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  1. #1
    Sharpshooter Doublehelix's Avatar
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    Speeding Up my Process

    Well I started with a Lee Classic Turret Press (LCT) over a year ago, and it served me well as a learning tool. I cranked out about 4,000 rounds on her before deciding that I just couldn't keep up with my shooting, so I decided it was time to update to a progressive back at the end of February.

    With the LCT, I also primed on the press, which seemed like a safe method using the "Lee Safety Prime" system. I still use the LCT for load development and some rifle rounds, so it was a great investment.

    Now fast-forward to March of this year as I am working on getting my Dillon XL650 setup. The priming system bothered me, and I have read many, many threads around the 'Net talking about priming problems (sideways primer, upside down primers, etc.), and then of course the safety aspect of things where I have read about entire tubes of primers going Ka-Boom!

    In my infinite wisdom (), I decided to get an RCBS APS bench-mounted priming tool (the one with the strips).

    This meant loading primers into strips, and *then* priming cases.

    Not a bad system actually, although I struggled at first and had to have some new parts sent to me by RCBS, it is just REALLY slow, and sort of defeated the purpose of going to the progressive from the LCT.

    So this weekend, I finally bit the bullet (I love that expression!) and tried running some 9mm through the XL650 while priming on the press. It was marvelous! I had 3 failures out of my first 100 rounds: 1 sideways primer, 1 upside down primer, and one primer that I sort of dented somehow (no Ka-Boom though... whew!). Part of the issues I was having here are related to problems I was having in position one where the cases were not being fed correctly, and I kept having to mess with things. When things were running smoothly, I had no issues. (I have since adjusted and fixed the case loading, all good now.)

    This is a HUGE time savings. I feel like an idiot for not at least trying this earlier.

    So, that was a long story to get to my next proposed time savings plan...

    Since I started wet tumbling, I have been de-priming before tumbling so I can get those nice shiny clean primer pockets. Those that do this, swear by it, and those that don't, laugh at us anal OCD folks that want those nice shiny primer pockets.

    De-Capping all those cases is another HUGE time drain. I started doing them on the Dillon which helped, but since it made such a mess on the press, I had to clean and lube everything after decapping 1,000 rounds, I actually started dry tumbling for an hour before decapping!!! Am I an idiot of what???

    So here is my method to go from range brass to clean, ready-to-load brass:

    1) Sort (I have the sorting pans)
    2) Dry tumble for an hour
    3) De-cap on the XL650
    4) Wet Tumble and dry

    Like I said, I am not very smart...

    I think I am done decapping before wet tumbling, and I am going to go back to just washing the cases as they are, and deal with the dirty primer pockets. Any one want to tell me this is not a good idea?

    Maybe for some precision loads or rifle loads, I might consider it, but for pistol ammo, I am beginning to thing that I really need to re-think my processes, and priming on the press has opened up my eyes to a new way of thinking again.

    I do enjoy my time in the reloading room, don't get me wrong, but I still cannot keep up with my shooting, and I find myself out of ammo way too often.

    It is time to speed things up.

    Thoughts? Other ideas? Comments on dirty primer pockets?
    James

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake"
    ~Napoleon Bonaparte~

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  2. #2
    Plinker
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    I'm running a Dillon 550B (since Dec). I tumble brass for two hours, dump cases into the Dillon media/case separator and load em up again. Depriming on the Dillon is dirty, just blow it off with canned air and wipe. In my opinion, deprimming seperately and case cleaning after tumbling is wasted time.

  3. #3
    Expert EvilElmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJM7288 View Post
    I'm running a Dillon 550B (since Dec). I tumble brass for two hours, dump cases into the Dillon media/case separator and load em up again. Depriming on the Dillon is dirty, just blow it off with canned air and wipe. In my opinion, deprimming seperately and case cleaning after tumbling is wasted time.
    Agreed. The only exception I have to that rule is the first time I'm cleaning 223 brass. I typically buy factory ammo and then reload the brass so for 223 I deprime, then tumble, and then I swage all the primer pockets just to make sure I don't have any NATO crimps in the mix.

  4. #4
    Plinker dg101win's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJM7288 View Post
    I'm running a Dillon 550B (since Dec). I tumble brass for two hours, dump cases into the Dillon media/case separator and load em up again. Depriming on the Dillon is dirty, just blow it off with canned air and wipe. In my opinion, deprimming seperately and case cleaning after tumbling is wasted time.
    I follow the same routine with my 550B. All my 45ACP brass is Large primer, at the range each caliber of empty brass goes in a separate bag(no sorting 38's from 44's and such). I haven't done any shooting or loading for about 2 1/2 years so on hand inventory is low. Generally I load in large batches of each caliber before switch to another. Recently shot up last of 357 ammo so starting to do them, will probably do 600-700 of them before switching to large primers. Then I will do all of my 44 Spec and Mag and move on to 45Colt.
    Retired USAF Msgt (E-7)
    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Really don't think there is any gain cleaning primer pockets for hand guns. The reason being is the flash hole has burrs from the stamping process and are not uniform at all. Have 45acp brass with many different flash holes diameters with mixed brass and they shoot very well at 25 yards.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster Gluemanz28's Avatar
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    No real advantage to deprime before cleaning brass.

    I have a XL650 and I guess I'm missing the part about the mess in depriming on the press.

    I do have a tube and bottle system that catches the spent primers and traps all the mess though.

    I also just upgraded the ski slope missed primer system with a bottle system too.

    Two hours should get you 1,000 loaded and boxed Ammo ready to shoot or store without working too hard.

    This includes the cleaning and sorting process (I don't sort by headstamps).
    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  7. #7
    Tired Of Winning
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    For me, the 650 does the depriming. I don't lube handgun cases.

    I am pretty anal about the loading process and completed cartridge inspection. See powder every case. Weigh a powder drop at least every hundred. 5/100 OAL check. 100% case gaged. Everything goes into a box for primer inspection and OAL freaks.
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    Done, done, and Iím on to the next one...
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  8. #8
    Grandmaster Gluemanz28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwframe View Post
    For me, the 650 does the depriming. I don't lube handgun cases.

    I am pretty anal about the loading process and completed cartridge inspection. See powder every case. Weigh a powder drop at least every hundred. 5/100 OAL check. 100% case gaged. Everything goes into a box for primer inspection and OAL freaks.
    All of the above is SOP for me with two exceptions. I use a spray on one shot case lube to make the 1,000 pulls in a little over an hour easier on the shoulder and I don't case gauge every round.
    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  9. #9
    I am a little bit more anal with some rifle rounds that aren't for going out and burning down but deprime my rifle stuff/resize it so I can then trim if need be.
    Otherwise, with pistol I take dirty brass tumble it, separate it from the media (I need to start wet tumbling) and then just go through the whole loading process on the dillon like normal. Deprime and resize, reprime, powder drop, seat, crimp, done... I haven't been loading for terribly long, but I've had over 10k pistol rounds shoot just fine going about it this way in the last 3 or so years. I'd save your time on the pistol stuff for sure! I've got some brass that's been loaded several times over no problem.

  10. #10
    Tired Of Winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gluemanz28 View Post
    ...the 1,000 pulls in a little over an hour easier on the shoulder ...
    1000 pulls, ha ha. I'm loading right now for tomorrow's steel match. Couple hundred rounds for two guns. Hopefully, I'll not cut it too close, or miss too much.

    I didn't used to case gage every case. Since switching to 9mm, I have a lot of failures. Mainly Glock bulge, I don't want them to toast my match. Matches are my practice, but it's foolish to intentionally let something slip through that could stop the gun.

    Last edited by bwframe; 4 Days Ago at 21:30.
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    Done, done, and Iím on to the next one...
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