How to start reloading.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bill Maylor, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Bill Maylor

    Bill Maylor Well-Known Member

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    I would like to start reloading. Would I be better off with a starter kit or buy select equpt. I want to load for these cal. 300RUM, 7MM, 270, 308, 257WBY,22-250, and a few pistol cals like 45ACP, 357, 38, 40, 380. My hunting buddy and I want to do this togather. I would rather buy right the first time. I learned this lesson with my optics. So I am asking where do I start? Any info will help. Thank you, Bill Maylor.
     
  2. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bill-

    Look down near the bottom of this page. There's a good bit of reading. You need to start somewhere. After you get started (just like anything else) you'll want to get some different and more specialized items. However I'd get started and then see what you wants and needs become. Lyman makes a good value starter kit with an electronic scale and case trimmer for around $300 when it's on sale at the usual suspects (midway, Natchez, midsouth, etc.). Most of the starter kits don't include a case trimmer.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f76/reloading-equipment-loads-brass-bullets-etc-28653/
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009

  3. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I was in your situation just a few months ago. I wound up ordering the RCBS starter kit, and then the basic RCBS dies, Forster trimmer, and electronic caliper. I kept it simple and only started with doing the 308 and 223 to start with. RCBS makes an upgraded kit with the electronic scales/powder dispenser. I went the simple route because I want to learn how to do it properly the first time.....that and its cheaper :p It takes longer to do the loading, but now that I finally got the components in I have made my first batch of bullets and will be going to the range this weekend to try them out. It is time consuming, and there are other equipment that will make it quicker and easier but not necessarily as accurate (or so I've read, please don't lynch me lol). Then again, that is how I am I would rather learn the hard way. I would start with one or two cartridges and then ensure that this is something that you want to do for all of your cartridges. If you buy for ALL your calibers it will be very expensive to start off with. I just started and have only made one batch of ammo to find my rifles sweet spot so I am still in the hole money wise, maybe one day it will finally pay off! Once again, I went with RCBS based off of talking with the few people I know that reload, I'm sure there will be a million different responses to which one people like/dislike. It's like asking which is better ford/chevy/toyota, each answer will depend on the person. I've had no issues with the RCBS, but once again I'm new and haven't tried anything else yet. Oh yeah, make sure you buy a good reloading manual (I have the Speer, Sierra, and Hornady since that's what I'm shooting and the Speer came with the kit), and I also bought the abc's of reloading book that has also helped tremendously. I read all of them several times as far as the process of actual reloading and tips several times before I attempted it. Waiting on the powder/bullets gave me lots of time to educate myself before trying.
     
  4. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    You need to start by reading some reloading manuals. The Lyman book is highly recommended, as are the Hornady and Speer. If you shoot a particular brand of bullet, be sure and acquire that company's manual. DVD's and higher level books are available. If you do not have a general knowledge of the types of equipment available, "The ABC's of Reloading" will give a broad overview.

    The following is a basic list of the better equipment:

    Redding Big Boss, T-7 turret, or Forster Co-Ax press - your choice
    Redding and/or Forster dies, Hornady lock rings
    RCBS ChargeMaster Combo powder measure/scale
    Wilson trimmer
    RCBS Universal or Lee AutoPrime hand-held priming tool
    Lee primer pocket cleaner or Sinclair primer-pocket uniformer
    VLD inside chamfering tool
    Dial caliper - cheap
    Imperial sizing wax
    Sinclair has good accessories and gauges - get a catalog

    A good beam scale (RCBS 502, 505, 10-10) and trickler (Redding) with a set of Lee dippers will serve in lieu of of the Chargemaster Combo if you wish to hold off on that investment. A mechanical powder measure is not recommended for extruded rifle powders.

    If you eventually decide to go progressive for handgun loading, look at the Hornady AP. It has an excellent powder measure.

    Research your individual equipment choices; there's a lot of info in forum threads.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  5. Bill Maylor

    Bill Maylor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Guy's, I have been reading on this site and have learned just enought to get my self in blowen uplightbulb. I will continue to read more at this site, and go buy the book on the ABC'S. Thanks for the list Winchester 69:). This looks like something you dont just jump into. Bill Maylor.
     
  6. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    I was looking around earlier for a recent post of mine that had a lot of information for you. I was looking on AccurateReloading and SnipersHide, and copied the short list from one of my posts there. Turns out the dissertation I was looking for is nathank's below, just like jmason said.
     
  7. Bill Maylor

    Bill Maylor Well-Known Member

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    Winchester69, Thanks for the list... I did copy it and will start pricing. I am going to the local book shop to find the ABC's book you are talking about. I am sure I will be asking more Q's. here shortley. Bill Maylor.
     
  8. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    One thing nobody has mentioned yet is that you'll eventually need a tumbler. I'd get one large enough rather than get a small one and buy another larger one. I did without something to get the tumbling media out of the cases for a year and finally broke down and bought a large dillon media separator. I don't regret that purchase at all. You will need some reloading blocks as well, they hold the cases while you go thru the reloading steps.

    I think my best reloading purchase was the Chargemaster combo.
     
  9. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    Check out MidSouth if you're going to buy reloading books; you can get them at a discount over what you'll pay in local bookstores.

    Reloading blocks are available from Sinclair and Midway (their brand is also available elsewhere (like LS&B) in custom configurations. Order the Sinclair catalog for future reference. Free from their website. If you're accuracy oriented, you'll be interested in some of their stuff.

    Other good web sources are Lock, Stock & Barrel and MidSouth Shooters Supply. LS&B's website is a little screwed up these days (lousy consultants); you may want to order a catalog. Everyones prices are going up these days, so you need to rely on the websites rather than the catalogs.

    I really like Redding as a primary source on most equipment. Whatever they offer is well made. That doesn't mean that you should ignore other equipment if it can do a better job for you. I've recommended the Ohaus scales, but Redding's is also well thought of. Forster also makes some very good stuff.

    Your primary job is to learn enough to anticipate your needs and to make educated choices. Feel free to ask questions.

    Lee makes a couple of good designs, but all of their stuff is cost-compromised; consider it a trade-off. RCBS ain't what it used to be; OK if you're buying used, although their priming tools are worth looking into.

    Your job for now is to read and ask questions; buying decisions come later.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  10. KY Gun Geek

    KY Gun Geek Well-Known Member

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    Good advice for starting out.

    You'll probably find that loading for the pistols is a different game than the rifles. GENERALLY you don't need to be nearly as precise. You still have to be careful, just not as picky.

    If you do pistol competition (IDPA, USPSA, SASS) or even if you do rifle competition (i.e. Fclass or hi-power0 you may feel the need for a progressive. Check out Dillon (Dillon Precision: Reloaders, Reloading Equipment, Bullet Reloading, Bullet Reloaders).

    Some may feel it is much harder (or impossible) to make quality ammo on a progressive, but I know about 1500 Prairie Dogs, and a few hi-power x rings that think the 223 and 22-250 I make on my Dillon are plenty accurate enough.

    Get a good turret type press so that you are not changing dies every 5 minutes. When you are starting out or piddling with a load, you will make small batches, which means you'll be changing dies. I use the Redding T-7, and love it. I sprang for an extra head, so now I can leave the dies for 4 cartridges set up. Just love it.
     
  11. Bill Maylor

    Bill Maylor Well-Known Member

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    When I buy reloading equp. it will be Dillon. I am a tool man:). I would like to move through the all the tasks as easy as posable. I am not looking for the cheap way out. I just want it to be right, and safely done. I was watching some clips on you tube. they showed the 550B press? and it looked like once you find the right load and spaceing you can leave these dies in place for that cal. from what I saw the plates were about $15ea. so once you get that round set leave it alone and use the next set of dies on a new plate. I am waiting for a Dillon catolog in the mail. I seems like each cal. cost about $130 or so to set up. sounds like fun:D.
     
  12. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Works pretty good for the lighter calibers (that don't require much in the resizing department). I have a 650 that I use for all my high volume pistol stuff (38, 357, 9mm, 40SW etc). I'll use it for 223 when I get one of those. But for all my real 'rifle' type cartridges (243 Win up through 338AM), I use a single stage.

    The Dillon progressives are great, but aren't designed (in my opinion) for serious resizing duties.

    AJ
     
  13. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    IME, you haven't given adequate consideration to the compromise with rifle powders and mechanical powder measures. That and the need for case prep after sizing can influence the efficacy in using a progressive.

    You're approaching your buying decisions with limited information. Consider that you're developing a process, not buying equipment. You have to determine the results you want to achieve at each step and how they can be attained. It's a bigger job than it seems. Study up on brass preparation and powder dispensing, especially consistency. Your perspective will change.
    .
     
  14. Bill Maylor

    Bill Maylor Well-Known Member

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    Well guys I have not baught anything yet. So ya'll think a single stage press works better for rifle rounds because you spend more time with each round? Looking, measureing, weighting,ect. More hands on makes for a better round. Next Q is a electrical scale better then a beam scale? And I do understand what ya'll are saying, so I need to give this some more thought.. Bill Maylor.