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Reloading Berger Bullets


Beginner Reloading

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Unread 12-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 17
Beginner Reloading

Hey guys, I'm totally new to reloading ammunition. I'm going to ask my parents for reloading equipment this year for Christmas. What do I need?

I'm shooting a 308 Win and plan on doing long-range shooting along with coyote hunting. I'd like to make a copy of the Federal Gold Medal match 175 gr sierra matchking cartridge (the military's long range sniping load). What kind of brass, powder and primer do I need for that load? Can anyone suggest some other good loads? Any good books on reloading to get? I'm looking at getting this starter kit:

Cabela's -- Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit

Is this a good beginner kit? I noticed it doesn't come with a die, any suggestions for a good 30 cal die? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Unread 12-13-2008, 02:58 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,189
Re: Beginner Reloading

RCBS makes a great kit with ether a Rockchucker or rockchucker 2 press
and scales.

I have both and one over 45 years old and still as good as new.

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Unread 12-13-2008, 09:07 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Republic of NJ
Posts: 978
Re: Beginner Reloading

If you're gonna be serious about this, check out the kits from RCBS or Hornady. They may be a bit more expensive, but they will last, especially the RCBS.

If your serious about the dies, check out the RCBS custom competition. Otherwise you can't go wrong with Hornady New Dimension dies, I like them a lot better than the standard RCBS ones.

As for the load, Federal uses their own primers (large rifle benchrest, not sure what number) of course the Sierra 168gr MK and for powder (they won't tell anybody exactly what they're using) try Varget. I've had very good results with this load, but I use the CCI BR2s as the primers.
Remember start low and work up to what your gun likes.

Good luck.

Red mist. It's an addiction!
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Unread 12-14-2008, 12:22 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 430
Re: Beginner Reloading

This one is a better buy than RCBS's lesser single-stage kits (compare the components, and MidSouth's price):


RCBS's equipment, and everyone else's, costs more than your chosen brand, but it's a matter of paying for what you get.

You'll need a few other tools, like a caliper and case trimmer. Do your homework before choosing your case trimmer and other doodads. Extra loading manuals are good, and should be studied before attempting reloading. Get a Sinclair catalog.

"The ABC's of Reloading" is a good book for novices. A Forster FL die set for your 308 will do you justice.

Last edited by Winchester 69; 12-14-2008 at 12:49 AM.
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Unread 12-14-2008, 01:10 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 316
Re: Beginner Reloading

buy that lee challenger breech lock kit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its soooo worth the 100ish dollars! seriously, and the hornady new demension 2 die set is great, also a lee collet neck sizer is a must!!!!!!
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Unread 12-14-2008, 11:30 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 899
Re: Beginner Reloading

I use a Rockchuker ,and Forester dies and have good results, but the Lee products are amazingly good for the money and a good way to start. You will be able load ammo that can shoot 1/2" groups.
The Lee 3die set will suit you just fine for now.

The most important and often underemphasized item you need is KNOWLEDGE!!!!!

Get books on reloading as well as reloading manuals. ABC's of reloading is a good starter book, but "Handloading for Competition" by Zeideker is my favorite and a must read. It is very informative and fun to read, although it's main focus in highpower. But it provides invaluable info on the reloading process and safety!

The reloading manual that will work the best for you depends upon the bullets and powders you are shooting. I use alot of Hodgdon powder so I find their manual very helpful . Sierra's manual is very informative and their bullets are usually very easy to shoot well.

Read and learn as much as you can, before you load your first rounds. Get very familar with the process.
It is not difficult to reload, but it is important to be very organized and systematic.
You need to know what you are trying to accomplish and what results to expect.
Keep copious notes as well.

Of course this is coming from the mindset of a former Navy Pilot. But with reloading as well as flying, a mistake could be very detrimental to your health.

Remember, it is alot of fun but--- SAFETY FIRST!!
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