Progressive Rifle Handloads
I tried the Lee LoadMaster, and it was a lot of trouble to use. I have been wanting to get a Dillon progressive press. However, I want to make sure that whatever I buy, I will be able to load rifle cartridges as well -- the ones I use in semi-auto rifles with large magazines. Specifically, this is:
- 223 Remington (aka 5.56x45mm NATO)
- 7.62x39mm Russian
- 308 Winchester (aka 7.62x51mm NATO)
- 6.8mm SPC (future)
These cartridges require lubricating and trimming, which is something that a normal progressive operation can't do. However, I have been reading information from a guy who does two progressive operations: one for case preparation and one for loading.
Case preparation begins by tumbling fired brass. Then use a spray-on lube, such as Dillon's, and dump the lubricated cases into the hopper. I need to figure out how to accomplish these steps in the progressive press:
- decap & size
- (?) clean/swage primer pockets
- (?) trim to length, chamfer, and deburr
After that, they go back into the tumbler to delube, this time with untreated media.
- decap again to clear corncob media
- seat bullet
- crimp bullet
It looks like this step can be done on a five-station progressive press. There is nothing exotic about it. I'd like to know if I can get a bullet feeder to operate reliably on the thing.
I need to learn about products which swage or clean the primer pockets on the press. I'm not sure I even know what swaging is. The Dillon primer pocket swager is apparently the one to get, universally recommended over the RCBS tool.
I need to look at products which trim the cases on the press. Apparently the Dillon Rapid Trim 1200B Case Trimmer is what I want to look at first. Can it deburr and chamfer? Apparently it requires a special sizing die. They are available for 223, 308, and 7.62x39, but apparently not for 6.8 SPC. It appears that the 2238 and 308 dies cost $42 each, but for some reason the price of the 7.62x38 die is listed as being $220.