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Part of the reason the 650 works do well for me is I reload about 1000-2000 cartridges at a time.

I will do precision’s runs where I am only doing about 100 cartridges at a time. But that is only for my Remington 700p.
 

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An old friend and I went in on some reloading equipment some years back. Like oldynotmoldy, we use a dillon 550b and a rock chucker. The dillon is mainly for pistol rounds and .223 for the AR. All our precision ammo is done on the RCBS.
 

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Took a while to find this thread. I guess stickies got lost.

Any way I got a heads up from a place I'd got brass from on Etsy. They are being kicked off, policy change.

Here is the link to their website. The brass I got was clean & good quality. I thought it was a decent price.

https://www.lonestarbrass.com/
 

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Lonestar Brass should sell their brass on Etsy as art supplies, for artisans creating hand crafted jewelry with a Western theme.

I'm getting sick of this culture war.
 

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Lonestar Brass should sell their brass on Etsy as art supplies, for artisans creating hand crafted jewelry with a Western theme.

I'm getting sick of this culture war.
They were. My wife got the message today.

We are reaching out to you to let you know that Etsy will no longer allow us or others to sale brass casings on the Etsy site. Please check out our other site ... www.lonestarbrass.com for you future needs. I hope to meet you again over there.

Steve
254.718.9102 or [email protected]
 

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What does Etsy have against recycling?

I've never done any business there, but they just went on my NOPE! list.

I did look around their website, and quite a few of their initiatives I can get behind. These include environmental sustainability, and decent and respectful treatment of our fellow human beings. However, denying people the accoutrements of self defense is not decent. It is dehumanizing in the extreme.

A pity.

buzzsaw
 

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What does Etsy have against recycling?

I've never done any business there, but they just went on my NOPE! list.

I did look around their website, and quite a few of their initiatives I can get behind. These include environmental sustainability, and decent and respectful treatment of our fellow human beings. However, denying people the accoutrements of self defense is not decent. It is dehumanizing in the extreme.

A pity.

buzzsaw
Up side is, Lone Star is still in business & etsy isn't getting their cut of every part of the transaction including the shipping cost.

Don't get my wife started. Etsy isn't small seller friendly any more.
 

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Ok, a little more in depth than the last post...

I've got a Dillon 550. I like it. I'm consistently impressed with the accuracy of its powder throws. Impressed, unless I'm using AA#9. I got two pounds of the stuff during the dry years. It is very fine. Very. The Dillon meters by volume, and you dial it in by weight. The very fine powder just doesn't throw consistently.

So what I do is use it for rounds I don't shoot a lot of, but that hold a lot of powder. It is used in the high powered pistol stuffs (.357, .44m, and north).

I set my rig up and keep the powder below the needed amount and top off with my balance beam scale.

Casull's take 29 grains with a 240 grain boolet. (.44mag uses 20.2 grains).

I got set up one evening a week or so back and ran about 30 of them. It is much slower than regular production runs (100 in 15 minutes). Got up the next morning and ran a few more before I headed into work. Verified zero on the scale, reset the weights to 29 grains, ran a few more rounds. I was up to 44 rounds when I saw that I had bumped one of the weights from 9 to 10.
Casulls run just under 60,000 psi, they are not the round you want to load hot, not if you enjoy life in general or binocular vision in particular.

I'd dropped only a few rounds with the over charge, but they were sitting on top of all the other rounds. I have different brands of brass that I'm reloading and don't trust them to be exactly the same weight. I sat there and looked at 44 rounds that I was going to open up and re-do. What fun. btw, the crimp on the casull is pretty stout, you don't want the other rounds in the wheel stretching under impact as they wait their turn.

I did stumble on one helpful tidbit. If you are using the balance scale for production work, and the weight is a even grain amount without a decimal value above zero, set the scale to one grain less and 10 10ths. This keeps that 10ths fly-weight weight further from the hook that the pan hangs from and is less likely to get bumped. If you have this set up you can see what I mean, if you don't, it doesn't really matter.

Rained out AGAIN! might get some more reloading done. That or clean house. Care to place bets?

Lop
safety.png
 

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I'd dropped only a few rounds with the over charge, but they were sitting on top of all the other rounds.
This reminds me of one of my reloading mishaps. It wasn't actually the reloading process. I had the first 50 rounds of 45-70 for my Magnum Research BFR, in a nice plastic ammo box.

500gr45-70-PowderCoated-2ndTestLoads-20161004_234943-800.jpg

There were five groups of ten rounds each, with different powder weights. The label in the box identified the bottom ten as "WARNING! MAX LOAD!"

At the range, I opened the top heavy box and juggled it, dropping it into a pile of randomized rounds. The break-in rounds were a variant of Russian Roulette.


I did stumble on one helpful tidbit. If you are using the balance scale for production work...
I like value oriented Lee reloading equipment, but the best value of all of my reloading equipment has been the $300 RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 electronic powder dispenser, now even better after the plastic straw mod. It throws very accurate charges regardless of the powder type. I bought it for single stage reloading of accurate bolt action rifle rounds, but I use it for everything except bulk reloads of blasting ammo. It's quick and easy to program and there are no sliding weights to bump. It dispenses powder while I'm doing the bullet seating and crimping and it displays the digital weight of each so I get a confirmation before dumping each powder load into the case. It looks like a luxury convenience item, but it's also an investment in safety.

If only it could keep me from dropping a box of ammo.

BTW - The initial box of randomized 45-70 rounds were all somewhere on the spectrum of ouch to OUCH!
 
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My Chargemaster 1500 likes to overshoot, especially on small pistol charges. It also behaves unpredictably. One charge, it will slow down and creep up on it, and stop correctly on the right mass. This is what I think it is supposed to do. The very next charge, it just might start out slowly, speed up, then slam on the brakes at the last second. These almost always go over by several tenths. That is a lot, if your target charge is 3.1 grains (of Unique) for a .32 ACP. Straw, no straw, ball powder, flake powder, fine, coarse, a restrictor orifice screwed into the end of the tube, or not, doesn't seem to matter. I've seen this crap with all of 'em.

Vihtavouri N120 (small sticks) actually does OK, but that was a rifle load using about 42 grains.

The unpredictability really bothers me more than the inaccuracy. Shouldn't a machine do the same thing, every time, under the same conditions?

I have looked into reprogramming the speeds, but haven't tried tweaking it yet. Most people doing this are loading rifle rounds, and are trying to get it to go faster. I would actually load ammo quicker if my Chargemaster were slower, since I wouldn't have to dump as many charges back in the hopper. I have resorted to setting it a few tenths of a grain under, then move the pan over to my beam scale, and finish it with a trickler.

I hate to say it, but it just might be quicker for me to break out the Lee dippers and finish with the trickler and beam scale.

buzzsaw
 

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My Chargemaster 1500 likes to overshoot, especially on small pistol charges. It also behaves unpredictably. One charge, it will slow down and creep up on it, and stop correctly on the right mass. This is what I think it is supposed to do. The very next charge, it just might start out slowly, speed up, then slam on the brakes at the last second. These almost always go over by several tenths. That is a lot, if your target charge is 3.1 grains (of Unique) for a .32 ACP. Straw, no straw, ball powder, flake powder, fine, coarse, a restrictor orifice screwed into the end of the tube, or not, doesn't seem to matter. I've seen this crap with all of 'em.

Vihtavouri N120 (small sticks) actually does OK, but that was a rifle load using about 42 grains.

The unpredictability really bothers me more than the inaccuracy. Shouldn't a machine do the same thing, every time, under the same conditions?

I have looked into reprogramming the speeds, but haven't tried tweaking it yet. Most people doing this are loading rifle rounds, and are trying to get it to go faster. I would actually load ammo quicker if my Chargemaster were slower, since I wouldn't have to dump as many charges back in the hopper. I have resorted to setting it a few tenths of a grain under, then move the pan over to my beam scale, and finish it with a trickler.

I hate to say it, but it just might be quicker for me to break out the Lee dippers and finish with the trickler and beam scale.

buzzsaw
There have been many times I used the closest size dipper and partly filled it with something inert so that I could reproduce consistent loads once I had settled on a particular load. Hot melt wax works well for one filler. Dip and dump is quicker than throw, check and dump only to find out it changed without notice. The only time I loaded for speed was 9mm when I was competing.
 

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My Chargemaster 1500 likes to overshoot, especially on small pistol charges. It also behaves unpredictably. One charge, it will slow down and creep up on it, and stop correctly on the right mass. This is what I think it is supposed to do. The very next charge, it just might start out slowly, speed up, then slam on the brakes at the last second. These almost always go over by several tenths. That is a lot, if your target charge is 3.1 grains (of Unique) for a .32 ACP. Straw, no straw, ball powder, flake powder, fine, coarse, a restrictor orifice screwed into the end of the tube, or not, doesn't seem to matter. I've seen this crap with all of 'em.

Vihtavouri N120 (small sticks) actually does OK, but that was a rifle load using about 42 grains.
I bought my ChargeMaster for rifle loads and that's mostly how I use it. Technically, the 45-70 loads were for a revolver, but that kinda doesn't count... because, yowza. I have been using the electronic powder dispenser for development loads on pistols because it's so darn handy, but it does a better job with larger powder loads for rifles. It's awesome for 50 BMG. It runs for a long time but it nails those heavy 220 gr loads of big stick powders. It's always faster than the time I spend seating a bullet, crimping the bullet, removing the finished round, visually inspecting it, dropping it into a cartridge gauge for a quality control check, placing the finished round into the ammo box, inserting a new piece of brass and priming it.


The unpredictability really bothers me more than the inaccuracy. Shouldn't a machine do the same thing, every time, under the same conditions?
Chaos theory. Shouldn't we be able to predict the weather years in advance if we know all of the current conditions? :)

The problem, and you've no doubt seen this happening, is the powder bunches up in the internally threaded dispense tube. It gets close to the desired charge weight and stops. Little turn. Nothing. Little turn. Nothing. Little turn. Nothing. Little turn. AVALANCHE. The stick powders that tend to bridge and drop light loads in volumetric powder dispensers are more likely to logjam in the dispense tube and then dispense .2 gr over. I almost never dispense more than .2 gr over, but the precision and accuracy of the ChargeMaster has made me fussy enough that this slight overage bugs me... even though my volumetric powder dispensers aren't that accurate on much smaller loads where .2 gr would be a larger percentage.


I have looked into reprogramming the speeds, but haven't tried tweaking it yet. Most people doing this are loading rifle rounds, and are trying to get it to go faster.
I've considered setting new ChargeMaster dispensing parameters. If I only used it for one powder type, or only used similar powder types, I'd reprogram it to be more accurate (and possibly faster) for those specific powders, but I think the factory settings are probably the best general purpose values for all powder types.

The straw mod helped my ChargeMaster the most. With no powder in the hopper, I jammed a Burger King straw into the dispense tube as far as it would go and chopped it off slightly longer than the dispense tube so the entire dispense path was slick smooth plastic straw. I used a Sharpie to mark the top of the straw. I then pulled the straw out and cut a large notch in the top on the rear to allow the powder to drop into the dispense tube with every rotation. As an added bonus, I can turn the straw slightly to close off the notch to restrict the powder flow by reducing the amount of powder that drops into the dispense tube with every turn, but in practice I leave it wide open to dispense as quickly as possible.

Before the straw mod, I had a few small powders that dispensed perfectly every time and some problematic rifle powders that dispensed over .2 gr maybe 5% of the time, which is surprisingly aggravating because it interrupts my reloading cadence. After the straw mod, I had the same few small powders that dispensed perfectly every time and some problematic rifle powders that dispensed over .2 gr maybe 1% of the time. I'm calling that a 5X improvement.

Rather than dispense every load slightly light and then manually trickle up to the exact powder charge, I now dispense the desired charge weight and when it overshoots 1% of the time, I manually remove a tiny amount of powder. Once the dispense weight is counted, the display returns to the live measurement of weight and I can adjust the loads as desired, up or down.


I would actually load ammo quicker if my Chargemaster were slower, since I wouldn't have to dump as many charges back in the hopper. I have resorted to setting it a few tenths of a grain under, then move the pan over to my beam scale, and finish it with a trickler. I hate to say it, but it just might be quicker for me to break out the Lee dippers and finish with the trickler and beam scale.
I've never done it, but for problematic powders, I've thought about setting the charge weight .2 gr under and finishing the dispensing with a manual powder trickler, but why would you ever use a balance beam scale for that? I'd just top it off the last .2 gr manually on the ChargeMaster.

The Engineer's Curse: I've imagineered an electronic powder dispenser with two dispense tubes. A much larger tube dispenses large powder loads faster. The smaller tube trickles the last grain much more accurately.
 

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The Engineer's Curse: I've imagineered an electronic powder dispenser with two dispense tubes. A much larger tube dispenses large powder loads faster. The smaller tube trickles the last grain much more accurately.
RCBS just came out with something like that. https://www.rcbs.com/matchmaster-powder-dispenser.html

I have tried the straw two different ways. First, similar to what you describe, and secondly what some YouTube videos show, just covering the threaded part. What you describe works better, since it can regulate the rate at which powder enters the tube.

I have seen a couple of avalanches, but the main problem with mine is it just seems to make bad choices for dispensing speed sometimes. When you look at the programmable parameters, they are in grains, and the default shift points are much bigger than my charges. This might be confusing the controller, causing the erratic behavior. It would be nice if these parameters were related to the percentage of the charge that has been delivered. For example, the first 80% is delivered fast, with the unit slowing down during the last 20% of the delivery. For large charges, the final, slow speed might only be for the last 2%. I have thought about making several sets of numbers for different charge sizes. It looks like some trial and error might be involved. Unfortunately, the Chargemaster 1500 doesn't have an easy way to reset to factory defaults, so these would have to be restored manually. I do have a list of these default settings to do this in case I screw things up.

I do like my Chargemaster despite its imperfections and do find it useful in developing loads, but I have to watch it like a hawk. I actually bought the Chargemaster when I started reloading, long before I bought the beam scale, used, from a friend, a few months ago. I use the beam scale because it is more sensitive than the Chargemaster. The beam scale can discern less than a tenth of a grain. It's an old RCBS 09070, made by Ohaus, with the tenths poise being a marked, rotatable drum on a threaded rod, with which I can estimate weights less than 0.1 grain visually, by interpolating between the markings. Also, getting the trickler close to the Chargemaster's pan is a bit awkward.

buzzsaw
 

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RCBS just came out with something like that. https://www.rcbs.com/matchmaster-powder-dispenser.html
https://www.rcbs.com/matchmaster-powder-dispenser.html

Utilizing our Patent Pending dual tube dispense technology....
I wish there was some way I could get .001% royalty on the ideas I've had that became products.

$900?!? If I'd known it was that good of an idea, maybe I'd have made my own version!

I was researching inductive brass case neck annealing a few years before the first one appeared on the market and there were a few the last time I looked.


I use the beam scale because it is more sensitive than the Chargemaster. The beam scale can discern less than a tenth of a grain. It's an old RCBS 09070, made by Ohaus, with the tenths poise being a marked, rotatable drum on a threaded rod, with which I can estimate weights less than 0.1 grain visually, by interpolating between the markings.
I gave my old Lee beam scale to a friend who was getting into reloading. I figured, like Sweet Brown famously said, ain't nobody got time for that. It was a very accurate scale. A piece of typing paper cut into a 1/4" square was enough to unbalance the scale. It was way more accurate than I needed for reloading, even for the precision benchrest stuff. I'm not into cutting sticks of powder to get exactly the right powder charge.
 

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I use my beam scale for set up and auditing. I only use it for every round with the casulls, and anything that slows down the recoil is welcome ;)

My 'tickler' is an old tea spoon I pinched in a vice. A little powder in a bowl, a small scoop of powder, then, with my left hand resting on the table, i tap the spoon handle. I can get very fine (less than 0.1 grain) bumps or faster pours. Not sure what I paid for the spoon.

Lop
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A week or two ago I loaded a couple of batches of .32 ACP rounds using my Chargemaster 1500. These loads used 2.8 and 3.1 grains of Unique. I had no overcharges.

I changed three of the settings from defaults to these:
HSP_A1 = 5.50 (Grains under target weight to go from full to high speed for low weight)
HSP_B1 = 2.25 (Grains under target weight to go from high to slow speed for low weight)
HSP_C1 = 0.50 (Grains under target weight to go from slow to final trickle speed for low weight)

The original factory settings are 15.68, 3.42 and 1.08, respectively. Apparently, Full speed > High speed > Slow speed > Trickle speed, so there are (at least) four speeds.

These modified settings were posted by someone loading .223 who was using 25.5 grains of Benchmark or 27.0 grains of Varget, which is notoriously difficult for this type of dispenser to deal with. He also used a piece of straw in his, I didn't. His powder deliveries took about 12 seconds. What I think happens with his deliveries is, for example with the Benchmark load, the first 20 grains are delivered at full speed, then from 20 to 22.5 grains are delivered at high speed, then from 22.5 grains to 25.0 grains are delivered at slow speed, and finally, the last 0.5 grains are delivered at trickle.

Even though these parameter values are still higher than my charges, they are quite a bit closer. Mine took about 30 seconds to deliver, but all ended up on the right weight, and all that I checked with the beam scale agreed. With the original settings, mine seemed to run at full, or maybe high speed and then abruptly switch to trickle, often when it was already too late to avoid an overcharge. Also, when the speeds changed was inconsistent. This might be because my target weights were under 3.42 grains, so there weren't enough steps to choose from. I can probably optimize this further by using smaller numbers yet, such that HSP_A1 is about 20% of my target, and the other two parameters correspondingly smaller. This would allow more use of high, and maybe even full, speed early in the dispense, downshift to slow and then trickle soon enough to avoid overcharging, yet cut down the total delivery time. What this implies to me is that you need several sets of these parameters depending on the size of your target charge. Since Chargemaster 1500 has the ability to save and recall "pet" loads, I wonder if it can store the dispensing parameters used to deliver it. I haven't seen fit to save pet loads in it, since it's extremely easy to just look it up in my notes, punch in the weight and hit DISP. If the Chargemaster can save these parameters along with the weight, it would be worth doing.

buzzsaw
 

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own shoot and been collecting brass for 7.62x39, 7.62x54r and now .30-30.

reloading gurus, is there a multi purpose 124 -ish grain bullet that would work across all three cartridges? and powder since they’re all centerfire rifle?

excuse my dumb question in advance
 

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own shoot and been collecting brass for 7.62x39, 7.62x54r and now .30-30. reloading gurus, is there a multi purpose 124 -ish grain bullet that would work across all three cartridges? and powder since they’re all centerfire rifle?
7.62X39 - .311" bullet
7.62X54R - .310" bullet
.30-30 - .308" bullet

If you really wanted to shoot the same bullet in all three (124 gr is light for the 7.62X54R), you could get a mold for a 124-ish grain bullet that you liked in .310 or .311, powder coat it so it'd be around .312 or .314, then run the bullets through a different sizing die for each of the three calibers to produce the exact diameter you need. Yes, .001" difference in a bullet diameter can matter, if not for seating and crimping, at least for accuracy. Even better would be to tap a soft lead slug through each barrel and get a bullet sizing die to make the best diameter for each barrel to fine tune the best accuracy. You can make exactly the bullet sizing die diameter you want by starting with the next smaller size and use sandpaper on a split wooden dowel to ream the diameter to the size you want. Polish with 600 grit.

You can probably get by with using the same FMJ bullet for the two 7.62 variants, but I wouldn't use that bullet in a .308, nor would I try to use a .308 bullet in the 7.62 ammo.

If you don't want to cast bullets (it's fun... and cheap!), you can buy copper clad bullets for the 7.62 variants and use the resizing die to size them down to .308 for the .30-30.

You should have a good reloading manual, or at least the reloading data sheets from various powder manufacturers. You can see for yourself if there is a powder that will work for all three cartridges at the bullet weight you choose. I haven't done that even though it's easy enough to do, but it's likely you'll find a powder that works well for 7.62X39 and .30-30 as they're similar loadings, but you may not find a common powder for the light bullet in the 7.62X54R... but you might. Using two different powders isn't a big deal IMO.
 
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