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Newbie guide to reloading

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by AA11285, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. AA11285

    AA11285

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    Ammo has gotten not only crazy expensive, but nearly impossible to find. I know almost absolutely nothing about how to begin to reload my own ammo, but would be very interested in finding out the following so I can consider it as a hobby and possible alternative to buying factory loads to save some $$:

    1) What hardware is necessary to begin reloading? Is there a starter kit that brings everything you need?
    2) Is it easy to find the materials needed to reload? (i.e. powder, primers etc)
    3) How much does this all cost? At what point will the initial capital investment begin to pay off? When will I start to realize some savings? $$$

    I would appreciate prices as well as opinions on different manufacturers etc.
    I should add that I am looking to reload mainly handgun loads (9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP) but I'd also be interested in reloading .223 and 7.62x39mm if possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

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    There is a reloading section, check it out and read some of the stickies. There is a ton of info.

    -Cody
     

  3. Darkangel1846

    Darkangel1846

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    About $500.00-$750.00 to get everything you really need....depending on which reloader your looking at. You might want to start out in one Cal. just to see if you like it...I would suggest .45 ACP at first. You might wish to seek assistance from an expierenced reloader also, do not depend on store people to know anything.:wavey:
     
  4. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=622290

    Here is a link to a kit with a Lee turret press, powder measure, scale and some small hand tools for primer pocket cleaning and case neck burring and trimming.

    $110 for the kit

    You need 2 good reloading manuals. Pick almost any 2.

    You need a set of dies for each caliber. About $30 bucks, more if you want a fancy brand.

    You need powder, primers and bullets. Buy the powder and primers local, the hazmat shipping fees are absurd.

    I would recommend a medium to good quality electronic scale, but the Lee scale will get you started. Depending on caliber you may want a different powder measure, I have a Lee Auto Disk and a Lee Perfect adjustable.

    I can't think of anything else you need to get started, but you will WANT more stuff later. Like a case tumbler.

    You should be able to set up a nice functional reloading rig for about $150-200. You can spend a lot more, I know a guy who drives a King Ranch Edition Dually F350 12 miles to work and back every day too.
     
  5. vafish

    vafish

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    If you want to start reloading real cheap you can get a Lee Classic Loader for one caliber for $22.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=420765

    That and a hammer will get you started reloading. It won't be fast but it will pay for itself after about 3 boxes of ammo.

    Powder is easy to find, but primers are still in demand. As already stated mail ordering primers incurs a $25 hazerdous materials fee, so you want to order in bulk if you do.
     
  6. Dr. J Frame

    Dr. J Frame LSWCHP +P

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    When I was shooting competition, and living out of my van, I loaded thousands of rounds with these simple hand presses. Also a good choice for apartment dwellers. Now, even though I have 2 stationary presses mounted in the basement, I still find myself using the hand presses most.

    I have 2 of these Lees and 1 Hornady
    $27
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Faulkner

    Faulkner Patriot Millennium Member

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    You are going to need to do some homework about reloading and hardware. Asking how to get into reloading is like asking which 9mm is best for concealed carry . . . you are going to get a lot of different answers.

    To share my experiance, 10 years ago I wanted to get into reloading and knew nothing about it, didn't know anyone who reloaded, and had never even seen it done. I picked up a couple of reloading manuals, Speer and Lyman, but there are several reloading manuals available in the market. Once I figured out who made equipment I ordered catalogs from a few of the manufacturers like RCBS, Dillon, and Lee.

    There seems to be two theories about getting into reloading. 1) Start off with a single stage press and work your way up if you decide you really like reloading, or 2) jump in with both feet and get a progressive press. Once I figured out that I wanted to turn out a good quantity of quality ammo in several different calibers, I decided on option 2.

    I jumped right in and bought a Dillon 550 progressive with dies to make 9mm, .40 S&W, and .30 carbine, plus a case cleaner and media seperator, scales, caliper, case guages, etc. I liked Dillon's no BS lifetime warranty and the fact I can crank out around 400 rounds an hour, plus changing calibers is very easy. Some say it's cheaper to start with cheaper presses and work up, but I think in the long run it will actually cost you more. Once I purchased my setup, all I've had to buy is reloading components.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. gjk5

    gjk5 Pinche Gringo

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    Start with an ABC's of Reloading to get your head around it, buy a Lyman #49 as well.

    I would also check www.kemfpgunshop.com, great people and great prices on Lee Classic Turret kits with everything you need to get started. I think the LCT is a great starter press, use it as a single stage until you know what you are doing and then use as a turret.

    Oh yeah: if you figure out a way to load 7.62X39 effectively and cheaply you will be the first. Don't get me wrong; you can reload it for accuracy, you just won't be able to reload it on the cheap like most other calibers.


    ETA: go to the reloading subforum, lots of good folks and good info there. Old Jack can probably even teach you all about flintlocks, I think he was retiring from the military when they came into use.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  9. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    gjk5... I'm not totally deaf... I can hear you. :supergrin:

    Jack
     
  10. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    I went with the RCBS Rockchucker kit. I've been reloading for a couple years now, and am probably going to go to a progressive in the future due to the amount of pistol I've been shooting lately. That said, I will always use my single stage press for rifle.

    A big thumbs up to the ABC's of Reloading. For now, you can check this out to get a general idea.

    http://www.rcbs.com/guide/stepbystep.aspx
     
  11. gjk5

    gjk5 Pinche Gringo

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    [​IMG]


    :supergrin:
     
  12. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    Don't mess with Jack. He can hear through the interwebs.
     
  13. AA11285

    AA11285

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    Thanks for the input, much appreciated. I do not have much space to work with in my house, so the set-up that takes up the least amount of room would probably be the most desirable for me. I have an office in my house where I can maybe set up a small table and then stick it back in the closet when I'm done, would this work? I suppose the single press would fit my needs better than the progressive due to lack of space? Besides, I kind of like the idea of "working my way" up to a progressive press after getting my feet wet with the single and seeing if its something I really want to pursue. Now as far as savings, assuming average prices for all needed materials (I know prices can vary greatly) what would 50 rounds of, say, 9mm or .45acp, cost to reload as opposed to buying a box of 50 round of WWB at Walmart?
     
  14. DEADLYACCURATE

    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

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    It really depends on what bullets you use. They range from 3 or 4 cents to above 30 cents a piece.
     
  15. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    The savings will always be there, but you'll save more on .45acp than you will on 9mm. When I'm loading .45 Colt it's less than half of what I'd pay for a box of factory Cowboy Action (read cheap plinker) ammo.

    The other big thing is you'll be able to tune a load for your gun. It won't be long before you'll swear off factory ammo altogether.

    I'll also point out that in the beginning you won't see as much of a savings because you'll be buying a pound of powder to try it out, try this bullet or that, et cetera. When you get it all dialed in and start buying what you want in bulk you'll really realize the savings.

    Start hoarding your brass now. It's the most expensive component.
     
  16. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    I got started loading .357 with a lee progressive & the required goodies, primers , powder ect ....for <$250
     
  17. cphilip

    cphilip

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    I am finally setting up now. Currently reading a Lyman manual but have obtained a lyman 4 station Press, A vibratory case cleaner and separator, A Shell holder set and some .44 cal Bullets. Still need powder measuring equipment and case working stuff and then just regular supplies (Powder primers and abrasives) and then my Dies. I am trying to set up for .44 first then 45 acp and then .223 as my primary three.
     
  18. Faulkner

    Faulkner Patriot Millennium Member

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    If you are getting into reloading to save money but you're just going to fiddle fart around with starting up, you're better off going to Walmart.
     
  19. mboylan

    mboylan

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    Start with the ABCs of Reloading. Read it a couple times. That will give you a good idea of what you are getting into, what to get and why.

    Straight walled pistol cases are the easiest to reload. Bottle necked rifle cases are more complex and require more equipment, knowledge and steps.

    With 9mm it costs me about $.14 (.03/primer, .014/powder, .092/bullet) a round to reload. Walmart FC is $.19 a round. My ammo is much more accurate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  20. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    Huh? :dunno: