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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Perhaps a little levity for your OQ may help you think about some things.

You want to buy a reloading set-up, and don't want to have to constantly replace or buy other things; completely understandable, except.... Fundamentally, what you are asking is what is the "Best". "Best" is a completely personal, and individual description of preference; as witnessed by the unending opinions in YouTube vidjas, and responses.

You originally asked if one die will last longer than another. The answer is maybe, but for the purposes you are after the answer is no.

Take my Lee anniversary kit, for a perfect example.
I honestly have no clue when I bought it, but know that I was living in Idaho at the time; so something like 25 years ago.
The original Lee dies I got with the kit were for Painless(308). That rifle has had about 1,000 rounds per year fired in in for the better part of a decade. Of course since then I also load for several other rifles and pistols. These past two years work and age of my children have been such, that getting 1,000 rounds fired is about the high water mark currently. Previously that number was only scratching the surface, of my yearly total; if you read just a few short years ago, I put 1500+ through a single rifle in part of one summer. The single stage press didn't require that I spend every waking hour reloading to be able to accomplish this, nor cause me to go through any marital issues for being "preoccupied".
You can also see even recently, that Painless still gets shot to a mile with 55-gal drum lid accuracy.

So what is my point with all of all of that?
Clearly some prefer other brands, rather than Lee. Some have the position that Lee dies and equipment aren't as repeatable, or accurate as other brands. Their personal preferences are perfectly fine, and they should use what makes them happy; naturally. On the other hand. There are not very many folks who post here who shoot that volume through a single gun, let alone multiple guns. Also there are very few who shoot to that distance with any regularity, or accuracy. I'm by no means the worlds greatestestest marksman, but I am better than many. Very clearly my efforts haven't been limited, because of the use of Lee products.

So I'd ask you to think about what is a "better" choice for you, personally. Are you more interested in buying lets call them "premium" products, to learn what you do or don't like/want/need. Or do you feel that buying perfectly adequate equipment, then taking all your extra cash to spend on components and time learning, is a "better" use of your resources?

There is no "right" answer, just choices.


Cheers
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Thing is, the front part blocks vision and it is something you have to work around. For a lot of people, that may be fine or they just may not care because they like Lee, or its price.
Ehhh..... What? Explain to me what I have to "work around", because if I've been hamstrung "working around" a critical flaw in vision for almost 3 decades; it's news to me.

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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@Darkker
Depends on the type of press you have. Some have a piece that is right in front of the press.... I will say tho, it may be easier to put pieces in the side for a lot if not most people.
It just depends on what a person is used to.
I stated what press I have, you responded that those have a vision problem to work around.
Now it might not be a problem, it might actually be easier....

You have a problem of keeping equipment up on this crazy pedestal of perfection, and it's getting fueled by entertainers on YouTube.
No brand of press is perfect, and Since you "aren't used to" any of them, it doesn't matter anyway. Just buy a press and start learning it.

If you read this, you can see how little a specific brand of equipment matters.
Do you want to learn to be a chef, or do you want to simply show off expensive tools in a kitchen you don't know how to use?

cheers
 
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The Shadow (Moderator)
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I also found a set that has a crimping die, it's a 4 die set. Does one need a crimping die for a 223/5.56MM?
If you have your dies set-up properly, no. I've had lots of jammed-up misfeeds from various AR's. Never set the bullet back any amount that caused quivering in the knees.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Saves me from having to buy a dozen powders and then figuring out which works and which doesn't.

100792



That is my face, when someone on a shooting forum talks about reloading and being passionate about shooting and the outdoors. But then says they don't want to "waste time" or "waste money" actually doing those things.......
 
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The Shadow (Moderator)
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1) I've also seen people talking about checking for signs of over pressure, both in videos and in the books. In one of the videos I watched, he started seeing signs of over pressure even tho he was within what the book said was safe.
2) He wasn't sure why it was showing those signs but he stopped the test just to be safe. I don't recall what became of it. It may have been in another video I didn't get to see.

3) Some were concerned about the age of the info I think.....The guy even included notes about things he liked or didn't like about a particular load.
1) UncleNick has a very good sticky on the topic. The greater point is to not put to much into them.
You say he claimed he was within "safe loads", based upon what? Rhetorical, so stick with me.
The book doesn't disclose if they actually pressure tested the powder for that printing. They don't tell you if they simply reprinted data they got from someone else, or if it was calculated instead of tested. They don't tell you who actually built the powder, or what lot number was used in the data.

2) which means he doesn't understand nearly what he thinks he does about reloading, and another reason why you should stop watching YouTube for anything other than entertainment.

3) Rightly so, for several reasons.
No doubt there may be a wealth of knowledge as far as general reloading, or theory of operation. But anything related to powder or pressures is useless.
That long ago, if there is pressure data it will be in CUP. It's been very well understood and documented, for a very long time; that very precisely calibrated copper crushers and a highly trained lab tech can 'miss' 20,000psi of pressure when used above roughly 45k. Some random reloader, staring at brass and primers with unknown alloy and hardness specs; aren't magically better at it.
Similarly, the powders then, were made by different people and with different ingredients. Even though the brand names you know haven't changed. Those powders back when, aren't what they are today.

Cheers
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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1) But if a chronograph is not really telling us much, what are we to use? It isn't perfect but if there is a common tool to tell me what is going on, I'd like to know what it is.

2) It seems the chronograph is about the only way to know that is commonly available.
1) They tell you quite a lot, the problem is the people who don't understand what they tell you. If you start your load development, and say you shoot 5 different loads across the chrono. What the chrono can help inform you of, is where your specific combination of components falls RELATIVE to the book data. For an example:
In a 308 with 150gr bullets. Start: 40gr, 2400fps @ 45,000psi. MAX: 49gr, 2700fps @ 61,000psi.
The chrono gives you a REFERNCE against the book, for your specific components. You can be reasonably confident that regardless of how your lots compare to the book, when you exceed EITHER book charge weights, OR book velocity; you have exceeded book pressure.
That DOES NOT mean that your powder is magically be some imagined fixed burn rate, and can be used in any other set of combinations at the same percentage difference to the book.


2) A Pressure Trace system will specifically record and show you what pressures you are running. For the average Joe, it will get you within something like a few thousand psi. IF you are going to follow the directions and carefully measure and use known or reference ammo, then you can reasonably be within several hundred psi.
They did have a price increase something like a year ago, but honestly the system costs about the same as a mid-range rifle/pistol.

So the question becomes do you want to know, or do you simply want a reasonable approximation to a pressure range? IF you want to know, then buy the system and measure things. If a reasonable approximation will suffice, then a chronograph is the way you get there.


Cheers
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Nothing about that was an "Opinion". Nothing about the wonderful volumes of data and links that were already provided to you, multiple times, explaining this in the 357 thread; is "Incomplete data".

PSI, or kPa is a measurement of pressure. CUP is an arbitrary number assigned, as a physical description of the deformation of something. 45,000 "Squishies" is at BEST, a relative physical description to compare to other somethings; that may have experienced similar amounts of "Squishies".
Any correlation to actual pressures, or any consistency to the correlation; has already long ago been studied. The results published, some referenced and provided to you previously.


Cheers
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Here are three sights that I have read.
Chuck and Wayne, because they are such experts in the field of pressure.

Seriously.... So all the actual pressure testing, the standards, and the written work that you were already provided multiple times in your nonsense global conspiracy thread, were ignored for the sake of entertainment and generalized overview articles.🤦

The trillions of dollars spent over the better part of a century, by the military industrial complex who desperately wanted to understand things. Isn't overridden by your general overview articles.
I'm not the first to notice that among your references, you are continuing to cherry-pick and omit inconvenient facts. Taken from the Wayne link:
"Pounded by high pressures, crushers don’t register peak pressure accurately because the flow of copper is slower than the change of pressure in the chamber. Also, the moving piston must be brought to a halt, which skews a reading in the opposite direction".

If that is someone's source, nothing about it will "make them wonder" if crushers are more accurate.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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The Shadow (Moderator)
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And if prices don't go back down, then what? I agree that it is a higher price than a year or two ago but it is unlikely they will go down anytime soon if ever.
This isn't a "new" event, it's called a cycle for a reason. 😉

I know people like Hodgdon, Winchester, IMR and such but I know nothing about that powder. It's not listed in any book I've seen
Hodgdon, Winchester, IMR don't build powder in the sense that you mean. They are simply brand names sold by Hodgdon.

You should avoid any non-mainstream brand named powder, until you have some actual experience under your belt. Stick with the mainstream until you begin to get an understanding of how the world works, so to speak; then branch out as you desire.

Cheers
 
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The Shadow (Moderator)
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The powder in the ammo can is a temporary thing. I plan to build some sort of wood box for it. I need to research what is the best wood and even try to find out some building methods as well.
:unsure:
Are you thinking that wood is somehow going to seal the powder off from the outside world? That certainly isn't the case, if so.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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I would respectfully disagree, simply for the sake of learning powders and how different lots can be. Without having a reasonable way to know where you lie in terms of pressure, it becomes the old chestnut of "Faith" and nonsense. That is a rabbit hole that has swallowed far too many people and adds confusion.
$0.02

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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A Pressure Trace II system isn't wildly expensive, even after the recent price increase. Used to be cheaper than a "package" gun from the box stores, now is the price of a regular quality rifle.

Most folks don't have the interest level in learning that much about pressures and burning curves, but to be able to learn them doesn't require a second mortgage.

Cheers
 
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The Shadow (Moderator)
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From my understanding they were really expensive to get and required some expertise to use.

Edit: This is the calibers I can load first. If primers and powders are available. 5.56MM AR type, .44 Magnum in rifle and 45ACP. pistol I'm thinking the .44 rifle would be the best one to play with first. The barrel is likely really strong since it is a magnum. The 45ACP is a pistol and the 5.56MM is nothing special either. I'm thinking the .44 rifle would be the best one to handle any slight mistakes. Of them all, it would likely be the cheapest to replace as well. Thoughts?

No, As said they used to be about $300. A few months ago, they had gone up to the $5-600 range, or about the price of a quality rifle. If precise measurement is daunting, or purchasing a few reference rounds makes ones head spin; then I suppose that they require expertise to operate.;)

The 44 barrel isn't "stronger" because it's a magnum. I personally think that any pistol round is more affected by reloader errors. But to each his own. My only complaint about the 223 is the small diameter. If you are ham-handed, or have eyesight issues, then it can be a bit tedious.

Cheers
 
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