Newbie reloader checklist

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by 2ndAmendmentFreedom, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Hey all,
    I've been doing a lot of reading and I will be buying the following straight from Dillon's:
    RL 550B Caliber Conversion Kit to be Included: .500 S&W Magnum * - $10.00
    Dillon X-Large Powder Die
    RL 550B Spare Parts Kit
    Dillon's RL 550 Toolholder w/Wrench Set
    Dillon Carbide Pistol Dies (Three-Die Sets) Die Type: .45 ACP/GAP - $63.95
    D-Terminator Electronic Scale
    Primer Pickup Tubes, 2 Small, 2 Large (I'm assuming I need the large ones for the .500 S&W since it uses large rifle primers)
    Digital Caliper
    Dillon's CV-750 Vibratory Case Cleaner
    CM-500 Case/Media Separator
    Walnut Hull Polishing Media
    Rapid Polish 290 (8 oz. Bottle)

    Do I need to get a case mouth deburring tool?

    Also I'm a little confused about what people use for cleaning media. Some people seem to start off with walnut then finish off with corn cob for added polishing. I don't mind polished brass but all I really care about is smooth feeding functional ammo, and if extra polish adds an extra step in the cleaning process, I'm not really interested.

    Also I read some people mixing paint thinner or car polish in the media, how does Rapid Polish 290 compare to that? Others "condition" the media. I understand that people have their own recipe but I'd like to at least start off with a tried & proven technique.

    Let me know if I'm missing anything, I'll be starting off with .500 S&W and .45ACP. I'm ordering the Lyman 49th Edition book off Amazon.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You seem to have it covered. Yes you should trim and debur the brass leaving a bit of an inside chamfer.

    I heartily recommend buying a reloading manual and reading it first. They have a pretty good primer in them that will give you a good understanding of what the whole process includes. I use the Nosler and Sierra manuals primarily.
     

  3. jebsca

    jebsca New Member

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    The cleaning and polishing also helps when looking for cracks in the brass. It's an extra step, but most reloaders on here will say it is worth it. Lots of ideas on how to get clean brass. I like using walnut before I resize and then the stainless steel as I prep the brass. Many other ideas about how to clean your brass.

    With this hobby, take your time. Read as much as you can. Check EVERYTHING. Recheck it again.

    On a side note, the 500 is the round the got me to reloading, and still the one I enjoy the most. Good luck with it


    Sent from my smart phone using my not smart hand.
     
  4. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    I'm also just beginning to gather equipment.

    Brian Enos is a Dillon retailer. He has put togther a couple of prepackaged kits for the 550.

    Co-Worker recommended 50/50 mix of nut shell and corn cob media, and it works just great with a squirt of new finish.

    I'm probably going to step up to the 650 instead of the 550. As I talked to active reloaders and asked the question, it came back a resounding 650 :) however, Brian doesn't like new reloaders starting on a 650. I'm probably going to order something this week!
     
  5. jebsca

    jebsca New Member

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    As for the case mouth tool, I didn't see anything about trimming tools. After you trim the cases, you need to dress up the mouth. If you are not going to trim, you should be good. With most pistol cases, you can get by a long time without trimming. With that said, I find I need to trim my 500 brass ever few loads. That is a lot of brass and it can take a lot of trimming after 1 or 2 of the more fun loads.


    Sent from my smart phone using my not smart hand.
     
  6. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    I was originally going to get the 650 but I kept reading how it was not recommended for beginners and in all honesty I won't be reloading enough to warrant the higher price tag and much heavier weight.

    Also, what's the procedure if using walnuts then corn cob? You have to get 2 tumblers or dump out all the media and put in the other one? Is there a real advantage to doing a 50/50 mix? To me it sounds like mixing up two different "grits" and the bigger one will keep messing up what the smaller one polishes.
     
  7. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    The combo media makes for some shiny brass :)

    I hear you on the 550/650 issue, and I haven't actually bought it yet. However, in talking to a bunch of reloaders and active shooters, every one said to get the 650 and be done.
     
  8. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    I'm typically a go big or go home kinda guy too, I won't buy something that I know I will upgrade down the road. However a reloading press in my opinion is a purchase for a lifetime and if you ever get into high volume reloading, you might as well get a 2nd press and have a 2nd person operate that one.

    So the combo media is the best compromise? So you would mix the Rapid Polish 290 to that and let it mix itself as it tumbles?

    Also I'm looking for trimming tools for the .500 S&W, there really isn't much online and I'm confused about what makes up a trimming kit. There are case holders, guide rods, trim dies, handles etc; I have no idea how to verify if parts are intercompatible.

    Should I bother with trying to get something for the .45 ACP. I think it's low pressure enough not to stretch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  9. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    Combo media is not a compromise, it's the best option according to my reloading co-worker. It does a beautiful job. Nu Finish is his choice for polish. I added a squirt, if I had to guess, little over a teaspoon. I have learned after running several loads of brass, you want the polish to run for a bit before putting the brass in, otherwise it gets stuck inside the case.
     
  10. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Thanks for the info. That's one question answered, now my last concern is trimming and prepping the .500 brass. I find it very hard to put together a little machine with parts from just one manufacturer. Could you point me in the right direction?
     
  11. jebsca

    jebsca New Member

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    I use the gauge and holder from lee along with the lee large case trimmer and lock stud. Put it all together, put it in a drill and knock em out fast. Just run the drill til it stops cutting, put the cutter down and pick up the chamfer tool, do a bit inside and out until you are happy and change cases.


    Sent from my smart phone using my not smart hand.