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How to get started in Reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Colorado4Wheel, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Turn4811

    Turn4811

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    I do not care for Lee equipment except for their dies. I just had had bad luck with it.

    A single stage press kit would probably be the way to go with those requirements. You will get the essentials but you will also realize that there are better pieces from other manufacturers. Also 9mm is a low margin round so it will take time to recoup any investment in cost savings. A single stage will also take time to load up so you will be hard pressed to produce more than 50 rounds per hour.

    If you shop around and buy quality essential items you can probably set yourself up with a single stage setup w/ dies for around $300. For about twice that you can get a Dillon setup that can produce many times the amount a single stage can.
     
  2. NUB2Glocks

    NUB2Glocks

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    Thank you, just what I needed to know. If you happen to have links on items you recommend, that would be awesome (like brands and model numbers/basic items needed, etc).
    Thanks for your time!
    Best regards,
    Ed
     

  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Go to the first page of this thread. Read the thread. Pick the LCT setup and buy what I recommend. It's that basic. If I was starting over I would use the Case Activated Lee Auto Drum not the Auto disc. But the purpose of this thread was to answer your exact question. Just read and write down the recommendations and put that in your cart at Midway USA or similar. You can start a new thread in the main section and people will let you know if you missed anything. But get the Lee Kit at Kempf's or piece it out. Don't buy the Lee Classic Turret kit from Midway. It comes with the crappy Lee scale.
     
  4. NUB2Glocks

    NUB2Glocks

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    Thanks, I will look into it.
    Best regards,
    Ed
     
  5. noylj

    noylj

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    What do you want?
    Buy a reloading manual. Buy two if you can. Read the reloading section(s).
    You could buy a $40 Lee Reloading Press, a $33 3 die set for Lee 9mm die, a $14 Lee taper crimp die, a $13 Lee Ram Primer, a $72 Lee Classic Powder Measure, and, if you want, a $30 6"dial caliper. You can just wipe off the exterior of the cases, so you don't HAVE to spend money on tumblers and such. It wouldn't be as fun as spending more, but it will produce great ammo. You can then, after you are comfortable, know WHAT you want and can save for that.
    The powder measure would be mounted on the bench. You can either charge a case, immediately inspect the charge, and seat a bullet or you can charge a case, stick it in a $6 reloading tray, and inspect all 50 charged cases (and try not to miss any or spill any).
     
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  6. KIDCOP

    KIDCOP Rifle Master Millennium Member

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    Best advice I can give to a new reloader is like already said buy a reloading manual or two and read the how too section. If there is someone who can help you this is even better. I would also start with a single stage press and learn the process. If at a later date you want to go progressive keep in mind there is always a place on the bench for a single stage press. One thing people don't mention with the progressives is there can be a high number of culls. you will need a means of cleaning brass. You will need a means of measuring things with a dial or electronic caliper. A good scale is in order. Lee makes things that work but you get what you pay for. I started with Lee carbides and it was like running sand during the sizing process. I found RCBS, Redding and Hornaday for example makes carbides that are smoother. Make better ammo? I doubt it but the others are much smoother.

    Powder choice...some powders work better than others. It just kills me when a guy wants one powder to load everything. Not always going to happen. So I have ended up with a powder that might work well in a couple of cartridges but not all. I look to put as many bullets through the same hole and often times I have a different powder for the same cartridge but for different bullet weights.

    Remember you are your own Quality Control. Build a squib and it's your fault. For rifle the best money I spent to get bullets in the same hole was a primer pocket uniformer especially if using GI rifle brass. I shoot '06, 308 and 223 in gas guns for High Power.

    keep good notes on your reloads. This will keep you from making the same mistake twice. I've gone so far as to list those loads which shoot the most accurate including the primer used. For example I have a '06 hunting load for my Winny feather weight in '06. And yes it freaking boots but I can put 5 rounds inside an inch at 100 yards. This load was developed with CCI 200 primers. I told a guy about the load and he said BS and challenged me. I was out of the CCI's and substituted WIN large rifle primers. Turned out to be a mistake because the group opened up. good luck Tim
     
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  7. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip

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    Old sticky but a good one, C4W. Nice job.
    Two additions:
    -good as their stuff is, I never got a Dillon primer flipper to work
    -got an early Dillon 550 35 years ago, and am still cranking away with it. Yes, they are simple, and the absence of an auto advance is a huge help if something goes wrong (primer draw-thru', etc) because it is easy to back up and fix it. You do have to discipline yourself to always advance the casings to avoid a double charge.
    Moon
     
  8. noylj

    noylj

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    Here's how to use a Dillon primer flipper:
    Dump primers in flipper base.
    Pick up all shiny-side up primers
    Put lid on and flip over
    Pick up rest of primers that are now shiny-side up
     
  9. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip

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    knowledge, you got that exactly right! :cheers:
    I don't know if it is the mass of their metal flipper (making it harder to change directions and flip the primers) or what, but they just don't work. I have a plastic RCBS one that has been flipping primers for 35 years; it works just fine.
    Moon
     
  10. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip

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    Back to the original thread, it is tough to start reloading, because a great many things are necessary to reload at all. It's possible to do without the brass tumbler and a few other things.
    Used presses and accessories are where you find them; because of the warranty that Dillon (and some other) manufacturers use, pre-owned equipment can go for new prices...but then why not buy new? The best deals are word of mouth when a reloader stops loading.
    Moon
     
  11. DocPoison

    DocPoison

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    Amazing info!
    Thanks.
    Would anyone recommend the NRA reloading class for a full on newbie to reloading? Unless you include YouTube and watching my grumpy neighbor reload a few times.
     
  12. noylj

    noylj

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    Personally, I think that the NRA courses push too much information that you don't need.
    Reloading is simply NOT that complicated. What is complicated are all the non-essential things folks do for appearance and "consistency."
    Have you read a manual yet?
    Go get a Hornady or Lyman manual and read the reloading instruction section.
    Don't make things any more complicated to start than they need to be.
     
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  13. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip

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    Inclined to agree with noylj; don't over think this. If your grumpy neighbor is willing to look over your shoulder, it is a good way to go, assuming he is indeed knowledgeable. Too, rifle reloaders and pistol guys aren't the same creature. Do you belong to a shooting club? There have to be experienced reloaders there.
    Getting a manual is a great way to start; I'd give you a hard push toward a Dillon 550 for its relative simplicity, and their tech support is wonderful.
    Moon
     
  14. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip

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    BTW, some things NOT to do while reloading....
    -drink, only in moderation or not at all
    -watch TV or otherwise multitask
    -be interrupted, it's far too easy to lose track, especially on a progressive press.
    Moon
     
  15. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

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    I have a number of manuals. Probably the best one source for how to reload, that I've seen, is the Speer #14 manual. Separate sections for rifle and hand gun loading. Step-by-step actionable instructions that are easy to follow. Hornady is good too, with a more technical deep dive into more advanced topics. That will make sense later.

    Read a manual or two. Read them again. Then there are some good YouTube videos to visually depict what is learned feom the manuals. A reader that has studied the manuals carefully will have a good chance at spotting BS on YouTube vs who is doing it right.
     
  16. Neldon

    Neldon Hill Country Boy & Proud Navy Veteran. NRA & USCCA Silver Member

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    Old but great thread.
    Spent a few hours reading up on reloading and found http://www.reloaderaddict.com.
    Anyone know if the info is as good as it looks?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  17. noylj

    noylj

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    The best single stage press: either a
    1) Forster Co-Ax (I sold my six-month old RCBS PrimerChucker when I saw an ad for the Co-Ax (think it was Bonanze, back then--about 1974) and I still load with it and love it.
    or, if you have a custom chambered rifle,
    2) an arbor press with hand-made dies that match your rifle's chamber
    IF I was to buy a single-stage press, however, where cost is always a factor for me, it would be the Lee Challenger press with the die bushings—it just isn't the BEST.

    The best turret:
    Never saw any advantage or need for one, but, at least the Lee with auto-indexing will walk each case through the steps to a loaded round. You don't save handle pulls, but you do have ready-to-fire rounds appearing after every 3-4 cycles.

    Best progressive press:
    For me, a progressive press MUST have the following: at LEAST five (5) die stations (not four die stations and a priming station) and auto-index. Thus, Lee and Dillon SDB and 550 have been out of my shopping list for about 35 years. Others have their own wants/needs, but those have been mine since I first considered a progressive. So, that leaves:
    1) If you want practically everything, the Dillon 1050
    2) If you don't want/need a case collator, the Hornady L-N-L (except, I haven't tried, much less SEEN, the new RCBS progressives). The Hornady is very open and you can easily see what is happening as a newbie (I say this after teaching someone to reload on their new 650s and my son and SIL on L-N-Ls) and very ergonomic, with the bullet case feeding being done with the left hand while the right stays on the handle. Also, the bullet seat stations (4) is right under the loader's nose so it very easy to look into the case and see the powder and charge height. The 650 is OK, but ONLY with a case collator and at that point, I went 1050.

    Finally, you can load with just the $30 Lee Reloading Press. I have done it. Didn't enjoy it, but the press worked and is still in one piece.
     
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  18. Westexas

    Westexas

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    Here's some advice on reloading. Always visually check the powder levels in your cases before seating the bullets. I was helping a new reloader last week. He was loading unique powder in .44 special cases (start load). I said, "Let's visually check the powder levels in each case." Lo and behold, he had double charged a case. Nearly 12 grains. A hot .44 magnum load in a Taurus Judge would have been the result. May not have blown the gun, but it certainly would not have been good for it. That's probably about the most dangerous aspect of reloading. Always pay attention and be careful. You can't check things too many times. The story had a happy ending. He took his new reloads to the range and had no problems.
     
  19. njl

    njl

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    It looks good? No love for Dillon there, and their best reloading bench is the Lee tripod stand? I think this is some strange usage of the word "best" with which I am unfamiliar.
     
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  20. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Yep. My dentist got a early model 550 from a neighbor whos husband died. Only person he knows that reloads was me. Got it for free, but it needed some TLC to get it even working. I sold it Karma to s buddy at the club I shoot for $250 with Dillon 38sp dies & two tool heads. Yes I gave it away but I got it free.