After a while of using different products, you find that some just do the job better than others. The following comments are unsolicited by the various manufacturers (they don't even know this is here), but significant enough that I wish someone had shared them with me years ago. From time to time we'll add more to it as we remember them. We ain't rocket scientists here, and Oldtimers is setting in, so it may be a while.
1) DON'T BUY CHEAP PAINT. Paint is a training tool, it's not for aesthetics. We've painted lots of targets, and spent hundreds of dollars at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc, buying paint for $1.65 a can. Don't waste your money. The cheap stuff has much less pigment in it, so when it is dry, the first thing you have to do is go put on more paint. Buy RUSTOLEUM. It will cost you $4.00 or more, and worth every cent. It paints it the first time, so it goes farther and takes less of it, and most importantly, you don't have to waste the time repainting it after it is dry. Just write the check, you'll love it.
2) BUY A DILLON 650. I've loaded 40,000 rounds on a Square Deal B (SDB), and I've loaded at least that many on a 1050. If money was no object, I'd still go with the 650 because a) it is less money than the 1050, b) you can change calibers in 25% of the time as the 1050, c) the caliber conversions cost 25% of the 1050 gear, d) it has a longer stroke, so you can load calibers larger than the .223, e) it has a lifetime warranty, where the 1050 is only warranted for 1 year, because it is an "ammo manufacturing" kind of a piece of equipment. If money is a major concern, definitely start with the SDB. The auto case feed and other whistles and bells are great, but for the budget, I'd rather have more bullets than a bigger press. If your ego demands you go with the 1050, you'll love the fact that you can swage military cases without a thought. I have people coming over here and using mine, just for that reason.
3) DON'T BUY CHEAP TOILET PAPER. Try Charmin Ultra and you'll be sold. ‘Nuf said.
4) MPRO7 is the best gun cleaning stuff around. Doesn't stink, and dissolves all the smoke and powder residue faster than anything else I've ever seen. 1-800-Yes-4-MP7, in the Phoenix area. Not cheap, but worth every cent. I haven't had good luck on it with HEAVY leading, but it is so good on everything else, I can't pass it up. If you like the smell of the Hoppes or the other solvents, just leave the lid off that bottle while you are cleaning your gear with the MPro7.
5) For HEAVY leading, 50% white vinegar mixed with 50% hydrogen peroxide. Put an ear plug in the chamber end, stand the barrel on end, (good luck with your revolver) fill it to the top with the mixture, and set the timer on the stove for 15 minutes. Dump it out, run a patch wrapped around an old wire brush through it, and you're good to go. If not quite clean, do it again for another 15 minutes. I don't know why this stuff works, so I wouldn't leave it in there for more than 15 minutes at a time, and I make sure it is completely out of the barrel before I put my patches away. Maybe even run an "oil rinse" through it. Or Nitro Solvent, if you really miss the smell.
6) When you have a piece of square or rectangular tube that has been dented with a bullet, so you can't get your sticks in or out anymore, drill the dent out. I always like to pilot drill a piece of steel with something like a 3/16" diameter bit, then go to 3/8" or 1/2", then to 5/8" or 3/4" depending on how big you ultimately have to go. This will get the problem steel out of the way, without really limiting the usability of the piece of tube. Unless you need it to be water tight. And don't hurt yourself.
7) If your guns matter... The closest election in history should have been easily won by the pro-gun candidate. Why wasn't it? Because half of the people who own the 80 million guns in this country didn't care enough to vote. There is American blood on the soil of virtually every country on earth, sacrifices by warriors who gave it ALL so we could go to the polls in freedom. Teach your children and grandchildren about that.
If you are a gun collector, a hunter, a competitor, or simply a proponent of the second amendment, you need to join the NRA. Our rights are being eroded, and the NRA is one of the few lobbying groups in the country who is on our side.
While frequently portrayed as pro-violence nuts by the media, most conservatives know that is a crock. Most folks DON'T know that one of the first certifications a firearms instructor must get before they can teach anyone in the law enforcement community to shoot is the NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Certification. Sure, there are exceptions, but this class (and the Advanced NRA L. E. Firearms Instructor Certification) are unquestionably more widely held and recognized than any other L. E. firearms training credential in the U.S. Too bad the left wing media isn't aware of that.
Right now you can get an NRA life membership for $25.00 per quarter, for a total price of $750.00. That's less than $2 per week. Anybody who is reading this can afford that. If you are a senior they have a reduced rate ($550, I think). If you expect to live more than 21 years, it makes sense to go for the life membership, and save the rest of the bucks. If you have grandchildren, there is a reduced rate for them as well. Short of teaching them about patriotism, honor, integrity, and Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I can think of no gift that could be more meaningful.
If all you can afford is the $35 annual membership, the four million of us who are already members are glad to welcome you in. And you have our thanks.
8) If you hunt and/or fish, think about buying the life time Hunting and Fishing license, regardless of which state you live in. If you move, you'll still always be a resident so will save some serious $$$ if you want to go back just for the hunting, and you know the price is going to continue rising forever. Then, buy them for your grandchildren. It'll give you an excuse to spend time with them, and vice versa.
9) My wife and I got saved the weekend we had decided to end our marriage. If you are having a tough time with any part of your life, I would invite you to seriously consider receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I'm not talking about some plastic Jesus game, I'm talking about something real and tangible, that will change your life, 24/7/365. If you don't know anyone who knows Him first hand, please call me. I'd be honored to share with you how my life was changed. 888-767-7371. It's for real, it's for keeps, and you won't regret it. Guaranteed.
10) If you haven't tried a set of the Crimson Trace Laser Grips, you need to. I put a set on my wife's G17, and she loves it. She loaned it to one of her retired, single lady friends, and SHE loves it! ESPECIALLY at night - there is just something magical about having a red dot on your chest..... I can't imagine a more effective crime deterrent, short of poking a hole in the bad guy with a bullet. GREAT PRODUCT! (Note: Do your homework. I'm told that in some states, putting a laser on a person is assault with a deadly weapon.....)