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Lumpy

General reloading tips and tricks

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Note from moderator: This topic began with Flexmoney's post below. These earlier posts were inserted before it when they were moved from the XL650 tips topic.

Here is a mod I did for my XL650. I got fedup with those damn blue bins. When I load I go for about 3 hours or so and the little bins always end up overflowing. So I modded (Dremelled) a plastic bin to hold a mesh bag. These bags come in various sizes and can be found at any Hiking/Camping store. I get mine at Mountain Equipment Co-Op. The one in the picture is a "Small" size and will hold upwards of 600-800 rounds (in the pic that's 300rds of .40).

I made a neck ring out of some spare grounding wire from my Sat dish. This keeps the mouth of the bag open and provides support. I cut out the blue ammo bin to accept  the bag, but found you need to put a pin or something at the cut end to keep it from flexing.

So anyways, don't know if anyone cares about this or not. It comes in handy for me. I can just keep loading away.

DCP01748.JPG

DCP01749.JPG

(Edited by Lumpy at 2:40 pm on Mar. 8, 2002)

Edited by Erik Warren

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When I'm in high-volume loading mode, I'll dump the loaded rounds out of the bin into a separate box every time I refill the primers-- that way if the press ever screws up and you don't catch it right away, you have a lot less suspect ammo to pull.

(and a bonus tip-- if you suspect you've got some squibs, a digital scale makes sorting them out much easier-- you can zero on a known-good loaded round and pull all the light ones)

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I just re read the 650 tips and saw that Erik was having trouble with powder (748) spilling from the powder funnel.

The problems can be case lube deposited at the moth of the powder funnel, static build up causing the powder to cling to the the funnel, or not enough time allowed for the powder charge to drop completely.

Take you powder measurer apart and clean the metal parts with rubbing alcohol.  Rub down all the inside surfaces with an anti-static dryer sheet like Bounce.  When you start to load again, give a pause right before finishing the down stroke on the press to be sure the full measure of powder has had a chance to drop into the case.

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David has good advice; I'll add that on my expander/powder funnel, brass builds up over time causing sticking problems. Since I don't clean by S_I barrels anymore, I use an aggressive bore solvent to disolve the brass buildup on my Dillon funnel.

Dillon case mouth expanders are generally smooth enough - if not, chuck them in a press, lathe or drill and polish with Flitz to a mirror finish.

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The day before buying the lumber for my 650 bench, I was reading in this forum all the problems people were having with the possibility of their bench not being sturdy enough.  I decided to upgrade to a 4'X30" bench with 6"X6"'s for legs, 2"X6" braces all around the inside top, 2"X6" braces halfway up on the inside ends, a diagonal 2"X6" brace on the inside back.  The top is 2-2"X12" and one 2"X6" covered with plywood.  Half inch quarter round around the edges (except in front of the strong mount) to keep things from rolling off.  I have only had time to reload 600 rounds so far, but it doesn't move!  For those of you who like to reload standing up, remember that the higher you mount the reloader, the sturdier the base needs to be.

I like the spent primer idea, I have a friend getting me a .223 case to make the modification.  My biggest complaint is the live primer 'ski jump'.  I am going to do some thinking on that!

I am a beginner to reloading, and this is a great site!

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Looked like some good tip and tricks in the XL650 thread and the 550 thread...I thought we might be able to use a "General tips" thread.

-  Hank already broght up the Hornady One Shot.  It lets you and your press work easier.  Good stuff.

-  I always check for high primers in two ways.  As I push/drop the loaded round into the case gauge, I swipe my thumb (and thumbnail) over the back of the round.  This ensures the round is all the way in the gauge for one...it also lets me feel for any high primers.

I also put every loaded round into one of those plastic ammo boxes.  Once the box is full, I put it up to the light and look down each row...eyeballing to see if the primers are fully seated.  

-  The ammo box also allows me the added benefit of not having to count rounds when I load up the mags.  Usually I am talking to somebody while I reload the mags.  If I lose count, I can just look at the empty rows and holes in the ammo box and then know, for sure, how many rounds I have pumped into the mag.

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Don't use coarse walnut media (the green stuff) to clean your loaded rounds in your vibratory cleaner when loading is hollow points.  It has a nasty tendency to get lodged in the hollow point.

Visually check each round in a progressive after it comes out of the powder station to see that powder actually dropped.

When using a casefeeder, hand inspect your brass to make certain that there is no odd brass (9x's or 45's when loading 40, for example) in the case feeder.  Those jams just suck.

Make sure all of your primers have (1) compound and (2) an anvil.

Chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono, chrono.  Did I mention you need to chronograph your loads?  For safety and for evaluation.

(Edited by BigDave at 3:23 pm on Feb. 7, 2003)

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The ammo boxes also offer the advantage of being able to quickly spot a round that is either too tall or too short.  All of the stuff Flex mentioned has helped me as well.

-ld

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do not use gun scrubber spray on plastic pieces of your press, it turns into a sticky gooey mess,

(should have read the label)

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I put my finished rounds in the 50 round plastic trays from ammo boxes. I visualy check using a lighted magnifying glass. then I have a 31/4 X 61/4 by 1/4 inch thick piece of lexon. I put the lexon on top of the try flimp it over and put it on a table remove the bullet try and wiggle the lexon. If you have any high primers or anything not right you will know it. Then I put the bullet try back on flip it back over then take a magic marker and run a line across each base of the brass. This way at the range  or match you know which brass are yours

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Weigh your bullets!  (Not all of them, just a sample)

My 200 gr. SWCs in .45 actually weigh 202.5gr (on average), and my 180 gr SWCs weigh 184gr.  

For the 180s, that's a 20fps difference to make major (897fps vs 917fps).

DD

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Train yourself to acquire targets more quickly while loading all those rounds you'll blast at the range. Become very aware... to keep your eyes moving. Feel everything.

If you need to clean a small amount of loaded ammo, but don't have the time to tumble it or just don't feel like it, lay out one of your wife's favorite big fat bath towels on the bench and give it a light dusting with some Brake (not Carb) cleaner. Then pour the rounds on the top half of the towel, lay the bottom half up over them, and roll the  rounds around inside the towel for a few seconds. Never had a problem doing this. Just don't start spraying brake cleaner all over the loaded rounds and you'll be okay.

When you're fine tuning your powder measure for that exact setting - throw four charges from the measure onto the scale's pan, and then divide the total by four to get the weight. I'd keep a note near the scale with four-charge totals, that would equal the target weight for each round. For example: Notepad says "19.6 = 4.9 grains." I wouldn't be satisfied that I was actually throwing 4.9 grains until I repeated the above 2 to 4 times. And if was running ammo that I really cared about, I'd check it at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the run.

be

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To know how many rounds you have loaded count the number of empty primer trays you have gone through. To know how many primers you have in the primer tube, on the follower rod depending on which one you have the new one or old one take a felt tip pin or use paint and mark the rod a 25, 50, and 75. I use green to mark the large primers and yellow for the small primers. The same color as on the pickup tubes.

If you are like me and still use a single stage press for odd jobs. On my Rock Chucker I installed the Hornady Lock-N-Load. Works great, a fast way to change dies.

On the 650 primer ski jump on the end install a piece of 5/8 vinyl tubing 7/8 of an inch long the primers will either go under the vinyl or hit the inside end and stay there on more live primers going everywhere. To remove the primers under the vinyl just slide it off and remove the primers and slide it back on.

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Add enough light, brighter the better. Height adjustable padded seat is a real bonus. Load only when you can give it your undivided attention. You cannot have too many manuals or data books. Keep records! identify ammo ( sticky note in a sandwich baggie works in a pinch ) this way you will KNOW what you have. Keep organized, 1 can of powder on the bench at a time, etc. Dont trust memory, keep records. Verify all loads with a reliable source(s) so typos or idiots wont lead you astray.                      Travis F.

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Chad Simms sent me a picture of the knob that he has on his powder measure. I have something similar on mine (from a tip posted around here somewhere).

post-4-1062967602_thumb.jpg

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Mine came from Home Depot. I choose a slightly different knob (though they had the type pictured).

Someone here posted the proper size (5/16? sounds right). They press-fit right on.

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My shell slide spring broke today and I took the opportunity to do a thorough cleaning and silicone spray lube when replacing the spring. Wow, what a difference! I wish I had replaced the spring long ago. I've put up with a weak, sticky slide for far too long.

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Hey guys - newbie to your forum, but I've been using a 650 for about 6 months now. The tips are fantastic!

I saw a posting about the dial/knob on the powder bar. Check out the link below. This guy gives you a nicely machiened aluminium dial as well as a new bolt to adjust the charge. He claims that the original Dillon one is of dubious quality and it leads to unpredictable changes in powder amount (i.e. the same turn on the nut produces different changes in powder drops).

I've got one of these and it works great and looks good. However, I'm not sure it is great enough to justify the $24.95 price. I think I'm going to try the cheaper approach of putting a knob on the OEM part.

Anybody have problems with the "dubious quality" OEM bolt?

http://www.mrdial.com/

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I can turn my powder adjustment screw by hand but it sticks a bit and makes it hard to make fine adjustments and I hate pulling out the bench wrench so I went to Home Depot today looking for a knob like the one Flex showed to give me a bit more leverage. I couldn't find one ready made so I bought a couple components to make one of my own. I haven't gotten to try it yet but I think a round wooden drawer pull knob drilled out to accommodate an old cheap socket glued into it will work like a champ. Besides, I'm a better carpenter than machinist and I like the idea of having a little bit of woodgrain on my press.

knob.gif

John

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Patches, if it doesn't work out let me know, I would be happy to pick some up here locally and mail them to you. The picture of the red dial above is mine and now they have them "Dillon" blue also. B)

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Here is the Home Depot scoop for 'Dillion knobs'........

I went to three Home Depots before I found them. They were in hardware in a chest of steel drawers. Known as:

KNOB - FLOWERETTE

5/16"

DR# - 24 BIN - 1

Dr# - 971

SKU 3069983748

Crown Bolt Inc.

Cerritos, CA 90703

Price $1.20 ea.

Just buy a hand full and start your own 'black market' :D

Steve

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