Just ordered my first reloading press

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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby muddy » Fri 21 Mar 2014 9:15 pm

If you are crimping your cases then a uniform case length is the way to go. I only crimp rounds meant for the AR's but I trim everything. I found that I can run all my cases through my RCBS case trimmer chucked up to a drill faster then measuring each case and sorting which ones need trimmed then trimming the long ones. The only case length I measure are the ones that don't get anything trimmed off them in the case trimmer to see how short they are. I do use the RCBS three way cutter head in my trimmer so the cases get trimmed along with inside and outside deburred all at once.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby XSlevinn » Tue 25 Mar 2014 10:19 am

muddy wrote:If you are crimping your cases then a uniform case length is the way to go. I only crimp rounds meant for the AR's but I trim everything. I found that I can run all my cases through my RCBS case trimmer chucked up to a drill faster then measuring each case and sorting which ones need trimmed then trimming the long ones. The only case length I measure are the ones that don't get anything trimmed off them in the case trimmer to see how short they are. I do use the RCBS three way cutter head in my trimmer so the cases get trimmed along with inside and outside deburred all at once.


Tell me more about this. So you just put a trimming device on your drill and it's set to put every case to a certain length? You don't need to measure? So in theory I could set the trimmer to 1.750 and put all my brass through it and it will trim them all to 1.750 no matter the difference in length before I trim them?
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby manithree » Tue 25 Mar 2014 10:37 am

XSlevinn wrote:Tell me more about this. So you just put a trimming device on your drill and it's set to put every case to a certain length? You don't need to measure? So in theory I could set the trimmer to 1.750 and put all my brass through it and it will trim them all to 1.750 no matter the difference in length before I trim them?


Lee has a similar system, I think (I've never used the RCBS). The case length gauge/holder is caliber-specific, so you measure by putting the cutter on the case. If it hits, you spin it and trim, if not, you move on to the next one. You can trim them by hand, or put it on your drill for really large batches of brass. You only need one cutter & lock stud. You can get a one caliber set for ~$15.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby XSlevinn » Tue 25 Mar 2014 10:58 am

I may have to get one of these. If it's that easy to where I can just set a length and forget it and just trim all cases real quick, I would definitely do that. I heard of the World's Finest Trimmer and was considering that but it sounds like these tools you guys are talking about might be just as good?
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby manithree » Tue 25 Mar 2014 12:32 pm

XSlevinn wrote:I may have to get one of these. If it's that easy to where I can just set a length and forget it and just trim all cases real quick, I would definitely do that. I heard of the World's Finest Trimmer and was considering that but it sounds like these tools you guys are talking about might be just as good?


I don't know how much better a WFT(2?) is than a Lee or RCBS trimmer, but it doesn't look to be different enough to justify the huge difference in price unless I'm missing something. From watching the video, the process looks almost exactly like the process I use with the Lee trimmer.

I think he said the WFT measures from the shoulder. The Lee case gauge measures all the way to the lock stud. I don't know which way is better, but the WFT might be a fraction of a second faster. Sometimes it can take an instant to get the case gauge through the flash hole. Ok, the WFT probably is just a little faster. I have to slide a case into a shell holder, then push the gauge rod down the neck. With the WFT, you just hold the brass in your hand. The Lee system has you use the drill to turn the brass while you old the cutter and length gauge. You say potato.

The only thing I don't like about the Lee system is that it takes a tool to change calibers for cheapskates. The cutter and lock stud is only $7 retail, so normal people would probably just buy one for each caliber-specific length gauge rod. But I haven't done that yet, and I can't tighten the case gauge rod onto the cutter (or take it off) by hand. I have to use pliers. Once the rod is tightened on, it's a caliber-specific measuring/cutting device. No adjustments required, or even possible.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby XSlevinn » Tue 25 Mar 2014 1:23 pm

Cool thanks for the info. I may just have to get one of those then. I'll look them up tonight when I get home.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby MarshallDodge » Tue 25 Mar 2014 9:07 pm

Not trying to rain on your parade but the last time I reloaded on a Lee Loadmaster I found them to be very finicky. I would have steered you toward a Lee Turret, Hornady LNL, or Dillon 550 and you may want to do more research before taking the Loadmaster out of the box.

How I reload 223:

Tumble cases in corn cob for about an hour.

Tumble the clean cases in a plastic bag with a little homemade liquid lube. Just enough to get them slick. Not too much or the lube will build up in the die and dent the case shoulder. The Dillon Rapidlube is good stuff. I have heard mixed results with Hornady One Shot.

Setup a sizing die in my RCBS Rockchucker and size/deprime. I am careful about how much I bump the shoulder back and measure cases so that I don't bump it any more than needed. More or less depending on if I am running it through a semi-auto or bolt action. For most applications, following the manual and adjusting the sizing die down to the shellholder will do.

Remove primer crimps in military brass with a custom ground reamer and deburring tool. The Hornady tool works okay for this but I like my tool better.

Trim cases using a Lee Trimmer, Possum Hollow, or RCBS depending on the precision that I am looking for. For bolt action I try not to get carried away with trimming too much off but for the AR I just trim to minimum. Depending on the type of crimp, if any, trimming can get critical. Inconsistent trim length can cause issues when crimping with a taper die. I learned this lesson the hard way when my crimp die was actually pushing back the shoulder on the longer cases during the crimp process. I believe Lee and the new RCBS AR crimping dies use a collet method to eliminate this issue.

To remove the case lube I wash the cases in a liquid cleaner consisting of water, dish soap, and Lemi-Shine crystals or lemon juice. Rinse completely, shake out in a towel, then allow to dry inside and out. Usually overnight.

For precision ammo, I finish the process of loading on the Rockchucker but if the ammo is going to be used for practice or plinking then I setup a Dillon 550 to seat the primer, fill with powder, and seat the bullet with a slight crimp. I have never had bullet setback issues with 55 grain or higher bullets in an AR by doing it this way, even without a cannelure. Ammo made on the Dillon will usually shoot under an inch at 100 while I have shot .25" groups with ammo loaded on the Rockchucker.

Be patient and always double check. 8)
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby manithree » Tue 25 Mar 2014 11:03 pm

MarshallDodge wrote:Not trying to rain on your parade but the last time I reloaded on a Lee Loadmaster I found them to be very finicky. I would have steered you toward a Lee Turret, Hornady LNL, or Dillon 550 and you may want to do more research before taking the Loadmaster out of the box.


Yeah, I love my Lee Classic Turret, and a lot of Lee products, but I agree.

This is an interesting site for Loadmaster owners:
http://www.mikesreloadingbench.com/
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby XSlevinn » Wed 26 Mar 2014 8:36 am

The higher end presses were out of my price range... I had been talking to Nick Moyes who had been using a Loadmaster and he said he liked it and it worked well for him so I just went with it, so I guess we'll see.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby XSlevinn » Wed 26 Mar 2014 10:17 am

For that Lee trimmer that you linked, Manithree, are you required to remove the old primer before you can use that trimmer setup?
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby Sam Fidler » Wed 26 Mar 2014 11:36 am

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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby Jake60 » Wed 26 Mar 2014 12:24 pm

Brass in bottle neck cartridges flow upward when you resize them.
You should only be trimming after re sizing/decapping anyways.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby manithree » Wed 26 Mar 2014 3:34 pm

XSlevinn wrote:For that Lee trimmer that you linked, Manithree, are you required to remove the old primer before you can use that trimmer setup?


I haven't done any rifle re-loading since January, but IIRC, yes, that's the case. But, as Jake60 noted, that shouldn't be an issue.
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby XSlevinn » Thu 27 Mar 2014 10:38 am

Here's the problem though.. I use a progressive press.. so I guess I'd just have to run all the brass through the decapper / resizer only, trim, then run it through again?
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Re: Just ordered my first reloading press

Postby James » Thu 27 Mar 2014 11:06 am

Generally it is not necessary to trim brass on the first re-loading. Perhaps for several loadings? How much brass stretches depends on several factors.
When the brass becomes long enough after sizing that it hits the end of the space allowed for brass in the firearm, then you gotta trim. If you are crimping, brass of uniform length gives uniform crimps.

About washing and tumbling brass. That is nice to have nice clean shiny brass, but actually it is mostly for the eyes. I loaded for years with no washing nor tumbling. None of my first "how to do it" books and consultants, even suggested washing and tumbling. Primer pockets were not cleaned either except for military brass with crimped primers.
As long as the brass has no grit or mud on it from falling on wet ground, lube, size and load. (You can wipe it with a cotton rag to remove soot if you wish.) Your rifle doesn't care one whit if the brass is dark.

In the end its what turns your crank. Have fun. :dancing:
Carry on!
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