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Thread: Loading 30 carbine on SD-B

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Loading 30 carbine on SD-B

    Has anyone figured out how to load 30 carbine on a SD-B? Doesnít seem like COL would be an issue. Iím guessing that if one could find or make dies, powder funnel / flaring tube and shell plate; loading the cartridge on a SD-B would be possible.
    Really I donít even care about a Dillon specific sizing die because I have to size the 30 carbine brass before checking case length and trimming to spec.
    From my brief research it sounds like a shell plate from another cartridge would work.
    Donít know about substituting for the powder funnel / flare tube, seating and crimping dies.
    With the wealth of collective experience on the CB Forum Iím hoping someone can steer me in the right direction. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    The SDB isn't "strong" enough to size 30 Carbine cases. The plastic linkage bushings probably would last long either. I suppose one might size the cases on a single stage press then finish loading on the SDB as I do that with 45 Colt. I load 30 Carbine, with jacketed and cast bullets on a Dillon 550B without any problems.
    Larry Gibson

    ďDeficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.Ē
    ― Nikola Tesla

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    I posed this question to Dillon a number of years ago and was told that because the 30 carbine is a tapered case and not a straight walled case it wouldn't work.

    Got lucky and picked up a 550 a couple of years later and have been using it ever since.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    As stated in my post, I wont size 30 carbine on the SDB because I pre-size the brass so I can check case length and trim them, if needed.
    I need to come up with:
    a shell plate that will work for 30 carbine
    a powder funnel / flare die
    a seating die and
    a crimp die.
    I pulled the following data off wiki
    ....... 30 carbine. ...... 327 H&R.

    Bullet ......dia. .308 ........ .312
    Neck .......dia. .331 ......... .337
    Base ..... ..dia. .354 ....... .337
    Rim .........dia. .360 ...... .375
    Rim thickness .050 ...... .55
    Case .....length. 1.29 ..... 1.075
    OAL..... 1.65 ..... 1.35

    The 30 carb neck is 6 thousands smaller dia than the 32 h&r, so the powder funnel / flare die could work out as is dia-wise. Pretty sure I could back the flare off enough.
    The 30 carb base is 17 thousands larger than the 32 h&r, May have to ream the shell plate positions a little. I also prime my 30 carb brass in a bench primer after sizing, trimming & de-burring. That may save me some grief with the modified shell plate.
    The 30 carb rim dia is 15 thousands smaller, have to consider that when reaming shell plate.
    Rim thickness of 30 carb is 5 thousands less, not sure how or if that would matter since 32 h&r is a rimmed case.
    The carb brass is .215 longer than the 32. Not sure what the bore of the 32 crimp die is above the crimp shoulder but it stands to reason the upper bore is smaller dia. Might be able to ream a crimp shoulder in the .215 inches above the existing 32 crimp shoulder.
    Since there’s only 4 thousands difference in bullet dia the 32 seating die should work as is.
    So the above is my (admittedly novice) train of thought.
    Going to call Dillon tomorrow and get their thoughts of feasibility. Worst case I might have to purchase
    a shell plate, blank seating and crimp dies (if they will sell) and have a machinist modify them.
    I’m open to suggestions, but if you think I’m nuts just email my wife (myhusbandisalunatic@gmail.com). She will agree.
    Last edited by Bmi48219; 11-03-2019 at 11:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    you would be better off getting a 550 and dies.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    If you have a machinist modify dies, it will not be cheap. Get a 550 and carbide dies. Trimming after sizing for the first reload is a good idea. I doubt it needs to be done every time, but easy enough to check...pull the first few cases after sizing on the 550...if under max OAL you are good to go. Why go through the effort if not needed?

    If you currently size and prime off the press, you are defeating the advantages of a progressive press. But if that is what you want to continue doing, get a Lee progressive. Many are available used as the primer system is difficult to maintain and people "trade up" to a Dillon. The Lee will do a good job of dropping powder, seating and crimping...and uses standard dies. You can leave it set up. It will be less costly and work better than your current plan.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Iím sure Iíd be better off with some other press but this is my first progressive, I got it for a great $$, and Iím enjoying it and want to use it for more of my reloading.
    As to sizing 30 carbine, I have 2 firearms in that caliber. Regardless of which one I shoot, 7 to 12 % of the fired brass will exceed the max case length after being fired. This is a common occurrence with 30 carbine brass.
    Prior to getting a progressive press, I would usually deprime, clean, size and flare and sometimes prime my brass before storing. In an additional step, I check the 30 carbine brass for length after sizing and set the long ones aside for trimming at a later date. Thatís why Iím not concerned about sizing the 30 brass on my SDB. I no longer need to size & flare my brass prior to storing, except for 30 carbine.
    The info on the Dillon Forum concurs with 15meterís response.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Unless you have the tools to make your own dies the suggestion to get a separate press for 30 carbine is a good one , you can get a new Lee ABLP with the shell plate for around $130 and use the dies you have .
    And use your SDB for the cartridges Dillon supports .
    All that said modifying equipment can be its own adventure nothing wrong with that.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by rbt5050 View Post
    you would be better off getting a 550 and dies.
    ^^This^^

    I load lots and lots of .30-Carbine on my 550.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & the West Branch Gun Club.

    Caveat Emptor: Do not trust Cavery Grips/American Gripz from Clayton, NC. He will rip you off.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmi48219 View Post
    I’m sure I’d be better off with some other press but this is my first progressive, I got it for a great $$, and I’m enjoying it and want to use it for more of my reloading.
    As to sizing 30 carbine, I have 2 firearms in that caliber. Regardless of which one I shoot, 7 to 12 % of the fired brass will exceed the max case length after being fired. This is a common occurrence with 30 carbine brass.
    Prior to getting a progressive press, I would usually deprime, clean, size and flare and sometimes prime my brass before storing. In an additional step, I check the 30 carbine brass for length after sizing and set the long ones aside for trimming at a later date. That’s why I’m not concerned about sizing the 30 brass on my SDB. I no longer need to size & flare my brass prior to storing, except for 30 carbine.
    The info on the Dillon Forum concurs with 15meter’s response.
    Keep us posted on your progress, I had not completed given up on the idea. The 550 fell in my lap which killed my interest in trying to get the SDB to work.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Checked a few big projects off the old honey-do list and briefly worked on getting th SDB set up for loading 30 carbine last night.
    I purchased a used 32 S&W / H&R quick conversion kit from a forum member. The 32 kit uses #3 brass buttons, got a set of #8 buttons at the sellerís suggestion. The #3 buttons werenít large enough to keep carbine brass aligned and the #8 buttons too large for shell plate to rotate. Turned the #8ís down with a file & drill until the shell plate cleared them. The carbine brass will occasionally half-jump out of shellholder at the #3 station if you upstroke too fast. In retrospect, it would be better to leave the #8 buttons Full diameter and reduce the diameter of the portion of shell plate that is level with button.
    Next step will be to shorten the seating stem .35 inch. Itís way too long to seat projectile to 1.650Ē OAL. I can cut off the stem, square it with a file and counter-bore the stem for round nose bullets with a small die grinder.
    Biggest problem will be modifying the crimp die. Even when top of die is level with top of blue plastic thread lock washer, itís too long by at least 0.3 inch. If I can figure out how to cut / raise / ream the existing crimp shoulder 0.4 inch further up into the die (and get it in the vicinity of 0.331Ē diameter) it would give me some adjustment for setting my crimp. The spec neck diameter of 30 carbine is 0.331Ē while the 32 cartridge is 0.337Ē but Iíll have 0.4 inch of cut to reduce the diameter. If the initial bore wonít accept the tapered 30 carbine case, maybe I can use a steel cartridge and valve lapping compound to finish it to get the contour. Iím thinking the crimp die is hardened steel. Any suggestions?
    I have access to a drill press & woud like to do this myself if possible.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    The SDB isn't "strong" enough to size 30 Carbine cases. The plastic linkage bushings probably would last long either. I suppose one might size the cases on a single stage press then finish loading on the SDB as I do that with 45 Colt. I load 30 Carbine, with jacketed and cast bullets on a Dillon 550B without any problems.
    I think current model SDB's have brass bushings now. I'll have to look next time I'm in the shed.

    It would be interesting to compare sizing force requirements between 44 Mag and 30 Carbine.

    I've Loaded 44 Mag on THE SDB, never on a single stage and I've loaded 30 Carbine on single stage and a 550b. I don't have a direct comparison on the same equipment but IIRC the 44 Mag took more effort. But that may have been just the difference in leverage between the SDB and the other presses.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    If you are sizing on something else it should be pretty simple.

    All of Dillon’s powder dies are the same diameter, the 1050’s are different because they only flare as the expander is on station #3. Of course they are identical for rounds that have the expander on the decapping stem.

    You might be able to get it to work with existing offerings as far as seat and crimp.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15meter View Post
    I think current model SDB's have brass bushings now. I'll have to look next time I'm in the shed.
    They switched from delrin to bronze bushings in the link arms around a decade ago. If you call them and ask for replacement bushings, they will send you the new arms with bushings in them.

    FWIW, thatís not the weak link, the handle is. That said, the OP stated from the beginning he was sizing on a different press and the SD can handle all the other tasks no problem.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    I get what the original poster is doing. Some of us just can't resist a project, even when there are cheaper/more direct/ better paths available. I know because I'm like that!

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    What he^ said. I’m going to have to play with some of my set ups and see how it turns out.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    After nearly 5 months I got back to making my SDB a 30 carbine loading machine. Ready for a trial run, probably tomorrow evening.
    As I had mentioned when I started this thread I have a lot of use for 30 carbine ammo, but loading it on a turret press is time consuming. I found a good deal on a barely used SDB to load 9, 38 & 45 and wanted to try setting it up for 30 carbine. The guys at Dillon said they donít make dies for it in 30 carbine because sizing the brass would be too much of a strain on the press.

    My prep sequence for 30 is to deprime, clean, lube, size, measure & trim prior to putting the brass in storage until Iím ready to load. I have no reason to size on my SDB, just load.
    After some research I purchased a 32 S&W / H&R set of dies, shell plate and spare head along with a set of #8 locator buttons from forum member marcusp323 who also offered some sound tips and advice.
    First I mounted the 32 shell plate on the press. Then chucked the #8 buttons into a drill and ran them over a file until they no longer kept the shell plate from turning. the finish diameter is .3840Ē and they just barely rub the shell plate. I have to go a little slower when upstroking the press because the 32 shell plate is not a perfect fit for the rimless 30 carbine brass, but thatís not a show stopper.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next I backed off the powder drop / flare tube a lot to get the flare right because the carbine brass is 1/3rd inch longer than 32 H&R. I was concerned the powder return rod might be too short but itís good.

    Moving to station #3 the seating die stem was way to long. I cut .4Ē off the bottom of the stem with a hack saw (it was mild steel), dressed the cut with a file and used a drill to countersink a new contour into the die to closely match the bullet tip. The shortened stem gives me clearance to seat the bullet out to spec 1.680Ē overall length.

    Moving to station #4 the 32 crimp die was again too long. It looked like hardened steel so I drilled an 11/16Ē hole into a 4x4, set the crimp die in it with .4Ē protruding and cut of the top of the die with a metabo right angle cutter & wafer wheel. After a few strokes over a file the cut was clean & square. The shortened crimp die works like it was meant to now.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hereís a pic of first trial dummy rounds. The bullet is messed up because I had to keep pulling it out until I got the seating stem depth set correctly.
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    With any luck Iíll get a chance to adjust the powder measure tomorrow evening and start loading.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Gtrubicon's Avatar
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    I appreciate a project, trust me. But in 5 months how much 30 carbine could you have produced on your turret press? Not trying to be a wise alec, just sayin

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well it works, not exactly an unqualified success but Iím headed in the right direction. Actually everything works as planned except case mouth flaring. Every so often a case comes out of that station with the mouth mangled by the flare tool. The case rises up to the flare tool on a slight angle, off enough that the lip of case gets peened over by the edge of the powder through hole.
    It looks like the base of the cartridge case doesnít seat tight to the shell holder plate, instead the top of the extractor groove rides on the top of the shell plate so it can wobble allowing the case to lean. I tried epoxying a thin washer on top the shell holder cut-out to shim the base snug but that make the case fit too tight. In lieu of making a 30 carbine shell plate I can have someone mill the top of my plate at each shell position enough to let the base of the case sit flat where it belongs, or try to add a case centering sleeve below the flare head.
    I have found that by rotating the case as it is rising into the flare / charge station I can keep from mangling the case mouth 97% of the time.
    Beside being tedious, that does slow things down but on my 2nd trial run I managed too load 585 good rounds in 3 hours out of 600 cases so Iím optimistic things will work out.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Video?

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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