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Handloading dies question

 
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  #1  
Old 02-20-2014, 01:51 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Handloading dies question

I am new to handloading, read A LOT of stuff about it, ordered the ABC's of reloading and started reading that, but had a couple questions. I am going to be reloading .338 Lapua. What are some progressive and single stage presses that will fit that round? I was looking at the Dillon 550b. I had read somewhere that the 650 wont fit the 338, but I dont know for sure. Secondly, do I need a set of dies for everything I do? Do I need a set of dies for neck sizing and a seperate set for priming and seating my projectile? Or do I just need one set of dies and it does whatever I need? I have googled this question and can not find anything. Thanks for the help!
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2014, 07:04 PM
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Location: North of Eden-South of Heaven, Wy.
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Re: Handloading dies question

I would recommend a single stage press for more precise loading than a progressive press. RCBS Rock Chucker is what i use and love it i use my Dillon 550 for piston ammo more than rifle ammo, I would also recommend Redding Dies. That is what I like over the RCBS dies. You will need a different set of dies for each caliber you reload.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2014, 07:58 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fredericksburg VA
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Re: Handloading dies question

forget a progressive for the 338.

Progressives are nice IF and WHEN you finally get them set up and leave them. However, they are really for high volume pistol and some rifle rounds but a 338 would not even fit any progressive available that I know of.

Buy the rockchucker. Mine is 40+ years old and still knocking them out good as the first day.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2014, 07:14 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland
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Re: Handloading dies question

First order of business, when beginning the handloading adventure, is to purchase a good reloading manual. Read the "Introduction to Handloading" entirely from page one. Go back and read it again. Highlight any parts that you don't understand. Handloading can be a rewarding and enjoyable pastime but, if not done properly can result in misery.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 20
Re: Handloading dies question

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoElk2Hunt View Post
I would recommend a single stage press for more precise loading than a progressive press. RCBS Rock Chucker is what i use and love it i use my Dillon 550 for piston ammo more than rifle ammo, I would also recommend Redding Dies. That is what I like over the RCBS dies. You will need a different set of dies for each caliber you reload.
I was hoping someone would talk me into the single stage. It might be slower, but I think it would be more consistent. Im about half way done with my second reloading book and still have some questions. I also watched a sierra reloading video. (That helped a lot for the parts I read and didn't understand, but didn't cover everything).

I read some stuff about pressure and proper head space, but completely lost on how to make it 100% SAFE for me and my rifle? It said if you seat the bullet too deep it could get dangerous... Anyone able to explain that to me? I want to be 100% safe with this stuff. I dont want to put anyone at risk over something I didn't understand. Especially since I take my daughters are around when I shoot most of the time.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2014, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Eureka, Montana
Posts: 16
Re: Handloading dies question

I'm like the rest, been using the Rock Chucker for 30 yrs +, I have Hornady, RCBS & Redding dies, I stay with Redding for any more purchases. Excellent luck with a RCBS hand primer. Would not think of loading without a digital power measure. Good luck, you will enjoy doing it yourself,

KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY & SUN TO YOUR BACK
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2014, 02:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 190
Re: Handloading dies question

You might want to search youtube about seating the bullets. So starting out I set my die to seat the bullet way out (way long) and then start decreasing the length till I get to or close to my book recommended cartridge over all length or COAL I believe is the abbv. Another quick and dirty way is if you have any bought ammo place it in you bullet seater die in the press with the bullet seater screwed almost all the way out...run your bullet up in the ram very easy and then screw down the seater till it touches the bullet....next back it out about 5 full turns...This will put you close to most SAMMI spec COAL length. You will have to use a micrometer to get the preferred length making small adjust downward on the seating die measureing each time seating the bullet a little deeper each time. But then depending on which bullet you are seating say like a VLD style bullet the die or seater stem may push the bullet from the knose and not the ogive so that can make your length change slightly but nothing too drastic. Once you get the right length on the bullet lock down the seater die. Honestly the best way is to find someone close by that can walk you through the process step by step. I which I would of done that because I spent about 6 months flustrated at my reloads and and almost caused me to stop. I know cabelas here in Utah sometime gives a reloading class if you in Utah. Also here is something else to read....
Effects of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) and Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 2 | Berger Bullets

One other thing that really messed me up was tring to measure every load on a balance beam. If you have a powder dropper set it up using you balance bean and then charge your loads with it. If you have a electronic scale that works great for measuring your loads. I went to the charge master by RCBS and it works great. Also the hornady Lock N load charge is works great as well.

And one last think I vote for Redding dies as well. The regular FLS 2 die set with bullet seater and the decap/expander die works very well and give you good repeatable bullet tension on the case mouth. I don't really fell the need to go to a bushing die. But if I did it would also be reading as well. I full length size every thing and I consistently get .5moa or less at 100yrds.
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