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Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-25-2011, 5:58 AM Reply   
I know there are a few WW'ers that reload. I am ordering my reloading press in a few days and I am wondering where other reloaders like to get their components. I have quite a bit of brass and primers but need bullets (9mm and .45ACP) and powder. I would like to buy 1000 of each caliber to start.

Can anyone point me in a good direction? Midway's prices seem to be pretty good.

Thanks in advance.
Old     (RedRum)      Join Date: Nov 2010       02-25-2011, 7:44 AM Reply   
Check out Natchez shooting supply.
Sinclair is also a good place to find supplies and specialty items...
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-25-2011, 5:30 PM Reply   
Thanks Seth, I'll check them out. Do you know of a geed powder scale that doesn't cost $150? Dillon's beam scale is about $55 but I'm not sure if I should spend the money on a good digital scale.

Thanks again.
Old     (RedRum)      Join Date: Nov 2010       02-25-2011, 6:16 PM Reply   
I don't know how much hand loading you do, but I would recommend a digital scale. If you go the old fashioned way, you are looking at $60-$90 for a powder dispenser and $25-$150 for a balance scale. An electronic scale and dispenser combo will run you $250-$330. It really depends how much loading you will do to justify the extra cost, but let me tell you, I used to do it the manual way, and it was a slow process. I stepped up to the RCBS Chargemaster 1500 combo, and boy, is it quick. It will throw a 102.5 gr charge for my 338-378 in a few seconds. My dad uses the Pact dispenser/scale and he really likes it, and its a little cheaper than the RCBS.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-25-2011, 7:57 PM Reply   
Where are you located, Jae?
What press did you buy?
Are you only going to be loading pistol?

Last edited by barry; 02-25-2011 at 8:03 PM.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-26-2011, 7:24 AM Reply   
Barry, I am in Coeur d'Alene, ID. I haven't ordered my press yet but plan on getting the Dillon RL550B. The Dillon Square B deal only loads pistol calibers and doesn't take standard 7/8"X14 dies. Primarily I will be loading pistol calibers, but would rather buy a press that will load both pistol and rifle.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-26-2011, 11:30 AM Reply   
Dillon 550 is a good choice If you insist on learning on a progressive. That press will grow with you. As for bullets, there's a fella in Genesee by the name of Jake who has some pretty good prices on jacketed bullets. The problem is that he's hit/miss on inventory, so if you see something he has you need to grab it. He's a real nice fella and his prices are very fair.

One of the largest cast bullet manufacturers on the west coast happens to be a friend good friend of mine. He makes really high antimony lead, the bullets are hard so they don't leave your barrels fouled at all. Most of the IPSC/IDPA shooters use his stuff. They're hard moly coated and it doesn't come off on your hands. Might be the best all around bullet I've ever shot/loaded. If you only need 1k of each from time to time I would be willing to send you some in a flat rate box. The current cost is:
9mm 124grn RNFP are 52.00/1k
45 230grn (any style) are 71.00/1k

There's no question that 1k of each would ship in two medium flat rate boxes and I think the medium price is 11.30( I think). Let me know if you want to try them. Otherwise, Jake is a great source! From there, Midway or Natchez -whoever has the sale.

As for a scale- buy a simple triple beam for now. New reloaders need to know how use a triple beam. The scale/charger that Redrum is talking about is excellent! I use them myself and love 'em, but not for pistol. There's a couple of problems with them for pistol.

1. The charges you're talking about for pistol are between 4-6.0 grains of powder and that charger takes forever to throw that small amount because it wants to trickle charge to prevent itself from throwing a heavy charge. It's wayyy faster throwing 100 grains than it is throwing 4.0 grains. It will take you forever to load a couple of magazines.

2. The charger will consistently throw heavy charges if you set it to throw anything under 8.0 grains. You'll find yourself dumping a bit, re-weighing, dumping, re-weighing until you get the correct charge.

Unless you're planning on making precision pistol, here's what I would do...
Grab a set of Lee Carbide dies and one of these:

Here's how it works: you attach the measure to the case flaring die and as you push the case into the die it automatically drops a uniformed powder charge. You don't have to pull, push anything. They're cheap and they work! They work really, really well for pistol.
It's cheap and accurate enough for pistol.

I know what people say about Lee and I agree with them for the most part, but there are a few things that Lee has developed that works perfectly and this is one of them. Depending on the type of powder you're throwing it will consistently throw within 1/10th of a grain. Since you're shooting 9mm/.45 I assume you'll be throwing a flake powder(W231/Unique/Ramshot, etc).
I've been doing this a loooong time and have used every powder drop/charger combo you can imagine.. believe me when I tell you that until you're willing to move up to a 650 or a 1050, there is no easier way to throw consistent powder charges for pistol.

As soon as you start loading rifle, get the RCBS chargemaster like Redrum suggested.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-26-2011, 11:42 AM Reply   
Sorry, you want the "Pro" version of the auto disk measure:

The one I posted has inherent issues with the screws cracking the plastic.
Old    SamIngram            02-26-2011, 12:08 PM Reply   
Dillion, Dillion, Dillion!!

My buddy actually machines all of their shell plates. I like the 650 because you get the no BS warranty (I have had to use it several times) and have three of them and a 550 to load .338 Lapua on.

The biggest suggestion I can make is to make sure whatever machine you are buying is capable of reloading all the calibers that you shoot. I haven't found any single progressive that can load everything. I have to use my hedge hog for .50 BMG.
Old     (RedRum)      Join Date: Nov 2010       02-26-2011, 5:55 PM Reply   
Good info from Barry. I didn't think of the slow charge throwing rate for pistol. I only reload for rifle, so that didn't even cross my mind.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-27-2011, 6:01 AM Reply   
Thank you for all of the great info. So here is where I am at.

I ordered my Dillon RL 550B press with everything to load 9 and 45. We were at Cabelas yesterday and I bought 500 round nosed jacketed bullets in both calibers. .45 was $69.99 per 500 and 9mm was $44.99 per 500. From what I was seeing online both of those prices are decent. I also picked up another 1000 large and 1000 small primers for $29.99 per 1000. Since the press comes with a powder measure I will try that one first but won't hesitate changing it to the Lee model Barry was recommending. I think the press will do everything I want it to and then some. I mainly shoot 9 and 45 but the press will also load the rifle calibers I shoot (.223, 22-250, 30-30, 30-06) if I get more time to shoot them.

I'm sure I will have more questions.

Thanks again for the help. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-05-2011, 4:37 PM Reply   
My press showed up today. It will take me a bit to get my bench cleared up so I can set it up. One question right off the bat, what would be a good powder for 9mm and .45ACP? It sounds like flake powder doesn't work too well in the powder measure? Can I get away with one powder for both calibers?

Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-05-2011, 5:45 PM Reply   
Are you asking if flake powders work well in powder measures, or are you telling us that flake powders won't work well in your powder measure? The question mark in that sentence confuses me.
Most of your clean burning, general purpose, non-magnum speed pistol powders are going to be a flake, or some variation of flake. Winchester 231 is a really easy, clean general purpose powder that will work in .38, .380, 9mm, .40, .45, etc. Ramshot Tac, Unique....
I would suggest W231 simply because it's easy to find, it's inexpensive, meters well(small flake), clean burning, and is appropriate for most of your basic pistol cartridges.
Are specifically looking for a spherical, or extruded powder?
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-05-2011, 5:56 PM Reply   
By the way- W231 is considered a ball powder even though it's a fine flake powder.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-06-2011, 6:58 AM Reply   
I have heard on the Dillon forums that some flake powders (larger flake) do not work well with their powder measure. I picked up a pound of Universal Clays (Hogdon) based on a recommendation from another reloader, and thought I would try that. Should I try the Universal or just start with W231?
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-06-2011, 1:14 PM Reply   
If you already have a pound of Clays, why not use it? I would caution you when using Clays in a low density load, though. Clays is not real easy to ignite and it's a fast burning powder. When you have a low load density(small amount of powder and a lot of room in the case) the powder will follow the laws of gravity and accumulate at the lowest point in the case. When the cartridge is loaded and in the ready position it's laying on its side, the ignition may pass the powder or fail to ignite it completely resulting in super low pressure. I've witnessed this a couple of times using a low density load and one of them using Clays. One time the bullet was lodged in the barrel and the other time the bullet hit the target, bounced off and hit me in the shin from the guy next to me. Without checking, I believe the load density is high enough in 9mm and .45ACP that you shouldn't experience flash-over or a hang fire. Once you finish the Clays grab some W231 and you won't look back.

My incredible MSPaint skills-

Low load density.
Attached Images
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-07-2011, 9:18 AM Reply   
Barry, this is a family site. Keep it clean buddy.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2011, 9:30 AM Reply   
Wait until you see my drawing of the 'Target'.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-07-2011, 7:54 PM Reply   
Dillon sent me dies for .45 and the caliber conversion kit for 9mm. 3-5 more days of waiting for the rest of the stuff to arrive. Today I started cleaning all of the brass I have been collecting, I quit counting .45 cases at 900. I know I have at least twice that in 9mm. Once I get everything set up I should be in good shape.

In general, how many times can a case be reloaded? Most of my brass is once fired.

Again, thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2011, 9:21 PM Reply   
You can reload most low CUP( your reloading manual will tell you CUP) pistol brass quite a few times.It's all going to depend on how heavy you load them, chamber tolerances, etc. Reload them until they split at the case mouth. You'll start seeing them split when you run them through your flare die.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-10-2011, 12:40 PM Reply   
Barry's picture just made this thread. Thanks for the laugh.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-10-2011, 1:24 PM Reply   
Fed Ex just brought me the rest of the things I need to finally get set up. I will post pics once everything is up and running. I just need the time to get it all together.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-10-2011, 2:41 PM Reply   
I know it's difficult to believe, Evan, but I drew it freehand.. No help!
Old     (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       03-10-2011, 3:05 PM Reply   
Holy crap Barry, I thought more of you. That's disturbing!
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-13-2011, 5:29 PM Reply   
I made it to the range this morning to shoot the first rounds from the new press. I loaded 230gnrn with 4.7gn of Clays (10% lower than Hornady book). Most were under powered and just about matching my recoil spring. I just got done loading 10 rounds at 5.0gn and 10 rounds at 5.2. I will shoot them Tuesday evening and let you know how they went. It's kind of strange that Speer considers 5.5gn a max load and Hornady considers 5.9gn a max load. My guns are capable of +p loads so I know I am still safe.

Here is a pic of the new press.
Attached Images
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-13-2011, 10:55 PM Reply   
Looks great!
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-18-2011, 5:33 PM Reply   
So the 5.0 grain loads went bang fine but the 5.2's were better. I still think the load density is a bit low. I loaded 100 rounds of .45 and will use the rest of the clays on the 9mm.

Thanks again for all of the information. This is just another reason WW is so great.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-21-2011, 1:34 AM Reply   
What about the 5.2 was better than the 5.0?

My guns are capable of +p loads so I know I am still safe.
CUP isn't always linear, so be careful.
I was working on a sub-sonic 5.56 round for a manufacturer of suppressors recently and ran into a perfect example of this. 4.0 grains got me 870fps and a 14k CUP, 4.2 got me 940 with a 17K CUP and 4.5 got my 1430fps with a 27kCUP.
Brass starts flowing at 60k so you won't be able to read brass with pistol and it will never reach anywhere near that high.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-21-2011, 10:32 AM Reply   
The 5.0 gn loads were still feeling a bit mushy. The 5.2 gn loads felt like I was shooting factory loads and showed no signs of excessive pressure. I loaded my first 10 9mm rounds at 4.5 gn and they were a bit strong. The primers showed a slight bit of cupping around the striker hit so I will back those down .2gn and try them again.

On a side note I found a guy selling 9mm brass at $.03 a piece and .45 at $.07 ea. I have 1000 pieces of 9mm and another 500 .45 on their way. That should hold me for a while.
Old     (jtfrisco)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-22-2011, 12:15 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by jaegermaster View Post
I made it to the range this morning to shoot the first rounds from the new press. I loaded 230gnrn with 4.7gn of Clays (10% lower than Hornady book). Most were under powered and just about matching my recoil spring. I just got done loading 10 rounds at 5.0gn and 10 rounds at 5.2. I will shoot them Tuesday evening and let you know how they went. It's kind of strange that Speer considers 5.5gn a max load and Hornady considers 5.9gn a max load. My guns are capable of +p loads so I know I am still safe.

Here is a pic of the new press.
Jae, where did you get your press from? What accessories did you get with it? There are a million "options" with that press it is confusing.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-22-2011, 12:22 PM Reply   
I got my press direct from Dillon. I added extra primer pick up tubes, their eliminator scale, case gauges an extra tool head to keep both calibers set up (it comes with one), quick change kits for both 9mm and .45 as well as dies for both. I already had a tumbler and digital calipers. You need a quick change kit for each caliber and I didn't realize that. I also got a machine cover since my bench serves as more than just a reloading bench.


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