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Kitchen table reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by PAGunner, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. I'll start by saying I've never reloaded in my life, but I find myself wanting all the oddball handgun capitate (.357sig, 10mm, .45GAP), so I've been thinking about learning how to reload, and I have several questions, but I'll start by stating I live in a condo, so I have garage space I could set a reloaded up. I recently learned about the Lee Loader Kits which are very light, I didn't even know such a thing existed. Anyway, for my questions.

    1. Is the Lee Loader or similar product available in .357sig, 10mm and .45GAP?

    .2 Crimping, I know this helps with bullet setback, particularly with .357Sig, is crimping possible with a Lee Loader type kit?

    .3 Would you trust the reliability of handloaded ammo for self defense? Assuming the handloaded (yourself) knows what he is doing?

    I probably sound like a total newb, so forgive my ignorance, I'm trying to gain knowledge and make myself less ignorant when it comes to reloading, so any advice will help. Please do take note of my living situation, I don't expect this to change for a long time if ever.
  2. rpgman

    rpgman SCGLOCK

    Jul 27, 2011
    well, for me number 3 is I purchase my SD ammo even though I reload.

    Sorry, I can't answer numbers 1 and 2, since I've never loaded on a Lee.

  3. With .357sig and 10mm I want hottest ammo I can carry, like buffalo bore, underwood, DT level hot. Only I don't like the bullets they use and would love to learn how to fish, rather than buy my fish, catch my drift?
  4. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Pard, I don't know anything about the Lee Loader, But I did start with a RCBS Rock Chucker Press and scales/dies etc, over 40 + years ago on the kitchen counter top... Ha Ha. ( I was single 'then' ).

    I been using the RC press and RCBS stuff all this time (press replaced some years back) and really like it...

    I am sure Lee has all you need for every caliber....

    As far as do I trust my hand loads for SD ? That is all I use for SD. I do not have much confidence in Factory loads ever since one blew up one of my guns.

    As far as the "hottest ammo you can carry." That depends on what your going to do with it. Certain bullets at certain vels, in certain calibers may not be wise for human SD in a city or suburban atmosphere.. It's not always the fastest hottest nuclear wizz bang that gets the job done man..

    You will need to get (my suggestion) several good solid loading manuals, and study...

    Decide what bullet you want for the caliber your loading for and stay within the limits or boundries of what that load book tells ya.

    I'd be a liar to say I do not/ have not, strayed from the "books," I have. But to start out this is especially not wise, so slow down on all the "hottest badest butt loads idea", is my suggetion to ya 'while your learning..."

    Just A thought.

    Once ya start the hand loading, you'll never want factory stuff again.

    Good luck to ya, perhaps someone else can help ya with the Lee Set up.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  5. Hogpauls


    Nov 6, 2009
    Like PA and the others I can't testify to the quality of Lee products but have read many good results from their loaders.

    As to rolling your own SD rounds, well I'm with RPGman. I reload but purchase factory for SD. Many people do, but I prefer not to be raked over the coals by some liberal lawyer. YMMV. There are plenty of good offers from manufactures for SD and once you reload it is very easy to produce the same or similar ammo for practice.

    There are a gazillion and one threads on the debate of loading your own SD ammo. The choice is yours.
  6. Street Cruiser

    Street Cruiser

    Oct 23, 2009
    I use a Lee Challenger single stage press and it has performed great. If your on a budget or tight on space (or both) Lee is not a bad way to go. I don't have any experience with the handloader presses so can't attest to those.

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  7. Not really a budget issue, I'd be willing to pay for a quality system, but I need something portable, I cannot have anything fixed, just doesn't work for condo living.
  8. as long as you handload to the guidelines of the books, I can't imagine how a "liberal lawyer" could rake you over the coals for handloading. There are at least a million reasons someone would wanna handload, and if it's an issue with "hot ammo" the liberal lawyer can say anything he wants but will look dumb doing so, so let them try. Justified deadly force is justified, no such thing is deadlier deadly force, and we're talking about handguns, which are inherently weak stoppers compared to a shotgun or rifle, even in a magnum flavor. My life is worth too much to me to sacrifice stopping power if I ever justifiably need to use a weapon in self defense.
  9. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Get a Single stage press (Lee Classic Cast, or an RCBS Rock Chucker)... If you really wanna get fancy, get a Lee classic turret (that's what I would do..). Whatever press you get, anchor it to a piece of plywood. When you want to load, c-clamp it to the table, when done reloading, unclamp and put in the closet.

    This is another option... Bolt your press of choice to the top, when done with it, lay it flat on the floor of a closet, and it will be "reasonably" out of the way. You can also use the c-clamp/plywood method here to if you like.

    I'm also of the mindset, it is much smarter to buy factory self defense loads, than roll my own. I have every confidence I could roll accurate and reliable ammunition.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  10. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    In a black and white world, justified deadly force is justified... if you live in a black and white world however, you're living on the land of Oz. You don't have to be a master of Google to find stories of prosecutors on a witch hunt. If you want some examples, pick up a copy of Combat Handguns, and read Massad Ayoob's "Self Defense and the Law".

    The problem is evidentiary (GSR, ballistics, etc..). If you're using a factory load, experts can be called to testify to the fact with proven data on why a certain round performed in a certain way, why GSR was patterned how it was, etc..

    With your handloads, this simply cannot be done.

    I'm not saying don't do it, that's your decision. I'd research a few of Massad's posts on this matter and give it a lot of thought.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  11. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    +1 on using C-Clamps to mount a single stage press to a table without having to drill holes in the table.
    +1 on using Factory ammo for SD, a sharp lawyer could take you apart in court by saying that you were just itching to shoot someone, so much so that you hand crafted loads just for that reason. With Factory ammo he can't touch you with that argument.
    +1 on saving money on some of the less popular calibers like .357Sig, 10mm, ect. They're no more expensive to load for then a 9x19mm or 40S&W, maybe just a bit more powder but that's it.
    There are some hand presses on the market that use standard dies, hit the Midway USA site and see what you can come up with. Basic stuff would be a Press, Dies(get the Lee and you'll have a shell holder and powder dipper) and a good loading book. You can add a scale, powder measure and calipers at a later date.
    Reloading ammo isn't all that hard, you just need to pay attention to what you're doing and take your time.
  12. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Only thing I'd reiterate is the advice to wait until you have some pretty solid experience before wandering into the "as hot as I can get it" territory.
  13. I mounted a RCBS Rockchucker Supreme to a 2*8 and used wood clamps to attach it to my dining room table. It worked well for me, and all I had to do was unclamp it to store in the garage.
  14. chemcmndr


    Aug 23, 2008
    Beavercreek, OH
    Don't quote me on this, but if I remember correctly, the Lee classic loader kits do not fully resize the brass like a resizing die would. I believe they act more like a neck sizing die. What this boils down to is that for bottle neck rounds, the brass will only fit into the chamber that it was originally fired in. Also, with just the Lee classic loader kits, you seem a bit more limited in the variations that you can do with the loads and it seems like they are a bit slower than a regular press. If anything, I would try the Breech Lock Hand Press. It's small enough that you could have a whole reloading setup in a tool bag and still takes standard dies, so if you decide to upgrade, you will have a lot of the equipment already, plus you still have a hand press for small batches.

    But, to answer your questions:

    1. Looking at Lee's website, there aren't any Lee Classic Loader Kits in any of the 3 calibers you mentioned.
    2. Moot point
    3. From a reliability standpoint, I would trust my 124 +P 9mm Gold Dot clones I made, but I still carry factory to alleviate any potential legal ramifications.
  15. why is number 2 a moot point? Isn't crimping important for avoiding bullet setback and over pressure? What am I missing forgive me, but I'm about as much of a newb when it comes to reloading as one can be.
  16. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Roll crimp is used in Revolver calibers. It does prevent bullet setback.

    Taper Crimping in Pistol simply removes the flare. It does nothing to prevent setback. That is prevented by proper bullet tension (provided by proper sizing die).
  17. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    I had that idea also with .357sig. Then I experienced some bullet setback with standard 1350fps rounds loading under max and I thought differently. When loaded below max a little setback may be ok but with loads at the max that same amount of setback can cause a Kaboom and ruin weekend.

    I havn't seen the Lee Loader in .357sig, 10mm or .45 GAP. Even if they were available I sure wouldn't load ammo to the max with them.

    Pretty sure they full length size the auto pistol calibers. I think the rifle rounds are neck sized.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  18. So what is the point of crimping? I thought I remember reading somewhere on this forum crimping did help prevent setback, and the caliber being discussed was .357sig.
  19. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    The taper crimp removes the flare that is used to guide the bullet for seating as he said. A taper crimp is different from a roll crimp like you would find on a .357mag round.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  20. LZHome


    Nov 15, 2007
    NW Florida
    As for being portable: I took my Dillon 550 and mounted it on a 2x8 about 24 inches in length. I place this on a sturdy counter top or bench and use two c-clamps to secure it.

    I have been doing this for years and it works great since I am now reloading in the garage which is too damp to leave my press there overnight so I just bring it inside and place it in the closet.

    The Dillon is an upscale compated to the Lee but those of us that have one would not use anything else.