> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Reloading traction...



Reloading traction...

No sooner do I get the tribe's info on a progressive press (looks like the majority favors the Dillon 650, with the Hornady Lock N Load AP a close second) than Palmetto puts their reloading stuff on 20% sale.

Of course I found out after most of the inventory was gone. I am leaning towards a Hornady LNL AP at the moment for a progressive, and they were on sale for something like $385 plus shipping - usually around the $440 mark. Missed that boat. Oh well.

Anyways, I did pick up a set of dies, calipers and a couple other bits. Earlier today bought up a Lyman reloading manual, tumbler and media from Amazon. On my lunch break, I scored a new in box RCBS 505 scale for a pretty steep discount off Fleabay.

So, getting set up, minus the press. The progressive may wait and a single stage may come around for a while. Simple, less (a lot less) to break, go wrong and fiddle with. Not a bad kind of thing to have around.

Looks like it will be a weekend or two before I can get everything out and use it...several years worth of range brass pickups that need polishing. Kind of excited to get that filthy stuff cleaned up and shiny.

Note on the tumbler: Yes, I'm well aware of the shiny potential of polishing with stainless media and water. Wanted to do it the 'old fashioned' way to start out.


  1. Don't worry about using the stainless media, I've been doing it the old fashioned way forever and no matter how clean or burnt looking the brass is, it still shoots the same. That's all anyone really cares about, right? I usually bring new loaders to my place and give them a lesson on the ins and outs of reloading before they go it alone. I had someone do the same for me, and then I went on by myself to learn the rest. You have my Email if you need to ask me anything, just email me and I'll give you my number. Some things people stress about are no big deal, and others are asking for trouble.

  2. The stainless steel thing is silly. The old school walnut and/or corncob works just fine. I've been using a Lee Pro100 and a 3-hole for MANY years w/o any issues.

  3. +1 on the Lock n Load. I've got one and really like it - I load 9mm, 45 acp, 38sp/357, and 223. May start getting into 30-06 depending...

  4. jeepboy1991April 10, 2014

    I have never acquired a progressive loader. My reloading has used an old rcbs single stage press purchased in the early 1980's to reload for my deer rifle and I have used it and some newer lee single stage presses over the decades to load rifle loads and LOTS of pistol loads.
    I have for most of that time had more time than money so I did a lot of handloading. I even loaded a HUGE amount of pistol ammo in 9mm and .45acp for use in some machine gun shooting back in the 1990's.(I knew the man who owned the shop and sold Class 3 stuff, the shoots were invitation only back then) All with single stage presses. It takes time and progressive machines are much better now than then based on my research.

  5. jeepboy1991April 10, 2014

    I concur on the stainless media being silly, I have used walnut/corncob for decades and it works just fine. I even used it on some lake city 7.62 nato brass that was really grimy and dirty and corroded. it took some time but that stuff cleaned up just as pretty as commercial brass.

  6. jeepboy1991April 10, 2014

    This is a repost of my comment on the earlier thread on progressive loaders, I just want to make sure the gang sees the post and my information to share.
    As I posted on the other thread about progressives, I never used a progressive press, only a single stage press my entire reloading career. I would do up big batches of cases ready to load. I use a lyman powder measure and for pistol loads, I would use the scale and the adjustments to set the measure to throw the desired charge then fill a 50 round case block with resized, primed expanded cases and throw charges into the entire block of cases.(these loads were checked against the scale to see that they were plus or minus about .3 grains, example 5.0grains plus or minus 0.3grains)(I would weigh every tenth charge to make sure the adjustment had not slipped) I would then LOOK at each case to see if the powder level was consistent. I never double charged a case this way and never missed an empty case this way. I have had as many as 6 trays of 50 cases on the bench charged with powder on the bench and would then put bullets in the case mouth and run them into the seater die.
    I would do a batch of .45s then switch to 9mm. These loads were considered by me to be "plinking" or "blasting" grade, usable for machine gun shooting or practice.(the charges were selected to be midrange loads for safety) I did load some jhp and jsp loads and was a bit more careful to check the weight of each load but never really noticed much difference on the range on paper targets. .38 spl/ .357 mag cast bullets, the same way.
    Now rifle loads are an entirely different matter. I did make up a bunch of .223 "blasting grade" reloads for use at machine gun shoots.(again, very far below maximum loads, intended to function the actions only) They were thrown from the powder measure and were going to be at least plus or minus 0.5 grains or worse. They were also not trimmed and crimped properly so there were lots of jams due to bullets being pushed into the case mouth during feeding.
    Proper rifle loads need to have each charge weighed on the scale and may need the use of a "powder trickler " to bring the charge up exactly to the desired weight.
    I have found that many ball powders and fine grain stick powders will measure really accurately through a good powder measure and if you take your time and fiddle the adjustments you can get REALLY consistent throw weights. The rcbs and lyman powder measures are by far the better and the lee disk measure is not nearly as good.
    My .308 win load uses IMR 4895 and somewhere years back I found a load that the match shooters use that is supposed to exactly duplicate the nato 7.62 150 gr ball load.(the exact load is in my reloading notebook) I have been slowly working up a couple of 5 gal buckets of .223 brass and trimming and deburring and removing primer crimps over the last several years. This brass came from the machine gun shoots before 2000 when I was tasked with cleaning up the old quarry where they were held. the owner wanted no sign we had been there as part of the deal so I policed up ALL the brass.
    Most of the 223 was boxer and reloadable but the 308 was mostly berdan surplus from Europe and was sold as scrap. The machine gun owners would buy surplus ammo in case lots back then and none of them were into reloading.