is a fraction. In times like these, it is easy to justify the cost of the equipment!!
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  #45  
Old 08-14-2020, 10:41 PM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is online now
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Ahhhh, but you see, these are precisely the times that make the most sense to reload 9mm and 223/5.56!
You cant find diddly squat on the shelves. Online is a rip off and you are stuck with whats available.
The reloader can casually load what they want when they want it. Accuracy is far better and the cost is a fraction. In times like these, it is easy to justify the cost of the equipment!!
I don’t disagree at all. I remember saying i didnt want or need too many different calibers. I think I’m up to 15......
Still undecided on a press, but I ordered up a Frankford armory rotary tumbler, drier, decapping tool, sifting bucket and a few other Things to get started prepping my brass. Nothing was available locally. I’m leaning toward RCBS for the press, just not sure which one.
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  #46  
Old 08-15-2020, 07:51 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Vibratory case cleaners.....

I have been reloading for roughly 40 years, and since I shoot a high volume of ammo each year, I always lube my cases with my own case lube mixture of 1 part liquid lanolin to 4 parts of 99% isopropyl alcohol.

Lubed brass cases make it much easier to resize the case if when using carbide resizing dies. It reduces the amount of effort to pull the handle down on a reloading press.

Unfortunately, lubed cases can collect dirt/sand if you shoot on an outdoor range, so cleaning the cases are essential to prevent damaging your reloading dies. I don't need "shiny like new" brass cases, I just need "clean" cases with no dirt or sand.

My Dillon vibratory case cleaner motor went out after using it for over 20 years, and the cost of a new one was over $150 with shipping for the smaller D750. I doubt I will still be shooting for 20 more years, so I purchased a Lyman 1200 Turbo Pro case cleaner for about half the Dillon retail price.....it works fine, and I still have my media separator..... I still clean my brass before reloading, but I always have about 2K cleaned brass on hand, with about 3K or so brass that still needs cleaning..... my Lyman 1200 vibratory cleaner will hold about 350 or so 9mm cases with walnut media.....
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  #47  
Old 08-15-2020, 08:55 AM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is online now
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Any suggestions for a press that will load 38 super, 45 acp, .308 and 6.5 creedmoor?
Thanks in advance.
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  #48  
Old 08-15-2020, 09:01 AM
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Any suggestions for a press that will load 38 super, 45 acp, .308 and 6.5 creedmoor?
Thanks in advance.
single stage, turret, or progressive?
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  #49  
Old 08-15-2020, 09:56 AM
BrokenGrunt BrokenGrunt is online now
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Any suggestions for a press that will load 38 super, 45 acp, .308 and 6.5 creedmoor?
Thanks in advance.
Dillon BL550.

https://www.dillonprecision.com/bl-5...8_1_25792.html
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  #50  
Old 08-15-2020, 10:28 AM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 3,822
I tried to find the BL version, but never did find a supplier who could source the
press and accessories I wanted.

Finally wound up buying a 550C kit and was surprised that it wasn't really any more
expensive than a BL and parts bought separately when additional shipping charges
were factored in.

I got the press from Titan Reloading. Nice people.
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