First time reloader

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by teampete, May 1, 2011.

  1. teampete

    teampete Well-Known Member

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    Hey all. I want to thank everyone for helping me decide on how to build my first long range rifle. Now I am getting into reloading. I got a smoking deal at Cabelas on the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reload kit. The kit says it has everything to start reloading except for dies and shellholders. Which brand of these should I get? I imagine RCBS? And should I get the die kits that come with 3 dies? What is the benefit to that? Is there anything I need to purchase so I can start reloading?

    Also, do you all have specific powder, primer or brass you recomend? I am going to reload for a 300 win mag. I plan on using Berger VLD or the AMAX bullets. Let me know any other tips and tricks you may have. I have no clue how to reload but I am going to learn and I am very excited?
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  2. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    RCBS are good dies Redding are better. I would go for the three die set makes it easier to seat bullets.
     

  3. bogger01

    bogger01 Well-Known Member

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    rcbs dies are good dies as well as hornady,redding,forester.also,get a good reloading manual or for that matter 2 or 3 from different companies. i would suggest you stick with published data starting out.there is plenty of good data for the 300win mag.and just pay attention to everything your doing and you will really enjoy handloading.
     
  4. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I think youcan get a Redding bushing die for that, which might be nice as you progress. I like the micro seaters for ease of adjustment and if you plan on different bullets for use they are handy.
     
  5. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    I would stick to Federal 215 primers and new brass to start with. Remington brass is ok Norma brass is better.
     
  6. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Get on Amazon and buy the book on handloading by Glen Zediker, can't think of the title right off, but do a search on the name and you will come up with it. This book is much more detailed than the Sierra or other books from the bullet or powder manufacturers.

    Rather than ask how to reload, read that book and also do a search on this site for reloading topics, read all that, then ask specific questions. I'm not trying to NOT answer your question, but the subject is way too broad to address in general, so do some reading then start asking specific questions.

    As for dies, at this stage I would not worry much about brands or competition dies, just good old RCBS, Hornady, Redding, etc. will work just fine. Most rifle dies are two die sets, a full length sizing die and a seating die. Most 3 die sets are for pistol or straight walled cases such as 45-70 or .458 win mag.

    Follow bullet, case and powder data EXACTLY as shown in the reloading manual you are using or data from a powder or bullet manufacturer. Do not substitute components. Just because a bullet is the same weight does not mean you can use the same powder charge. Different bullets have different bearing surfaces etc. and can generate very different pressures even though they may be the same weight. Start with the minimum load and NEVER exceed the max load. DO NOT start working up your own loads or using load data from other people until you have a lot of experience. Every rifle is different so getting the pet load from someone can be a dangerous overload in your rifle.

    Be careful, be safe and have fun!! :)
     
  7. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you lube every case you have if to, if you don't you will never forget it.
    the case will stick in the die. also check for any burrs on your brass around the neck.
    Inspect every case..EVERY ONE! even a bag of new brass can have a defect among them.
    I trim all my brass back .001 and I inspect evey one of me cases, you can and will find a case with a split in the neck.
    If the price of brass is hard to pay for, just scrouge the ranges before hunting season.
     
  8. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

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    Oct 3, 2009
    I also load for the 300winmag. I use winchester brass which has been pretty good, I have some loaded 5 times. I load the 210 berger and the 208 amax with H1000 and retumbo.
     
  9. Danja

    Danja Member

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    Read Lyman's 49th edition reloading manual a few times, it really breaks down the reloading process in an easy to understand way. RCBS dies and shell holders are fine and yes get the complete sets, should only be two dies for rifle calibers. Another good tool to improve accuracy is Hornady's Concentricity Gauge. This detects run out and also allows you to correct any problem cartridges. Competition Dies are nice (but expensive) because they allow for easy seating depth adjustment and they also seat your bullet nice and straight, which can be seen on your concentricity gauge. You will most likely want to upgrade your scale in the near future. An overall length gauge is another useful tool and isn't expensive.
    I have found that testing different seating depths has really improved the accuracy in many of my rifles, more so than minor differences in powder charge levels.
    Another word of advice is to buy your supplies from a local shop that has employees that can give you good advice and tips, this is something you will never get from Midway, Cabelas or Bass Pro.
    Be Safe and Shoot Straight!
     
  10. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    read, read, read. Get a reloading manual and read it.

    Jump on youtube and search for reloading videos (there are lots of them). Then after watching, read, read, read. Eventually you will begin to develop your own reloading philosophy/make decisions about what is important to you and what is BS to you.

    In terms of dies, I personally use Redding Competition dies. They are great dies and would be easy for a beginner to use.

    For your 300mag, here are my recommendations...

    Bullets: 210g VLD or 208g Amax
    Powder: Retumbo or H1000
    Primer: Fed215M
    Brass: Winchester, Nosler, Norma (generally avoid Remington)

    my recommendations for reloading...

    Brass Prep
    - uniform the primer pockets and flash holes (basic)
    - turn necks (advanced)
    - trim to length (basic and may not be necessary with brand new brass)
    - chamfer and deburr (basic and your kit came with a tool)

    primer/powder
    - seat primers firmly
    - measure each powder charge and start low and work your way up

    bullet seating
    - after seating each bullet, check the OAL length with a micrometer and a Hornady comparator. Bullets have a manufacturing tolerance of +/- .003 and it will be important that your finished cartridges are all the same length at the ogive.

    shooting
    - shoot round-robin style shooting one round from each charge weight at a time (shooting each round at a different target). Then repeat until you you have shot all of your groups (five round groups are better than three)

    That's all I've got off the top of my head.
     
  11. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    Jan 7, 2003
    I have a neighbor who would not listen he asked me to come over to help him, I politly asked him to read everything he could about Reloading and wait till I get over this bad cold.
    Nope! He just had to do it by himself and he ended up with a Bullet stuck in the Barrel, with a new rifle.
    Here is some good advice.
    turn off the radio and tell the kids to be quiet.
    every load you do shoud be an experiment.
    Wheigh every load and know the scale you have and how to use it.
    Have NO distractions, measure every complete load for OAL (over all length).
    Measure to the grain, and never carry on a conversation when doing this.
    its like having Diabetis. shooting the wrong insulin because you are talking and no paying attention.
    Work like this is an experiment, pay attention to every load.
    measure every case, and inspect every case, check the neck for any questionable defects.
    USE CAUTION EVERY TIME! DO NOT EVER BLOW OFF SAFETY. This is the #1 priority.
    Get a good loading manual, I have around 4 that I use, maybe 7, I cant remember but
    Read and study.
    Keepyour scale on a leavel base if it is not it will not ballance like it should.

    Good luck and keep in touch.
     
  12. teampete

    teampete Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I will take all the advice in and see what I come up with. It will be a long trex but I will get there and I am excited. Again thank you guys.
     
  13. mshaner

    mshaner Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2010
    Evening folks.

    I live in NKY and am just entering the reloading world...so far I'm following all the NOOB instructions on reading (x10) etc, and I have a friend of mine that is working with me but he's in Lexington, KY which makes it difficult for us to get together often enough to get into a rhythm of learning.

    Is there anyone on the list that lives in or around Cincinnati/NKY?

    Thanks a ton.

    Shane
     
  14. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    mshaner(Shane). at this forum we are all a family member in a way, all you need to do is ask,
    it won"t take long for an answer. First study using a scale and a trickler..this is a must but get every bit of information you can, get with us. if a member gives a BS answer you will know fast.