Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua
Welcome to the reloading fraternity. It sounds like you've gotten started on the right foot here and are already interested in qulaity components, and that's good. You didn't mention a manual, but that's one of the first items that I'd recommend for a new reloader. Actually, I'd recommend that you get several. Sites like this can be a great source of helpful information, an sometimes good loads can be passed on, but having lab tested data that was developed with proper pressure testing equipment is definately the place to start. Besides, most have pretty good descriptive sections on the "how to" of the reloading process, and some invaluable information on reading pressures, working up a load, etc..
The H1000 is a good choice for the 338 LM, and one that I used to use a great deal in accuracy testing with this cartridge. Vihtavuori's N570, N170 and N560 are all good choices, too. I'd say you chose well with the Fed 215s, they're my first choice for this round, hands down.
New brass; yes it needs to be prepped, and we recommend that you at least run it through a neck die just to ensure roundness and uniform neck tension. F/L sizing is a perfectly good option here too, just remember even new brass needs to be lubricated for a trip through a sizing die. Contentious topic in some parts, but I recommend F/L sizing every time. The N/S approach doesn't really yield any better accuracy in about 99% of the cases, and it opens the door to a host of other problems. I can assure you, you'll never see these problems until the worst possible monment, when they pop up out of nowhere. To F/L size everytime is just a cheap form of "Murphy Insurance" to make sure he doesn't pay you a visit. I would also recommend (especially in light of my suggestion for F/L sizing) that you obtain AND USE a headspace gage when setting your F/L die up. Chamber type gages like the Wilson arte inexpensive and easy to use, and worth their weight in gold when it comes to avoiding problems. Not enough people use them, which accounts for a significant percentage of the problems I hear them complaining about. Gages are our friends. Use 'em.
Not sure that I would have chosen the 338 LM as the round for a first time reloader, but at least it's not a temperamental one. Sort of like a big 308 Win to load for; most combinations work well, accuracy comes naturally, and it's not beset with a lot of the quirks that some of the other very large capacity cases are. Just remember to start low, and work up slowly as pressure signs allow. Stop when you have questions, and be sure those questions are answered to your complete satisfaction before proceeding again.
Hope that helps, and we'll look forward to hearing of your progress.