Posts Tagged ‘reloading’

While I’m excited about  Hodgdon’s new reloading data center I don’t think it has all the data I’ll ever need but they are giving it a valiant effort.

Hodgdon removed their very outdated load data center and recently replaced it with a new format that is extra user friendly.



What I really like about the new layout is how well it works with a mobile device. So now when I’m standing in the reloading aisle at the gun store I can quickly find a powder that will work well with what I’m trying to do.

I still would like to see them add more bullet varieties but this will do for now.

You can check it out on Hodgon’s website and let me know what you think.

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I received a Lee Precision Carbide 9mm 4 die set for Christmas last year to complement my new Dillon 550b. I had a little problem with it last week when I was loading some extra ammo for the START class. Up until then the dies have worked flawlessly as you would expect from a Lee product. The problem I met apparently is a common occurrence because Lee has now corrected the issue.

The decapper is made up of two separate parts, the rod, and the pin. The roller pin is seated inside the rod itself. The problem I ran into was and it seems a few others have run across is the pin getting stuck in the flash hole and being pulled back out of the rod. Leaving your die looking like this…


And leaving the pin in the casing looking like this…


I contacted Lee with their online warranty claim form and the next day had someone email me letting me know that it was taken care of and I had a new decapper on the way.

Apparently this is a common problem enough to force them to change the design from, a two piece as I described above, to a solid machined one piece. They seemed to have announced it in April of 2013 in their “Knowledgeables/FAQ” section.

Would I recommend this die set to anyone? Well it depends. Are they coming with a new decapper design or the old now? If you get a set with the old design can you return it right away for the new one? If there is no problem with returning it I don’t see why it should be a problem. Lee’s customer service was great they returned an email to me in less than 8 hours and no questions asked sent me a new rod free of charge. I feel it is a good die set for the money but they had poorly designed decapper where they are in the process of fixing. If they continue to replace them with out question I would say yes I recommend this set for the value and customer service from the manufacturer. If they start refusing to fix the flawed design or the customer service starts to fall off I will take back my recommendation and encourage people to choose a different brand.

Any thoughts or questions go ahead and send them to me with the contact form above or over on either Facebook or Shooters Legion.

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The anti-gun side is pretty butt hurt over their loss on the senate floor last week still ,and since they cannot let a tragedy go to waste the boston bombing is now the new wave of emotion they are hitching a ride on. Harry Reid introduced the bill S. 792 for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) on Wednesday.

“It defies common sense that anyone, even a terrorist, can walk into a store in  America and buy explosive powders without a background check or any questions  asked,” Lautenberg said Tuesday. “Requiring a background check for an explosives  permit is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of our communities.

Not only is this for the children this time but it is for the communities. Of course this bill has about an 8% chance of making it out of committee but it 100% proves the anti’s as sore losers. It is comical but at the same time absolutely frightening.

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Since weather is getting warmer and I have taken the weekends off from writing I think I will start Mondays with weekend recaps.

I had a pretty relaxed weekend hanging with a couple of buddies. One is an avid reloader/shooter and the other is a shooter and admin over at the SAFF (Semi Automatic Firearms Federation) on Facebook. First thing in the morning on saturday we found a new gun store in our area that is very out-of-the-way. It is a true mom and pops store ran out of a converted two car garage behind their house. We talked with them for a while and found out they have been there for 6 years without most locals even knowing. I will be stopping back just to get the personal service I have misd from a store that is even closer to my house.

We spent Saturday afternoon at a private steel course. The sound of lead hitting steel is something of beauty. If you have never had a chance to shoot at a steel course I highly recommend finding one.

Here are a few videos of me running the course. I started a new Youtube channel to share videos of weekend shoots at. You can find it by searching for AbsoluteBSblog on Youtube.  These runs aren’t pretty runs at all but nobody else wanted to be on video.

Some slight commentary from the peanut gallery when the Texas star dropped a couple for me.

After we were finished shooting we headed back to my place to let the guys check out the Dillon and run a few of our spent rounds through it since I finally was able to pick up 1300 small pistol primers last week. About 500 rounds was ran loaded in total this weekend and that puts it around 1000+ now and I am working on notes for a review now that I feel I have spent enough time with it.

loaded rounds

This ammo can is heavier than you would think!

While I was restocking my 9mm supply I handed over two of my OD P-mags for some stipple work. I have to say I am pretty happy the way they turned out. I thought about giving one away as a giveaway or contest so if anyone has any ideas send them to me. Here is a shot of them finished up.

Absolute BS P-mags

Absolute BS P-mags

Sunday brought about some other hobbies that don’t get talked about enough on the blog but with spring around the corner you can expect for me to talk more about gardening and prepping. I ended up starting my window herb garden. The wife is pretty excited to soon be able to open the kitchen window and clip off any fresh herb she wants. I’m excited to try growing something you don’t hear much about in this area, peanuts. It is just an experiment now to see if it works but if it pans out I thought it would be kinda cool. I’m thinking about starting into a Paleo diet after listening to my friend talk about how it works. I have heard about it before but never actually got to pick someones brain first hand about it and he is very knowledgable on the subject. I’m not over weight by any means. I am 5’8″ and 155 pounds but I want to start eating healthier so this seems like a great thing to try.

It isn’t often I have a weekend like this one and I couldn’t have planned it any better. I am refreshed and relaxed after a long weekend of fun. I finally got to kick back and have a few laughs along with a few brews with good friends and that’s the most important part. Next weekend I look forward to bringing you a recap from my NRA Instructor course and hopefully shed a little light on my future plans that will go along with the completions of the course.

Feel free to let me know how your weekend went on our Facebook page or over on Shooters legion. And if you have any ideas for a good way to give away one of the Absolute BS p-mags feel free to let me know.

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Xtreme Bullets

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I placed an order for 4000 115 gr. round nose projectiles awhile back from Xtreme Bullets. They showed up exactly when they said they would. I’m extremely happy with the quality, and after weighing a few random ones the weights are very consistent.

The best part about the experience was the customer service. It just so happened that when I was placing my order over the phone the credit card number was written down wrong or I read it wrong. Either way they called me to let me know and since I was on a plane to Vegas the friendly woman left me a voicemail and asked me to call her back. I called and got the same person and had the problem fixed in a matter of a few seconds. After I let her know I was at SHOT, as I was saying my goodbye and she called me right back and let me know their booth number and told me to go down and say “hi” for her. I did and got to talk to some of the other folks that work for Xtreme. Everyone was very friendly and professional. Without a doubt I will be returning to Xtreme Bullets for future projectile purchases!

I snapped a few pictures as I was opening stuff up….




As intimidating as it looks the setup is relatively easy.  It took me roughly 2 hours but keep in mind that was taking picture breaks and helping my wife carry groceries into the house.

First step, we need to get it bolted down. Dillon recommends twelve inches of work space on each side.  Four 1/4 inch bolts are used to hold the press in place.


Bolted down and rock solid.

Next step is to attach the cartridge collection bin bracket. This allows the completed cartridges to be ejected onto the chute and slide down into the bin.  You will need some wood screws or very small bolts to attach this directly to the bench.


Here you can see the chute and collection bin


A side view

After the bracket is set into place we need to apply the shellplate, the index ball and spring, the index sprocket, and set screw.


All assembled it should look like this.


With all the parts assembled you need to run the press to the top of its stroke and insert the set screw into the side of the shaft.


Here you can almost see the set screw in this horrible blurry picture.

With the set screw tightened and the shell plate moving freely on the index ball we are on to tackling the priming system. First you need to know the kit comes set up for large primers. I will be setting mine up for 9mm and .223 so I needed the small primer bar installed (included) which added one extra step which, surprisingly this was much easier than I expected and the Dillon instruction manual outlines it really well. After the bar is installed you need to install the operating rod between the two white rollers. The kit includes an alarm for the primer tube that will sound when the tube becomes empty. Simply slipping it on to the tube and installing the battery completes this step.


When completed the priming system should resemble this.


Primer tube alarm

After this step the lower half of the press is completed. I added one step that wasnt in the Dillon instruction manual….. have the wife make cookies.


mmmm…….. cookies

Starting with the upper half we need to get the dies into the toolhead. I didn’t add any good photos of the assembly of this since its pretty self explanatory. To get the dies adjusted properly refer to the instructions with your dies. Any standard 7/8 x 14 die will work with your Dillon press. For example, I am using Lee dies for my 9mm and RCBS for my .223 and both work fine.

The powder will be assembled by placing the powder measure on top of the die. A little trick is to leave the powder assembly a little loose on top of the die so it will be easier to adjust the die with it on top. After installing the powder bar, which is very simple and nearly self-explanatory, that is all that is left.  I haven’t tightened down my dies yet since I’m still waiting on my projectiles to show up.


Finished up

Everything went smoothly and I didn’t run across anything the instruction manual didn’t cover. One thing I went out of my way to do was label my pickup tubes that are included with the kit. The tubes are color coded but I would rather read small or large on the tube then try to remember what color stands for what. I can’t wait for my projectiles to show up so I can get this thing rolling. As soon as I put around 1000 rounds through it I will be back with a full report and review on the function. Any questions between now and then just stick a comment on this post or send me an email and I will try to get you an answer as soon as possible.


Yes, somebody was apparently pretty good this year and I think it was me!

Soon we will be diving into the setup and operation of the Dillon 550b thanks to my awesome wife and her great Christmas gift powers! After I crank out a few thousand rounds I think I’ll feel good enough to write a decent review.


Expect a post on the set up very soon.

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Merry Christmas!