Loaders not the same...


Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2007
Youngsville, NC
I own 5 Dillon loaders and 2 RCBS Rock Chuckers. Last week I was loading on one Dillon 550 with no issues. I switched loaders and did not adjust my dies. The loaders were about .005 different in stroke and I ruined 200 pieces of brass. Just because they look the same, are the same models, and the parts are interchangable they are not the same. Learn from my mistake.
Nat Lambeth
Good info. It gets easy to make assumptions in a mode of repetative operations. Its even easier to check and dbl check just to make sure. (sorry for your loss)..
I ruined 200 pieces of brass.Nat Lambeth

Just how exactly did you "ruin" the brass. What operation were you preforming, what dies.

Unless your using some specialized dies that will allow you to push the shoulder back to far, there isn't anything I can think of that would constitute ruined brass. Even if the shoulders were set back to far, with a little work that can be fixed.
That would not happen with multiple arbor presses.

I also own a RCBS Rockchucker and an RCBS Partner. Dies must always be re-adjusted when switching between them.

This was Lapua 6mmBR hydraulic formed to 6mmBRX. The shoulders were bumped back about .005 then fired then bumped back again. The web in these cases has stretched thin. I have had 4 case seperations and the rest of the loaded brass has rings around the web.

Steve, I am a licensed (type 6 FFL) comercial reloader. Over the last 50 years I have loaded literally several million rounds. I think I know when brass is ruined.

Nat Lambeth

I wasn't questioning your experience or trying to contradict you in any way. I was simply tring to understand the situation, seeing that you neglected to include the details in your first post.

Having 3 different presses (RCBS Rock Chucker, Ammo master, and Hornady LNL Auto progressive) I am very familiar with having to readjust dies when switching between them, but the worst that can happen is that the shoulder will not get pushed back at all, or the press isn't able to cam over.

But the fact remains that your situation and setup isn't typical. Most full length sizing dies and shell holder combinations will not allow you to set the shoulder back to far, no matter what press you use them in, unless you have modified the die or shell holder or your chamber is atypical.

Now as far as the brass being ruined, I agree it is. But you didn't state that you had fired the brass, let alone sized them multiple times, and there was no mention of case head seperations. I had assumed that you had discovered the fact that the shoulders were set back to far through measurement, and had stopped there. My thinking was that you could simply neck up a few calibers then size back down to the proper dimentions, alot of work but allows you to salvage the brass, but obviously not going to work with your situation.
Nat---am astounded that it took this long for you to realize this. One of the first things I learned when I started getting into the extreme accuracy side of the sport is that much of this equipment is not built to be even close to "IR" as many parts are in my industry -- military aerospace.

I was in a hurry. I was shooting all day at the F-Class Nationals and back at home loading in the evenings. Two brand new rifles and the Hornady Hydraulic forming dies. A new segment in my fire forming protocall. With a small case on a progressive press there is little resistence at the end of the stroke. Again I am using two dies to do one operation. One is a 6mmBR sizing die running .098 short. An a 6mmBR body die with the top end bored out. It was operator error on my part. But others should know that same makes and model loaders require independent die adjustment. All I ask is that others learn form my mistake.

Ahhhh---understood... Almost all of the mistakes I have ever made while loading were because I got in a hurry! Nothing like haveing to work late on Thursday getting home to load for a weekend match tired and having 10 hours to load, pack, sleep then drive for 9 hours the next day.
Warning! This thread is more than 14 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.