Getting started

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by shortnugly, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. shortnugly

    shortnugly New Member

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Looking to get started on reloading.

    Anyone recommend a good book and gear to get started?

    I have a:

    • Rem 700 7mm mag,
    • Howa 243,
    • Tikka T3 300 Win Mag,
    • Springfield XD 9mm,
    • Marlin 30-30 and looking to buy more.
    Goal is to improve accuracy initially for hunting/target loads and generally spend more time shooting.

    I'd like to learn more about ballistics and tweak rounds.

    Thanks for any help you could provide.
     
  2. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I reckon you should go slow and do a lot of research .
    Steer clear of package deals and kits and buy specific equipment based on quality , performance and need .
    Redding make very good dies and presses and powder measures so you could start there . RCBS makes a good O frame press as does Lyman
    There is many variations on the basic ways to reload so you need to work out what level of loading you need and make the purchases suit that end use.
    Don't be sucked in by the expensive gadget crowd as many are just not required for basic loading .
    The most basic mistake a new reloader can make is rushing out and buying before you know anything about reloading or what you need . In that situation you are just a prime target for the sales pitch .
    You sound like you are on the right track asking about good books first .
    Unfortunately I can't advise on books now because all the ones I have are out of print and mainly designed for another country .
    The Sierra manual would be a good start .
     

  3. shortnugly

    shortnugly New Member

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    Bulletbumper, thanks for the feedback. I'll look up those brands.

    I'll also look for the Sierra manual.

    Also, going to talk to the guy that sold me the 300 win mag. He reloads and showed me the ballistics argument over the 270.

    Appreciate your help.
     
  4. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    Just about any of the manuals are good to walk you through the basics. I especially like the Nosler manual because their "accuracy" loads work. The Hodgdon manual is good in that it provides pressure data for their loads. Lee and Lyman are good learning books. I didn't care for the Hornady manual.

    "Steer clear of package deals and kits and buy specific equipment based on quality , performance and need ." This is excellent advice.
     
  5. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I recommend this book:

    Handloading for Competition by Glen D Zediker ISB0-9616925-9-X. It's a very good resources and touches with good detail on just about all aspects of reloading. It's a easy book to read.
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    *get your hands on a copy of Fred Sinclair's book "Precision Handloading". It will teach you the basics of each phase of the operation.

    * see that you shoot a couple belted magnums, so i recommend you buy the die from Inovative Technologies. It's made to size the area just above the belt where regular dies won't do that.

    * buy good seating dies! Forster and Redding are the best. You don't need the micrometer head on them unless you plan on switching out bullets on a regular basis (you can add the micrometer headt to the Forster at a later date)

    * Most all full length dies are of similar design and quality. I'd just start out with something like a Lee or an RCBS

    * don't bother with neck sizing for at least a year!!

    * buy good measuring tools from the start. In this area you usually get what you pay for

    * Buy a good case trimmer. I spent enough money of trying out the cheap ones to buy three Wilsons with all the case holders

    * personally I use nothing but electronic scales, but others around here will swear by their analog scales. An RCBS 10-10 will do more than everything you'll ever want

    * buy a good priming tool from the start. Sinclair makes the very best, but a K&M is running right on it's door step. The rest are toys

    * Presses are all pretty much the same, but with a couple exceptions. The Lee cast iron press is a good press to learn on, and still last for quite awhile. I use a Forster which a lot of folks think highly of. At least buy a cast iron "O Frame" press. Being as your going to do magnum cases I'd also look for a press with some beef in the frame

    * powder measurers are a mixed bag, and I've used quite a few over the years. Hard to beat the cheap Lyman #55 with a Sinclair bottle kit and drop tubes. None of them do long grained stick powders all that well, so keep that thought in mind

    avoid reloading kits! In a year's time you replace half the stuff in the kit with better stuff. Keep a couple of log books on your reloading operation. I keep one for each rifle and another for the powder measurer.

    gary
     
  7. shortnugly

    shortnugly New Member

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    Thanks all. Great advice. I'm saving this thread off to a document that I'll refer to when I begin buying equipment.

    Another question I have that I may answer myself. With the wide range in calibers and aside from cases, primers and dies, how much equipment can I re-use.
     
  8. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    Could you rephrase that question please as I am not getting your drift .
     
  9. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    I think he is looking for this - you can "re-use" all the equipment on every cartridge except cartridge specific tools like dies and shell holders and parts to your trimmer. I like the Lee Case Length Gage trimmers and have one for each of the 6 cartridges I load. The press, scale, powder measure, tumbler etc are common to all cartridges. You don't need a dedicated setup for each. I also like single stage presses for their simplicity of use, one die at a time. The Lee Classic Turret is a fantastic press that offers can be used as an auto indexer or single stage by removing the rod.
     
  10. drbill

    drbill Well-Known Member

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    I just love that Sinclair book. Have you heard if he is making another edition or did he give up? Maybe I missed out.

    Larry Willis is a very cool customer as well. Innovative Technologies makes some neat stuff. Heck he even fixed mine for free when i jacked mine up by sticking a case in it. Get his videos too if you can swing it.
     
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    have not spoke with Fred in quite awhile. His book is the bible for doing it right.
    gary
     
  12. shortnugly

    shortnugly New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying, Yes that's what I was looking for. I don't mind spending and buying a couple more single stage presses if that ultimately works better.

    Not too concerned about the handgun loads, just the rifle.

    Also getting ready to pick up a Savage 93R17 BSEV. Kind of on the smaller end of a rifle load.
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    The Forster is the squarest and the straitest press on the market, but also pretty expensive. They are fairly big and fairly heavy for what they are. On the otherhand they tend to stay tight thru out their lifetime. The "O" and "C" framed presses tend to wear much faster under hard use. I doubt you'll use an "O" frame enough with the range of loads your using to worry too much about it. Plus it's obvious that your shoot hunting rifles and not target rifles. So that little Lee will do most anything your after. But if you plan on doing a lot of reloading and also plan on using the press 30 years, then I'd look at something on the level of the Forster. Mine was bought in 1978, and it just as tight today as the day I unpacked it in 1978. I also use a small RCBS Partner for some odd jobs that are easier done than with the Forster (bullet pulling, sawing cases off , etc)

    One thing that most folks fail to realize till they have their new press home is that their bench top may not be built heavy enough. The "O" and "C" framed presses require a pretty heavy bench top because of the way the power transfers thru the press. Not a big deal, but keep that in mind. The Forster power stroke is strait down, and you can get buy with a 1" thick piece of wood. I recommend getting a pair of 10 gauge steel plates that are about six inch square with the bolt pattern drilled in them. This will seriously strengthen up your mounting system. I use a home built riser with my Forster, and have built a 4", 6", and I'm currently using an 8" riser. Just kinda puts things up closer to eye level for my old eyeballs.

    A complete change on the subject matter but still in the same trane of thought. I recommend buying a Wilson case trimmer. You can often find them cheap on Ebay, and they are simply the best. The Sinclair is a Wilson with a lot of stuff added to it (good ideas by the way). Their trimmer cuts case mouths squareer than any other I've seen or used. A few guys I shoot with use the Forster setup, and I have a couple of them. I found the Wilson to be much better. But still use the Forster for other odd jobs like cleaning primer pockets and even deburring certain cases.

    And to even further this discussion, buy good measuring tools from the start!!!
    You'll need a good pair of 1" micrometers that read down to one ten thousandth of an inch. Learn to get accurate readings in tenths while watch the TV. I use a pair of 4" Mitutoyo analog calipers 80% of the time for reloading. Been using these since April 1970, and they've never let me down. Avoid the Starrett analog calipers like the plague! and the Browne & Sharps are not anybetter. Reason why is that when you have to reset them you have to literally take them apart! The Mitutoyos simply use a brass shim and the whole job takes about 90 seconds.. I also own several pairs of digital ones, and all are pretty good ( B&S, Starretts, and Fowlers). I like the Starretts best because I can simply slide the battery contacter to one side so it dosn't drain the battery. Remember you cannot get high precision measurments with calipers reading an inside diameter!! Close but never perfect. Also buy the Hornaday lock & load case gauge outfit! This is a great little outfit, and can get you into very accurate seating depths.
    gary