Friday, July 8, 2011

Out of the Action?

I've gotten a lot of emails from friends asking if I'll be out busting caps this weekend - some were a bit surprised when I said that I'd be trapped indoors. I feel like I should explain:

In early September of 2010 I finally got settled enough to get my second-hand Dillon 450 550 (converted) setup in my toolshed. Up until then, I was shooting a lot of .22 and factory .40, mainly because the wife was up in MadCity studying to become a veterinarian. Back then, I'd drive up there and spend almost every weekend with her, helping cook her meals, clean her apartment, and relax with our dogs. I guess it helps to keep in mind that I've only been shooting since '07, mostly as a diversion from the fact that I missed her terribly...

Ah, the early days of factory ammo and 1 gun...

Anyway, back to the story... The Dillon 450 550. I started loading a bit - just a couple of hundred rounds for a few hours at a pop on the weekend... Then it got chilly in the shed as November set in and I decided, with the help of my brother-in-law to move the Dillon 450 550 down into my basement. Soon after, PPC season got in full swing and I was spending a few hours a week downstairs loading in the basement in addition to the few hours I was already reloading on the weekends.

The Dillon Shed

Then, in early December, teammate Kerry-D and I made it a point to start practicing weekly and soon I was coordinating group buys of powder and bullets for a sizeable group of us and reloading ALL THE TIME! Just to give you some sense of scale, in May, prepping for Phil Strader & Mike Seeklander's most excellent class, I spent 10 hours over two weeks loading 3,000 rounds for the class (I shot far less than that!). The basement became my home - most depressing.

At this point, the wife was overcome with wrath. I must add that it was not directed at the fact that I was doing my thing, as she really is my #1 fan, half-heartedly listening to me recounting harrowing tales of strength and fury, but rather at the fact that my process was inefficient to support my goal. See, the Dillon 450 550 is an awesome press and one that can crank out a lot of match grade ammo in a hurry. Faster, in fact, than most family budgets would allow... But once a shooter begins to exceed the 2000/month line in the sand, there are easier ways.

After my finish at the 2011 Illinois State Match, she said, in no uncertain terms, that if I was following the Bassham method, I should "reward myself" with a better press: one that could support the dual goals of having X-thousand rounds on tap when I want AND allow me to take an active part in our family life. Additionally, she said she needed the basement back and that I should move my gear into my office room. She flipped through the Dillon Catalog, pointed at the 650 and the 1050 and said, "You really need to choose..."

So, this weekend I prepare to setup my new press!

Additionally, now that my day job has settled a bit, I'm hoping to have a full report next week regarding the press, along with a handful of articles on how to develop "front-sight focus" (for Ted G!), reloading for the .40 (some tips/tricks/my overly anal approach), a review of the most awesome 180gr .40 Bayou Bullets that I'll be using (I'm working up a new load!), and the first in a series of book reviews that were suggested by Tom B. 'Till then, go harass Scotty "Lightening" and Tony A. at the OPSC USPSA match this weekend!

Oh, and lastly, take a look at the contest for the new WIILSHOOT logo - Crowdspring is pretty amazing!
We're really set on #9, but if anyone things otherwise, leave a comment here...