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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


sorry for the huge crappy cell phone pic

i was unable to change my order to the classic turret, so my loadmaster came in today. as far as the quality and movement of the press i am very pleased so far.

i've got the basics set up so far and have prepped about 100 cases, just waiting to get my bullets and powder.

i've noticed however that my dies are different than the pictures i've seen. station 5 is the factory crimp die correct? isn't there supposed to be an adjuster coming out the top of the die?

one more question, when i get the collet sizer die, will it accommodate a decapping pin, or will i have to buy a seperate decapping only die and put the collet sizer in station 2
 

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Browning, your Factory Crimp die is the one in the bottom right (but you already know that). In your bottom left is your bullet seater, and the top right is your full-length sizing die. To the right of your full-length sizer are some ear buds and to the left, a pair of Optimus shades. :D

The answer to your first question is no, the FC die doesn't have an adjuster knob - it adjusts by screwing the die in or out.

Your second question: Yes, the Collet neck-sizing die will have a decapping pin, but the top won;t look like the top of your full-length sizer. Instead, the decapper floats inside the die body, as does the collet, and is stopped by a flat-topped aluminum cap screw. Again, the Collet neck-sizer will take the place of your full-length sizer when you want to neck size. When you want to full-length size, remove the collet die and replace with the full-length sizer. You can't use them both at the same time, or one after the other, at least I can;t think of any reason why someone would.

Third question: You might think about getting a dedicated Lee Universal decapping die. It's sole function is to deprime the cases. The body of the die (inside) never touches the case. The reason you might do that is: when you come back from the range with empty cases, you can decap them in that die without spreading any dirt or carbon in your other sizing dies. Once decapped, you can clean the primer pocket, brush the inside of the neck, and tumble or whatever. Then your cases are clean and ready to be either full or neck sized. Even if you use a dedicated decapping die, don;t be tempted then to remove the decapping pins from your sizing dies. Both the full-length sizer and collet neck sizer depend on the mandrel being in place during use, whether you actually use it to deprime or not.

What I recommend you do, if you haven't already is to take all the dies apart. Clean them in mineral spirits or acetone, inside and out (external threads too with the spirits and a toothbrush). I use acetone, q-tips, blue paper shop towels to twist around inside the die bodies, and a toothbrush. The entire die gets cleaned, including every plug, collet, outside threads, lock knuts (inside threads), and even the inside threads of the press where the dies screw in.

Full-length die: use two appropriately sized wrenches to loosen the collet at the top of the sizing mandrel. I leave mine in the press to do this, unscrewing the die just enough so that if the die turns a tad it won;t over-tighten the lock nut. Once the collet and mandrel (decapping pin) are out, clean everything inside and out. Tighten that baby up tight when you put it back, making sure the end of the decapping pin is about flush with the top of the collet nut. When reassembling, I always lay the die on the bench. That way the mandrel can be positioned where I want it and I can tighten the nuts without have the mandrel sliding in and out and having to fuss with it.

Collet neck-sizer: unscrew the aluminum cap screw and remove the sizing mandrel (decapping pin), the plug, and the collet. You may have to tap the collet out (from the bottom out through the top) with a dowel and a mallet. Some guys put a little lithium grease on the outside top of the collet when reassembling. I don;t, I keep it clean, dry, and shiny. IF you use a little grease, use it sparingly becasue, sooner or later, the grease will work its way between the collet fingers to the inside of the collet, and will then get on your case neck. Who wants that?

Bullet Seater: Unscrew the seater plug adjusting knob and remove the seater plug.

Factory Crimp Die: With die in the press, take a mallet and large dowel and tap the crimp collet down out through the bottom of the die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks guys... i've got everything figured out now, and got my primer depth set. Going today to get some bullets and a few other odds and ends.

I've been lookin around online and Varget is the only thing i can find. everybody is out of h335, 4895, 4350, 748.... hopefully my gander mountain will have some 748 or varget cause i'm not feeling paying twice the price to have it shipped.
 

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You won;t be paying twice the price unless you're only buying one or two pounds. Most guys plan on reloading for some time, and a couple of pounds only lasts a couple of weeks. When it comes to Varget, there's no harm in buying bulk, because it's going to work well for you in bare minimum one or two bullet weights. You'll find your accuracy in Varget, though not on every load.

Here's the thing about online powder and hazmat: In my area, powder goes for bare minimum $26 and more likely $29 per pound. Online, you can get Varget for $19.50 and W748 for $18.50. Both are cheaper if buying 8 pound kegs. Say you buy 3 pounds of Varget (better 5 in Varget because it's so scarce - here anyway) and 2 pounds of W748. Then you add a box of Wolf LR primers for $25.50. Your total is $121. Add $22.50 hazmat and $10 for shipping. Total now is $154.00 to your door. Waiting time? 6 to 7 days.

Now, go to a supplier in my area (maybe your area is $0.12 cheaper than mine, I don;t know). Powder will average $27.50 and primers about $38. Your total out the door will be about $175, IF, that's IF they have your powder (and primers) in stock. I just came back from my gun shop. They haven't had LR primers in more than 2 weeks (well, any to speak of in more than 8 months) and their Wolf LRP's are $32 per 1000. Uhm...they're out of Wolf right now. I don;t need any, just mentioning it.... :D CCI primers? Federal or Winchester? Can;t be found here. Nowhere.

Here's the summary:
Online (w/hazmat and shipping)
$154 = 5 lbs powder and 1K LR primers

Local Purchase (no hazmat/no shipping)
$175 = 5 lbs powder and 1K LR primers

I don;t worry about the hazmat fee at all anymore. It doesn;t phase me. I save money every single time and, more importantly, my online source HAS the powder I need, 90% of the time, and when they don;t, they do in a week or two.

As an aside, for me, IMR4064 shoots so well in all my rifles I keep it well stocked.
 

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There are a lot of powders that will work just fine, Reloder 17, Reloder 15, IMR 4064, H322, IMR 4320, BLC2, AA 2520, Vihtavuori N135, AA2460, AA 2230, IMR 3031, Ramshot Hunter, Ramshot TAC, Reloder 10x.
 

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And that's not even mentioning RL19, IMR4064, RL22, IMR4350, IMR4895, IMR4064, H380, IMR4007SSC, W760, IMR4064, IMR4227, and, last but not least, IMR4064. ((( :D )))
 

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Oops..sorry. And IMR4064 too!


:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
picked up some Sierra 150gr ProHunter Spitzers and some Winchester 748 tonight. Gander Mountain didn't have to terribly much to choose from... didn't even have a case trimmer... which is the last thing i need to start loading. Gonna have to order one and wait another few days...

oh well... can't shoot my rifle til xmas day so i guess i'll live
 

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Both Midway and Kempf can get case trimmers to you in just a few days.

Maybe try the Lee case length guage with shellholder (you will also need a lockstud), one inside/outside deburring tool, and their wooden ball-handled trimmer. Chuck the lockstud in a cordless drill and you'll be good.
 

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You won;t be paying twice the price unless you're only buying one or two pounds. Most guys plan on reloading for some time, and a couple of pounds only lasts a couple of weeks. When it comes to Varget, there's no harm in buying bulk, because it's going to work well for you in bare minimum one or two bullet weights. You'll find your accuracy in Varget, though not on every load.

Here's the thing about online powder and hazmat: In my area, powder goes for bare minimum $26 and more likely $29 per pound. Online, you can get Varget for $19.50 and W748 for $18.50. Both are cheaper if buying 8 pound kegs. Say you buy 3 pounds of Varget (better 5 in Varget because it's so scarce - here anyway) and 2 pounds of W748. Then you add a box of Wolf LR primers for $25.50. Your total is $121. Add $22.50 hazmat and $10 for shipping. Total now is $154.00 to your door. Waiting time? 6 to 7 days.

Now, go to a supplier in my area (maybe your area is $0.12 cheaper than mine, I don;t know). Powder will average $27.50 and primers about $38. Your total out the door will be about $175, IF, that's IF they have your powder (and primers) in stock. I just came back from my gun shop. They haven't had LR primers in more than 2 weeks (well, any to speak of in more than 8 months) and their Wolf LRP's are $32 per 1000. Uhm...they're out of Wolf right now. I don;t need any, just mentioning it.... :D CCI primers? Federal or Winchester? Can;t be found here. Nowhere.

Here's the summary:
Online (w/hazmat and shipping)
$154 = 5 lbs powder and 1K LR primers

Local Purchase (no hazmat/no shipping)
$175 = 5 lbs powder and 1K LR primers

I don;t worry about the hazmat fee at all anymore. It doesn;t phase me. I save money every single time and, more importantly, my online source HAS the powder I need, 90% of the time, and when they don;t, they do in a week or two.

As an aside, for me, IMR4064 shoots so well in all my rifles I keep it well stocked.
StretchNM,
Who do you use as your on-line source for powder and primers?
Cary
 

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Matt said it. The secret's out........
 
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