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Discussion Starter #1
My Square Deal B will be in this week. It is my first reloader. I am getting it in .45

Does anyone have any advice for a first time reloader. What can I learn from others mistakes, etc....

Thanks in advance for you advice....

Frank Scroggs
 

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Well, I just started myself (got the 550B, GREAT machine) and here are a couple of things I suggest.

First, RTFM (Read The Fine Manual). Don't try to load one round without reading ALL the information in the front of the reloading manual.

Second, make sure you understand how things are supposed to work with the loader before you start. It's pretty easy if you know what you're doing.

Third, pull the handle slow and easy till you get a feeling of how much force is required. I had a case that wasn't aligned with the resizing die and I mashed the case mouth because I pulled too hard. A little adjustment and the rest went in fine. But go slow, at least until you know what it should feel like.

Fourth, triple check everything on the first few rounds. Make sure the primers are seating properly. Weigh the first several charges to make sure you're getting consistant metering and the charge weight is right. Check the seating depth. Measure the crimp. After a few rounds, you'll start feeling comfortable that the machine is doing it's job.

Fifth, make sure all the dies are good and tight. My seating die was loose and my OAL was wandering. Since I was checking everything on the first few rounds, I found it after only about 3 rounds.

Sixth, only make up a few rounds at first to check that they function well in your pistol. If you find out they won't feed or chamber correctly or won't cycle the action or won't make power-factor, or whatever, you won't have alot of rounds you can't use.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


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Keep handy any clear photos of the assembled press (Blue Press, magazine ads). I bought a Square Deal, and even with two owners manuals (one that came with the press when new, and another, updated one that was included after the press was factory serviced), I couldn't always follow the description of how something was supposed to be fitted or attached. The press should come mostly assembled and adjusted, but be sure to check the case-mouth belling, bullet seating depth, and crimp, as well as the powder charge.
 

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And don't be afraid to use that 800 number if you have any questions. The folks at Dillon are very helpful.


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Discussion Starter #5
Had to use the 800# last night. UPS shows "delivered" on my package, but it ain't here. Called them up and they are putting a tracer on it. It might take 3 to 5 days to investigate before Dillon will ship another. My wife can't understand why I was crying last night )-:

I think I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder...
 

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Load just one case at a time, using the machine as a single stage press, until you are quite familiar with the proper feel of each stage in the process. Feel is important in operating loading machines. Most problems will be felt before they are seen, if you are attuned to the process.
 

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I've got a couple of these presses. I'd start loading primed brass, get a feel for how things work before you start filling that primer tube up. When dumping unused powder from the hopper back into the can - don't leave it sitting in the hopper - you can get all the powder out by cycling the powder bar back and forth. The plastic bushing will want to fall into your powder can, don't let that happen. Keep the press reasonably clean; I put plastic shopping bags over mine. I've moved crimping to a RCBS die on a single stage press, I just couldn't get the crimp I needed for a tight Kimber chamber out of the Dillon. It crimped fine for Sigs/HK's/Colts and a Glock - but the Kimber had problems with it. Get a Dillon case gauge, they're great. Keep the seating die (station 3) clean, it'll get gummed up if you're loading lead bullets that are lubed.
 

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I have a Dillon 650 and a Kimber Gold Match. For foolproof crimps you might want to try the Lee factory crimp die. I have 5 tool heads set up for the Dillon and they all have the Lee crimp die. No problemo's. Only $14.
 

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Originally posted by hankhan:
The plastic bushing will want to fall into your powder can, don't let that happen.
The new ones don't do that anymore. Continuous product improvement.


Edited cause I camt spel.
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[This message has been edited by AKM (edited 08-30-2001).]
 

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If you load primed brass per hankhan you will have to take the decapping rod out of the sizing die. Why bother? Resize and decap is the normal first station process. Follow instructions and get it right and you will be ok. I strongly agree to run one case at a time all the way through until you have a good understanding of what is going on. It will not spill primers or powder. You will have to adjust the powder measure again when you go to progressive loading.

Sorry, DD the Lee CFC die is a great piece of kit but it won't fit a SDB. Me and FLG scratched our heads over one a long time before concluding it would not be practical to machine one to go in the SDB.

It will take a harder push on the handle to seat primers flush than you perhaps expect. The handle is operating at a point of minimum leverage when seating primers. Don't hit it, just lean into the handle a bit. If you have to, grab the back of the press frame with your left hand and give it a good nutcracker squeeze. I have never popped a primer in this manner. The primer must be flush or a bit below or you could get either a slamfire or a misfire in the gun. A 1050 does not have this problem.

[This message has been edited by Jim Watson (edited 08-30-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by Jim Watson:

It will take a harder push on the handle to seat primers flush than you perhaps expect.
And there is a definite difference in the effort required to seat primers in brass from different manufacturers. Some seat with just a push on the handle and some require grabbing the back of the machine and using some muscle as Jim said.

Stil camt spel
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[This message has been edited by AKM (edited 08-31-2001).]
 

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Operation of the press settles the powder in the measure and charge bar. Stroking the handle four times to load a single round settles it more than stroking the handle once per round in progressive operation. A single loaded round will get maybe 0.2 or 0.3 grains more ball powder and a full 0.5 grain of flake powder. I see this when adjusting the seating plug for a different style bullet of the same weight. Even skipping a single round while loading progressively can settle the powder almost as much. If I misalign a case on the plate and crumple the mouth or get a "ringer" (part of primer stays in the pocket and new one can't seat) and have to discard the case, then I weigh and adjust the next powder charge because it will nearly always be high. There are other causes like inattention or finding a .380 in your 9mms. If I get careless enough to fail to put a case on the plate, it is time for a break - right after I correct the fault and adjust the next powder charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Square Deal showed up today, just in time for the 3 day weekend. Thanks to everyone for your advice!

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Loaded for the 1st time on my new Square Deal B this morning. It worked flawlessly. The instruction manual is a little weak, but after working with the press, the manual was a little easier to understand.
Cranked out about 200 rounds, can't wait to get out and shoot 'em...
Thanks to everyone who posted advice..

Question: I bought the maintenance/cleaning kit. What are the pipe cleaners for?
 

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The pipe cleaners are for cleaning the primer pickup & magazine tubes,Frankly, I've never used mine, they are good for swabbing out the bolt carrier key on a AR-15 though,
 
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