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Me Too ... but it's been 50+ years (1967) .
I load too many different calibers ... the Lyman All-American Turret I rescued from a flea market is the nearest thing to a "progressive" I have , it stays set up for 357 Magnum ... but the press was a rescue , it was in terrible rusty and neglected condition when it called out to me ... Please ...Save Me , take me home , love me .... what could I do !
Gary
I would have done the same thing. :)

I could just never justify the expense of a progressive (to myself) and all the accessories needed.
I just don't load those volumes.
 

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I could just never justify the expense of a progressive (to myself) and all the accessories needed.
I just don't load those volumes.
Handgun Rounds: The art of not "sitting one's satchel down" is to look for pre-owned gear. Getting a progressive allows one to load many hundred rounds with ease.. Sure enough along the way it's possible to come up with ways to make the task easier. For example, how to lube new cases stick on the Dillon powder funnel. Fortunately, that sticky business is rare in my experience. For an economical way to get into progressive reloading check out the Lee Classic Turret Press. That thing is a wonderment!

My first experience with a progressive was with the original Lee turret. That was OK. Next was with a RCBS Piggy Back for a RC.That was not OK, I survived that experience moving on to the Dillon's. The easy way for me to see this is each station in my progressive is no different than a single stage press. The progressive does all the steps at once. Out comes a loaded round with each pull of the handle. Lube if you want. It works with or without lube.
 

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Ruger .44 Carbine, Security-Six, Service-Six, Mini-14, .30 Carbine Blackhawk
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Handgun Rounds: The art of not "sitting one's satchel down" is to look for pre-owned gear. Getting a progressive allows one to load many hundred rounds with ease.. Sure enough along the way it's possible to come up with ways to make the task easier. For example, how to lube new cases stick on the Dillon powder funnel. Fortunately, that sticky business is rare in my experience. For an economical way to get into progressive reloading check out the Lee Classic Turret Press. That thing is a wonderment!

My first experience with a progressive was with the original Lee turret. That was OK. Next was with a RCBS Piggy Back for a RC.That was not OK, I survived that experience moving on to the Dillon's. The easy way for me to see this is each station in my progressive is no different than a single stage press. The progressive does all the steps at once. Out comes a loaded round with each pull of the handle. Lube if you want. It works with or without lube.
This is a good FYI for people just starting out.

For me, I simply do not load in the volumes to justify a progressive. I don't need to load 500rds an hour.

While I like the turret press, there is not a huge speed advantage over the Hornady Lock 'n Load system on my single stage.
I'm perfectly happy cranking out 100rds/hr of pistol ammo.

Most of my rifle loading is hunting ammo.
Deer season is approaching and I only really need 5 rds. :ROFLMAO:
Of course, I will load more because I like to check the scopes.

I do a lot of load development trying different powders/bullet combinations, but again, those are low volume.
Currently working on an MK319 clone.
 

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I not relating to the smooth business. I have used carbide dies in a RC press and 550 for many years experience. I see this lubing issue as extra steps.

The advent of the carbide dies-I have been loading for several years- had to do with a durable ways to size cases without lube. What I mean by durable is that nickle cases could steel dies seriously. This lubing handgun brass has the smell on internet reloading dogma. I have never dropped out in exhaustion resizing handgun cases. No need or purpose in lubing with carbide dies.
Tha effort required, albeit slight to begin with, is much, much, much less with lube, so, smooth, easy faster, call it what you will but I do lube straight wall pistol cases sometimes too, especially when there are 4 or 5 hundred to do, its just smoother.
I dont think anyone, well, I hope no one, will drop dead from exhaustion from sizing pistol brass but if some do it let them do it, its their choice to do so. No need for hyperbole to slight someone elses choices or preference to lube brass. I didnt read anywhere that someone said sizing brass was exhausting.
 

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I have a suspicion I'm not alone in this quest.
Does anybody else throw a quick squirt/blast/dose of case lube onto their handgun brass before resizing in carbide sizer?

I think I read about this on the 1911 forum, it sure makes .45 ACP go so much smoother & quicker. I put two quick squirts on a batch of 100 9mm, wow, super smooth & quick.
No, you don't need a carbide sizing die if you are gonna lube. Defeats the purpose.
 

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wkuban, Case lube with carbide dies does not defeat their purpose, it enhances them. Any time I can get the press handle to pull easier, I'm happy and case lube does exactly that. Is it needed? No, but it sure doesn't hurt anything. If you use spray lube, it only adds a few seconds to the process and there's no need for cleanup.

Just a few comments about carbide dies .... a great invention for straight wall revolver cases but not so great for semi-auto cases. Why? Revolver cases have true straight walls and mate with straight walls in chambers... no taper. All semi auto cases have a slight taper that melds in with a slightly tapered chamber. When the tapered case fits snuggly in a tapered chamber, the bullet is directed straight into the bore. When you size semi-auto cases with carbide dies, you end up with straight walls cases (no taper) in a chamber with tapered walls. That's because carbide dies use a short carbide ring, which is the only part that contacts the case. Conventional steel dies are tapered and make full contact with cases, so the cases come out tapered, just like factory ammo. Semi-auto cartridges loaded with carbide dies will chamber OK and will shoot but are seldom as accurate as conventional steel dies because the chamber and case tapers don't meld. As a result, bullets will enter the bore slightly off center .... just enough to cause minor bullet damage, resulting in a loss of accuracy.

When reloading "plinking ammo" where precision accuracy is not needed, I use Dillon carbide dies in a Dillon RL550 press. Straight wall cartridges such as 38 or 44 Special, 357, 41, or 44 Mag and 45 Colt, come out great .... match grade accuracy. 9mm, 45 ACP, 40 S&W, and 30 Carb are all more accurate when conventional tapered dies are used. Besides, semi-auto cases last longer when you size just enough to restore the taper, but not when carbide dies undersize the cases. That said, I typically use carbide dies with my semi-auto cases just because. If I load 45 ACP for bullseye matches, I break out my old set of Pacific "Durachrome" dies with tapered walls. It does make a difference in accuracy! I've also found using conventional 30 Carb dies helps prevent spent cases from sticking in the chamber after being fired, like they do with carbide dies.
 

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I have a suspicion I'm not alone in this quest.
Does anybody else throw a quick squirt/blast/dose of case lube onto their handgun brass before resizing in carbide sizer?

I think I read about this on the 1911 forum, it sure makes .45 ACP go so much smoother & quicker. I put two quick squirts on a batch of 100 9mm, wow, super smooth & quick.

No. I'm sure that it helps but who wants to do more cleanup?

Two, I check a sample of finished rounds in a chamber gauge. Add goop, maybe it won't fit?
 

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When reloading any pistol or rifle cases, I first decap them using my old Lee "basher" decapping rod and a hammer. Then I tumble them with steel pins and BoreTech case cleaner, which can be used over and over again. The cases come out looking like brand new, including the primer pockets, which I like a lot. Then they get dried, lubed and sized, usually with carbide dies and flared. I use the RCBS case lube becauses it washes off easily with water, unlike most of the spray lubes which contain lanolin, which if you want to remove it, something like alcohol has to be used. I just put a dab on my palm and spread it around on the cases. Size, flare the case mouth and after one more quick wash with warm water and a dash of Dawn and once dried, are ready to load.

I have a RC single stage and Dillon 550 that I use for larger numbers of rounds. I also have an old Champion Progressive press, set up for 38/357 but it's a pain to set up correctly and then has to be "tuned up" every 500 rounds or so. Sometimes more often. It's ok once you get it going but it ain't no Dillon! But mostly I use the old dependable Rock Chucker and generally load 50 rounds at a time. I powder cases for plinking ammo with a very old Lyman 55 that was really old when I got it, about 45 years ago. It is still amazingly accurate! For self or home defense (and for load development) ammo, I weigh individual charges and have a pretty strict inspection procedure I use.

This is all a far cry from how I used to reload! Way back when in another life I had a shop in Tucson with two Dillon 1000 presses (which should tell about how long ago it was!), one set up for small primers and one for large. I cleaned the cases with corncob grit and Brasso... in a cement mixer! All the cases got lubed, again with the RCBS stuff, but I didn't wash it off, I tumbled all the cases in dry corncob grit with a hot plate under it! I was also loading 99% lead bullets, so the tumbling took off the case lube and all the wax that was stuck to the bullets. I never bothered cleaning primer pockets but just loaded 'em with whatever crud clung to the case... and never had any failures, either! I'm not sure what started this obsession with clean primer pockets but back then, it simply wasn't an issue. In total, I've pulled the handle on well over a million rounds of ammunition!

I still enjoy the process of reloading, I find it relaxing. And I like that my ammo is usually more accurate than factory and a whole bunch cheaper, too. While I haven't done so in a while, I still buy primers in case lots (5000). I know that when I have to go buy primers again I'm going to be crying the blues! Oh well, it keeps me off the streets!
Cheers,
crkckr
 

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Iowegen: you said: “Just a few comments about carbide dies .... a great invention for straight wall revolver cases but not so great for semi-auto cases. Why? Revolver cases have true straight walls and mate with straight walls in chambers... no taper. All semi auto cases have a slight taper that melds in with a slightly tapered chamber. When the tapered case fits snuggly in a tapered chamber, the bullet is directed straight into the bore. When you size semi-auto cases with carbide dies, you end up with straight walls cases (no taper) in a chamber with tapered walls.”

interesting tidbit that explains something I have been wondering and raises a question (or answers a question)

My reloading is predominately 9mm and .45. I started using the Lee Factory crimp die (taper) for the 9mm and .45.

I do reload .38/.357 infrequent. I noted there is no special crimp die for that caliber.

I now have a better understanding of the crimping process wrt rolled crimp.
 

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kf6zpl, Taper crimp is NOT the same as a tapered case, although both apply to semi-auto handgun cartridges. If you have a reloading manual (I hope so), look at the case diagram at the beginning of each cartridge. Let's start with a 45 ACP ..... The diameter of the case at the head is .476" and is .473" at the mouth with no bullet or crimp. That's a slight case taper of .003". A 9mm case diameter is .391" at the head and .380" at the mouth for a taper of .011", which is very significant.

Because a 30 Carb case is much longer, it has a more significant taper. Its head diameter is .356" and .336" at the mouth for a taper of .020", not counting the crimp.

The general rule for crimping is .... if the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth (typical for semi-auto cartridges) use a taper crimp die. If the cartridge headspaces on the case rim (like a 38 Special), use a roll crimp die. Some bullets for straight wall rimmed cases do not have a crimp groove so a taper crimp die works much better. Some of the newer plated or coated lead bullets do not have a crimp groove. Using a roll crimp on a semi-auto case is never recommended because it shortens the case and increases headspace. Lee Factory Crimp dies follow the same general rules; however, they have a carbide ring that full length sizes the case after the bullet is seated. Cartridges loaded with a Lee Factory Crimp die look better but don't perform any better than other brands of crimp dies. FCDs are not recommended for lead bullets because the full length sizing ring will squish the lead bullet and make it a smaller diameter which will actually loosen the crimp. They do work OK with jacketed bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Iowegen: you said: “Just a few comments about carbide dies .... a great invention for straight wall revolver cases but not so great for semi-auto cases. Why? Revolver cases have true straight walls and mate with straight walls in chambers... no taper. All semi auto cases have a slight taper that melds in with a slightly tapered chamber. When the tapered case fits snuggly in a tapered chamber, the bullet is directed straight into the bore. When you size semi-auto cases with carbide dies, you end up with straight walls cases (no taper) in a chamber with tapered walls.”

interesting tidbit that explains something I have been wondering and raises a question (or answers a question)

My reloading is predominately 9mm and .45. I started using the Lee Factory crimp die (taper) for the 9mm and .45.

I do reload .38/.357 infrequent. I noted there is no special crimp die for that caliber.

I now have a better understanding of the crimping process wrt rolled crimp.
Lee FCD are available for most cartridges. I use this for .38 and lite .357 loads:

I use this for heavy magnum loads:
 

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So what does a Lee factory crimp die do that a conventional die set up does not? It sizes the case again after a bullet is seated?
 

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Handgun brass I de-cap with universal die, wash brass in Dawn dish detergent and lemi shine in a lyman ultrasonic cleaner 20 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly and either lay out on walkway or toaster oven 15 minutes to dry. then clean primer pocket. Now when I want to load them up I use the sizer/primer die to size and prime and so on. No problems at all with sizing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
So what does a Lee factory crimp die do that a conventional die set up does not? It sizes the case again after a bullet is seated?
Yes, exactly.
Some folks don't seat & crimp on one die, so the FCD does the crimping and final insurance that every round will chamber. I load a lot of coated lead from MBC, or heavy plated from everglades, both require a little "extra" squeezing, and the FCD does it perfectly. YMMV.
 

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I’ve never seated and crimped on the same pull.
So it’s resizing the bullet as well?
 
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Andre Coop, Try this: pull a bullet from one of the cartridges you loaded, usings a Lee FCD. Measure the bullet's diameter. You will find it has been squished down by a couple thousandths. Cartridges loaded with lead bullets and conventional dies tend to be more accurate than the same cartridges loaded with FCDs, plus bores foul more with FCDs. FCDs were intended for jacketed bullets and do a pretty good job.

Short story: Many years ago, there was a lot of hoopla about Lee FCDs so I decided to check them out for myself. One of my friends set up at gun shows and sold a large variety of reloading equipment and supplies. I conned him out of a set of 38 Special FCDs and a set of Hornady 38 Special dies. I already had a set of RCBS and another set of Pacific 38 Special dies. So, armed with 4 different brands of 38 dies, I set out to see the results. I started with jacketed bullets .... 158gr JHPs. I carefully adjusted each set of dies per factory instructions then proceeded to load a test batch of 24 rounds with each set of dies. I must say, the cartridges I loaded with the Lee FCDs looked better .... almost as good as factory ammo. At the range, using a S&W Mod 10 from sandbags, I fired all 96 rounds. There was no appreciable difference in accuracy between any of the cartridges. Next, I did exactly the same thing only this time I used 158 gr LRNs (lead bullets). Again, the cartridges I loaded with the FCDs looked better but at the range, there was a very notable difference in accuracy. The cartridges I loaded with FCDs weren't nearly as accurate as those I loaded with other brands of dies. The other 3 sets of dies produced nearly identical results with excellent accuracy. I later read the same type of results from other people where lead bullet just didn't produce good accuracy but did leave the barrel with more lead fouling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Andre Coop, Try this: pull a bullet from one of the cartridges you loaded, usings a Lee FCD. Measure the bullet's diameter. You will find it has been squished down by a couple thousandths. Cartridges loaded with lead bullets and conventional dies tend to be more accurate than the same cartridges loaded with FCDs, plus bores foul more with FCDs. FCDs were intended for jacketed bullets and do a pretty good job.

Short story: Many years ago, there was a lot of hoopla about Lee FCDs so I decided to check them out for myself. One of my friends set up at gun shows and sold a large variety of reloading equipment and supplies. I conned him out of a set of 38 Special FCDs and a set of Hornady 38 Special dies. I already had a set of RCBS and another set of Pacific 38 Special dies. So, armed with 4 different brands of 38 dies, I set out to see the results. I started with jacketed bullets .... 158gr JHPs. I carefully adjusted each set of dies per factory instructions then proceeded to load a test batch of 24 rounds with each set of dies. I must say, the cartridges I loaded with the Lee FCDs looked better .... almost as good as factory ammo. At the range, using a S&W Mod 10 from sandbags, I fired all 96 rounds. There was no appreciable difference in accuracy between any of the cartridges. Next, I did exactly the same thing only this time I used 158 gr LRNs (lead bullets). Again, the cartridges I loaded with the FCDs looked better but at the range, there was a very notable difference in accuracy. The cartridges I loaded with FCDs weren't nearly as accurate as those I loaded with other brands of dies. The other 3 sets of dies produced nearly identical results with excellent accuracy. I later read the same type of results from other people where lead bullet just didn't produce good accuracy but did leave the barrel with more lead fouling.
Yes Sir, I'm positive this happens! Except the leading, the coated and thick plated bullets don't leave any leading.
My ability to be consistently accurate with a handgun is non-existent. I can hit an E-Type silhouette from muzzle to 25m 50 out of 50 rounds. However, you'll need a yardstick to measure my group.
I always qualified expert on the "combat pistol" course, the one where the targets pop-up and all the shooter has to do is hit the target within the time allotted. Doesn't matter where, just drop the target.
 
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