Njarnold97
Njarnold97
1 post
Joined July 2018

Complete Novice need some help!

Hey guys so I have hoarded about ~1500 Assorted .223 and 5.56 Brass also have 1K+ Factory New ammo I will be reloading once I shoot it. Same goes with 45 and 9MM but I shoot substantially less of those. I wanted to start reloading and had a few questions.

To begin for a novice reloaded is the 550 a good choice? I want to dip my toes in the water but I know if I get a LEE or some other cheap Press I will eventually upgrade it anyway and be out of my prince-able.

Also I was curious what I needed. I will be primarily reloading 5.56/.223 (IDK if there cases are interchangeable?!?!). So I understand you have to trim and swag them and I'm not sure how that works.

Finally I already have a Hornady Hot tub I use to clean my rifles and pistols that I was going to use to ultrasonic clean my brass. But from what I understand it is better to deprime the cartridges prior to Ultrasonic cleaning them to allow the primer pocket to be cleaned. Is this going to be necessary?
dillon
Administrator
dillon
3,222 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

The manual indexing of the Rl550C allows you to learn by just loading one case at a time. Then when you understand what you are doing, and are comfortable with the process, you can load progressively.
For wet cleaning, you do need to first deprime the cases. Not so much for primer pocket cleaning, but to ensure the primer pocket is dry afterwards. Most users have a universal depriming die they use to just deprime their fired cases prior to wet cleaning.
jforwel
jforwel
76 posts
Joined November 2007

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

To answer your question about brass, .223 & 5.56 may have dimensional differences such as thickness and therefore I would separate them for hand loading just to be safe. There may be variations in pressures which wouldn't help accuracy.

When it comes to commercial loaded ammo .223 may be fired in a 5.56 chamber but not the reverse.
jforwel
jforwel
76 posts
Joined November 2007

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

As far as swaging and trimming, you only need to trim if your cases are over the max case length and/ or you are going to crimp. Swaging is for cases with a crimped in primer, the crimp needs to be removed one time at the first loading. Dillon makes a great crimp removal tool.
coderpitt
coderpitt
98 posts
Joined November 2012

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

And you will find out that some of the 9mm and 45 acp may have crimps too because I have been experiencing that.

Also you want to check your 45 acp and separate them by small and large primers. 45 acp can have small or large primers and you don't want to try to push a large primer into a small primer pocket... it can cause the primer to go off. A small primer will not get picked up by a large primer socket so you would end up with powder on the reloader if you don't catch it.
Bucolic_Buffalo
Bucolic_Buffalo
67 posts
Joined June 2016

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

The same information can be found online. But what you really need as a first purchase, is a reloading manual. The Lyman is really good. Lots of useful information, large format, and it will walk you through the steps. Not everyone does all possible steps. You will find that you will be collecting a number of reloading manuals. We all do. They all have information on safe loading.

Your next purchases should be measuring tools. The simplest is a dial or digital caliper. You need to be able to know what length, width, thickness, things are. Money spent here can make life easier. I use a Brown & Sharpe dial caliper which I had refurbished and calibrated. Less expensive calipers can flex. Digital can eat batteries. Have leaking batteries which destroy the electronics. Always seem to be dead when you need them. Can you tell that I like quality dial calipers? Whatever you choose, just be aware of it's possible limitations.

Ideally, several people at your local range will let you watch them reload. You might ask. Dillon has a number of good videos at the link near the bottom of this page. Youtube can show you what to do. And not to do.
feight@gmail.com
feight@gmail.com
1 post
Joined March 2020

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

Not to hijack Njarnold97's post, but I have a depriming question too.

I too am a novice and am using a tumbler. Do I still need to deprime before tumbling my brass? I was going to:

1. Tumble
2. Resize using a universal trimmer that supports trimming with the primer in it
3. Deprime/prime in the 550 stage 1.

Am I offbase or risking damage to my Dillon die's if I deprime so late? Let me know. Thanks.
tet301
tet301
31 posts
Joined February 2016

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

One characteristic of reloaders is the individual procedures we develop, adhere to and argue about. My process is to tumble my fired brass before I resize out of my belief that crud on my fired cases, if not first cleaned, becomes crud in my machine. My technique applies to straight wall and bottle neck cases. On many, but not all of the calibers, I apply DCL to make resizing easier. This then necessitates tumbling again (for a few minutes) to take the lube off.

Terry
Byron.foster@tranetechnologies.com
Byron.foster@tran...
6 posts
Joined July 2020

RE: Complete Novice need some help!

For bottleneck cases I clean first. Then use a Rock Chucker to size and deprime, then measure/trim (and swage primer pockets if needed). Then I tumble again to remove case lube, brass trimming bits, and primer crud. THEN it's time for the Dillon.

For pistol calibers I clean first then run through full cycle on the Dillon. They dont grow longer much, unlike bottleneck cases.