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Reloading Berger Bullets


First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

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Unread 12-31-2011, 01:39 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 72
First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

So I decided a few months ago that 2012 would be my year to finally venture into handloading. Been sold on the idea for years, but since I live in a tiny apt I've been limited to studying up on the subject. I'm still here till the summer, but all the reading got me itchy and I decided to pick up some case prep equipment to start processing the spent store bought stuff I've been collecting to save on my start up costs. I guess I got a little excited and what I thought was a great deal on a set of dies, was one of the Lee loader kits instead. In my defense, it was in a taped up box in the clearance section, but I should have been paying more attention anyway. I had previously dismissed the idea of using one of these (mostly because I'm not sure how long it will take me to get comfortable with smacking a live cartridge with a hammer), so I haven't bothered to read up on this method. Since I can't return it, I'm wondering if any of yall out there have any experience with this. It seems like something I'll stick in a drawer and never use since I would prefer to use the press. Am I right to think this or is it something that would be worthwhile to hang on to? It's for a 45 acp so it doesn't exactly have to thread needles and it wasn't very expensive so I don't really need to recoop the money, but if it produces poor quality I won't want mess with it. Any thoughts?

Last edited by TheRoaminRaider; 12-31-2011 at 01:39 AM. Reason: clarify
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Unread 12-31-2011, 07:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 444
Re: First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

When I first started reloading 40 or so years ago, I started with one of the Lee kits because it was all I could afford. I loaded a lot of excellent ammo with it. You don't "smack a live cartridge with a hammer" you tap with a mallet. The one thing I would recommend is the purchase of a good scale, don't depend on the powder dipper to throw accurate charges. With care and attention to detail you can load many thousands of accurate rounds with the Lee Loader, it will take a long time though!

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Unread 12-31-2011, 08:34 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NW OHIO
Posts: 325
Re: First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

Good advise by nimrod!
The Lee Loader is a very useable piece of equipment but a scale will eliminate guessing.

I have been looking for one of theser in 375 win but so far have not found one.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 12:47 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Posts: 582
Re: First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

I started with the same type back in 1970. I loaded a bunch of .270's with it. Never did me wrong. Still have it. If you decided you really want to reload you'll soon enough progress to, "better" reloading products. If not...You won't be out a bunch of money.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 01:14 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chardon, Ohio
Posts: 42
Re: First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

Myself, as with the other who posted started with the same outfit. I was in a highrise on the 9th floor. Loaded 22-250 for about 10 years with the Lee. When seating the primer I will admit I did have a couple go off in the 10 years I used it, no big deal but it does scare you for a bit.

As someone said, get a scale don't use the dippers from lee.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 236
Re: First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

I bought one back in the early 60s for my .303 Brit chambered Canadian Ross model 1905...Probably cost me three months profit from my paper route for the loader but my mind was set on it....Shot my first 100 yd groups under an inch with those reloads (that surplus military rifle was a 3" shooter with factory ammo)....Got the fever and have been striving ever since for better and better accuracy ever since...Later I upgraded to a Herter's press when I got a gas station job and still use it to this day....

You can have all the high dollar equipment with all the bells & whistles but it is nothing but a show case if you don't pay attention to all the small details....Go ahead and use your Lee if you cover all the bases your ammo should may shoot better than a lot of factory stuff.....

BTW if a primer would have gone off in my bedroom back then I am sure Dad would have ended my reloading days when I was still in junior high....

Good Luck,
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Unread 01-03-2012, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 165
Re: First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

all that pounding may get the neighbors a little pissy with you also. I used my fathers when I was a boy and it's fun but very time consuming.

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