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Reloading Berger Bullets


How to get started

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Unread 04-11-2006, 01:35 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
Re: How to get started

Hired Gun,

I am having a hard time seeing the relevance of the XL650 when this person is asking about a 550B he recieved free and wants to know if it would be usable for a beginner. I agree that any progressive with auto indexing (xl650 or super1050) is going to be more of a challange than a begginer needs, but the 550B has to be manualy indexed so it is not a problem.

If you read through my post I gathered that you were refering to the powder thrower. That is why I suggest anyone with a 550B gets the powder funnel setup. As far as Brian Enos goes, I was refering to his enomormous wealth of information on Dillon products and uses which I don't have the time or inclination to try to replicate as well as Brian Enos has already done.

For rifle accuracy I was pointing out that David Tubb uses a 550B to load all of his high power rifle rounds (I think Mr. Tubb is arguable one of the greatest rifleman currently and can use what ever press or ammunition he wanted). He also uses a promesius (sp?) powder thrower which if I remember correctly is north of $2500. I think for the average guy a beam scale and a powder trickler will get the job done.

I would like to know what you do to keep your charges true. I have found that if I throw a light charge with my Redding BR thrower then trickle up I can keep my rounds within +/- .05 grains also. Regardless you can then dump the powder into the case when the powder thrower would cycle and you have a known good powder charge. I see no reason to recommend spending more money on a single stage when a Dillon is in this shooters hand and can be used effectively with the extra cash invested in video, better dies, manuals, components or whatever else this new reloader will need to get going.

I agree that there is a greater learning curve when everything is happening at once, but I will add that you should get more accurate workup loads because everything else will remain constant except your powder throw. I would happily recommend a 550 to a begginer as long as they start with an experienced person to help or watch the video to get going.

I would also say that a single stage will not make better ammunition than a 550B. A 550B will just make it faster.
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Unread 04-11-2006, 05:49 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,777
Re: How to get started

I agree that a progressive is not the place to start on reloading, plus you are going to need a single stage anyway.

No matter what, you are going to need a basis of experience and the good single stage press (used ones on Ebay for $40 or less) is the place to start.

As this is a LR forum, the assumption is you are reloading for rifles and you can get in a bind in a hurry if you do not understand the nuances of properly setting up the dies, powder charges, etc on a single stage much less a progressive. Progressives are easy to make mistakes on with powder in particular and that can lead to a "significant emotional event".

Get someone who is an experienced reloader to walk you through the steps, setting up dies, weighing charges, OALs, trimming etc. As you gain experience you can learn how to set up the progressive and turn out limited loads and compare to what you build on the single stage. As your technique and experience improves and the rounds are the same and shoot the same, then you can spend more time on the progressive.

got both and the progressive is not the place to build quality LR rounds.

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Unread 04-12-2006, 08:07 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: How to get started

Unless you are planning to reload tons of ammo, sell the Dillon and you should have plenty for a complete setup. Something like the Rockchucker supreme master reloading kit that the guys are talking about here.
Learning the basics/becoming competent
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Unread 04-12-2006, 09:28 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Alamogordo, NM
Posts: 151
Re: How to get started

I started my reloading on the 550B, I used it more or less as a single stage press for the 1st year, I only loaded 45 Colt, and 30'06, nothing else, now I load a multitude of calibers. The only thing that I wish is that I could have afforded to buy more of their reloading dies, they are excellent, as is the machine, and their customer service. I suggest getting a couple different reloading manuals, reading them, and thoroughly reading the Dillon instructions, before you even set the machine up, once you really get into reloading, you will really appreciate what a gift you have been given, super easy to use, and I have loaded on mine for over 12 years.
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