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Random Reloading Thoughts
Most books on reloading offer very good basic info on how to produce inexpensive and reliable reloads. The stuff here was not explained to me when I started reloading and I only found out about it from experience. Keep in mind that my reloading is mostly for feeding HiPower and Service Match Rifles, although this stuff would be applicable to almost any reloading situation.
The two views above are of my reloading area. It's just big enough for me, and has no TV, radio, wife or kids. I am to easily distracted and serious reloading requires a clear head and no distractions.
You can see that there is a lot of green (RCBS) and red (Hornady). RCBS costs a little more, in some cases twice as much, but this stuff lasts a lifetime, so that extra $100 figures out to less than $5 a year.
Although the hat in the bottom center of the bottom picture is covering a Dillon reloader.
I am going to include links to Midway for the items I am describing, I hope they work J .
Above is an RCBS collet bullet puller. This is sold without the collets; five are shown above, one in the puller. The puller is installed in any standard press, just the same as a die, with the appropriate collet is inside the puller. A loaded round is placed in the shell holder, raised until the case mouth touches the collet, the collet tightened by turning the handle at the top, and the casing, minus the bullet, is lowered. This works much better and much faster than the impact style puller, doesn't damage the bullet, and leaves the powder inside the casing.
This is an RCBS bench primer. The best way to seat primers is with this OR a hand primer. Priming with a reloading press doesn't give you a "feel" for the way the primer is being seated and offers so much leverage that it is easy to damage the primer. It should be noted that the Lee hand primer requires special shell holders, while the RCBS hand primer uses the same holder as a press. Also, I don't want to be tied to a single brand of primer so I don't like the RCBS "ABS System"
This is the RCSB Competition die set. The resizing die is black, but other than that is seems like a standard die. But the seating die is another matter!
The seating die is mounted in a press, with either a standard shell holder, or in the case of shorter casings an extended shell holder (comes with the die set), the casing is raised, and the bullet is dropped into the "window" a la:
and the casing is raised until the bullet is seated. The big, round knob at the top allows adjusting seating depth in 0.001-inch increments without the need to loosen the die.
This is an electronic feeder and electronic scale. This one was sold by RCBS but I think it is identical to a PACT product. Just enter the desired weight and push a button, and it will dispense just the right amount and stop. I only use it for IMR "stick" powder as the powder drop system works very well with ball powder. See the Lee powder scoop in the lower right? Once I start the feeder, I carefully dump some powder into the scale pan and then the feeder just has to "top off" the load.
If you reload a LOT of rounds, powder gets expensive! Bullets and primers seem to be a fixed, but expensive, cost, but surplus powder can reduce the cost of reloads by about half. I don't use "pull down" powder. Thatís the stuff recovered in the de-mil process, required by our government, when purchasing surplus, loaded ammo. I think it would make good blasting ammo though. I am talking about surplus powder from US military stocks, commercial over-runs, and foreign imports. This is sold on a bunch of levels, with Hogden and Accurate at the top, with fancy packaging and re-loading info, down to the people I buy from, in plain, not quite unmarked, containers. (Ever wonder why Accurate numbers powder from 1000 to 5000? It's because they can buy 500,000 lbs of powder, assign a number, like say 2200, and when that powder runs out, drop the number from their listing.) If your smart enough to work up loads, you can use surplus powders. Two of the best sources I have found are Pat McDonald and HiTech. (Allen is my brother.)
Maybe I'll add to these pages J . Be Safe!!!