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Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

 
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2012, 11:34 PM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

I love my chargemaster. I check it alot and have never had any problems.
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  #16  
Old 06-16-2012, 08:51 AM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

...Getting back on subject and tools, IMO, any bottleneck case needs to be periodically annealed, especially the larger calibers, consequently, an annealing system is mandatory for any well equipped reloading bench.

There are various brands/styles on the market from the very simple temperature sensitive paint and hand applied torch to the mechanized systems like the Bench Source. You want to strive for consistency in annealing so the mechanized systems eliminate the human error (over-under annealing).

My vote is for the Bench Source sytem. It's not cheap but it's consistent.

Brass has some unique and undesireable properties. Like aluminum, brass work hardens, that is, as the brass moves in the chamber upon ignition, it hardens, especially in the neck and shoulder.

If you don't return the metal to it's softer state after repeated ignition cycles, it becomes workhardened and brittle and can crack in the neck area and becomes inconsistent in projectile seating/holding ability.

Annealing corrects those issues plus it allows a much longer brass life and numerous reloads. All in all, a better situation. While the up front cost (of a good annealing system) is steep, there is a definite payback in increased brass life and range consistency.
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  #17  
Old 06-16-2012, 10:36 AM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

as with the second poster, I use the Forster press, but use mostly Forster dies. For my revolvers I prefer the old Lyman dies as they seem to do cast bullets better. I like the K&M stuff, and use it.

here's more:

* buy a good pair of 1" micrometers (stay away from the Chicom stuff)
* I have a NECO case gauge, and it's the best you can run out and buy everyday
* buy good dial indicators from the start. I use almost nothing but Interrapid, but the Browne & Sharps are very good as well (Best Test). Once again stay away from the Chinese junk
* Your gonna want a good pair of calipers. I have several pairs, but most of the time I use either a Starette or a B&S digital. But also have a 4" pair of analog Mitutoyos that I've been using since 1970 (they make the best analog type)

* throw powder with two different measurers. An ancient Lyman #55 with the Sinclair bottle adapter and drop tubes. The other is a Harrell Culver measurer. Neither does very coarse grained powder all that well, so I always charge about half a grain short and trickle to get what I want. I love the Harrell, but it's a different ball game altogether. Plus you really need to keep a log book on your settings as they are much different in concept. Whatever you buy, get the Sinclair drop tubes (4" is a good place to start), and a bottle adapter kit. The Harrel uses a smaller bottle, but you can buy extra bottles at most camping supply stores
*I weigh with a digital scale. To be exact I use three different ones. But whatever you use is your call as I'm not getting involved in that whining and crying match again.

* look for a Wilson case trimmer right from the start. The Sincalir is a Wilson, and that system is the very best I've seen. As far as I'm concerned the rest are toys

* Buy some good loading blocks, or simply build your own in a drill press. I must own two dozen of them now, but seem to go back to the old plastic MTM's more than the others. At the range I use home made wooden ones. And while on the subject; buy some good cases to store ammo in. I have cases for once fired cases and others for loaded stuff. Never seem to have enough of them!

* I anneal my case necks with a home brew affair that works off a hot plate. Works very well for me, plus I have about ten dollars in each plate (caliber specific). Yes I can be a cheapskate at times!

* if your doing belted cases, then buy a sizing die from Inovative Technologies. You don't use it every time, but about every three or four loadings.

* one of the most important things to get your hands on is also the cheapest thing here. Goto Walmart and buy a notebook and something to write with. Keep a detailed log on what you did that worked and also didn't work. With the Harrel measurer I have a second small log book with powder settings in it (called "clicks"). These settings will repeat extremely will unlike the others.

* back to the priming tools a second. The best is the Sinclair. I use the K&M due to ergonomics alone. The K&M is about 97% as good as the Sinclair, and roughly half the price. If you can afford it, then buy the Sinclair. Still both are the best out there. The Forster press has an excellent priming device that seats the primer .005" under the face of the case everytime. I clean primer pockets with a funny looking brush that somebody sells (I made an adapter to use it in a Forster trimmer head)

Harbor Frieght sells a sonic cleaner that is identical to the Lyman and the Hornaday. I use an old Midway vibratory bowl cleaner as well. But have seen a couple I like a lot better than mine.

When you start out, work slow (as in very slow). Never be afraid of doing a double or even a triple check on what you are doing. I'd avoid turning necks right away as that's something that's not for the novice. Never be afraid to ask for advice, and stop all work if you think there might be a problem
gary
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  #18  
Old 06-16-2012, 10:55 AM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

Tricky...

The primer pocket brushes are RCBS btw. My personal preference on case trimmers is Redding with the expanding collet drive.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2012, 11:23 AM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

one of the most important things to get your hands on is also the cheapest thing here. Goto Walmart and buy a notebook and something to write with. Keep a detailed log on what you did that worked and also didn't work. With the Harrel measurer I have a second small log book with powder settings in it (called "clicks"). These settings will repeat extremely will unlike the others.

Great advice and for sure the first thing to do,everything matters=write it down!!!
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"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2012, 11:25 AM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

From what I have seen. (not used) I would scrap the sonic cleaner and go to a stainless tumbler. I have had better luck with hornady dies than with redding dies (go figure).
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2012, 12:14 PM
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Re: Buying the right equipment the first time? Advise wanted!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.ID View Post
From what I have seen. (not used) I would scrap the sonic cleaner and go to a stainless tumbler. I have had better luck with hornady dies than with redding dies (go figure).
I considered the stainless for about 30 seconds. Myself, Ill stick with cob and a bowl vibrator. I get my cob in 5 pound sacks from Wally World in the pet department and a dab of DuPont fine rubbing compound added to a cob charge is all thats needed to clean cases. I tend to load the bowl with cob and cases and leave them for a day, shaking away in the shop.

If the tumbler ever poops out, I'll get a Thumlers Tumbler and some stainless pins and switch.

Everything I read (as well) about the sonic cleaners is that they do little or nothing to the appearance of the brass, unlike tumbling.
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