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  1. I have been reloading since the early eighties…I have used mostly RCBS products…have used a dillon 550 for several years…my experience with lee products has been less than satisfactory……they have some VERY innovative products and are (pricewise) on the lower end of the market…however their products which I have used have not stood up to long term volume reloading

    1. Additionally, Lee dies are a royal pain in the butt to take apart and clean, and the plastic cases they are shipped in allow the dies to be exposed to moisture. The full length dies dont always allow the round to chamber and i have had to modify several on my lathe, like the 7.65 x 53 belgium and even the .303 to get the cases to headspace correctly and the bolt to close. I have also NEVER heard of anyone using the little yellow dippers for reloading without a scale.

  2. I have a Dillon Square Deal that is 36 years old. When I was having a problem with it last year, Dillon had me send it in and they went through it and fixed everything free of charge due to their lifetime warranty……..best warranty I ever saw.

  3. When I was in 7th grade back in 1972, I read a book titled “American Guerilla in the Philippines” about an American soldier under McArthur who didn’t surrender to the Japanese when the islands fell but went into the hills and initiated guerilla warfare against the Japanese. I recall him writing of his Philipino soldiers who used the propellent from procurred japanese naval mines to reload ammo for his groups weapons and used brass curtain rods which they filed down by hand to fit their barrels. A lot of handwork, but he said while his men didn’t like the kick that the propellent gave their handloads but they liked the fact that they didn’t have to adjust for windage.

  4. I have been reloading since the 70s, and will reserve comments except to say that crimping a “tip”, which is a bullet by the way, that doesn’t have a crimp cannelure is not a good idea.

    I also would like to state that the Dillon warranty is the absolute gold medal standard for warranty. My square deal b press was also sent back and rebuilt after many thousands of reloaded rounds went through it. Dillon stands behind their products.

    I do not use a progressive for rifle rounds due to the fact that i can’t control case length. Even with the RCBS X dies, the case length is never consistant and the neck concentricity worsens.

  5. Enjoyed the article! Reloading is a great hobby and I own two Dillon Precision presses and recommend their entire line.

    But be warned — reloading will add to your preps. I buy primers in lots of 5,000, bullet heads 2500 at a time, and powder by the 8-pound keg. And you often have to make the buys in person because of the hazmat fees for shipping.

    My advice for beginning reloaders is to get a set of check weights to verify the accuracy of your scale. Back when I used a balance beam, I learned this the hard way and ended up blowing the extractor out of my Glock when a load actually used 4.8 grains of powder, even though the scale read 4.2. (No harm was done to me or the gun — but both my pride and my hand were stung.) Those tiny check weights are a small but valuable investment, even if you use an electronic scale.

  6. This is a good article and should help people get started. I started reloading in the 70’s and commercially in the early 80’s on Dillon 1000’s They have not made that press in years and it was great. I was a Dillon dealer and a Lyman distributor and sold all the major powders. The few things that I don’t agree with is cleaning cases after sizing. They need to be cleaned first to save the dies. The burnt powder left on the brass will scratch the dies and then leave scratches in your sized brass. Maybe not a big deal but looks bad if you are selling ammo. You should lube all brass the carbide dies are so they don’t wear out. Lubing makes everything work smother and last longer. I have seen a lot of reloading equipment mostly dies destroyed by not tumbling first and not lubing. Yes, carbide will work in straight wall pistol cases without lube but it is better to lube.

  7. Although I have a good single stage press, circumstances forced me to use a Lee Hand press and the simplest tools, some I made. Yes, it is possible to load hundreds of precision rounds using the least expensive equipment, and even crude implements, including a hammer. The LEE PRECISION 90248 .30-06 Springfield Classic Loader for $38.00 can be useful and inexpensive way to get started saving money by loading the old fashioned way. The kit will pay for itself quickly. Sadly the kits are only available for a few cartridges. Hand loading with good quality presses, and equipment requires one to load thousands of rounds per year to pay for itself. It might be best to start with an inexpensive outfit before going hog wild only to find that it is too time consuming, or requires more of an investment of money than is sensible.
    The simplest and least expensive Lee products can produce a useful quantity and quality of hunting ammo to be a ‘no brainer’ decision. Using a single versatile power, and only one projectile, will keep the cost down. IMHO, the .30-06 is the most versatile cartridge on the planet. There are decades of literature to found on the net, valuable experience shared. IMR 4895 is proven to work well with most loads and in many cartridges, and if there were only one bullet choice, a 180 grain bullet would do it to it on most anything. Load from mouse to moose if you’d like, from subsonic to brush breaking 180 grain and heavier round nose loads, the .30-06 is a chameleon in the woods. And inexpensive brass can still be found. The average price for hundreds of once fired match grade LC and mixed LC bot recently at the Kalispell, Montana show was 6.5 cents. Reloading is funner when it is cheaper! The current plinking load using 150 flat nose plated bullets costs only 18 cent a round. Cheap trigger time!

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