"If the situation with new loaders is so bad why are so many forum members willing to help?
I agree that reading books is a great way to start. A mentor? How is a total newcomer to reloading supposed to know a good mentor from a total blowhard?
Asking for load data to verify books/mentors suggestions doesn't seem all that bad to me.
Just asking what to load without doing basic research or reading procedure manuals is just plain silly and I don't see the good cause answering those questions, so I don't."
bob, the 'situation' isn't bad, it is frustrating. And yes many of us go to extremes to try to help out. I think what bugs me the most is when the question is clearly posed to solicit an exact formula.
Many others will ask valid questions pertaining to what experiences others had encountered with some set of components. This is valid and understandable, also indicates that the person is trying to increase their understanding.
Still others pose questions and look for guidance in all manors of things. What better way to learn than to ask?
One of the other responders has voices concerns about how to find a worthy mentor. I wish I had a magic list of those but I don't and don't think anyone does. It is a matter of listening and evaluating what is said. This is not an instant determination. I know well a gun dealer who knows his products very well. All of the ins and outs, what fits and what works. I don't think he has ever punched out a primer or seated a bullet in his life. Would he be a good mentor? Yes, for tools and products. No for the how to, hands on guidance.
We, all of us, are in too much of a hurry. When I started loading, primers were something like 30 cents a hundred and I had to save up to have that much cash. But that was a different world. I don't think many 13 year old boys could buy primers in today's world. I did then and powder and bullets too.
My mentor started out being my uncle and it didn't take me long to determine that he knew less about it than I did. But I could read and did a lot of it.
I am willing to help anyone that wants to learn, in person or on line. But, don't just ask me to look in one of my loading books and quote a loading.
Life is short, enjoy all you can.