dillondrew
dillondrew
1 post
Joined November 2018

Setting up a .223 "case preperation" toolhead

I was up last night until 3:00 am doing case prep and came to the realization that I spend 4x the time on case prep than I do actually loading the bullets, and that realy sucks.

I was wondering if any one has experienc with the RT1500 case trimmer on a 550C. My thought was to set up a tool head with station 1 with a RCBS lube die #1, station 2 with my sizing die, station 3 with the RT1500 trimmer, and station 4 with a universal decaping die with an expander rod in it to "wipe" any burs from the inside of the casing.

My primary concern Is if all that will fit on the toolhead with the trimmer? Secondly was looking to see if anyone does anything similar? All input is welcomed and appreciated!

My over all goal is to streamline my process and reduce the redundant handling of the brass.

To lend some prospective I reload because I enjoy it; and the cost savings are a nice perk. I derive great pleasure from having a small scale production setup that feeds and servs as an extension of my favorite hobby. For me tweaking and improving my process is just as important and enjoyable as improving skill on the range.
tet301
tet301
3 posts
Joined February 2016

RE: Setting up a .223 "case preperation" toolhead

I suppose many do it differently, but here is what works for me. I use one tool head with a decapping die in position one, and a Dillon trim die with my 1200 trimmer in position three. Before I begin, I tumble my brass in corn cob media to get it reasonably clean. Then I lube it using Dillon D.C.L. After fifteen minutes, I begin running my cases through.
I don't use a separate resizer die because the trim die also resizes. When initially setting up your trim die, you will need a case gauge. There is a wonderful Dillon video on how to use this gauge.
When your headspace has been set, it is now time to set the position of your trimmer motor. You will need accurate dial calipers, but this is a relatively easy and quick set up.
Once both dies AND your trim length have been set, run a couple of cases through. Then wipe the resizing lube off and check them in your case gauge. I always do an additional check of my set up by chambering the first few cases in my rifle. Presuming you have the case dropping cleanly in your chamber, it is now time to move in to production.
I usually will resize and trim at least 500 or so cases, but part of that is because it does take a bit of time to get your trim motor adjusted and your case lube operation set up. Regardless, the last step is to take your properly decapped, resized and trimmed cases and tumble them again to remove all of the sizing lubricant off.
Unless you are using cases with crimped primers, your case preparation is now done. When I begin using the prepped cases to make gun food, I use a different tool head with the powder die, bullet seat and crimp dies in stations two, three and four. Station one is empty. I insert my prepped case at station one solely for the purpose of seating my primer.
If you are using cases in which the primer has been crimped in, then an additional step is required to remove the crimp. There are a number of tools on the market to do this, but I acquired the Dillon Super Swage several years ago, and because it works so well for me, I have never tried anything else.
I hope my method helps you. I applaud your decision to see some advice. All to often I have seen fellow shooters at the range with a completely jammed firearm because the reloader had failed to properly prepare the cases prior to adding the primer, powder and bullet.
Happy shooting

Terry
tet301
tet301
3 posts
Joined February 2016

RE: Setting up a .223 "case preperation" toolhead

After I sent in my first reply, I realized it was incomplete. So, in addition to what I already wrote, I'll add that I use a 550B, which might make my suggestions about the tool head germane to your operation. Further, I neglected to add the "hand work" necessary after you have tumbled your resized and trimmed cases.
The processed cases will have some burrs, so it will be necessary for you to use a tool to debur the outside of the case rim. I also chamfer the inside edge of the case to ease insertion of the bullets, but that is only because I use straight base bullets. If you are using "boat tail" bullets, many believe chamfering is unnecessary. For me the "debur & chamfer" operation usually occurs in front of the TV because it is a nearly mindless operation.
To your last comment, I think the vast majority of us reload because we enjoy the process, take pride in what we have produced and because it is a significant cost savings. Many of us have struggled with a comparatively minor production snafu on occasions. The Dillon employees and the Dillon owners who participate in this forum are very quick to help smooth out the production snags.

Best,

Terry