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Rifleman 52
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Posted: October 25 2017 at 3:30pm | IP Logged Quote Rifleman 52

Amen Old Ranger!
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RB in GA
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Posted: October 25 2017 at 4:54pm | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

RT58 wrote:
RB in GA wrote:
The point... squibs were
common place. These guys were
thumb cocking as fast as they could. At one match, I saw
my first K-Boom. I have no doubt it was a bore
obstruction squib load. Scary Stuff.


Are you sure it wasn't a double charge?


20+ years ago this question came up on Shooters.Com. Us
old timers here migrated over to Handload.Com when
Shooters went belly up. I pissed off a bunch of Baby
Blue Dillon folks back then and got my first (not last)
ban from a message board. Hope we all can get along this
time.

Well, climbing back on my SoapBox...

Never know for sure in every Blow Up, but it was
happening in modern strong revolvers never before seen
since the days of Elmer Keith.

It got so bad with Cowboy Action blowups that it made
news in HANDLOADER Mag off and on for many months back
in the 90's. It became such a "mystery" that Shooting
Times, RCBS Labs, Ken Waters (Shooting Times, Pet
Loads), Mike Mike Venturini (Handloader) and others all
took up the charge (pun intended) to find out what was
really going on.

The "detonation" theory was tested for months on end. In
the end, detonation was just not the cause. Small charge
s of powder just do not have the energy regardless of
where they sit in the case to blow up guns. This was
shown over and over by Ballistic Labs from every major
powder supplier. What the hell was blowing up guns that
10 years before was not happening?

Ok, detonation out, but it's really happening. Strong
guns like Vaqueros are having their cylinders blow
apart? Well, as in chopping down a tree... the chips
don't fall far from the stump. An investigation was in
order. RCBS, Hod, Win, Alliant and other started going
to the big time matches like End of Trails waiting for
the next k-boom. It happened. Load were pulled. Yep,
light handloads. 148g hollow base with extremely light
charges. It appears that hollow base skirts were
sticking and the frontal cores were leaving the barrel
and even striking the steal plate targets until the
second maybe third round obstructed and steel went
flying. But how could a 1.5g load of Bullseye even with
a major bore obstruction cause a strong Smith or Ruger
to rupture a cylinder? Remember these reloaders were
loading sub-gallery loads? An answer always leads to a
question doesn't it?

Well, just about the time CASS took off, so did the
first Baby Blue progressive press company of it's kind.
Yeah, there have been progressives since dated back to
the 60's with Hollywood and Pacific presses. And LEE and
RCBS, Lyman, Horn had there entries well before Dillon.

But, Dillon was different. I remember reading their
little mag back 30+ years ago (I read the articles, What
Girls). Why bother starting with a single stage,
weighing charges, touching the case 3 or 4 times. Just
get a Baby Blue XLTSQB65000 and load a bullet in 1
stoke. It's that simple. And a lot CASS members did vs
spending $30 to $40 a box for 50 Cowboy loads in pretty
decorated boxes. Not knocking Dillon, they make a good
press but it's a fairly complex machine. Springs, Cams,
Charge Bars, Rotating shell plates, Powder Cop Dies,
Case feeders... you want it they sell it.

BTW, ever wonder why a press that's suppose to be fool-
proof needs a Powder Cop Lockout Die?

Anyway... from most reports it seems that squib loads
followed by double if not triple loads of fast pistol
powder were the culprit of most early CASS K-Boomers.
Dillon being the leader in progressive presses caught
the brunt of the flack. I personally believe the issue
was as much Operator Error as anything else.   





Edited by RB in GA on October 25 2017 at 6:32pm
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joed
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Posted: October 25 2017 at 7:11pm | IP Logged Quote joed

RB, I started with a Dillon 550 about 15 years ago.   Everything
was fine for awhile and then I found myself getting squibs.   

In my case it was always with Unique. So I slowed down to see
what was happening.   What I found when I slowed down was
some times Unique would not drop a charge from the measure.   
First I thought I was short stroking the press and the linkage was
sticking.   That wasn't the case though.   For some reason every
once in awhile the powder measure would just not drop a charge
of Unique.

At this point I called Dillon with a question of why.   They told me
what was happening was called bridgeing.   Apparently the flakes
of powder in the measure get together and kind of stick together
causing the failure to drop.   Don't remember if they told me it
was static electricity causing the problem. I was told this can
happen with a flake powder and to use sperical powders.   This is
when I switched to Power Piistol and Universal and quit using
Unique.   I also sold the 550 and moved up to a 650 with a
powder check die.   Never had another problem.

I now warn anyone thinking of buying a progressive press to get
one with a station for a powder check die and invest in that die.

This is also one of the reasons I've tried to use powders where
the charge fills the case to insure against a double charge.

I like progressive presses but there are a lot more precautions to
address using them.

Still remember about the time I got that 550 that there was
someone else on here that got one.   Somehow he got a kaboom
by forgetting to advance the shell plate. The 550 was manual
advance.



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RB in GA
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 6:06am | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

Joed,

Back in the 90's, I personally never owned a Dillon, but
I would on occasion reload on a friends SDB or his 550.
Used the SDB quite a bit. Don't remember issues with
"bridging" but with handgun loads probably using W231.

However, I did have share of issues. In all honesty, most
were as stated above most likely OE.

First was mixed head stamps. This SDB would turn into a
herky-jerky, powder spilling, case jamming, primer
flipping bronking buck with mixed 38's like IMI, and the
thick walled LC military stuff. Seeing powder all over
the shell plate is never a good sign. How a primer could
do a perfect back flip from the primer tube to the case
pocket was pure magic.

Speaking of primer pockets, I think I was the master of
"high primers" with the SDB. Upstroke priming can be a
challenge with mixed head stamps and minimal feel. But it
goes further, even a little bench flex will cause high
primers. If you have ever loaded with a SDB, you are very
familiar with grabbing the back of press with your left
hand to get a little extra ummmph on the upstroke. I did
a quick check on the Dillon Forums and SDB priming was
and still is an issue 25+ years after introduction.

I guess the single thing that steered me away from Dillon
(progressives) was never feeling comfortable not
having a visual on the powder charge. Yeah, I know about
powder cop dies, but seeing the charge level on 100
rounds lined up in a case block with a good flashlight is
the way I started 35 years ago. Yeah, I tried the bright
light and mirror to look down in the case with before
seating a slug but could never be consistent. Did I check
that one?

I be the first to admit, single staging even in large
batches is slow. When cranking em out on a Blue Beast and
looking over in the hopper and there piling up is good.
But, going to range and rapid firing your GP at steel on
the combat range is not the place or time to be
thinking... "is the next one going to be a squib, God I
hope it sticks in the forcing cone and locks this thing
down tight, or we got us a k-boomer."


Edited by RB in GA on October 26 2017 at 6:34am
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RT58
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 7:26am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I've heard of HBWC's losing their skirts in high pressure loads, but not in low pressure ones. Not saying it doesn't happen, I just never heard of it. When working up loads for my .22 Hornet using .22 cal. air rifle pellets they would lose their skirts with high pressures but too low would result in the whole pellet being left in the bore.

As others have mentioned I've seen handguns with several bullets stuck in the barrel due to low pressure loads with no damage done. I've also seen a taper barreled model 10 with a bulged barrel that had a squib stuck in the barrel and a +P fired behind it. That would have meant that the stuck bullet would have been right in front of the bulge. Even with the bullet not moving further than the forcing cone the pressures would not be high enough to blow a cylinder that is supposed to withstand approximately 60,000 psi. if another of the same were fired behind it. That sounds like an excessive charge of a fast burning powder where the peak pressure exceeds the breaking point of the cylinder before the bullet has a chance to move. And from the description of the Dillons' with the manual indexing, that may be the reason for the Ka-booms. I do remember their magazines too, but not the girls , but never owned one, so that is just a guess on my part.
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Atavist
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 7:37am | IP Logged Quote Atavist

RB in GA wrote:
Joed,

Back in the 90's, I personally never owned a Dillon, but
I would on occasion reload on a friends SDB or his 550.
Used the SDB quite a bit. Don't remember issues with
"bridging" but with handgun loads probably using W231.

However, I did have share of issues. In all honesty, most
were as stated above most likely OE.

First was mixed head stamps. This SDB would turn into a
herky-jerky, powder spilling, case jamming, primer
flipping bronking buck with mixed 38's like IMI, and the
thick walled LC military stuff. Seeing powder all over
the shell plate is never a good sign. How a primer could
do a perfect back flip from the primer tube to the case
pocket was pure magic.

Speaking of primer pockets, I think I was the master of
"high primers" with the SDB. Upstroke priming can be a
challenge with mixed head stamps and minimal feel. But it
goes further, even a little bench flex will cause high
primers. If you have ever loaded with a SDB, you are very
familiar with grabbing the back of press with your left
hand to get a little extra ummmph on the upstroke. I did
a quick check on the Dillon Forums and SDB priming was
and still is an issue 25+ years after introduction.

I guess the single thing that steered me away from Dillon
(progressives) was never feeling comfortable not
having a visual on the powder charge. Yeah, I know about
powder cop dies, but seeing the charge level on 100
rounds lined up in a case block with a good flashlight is
the way I started 35 years ago. Yeah, I tried the bright
light and mirror to look down in the case with before
seating a slug but could never be consistent. Did I check
that one?

I be the first to admit, single staging even in large
batches is slow. When cranking em out on a Blue Beast and
looking over in the hopper and there piling up is good.
But, going to range and rapid firing your GP at steel on
the combat range is not the place or time to be
thinking... "is the next one going to be a squib, God I
hope it sticks in the forcing cone and locks this thing
down tight, or we got us a k-boomer."


I'd never actually heard of a powder check die... that puts a bit of a new light on progressives for me... I have avoided getting one for the very same reason you discuss... i like to inspect every load before pressing the bullet... though still not sure i'll ever upgrade... i enjoy the slow methodical process of inspecting each case one by one at each stage... sort of meditative... and as I only shoot a couple hundred rounds a week on average it's a couple of hours i get to lock myself away from the wife and kids and have a little quiet;)

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RB in GA
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 9:03am | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

RT58 wrote:
I've heard of HBWC's losing their skirts
in high pressure loads, but not in low pressure ones.
Not saying it doesn't happen, I just never heard of
it. When working up loads for my .22 Hornet using .22
cal. air rifle pellets they would lose their skirts
with high pressures but too low would result in the
whole pellet being left in the bore.

As others have mentioned I've seen handguns with
several bullets stuck in the barrel due to low
pressure loads with no damage done. I've also seen a
taper barreled model 10 with a bulged barrel that had
a squib stuck in the barrel and a +P fired behind it.
That would have meant that the stuck bullet would have
been right in front of the bulge. Even with the bullet
not moving further than the forcing cone the pressures
would not be high enough to blow a cylinder that is
supposed to withstand approximately 60,000 psi. if
another of the same were fired behind it. That sounds
like an excessive charge of a fast burning powder
where the peak pressure exceeds the breaking point of
the cylinder before the bullet has a chance to move.
And from the description of the Dillons' with the
manual indexing, that may be the reason for the Ka-
booms. I do remember their magazines too, but not the
girls , but never owned one, so that is just a
guess on my part.


RT58,

I agree with you. I would not think the skirts on HBWC
would would detach either with light loads. I know
this is/was an issue with low velocity half jacket
bullets back in the day. The copper skirt would stick
and the lead core would continue to the target.

I would suspect it was more of an extreme leading
condition due to very low pressures (swaged HBWC) not
sealing the skirt to the rifling and an accumalation
of lead causing enough of an obstruction to stop the
next low velocity HBWC in the barrel and resulting in
an extreme bore obstruction.

I've witnessed squib rounds at the range before. I
most cases the shooters notices the change in report
and or the recoil and stops... What going on here?

If you have ever been to a large CASS event it's a
noisy affair. People shooting multiple stages ear muff
are not just for the shooters but on-lookers as well.
It's a speed race, I doubt a range master would have
time to hold up a squib round much less even hear it.

Edited by RB in GA on October 26 2017 at 9:12am
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have always suspected that double charges or perhaps even triple charges are more likely the culprit when it comes to cylinders opening up from low pressure rounds rather than multiple bullets being in the bore because of a squib. But then things do happen.

Most guns are more than capable of withstanding extreme pressures without complete failure. And then we do see even strong guns letting loose, so nothing is failsafe.

Hopefully I am remembering this torture test correctly. To the best of my memory, Ruger done a test on their P-89 when it was first produced. They used a normal barrel, but threaded the muzzle to accept a screwed in plug. They fired normal pressure 9mm ammo. I forgot exactly how many they shot exactly before the thing stopped firing, but it only stopped because of a failure to extract. The extractor had finally blown out of the bolt.

After a critical inspection it was determined that the P-89 was not actually damaged other than the extractor.

Makes one wonder about how a low pressure load being fired after a squib could blow up a cylinder unless the cylinder was defective, already damaged from abuse, or more likely it blew because of an overcharge rather than a squib.

Edited by Ham Gunner on October 26 2017 at 3:40pm


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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 3:39pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have only witnessed one gun blowing it's top and that was a .357 Astra 4". My buddy reloaded his ammo in my shack as I was watching. The bullet was a 158gr. Nyclad lead bullet and the load was 7.7gr. of Unique and small pistol primer, which is not an over load by any means. The case volume was such that a double charge was not possible.

Most of a box of the ammo had already been fired through this revolver without a hitch and accuracy was decent enough and definitely no squibs . The kaboom happened during a very slow double action trigger pull. (timing off)? Cylinder opened up and top strap and rear sight were never found. The barrel showed no damage. Luckily, no one was injured.

I had fired probably 500 of those loads myself without incident, but I was using a Ruger Blackhawk.

I suspect that the Astra was not built up to magnum pressure standards.



Edited by Ham Gunner on October 26 2017 at 3:46pm


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RB in GA
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 6:32pm | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

Ham Gunner wrote:
I have always suspected that double
charges or perhaps even triple charges are more likely
the culprit when it comes to cylinders opening up from
low pressure rounds rather than multiple bullets being in
the bore because of a squib. But then things do happen.


I agree with the double/triple charge being in the mix.
However, if you go back to days of early Dillon there
were documented issues with the Dillon spring loaded
powder drop just not dropping powder. For spec lets look
a the scenario... Load a batch of 100 rounds. You got a
double charge in the mix. You got a squib in there too.
What are the chances that these too line up in the
cylinder, squib followed by double. Who knows. The issue
amps up to max when loading Hot Near Max Loads.


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STCM(SW)
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 6:42pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

That is why I still use a single stage RCBS loader.
Then again, I have a lot of time on hand now.
Double, triple check my loads for handguns and rifles...

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RB in GA
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Posted: October 26 2017 at 7:16pm | IP Logged Quote RB in GA

STCM(SW) wrote:
That is why I still use a single stage
RCBS loader.
Then again, I have a lot of time on hand now.
Double, triple check my loads for handguns and rifles...


STCM,

Me too.

I had my run with progressive back in the early 90's. Not
to be bad mouthing Big Blue, Green, or Red. Let's be
honest, millions of rounds are loaded and shot from these
machines every year. BUT...

It's my eyes, my hands, my responsibility. As I said
above, the correct powder charge is the "MOST" important
component in reloading. Cartridge case is stamped on the
head. Bullet weight is easily measured and generally will
not seat/crimp if incorrect. But that hidden powder
charge is always the question mark. Once thrown and
capped with a slug it's all on you.

Yeah, I use a by volume powder drop (RCBS Little Dandy).
It has fixed rotors. Expensive (Yep again) but they don't
change or get out of Calibration. I visual every loading
block up and down and side to side, takes just a few
seconds. Just me maybe old-school, but I won't shoot
anyone else reloads. I really don't care to shoot
"Factory" stuff for the same reasons.   




Edited by RB in GA on October 26 2017 at 7:17pm
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RT58
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Posted: October 27 2017 at 6:07pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

RB,
I've never been to a CAS match. I was a member of the SASS for a long time, and apparently the only one in my area. I did read their newspaper and read as the gamers tried to get the rules changed to let them cheat so they could win, which eventually led to me not renewing my membership. I did attend a Cowboy Fast Draw match one time, where they shoot wax bullets, and if it weren't for my disability I would have become involved in that.

As for the possibility of having a squib and an overload being next to each other, the chances are pretty high, even greater on single stage loading. If you have a situation where a load bridges on the first shot and a case doesn't get a full charge, or no charge, that powder would be added to the next charge creating an overload. The only squibs, the bad kind, I've ever experienced were on a cheap progressive loader. Fortunately the problem was the powder dispenser was binding and wouldn't drop the full load, so the next charge only filled in what was dropped and didn't add any more. When loading squib, or even reduced loads I use a single stage set up and immediately after charging a case I would seat a bullet on top of it before charging the next case. I've loaded thousands of light loads for many different calibers this way and have never had a problem.
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joed
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 10:10am | IP Logged Quote joed

Atavist wrote:


I'd never actually heard of a powder check die... that puts a bit of a
new light on progressives for me... I have avoided getting one for the
very same reason you discuss... i like to inspect every load before
pressing the bullet... though still not sure i'll ever upgrade... i enjoy
the slow methodical process of inspecting each case one by one at
each stage... sort of meditative... and as I only shoot a couple
hundred rounds a week on average it's a couple of hours i get to
lock myself away from the wife and kids and have a little quiet;)



The powder check die is something I would not be without on a
progressive. The Dillon version has a meter that drops into the case
and measures the height of the powder. You have to preset it to the
correct level of the charge intended before starting the reloading
process.   It won't catch small charge deviations like tenths of a
grain but it will beep if the powder level is a few grains lower or
higher then what it was preset for.   

Amazingly it has never gone off for me while loading.   Only powder
that ever gave me problems was Unique and I no longer use it.

Ball powders are the best choice for a progressive because they
flow through the measure like water.   Flake powders are a potential
problem because they can stick together and not drop.

When I made the progressive move I had started shooting 300
rounds a week.    That took me 2 nights to do on a single stage. On
the progressive that took maybe an hour once the press was set up.

Edited by joed on October 28 2017 at 10:19am


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Posted: October 28 2017 at 11:26am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I trust a progressive loader about as much as I do anyone named Clinton.

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Atavist
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 11:47am | IP Logged Quote Atavist

Old Ranger wrote:
I trust a progressive
loader about as much as I do anyone named
Clinton.


Whoa... now that might be going a step to far
wade... I understand not trusting
progressives but to say that they murder and
human traffic is a bit much.
:p
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 11:49am | IP Logged Quote Atavist

joed wrote:
Atavist wrote:


I'd never actually heard of a powder check
die... that puts a bit of a
new light on progressives for me... I have
avoided getting one for the
very same reason you discuss... i like to
inspect every load before
pressing the bullet... though still not sure
i'll ever upgrade... i enjoy
the slow methodical process of inspecting
each case one by one at
each stage... sort of meditative... and as I
only shoot a couple
hundred rounds a week on average it's a
couple of hours i get to
lock myself away from the wife and kids and
have a little quiet;)



The powder check die is something I would not
be without on a
progressive. The Dillon version has a meter
that drops into the case
and measures the height of the powder. You
have to preset it to the
correct level of the charge intended before
starting the reloading
process.   It won't catch small charge
deviations like tenths of a
grain but it will beep if the powder level is
a few grains lower or
higher then what it was preset for.   

Amazingly it has never gone off for me while
loading.   Only powder
that ever gave me problems was Unique and I
no longer use it.

Ball powders are the best choice for a
progressive because they
flow through the measure like water.   Flake
powders are a potential
problem because they can stick together and
not drop.

When I made the progressive move I had
started shooting 300
rounds a week.    That took me 2 nights to do
on a single stage. On
the progressive that took maybe an hour once
the press was set up.


Hopefull one day I'll get to shoot more when
the kids are older and can go to the range
with me.. right now I'm lucky to slip away
once a week and tend to reload a half an hour
at a time whenever the little bugs are
distracted
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 2:07pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Old Ranger wrote:
I trust a progressive loader about as much as
I do anyone named Clinton.


I trust it as much as I'd trust any politician.   

I've had the progressive for 14 years now. I only load pistol
cartridges on in, rifle is done on single stage.

Only ball powders are used, never flake.

Before reloading on the progressive I check the powder check die
battery and the low primer battery alarm.

Set the powder measure for the charge I want. Throw about 5
charges weighing each one.

Fill a case and set it in the press for setting the powder cop die.

At this point I'm ready to begin.

I wish the press would have come with the warnings of using certain
powders and using a powder check die.

I cringe when I read someone online saying they won't get a powder
check die and have a light after the powder drop so they can see in
the case. Good luck.   I trust myself less then I trust mechanical
devices.

The progressive presses have a number of stations used for it's
operations. One station resizes, another drops powder, next seats
bullets etc.   The powder check die uses one.   The Dillon 550 only
had 5 stations and would not accommodate a powder check die, so I
sold it and bought a 650.

Once you understand all the above you can create some quality and
accurate ammo.



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Old Ranger
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 3:02pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Had a RCBS Green Machine progressive once. It lasted 4 hours after breaking twice. I beat the hell out of it with a 4 pound maul and threw it on the curb. Never touched another again. I don't trust em.

Y'all can dislike composite stock rifles. I can dislike progressive presses.

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Posted: October 28 2017 at 4:12pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

"Y'all can dislike composite stock rifles."

Plastic stock?
Not on any of my rifles!
Them that had one were swapped out quickly!
They have the same appeal as the woman in Naples Italy did on a Med cruse in the 1960's!
NONE!

Edited by STCM(SW) on October 28 2017 at 4:16pm


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