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Oprod30
07-27-2010, 05:26 PM
While still hanging onto my Garands, I have taken up the shooting discipline of the 50 cal Barrett. Sooner or later I will need to start reloading this field artillery piece. I see Lee has a single stage press that will take the 50 ( I wrote to them) and also Dillon has their version out that is considerably more. Any thoughts on these or does anyone have suggestions that I will entertain. A long time ago I loaded pistol only on an O frame press from RCBS but that was back in my police days many years ago. You know, wadcutters, JHP's and stuff. I will be open to all comments. (As a sidebar, the Knob Creek Gun Show in West Point Ky does not have too much in reloading stuff but they have a ton of reloaded 50 cal ammo.) Thanks guys. Mike in FL

cfullgraf
07-27-2010, 05:43 PM
Dies for the 50 BMG are larger in diameter than the standard 7/8"-14 dies that are used for most metallic cartridge. So, the press must be capable of handling those dies. Also, i believe the shell holder is not interchangeable with the smaller shell holders.

I'm not sure if the manufacturers have standardized on a die diameter for for 50 BMG or not so you may have to get the dies from the same manufacturer as the press. It really is not an issue unless you are in a hurry to get started and something is out of stock.

Besides Lee and Dillion, I believe RCBS and Hornady have 50 BMG capable presses. Some of the companies offer a bushing for their big press that allows the use of standard dies.

I don't think you would go wrong with any of them.

raymeketa
07-27-2010, 06:44 PM
The RCBS 50 BMG dies are 1 1/2 - 12 thread which is the same as the Hollywood and Rock Crusher press.

If you intend to shoot the BMG, the cost of a proper press and dies and all other loading tools will be peanuts compared to all the expense you'll be faced with. It's sorta like trying to decide what kind of floor mats to get in a Lamborghini.:cool:

Ray

HANDYMAN
07-27-2010, 10:34 PM
I use the ammomaster form RCBS It has a much longer handle for sizing the big 50 don't bother with the lee. I do use a lee press for the priming however that way i'm not changing dies so often and get a better feel.

WhisperFan
07-27-2010, 11:50 PM
I use the Lee press, I have had no problems with it. The Dillon looks great, as all Dillon equipment it, but holy crap it is expensive.

The main thing for me in reloading the BMG is a good quality lube. I like Imperial wax better than all the others. I tried the Lee lube, and RCBS's lube, but I think Imperial is better.

I also shoot 690 grain ball pull-down projos. I push the bullets through a resize die to make sure they are true. 215 grains of H50BMG powder pushes that beast out the barrel. I haven't chronographed it yet, but it is pretty accurate.

Oprod30
07-28-2010, 08:53 AM
Gang, All of you have good information and I am saving this for future reference. "Floor mats to get in a Lamborghini" sounds about right! I knew that I would have to get a larger capacity unit, now it is just deciding which one. If i take up pistol loads again I can get the step down/reducer bushings. A compound leverage press is the only way to go. If you get a straight throw unit you will have to cut a hole in the ceiling to accomodate the longer throw handle.
Yes the Dillon units are quite pricey; almost like shopping at a jewelry store.

VMFn542bob
07-28-2010, 10:12 AM
. . . I have taken up the shooting discipline of the 50 cal Barrett. Sooner or later I will need to start reloading this field artillery piece. . . .
Just a suggestion - Talk to the experts at TBird about the subject of reloading the 50 BMG. They are very good at it.
http://www.qpg.com/T/tcci/
Also, for low cost 50 BMG reloading components frequently check Jeff Bartlett's GIBRASS.COM for pulldown 50 BMG brass, bullets and powder.
http://gibrass.com/brass.html

medalguy
07-28-2010, 01:15 PM
Polygunbag.com also has good deals on .50 bullets.

I used the Lee first and sold it. Too hard to use. I switched to the RCBS press and loved it. Easy to use with adequate lube, makes great ammo.

HughUno
07-28-2010, 02:52 PM
first, were I to start over, would just get the Lee 50BMG press. Works fine and would have saved me BIG dollars.

second, the no brainer place to learn about everything .50BMG is

http://www.biggerhammer.net/barrett/

When I was shooting my Serbu, this was a daily learning experience location. these folks REALLY know of which they speak.

TokiWartooth
07-28-2010, 03:30 PM
I use the Lee press, I have had no problems with it. The Dillon looks great, as all Dillon equipment it, but holy crap it is expensive.

The main thing for me in reloading the BMG is a good quality lube. I like Imperial wax better than all the others. I tried the Lee lube, and RCBS's lube, but I think Imperial is better.

I also shoot 690 grain ball pull-down projos. I push the bullets through a resize die to make sure they are true. 215 grains of H50BMG powder pushes that beast out the barrel. I haven't chronographed it yet, but it is pretty accurate.

690 grain projectile? 215 grains of powder? Jesus.... It's like a f&@ing hand grenade!!

cfullgraf
07-28-2010, 03:47 PM
690 grain projectile? 215 grains of powder? Jesus.... It's like a f&@ing hand grenade!!

Yes, 50 BMG is not for the faint of heart or a thin wallet.

WhisperFan
07-28-2010, 05:52 PM
690 grain projectile? 215 grains of powder? Jesus.... It's like a f&@ing hand grenade!!

:D

It kinda sucks to get only 32 reloads out of a pound of powder .... but that's the price you pay to shoot the BMG.

raymeketa
07-28-2010, 06:01 PM
And, BMG primers are two-bits per each!

The BMG isn't really as bad to shoot as most would think. Rifles are heavy and have muzzle brakes. Quite a few ladies shoot them regularly. (And I don't mean ladies from the the island of Lesbo.):rolleyes:

Ray

Mad_Gorilla
07-29-2010, 10:11 AM
In my experience, Lee is OK for limited use, small batch type of reloading. Over the years I've bought their stuff because it looked good and was cheap, but in the end I almost always ended up replacing it with RCBS or Hornady because the Lee gear just didn't live up to its advertising.

Go with RCBS or Hornady first time out. It will save you money in the long run.

HughUno
07-31-2010, 02:36 AM
In my experience, Lee is OK for limited use, small batch type of reloading. .

Go with RCBS or Hornady first time out. It will save you money in the long run.

spoken by someone who neither owns, nor reloads for a .50BMG..

The Lee .50BMG kit WITH the press is one of the true best "bargains" in an otherwise nose-bleedingly expensive playground.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=845765

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Reviews (20)4.35 stars



http://fototime.com/ED76BF07206642A/standard.jpg

Mad_Gorilla
07-31-2010, 12:14 PM
spoken by someone who neither owns, nor reloads for a .50BMG..

The Lee .50BMG kit WITH the press is one of the true best "bargains" in an otherwise nose-bleedingly expensive playground.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=845765



It has nothing to do with the .50 BMG, it has to do with Lee equipment. If you can't voice your opinion without the ad hominem attacks, why don't you just shut the hell up?

joe wilson
07-31-2010, 12:53 PM
Get the LEE set. My buddy uses it and it works fine. They make an adapter to use reg. dies if needed. Save your money for components, you will need it. Buy an RCBS or Dillon after you hit the lotto.

jleneave
08-02-2010, 02:49 AM
I have the RCBS Ammomaster .50BMG kit and in my opinion it is a nice set up. I was torn between the cost saving Lee setup and the RCBS. I went the RCBS because a friend had one that I loaded several rounds on so I stuck with what I had already used. I can't say about the Lee one way or the other but I have a Lee turret press that I have loaded thousands of rounds of handgun ammo and 5.56mm ammo on and it works great. It's like some one posted above .50BMG shooting is not cheap, but it is a blast (pun intended)!! Reloading can easily cut the ammo cost in half so you can recoup the cost of reloading equipment fairly fast if you shoot very much at all. I would also recommend a seperate case trimming set up as the trim die that comes with the RCBS kit really sucks! Take care.

Jody

Oprod30
08-04-2010, 06:40 AM
Well, it appears that it comes down to a Lee vs RCBS for reloading these cannon shells. Since I have experience with RCBS and I never had a problem with my teeny O-frame press when I did pistol, I am leaning towards them for my next buy when I venture from the shallows and head for greater depths. I guess that is a fancier way of saying I went off the deep end.
All the comments have been well received and I thank you all for the input. Once I get back into the working world after my hip replacement heals up I will be looking into RCBS.

jleneave
08-05-2010, 12:07 AM
Nothing against Lee, like I posted above I use Lee equipment and have never had a problem with thier stuff or thier customer service, but IMHO you made the best choice! When you start loading for the .50BMG and need anything give me a shout and I will assist you the best that I can. Take care.

Jody