Reloading .40S&W Questions

Eirik

New member
To start, I have been an avid shooter for years, however, I have never reloaded handgun ammunition and shotgun shells only a handfull of times. I have a few questions, first I was looking at a Link Removed is this a good press to start with? Does anyone have some recommendations on videos and books concerning reloading handgun ammunition?

With this type of progressive press how do you accurately control the amount of powder? Is it all handled internally and if so how reliable is it? I also shoot 9mm do I have to purchase a whole new press for this caliber or can I just buy new attachments?

Lastly, I am not looking to get into reloading to save money or beat future ammunition shortages. I'm looking for a hobby that lets me relax after a long day so while cost has some concerns the major is safety and the ability for a novice to pick it up, if there is a better way to get into this aspect of shooting I would be glad to hear it.
 

Reloading .40S&W Questions

I cannot speak directly for the lee progressive because I have never used it. However, Lee does make good basic level presses for beginners. Also, most people recommend single stage presses instead of progressives for beginners, because they're cheaper, simpler, and force you to pay a little more attention to detail. I never went for the single stage, I went straight into a progressive as well and never has any issues but if you're just looking for a hobby and not a high production press it is a good option. You'll need a reloading manual to get started and almost all of them have an "intro to reloading" section in the front for some good education and other suggested reads.

Powder drops have adjustments on them to control powder weights. To set it to the desired amount you must drop powder, weigh it and make adjustments to get to the desired amount. Presses use caliber specific die sets. You can use this press to load virtually every handgun and rifle cartridge with the exception of some of this larger .40 and .50 cal rifle cartridges. You will however need a different die set for each caliber.

I would recommend you do a lot more research on your own before committing to buying a press. Reloading is a thinking man's game. A lot of work goes into it to do it safely and effectively.
 
I cannot speak directly for the lee progressive because I have never used it. However, Lee does make good basic level presses for beginners. Also, most people recommend single stage presses instead of progressives for beginners, because they're cheaper, simpler, and force you to pay a little more attention to detail. I never went for the single stage, I went straight into a progressive as well and never has any issues but if you're just looking for a hobby and not a high production press it is a good option. You'll need a reloading manual to get started and almost all of them have an "intro to reloading" section in the front for some good education and other suggested reads.

Powder drops have adjustments on them to control powder weights. To set it to the desired amount you must drop powder, weigh it and make adjustments to get to the desired amount. Presses use caliber specific die sets. You can use this press to load virtually every handgun and rifle cartridge with the exception of some of this larger .40 and .50 cal rifle cartridges. You will however need a different die set for each caliber.

I would recommend you do a lot more research on your own before committing to buying a press. Reloading is a thinking man's game. A lot of work goes into it to do it safely and effectively.

Thank you for the info. Do you happen to have a recommendation for a good reloading manual?
 
Reloading .40S&W Questions

I personally use Hornady. I've heard good things about the Speer manual as well.
 
Thank you for the information guys. I found a the ABC's of reloading on amazon, I also managed to find a place with a Lee Load-Master in stock so ordered that. Doing some additional research on the subject until my book arrives I came across Ultimate Reloader Reloading Blog which I found has a lot of information on the use of different progressive reloaders and reloading in general.

I think the only pieces I am still missing is a good scale, a digital micrometer and tumbler for cleaning my brass.
 
Thank you for the information guys. I found a the ABC's of reloading on amazon, I also managed to find a place with a Lee Load-Master in stock so ordered that. Doing some additional research on the subject until my book arrives I came across Ultimate Reloader Reloading Blog which I found has a lot of information on the use of different progressive reloaders and reloading in general.

I think the only pieces I am still missing is a good scale, a digital micrometer and tumbler for cleaning my brass.

Lol just wait till you get started. You need a lot more than that. Dies, shell plates, case trimmer, lots of little things.
 
1) Unless you really enjoy futzing with the press, you probably should not get the LoadMaster as your first press. If you want the press, go to the The Load Master Zone. They have their own downloadable manual to get you started.
Note: The loadmaster primes on station 2 on the upstroke, so it is really only a 4-station press.
2) The Hornady L-N-L is the progressive I recommend for any one. It is nice and open and easy to use and ergonomic. The only progressive presses I have used that I consider better are the Dillon 650 (but ONLY with a case feeder) and the Dillon 1050.
3) Read a lot and watch videos (Hornady, Lee, YouTube) for the various presses and learn the steps.
4) Things you need:
press
dies
components (powder, bullets, primers, cases)
powder measure, if it doesn't come with the press. The Lee Pro Auto-Disk is a very simply and accurate powder measure
scale/balance: plan at least $50 for a good unit
4-6" calipers: dial is probably best
shell plates (or caliber conversion units) for any cartridges you plan to reload, unless the press comes with a shell plate for at least one of the cartridges you plan to reload.
You seldom need a micrometer-you can go years without one
You do not need a tumbler-wiping off the outside of the case to remove dirt/grime is ALL that in necessary. Currently, the craze it to load the shiniest cases possible. Seems many spend more time polishing than reloading and working up loads.
For bottleneck cases, you will need a case trimmer (Lee makes inexpensive ones that handle almost all trimming jobs needed).
Use your barrel as a case gage.
For any progressive press, you buy caliber conversion kits for the different cartridges. For the Hornady, that consists of a shell plate and, if you keep the adjusted dies in the die bushings, more die bushings. For presses with die bushings, order bushings in lots of 10 or more.
Of course, since last November, you will be lucky to find a press or components.
 
No offense, but I'm Blue-prejusideced. I bought my Dillon RL-550B back in 1986, I'd never buy anything else. Go to DillonPrecision.com and check it out.

Good luck!
 

  • No offense, but I'm Blue-prejusideced. I bought my Dillon RL-550B back in
    1986, I'd never buy anything else. Go to DillonPrecision.com and check it out.​
  • No offense taken. However, your post is the type that does irritate me. Give the reasons why a 550 is better than any other. How many progressive presses have you loaded on'


      • I bought my first Hornady when they first came out (late '70s?) and about 4 years ago bought a L-N-L progressive. I knew I wanted a 5-stations progressive and the Dillon at the time was only 4-stations. The Hornady is a large, open press with all case and bullet handling done with the left hand and the right hand stays on the handle. Caliber conversions consisted of changing the shell plate and the dies (and the primer size is switching primer size). At know time during the next ~35 years did I want a case feeder (or, for Dillon, a case collator).
      • I taught a friend to reload on my Hornady, but the guys at the gun club convinced him to get a Dillon 550. I helped him set it up. First, it is MANUAL indexing, not something I want with a progressive. Second, it only has four station, not something I want with a progressive. Third, the cases were fed into the shell plate from the right--this means that I either had to take my hand off the handle,pickup a case with my right hand, and drop it into the case "feeder" or I had to manually fill a tube with 20-25 cases. This was all a pain to me.
      • Later, I taught another co-worked to reload. He also decided to go with the flow and purchased a Dillon 650 (in fact, he went right out and bought two 650s). I went over and looked at his presses. Very nice. A bit more"cluttered" than my Hornady, but nice. However, it also suffered from the case loads to the right. I told him to get a case feeder so he could keep his hand on the handle. He was even more happy after getting the case feeders/collators.
      • Thus, since the Hornady was not designed from the ground up to use a case collator, I recommend the 650 is you want a case collator.
      • The "NO BS" warranty is nice, but Hornady has been just a good--but it is nice to have it in writing.
      • Currently, I am running three Dillon 1050s, but they aren't blue.



      See, those are called reasons. It doesn't help anyone to simply say that you are happy with a 550--need to know why the 550 is better for you than any thing else and you should discuss your experience with other presses.



 
I own a Lyman press and a Lee press. The the Lee progressive presses us what they call the auto disc to dispense powder. Different discs hold different powder charges, you need a reloading manual to help you choose the powder and the charge, then you set up the powder measure and adjust it until it drops the correct amount of powder verified by a powder scale. You will need a new set of dies and a new shell holder for each cartridge you wish to reload. The dies are more critical than the press, the press raises and lowers the case, the dies resize the case and remove spent primers, bell the case opening, seat the bullets, and crimp the bullets. Prices on dies have been going up and components are getting hard to come by, but are still available, especially if you are willing to be on a waiting list, (get on often, because limits are being placed on what is available because of supply).
 
I use the Hornady reloading manual most of the time because I shoot mainly Hornady bullets. There are several types of reloading manuals, one is put out by the bullet maker, (Hornady, Speer, Sierra, Nosler, etc). A second is put out by powder manufacturers, (IMR, Hodgden, Accurate Arms, etc). Others are put out by reloading equipment makers, (Lyman, Lee, etc.). I have two bullet manuals, two generic equipment maker manuals, and several powder suppler manuals. You can download manuals from most powder makers free from the mfg. web site. I have always had the opinion that one manual is not enough. It's always good to have at least one new manual, new powders have been introduced that work very well. The best accuracy often results from experimenting with different components.
 
While the rifle shooter can get by with a single stage press, serious handgun reloading calls for a progressive press. The press you choose often depends on two factors, how much you shoot, and how much money you are willing to pay for the press and related equipment.
 
personally I am a dillion man both the 550B and 650 , load both pistol and rifle , as far books abc reloading is a great book to learn basics and info then just about any of the three main books , the thing about dillion is there warrantee life time my dads old press gave to me broke they replaced it since they don't make it any more that was 7 years ago , they have been very good to me and yes as time has gone on I have up graded and added stuff , , if was me find some local reloaders let them help you .
there are many presses and most name brand are just fine . you was given some good advice keep researching
 
It would be great to have a high output progressive press, but they are rather expensive to buy and when you start cranking out 600-800 rounds an hour very expensive to feed. I have instead stuck with a single-stage press and spent the additional money on bullets, primers and powder...when I can find them.

The 40 S&W is a very easy to load round I have had excellent results with either 165 or 180 gr, bullets and have used Power Pistol, Accurate #5, Bullseye, and Unique. Check out the reloading manuals for safe and accurate loads in your gun and have some fun!! Good Luck .
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
49,527
Messages
610,761
Members
74,965
Latest member
Roosince1911
Back
Top