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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyjohn View Post
    I load for every firearm I shoot except for rimfire: 9mm, .45ACP, .223, .308, .30-06; all of them done on that LnL AP. I like it a lot, you get spoiled with how fast you can produce ammo with a progressive. Some of these reloading nuts on this forum add a motor and component feeders and just like that they're into huge volumes.
    You mention adding a motor.. I've not seen that on a LnL. I've 3D printed a case feeder for mine, and working bugs out on a 3D printed bullet collator for a Mr Bullet Feeder die. I'd be interested in seeing what it takes to add the motor, just because I like to tinker. Do you have any links?

    --Rick

  2. #12
    PATRIOT indyjohn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmart View Post
    You mention adding a motor.. I've not seen that on a LnL. I've 3D printed a case feeder for mine, and working bugs out on a 3D printed bullet collator for a Mr Bullet Feeder die. I'd be interested in seeing what it takes to add the motor, just because I like to tinker. Do you have any links?
    Not on the LnL that I've seen either, Dillon is the only commercial plant I've seen motorized. Aszerigan and Bobcat Armament both have experience with the Dillon rigs.
    "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  3. #13
    Expert Maximinus Thrax's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aszerigan View Post
    Hey now, why you gotta get personal? :-)

    Glad to see you're back in the game. I'm quite sure when people realize the extent of the ammo shortage, they'll be a lot of presses 'out and running' again. My suggestion? Stock up on components now before they get as scarce as good ammo. Shortages ARE coming.
    The shortage is here. I was budgeting my bulk buy for early summer but I haven't been able to find what I needyet. I'm running low on entirely too much for comfort...
    Shut up and color!

  4. #14
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    I flipped the machines on and produced about 3,000 rounds this weekend, first time in a while.
    Just summer ammo, nothing special, no particular reason other than it's shooting season.

    I do process a lot of brass, but don't load much in comparison...
    A progressive THAT WORKS is about the best way to go for a home reloader, cost is reasonable and some of them make pretty darn consistent ammo.
    You are talking BIG money when you get into high volume, auto driven machines, and unless you just have the money to blow it's never going to come close to breaking even in cost.

    I still manually hand load (Dillon XL650) my match accuracy ammo, better feel and less inconsistency (when I'm paying attention),
    Consistency is a big, COSTLY issue with auto driven machines...
    Takes a LOT of QC/Tuning to keep consistency up.

    Pistol ammo, and processing cases goes pretty well on a driven machine, but with wear on parts it's still a challenge to keep consistency up sometimes.
    If you can't do it better than factory ammo (different classes of factory ammo, compare apples to apples) there isn't much point in rolling your own...

    No one should set out to make 'Crap' ammo considering the time involved if nothing else, and I've made a lot of crap ammo in the last 45 years!
    Never intended to, but you know how it goes...

  5. #15
    PATRIOT indyjohn's Avatar

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    I get very consistent product out of the LnL, but my process is very slow and deliberate. Powder charges are tight and COAL is spot on every time.

    Building rounds is therapy for me, I wouldn't win any races running it.
    "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyjohn View Post
    I get very consistent product out of the LnL, but my process is very slow and deliberate. Powder charges are tight and COAL is spot on every time.

    Building rounds is therapy for me, I wouldn't win any races running it.
    I don't know how to give a thumbs up, so THUMBS UP!

    I get into a 'Zone' when I'm hand loading, I also view it as therapy.

    Sounds like you have the correct machine for your production (and I don't care about color, I care about how it works WITH me).

    One thing that took me WAY too long to do,
    Get a good, solid, comfortable chair where my feet could sit flat on the floor,
    Then I built bench height so the lever ball wasn't too high or too low, good leverage, and the arm, shoulder & back pain went away.
    I spent WAY too long reaching too far up, out, sitting sideways, legs swinging...
    And chasing a wobbly bench all over the place is exhausting, plus it guarantees consistency will suffer.

    Ergonomics wasn't a thing when I started/learned, and I spent several years moving around using what ever bench I could find.

    Now it's comfortable, everything within easy reach, back supported (not sitting on a bucket or concrete block!) And it's MUCH easier on me.
    Only took me about 40 years to figure out why it hurt, I'm quick that way...

    While my manual machine *Can* crank out rounds 'Fast', I'm slower than what most people report on the same machine,
    But I do make consistent rounds, so it just takes as long as it takes... AND I have a lot less QC fails now.
    I think I rushed because I hurt, and I didn't enjoy the process as much as I do now...

    I think you may have very well pulled things together since you enjoy it AND produce quality ammo.

  7. #17
    PATRIOT indyjohn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
    I don't know how to give a thumbs up, so THUMBS UP!

    I get into a 'Zone' when I'm hand loading, I also view it as therapy.

    Sounds like you have the correct machine for your production (and I don't care about color, I care about how it works WITH me).

    One thing that took me WAY too long to do,
    Get a good, solid, comfortable chair where my feet could sit flat on the floor,
    Then I built bench height so the lever ball wasn't too high or too low, good leverage, and the arm, shoulder & back pain went away.
    I spent WAY too long reaching too far up, out, sitting sideways, legs swinging...
    And chasing a wobbly bench all over the place is exhausting, plus it guarantees consistency will suffer.

    Ergonomics wasn't a thing when I started/learned, and I spent several years moving around using what ever bench I could find.

    Now it's comfortable, everything within easy reach, back supported (not sitting on a bucket or concrete block!) And it's MUCH easier on me.
    Only took me about 40 years to figure out why it hurt, I'm quick that way...

    While my manual machine *Can* crank out rounds 'Fast', I'm slower than what most people report on the same machine,
    But I do make consistent rounds, so it just takes as long as it takes... AND I have a lot less QC fails now.
    I think I rushed because I hurt, and I didn't enjoy the process as much as I do now...

    I think you may have very well pulled things together since you enjoy it AND produce quality ammo.
    I absolutely know what you're talking about, you have to be comfortable standing at the press for long periods of time. I don't know what standard is but that bench measures 39 1/2" high, that is the number I came up with when I was building it. I can stand and work or sit on a bar stool comfortably while running the press.
    "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  8. #18
    Expert

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    I'm not all 'Factory' anymore, knees, hip, etc and I think the VA buys off of eBay...
    The age thing isn't doing me any favors either! Sucks getting old.

    Other than filling feeders, I try to organize everything so I can sit, but like I said, that solid chair with back support is a must.
    Wobbling around trying to exert consistent pressure on the handle doesn't work for me...

    Also, a crap ton of inconsistency came out when I stopped using a bench top that bounced/flexed, keeping the press next to a bench leg, and having a supported top were just a couple of the things I did wrong for nearly 40 years.
    I kept rebuilding presses, zero lash bearings and all that, turned out it was 'Armstrong' and Nerf benches screwing me up.

    When I figured out 'Dead' stops (like ram/case holder hitting die) took that 'Armstrong' problem out of things, that was a biggie.
    Few things worse than the human nervous system trying to judge consistent pressure, try and hold a scale at exactly 10 pounds and you find out real quick!
    I use a lot of dead stops now...

    The devil is always in the details...

  9. #19
    PATRIOT indyjohn's Avatar

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    Talking about changing process to improve consistency:

    Twenty years ago, I taught myself how to handload ammo in an effort to be more competitive in NRA Highpower Rifle competition, so all of my learning was based around bottle neck cases. Over time I developed a very specific and detailed process for reloading .223 & .308 for my match guns. It was many years later when I added pistol cartridges to my skill set. When I started reloading pistol, I applied the same technique to that process that I used for the rifle rounds. Well, in an unusual move for me, that process changed.

    To make a long story short, I broke up rifle cartridge reloading into two distinct steps: case prep and cartridge assembly. I am not claiming my process is "the right way" by any means but it has worked for me. Essentially I didn't like assembling a cartridge that had case lube on it. So, I would lube the case, deprime and resize it, then send it to the tumbler. After tumbling I added primer, powder, and projectile. Seemed simple enough. That was the process I applied to pistol reloading except resizing was replaced with belling the case mouth.

    This week it occurred to me that I was wasting time & energy with a step that is not necessary with pistol reloading - lubing the cases! If you don't know, you apply a thin coat of lubrication to a bottle neck cartridge for the purpose of resizing it, i.e. literally pushing the shoulder of the case down a couple thousands of an inch because it physically expands when the round is fired. That doesn't happen to the same degree with a pistol case.

    So I changed my process by tossing spent cases (with primer, as was discussed on another thread recently) into the tumbler first instead of lubing, then on to the press. If you compare this picture with the one above, you'll see I added the deprimer and mouth belling dies. I found I can rely on the finish the tumbler leaves on the cases for adequate lubrication during belling. Thus I integrated prep and assembly into one session instead of two. Where before the process was lube, deprime, bell, tumble, prime, charge, seat bullet it went to tumble, deprime, prime, bell, charge, seat.

    It seems that has increased my consistency quite a bit. Something to think about, YMMV.

    Last edited by indyjohn; 5 Days Ago at 13:56.
    "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  10. #20
    Expert

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    I lube pretty much everything, saves on die wear and hang-ups.
    I use spray on and let dry lube, so not the wet/sticky issues.
    Keeps expanding pistol brass mouths from sticking to powder funnel, and stops wear on the powder funnel.

    I'm like you, prep the brass, then worry about loading it later.
    Two distinct processes.
    I get some odd looks/comments doing it that way, but it's what works for me.

    Small batches, I use a Dillon S1050, heavy enough frame/ram it doesn't flex like crazy, and I can drive or hand process.
    Lots of die spaces in the 1050 head, so I can do single functions, body size, set the shoulder, size the neck, trim, etc.
    Room for gauging dies also when I'm not trying to load and just processing.

    My consistency got a lot better when I started annealing between clean/inspection and sizing.
    I didn't do it exactly correctly for many years, I leaned what's 'Correct' from an actual brass metallurgy engineer, and like everything else, I was doing it wrong about 3 times before I got it down.
    What I leaned from him is about any annealing is good annealing, even if it's not 'Perfect'.

    One thing he taught me was all you need is a press, dies, case gauges that work with your rifle, and a good micrometer or even caliper.
    Heat until the brass comes out of the die dead consistent, it's annealed well enough to take the resize without rebound, and you are off to the races.
    When you need a micrometer to tell the difference between brass, you are as close to 'Perfect' as you can get without scientific grade inspection hardware.
    Anyone remotely serious has a reasonable press, dies, case gauge and good measuring, so a depth micrometer is the only added expense...

    I have the Rockwell & Vickers hardness testers, the stuff to prepare the samples, and the microscope to do micrographs,
    But if a guy does the time/temp, sneaks up on his annealing, he can get REALLY close to 'Perfect' (which isn't always 'Perfect' when you get to the gun range, just saying some rifles don't know the brass is 'Perfect').

    The older I got the more I enjoyed the process.
    When younger, I just wanted to hear 'Boom!'
    Then I wanted more consistent ammo when I got into competition, 40 years ago there wasn't exactly 'Premium' ammo on every shelf...
    AND,
    I didn't have 'Perfect' chambers/actions, so looking for the rounds that were 'Blessed' by the ammo gods.
    'Young & Stupid' go together, so I did everything wrong, and sometimes for years...

    With my age & condition, I can reload indoors with A/C and heat, no wind, and enjoy the process.
    Not quite as much fun as actual shooting when the groups are tiny, but it keeps me in the mindset when it's 5F and the wind is kicking outside...
    Ice everywhere, nothing but Dr. Phil on TV, sitting in front of the reloaders with a fresh cup of coffee and messing with brass is a good way to wile away some hours and NOT loose IQ points in front of the BoobTube...

    My wife thinks it's funny the motor for one of my brass processors is also the motor for the sausage grinder

    She says I get the same silly grin when we are home canning and messing with that stuff that I do when I'm reloading, maybe she's right...

    Reloading and eating are two of my favorite things!
    Tinkering with things is just something I enjoy.

    Last edited by JeepHammer; 4 Days Ago at 11:44.

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