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Discussion Starter #1
After loading for 25ish years, I finally one-upped my RCBS RS3 press. :)



Combined with the free 500 bullet deal and Midway discount, I got the press for around $250ish. I'll probably just end up selling the bullets. Does anyone here need 500 Hornady .284" 139 gr BTSP? :D

Then I proceeded to spend ~$200 @ Grafs for 5 different shell plates and a powder cop die. :eek:

Shown here setup for 9mm cast bullets. I've made about 500 toying around with it today. It has the potential to be real fast, but I haven't got the rhythm 100% down yet. It's like learning to load all over again. :)

Will put any observations about this press in this thread as I use it more. So far I like it.

Matt
 

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Take back the powder cop die and get an RCBS Lock-Out die. It watches the powder level at station 3 and locks up the press so you don't have to stare at each case. However, you really should look in each case before you place a bullet on the charged case. It is right under you nose at station 4.
Paint it blue and tell others that it is a new Dillon you are beta-testing for them...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Take back the powder cop die and get an RCBS Lock-Out die. It watches the powder level at station 3 and locks up the press so you don't have to stare at each case. However, you really should look in each case before you place a bullet on the charged case. It is right under you nose at station 4.
Paint it blue and tell others that it is a new Dillon you are beta-testing for them...
Yeah the powder cop die was an extra/redundant check more than anything. I never trusted progressive presses because of the threat of a double charge, but there are steps you can take to prevent that.

One habit i'm practicing with the new press is when setting up the dies, throw a double charge on purpose to make sure it would be clearly noticeable when loading. Heck even my 6.5 grains of Unique in my .357 magnum almost overflowed the case and it would be all but impossible to not notice a full case of powder when seating the bullet.
 

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Cool, I almost bought the LNL. Its a good looking press. I may still go that route in the spring.
 

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It may be redundant, but I like knowing that even if my mind wanders or looks at what is wrong on station 1 or how the bullet rests in the case at station 4, that the Lock-Out die is checking each case for consistent powder level. I appreciate the lock-out feature or the Dillon with the annoying buzzing.
Did you buy lots of bushings?
The press works great with the Lee powder-through expander dies and the Pro Auto-Disk. If you use any Lee dies you may have to remove the lock nut, take out the O-ring, and reverse the lock-nut so it can go higher up the die and still lock the die down.
My first progressive was the first Hornady. I think they were the first to come out with an affordable 5-station press (Dillon, I believe, had a four station and I wanted a 5-station).
I appreciated the fact that case and bullet handling is all done with the left hand and that the bullet seating station #4 was right under my nose so it was easy to inspect each case.
The problem with dropping a double charge on purpose is that any powder under the shellplate will mess you up and if a grain of powder or dirt gets under the primer seating stem, you have a hang-up and will have to remove the primer seating stem (or whatever hornady named it) and blow air or liquid into it to get the particle out. That is the only design "flaw" I ever saw.
Do not ever force anything. Stop, remove a case at a time and determine where the hang-up is. You can always re-process the cases but you do not want to force and break anything.
 

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I do a lot of reloading and have considered the idea of getting a progressive press, but in your post you mention that you put together 500 rounds, just while messing around with it. Suppose you got your rhythm down and cranked out another thousand? How many rounds of 9mm do you shoot in a year?

I like reloading for the relaxation it brings and while I use a progressive for shotgun, I would be disappointed if I got all my metallic reloading done in a couple of weekends and then had to go mow the lawn, or something. In the winter, especially, a progressive press would spoil a great deal of fun. :)
 

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Jason, you bring up a concern I just ran into. I got my SDB progressive yesterday, and I just finished loading up all my .40 S&W brass. I guess now I can move on to .44 Mag, 9mm, .38 Special, .357 Mag, etc. I shoot enough shotgun I don't ever run out of 12 gauge to reload...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's set up for .223's today.



I did 700 of these yesterday morning. I can definitely see how i'm going to run out of stuff to reload for here pretty soon. :(
 

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Hornady progressive and general progressive press warnings

Comment made:
Yeah the powder cop die was an extra/redundant check more than anything. I never trusted progressive presses because of the threat of a double charge, but there are steps you can take to prevent that.

The press has auto-indexing (one reason I would never feel safe owning a 550b) so you can't double charge without breaking your rhythm. You must always completely cycle the press (the Dillon 1050 even has a ratchet assembly to prevent any short-stroking). You NEVER partially cycle the press with cases in the shellplate, particularly not under the powder measure. The only way to get a double charge is to short-stroke up-and-down while not paying attention and activating the powder measure 2 or 3 times until you notice the powder spill.
The problem you are really watching out for is having the powder bridge in the powder measure so one case has 80% of the charge and the next has 120% of the charge. This is where the RCBS Lock-Out is such a blessing (or the Dillon Powder check die system). I don't trust just a visual indication as I spend too much time watching the bullet entering the seating die to see how the next case measure up.
Never force anything. If there is a problem, lower the ram, remove all cases, cycle it to see if the fault is with the press or primer feed. Then return one case at a time starting at station 5 and working around to station 1. Almost every problem will be related to case sizing or primer feed problems (this applies to ALL progressives—the primer feed is the weak link of all of them). If you ever find the primer slider not picking up a primer, you have either bent the wire that cams the slider back and forth or the plastic tip at the top where the wire connects to the press has cracked. Again, don't get frustrated, just clear the press and inspect for the problem. If anything ever hit that wire, one of those two problems is likely. In general, Hornady will be happy to send you a new wire and plastic top and replacing is easy.
Next is cleanliness. The press has to kept clean. Compared to the Dillons I have used, the Hornady is much less sensitive. The 1050 almost needs to used in a clean room. However, one change made when they came out with the L-N-L a few years ago was putting the primer seating stem under and screwed into the baseplate. Because they designed the primer seating stem in a "T" shape (to fit a spring), there is the possibility for a speck of powder or dirt to fall into it and keep the seating stem from returning to the rest position. This is a place where if you force anything (and you have the leverage to do it), you not only will destroy the primer seating assembly but you might even be able to damage the baseplate. The Dillon 1050 is less sensitive to this since the designed more of a column than a "T" and it is longer so the "crap" falls out of the way rather than being trapped in a little god-awful piece of kit. Just take it out and blast it with air or pressurized cleaning/degreasing spray (while holding the stem UP).
One final "fix"—I locked the PVC tubing to the spent primer tube and directed the PVC tubing into a trash can so there are no spent primers hitting the floor.
 
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