wanting to start but no clue where...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by fisherman98, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. fisherman98

    fisherman98 Member

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    i am wanting to start to reload my own rounds and have read a few articles on this site and it helped some but i am still clueless. I need everything and no idea where to start. I know i need a press, dies, scale, calipers, some lube and stuff what am i missing? Would it be better to buy a kit or buy things separate. Anyone know where i can get an video or step by step on how to do it?
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest you start with a good reloading manual. Many bullet manufacturers make them and they usually have a good outline of the proceedure in them too.

    Shawn at Defensive Edge offers a good reloading video for long range hunting loads. It is more of an advanced video but you will want to see it sooner or later.

    Jeff
     

  3. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Fisherman,

    Plenty of kits out there, but I'd suggest buying your equipment piecemeal. For one thing, there isn't one maker that produces the best of everything. RCBS makes good stuff, as does Redding, Forster, Dillon and Lee and so on. But none of them makes the best of everything, if you get my drift. I think Forster makes the best press, but I like Redding dies. Dillon makes the best dies for loading on progressives, and they make flatly the best progressive presses going. I use very little Lee equipment, but they produce a series of Factory Crimp Dies that are hands-down the greatest crimp dies for use with handguns on the market. You don't have to be monogamous with your equipment, and it's worthwhile to check out the entire field before committing to a purchase based on brand alone.

    You may also want to check out the for sale section of sites like this, since you can probably pick up most of what you need. Probably save some $ at the same time. Good advice from Jeff, though, and that's where to start. Pick up one or more relaoding manuals and familiarize yourself with the "how-to" process of relaoding. And don't be bashful about asking questions when you get stumped. We've all been there, and had to start somewhere. Welcome to the hobby, and stay safe!
     
  4. twiedenh

    twiedenh Well-Known Member

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    May 24, 2011
    Checkout youtube. I watched enough videos and read enough articles that by the time I got all of my equipment together I felt pretty confident in what I was doing. I bought a lyman kit that came with everything I needed except calipers and dies. To get started it's all I needed. I definitely want to invest in better calipers and scale but to get started it was more than sufficient to buy a kit.
     
  5. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    Nov 26, 2010
    I will respectfully disagree. I'd get a good RCBS kit. Sure I have some things from just about everyone that I've collected over the years, but to get started making safe ammo that goes bang, and kills critters every bit as dead as that spendy stuff in the stores, get a kit and a good manual. Read it and understand what they say. Those folks that wrote those manuals are the experts. What they say is the truth. What some other experts say (even the nice folks around here) must be taken with a grain of salt. You'll soon get confident and understand that it's really pretty simple and safe to make good ammo. It's like changing your own oil or tying your own flies or any number of other things you can do yourself and do well. A lot of satisfaction comes from it.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  6. BlackStreak

    BlackStreak Active Member

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    My brother-in-law asked me pretty much the same question. I compared kits to ordering the stuff one piece at a time. I think it come out to around 100 dollars difference but I don't remember which scenario was cheaper. However, in my opinion; getting a kit would probly be the way to go if u don't have a mentore of sorts helping u pick out the various individual components.
    I do have one heads up for u. The shell holder will not come with a kit I don't think. ( Least they didn't in mine years ago). When you purchase your dies, it will tell you on the box of dies what size shell holder you will need for that particular case. You will also be best served with full length dies. I would recomend a didgital scale also. Keep your cell phone away from your scale when your scale is turned on or it will send your reading nuts and cause u to constantly recalibrate your scale but to no aveil. I about pulled my hair out before I realized what was causing it.
     
  7. rmorgan9718

    rmorgan9718 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Agree with everything said. I had a mentor to lead me thru the basics, and it became the basis for a 35 year friendship.

    Caliber dependent, start with a single stage press, the best you can afford. It's hard to beat the RCBS Rockchucker, and they are available on ebay or craigslist for $40 to $100. Get a good scale, Digital is OK but finicky sometimes, a steel caliper, I'm not a digital fan, one or two sets of dies for something easy to load, and follow the manual religiously.

    Once these go bang and your accuracy is acceptable, then look to branch out. I used RCBS RS for 30 years before I broke down and got a Rockchucker. Now there are two RS's, two Rockchuckers, three Dillon 550's, and two or three others I am resurrecting for friends.

    Go Slow, measure and weigh everything, twice! Ask someone at a range if they reload and would be willing to guide/advise you.

    Good luck and welcome to the addiction.
     
  8. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Buy the manuals for the bullets and powders you are loading with. If you are using sierra bullets and Hodgen powder get those two manuals first. From there many stores have the books open so you can browse through them. Read every one of them and then write down the information. Sportsmans Warehouse has a different book for each caliber, i bought every one for each caliber.

    Walmart has the best price for the RockChucker Supreme press which was 275 i believe. Its well worth it, as it has everything you need, that is not caliber specific.

    As for a digital scale unless you are willing to throw 200 or more on it get a balance (i think it comes with the kit). A balance scale is much more accurate and much cheaper when you consider the parts to go wrong. Electronic scales use stress sensors and they can eaily become damaged, and also ALWAYS have error. I bought one for $40 from Sportsmans Warehouse, and it reads about .7 gn off of my 10-5-10 scale (something like that from RCBS). So if i am weighing a 40 gn charge it could be anywhere form 39.3 to 40.7 gn. With a balance scale i am able to see individual grains of H4831.

    Another note about scales, i doubt that any of the scales are perfect. If you have the ability take every one out that they have in stock and weigh the same thing with all of them. Some of them will read alike, those are the ones i would pick.

    Also if your anal about weight (like me) invest in a set of lab quality weights. I have .1 gn, .5 gn, 1 gn, 5 gn, 10 gn, 25 gn, 50 gn, 100 gn, 500 gn. I calibated my scale for 56.0 gn (my pet load for 270).

    Work up loads slowly. When you start out ignore all of the "special" case prep. This includes Primer Pocket Cleaning/Uniforming, Flash hole deburring, neck turning. The only case prep you ABSOLUTELY need to do is case trimming. Using a good set of dial calipers. And the Supreme Kit has a lathe. All you need is a pilot. Case Length determines crimp. Unequal cases will crimp differently and that is bad jue jue. Case Deburring is a good idea as it helps prevent copper shaving, but do it lightly.

    Remember that more importnat than anything (including ACUTAL powder weight) is consistancy. I have found that consistancy will get me consistant POI. I may weight something that is 45 gn and you may weigh it to be 47gn. Thats why its also important to start well below the max (the accepted norm is 7-10%).

    Best advice i can give you is ask questions and read as much as you can. I learned the basics from my father, and then learned how to do precision loading. If you dont want to buy every book go to Sportsmans Warehouse and read them all. I have spent hours reading different books. An associate will come up to you, and they are usually a good person to talk to. At my store we have one guy who relaods for 68 different calibers, and another who was a Army Precision shooter. I have made friends with the guy who loads 68 calibers and now we exchange brass.