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About njl

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    Beyond it All

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    Apopka, FL
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    Shooting guns
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  • Real Name
    Jon Lewis

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  1. njl

    Primer choice looking for advice

    Why small rifle magnum for pistol ammo? I like S&B SPP for range ammo. When they’re available, they’re cheap. They load and work fine for me. Fiocchi is a close second, and better in one way. S&B are just brass and will build up corrosion if treated badly. Fiocchi are nickel plated and so corrosion resistant. They’re usually cheaper than most of the other brands (other than S&. The only real annoyance with them is their packaging in trays of 150. Dillon pickup tubes/primer magazine can’t handle much more than 100 at a time. I’ve used both of these (and CCI) in a variety of Glocks and pre-lock S&W K-frames, and had no problems.
  2. njl

    Brass tumbling recommendations

    Try clean media without any polish/additives. It’ll still get the brass clean enough. Used dryer sheets to soak up dust shouldn’t be a problem. Definitely don’t try using unused sheets.
  3. If he’s only going to shoot 9mm and only a few hundred per month, the SDB May be just right. It’s a lot less $ than a fully loaded 650. I’ve been loading on a 550b for ~10 years. I knew I wanted to do rifle in addition to 9mm and .45, so the SDB wasn’t an option, and being brand new to reloading, I didn’t want the added complexity, cost, or noise of a 650 & case feeder.
  4. It’s largely a question of time and $. At 5k/yr, you could probably load that in under 2hrs/month on an SDB. A 650 or 1050 will get it done faster, but for several times the $ in press costs.
  5. njl

    Plated vs jacket vs coated bullets

    How long have you been there? I contacted PD years ago after finding a number of 124gr FMJ bullets with split jackets. Don’t think I ever heard back. IIRC, I didn’t load them, so I don’t know if accuracy would have been affected. I’ve since moved on to using primarily coated bullets.
  6. Spilled powder on a 550 is far more likely to cause binding in the shell plate than the primer slide. At such a low round count, I’d guess your problem is primer housing alignment. Disconnect the primer slide return spring. Start pulling the handle, then back up a bit, and remove the primer arm. Then pull the handle all the way down. You should be able to easily manually move the primer slide all the way forward and back without any resistance/binding. If you can’t, either the primer housing is out of alignment, the bolts securing it were over-tightened, or another possibility is the cup on the primer slide is crooked. Loosen the two bolts that secure the primer housing just until the housing can wiggle. See if you have free travel of the primer slide. If you do, it’s an alignment or tightness issue.
  7. I'm pretty sure the magazine tube tip is not the problem. I think what's happening is galling as the primer arm exerts a torque against the primer slide, and the slide rubs on the primer housing. It kind of makes me wonder if anyone's ever done alternate materials for the housing base or slide (i.e. brass for either one)? I guess I may try one of those primer bearing plates with an actual bearing on it to counter the primer arm torque.
  8. I've had that happen a few times, but it's not what was happening recently. If I can gently tug on the primer slide, and get it to move the remaining fraction of an inch necessary to pick up a primer, there's nothing blocking it. For the past few years, I've been using a primer slide bearing similar to the one above, minus the roller bearing. A friend of mine that does some metal work made one based on the OEM bearing plate and images I sent him from someone who'd posted the "original" version of that idea here. I really wish Dillon would come out with an official upgrade for the RL550 priming system that works better/longer/more reliably than the current one.
  9. I've been having problems again the past few reloading sessions with the primer slide not quite coming back far enough to pick up primers (far enough, that from my angle, it looks like it came back all the way, but just barely didn't). After taking the priming system apart and cleaning it, and seeing that I have unimpeded smooth travel of the slide, I finally decided to try bending the op-rod at the lower bend to give the primer slide a bit more of a push. I think that may have done it, as I was able to load 100 rounds after that without any primer pickup failures. Is there a recommended geometry for the angles on the op-rod...and what's the best way to bend it if you don't have a bench vise?
  10. njl

    Favorite coated 147gr?

    There are discount codes for ibeji?
  11. njl

    Sns coating problems

    I have a real hard time believing that the bullets are sized to .356 and the crimp is at .379-.380, and you're making that deep an impression on them. Regardless, I'd suggest backing off on the crimp until you're no longer making such a clearly visible crimp ring on the bullet.
  12. njl

    9mm bowling pin loads

    That makes a huge difference. You're basically shooting the pins off a "rail" vs a several foot deep table. I've done both...and for the deep tables, you want heavy bullets. For a rail, anything that'll more than knock them over should be fine as long as the pins are reasonably fresh. After a lot of abuse, they can get all warty and heavy, and those don't roll too well.
  13. By "bulking it up", I assume you mean each time powder is poured into the hopper and then back into the jug, it could be getting "pulverized" and made more dense. If that was going on, I'd be reading heavier, not lighter on "same volume" charges from one session to the next. I've always thought it was "best practice" to not leave powder in the hopper long term (because in the unsealed hopper it can pick up moisture from the environment, and because it's much easier to lose track of what powder is in the hopper if it was poured in days/weeks ago), so I've always filled the hopper when I'm going to load, and poured it back into the bottle/jug when I'm done (unless I'm just taking a short break and know I'll be loading more the same day).
  14. Ah...there was some military headstamp brass in those first 50, and at least one that had apparently not had the crimp removed. i.e. I could feel seating the primer was much rougher than normal. I stop when that happens, check the case head, and make sure the primer really is fully seated, before charging such a case. I used to do 10 cases (the math is easier), but cut back to 5 years ago.
  15. I've been loading on this RL550B for about 10 years now, and just had two strange things happen. First (and this is pretty minor), I'll typically load the same thing for a while (right now, its 147gr H&S 9mm). Each session, when I'm done, I empty the powder measure by dumping it back into the jug and manually cycling the powder bar a couple of times to make sure it's really empty. At the start of a new session, I'll fill the hopper, give it a few taps at the top with the funnel I use, then cycle the handle around 10 times before filling 5 "powder measuring cases" to be weighed to check my powder bar calibration. If nothing has changed (same load, same powder, nobody's messed with the press in my absence), I shouldn't have to adjust anything...but I still check calibration...and sometimes I find it's drifted. Today it was averaging 3.16gr Promo instead of the desired 3.26gr. So, I turned the adjustment just a bit, and got it back to 3.26gr. I realize I could be touching/changing the powder bar adjustment when I empty the hopper, but I really don't think I am. Second (much bigger issue), about 50rds into loading this evening, the primer slide stopped picking up primers. On closer examination, the primer cup was binding on the magazine housing. I loosened things, trying to readjust it, and found I couldn't fix it by just adjusting the primer housing positioning. So I removed the housing and the slide, put them together in my hands, and found it just wouldn't fit. Apparently, the primer seating cup was canted. It took a couple of tries disassembling/reassembling the primer slide to get it back together such that it would enter the housing without touching the side of the housing. To me, it actually still looks just a little canted, but apparently not enough to interfere.