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#3278819 - 07/01/21 07:43 AM Progressive press re-sizing?
topweldor1 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/07/12
Posts: 319
Loc: az, usa
I have a question about sizing rifle cases in a Lee PRO 4000. Am I missing something here? How do you use the drop tubes with lubed cases and then have to trim to length? Or?

Thanks in advance

#3278820 - 07/01/21 08:59 AM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 22858
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Not specific to your press as I use a Dillon 550b. I size/decap my rifle cases on a single stage and do case prep before loading on the progressive.
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#3278823 - 07/01/21 10:18 AM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
topweldor1 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/07/12
Posts: 319
Loc: az, usa
Makes sense, Check out RCBS lube dies, looks like it could make life a little easier.

#3278834 - 07/01/21 07:00 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: crapshoot]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 16739
Loc: S. Texas
As crapshoot stated, I resize/decap, (but on the Dillon), perform case prep and prime with CPS Lite priming tool in single stage press. Then charge & seat bullets on progressive.

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#3278840 - 07/01/21 08:26 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
204 AR Online
PM senior

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 5219
Loc: Nebraska
Trimming is the issue when using a progressive. With varmint calibers I trim before resizing sometimes. If the case necks are not dented in, it still does a good enough job. It won't be as consistent, but plenty good for the intended purpose.

One notable exception is loading 30-30 or any bottleneck case that requires a crimp. Then I definitely resize, trim, then load. A consistent crimp requires a perfect case length.

I also use the lube dies. They do ok, but you have to have a slow pace because it runs dry if you go very fast and you have to stop and let it re-saturate.

With larger calibers I've pretty much gone back to single stage. I just don't load enough to justify the set-up.
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#3278864 - 07/02/21 07:39 AM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
topweldor1 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/07/12
Posts: 319
Loc: az, usa
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

#3278951 - 07/04/21 02:42 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
Coyote-conquest Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/01/18
Posts: 184
Loc: Kentucky, US
Ive started using the RCBS x-dies due to the same issue. You trim them a little shorter before sizing if needed and it keeps them from growing. So far I've never had to trim more than once.

#3278956 - 07/04/21 05:26 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
anyracoon Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/24/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Nevada
I hand process all of my rifle brass by hand. As I shoot most of the stuff in AR platform rifles, I start out sizing in SB dies, check primer pockets a swage if needed, trim on a Giraud, than toss in stainless steel pins and a couple of squirts of Dawn.

#3278985 - 07/05/21 06:42 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
Stu Farish Offline


Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 23861
Loc: Have gun, will travel
I use a Dillon 550B.

For rifle brass I keep 2 toolheads per caliber. One is just a resizing die, the other is missing the resizing die.

I clean & lube the brass & resize/decap it all. Then it gets checked over, primer pockets cleaned & trimmed. At that point it's bagged with a note stating it's good to go.

Time to load, I prime it & do all the rest.

Not truly necessary but it is what I came up with that allows me to keep my brass as consistent as possible & still make ammo faster when I'm ready to load it.
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#3279161 - 07/11/21 03:13 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: topweldor1]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4685
Loc: Oakland County, MI
i use a method similar to Stu, except on my Hornady LNL

since i have a case feeder setup, it makes "single step" progressive processing pretty efficient.

i weigh my brass out in 5lb lots. My wet tumbler is rated for 12 lbs. it has 5 lbs of pins and uses 1 qt (2lbs) of water so that leaves me 5 lb batches of brass. I keep them bagged that way until full prep is done and have a little cheat-sheet i put in each bag so that i know where in the processing steps that batch currently sits. i print them on 10 per sheet avery label templates on regular paper. If anyone would like a copy , pleas feel free to PM me and i'll get you a PDF copy of it smile

initially i do a quick dry tumble to remove rough debris from my cases. this is just to make sure there's no gunk to get hung up in the case feeder system, shell plate, etc. i'm talking like 15 mins in walnut.

first pass thru press - i run the universal decapper only in stage one. other 4 ports are left open.

do a proper wet tumble to fully clean my brass (including the primer pockets) then lube the cases with a liberal ammount of One Shot

2nd pass thru press - sizing die in stage 1 - other 4 ports left open.

then i trim/chamfer/deburr with the Lee Quick Trim system on my single stage with a drill driving the trimmer. Roughly 4 seconds of spin per case with 223 -ish sized cases, around 6-8 seconds for 308 sized cases. you can do 400-500 cases/hr this way easily once you get into a good rhythm.

like stu - it then gets marked as fully prepped and ready to load for some point in the future.

most of my priming for rifle cases is done on my CPS lite on the single stage. I like being able to visually inspect each case for proper primer insertion (sometimes the vibratory primer stackers flip one over on you, etc) or to make sure one didnt not feed before it makes a powdery mess all over my press.

the other nice thing about this is its a final QC inspection point to look for things that might have been missed in the other stages of processing. Just an example i was priming some 223 brass a couple weeks back to load and found one that had a hairline crack about a half inch long down the body of the case.

then onto to the progressive for final loading

stage 1 - empty
stage 2 - powder
stage 3 - powder cop
stage 4 - seating die (no crimp applied)
stage 5 - crimp die (if applicable)

i try to make large runs, especailly on the brass prep side, but equally on the loading side, so that i'm not doing full caliber changes all the time.

its probably 45 mins or so to do a full caliber changeover (adjusting the powder thrower, changing the case feed system, primer feed system, etc) you just need to have enough brass on hand so that you can shoot quite a while before you need to process again. THats usually my winter time part of this hobby - the brass prep.

All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
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#3281018 - 08/26/21 03:12 PM Re: Progressive press re-sizing? [Re: Plant.One]
Hecktor Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 83
Loc: OR
I do every thing on a 550B. Load for 7 different varmint rifles. Got a Gracey case trimmer, had special dies made for once fired cases. Once you trim, you very seldom have to do again. Size with collet dies, seat bullets with RCBS Gold Medal dies. I have a different powder bar for each load so there is no adjusting, just switch out the bar. I load in lots of 100. I have loaded over 10,000 rds. this way and it works for me. These are bolt rifles, not AR's. Seems like everyone does things their own way, and I thinks its great people have different ideas. You can learn a lot on these pages.

Edited by Hecktor (08/26/21 03:22 PM)


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