Beginning RELOADING

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by etisll40, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Where do I start? I love shooting and hunting and now I have 3 good rifles. A custom 6.5x55, 7mmWSM and a 2-308's and an Ar-15 5.56, plus I may build either a 338 RUM or a 338-300 Edge.

    I'd like to reload the 6.5x55 Swede and the 7mmWSM at this time. Do I read a book, take a class, which equipment should I acquire? All suggestions appreciated.

    All of you must have started somewhee.

    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,637
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Ed, Some of the reloading manuals have very good tutorials in the front. This was how I got started. I recommend a good manual to start. You will use it over and over to work up loads even after you have your method down.

    Goos Luck! It is a great hobbie with endless levels of achievement.

    Jeff gun)gun)
     

  3. 300 ultra

    300 ultra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    833
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    There is Ammosmith. guy on Utube that shows basic reloading. Buy a starter kit from RCBS and find as much reading material as possible. Oh and spend as much money as you can the first time so you dont end up with ten of everything like I did.:D
     
  4. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Ed,

    Start with a manual as Jeff suggested. Those tutorials will get you off to a good start, and answer most of your qestions. Also, hold off a bit on the AR until you've got some time on the bolt gun reloads. Reloading fro service rifles (any auto, for that matter) is truly a form of advanced lots of pitfalls there, and you need to have a good feel for the process before diving into those waters. There's a few books out about reloading for these specifically that you might be interested in when you're ready to take the plunge there. The 6.5x55 or the 308s will be no problem for you, and are a great place to start. I'd go with those first, but the WSM should hold any surprises for you either.

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  5. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Get the Speer reloading manual, read every word in it from the front cover to the start of the load data. It's as good a tutorial as there is on beginning reloading.

    +1 on the advice to get the RockChucker Supreme kit.

    By the time you finish the reading assignment in the Speer manual, you will know what you need. It will tell you what you need, why you need it, how to use it, and what to avoid. At that point you will be in good shape to get started on bolt action rifles and revolvers.

    I concur with the suggestion that you hold off on reloading for semi auto rifles and handguns till you get a bit of experience behind you. The bolt guns and revolvers are much more forgiving than the semi-autos.

    I've come to enjoy reloading as much as I enjoy shooting. I get a new rifle or two each year just because it's fun to study bullets as they relate to game to be hunted, the cartridges that are suitable for the bullet and game, pick one, pick a rifle to shoot it in, then go through the process of accurizing the rifle, developing good hunting loads, and then bringing the meat home to put in the freezer. Hunting and shooting are a lot of fun. Doing it with ammo you develope yourself about doubles the fun.

    Fitch
     
  6. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    I thank everyone for good information. It sounds like this is an area you must read and learn. It's nice to hear that there are pitfalls and it sounds like learning one caliber at a time might be best. Because I am going to be shooting my 6.5 x55 more over the next 5-6 months, preparing for deer season, I think I'll focus on that reload. Then maybe my 308's, although general ammo cost is pretty cheap in that caliber. But I'd really like to perfect a caliber at a time. Any thoughts on my first purchase of equipment. i can afford high quality stuff that is accurate and a long term keeper. So a list of the basics I'd need would be helpful. Machines, powders and target and deer bullets. I have put in 2 book orders so that's a start.

    Thanks to all...


    Ed
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,840
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
  8. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Sticking to one caliber at a time till you have worked your way through the process of developing a good accurate load several times is a very good idea. It will eliminate the opportunity for confusion causing mistakes. You will need to develope your documentation system, how you label things, the process you want to follow based on your goals for the ammunition you are working on.

    I'd start with a good single stage press. There are a bunch of them on the market that are really good both to start and which will last about forever. Any of the cast iron D-frame presses will work just fine - RCBS RockChucker, Redding BOSS and Big BOSS, Forster, Hornady - they are all good and will last longer than you will be able to pull the lever.

    If cost were no object I'd get two presses. The first would be the Redding UltraMag press and the Redding Competition Bushing dies for high power rifle cartridges. The second, for .223 and similar Black Rifle Ammo and handgun ammo I'd get the Dillon 550 Progressive Press and use Redding Dies in it for rifle cartridges, the Dillon dies for handgun cartridges. Work out your process on the single stage first, the progressive press has a lot going on at once and that multiplies the chances for a mistake when just getting started.

    The Dillon vibrating case cleaner, AKA tumbler, is probably the best on the market. I finally bought one after a lesser one wore out in less than 3 years. It's built like a tractor. I think it will outlast the sun. A rotary case/media seperator is much better than any other system for getting media out of cases after they are cleaned. Dillon makes a good one of those too. Dillon makes good stuff period, and they stand behind it 100% no matter what.

    Sinclair has lots of high end case preperation and measurement stuff. By the time you've finished the book you will know what you need.

    Take a look at the RCBS ChargeMaster digital powder dispenser, but back it up with a lab quality digital or beam scale and a set of check weights.

    For handgun ammo you can just dump it in tupperware tubs. Rifle ammo I put in 20 round slip cases. If I had a black rifle I'd put that ammo in plastic tubs.

    That said, you can load a lot of ammo with a RockChucker Supreme kit plus a tumbler and some loading manuals. Most of the leading reloading suppliers sell a kit that containes about everything you need to get started.

    Fitch
     
  9. Troutslayer2

    Troutslayer2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Try not to get too hung up on what you read here. There are a lot of things that I still don't understand and I've been turning out great shooting ammo for over a year now. You will read threads about turning necks, annealing, neck sizing bushings and all kinds of other stuff. A lot of that is minutiae and it can be very confusing. Get the reloading book, read it, then figure out how to do it. It's not rocket science although it can be taken to a much higher level if you're so inclined. I waited until Cabela's sent me a coupon and then ordered the RCBS kit. I have been very happy with that and I think it was a good place to start. I haven't even bothered to buy a case trimmer yet because my brass hasn't grown too much to need one.
     
  10. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Ed,

    Not to start a peeing contest here, but I'll part company on at least one issue that's been mentioned here; the Dillon press. Great company, great equipment, but not something to start with, regardless of caliber. Go with a single stage press and learn the basics of the reloading process before stepping into the progressives. I'd say when you're ready to move to a progressive, don't even bother giving anyone besides Dillon a call, they're great folks to deal with, and they truly stand behind their products. As has been said, don't sweat the benchrest details, either. Keep it simple, follow the guidence put forth in the manuals, and at some point you'll want to move on to the more detailed and advanced techniques.

    Hope this helps,

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  11. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Thanks, I'll go online and see what I can get from them.

    Best Regards,
    Ed
     
  12. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    This site is great because everyone on here has something good to say. There are opinions but we all have those. I like the idea of going with the single stage press and start out that way. Shoot some rounds and go back and work on it. My 6.5 shoots .3 at 100 with stuff I bt in match grade but I'd like to shoot more and cheaper, reloading looks to be the way.

    Anyone have a favorite long lasting brass for the 6.5x55?

    Ed
     
  13. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Granted, I'm prejudiced here, but Lapua's the best out there!

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  14. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    I know your brass is right!

    Do you make reloading stuff too?


    Ed