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Made the mistake of telling the Missus that I'd like a steel target for pistol shooting. She bought me one at the gun show last month and we stopped by the range to try it out. She has now discovered the joys of shooting steel with her pistol. I had to buy her a target of her own. What has this to do with reloading? Her pistol shooting has gone from 100 rounds a week to 200 rounds a day, yes, A DAY. Guess who's sorting by headstamp, depriming and resizing almost 900 9mm cases. Suspiciously, there's also about 500 .45 ACP cases too. Someone has been shooting my 1911.
Hmmm....I can't tell if you are bragging, or if you are complaining :)
Only one thing to do. Teach her to reload.
 

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Hampden is a good one. I have not personally been there yet but a lot of their members come to the Big Pine Action Gun Club pistol shoots. Good folks.

When you get settled in, if you want to use a 400 yard range, let me know. Big Pine just built a new range. I'm not sure if they are plowing the road in now- and it's pretty much if you can drive in, it's open (for members). We always hope mud season will be short. http://www.bigpinegunclub.org/

FYI - Hampden will much closer for you than Big pine will be. In my case, either one is a good drive so it's a toss-up
 

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Yup. Not much in Maine is close by for me. I'm in Albion which is about an hour south of Bangor.
We didn't link up last summer - probably busy all around for both of us - but let me know when you're in Maine and maybe we can dent some primers.

Now back to the thread I hijacked: I will be loading up some HBWCs in 327 Federal Mag tonight. Planning to develop some accurate target loads that will double for small game. Then I need to start in on some 2000 45ACP185 gr LSWC's for my competition gun.
Last year I used a Ruger GP100 Match Champion for several matches and did better than I thought I would. But I had problems with the cylinder screw backing outand binding up the cylinder so I couldn't use it for hte last half of the season. I switched back to my xDM 45, but didn't have time to make up enough ammo. So halfway through the last match of the season, I switched over to 230 gr ball ammo. Which I had no idea where they would hit. I muddled through the pistol match stages but did horrible on the 3-gun. Rifle and shotgun were pretty good but I could NOT hit the steel plates to save my life with the 45. (I'll probably never beat the young talent but I do OK).
Moral of the story: Load up all the 45 ACP and 38 special I can during the winter so I don't get caught using a gun I have not sighted in and practiced with.)
Now if work and all of life's other time consumers will just cooperate....
 

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I bought a Dillon 550C press last Spring and had loaded 45ACP only during the summer. So I finally got around to loading other calibers. And unfortunately, I discovered the 38/357 shell plate was the wrong one. (hate when that happens!). But Dillon made good. I emailed them about the problem a week ago and the correct shell plate showed up in the mail yesterday.
So I've been loading.....9mm. I was already into the 9mms so I figured I would keep going until I run out of bullets. 38s and 357s will be next.
Now I'm hoping Santa will bring the other conversion kit I asked for.

I ended up getting the Dillon press because my poor old RCBS Piggyback II has been giving a lot of problems. It was purchased around 1980 and has been used a lot. RCBS is running out of replacement parts for it.
Some members of this forum, and folks in the gun club, gave the Dillon great reviews. And so far it has been easy to use and very few quirks. My only issues have been minor, and my own fault for not setting some adjustments right.
No it is not a progressive press, but you would never think it isn't. All you have to do is advance the star wheel one click withe your left thumb while moving a bullet to station 3. Easy and positive. Plus the 550C will load both pistol and rifle calibers.

No, Dillon isn't paying me to say all that. I just wanted to pass it along.
 

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I used up all my 9mm 124 gr LRFN bullets - just under a 1000. So now I'm on my 327 Fed Magnum catrtidges. Did about 800 98 gr HBWC's of those and now on 85 gr JHP's.
Probably get onto 357's after that.
Plus my lady gave me a Dillon Super Swage 600 for Christmas, so 223/5.56's are coming up after that. I tried it. That gizmo makes removing the primer crimps much easier.
 

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I would love a Dillon Swager. I use the RCBS press mounted and it’s okay but that Dillon is slick!
Gotta be faster than the RCBS swager dies.
I have the RCBS swager die. Still slow and tedious - but it does work.
I also have the Lyman hand tool cutter that is supposed to remove the crimp metal. That thing is horrible because its very hard to keep it straight in the primer pocket - too easy to ruin the pocket.

The Super Swager 600 mounts to a board that I mount to my bench. You first size/deprime that cases. Then you drop them on the anvil piece, swivel it down into place, pull the handle and you're done.
You can even see on Youtube where folks mount them vertically, then use springs or rubber bands to make the case kick out into a collection bin. I think I'll forego that for now, though.
 

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I got a Dillon SDB last year after some good advice from a couple of members here and have been delighted with it (was considering their 550 also but since I only am reloading handgun cartridges--and that's all I had planned to do--went with the SDB due to its auto indexing and somewhat easier (for me) die system). I reload 38 special, 44 special, and 45 colt cartridges. ........................
Actually the 550 is faster than it looks. I'm used to my old RCBS progressive and would have to insert a case in station 1, put a bullet on the case in station 5, and pull the handle.
With the 550, it's the same deal, except that my thumb hits the star wheel on the way to station 3 to place a bullet. It's pretty automatic to do so advancing the shell plate is easy and takes very little time.
One thing I really appreciate it that if I suspect something did not go right, I can pull the case from wherever it is and check - then put it back in the shell plate. Same thong for set up

2 things I really like - and this probably goes for all the Dillon equipment - is the primer feed and seating is very positive and consistent. And the powder measure is also very consistent.
Only things I don't like - it's 4 stations instead of 5 so I can't use my powder checker dies as easily, and if I forget to advance the shell plate, I get a powder dump at station 2. But not mislead anyone, if there is no case under the powder measure, the powder measure does not activate. What I'm talking about is getting momentarily distracted and neglecting to rotate the shell plate. But that's purely my fault - lesson learned for not paying attention.
Must....Pay....Attention.
 

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I cleaned my bench and built that 9mm AR-15 finally this week. ................
I did pretty much the same today. Day off to take my GF in for a minor precedure. Got home and she was pretty sleepy. Mail came and my titanium muzzle brake and lightweight BCG were there. So I cleared off my reloading bench and put together another AR. This one has a Faxon 16 inch "gunner" barrel (slightly heavier than a pencil barrel). Planning on trying this out for 3 Gun shoots this summer.
But wouldn't you know it, neighbors and kiddies are all home now so i couldn't give it a test run in my backyard. This thing is going to be LOUD with the muzzle brake. I'll put on my snowshoes tomorrow morning and take it out to my back 40 so I can at least get the gas block adjusted.

Tonight, I will probably crank out some 357 rounds once I put the presses back on the bench.
 

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I am slowly but surely replacing all my cardboard ammo boxes with plastic..............
I have quite a few of the plastic boxes that I use. But when those are filled up, I use the "other" plastic ammo boxes - empty plastic coffee cans. My labeling is pretty high-tech too. Peel off some masking tape and write on it with a Sharpie marker.
 

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Just ordered a 223 caliber conversion kit for my Dillon 550C. So I'll be ramping up production once that arrives.
My "quandary" recently has been, which caliber do I load for? Got 9mm and 45 ACP already loaded. Same with 327 Mag - a lot of them loaded up. Can use more 357 Mag. I don't really use many 40 S&W and already have some of those anyway. 243 Win and 308 Win should be in the lineup but I need to do some load development and the ranges around here are in mud season and closed for now. So I think it might be some supply room clean-up & organizing until the 223 conversion kit arrives in a few days.
 

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I got my Dillon conversion parts. So now the press is all set to go for 223 Rem. I made up 20 rounds to test them out but with the snow, I can't get in to any range yet.
But I can still resize and prime cases and have them ready to go.

BTW, the Dillon super swage 600 works awesome for swaging the crimp out of the primer pockets. In fact, you have to be careful to align the cases correctly. I didn't on the first one and I swaged a nice new primer pocket right beside the other one. It took no real effort at all. But I corrected my error and no more problem.
 

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You would think I would learn not to use the shop vac to clean up around the loading presses.

I have a Dillon 550 press and it uses 3 brass locator pins. Two of said pins got sucked up into the nozzle so fast that before I could stop they were in the can. At first, I thought those were a couple of loose bullets that might have jostled out of the box and landed in one of the crevices. But a quick glance at the press showed a different story.

So then the only thing to do was get a big piece of cardboard, pull out the vacuum bag and dump it on the cardboard, and start sifting through the flotsam and jetsam. But I did find both of them.

Well, that was so much fun that I did it again tonight. Same deal - cut open the bag, dump it on the cardboard, rummage through the contents. And I did find the pins...again.

So I put a piece of bright yellow masking tape on the front of the press and wrote in red marker
! NO VACUUM !. Do you think that will work? (Somehow, I doubt it)
 

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I cranked out another 50 rounds of 38spcl tonight. I'm really liking that Accurate #5. It meters so well I don't worry about the charge variance. I checked every throw on my RCBS balance last night with a couple throws not being perfect. I hope Blue Dot and H110 meter this well.

EDIT: Acc#5 seems to burn cleanly, too. There's unburnt powder similar to in my 22mag revolver, but very little soot. I'll have to pick up some copper solvent as I'm seeing copper residue on the rifling.
Your post made me think - you might want to take a look at that CFE Pistol powder. It's supposed to reduce/eliminate copper fouling. I have a pound to try out but I haven't done enough with it yet to tell you about but you could take a look at it.
 

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I loaded up 100 rounds of 223 Rem using the 55 gr Dogtown bullets from Midway. Had them on my shelf for several years and decided I need to try them.
Got a 100 yard rifle match coming up next weekend and I'm hoping to get there for it.
Problem is - with foster parenting the granddaughter and all - I can't get any sight in time for myself.
 

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Got out the chronograph Sunday and tested a bunch of reloads.
45ACP target loads. Last season, in a match, I could not knock down one of the steel targets. Even though I'm shooting 185 gr LSWCs - and had never had an issue before - this one steel target would not go down. Even with 10 solid hits high up. Yet the 9 mms other folks were shooting had no trouble. (I do think it was a target malf because is went down after tehy reset) Turns out that my loads are at 850fps and 300ftlbs. So I don't think I need to change anything.

Last gun was the little SP101" in 327 Federal Magnum. The 98gr lead HBWC loads clocked at 950 and a little over 200ftlbs. The standard deviation was 27. This one is a small game load so I think I can dial that back a little. Recoil is no issue but being a full wadcutter, that bullet doesn't need quite that much speed.
The Hornady 85gr XTPs clocked at 1400fps and 370ftlbs. That uses 12.0 gr of ww296.
The 113 gr LSWC gas checked bullets turned in at 1140fps, 325ftlbs, and a 25 std dev.

Folks turn their noses up at the little 327 but it is economical (if there really is such a thing with guns and ammo), it's accurate, and has some phenomenal performance capabilities. But at 45,000 psi max, there is a lot of noise and blast on the upper end.
 

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Thanks :) I still need to study up on annealing cases but I haven't got that far yet..........
Easy. You need a propane torch and a container of water. One popular method is to stand up your cases in a cake pan with enough space so you don't knock over other cases when one falls down. Put water into the pan until about 1/2 below the case shoulder. Heat up the case mouth and shoulder to a dull red then knock the case over into the water. This is the slow method.

A faster method: make up a metal rod with a piece of tubing as a sleeve on the end. Size it so the case can easily slip inside the tubing and so the case sticks out to 1/2 below the case shoulder. This is the handle.
Set up the propane torch with a bucket of water nearby. Slip a case into the tubing sleeve. Twirl it in the torch flame until the brass is dull red. Quickly dump the case into the water. Slip in another case and repeat.

(Brass is not like steel. To anneal it, you heat it up and cool it quickly. Steel is the opposite.)
 

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Thanks for the heads up . How about using a handheld butane torch instead of propane ?. I use a handheld butane torch to solder gold plated brass bullet connectors and other terminal connectors on speed controls Motors and batteries for my R/C vehicles. I know the gold plated brass bullet connectors get hot enough to liquify the solder inside of them ? .
Butane will work fine. And the article runfiverun posted is good info.
True, the water quench does not change the annealing. What it does do is prevent the heat from migrating to the case body and head and softening those areas. That has been the traditional method, it's easy to do and doesn't hurt (as long as you are very sure he cases are dry inside and out when you load them)
The metal rod trick gives very uniform results. The tubing sleeve should be long enough so the neck and about 1/2" below the shoulder stick out, and that gauges the segment you want to heat while covering the rest of the case. You insert a case, rotate it in the flame, then dump it in water. Insert case, rotate, dump, repeat. I like to put the torch on the floor next to the water bucket, sit on a stool, and have the tub full of cases handy on a low stand.

One of those machines would be nice but I don't do enough to warrant the cost.
 

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........it costs me a bit to make my own shot now, but it's a great way to use up that I dunno lead I come across from time to time for a decent enough price..........
Curious on this. I can't recall reading or hearing about making shot other than in factories. Can you briefly explain the process?
(Not actually looking to make any shot, just would like to know what's involved to do it)
Thanks
 

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I'm using up my " 'Bama bullets, primers, and powder. That's what I call the reloading supplies I bought up in 2011 when I saw that it looked like 0zero would be re-elected.
Over the past 8 weeks, I have loaded about 800 45ACP 185 gr LSWC and 850 38 Specials with 158 gr plated flat points.. I did about 1000 327 Fed Mags with 115 gr LSWCs. I have no idea how many 9mm's - I used up a 1000 round box of LRN, and a couple hundred 124 gr JHPs. My lady likes her 9mm SR1911 but is still timid of blast and recoil so the LRN's are mostly for her.

I have another 2000 38 cal bullets to go through and it will be close to see which runs out first - bullets or cases. I might take a break from 38's and 357's to run some 40 S&W. For some reason, I just don't enjoy that caliber nearly as much. And maybe that's because I just haven't gotten around to loading up and shooting many of those.

The biggest hurdle will be my 5.56/223 Rem loads. Other than de-priming and primer pocket swaging, and trimming, I might have to wait for Spring for range access. The club doesn't plow during Winter (range is in the boonies) and getting in is getting to be a challenge right now. Part of that is a small wooden bridge that I don't want to fall off of. I have a bunch of different bullet weights & configurations to try out, and I want to do some load development before I go crazy loading everything up. I am able to get some handgun shooting in but I am sticking pretty much to revolvers so I don't have to chase brass.

I have some other calibers to load too and I doubt I will get it all done before we get back to Spring shooting.

And pretty soon, I will begin replenishing my supplies again. 2008 and 2012 taught me some valuable lessons. (I heard tell that Wally World has 22LR Rem Thunderbolt ammo for about $12 per 500 - might have to check it out)
 
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