Getting Started Re-Loading

James Bailey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
71
Location
Odessa, TX
I`m new to the site and want to get into re-loading at the tender age of 50. I know I`m old, but I`m just now finding that I have time to do this. I need to know everything that I need to do this right. There are a lot of "starter kits" out there but some have components that others don`t have and I want to make sure I get everything I need. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks ahead of time!
 

Dosh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
3,761
Location
Arizona
JB, several threads on this over the years. Check the search top right. Your budget will dictate how complete a collection of tools you get. I've replaced many of my reloading tool over the years, upgrading and adding new. IMO a few parts of most "kits" are fairly useless and the quality of some included tools are not great. As often said, "buy once cry once ". There are as many opinions on which reloading tool to buy as there are brands. Perhaps get all brass prep tools, calipers, scale (the electronic scales are good if you get the very high end) I prefer the beam type, press, case trimmer, tumbler and cleaners. Good luck
 

Rich Coyle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
4,469
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
Dosh is close to me. I would get the smallest kit; if I even bought a kit. I would certainly get the press the best shooters recommend. From there I would go with Forester dies and maybe a Lee collet die. I also prefer a beam scale. I use electronic calipers. The caliper can be used to check headspace with a pistol case longer than the neck of your rifle case by putting the open end over the neck to the shoulder. Put the caliper over the two bottoms and zero the scale on a fired case. Now you should size your cases to about .002" under that. There are tools made for this, but this can certainly get you by.

Lubes are apparently like women. I like Hornady One shot. You MUST give it a full minute to dry before sizing the cases. Some here like imperial was. Others like the case lube pads. In any case you might get yourself a stuck case remover kit. Eventually you will need it.

You will need to establish the overall length so you don't get bullets stuck in the bore and dump powder in the action when you open the bolt. None of us here have ever done that, but we have heard about it. Maybe someone can tell you a very good way to check for over all length.
 

Remmy700

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
5,094
Location
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
You are going to get a lot of good info on this site brother and welcome. Here is a short list of what I currently use:

Forster Co-Ax Press
A&D Fx 120i scale
Wilson/Sinclair Micrometer Case Trimmer
Mitutoyo Calipers
Redding Type S or Forster BR dies / Used in conjunction with Sinclair expander mandrels
K&M Neck Turner
Hornady Comparator set along with Hornady headspace set for measuring Seating depth and shoulder bump.

As mentioned above there are plenty of options for lube but I currently have had great luck with Imperial. Have also used hornady one shot and it works very well also. And also spend the dime and get you a good reloading manual. And most importantly don't be afraid to ask questions, there are some very knowledgeable members here that are more than glad to help. Best of luck.
 

Canhunter35

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
2,954
When I started I went with the advice of the guy who sold it and is an avid shooter. I haven’t upgraded anything yet.
Hornady locknload press
Hornady electronic dispenser/ scale measurer
Rcbs hand priming tool
A multi size funnel
Hornady case trimmer(I would look into the Forster? Whichever one bevels the edges while trimming.
A case beveler
Sinclair primer pocket leveller(stick it in a drill and level/clean primer pockets
K&m flash hole reamer
Those are the tools I use
 

Joshuak12

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
45
Location
Pine Bluff, AR
Hi James, the more you reload and figure out what your goals are (do I want to primarily load hunting rounds or target, what type of hunting, what type of target shooting, etc.) you will identify things you want to acquire and or upgrade that you didn't initially buy no matter what you start out with. But to get started here's what I recently recommended to a friend who wants to load primarily for deer hunting with his .30-06.

  • A press - I would not overspend initially. Keep it simple while you learn your processes.
  • Dies - I like the Lee Ultimate Die Set for my reloading, but your goals may point you a different direction. Nothing wrong with starting with a simple $35 set from Hornady or RCBS. Nothing wrong with higher end sets from Forster, Redding, or others.
  • Case lube - Rich covered it well in his post.
  • A manual or two (or three or four) - they're all interesting, all a little different, and you need to start with very safe numbers for your loads. The Lee manual does a nice job of explaining basic processes.
  • Powder funnel - I'm partial to caliber specific Satern funnels
  • Powder scale - either spend a little extra here or get the Lee Safety Scale and be content with loading slowly. Don't go the cheap digital route. Some will disagree with me but a good scale and a plastic spoon negate the need to spend on an expensive powder charge system.
  • A kinetic bullet puller.
  • Calipers for sure.
  • Something to trim, chamber, and deburr cases.
  • A priming tool. The Lee Ram Prime works fine for me.
  • Shell holders - may come with your die set.
  • Loading tray(s) - trust me, you want a couple.
There are lots of things that you could add (primer pocket cleaning tool, brass tumbler, etc.) but I think the list above will get you started. If not, other posters will fill in the blanks. One thing I can't endorse strongly enough is The Practical Guide to Reloading by Nathan Foster. You can order it here https://www.ballisticstudies.com/shop/The+Practical+Guide+to+Reloading.html
and it will tell you how to go from brand new to proficient and give you an understanding of everything you're doing so that you know how to customize what you do to serve your individual goals.
 

The Oregonian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
1,403
Location
Missoula, Montana
You are going to get a lot of good info on this site brother and welcome. Here is a short list of what I currently use:

Forster Co-Ax Press
A&D Fx 120i scale
Wilson/Sinclair Micrometer Case Trimmer
Mitutoyo Calipers
Redding Type S or Forster BR dies / Used in conjunction with Sinclair expander mandrels
K&M Neck Turner
Hornady Comparator set along with Hornady headspace set for measuring Seating depth and shoulder bump.

As mentioned above there are plenty of options for lube but I currently have had great luck with Imperial. Have also used hornady one shot and it works very well also. And also spend the dime and get you a good reloading manual. And most importantly don't be afraid to ask questions, there are some very knowledgeable members here that are more than glad to help. Best of luck.

I have much of the same equipment you do...just got the Fx120i and auto trickler V2 this week. Very fast and very precise - wish I had done it sooner.

OP - it is a lot of fun, very rewarding, and helps your shooting. But open up your wallet, take a look, and realize that that wallet is going to get a workout.:)
 

James Bailey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
71
Location
Odessa, TX
Hi James, the more you reload and figure out what your goals are (do I want to primarily load hunting rounds or target, what type of hunting, what type of target shooting, etc.) you will identify things you want to acquire and or upgrade that you didn't initially buy no matter what you start out with. But to get started here's what I recently recommended to a friend who wants to load primarily for deer hunting with his .30-06.

  • A press - I would not overspend initially. Keep it simple while you learn your processes.
  • Dies - I like the Lee Ultimate Die Set for my reloading, but your goals may point you a different direction. Nothing wrong with starting with a simple $35 set from Hornady or RCBS. Nothing wrong with higher end sets from Forster, Redding, or others.
  • Case lube - Rich covered it well in his post.
  • A manual or two (or three or four) - they're all interesting, all a little different, and you need to start with very safe numbers for your loads. The Lee manual does a nice job of explaining basic processes.
  • Powder funnel - I'm partial to caliber specific Satern funnels
  • Powder scale - either spend a little extra here or get the Lee Safety Scale and be content with loading slowly. Don't go the cheap digital route. Some will disagree with me but a good scale and a plastic spoon negate the need to spend on an expensive powder charge system.
  • A kinetic bullet puller.
  • Calipers for sure.
  • Something to trim, chamber, and deburr cases.
  • A priming tool. The Lee Ram Prime works fine for me.
  • Shell holders - may come with your die set.
  • Loading tray(s) - trust me, you want a couple.
There are lots of things that you could add (primer pocket cleaning tool, brass tumbler, etc.) but I think the list above will get you started. If not, other posters will fill in the blanks. One thing I can't endorse strongly enough is The Practical Guide to Reloading by Nathan Foster. You can order it here https://www.ballisticstudies.com/shop/The+Practical+Guide+to+Reloading.html
and it will tell you how to go from brand new to proficient and give you an understanding of everything you're doing so that you know how to customize what you do to serve your individual goals.
This is great advise! One of the things imImost looking forward to is reading and learning how! Thanks for the help!!
 

jasonco

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
1,381
Location
Colorado
save munay by reloading.jpg
save munay by reloading.jpg
save munay by reloading.jpg Welcome to it
 

James Bailey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
71
Location
Odessa, TX
Guys, one thing I didn`t ask is a for a good place to do this shopping online. Are there better options than just Midway? I will be basically loading for 4 rifles to begin with:
26 Nosler built on a Model 700 300 RUM Donor action
28 Nosler MRC X#
30 Nosler M48 Custom Shop
280 Remington Browning X-Bolt
I have a lot of other rifles in diverse calibers but this is where I want to get started. Thanks!
 

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