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Discussion Starter #161
Unless you devote a considerable amount of time learning first about the reloading process, then move to what is involved in the Precision reloading process, it would be difficult to go out an "only buy what I need once." I started with a Rockchucker Supreme, and I don't "need" another press, but I would like a Forster co-ax. I have a L.E Wilson Case trimmer. but I got great service from an RCBS trimmer. And until I got more into precision reloading, I did not know what I would need for MY precision reloading and added as I went. everything I have purchased on the journey is still serviceable and I use it for "other' reloading, such as pistol reloading, and for that I added Lee Turret press. I guess the bottom line is that most likely everyone here can give you a list of what they use, and it would do the job, but YOU have to decide what wil work for you, your firearm(s) your shooting style and goals.
Keep in mind, I've only seen videos so far. Seeing details on videos are somewhat difficult unless someone takes the effort to zoom in and talks in detail about it and that is rare. Plus, everyone does things a different way and some may not be the right way. Today, I got my first book that shows some details and is helping me to understand reloading better. Even reading the history and details of some calibers I plan to load is helping me a lot. One reason I'm posting links to things, I don't want to buy a die set that won't work with what I'm doing. Maybe some rifles require something more specific that I'm not aware of. I've read that AR type rifles require somewhat different adjustments than say a breech loader, or tip gun. Some require more details to COL and other things. I even saw somewhere where some bolt action cartridges can be loaded in a way that they won't fit in the magazine of a semi-auto. I can't recall the details and found it sort of weird but it seems some things are different and they may not be in a book. The 223 I linked above is likely fine for my AR in 5.56MM. I just want to be sure before I order it tho. If someone posts and says that the link I gave is not the correct set, then I know to find another. It may be that set just won't work with the rifle I'm putting it in or it may be something else. Either way, it saves time and money and more importantly, I don't have a die set I can't use laying around gathering dust.

I've learned a lot from the posts here and the videos I've watched but I don't claim to know everything I need to know yet, even with the book I got today. Being on fixed income kind of forces me to spend wisely. I don't mind spending time learning and adjusting things. In a way, it's one reason I'm doing this. During the winter, being outside is no fun with my health issues. Sometimes it isn't in the summer either. It's something I think will be interesting and fun plus gives me something relatively easy to do as a hobby.


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.
That's what I was thinking. I read/saw somewhere that neck tension should hold the bullet. I just wanted to confirm what I was thinking, in case I was wrong. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #162
I'm digging around, building a list of die sets. Brand varies but anyway. I ran across this and recall seeing a video on it. It seems that this die uses a method that CAN make a case last longer. The price on the die set is certainly reasonable. I can't complain about it. Is this better than what I had before?


This is the original set I asked about.


The biggest difference I see is one is a small base. I remember hearing about that but can't recall the specifics. I'm about to go looking tho.

Thanks.
 

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A small base die will generally SHORTEN life due to overworking. I think your overthinking things, just buy a name brand product-any of them will reload ammo more accurately than you can shoot, procedure and technique will make a bigger difference than brand or type.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Good God stay away from small base dies. Last thing you need.

If you want a case to last a LONG time, get one of the Lee collet dies.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
I couldn't find the video where it mentioned the small base die so I searched for a video just for it. Yea, I want to stay away from small base dies. It works the case a lot and will shorten its life in the end. I have some 300 videos on reloading. I sort them by topic, the press, dies sets, process or steps to do something, benches, tools and the list goes on. I then have sub-directories below each of those in some cases to get a little more specific. Thing is, some folks talk about things that may not fit in just one topic. Makes it hard to organize them.

I realized I have a doctor appt next week and I have to meet the deductible. I was planning to buy some die sets but need to wait until after I see the bill for the doctor.
 

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dalek2.0--- I hope you get your tools soon. You'll learn more in an hour of doing than in a week a watching. You somehow remind me of the guy that decided being a pro-golfer was the business for him so he started researching what the 'best' clubs and balls were so he could win the first time he swung a club. No need to learn how, its easy. Watch it on TV, piece of cake! All you need is all the pro-gizmoz that allow them to win. WOW! That cost a lot of money! He can learn to play golf with $20 pawn shop clubs and found balls and his scores will be surprisingly similar. It's not the hammer, it's the carpenter.

Since about 1960, dies have all had 7/8-14 threads and since about 1970, almost all presses take 'universal' shell holders. All dies since about 1980 have been heat-treated steel instead of relying on hard chrome plating for wear resistance. Carbide dies became popular in the late '70s, (but I've never bothered to buy a set).
Buy a good press, dies from a reliable company and start collecting doo-dads and tools. A decent set of digital 6" calipers (STEEL not plastic) will be your most used tool, but you're not building space craft . Use the $20 set more than the hundred dollar set.
As you reload, you'll find shortcuts and little techniques than help make good ammo....like rubbing a fingertip over every primer after seating to be sure it's below flush. The difference between seated well and not seated well is about four times the accuracy difference between die sets.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
@JBelk I agree. I will learn a lot when I put my hands on it. One thing I'm trying to do, have some fairly clear waters in my head when it comes to what I know. I'd like to do that before I get a piece of brass in the press. I have a family member that was a golfer. I'm not big on sports but golfing is a lot like shooting. You have to aim, adjust for wind and other things and then fire or swing the club. While different, it takes practice for both. I doubt many, if any, can pick up a rifle for the first time and shoot 200 yards and hit 3" or 4" targets every time. Practice and learning will get a person there. It may take a while, and help from the wind as well but likely doable.

I found a caliper that is stainless steel. It is .001 accurate. I also found a digital caliber that is .0005 accurate. I may end up with both. One doesn't take batteries. For the same reason, I'll likely have a digital scale but also have a beam style scale as well. I have a Harbor Freight caliper but I wouldn't trust it with reloading. It's is reasonably accurate but not enough for reloading. I think it is .01 for it. It's a cheapo I use for simple stuff. I believe you are right about it getting used a lot. I watch people reload ammo, scale and caliper is two things that get used a lot, outside the press of course. With some, the caliper even gets used more than the press. Some measure length, thickness, width and all sort of things on the brass. Then measure overall length after the bullet is seated.

To all: I found a series of videos where this guy is testing different methods of reloading and separating his brass, picking powder type and loads etc etc etc. He has a few of these. I've only watched one "season" so far but if you go to his channel, you may can find one that interests some of y'all. This is the season I just watched. It's about the 5.56 which I have one of.


Link to playlists if needed.


At first, I didn't care much for the video but I watched anyway. I figured if I learned one, may two, tips or tricks from it, it's worthwhile. As I watched tho, it got more interesting. Interesting enough that I turned Bones off my TV and sent the whole season to my TV to watch. I usually watch things like this on my TV monitor. After watching what he did and the process, I want to watch his other videos. One could easily duplicate his process and produce some good ammo. There may be other methods but his worked for him at least. Now to go download some more and hopefully learn some more as well.

Oh, the book that should be here really soon if not already, Modern Reloading, it hasn't moved since it shipped. It's still stuck in Florida waiting to get started. It isn't even estimating a delivery date. It says this:

January 7, 2021, 11:47 am
Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending

Usually that updates later the same day but this one is just sitting. I think the USPS is short handed. I don't think this is related to the holiday season at this point.
 

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I'm just wanting to get into the press and its related accessories. Things like, dies, tools that put in the primers, powder, bullet etc. I'll get into the rest later, likely a new thread.

Thanks to all for any info you share.
I started reloading and doing competitive shooting in my early high school years some 54 years ago. I've always used RCBS equipment and dies, but have added to my tools a Lee Factory Crimp Die for my 30-30 and a Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die for my 6mm Remington. I used an RCBS Jr. press to start with and used that for many years, but a friend gave me an RCBS Rock Chucker 2 that I now use and really like. I added an Inline Fabrication improved primer catch to it that really works well and totally eliminates spent primer going everywhere. One of the best pieces of equipment I bought was an RCBS Bench Priming Tool, and it is far superior to doing priming on the loading press. My powder measure is the old, classic Belding & Mull visible powder measure, and I use an RCBS balance beam scale (first scale was an Ohaus balance beam scale that broke - no fault of the scale, it just didn't survive the trip to the floor when I knocked if off my bench) and powder trickler since I weigh all my loads. Hope this is useful.
 

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The least expensive complete reloading set-up on earth is the Lee Loader, it held a Guinness world record for 7 years. Just buy name brand equipment, stick to at least two reliable sources (not internet) and learn from your mistakes.
 

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dalek- I'm just guessing, but the youtube guy you admire is probably following the steps given in EVERY reloading manual. The processes are EXACTLY the same no matter how complicated you make it. The trick is to learn what it means, not just how to do it. Anybody can work a press handle or a hammer. You HAVE to know the basics and why things are done the way they are. There are hundreds of kinds of screws and some are even backwards, but they're all following the same physical reason for being here. It's the same with reloading. Every cartridge case is a GAS SEAL and they work just like the leather washers on a bicycle pump. Don't get hung up in minutia until you get bored with the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter #172
I'm sort of building the reloading process in my head. One part makes me have a question or two. Obviously brass is easier to clean with the primer removed. That is especially true if using a ultrasonic cleaner since if it is head up, it will have a large air pocket and result in little to no cleaning inside the brass. So, when I have fired brass that needs cleaning, I want to remove the spent primer first, clean, inspect and such and then start loading. I'm thinking of removing the spent primer without a press. It's either that, or change the process a bit. The question I come up with is this. What do y'all do? Do y'all use a little hand tool to remove the spent primer or do you use the press to do it?

There's a couple video series that I watched that really explained a lot of things. It helped clear the waters a bit more. The one the did the extreme reloading series explained a lot of things that helped. I just wish the stuff was here so I could load a bit of ammo. Some things are on backorder so no clue when things will get back to normal. I just hope I get my stuff before a certain group of idiots tries taking guns from us. Just saying.

The expected ship date remains in March for the press. I was hoping it would move up a bit but it hasn't so far. On the good news side, went to Doctor appt, spent about $100 to find out I'm still alive. I could have bought a decent amount of powder for that money.
 

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You can simply use your dies to deprive cases. Many are now using a universal decapper which are not too expensive. One can manually decap if they want. I sometimes stand a case in a small socket n use a small decapping stem n mallet to drive the old primer out with.
 

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Many times I will pick up brass from the range (.223/5.56) that's so filthy I don't want to run them through the sizing process till I've washed them. The problem with washing them with the primers still in them is the water doesn't want to drain out very fast. So what I do is deprime/decap everything with what would be the equivalent of a universal depriming die. Then I give them a bath with common soap and water in a bucket. Using my hands I have fun swirling everything around and eventually rinsing it all. Then I pour it all out and lay everything out in front of the wood stove for an hour or so with the blower going. Then I go through the process of sizing and so forth. It's important to separate all the brass that you've run through the process in various buckets. I have several hundred cases in various stages of process stored away and keeping it all straight is a chore sometimes. If you're looking for free brass just visit your local forest shooting sites on occasion and you will find brass almost every time. On two occasions I found over 500 .223 cases in one spot alone. I have more brass then I will ever need in my lifetime now. There is one word of caution and that is never use what I call "campfire brass" people will sometimes throw brass in a camp fire and it softens it till it's way to soft to use as a cartridge. The head is supposed to be fairly hard and only the forward section is soft.
 

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Discussion Starter #176
That's along the lines of what I'm thinking about, cleaning as early in the process as possible. There is a few reasons for that, keep dies clean being one but also being able to see brass that shouldn't be reloaded because of some sort of problem. After all, bad brass doesn't go well. It's sort of interesting that brass has to be lubed when going through the full sizing die but needs to be lube free for the rest. So, clean early then clean again just before putting in the primer but after full length resizing. Of course, if one leaves the oil in there and skips removing it, could lead to bad primers. It seems even a small amount of oil renders a primer dead. I've seen that mentioned on several videos.

While I'd like to buy high quality brass, given the current shortage, it may not be possible. It seems brass from firing ranges is available but it is less than ideal. Different brands have their quirks which can lead to different results at the bullseye. Then there is also the rejects that maybe got stepped on or other wise damaged.

I wish I had started this a few years ago. I'd have a good stockpile right now that would make some people grin, and others maybe cry a little.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Get a universal depriming die, as suggested, and I don't think it is unreasonable to set up a cheap press (if you can find one) to do just decapping in.
 

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Discussion Starter #178
That's another thought I was having. I found this tool that is handheld but I'm not sure what all calibers it can deprime yet but it does say pistol and rifle so I figure it is adjustable.


I wouldn't want really nasty brass in my Forster press and certainly not in the dies. That said, I'd rather avoid three cleanings as well. As usual, that tool is on backorder. It's like most everything else I find. It's listed but you can't get it. :(
 

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The depriming tool works on any caliber, but do you really want to add another step? The case is deprimed the same time it's re-sized by using a die. The tool you found does nothing but punch out the old primer.
If you want a tool right away, order from somebody that has one. Ebay is full of them for $55.00 ( :eek:!! Don't you have a tack hammer and long nail?)
To me, that's a solution without a problem.
 
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If lube is getting into the primer pocket or inside the case a person is using wayyyyyy too much lube. The only reason for the lube is to keep the case from sticking in the sizing die. Nothing else requires lube. I'm old school and still use the lubricants that I used in the 70's. (And probably still have some tubes of it that I bought in the 70's) It was basically STP in a tube. There are much better lubes out there and I recommend you get used to them instead of doing it my way. (I'm an old geezer and can't change) The world has progressed and haven't kept up so I wipe all my cases off after sizing and it's a chore but I can't change.
 
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