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Reloading tips for newbie?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Pinki, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Pinki

    Pinki Kiss My Glock CLM

    12,171
    1
    Nov 23, 2006
    North Carolina
    Just purchased a used Dillon RL550B and plan to start out with 9mm. Any all around tips and recommendations? Any tips for where to buy powder, primers, etc, brandnames, etc. ? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    There are several stickies at the top of the forum that contain a lot of the information you will need.

    Short answer for supplies: Powder Valley for primers and powder. Montana Gold or Precision Delta for jacketed bullets.

    I buy my lead bullets from Dillon but S&S Casting sells direct (I believe).

    Richard
     


  3. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    Try YouTube for videos re: the 550
    Download the manual from Dillon
    Make sure you have a decent scale, calipers (dial or digital) and, in my view, a case gauge (from Dillon, among others).

    Richard
     
  4. Some random tips from another newbie (started a year ago, successfully reloading 9mm)...

    - Unique powder is fool-proof, you can't double-charge a 9mm with it even if you try.
    - Can't go wrong with CCI 500 primers.
    - The cheapest FMJ bullets are Precision Delta.
    - Plated bullets look cute and shiny but they are not worth the trouble.
    - Buy powder/primers in bulk to save on hazmat fees.

    And a general reloading advice:
    - Read the manuals. Understand what you are doing. Pay attention. Take your time. Measure. Check your work. Have fun.
     
  5. njl

    njl

    7,800
    670
    Sep 28, 2000
    :noitacoL
    Universal Clays is another powder good for 9mm that's really hard to double charge (with 147gr bullets, it might be possible).
     
  6. Pinki

    Pinki Kiss My Glock CLM

    12,171
    1
    Nov 23, 2006
    North Carolina

    I saw the stickies but was looking for the "short answer" ==
    Thank you :)

    Thank you folks for the good ideas :hugs:
     
  7. skeeter7

    skeeter7 Brass Vulture

    10,266
    142
    Nov 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    This pretty much sums it up. Get a good manual and read it. When you do load, only load a small batch at first, maybe 20 rounds or so, and test those first to be sure it is a load you are happy with. Wear safety glasses and lastly, don't smoke while reloading. Haha!
     
  8. Smoker

    Smoker

    616
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    Jul 21, 2008
    NE Kansas
    Don't be lazy!! Read the tons of info already out here. Cutting that corner that early in your reloading days is a bad sign in my books. Cutting corners in reloading rarely works out..
     
  9. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    Good choice on the 550B, mine has pumped out quite a few rounds over the years. For jacketed bullets I use Precision Delta and for lead bullets I use Missouri Bullet Co. I have good results in 9mm (and others) with Unique, WST and TiteGroup, but there are many choices out there.

    Take your time and don't get in a hurry. Don't just look at one source for load data either, you will find that there are some discrepancies among them, some higher, some lower. Always compare it to manufacturers data, and play it safe if in doubt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  10. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    You should also have a copy of "ABC's Of Reloading", available at Amazon - also available as an eBook.

    Loading Manuals (3 recommended):
    Hornady Handbook Of Cartridge Reloading 9th Edition
    Lyman 49th Reloading Handbook
    Speer Reloading Manual #14
    All are available at Midway USA

    Many newcomers complain about multiple manuals but the rest of us have a lot more than 3. I'm a lightweight and I have 10, not including historical copies. The Speer manual will feature their bullets and Alliant powder, Hornady is more encompassing of powders but features their bullets and Lyman has a lot more information re: cast bullets. You still use the load data even if the bullet isn't exactly the one in the manual but you load carefully working up from the starting load. But bullets aren't interchangeable. It matters...

    BTW, read along starting at page 59 in Speer #14 where they suggest that you really can't look at primers and determine whether you are overpressure.

    You should be familiar with the web sites for the two major powder manufacturers:
    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx
    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    I prefer Hodgdon powders and, therefore, I use their site more often than Alliant. Others have a different view.

    Alliant doesn't give starting loads. They simply state, in the disclaimer, to start 10% below published data.

    Some references give pressure data for their load info. That allows you to pick a powder that will give the desired velocity while still minimizing pressure.

    I suppose it is worth remembering that we are working with products formed with nitroglycerin or nitrocellulose. A small mistake goes a long way.

    Richard
     
  11. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    IMO Learn to seat the bullet on station two before indexing. Use about .015" of flare and the bullet will stay in place (manual explains how to measure flare).

    And read the manual before you get the press, read it while you set it up and after you have owned it a couple weeks. Do no rely on videos of any sort. Read the manual.
     
  12. Pinki

    Pinki Kiss My Glock CLM

    12,171
    1
    Nov 23, 2006
    North Carolina
    Thank you :hugs:
     
  13. njl

    njl

    7,800
    670
    Sep 28, 2000
    :noitacoL
    After reading lots online, my Speer #14 manual, watching the youtube and Dillon DVD videos, I was kind of disappointed in the ABC's book's lack of detail or new info. I'd say check it out if your library has it. Otherwise, skip it.
     
  14. CaptainXL

    CaptainXL

    321
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    Nov 20, 2009
    Illinois
    Load and test small 10 round batches using different powders, bullets, etc. before loading large batches to determine what works best and is the most accurate in your particular gun. Keep concise records for each batch of reloads. Powder, powder weight, bullet mfg - weight -type, OAL, primer brand, etc.

    Shoot all test batches from a rest at a given distance and records group sizes. (I use a separate target for each new batch and save the targets.) Check for pressure signs with the first round of every batch. After shooting the whole batch check all brass in that test batch for pressure signs.

    Take your time when reloading and don't try to break any speed records. Increased speed will come about naturally as you become more experienced.
     
  15. KIDRAY

    KIDRAY

    26
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
    Utah, Nevada native
    I reload 9mm empty brass for approx 12.5 cents a round, here is what I use.

    - Either Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP38 powder
    - Winchester small pistol primers
    - The cheapest double struck FMJ/JHP bullets are Berrys Mfg. St. George Utah (free shipping orders over $50)
    - Jacketed bullets are your friend, thus barrel cleaning festivities are more pleasant.
    - Don't waste your money on fancy press name brands, I have used Lee for years and years without any issues.

    I will also state that when I reload, I am not trying to break the world record for number of rounds reloaded in an hour. Consistant, accurate, dependable reloads is what I reload for. You can bash Lee all you want, I've been reloading for years, watch out who you are calling a noob.

    Pay attention to OAL (over all length) specs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  16. PINKI!!!! You're reloading now??

    Anyways I'd suggest 3-4 loading manuals, from different brands and bullet manufacturers. Lyman, Lee, Hornady, and ones from bullet manufacturers are a good idea. The ABCs of reloading is a good place to start. I would suggest you get a bullet puller now rather then later, either a collet or an impact model. Work up your loads, never start at max. Good luck and enjoy being able to shoot more.
     
  17. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Could not disagree more. Unless your only talking Single Stages.
     
  18. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Yes, ABCs should come first! It is somewhat superficial and other manuals cover the same things. But it's only $13 as an eBook so it might be worth reading before spending a lot of money on equipment and manuals.

    Richard
     
  19. ...and I couldn't disagree more about plated bullets. Nearly every newb that begins with plated bullets has one issue or another. Reserve plated for the months down the road when you are more in tune to the subtleties of the components you choose.

    Plated are no cheaper than jacketed apparently - but that ain't the point anyway. Don’t leave the gate with one hurdle directly in front of you.
     
  20. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,710
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    so.cal.
    Spoken like someone that has never used better gear. Most Lee guys will say their regressive is fine, "why waste money". Then proceed to tell you they only get about 200rds/hr. So if the point is a lot of ammo in a short period of time, you just have to have better gear, period. So yes, $1000 for a 650 setup to go is worth it when I can easily turn out 700-800rds/hr, every hour, every day.:dunno:
    As to plated bullets, like Sardg notes, they are not a good bet for the noob. There is little load data & they have their own little issues w/ crimping & accuracy. So noobs, best bet is start w/ jacketed bullets, PD or MG for best price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012