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Reloading on a Automatic. 45 Colt


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#1 tawnoper

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:53 PM

Since it seems a lot of guys are getting into reloading thought I'd post a quick little dealio on the process...and how stupid easy it is to use an automatic.I own a Lee Loadmaster Progressive. I've used Dillons before...definitely a nice, quality tool. I'd love to have one. I've heard very good things about the Hornady as well but have never used one. One thing I like about the Loadmaster is it's size...doesn't take up or require a lot of space. Also, it's pretty straight forward, not a whole lot adjusting or setup required. Another thing is price...very affordable. I believe they are about 350.00 right now, ready to roll. Don't get me wrong, 350 bucks is a nice chunk of change, but compared to others it's affordable. I've used mine for about 10 years now...all I ever had to replace is the primer feed, and that was partially due to my mistake.I've loaded a ton of straight walled cases on a single stage press, I'll never do it again. Since my main pistol is my 45 Vaquero I leave the press setup for 45 Colt the majority of the time. I have shell plates and dies for 45acp and .38/357 as well...takes about 15/20 minutes to swap out and get it dialed.When loading on the Loadmaster, a couple things to keep an eye on. First the case feeder tubes. Each tube holds about 15/20 pcs of brass...once they empty you'll end up with an empty station. No biggie really. Most important thing is to keep the primer tray full or you'll be loading up cases with no primers. Don't ask me how I know this. You'll have sprinkling of powder around wondering where it's coming from. Actually, Unique doesn't usually fall through the flash hole. Thank goodness.I just went out and loaded up 50 rounds. My press is setup and ready to go.After shooting I tumble my brass:Posted ImageNext step is to load the cases in the feed tubes, pour some powder in the hopper and fill some primers in the tray.Posted ImageOkay, ready to go.Posted ImageOne pull deprimes and resizes:Posted ImageNext pull primes in addition to previous step:Posted ImageNext pull bells the mouth and charges in addition to other steps and the the last step you manually place the bullet in, it seats and crimps. I actually like this so I can visually look into every case and observe the powder height.Posted ImageI like to stop and check the charge every 25 or so. Really easy on this system. Quick check, yep 8grs of Unique...Posted ImageAbout 30 rounds in I had to stop and put in a few more primers...should of put in 50.Posted ImageOkay, finish up the remaining and I have 50 new rounds ready to go boom. 50 rounds loaded start to finish in 10 minutes. Like I said, it's pretty darn simple.Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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#2 Frank

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

DXMN, that's a VERY nice Vaquero. I love those things and still can't believe I don't own at least one. :doh[1]:Oh, the write up... I still have to read it... Got all caught up in the pics. lol I don't recall seeing anything like this on the 45 Colt, at least lately & to this detail, so am sure there are folks that will appreciate this. :lol:

#3 Shoot-it

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:33 PM

Nice system.I seen a few youtube video's about those lee progressive's

#4 docskinner

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:38 PM

Nice - was debating whether it would be worth it for the .45 Colt. May have to make a new budget...

#5 ehd

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

very nice. much quicker than what I am doing.

#6 Braz

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:56 PM

Great post. Very, very informative. Gret job with the pictures to help your wright up.I have the RCBS progressive press and it is really easy to use also. And I have a Dillon Square Deal B which is the one dedicated to pistol cartridges. I use it for the 38 specials I shoot in ICORE. I have the 9mm setup for it too, but havn't used it yet. The 9mm are pretty easy to find at very reasonable price. So I don't reload them. YET. Before too long I'm going to ttry just fo rth efun of it. I don't shoot my vaquaro much anymore so don' need to reload for it. Here is my VaquaroPosted Image
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#7 tawnoper

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:31 AM

that's a beauty Braz...Yep, I love them single actions. When you open the loading gate, turn the cylinder and get that click, click, click...too cool.I remember as a kid being taught how to load a single action revolver before transfer bars. Half cock, open loading gate, load one, skip one, load the rest, pull hammer all the way back and set it down on the empty cylinder.I own a few nice autos too, love shooting them as well but HATE chasing brass. I got to make sure I'm standing in a wide open area before I start shooting.
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#8 Braz

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:04 AM

When shooting your semi's a trick hat can be helpful. Take a blue tarp with you and just stand on one edge of it when full opened.. That way the brass is all easy to find and pick up.
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#9 Bisley

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

Gotta love straight wall cartridges :roflmao3[1]: . Even with a single stage or turret press, you can get 150-200 an hour. When you teach someone to reload (especially straight walled pistol) it is neat to see the expression they get on their faces, like "Is that all?". There really is no voodoo magic, just common sense and patience.I know a lot of you use a progressive for pistol and single stage for rifle, but just curious, does that press reload rifle also? It looks like it is surely tall enough, but I just wonder about the extra die holes. Would you just leave them empty as it spins? Never used a progressive in my life, even for shotgun. Closest is my Lyman T-Mag, which is still basically a single stage, but I was just curious as to the versatility of a progressive.

#10 tawnoper

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:11 AM

Yeah, the Loadmaster will do .223. For a guy who like to shoot a ton of rifle rounds...like Ground Squirrels or Prairie Dogs, it would be a great investment.As for the extra hole in the turret...you can buy 4 die kits that include a separate crimp...or you can just leave them empty.
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#11 OrneryOlMofo357

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:02 AM

Great writeup Tawnoper. I have never tried a progressive. Looks like the real deal for handgun loads.
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#12 Bisley

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:04 PM

Yeah, the Loadmaster will do .223. For a guy who like to shoot a ton of rifle rounds...like Ground Squirrels or Prairie Dogs, it would be a great investment.

Or two growing nephews with happy trigger fingers :653: . Thanks though, was curious about rifle. And I must say, you are right about the Dillon presses. Had a neighbor that owned one (I had never tried it though), and it was a very high quality, nice press. But, it had more alarms and whistles than a fire station, and took up more room (height and width) than a large gun safe after he had bolted on all the accessories to it. And, as with anything quality or lifetime warranty, you sure do pay for it. I could buy a whole new press (single stage) and dies for just what he paid for dies and a shell plate :D

#13 Desert Fox

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

Beautiful single action there guys. I too use progressive for my pistols. I have the Square Deal now for over 22 years. It's been idle for a couple of years until about 2 years ago when I started using it again to load for my 44 Magnum Desert Eagle. If you shoot pistol or revolver more often, progressive is the way to go.
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#14 Braz

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

Come on Shooter John, you gotta post in this thead. I know you got lots of equipment as I"ve seen pictures of it before. Lets see som again. An a coment or three about the various presses.
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#15 docskinner

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:10 PM

So started pre-lookin at prgressive. Though "Have a Rockcucker, get teh piggyback for it" BUT - that costs as much as a dedicated one like the Lee you use. HAve to research more.One Q: with leaded, do you have to expand teh necks more? or does it work okay as you are hand placing teh bullets?

#16 tawnoper

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:13 AM

Not sure if I understand...but no, you do not have to expand more for lead.
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#17 docskinner

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:42 AM

Meant do you have to expand more with the progressive over a standard single rig.




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