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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
I'm only a few range visits away from getting through my case of .45 and I plan on getting into reloading when it's gone and I've loads of brass laying around in its place. I already know where I'm going to get my press from, but I wanted to get you guys' advice about what else I need to get started. I've been browsing around and see references to all sorts of neat devices, but what would you consider to be the basic requirements for reloading gear. I'll be getting a Dillon Square Deal or 550 and the dealer will help me get it set up and running properly. That will include dies, press and anything else that comes with a Dillon, but do I need things like a case cleaner, digital powder scale, etc. I'm still learning the language of this stuff, so be gentle. Thanks guys,
Scatmanblues
 

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I have a Dillon 550B and here are a few items that I use along with it:

RCBS 505 scale,

Mitutoyo digital calipers

kinetic bullet puller

case mouth reamer

Dillon metal primer flip tray, plastic trays will bounce your primers around when picking them up with a primer tube

akro bins

architect's lamp mounted near press, ($7 at Home Depot)

Good luck
 

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Go digital with the scale if you can. It's a lot quicker to use and more accurate.

I have some rubbermaid bins to store cleaned brass in.

You'll want cartridge boxess for loaded rounds.

I use Avery labels for the boxes and print them on the computer.

Load manuals.
 

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The Dillon 550B is a great reloader. About the only things it does not do are auto index, and feed cases.

(That's why I bought a 650...
)

But, it might be a bit much for a beginning reloader. Suggestion? Buy your Dillon while you have the money. Buy also a good tumbler, AT LEAST THREE DIFFERENT RELOADING MANUALS, and then buy a complete reloading kit such as the RCBS, Lyman, or Hornady kits. Why?

It will help you tremendously to get used to reloading first doing it as a single stage operation. Progressive reloading can be kinda complicated if you don't have any background to fall back on.

Use only the loads printed in your manuals for the time being. Cross reference and check each load with the recommendations from the manufacturer of the powder (available online), and use the lower of the two to start. Work your way up carefully. Avoid using anyone's pet loads for the time being, until you can be sure that they will be safe in YOUR gun.

As for other equipment, I highly recommend the following:

A quality scale, like the RCBS 10-10.

A good set of steel dial calipers.

A tumbler--the larger the better!

A bullet puller--inertia type.

A primer pocket swager.

Did I mention reloading manuals?

Good luck, and welcome to what I believe is the best part of shooting. I started reloading many moons ago with a small single stage press, a bench made from a large wire reel, two C-clamps, and components. I now have a whole room packed full of goodies that my wife tries to clean once in a while (I notice this when I can't find anything).

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"Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size;

When trouble rises, call on me and I will equalize."
 

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I agree with everything Powderman stated -- You are not wasting your money buying a single stage press along with the Dillon. You will always find a use for it. The single stage press is a great way to learn all of the various steps of reloading. After you are cranking out thousands of rounds on your Dillon you will at some point want to reload rifle or other low volume calibers. That's where the single stage comes in.
The only equipment I can add to the list is the Dillon Case Gauge. I consider this a very important part of reloading. I still gauge 100% of my rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I happen to have the regional distributor for Dillon here in OKC with me, and that's who I'm getting the press from. (PAyday's in a week...getting antsy) He comes highly recommended, and the couple of times I've talked to him he sounds like a great guy. I guess when I buy my press it sounds like I'll bring my gun to his range/shop and we'll put together a basic load that fits my gun right then. That way he can show me how everything works and my learning curve doesn't have to be so slow. Thanks for all of your input on this -I guess it's time to hit the search engines for reloading component prices. I must say I'm pretty excited to learn all of this.
Scatmanblues
 

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Go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy half-a-dozen of those plastic, Tupperware-like containers with the "burp 'em" lids. Get a couple of different sizes. They are a seldom-mentioned but extremely useful type of accessory that costs very little. I use them for storing primers and sorted cases. They are stackable and see-through, and they protect your stuff from the elements quite well. (I know by experience that primers stored inside a resealable plastic container like that will still work after 18 years, should you misplace some as I did.
)


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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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I would suggest using clays powder.simply if you double charge you would spot it.It would be nearly full to running over. safe shooting!!!
 

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I went to the pros to find out what they recommended as a basic "starter" setup. When I decided to start reloading my own, I got a RCBS Rockchucker Combo. Included were:

press, scale, uniflow powder measure, primer catcher, 2 primer tubes (1 large, 1 small), 2 primer plugs (for seating). The vendor offered one die set for free, buyer's choice of caliber.

I also got a case lube pad and some case lube, but I can't remember if the pad was included in the combo package or not.
 
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