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Old April 17, 2007, 12:19 AM   #1
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Help Me Start Handloading

I've decided to start handloading my own ammo having recently fallen in love with the .454 Casull cartridge. Unfortunately, I don't know where to begin Can someone point me in the direction of a useful beginner's kit or a few books/manuals about handloading. Thanks All.
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Old April 17, 2007, 01:56 AM   #2
T. O'Heir
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Buy a copy of The ABC's of Reloading. Your local gun shop or Amazon. The principals are the same no matter what you're loading. Although handgun ammo is a bit more involved than rifle. Then have a look at an RCBS Beginner's Kit. It'll give you everything you need less dies and shellholder. It comes with a manual, but look into the Lyman book too. It gives you more loads with more bullet weights than the included manual does. There's nothing wrong with the included manual, but it comes from a bullet maker and only gives loads for that maker's bullets. Speer, I think.
Lyman also puts out their Pistol and Revolver Manual. Mine is kind of elderly so it doesn't have the .454 in it. Load data isn't hard to come by though. You can always load .45 Colt for a Casull revolver too.
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Old April 17, 2007, 05:43 AM   #3
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I agree with T. O'Heir, get some books and read. My experience has been the opposit where I find pistol less involved than rifle because of the case trimming, lubing and recleaning that you have with rifle and not pistol. My advice would be to look into the Lee Classic Turret press. It will cost quite a bit less than other brands single stage and will load a lot faster. You can buy the complete kit for around $150. I have been seeing posts lately where people bought SS presses and are upgrading to the classic turret after only having their SS for around a month.
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Old April 17, 2007, 06:33 AM   #4
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I agree with T. O'Heir also. Start with the books. And if you check on the NRA page you might find an NRA reloading instructor near you that can help you get going. But either way, you're definitely going to need the books.
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Old April 17, 2007, 06:43 AM   #5
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Welcome to the world of reloading. All the above post have exellent points. Take your time and read all you can then decide where you would like to start like which press you feel would do what you want. I like to see newby's start with a single stage press so they can learn all the ends and outs and later if you need more speed work up to a prgressive press.
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Old April 17, 2007, 08:05 AM   #6
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Whitecat, before you spend any money, take a look at this site:

Then, if you're still interested, buy ABCs of Reloading or the NRA Guide to Reloading, both 'How to' manuals, and both very good. You'll also need a load data manual or seven or thirteen. Use the load data on the powder web sites, Alliant, Hodgdon, Western and Accurate Arms - any of them. The interent is one of the best things to ever happen for the shooting community, use it.

Most shooters are gabbers and like to share knowledge and experience - and sometimes argue -- oops, discuss -- over little things like primers or firing pins or crimping or, or, or.... The people here on this board and a few other have a wealth of information to share, use it.

If you do some reading up front, you will save money later by not getting stuff you don't need. You will also get stuff that you do need and know better which models of stuff will fit your situation.
safety first
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Old April 17, 2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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Good site, thanks everyone!
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Old April 17, 2007, 02:28 PM   #8
Art Eatman
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While it's probably more useful for rifle folks, I like the Sierra reloading manual due to the best appendices of all of them. Beaucoup information on external ballistics.

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old April 17, 2007, 03:40 PM   #9
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+1 Lee Classic Turret Press

My advice would be to look into the Lee Classic Turret press. It will cost quite a bit less than other brands single stage and will load a lot faster. You can buy the complete kit for around $150. I have been seeing posts lately where people bought SS presses and are upgrading to the classic turret after only having their SS for around a month.
The best kit and price are here, IMHO--this is the way to go. You can start out loading single stage to learn; then kick in auto-indexing and go at 200+ per hour if you want to.

The second link is the best set of directions I've seen anywhere to set up this press--many, many photos. Take a look at it before you order and get the feel of what it is, if this press looks right to you.
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Old April 17, 2007, 03:58 PM   #10
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I started reloading a couple of years ago with the help of this forum. My motivation was my new 44 mag revolver. After a couple of trips to the range where I spent in excess of $100 per trip on factory ammo, I realized I needed to reload, go broke, or quit shooting.

454 casull falls into that same "expensive factory ammo" category. I started with ABC's of reloading and then bought the RCBS supreme master reloading kit.

It had almost everything I needed except dies, and a set of calipers. Be sure to get a carbide sizing die so you won't have to lube.

IMO straight walled pistol reloading is as simple and basic as it comes. I spend a lot more time effort and money developing rifle loads but I tend to get a little obsessive about my rifle cartridges.

You will certainly have some questions along the way, but I encourage you to jump right on in!

Be safe, start slow, and be sure and let us know when you squeeze off that first handload.
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Old April 17, 2007, 04:53 PM   #11
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That is a great cartridge to load. I'd look at getting into loading .45Colt also. They can be shot out of the .454 and they are much more mild, and cheaper to boot!
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Old April 23, 2007, 05:13 AM   #12
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When I got into reloading I went to the biggest gun/reloading store I could find (cabelas for me) and asked around. I did a great deal of looking too. I became an RCBS for life customer when I noticed their stuff seemed to be way-overbuilt, which I liked. It also seemed to have less "play" than some others. I would look in person and check the presses out first hand. I can't stand "slack" in a press, but that's my person pref.
W/o trying to be biased, I would also recommend a kit to save money. For tumblers the Lyman's have a model called the auto-flo that drains out the media and leaves (mostly) cases, it's nice. With my experience if you see some equip and think you'll need it or will use it later, but it then. I placed 4 orders within 2 weeks when I got my .308 last month, shipping gets a little pricey.
Also .454 Casull makes me happy, good choice.
-I use an RCBS Rock chucker supreme w/ a piggyback 4 kit to make it progressive. -I highly recommend
-XDs , glocks :barf: : SA > Kimber
-.45 > 9mm : .308 > .223
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