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Experienced Loaders Please Chime in - Can I successfully use a one step seat & crimp die on my RL1100 ???


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Experienced reloaders (I have loaded for over 30 years but never used one die to seat and crimp pistol ammo) please chime in - Here is my "situation" or maybe a better word is "dilemma".....  The Dillon RL1100 is set up (cannot be changed) in such a way that after inserting the primer and dropping the powder charge the machine only has three remaining stations (see video below) and I will be using a powder check die in one station (not giving this up so do not suggest I do - they made the powder check for people like me) and I have a new Mr. Bulletfeeder I am also wanting to install so this leaves me with ONE station.  I have never used a seat&crimp die on my pistol rounds so I want to ask the brain trust here the disadvantages in using one die to complete these two operations.   

 

If there are those who load your pistol ammo using one die for these two operations PLEASE provide me with your recommendation as to the best "seat & crimp" die please.... 

 

I am betting this topic will come up again and again going forward because I know many folks, like me, will buy the RL1100 with the intent of setting it up with a powder check and bullet feeder......

 

My typical loads on this machine in 9mm will be 124 Gr FMJ's and some 148 Gr FMJ's for my suppressed hosts.  

 

Thanks in advance for honest comments and feedback - and if a seat&crimp die is not recommended I guess I will have to give up the bullet-feeder option for this machine and set up and use it when I am loading 223's on this machine at a later time (once I get all of the additional required conversion parts from Dillon).  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sigarmsp226
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Nice video you got there 😎

 

I never personally used one die to do both operations, I know DAA sells "their" version of Lee die that will do both as many others.

 

The reason I dont run powder check is because I load Major and case is already filled almost to the top so there is no danger to double charge.

 

I am definitely not trying to talk you out of using powder check, but one of the solutions is to use bulky powder where double charges are not possible.... or feed bullets by hand 😔

 

Good luck with your search brother.

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SeattleDude - Thanks Sir for taking time to respond. My loads are for plinking and Steel Challenge and because I walked into a super deal two years ago on three sealed 8lb jugs of 231 for $82.00 a piece, and because I only load 3.5 Grs per round truth told I worry more about a missed powder drop more so than an over charge.....Thanks Again Sir...Mark

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suggest you set up one of the camera systems that are /been discussed.

the powder ck die just seams to drag powder out of the case making a mess.

yes you can crimp and seat in one step but it can be an exercise in futility.

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1 minute ago, AHI said:

suggest you set up one of the camera systems that are /been discussed.

the powder ck die just seams to drag powder out of the case making a mess.

yes you can crimp and seat in one step but it can be an exercise in futility.

AHI - Great idea Sir - I have read previous threads on the forum about the camera systems. This might be my solution unless someone comes back and identifies a wonderful seat and crimp die that works 100% of the time...Thanks for mentioning. Never thought of a camera option in this situation....Thanks Again. Mark

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I've been using a Lee seating and crimping die on my 1050 with an AmmoBot for tens of thousands of rounds, and that same die on a 650 and a Lee LoadMaster before that.  Never had a problem.

 

I am currently using BlueBullets, and SNS bullets, with various jacketed bullets in the past as well. Never had any issues marring the top of any bullet searing, and havent seen any accuracy issues from crimping. My ammo always chronos well also with minimal variance.

 

 

Give it a whirl. The DAA die looks a lot like my Lee, and it only costs $22.95.

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I have always used two dies. Seating and crimping. Crimping, in my experience is a more delicate set up than seating. I prefer the ability to precisely set the crimp with a separate die. I have a camera set up and can easily see each round. i would rather rely on my eyes, and keep my mind on the reloading process with out counting on a powder alarm . The only alarm I use tells me when it's time to dump in a new tube of primers. YMMV

 

 

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I'm in the camp of get a camera rather than use a powder check.  You can buy a very cheap (<$20) endoscope camera to hook into your cell phone - that's what I did.  I rest the cell phone in the bullet container at the back left of my RL-1050 right next to the shell plate.  That way, I'm looking right at the picture of the power in the case as well as looking at the bullet drop from the Mr. Bullet Feeder at the seating stage.  It doesn't slow me down at all and I'm 100% confident that I'm getting a good powder drop.  But, the seat/crimp die isn't expensive so you can easily give it a try if you want to stick with the powder check.  I bought a seat/crimp die when I bought my bullet feeder but it's never been out of the box!

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Very few experienced reloaders do the seat and crimp in the same operation because you get better and more accurate results by doing those steps separately.  I know you don't want to ditch the powder check, but what's the reason for that?  The Dillon powder measure is pretty much foolproof.  I've been loading on 1050s for 20+ years (currently have three) and have easily loaded a couple hundred thousand rounds on them.  I don't have powder checkers on any and have never had a problem.  Unless you somehow rotate the shellplate without pulling the lever to result in an empty, or deliberately back up the machine to produce a double charge, you're not going to have a problem.  And it's easy to visually check for powder in each case as you're loading.  That's what I do and I still easily manage 1k rounds/hour with no problem.  If you're not confident you can do that, then the next best option is a camera system.

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I ran a powder check on my 650 for quite a while, when I started reloading.  When I moved to 9mm, I didn't buy another one and when I converted to the 1050, I didn't bother.  I think they help sprinkle powder on the shell plate anyway.  I don't use one now.  I do keep a fairly close eye on the case before the bullet feeder die, but my failsafe is to stop and pull everything off the shell plate if I have a stoppage.  

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I started loading 9mm about twenty years ago seating and crimping with the same die never had any problems accuracy was good using jacketed bullets never used lead seat and crimp with one die. I have been using seat and crimp with separate dies for the last tens years ,if I was using jacket bullets only I wouldn't hesitate on using the seat and crimp die.

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1 hour ago, Dwbsig said:

I started loading 9mm about twenty years ago seating and crimping with the same die never had any problems accuracy was good using jacketed bullets never used lead seat and crimp with one die. I have been using seat and crimp with separate dies for the last tens years ,if I was using jacket bullets only I wouldn't hesitate on using the seat and crimp die.

Nice to hear from real world long time experience!  Thanks.

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I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond and provide your personal experience and knowledge.  I will have to say that I might have been wrong in my OP to say I will NOT reload without a powder check on my reloading system. 

At this point I am going to to 2 things -

1> Order the $22.95 DAA seat&crimp die for 9mm and get it here in case I go this route

and

2> I am now going to try and figure out the best camera and monitor system available for a budget of around $150.00 for the complete set up (camera system, cables, and monitor).  I want a sizable monitor - at least 9" in size but no more than 15".  If I am able to use a computer monitor then I have several here at the house in this size range that will save me that cost......so if any of you good folks can recommend a very clear high resolution camera (endoscope camera is also ok if the hookup will work with a computer monitor and it has good lighting) as my plan will be to leave this camera and monitor set up permanently (do not want to use an I-Phone as the screen is just to small for these 60 year old eyes but an I-Pad might be ok).  

 

My plan is to try the camera system set up first and if I can see what I need to see (down in a 9mm case) with plenty of light and good resolution I will l go this route.  If I cannot get that warm and fuzzy feeling with the camera system set up then I can always fall back on the single seat&crimp die that I will have on hand.  I know that going the camera route is slightly more expensive but that is ok in the overall goal for me.  Also keep in mind my RL1100 came from Dillon with a complete set of Dillon 9mm dies and nothing would please me more than to be able to use their dies because I currently use this same Dillon die set up on my 650 and I love the end product.  

 

Thanks Again and I will now ask for recommendations on a complete affordable high resolution camera system (camera, cables, and monitor - if one of my computer monitors will not work)......Mark

Edited by Sigarmsp226
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most die sets actually come with a combo seat and crimp, it can be done, its just that the adjustments are pretty critical, and very little room for error. Usually this is more of an issue with cast/ slightly over sized bullets. As mentioned already its less of a problem with with jacketed. Only way I ever reloaded on my original Single stage press. I followed the directions that came with the die however I was almost exclusively using my own personal out of my gun once fired brass and all winchester whitebox brass.
Brass length OAL can be kinda critical to do it in a single step and if you are using range pick up brass of different lengths and brands, you may end up banging your head against the wall.
If the crimp is a little tight before you reach full seat, it will put a slight bulge in the brass and you will get occasional failure to chamber. Or the opposite and you dont remove all the flare or get no crimp and easy bullet setback. A good tight sizing die like the EGW U die should prevent set back issues, you will just have to play around with it  The more uniform your brass and bullets the less frustrations will arise. You will probably still need to chamber check every round, or at least your match ammo. But I assume most of us do this anyways.

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1 hour ago, Smeeg said:

Definitely get some kind of led light for it if your going the camera direction 

 

https://inlinefabrication.com/products/skylight-for-the-dillon-1050

Light is supplied by the camera. Too much light can fuzz out the image. I had to use some black magic marker to dull the camera lights.

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I went with a Hornady seating and crimping die for my RL1100 (which still isn't here) since I have an Ammobot with a powder check sensor that I will be using.  I set the die up in my single stage and played around with adjusting the seating and crimping, and it seems to work fine.   It isn't as smooth feeling as dedicated dies, however. 

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A different option would be to go to a auto parts store and get an inspection mirror,  zip tie it to the case feed pole and adjust the mirror so

you can see down in the case. That is what I do and I trust my eyes better than the alarm.

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On 4/17/2020 at 11:18 AM, RangerTrace said:

I ran a powder check on my 650 for quite a while, when I started reloading.  When I moved to 9mm, I didn't buy another one and when I converted to the 1050, I didn't bother.  I think they help sprinkle powder on the shell plate anyway.  I don't use one now.  I do keep a fairly close eye on the case before the bullet feeder die, but my failsafe is to stop and pull everything off the shell plate if I have a stoppage.  

My experience mirrors this...👍

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  • 1 year later...

I like your approach of trying both. Like you I was a little disappointed to find out that the "8 station" only held 5 dies. That does not mean I do not appreciate the advantages of pocket swaging and priming on the downstroke. I have chosen to keep the powder check and use the Lee crimp and seat die. If I am running a batch for an important match where I want absolute best accuracy then I back off the crimp, reset the seating and run them through a Lee factory crimp die on my single stage. This has worked well for me with jacketed, Blue Bullets and Black Bullets. I used to use the RCBS Lock Out die for powder check but switched to the DA magnetic version as it gives me the warning without stopping the stroke. Trying different approaches is good, there is not a right or wrong answer but for me I chose to keep the powder check.

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No need for a powder check. I run my RL1100 with an Ammobot Drive, cranking out 1,400 RPH. My process for reloading 9mm is to prime all the cases first, then you can concentrate on just looking at the left side of the machine, the powder is clearly seen in the case. Personally I have loaded at least 60,000 plus rounds so far and I have never seen a case not get powder. If for any reason the machine has a hiccup, stop and remove all the cases and start over. You will never have a squib. Good luck and enjoy loading

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