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What do i need now.

1021 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BigMikeFromOlemiss
Ok. I got the dillon square deal b in. It sustanded some damage during shipping (possibly before shipping) anyway...dillons warranty has kicked in an replacement parts are on the way. But while I'm waiting, the question is...what else do I need?

I know I need Calipers - any brand or does it matter?

I know I need scales - suggestions?

Do i need a tumbler?

What reloading book do I need to get?
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Definitely dial or digital calipers - I was given a set of Harbor Freight Digitals and they have held up for 5 or 6 years now or more. There are definitely nicer ones out there, but these things cost less than most dials ($10 on sale right now) and are definitely good enough. I have both dial and digital and pick up the digitals every time: http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-digital-caliper-47257.html

Scale - RCBS or Lyman balance beam are fine. Digitals are nice but not any more accurate, just faster. If you are going to mainly load one "recipe" and won't be changing your charge a lot, a digital is definitely not necessary as it won't be used that often. They are nice though for weighing bullets, charges, cases, whatever. I don't know if one digital is better than any others. I found one not made by a reloading company that claims to be more accurate than all of the other ones I have seen for about $70 I think but have no experience with it. I will try to find a link.

Bullet puller - Any will work. You'll need one eventually, but you can just put culled rounds to the side and get one later if you want. I've had a cheapo Frankford Arsenal from Midway for years and it has held up. The "speed collet" Midway sells is a nice option.

Tumbler and media- I think you'll want one. My experience is with a cheapo Frankford Arsenal that I have had since I started reloading and a big daddy Dillon I was fortunate enough to win. Both work fine. The Dillon holds a lot more brass, but is also more likely to have some media shake out if run with the top off. (I know, you aren't supposed to run it with the top off, but I usually remove the top and turn it on for a few seconds to get a look at the brass before removing it).

Case gauges - For each caliber you shoot. I like the L.E. Wilson from Midway (and the form Midway brand). The only downside is they are not stainless and can rust so you have to take care of them. They are tighter than Dillon's gauges and in my experience if a round drops into them, it will go in your barrel unless your chamber is out of spec. Even some cases that fail the gauge will shoot ok. I just put all the failures in a practice pile.

I will disagree with 'Neck and say you don't need a hand primer. The Dillon priming system will take care of you. I've been loading pistol ammo for 10 years and never needed or wanted one.

Primer flip tray - any brand, only costs a couple of bucks. The Midway "Vibra-Prime" works pretty well for speeding things up but definitely not necessary. Depending on how many primer tubes you have, you may want to pick up a couple of extras.

The manuals and a "mentor" are good advice.

Take it slow at first and pay attention to what the press is doing. Being smooth is important, too. You'll be fine starting on a Dillon. It is most important to be careful when you are getting things set up (adjusting OAL, powder charge, crimp, etc.) and if there is a problem during loading (crushed case, run out of components, misfed primer, etc). While loading normally, the press does most of the work and all you have to do is keep watch to make sure it is all going alright. I like to look into every case, and you can do this as you are setting the bullet. This way you can visually check for too much or to little (or no) powder.

Good luck, and let us know if can provide any long distance guidance.
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Glad to help.

I forgot to mention that as you probably know, you won't need anything to throw powder as the Dillon will do that for you. Also, some people disassemble their gun and use their barrel as the "gauge". This works but is a bit of a pain. The case gauges aren't that expensive and are the "right" way to do it.

This is the scale I mentioned earlier:

I have never used one, but it is priced comparable to other reloading electronic scales and it says it has a resolution of .02 grains which is significantly better than most dedicated reloading scales or anything else I have found even close to this price. I'd really like to try one and probably will someday if I don't hear something bad about them before then.

I was referred to Old Will Knott by another shooter and have bought a scale from them, but it was a larger model for weighing guns at the MS Classic. The scale worked nicely and they shipped promptly, etc, so I don't have a problem recommending them. There may be better or cheaper places, but Old Will has many scales that would work for reloading, some of which are much cheaper than the one above. For example:

Note their resolution is only .1 of a grain. Of course that is all my beat up old Dillon electronic scale does, and it has served me well for 10 years. Here is a link to an old thread about digital scales if you are interested. In it I describe my technique of averaging powder charges to get a little bit better idea of the actual weight thrown: http://www.msgunowners.com/reloading-ammunition-f11/anyone-got-a-digital-powder-scale-they-really-like-and-trust-t4257.htm?highlight=scale
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