Reloading. Where to start?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Firearrow, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Firearrow

    Firearrow Well-Known Member

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    I your guys opinion, what do I need to buy to get started in reloading. I think I would like to piece it to geather instead of buying a kit, unless it is more cost effective to buy the kits. Would like to only have to buy an item one time instead of upgrading later. So the flood gates are open, so lay it on me. Thanks.gun)
     
  2. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    First thing to do is start reading all the threads in here :)

    I think the most important component(s) of your equipment will be your dies. I like Redding. I would highly recommend a competiton bullet seater for better concentricity and easier depth gauging. I would also recommend a neck sizer and body die instead of an FL (full length) and only size the body just enough to fit the chamber. It will probably take several firings and neck sizings before the body gets too fat to fit the chamber without forcing it. It is possible to neck size and partial body size with an FL sizer, but a neck and body die are a little more flexible. If you get a neck die, I highly recommend you get a floating button expander ball. You will need to call Redding for the correct part # for your cartridge. You will want to use a rubber O ring with it. This will help keep your neck concentric.

    All the other equipment probably wont vary much in quality and most of it will get the job done. Some of it will function better than others.

    My recommendations:

    RCBS Rock Chucker press and shell holder(s)
    RCBS 10-10 scale
    RCBS hand primer
    Any powder trickler
    Pocket cleaning tool
    Deburring tool
    Cheapest vibrating tumbler that will hold 100 cases (use walnut media)
    Cabella's dial caliper's (they're the cheapest and good quality)
    One Shot Spray Lube (do not, I repeat, do not get a gel case lube and pad! One shot is soooo much easier and cleaner)
    Case holder tray
    Case trimmer (optional for now - mannual or power... power is easier to use but spendy)

    Most importantly... learn all the safety factors and techniques reqired for safe handloading.

    Have fun :D

    -MR
     

  3. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    MR gave you very good advice.

    Just a couple small differences in his recommendations and mine.

    I like digital calipers better than dial calipers, because you can more easily zero and do comparisons. Bullet comparators attach to the blade of the comparator, the calipers are zeroed and bullets are then measured directly.

    I'd add the hornady L-N-L bullet comparator to your list. I have the large kit, it is very complete. Bullet Comparators

    I use imperial sizing lube for my LR reloading. I use the one shot when I'm reloading hundreds of rounds of pistol ammo though. I apply the impreial sizing lube by hand and feel it works better for resizing the larger cases than the spray on stuff.


    AJ
     
  4. Firearrow

    Firearrow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Looking back over my list, a tumbler that holds 50 large rifle shells should be good enough and AJ is probably right about the digital calipers. I have always used the dial and never felt the need to change.

    -MR
     
  6. m249

    m249 Well-Known Member

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    These guys pretty much hit the nail on the head. You might want to put a overall case length gauge on your list. Stoney Point and Hornady make good ones, and read everything and anything you can get your hands on about reloading.

    Good luck and happy reloading!
     
  7. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    One other change.

    I have both the RCBS and Lee hand prime units. I'd recommend the Lee over the RCBS, it's easier to use, easier to change shell holders and is cheaper. It uses it's own type of shell holders, a complete set is a few dollars.

    AJ
     
  8. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Firearrow,

    Nobody asked the $64 question here; what are you reloding? That'll make a very big difference in what is and is not required for your loading. The other thing that no one mentioned (and I think everyone overlooked it because it's so obvious) is a Reloading Manual. Many good choices out there, but you need a good manual to get you started right. Most have some very good sections on the reloading process itself, and are invaluable for a novice reloader. Read it cover to cover (whichever one you choose), and it'll answer most of the questions you may come up with. Anything else, start a new thread here, and you'll get al the answers you need!

    Hope it helps,

    Kevin Thomas