First Time Reloader

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bigbuckbuster, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. bigbuckbuster

    bigbuckbuster New Member

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    Aug 1, 2012
    I was thinking about getting into reloading after the purchase of my 300 WSM since ammo isn't the cheapest. What is a good reloader to buy that is fairly cheap? It only needs to be a single bullet reloader. also what is needed to reload?
     
  2. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 30, 2008
    This may be a hard question to answer but do you see yourself making this into a long term hobby? Or something you just want to try out, maybe load a couple of boxes before hunting season and call it good. Either way is just fine but know which way to go could deffinetly get you the most bang for your buck.
     

  3. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Hornady Lock-N-Load or RCBS Rock Chucker Single Stage presses are both good. I like the L-N-L quick change bushings myself.
    Imo, kits suck, & are incomplete from the start, so I pieced mine togather over time.

    Press, -I prefer Hornady
    Dies, -I prefer Redding
    Shell holder- RCBS
    Powder Throw, -I prefer RCBS
    Scale, -RCBS 5-0-5 beam scale
    Trickler, -Redding, cause its heaviest. You'll understand soon enough, they tip over easy.
    Funnel- brand doesn't really matter
    Priming tool, -RCBS, or Hornady
    Primer pocket brush, -Lyman
    Champher/de-burring tool, -Lyman
    Case trimmer, -Lyman
    Case Lube, - I prefer Redding sizing Wax
    calipers, -I prefer digital. Got mine for $30 bucks at NAPA Autoparts.
    Lastly, a ***Loading Manual***, -I prefer the Hornady book, but most any will do. It teaches you what you need to know, & gives safe loads as well as bullet info such as BC, & SD, + has powder burn rate charts etc, primer charts, cross reference for shell holders etc, conversion tables, & handgun load data too.

    Tumbler, & media separator are a good tool, but not absolutely nesicary for starting out.
    Same for VLD Champher tool, & universal de capping only dies, bullet puller, & stuck case remover...... Ya..... Itll happen sooner or later...:rolleyes:


    OH YA,
    POWDER, PRIMERS, & BULLETS are kinda important too.
     
  4. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    Jan 15, 2012
    Cabela's has the Rock Chucker Supreme Kit on sale for something like $287 right now. I bought that kit a few months ago and added a few things to it - electronic scale, powder measure stand and baffle, case trimmer, caliper, stuff like that. Everything in red came in my kit. Not a bad deal. Shell holders, I picked them up with my dies. Trickler - bought used. Calipers - $13-$15 shipped on Amazon. Tumbler - given one for free.

    Still don't have a bullet puller or stuck case remover. Haven't had to mess with those yet.

    The question remains...are you loading a couple rounds here and there, or are you going to be doing at least a couple hundred a year? If it's a box of ammo here and there to sight the rifle in and then hunt, a hand press might suck for the amount of effort, but it will be stupid cheap and won't require you to build a bench or store the amount of equipment listed above.

    The RCBS press will take the Hornady L-N-L bushings with a conversion. I did it and love it for the quick change.
     
  5. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

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    Dec 4, 2011
    Reloading ain't cheap, at least to do it right. If you just shoot a few boxes a year I would suggest you stick with factory. Many of the shooters on these forums grew up with family or friends that taught them, and may even have given them tools they no longer needed. I did not have that advantage, I have read and continue to read a lot of books and manuals, talk to fellow shooters and call up techs from manufacturers and supply houses. And it takes $$, lots of $$ to do it right.

    Not trying to discourage you, just want you to make the choice you will be happy with. I would suggest you try to find someone locally who can spend a morning showing you how they do things (and hopefully they do it right) before you get involved.
     
  6. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    Another question to think about is this: are the factory offerings working for you? Does a load exist on the shelf somewhere that performs how you like (bullet type/weight, accuracy, and velocity)?

    If so, add up the cost of equipment and see how many rounds it will take you in reloading to make up for the cost of factory ammo. It won't account for your time, but it's something to consider.

    I started reloading because of the miserable selection for 260 Remington and next to nothing for 7.5x55 Swiss.

    I have a buddy who shoots a lot of 300 WSM, and he reloads and it "costs" a lot less per round, but you have to make the time to do it.

    My best load for my 260 is with a max load of RL22, so I weigh every single charge from my powder measure to ensure it's not over.

    I second the recommendation to find someone to show you the ropes. Another option - find someone who will work up a load with you that's reputable. I had a guy willing to load whatever I wanted. He worked up a load, took me to the range, shot several different loads over a chronograph and found the accuracy load. It would have been pretty inexpensive to get ammo from him. I just wanted to be able to do my own for several calibers and didn't want to be high and dry if the guy gave it up or I couldn't reach him. He even offered to help me set up my equipment after buying my own gear.
     
  7. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

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    jt - Excellent advice!

    And I would like to add for many of us it is also an interest/hobby so we enjoy the time spent and we justify the money as entertainment. We really like to do it. I have always enjoyed hand loading and when I saw the accuracy increase it just blew my mind, as mentioned just above by jt, so many possibilities open up.

    I don't think I have mentioned it in my posts, probably would have avoided bad feelings in another thread but I ran the trap range at a club for a number of years and I actually told more than one newbie to just buy factory for the first year or two, concentrate on the shooting. They all did that and many never got into the reloading aspect. It is not for everyone and shot shell is a walk in the park compared to metallic. .
     
  8. jtkratzer

    jtkratzer Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I enjoy the process. I think reloading falls pretty well into the DIY category. I'm a homebrewer love tinkering with brewing beer and working my own recipes, building my own electric brewery, and reloading is the same way. Figuring out what my rifle likes best is no different than figuring out what beer I like best.

    Your point about concetrating on shooting skills is important, too. Reloads, no matter how accurate, will not make up for poor marksmanship skills. With the number of choices out there in ammo, most people should be able to find something that will do at least 1.25" or better at 100. While that's not acceptable for a lot of shooters, it's plenty sufficient for minute of deer or other large game.

    You also nailed it that it has to be something you enjoy. I trimmed, chamfered, deburred, and primed a bunch of cases one evening this week at the coffee table while the Olympics were on because my wife, 2 year old, and newborn were down here and I didn't feel like sitting at the bench to do the basics on case prep. At some point though, like charging the cases, you need to do that without distraction and that usually pulls you away from family.

    I'm putting my motorcycle up for sale because I don't ride it that much any more as it pulls me away from my wife and kids. I'll get another one later one when we can leave the kids home for a bit by themselves and my wife and I can go for a ride together.

    It can be a time consuming hobby if you're going for absolute precision, measuring each case after trimming, overall length of completed rounds, weighing each charge, weighing and sorting brass and bullets, etc.

    It can be very rewarding, but there is a "cost" associated with that outside of the initial investment.
     
  9. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    I didn't get into reloading just to save money. I wanted a totally cool, forever challenging hobby. I recommend Lee Classic Cast or Redding Ultramag for a press. I've had everything on my bench at one time or another and that's what I choose to keep. Forster makes excellent dies. Lee has all the specialy stuff you will ever need. A kit leaves a lot to be desired. If you haven't already done so, get a few different manuals and read and re-read them. The mechanics of reloading are dirt simple. All the magic is in the details. You can fine tune just about any factory rifle to shoot well under MOA with handloads.
     
  10. veeman

    veeman Member

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Unless you have someone to mentor you I'd suggest picking up Lymen's latest reloading manual and Lee's reloading manual. Both have a lot of info on the reloading process and may help you decide what type of press will suit your needs. And you wont save any money but you will shoot a lot more and that will only extend your range while having fun.