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Old January 11, 2000, 07:15 PM   #1
HKMark23
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OK Here goes...I'm totally new to reloading but have been a shooter for 12+ years. I want to start competing so my primary reason for reloading is cost (more rounds per dollar) so I can practice more. I would be reloading .45 ACP (FMJ) for my HK Expert, Primary consideration is accuracy, second is cleanliness (max power is not a factor).

Now I understand that reloading is a learned art involving alot of trial and hopefully no error. So I do not expect to just jump in and create magic...BUT! I do wish to find a good/accurate combination and stick with it. Again restating that my primary goal is to get in alot more range time.

Now I have two primary areas I'm hopeing to get some advice in. The first is basic reloading information and the second is specifically reloading for the .45
I have gone to several of my local shops with the intention of picking up a few books to get me started. But ended up walking out empty handed because the information seems to be mainly directed towords someone who already knows what there doing. With mabey a few pages of basic info and the other 200 are of graphs and formulas for types I've never even heard of.
I dont need info on reloading for the Weatherby/Casull flintlock, single action, rollingblock, Browning, openbolt .787-33 +++P Magnum, so I can drop a running Elk at 4 miles in a 90knot cross wind. I'd just like to find a book that will safely point a novice in the right direction!!!!
Now alot of you will probly say I should ask for help at my local range/shop. I have done this but have come away just as frustrated. I once asked a guy at one of my shops for advice on how to get started and five minutes later I had four guys standing around me, each one giving me their own expert opinion...INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

So enough of my endless typeing and to my questions!!!!
1) Does anyone know of a good book I can get that is specifically for the beginner?
2) What are the first steps I should take?
3) What should'nt I do?
4) Are there any products/companys I should stay away from?
5) If you could start your reloading experiance over again what would you do the same/different?

I lookforward to your input, advice, and experiance.
THANKS!!!!!!!
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Old January 11, 2000, 07:47 PM   #2
Sgt.K
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Reloading is very rewarding and easy to get started in.

I suggest the latest Speer Reloading manual. It has very useful information in it for beginners as well as those with experience. It comes with RCBS Kits. This is the first step.

The only thing I can think of not to do, is to not take any safety issues seriously. Try to at least use the same primer, powder and bullet type/weight. Start with the appropriate load, usually 10% under max.

No product or companies I can think of to stay away from other than any reclaimed powder. Remember though, you get what you pay for.

What I would do over is start with a progressive press.

Hope I helped.

Sgt.K
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Old January 11, 2000, 09:31 PM   #3
Bud Helms
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[This message has been edited by sensop (edited January 13, 2000).]
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Old January 11, 2000, 09:47 PM   #4
Sgt.K
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Here is RCBS's site.
http://www.rcbs.com/guideframe.html

Click on Reloading Step by Step for basic reloading info.

BTW, in my first post, I didn't mean to imply that the Speer Manual is only available in the kit, it is available separately.

Here's a tip I learned the hard way about reloading .45 ACP ammo.
Check for cartridge fit in chamber after crimping. I didn't, got to range found out I had a Problem.

Sgt.K
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Old January 11, 2000, 10:20 PM   #5
TZEAZAS
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The best deal on a reloader for pistol rounds is the dillon square deal b. You can check it out by useing dillon as your key word.
I also agree on the speer manuel. I just strarted reloading and with the square deal b and speer manuel I was up and loading in 4 hours after buying the products.
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Old January 11, 2000, 11:44 PM   #6
labgrade
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HKMark23,

Good advice from above. Some things can't be rushed. There is a certain amount of learning curve you'll have to go through.

You got a bud that can walk you through it on his equipment - just to show you what goes on & explain a few things?

If not, maybe buy a kit. Read the book's section on reloading pistol catridges. You can skip the bottle neck rifle stuff as it doesn't pertain to .45ACP (but you'll probably go back & read it later once you're hooked).

Give it a go & like one above, e-mail personally or better still, post here so the next newbie can benefit from your learning experience.

I'd suggest that you tag on some questions from some of Coin's notes (they did cover the bases) but they're too many & you may not have cats (or toothpaste!)

If you're looking for the most efficient for range time certainly go with a progressive.
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Old January 11, 2000, 11:45 PM   #7
labgrade
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oops, double-tap

[This message has been edited by labgrade (edited January 11, 2000).]
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Old January 12, 2000, 01:34 AM   #8
Walt Welch
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HKMark23; I suggest that you start out right with a progressive reloader. I crunched out many a round on a single stage press, and while it is easy to do, a progressive reloader is much faster. The brand I would suggest is Dillon. I own two Dillon presses; the one I would suggest for you is the Square Deal B. It isn't that expensive, and works very well. I actually prefer it to my larger 550, which I use to reload rifle cartridges. Dillon presses are guaranteed for life. No matter what the cause of damage, they will repair it free of charge. Even if you ran over it with your pickup.

Here is how to get firearms, ammunition, accessory and reloading information on line. Go to Shooter's Gunlinks: http://www.shooters.com
at this site, you can search for your desired company. Check on which have interactive or downloadable reloading info. I know that Alliant, Winchester, and Hodgdon all have this feature. By getting the information off the internet, you are assured of getting the most up to date information available.

Hope this helps, Walt
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Old January 12, 2000, 07:32 AM   #9
wildcat
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I am sure some of the rich guys with their dillon progressive presses will disagree with this ,but I think the best deal for the beginner is the Lee Anaversary Kit . You can buy every last thing that you need to reload your 45 for about $100.00. If you decide later that you need a progerssive you can sell your Lee kit or better yet set it up as a portable unit to take to the range when you want to work up a special load.
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Old January 12, 2000, 12:23 PM   #10
Alan B
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Get Modern Reloading by Richard Lee you can usually buy it with a cheap lee press for $20 at a gun show. Its a good beginners book and it has a lot of load data as well as some of the How to's (more than enough to get you started). Sometimes it gets a little slanted towards Lee products, but it is a good place to start before you move on to other reloading books.
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Old January 12, 2000, 04:34 PM   #11
wildcat
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I agree modern reloading is a fine book but don't buy it if you plan on buying the lee anaversary kit because it comes with the kit.

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Old January 12, 2000, 08:37 PM   #12
Ed
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Your questions in order:

1. Modern Reloading by Richard Lee.

2. Set up a loading bench complete with storage shelves, and in an area where you can work UNDISTURBED. It is VERY important that you are not distracted while reloading. You can get bench plans from NRA. Then buy as many different loading manuals as you can afford.

3. Try untested loads your buddies or the guys at the range tell you about. Stick with the data in the latest manuals and you won't get in trouble. A few more fps isn't worth taking chances for.

4. Can't think of any that you should strictly avoid. Lee products are bad-mouthed sometimes because of their somewhat flimsy appearance, but lots of people swear by them. I have used one of the cheap Lee presses as a sort of back-up unit for small batches of rifle ammo, and it works fine. I try to avoid using powders that don't measure well. Ball powders flow through the measures much better than flake types.

5. Well, I started 40 years ago with an old Pioneer rig, so I can't say what I would do differently. I guess I would try to bite the bullet and get a better outfit to begin with. Also, I would be more careful. I have had a few mental lapses over the years, luckily they weren't in really critical areas, but they could have been just as easily as not. I still have 10 fingers and 2 eyes, so I guess it could have been worse.
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Old January 12, 2000, 08:40 PM   #13
Ed
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Your questions in order:

1. Modern Reloading by Richard Lee.

2. Set up a loading bench complete with storage shelves, and in an area where you can work UNDISTURBED. It is VERY important that you are not distracted while reloading. You can get bench plans from NRA. Then buy as many different loading manuals as you can afford.

3. Try untested loads your buddies or the guys at the range tell you about. Stick with the data in the latest manuals and you won't get in trouble. A few more fps isn't worth taking chances for.

4. Can't think of any that you should strictly avoid. Lee products are bad-mouthed sometimes because of their somewhat flimsy appearance, but lots of people swear by them. I have used one of the cheap Lee presses as a sort of back-up unit for small batches of rifle ammo, and it works fine. I try to avoid using powders that don't measure well. Ball powders flow through the measures much better than flake types.

5. Well, I started 40 years ago with an old Pioneer rig, so I can't say what I would do differently. I guess I would try to bite the bullet and get a better outfit to begin with. Also, I would be more careful. I have had a few mental lapses over the years, luckily they weren't in really critical areas, but they could have been just as easily as not. I still have 10 fingers and 2 eyes, so I guess it could have been worse.
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Old January 12, 2000, 08:55 PM   #14
swifter...
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Look for "the ABC's of Reloading" from DBI books. First 5 were by Dean A. Grennell, the latest is by someone else, but presumably as qualified. Walks you through, explains whys and hows. Next best thing to having someone show you.
Thought: Competition sounds like there may be other people to compete with... Make a friend and get him (or her) to teach you!

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Old January 13, 2000, 04:47 PM   #15
Futo Inu
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Also, go to NRA's website. They have a short book on handloading basics at a reasonable price.
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