The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 1, 2012, 11:54 AM   #1
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
What have I done? Noob to reloading, gotta start somewhere....

Hello all, glad to be here on the forum. I just wanted to start out with a post a with a little bit of a different angle than what you see on most "hey I'm new need advice" posts. I surely would like advice, but I've already jumped in and purchased a bunch of stuff...

I will tell you that prior to the initial purchases I spent almost a week online until I reached information overload. Forums, sites dedicated to reloading, YouTube videos and the like. I also spoke on the phone at length with guys who have been reloading for a while. At the end of the day I stopped pondering and just went for it.

My goals:

To reload 1k rounds of 223/5.56 per month as a start, with a goal of being able to add 308 and 40 S&W in the future. One step at a time.

What I bought:

-Lee Classic Turret Press with necessary accessories: double disc kit, auto measure riser, 223 dies, reloading stand, rifle charging die, case length gauge and some other stuff I probably forgot.

- 2k projectiles and brass from Everglades Ammo and reloading.

-2k CCI 450 small rifle magnum primers.

-8 lb jug of Accurate 2230 powder.

I have to add that I did not come up with this combo without some research and consult both online and over the phone to ensure everything was compatible. I know there are better loads out there that I have yet to learn about, and I know that I probably overpaid as I haven't been doing this too long. Besides the online manuals that I checked out (my book is coming with the Lee kit), forums often have differences of opinion on just about every combination out there from what I've seen. One person swears by the load, someone else is skeptical and others still recommend something completely different. It can be overwhelming for someone like me!

I'd just like some feedback or tips going into this. I hope to have everything set up and running by this weekend...

Thanks in advance.
p loader is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 12:22 PM   #2
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
It looks like you have a good start. You might consider getting a vib. tumbler to clean your cases in the near future. I hope you did get some calipers and a scale to go along with your press.

If you later find you need to increase your output of ammo you can always get a Dillon 550b press. It will allow you to do more rounds per hour. Pistol ammo tends to go fast through semi-auto pistols. I would keep the Lee press if you do get a Dillon later. That way you are able to be set up for 2 calibers all the time.

I don't load rifle ammo and have no interest in it so I won't be of any help there. Once you get going and start producing ammo you like you will be hooked. I think it is difficult to know if I shoot to reload or reload to shoot.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 12:32 PM   #3
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Dave,

Thanks for the comments. My "kit" comes with a scale but it is not a digital one. I am going to purchase a digital scale and some electronic calipers as well.

I figure I can get into reloading with less expense than a Dillion (I was looking at the 650XL), and while I will move slower most likely it will help me learn at a safer pace.

I shoot quite a bit when I can, rifle and pistol, and rising prices along with a desire to learn more about the sport I enjoy has driven me to reloading. I can't wait to actually start firing rounds that I have assembled.
p loader is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 02:34 PM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I went with the 550b so I could slow things way down when I want to. It is harder to do that with the 650. I even work up loads on the 550b one round at a time. Digital scales and calipers are alright. You will find they are not accurate in cold weather or when the batteries start running low. Analog doesn't have that problem. I do like the ease of using a digital. I would prefer to have an analog backup for both when possible. When measuring things that can change your day from good to bad, it doesn't hurt to have a backup plan.

When given a choice I would rather switch to a slower method rather than stopping everything and waiting for new equipment to arrive. I also just like seeing if one measuring device gets the same reading as another one will.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 02:41 PM   #5
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
A reloading manual, or few would be a great purchase. Lyman makes a great one with a plethora of tidbits to help the novice reloader. It helps to eliminate some of the banging the head on the wall incidents. I truly believe that every reloader should have at least one manual, and have read the first part that describes the loading process, and the reason for each step taken.

Other than that a key limiting factor for many reloaders is disposable income. I know I have disposed of a lot of my income on supplies, and a few upgrades in equipment. Though most has been supplies, and new guns.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 03:03 PM   #6
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Thanks M&P, I just ordered the Lyman manual to compliment what else I have coming in. The good news is I really do hope to take my time and be very meticulous while doing this. I have plenty of ammo that I have already purchased to shoot/plink with so there will be no rush to create batches to shoot.

Beer math says I can buy 2k rounds of 5.56 online these days from $350 to $400 each (case), or $800 total (including shipping). With all of the equipment, accessories and reloading supplies I have purchased to create 2k rounds I'm in the hole for about $950.

If everything goes well I should start to recoup my expenses here very shortly, but only on paper....because I'll probably just end up buying more components and reloading more often. It's kind of like my wife saying she "saved" money by only spending $300 while shopping at the mall versus $500 because there was a sale.
p loader is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 03:13 PM   #7
Woody55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2012
Location: East Texas
Posts: 407
You will want some sort of case trimmer. Your cases will lengthen when you fire them. Then you'll need a tool to knock the burrs off of the inside and outside of the mouth of the case. You can get hand versions of these tools or motorized versions.

Like someone said above, a case tumbler to clean the cases after you shoot them is good. There are also various things to tumble the media out of them you can buy or make. Of course, you can always do that by hand.

It might have been easier to start with .40 S&W, but it will work out anyway.

I'd take it slow with the first batch and inspect early and often. It's one thing to wind up with one screwed up round. It's quite another to wind up with 200.

Good luck.
Woody55 is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 03:27 PM   #8
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Thanks Woody, great advice. I guess maybe I should have started with 40, but that is definitely in the works. I'm not near my "home" range right now, where I can pick up the brass I shoot. Thus the only ranges I can go to collect all fired brass....which means I will have to continue to order "once fired" until I can get back to a my home range. Definitely adds to the cost.
p loader is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 04:55 PM   #9
CrustyFN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,258
Congrats on the classic turret. I have been reloading on one for six years and think it's a great press. You will need a case trimmer. I use the Lee trimmer and it works fast and easy at a good price. I chuck the lock-stud in a battery drill and can trim chamfer and debur pretty fast. You will want to resize before you trim. With the double disk kit if both disks have different size holes the disk with the smaller hole has to go on top. I would also advise against buying a cheap digital scale, you would be better off buying a better beam scale. Welcome to reloading.

Edit: I forgot to mention. How I measure the cases to see if they need to be trimmed is I open my calipers to max case length and lock it, then pass the cases through. Any case that goes through is fine the cases that don't get trimmed.
__________________
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
CrustyFN is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 07:50 PM   #10
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,086
Some good replies so far. But, why did you get magnum prmers? Availibility?
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 08:30 PM   #11
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,996
That's just wrong.

Sorry to hear that you are stuck with a range that steals your brass, or do they pay you for its value?

I would suggest a brass catcher. If it doesn't hit the ground, how can they claim it?

Do they impose this usurpation on revolver shooters? They would have a hard time parting me from my 454 Casull brass. Or even my 45 ACP from my revolver that chambers those cartridges.

Good luck. Welcome to the forum and to reloading.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 08:43 PM   #12
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,203
Magnum primers are a good choice for aa2230 or any spherical powder.
1stmar is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 09:42 PM   #13
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Thanks all for the replies.

Crusty: great advice on measuring the cases, even though I have read you do not need to measure "once fired" I will do so. I will look into a proper case trimmer from Lee as well.

mikld: Yes, availability. I actually wanted some other primers (non-magnum) but could not find them in stock anywhere. I actually had some Federal primers in my cart but then searched and found some bad reviews, and so I got scared and went with something else. Oh to be so low on the knowledge totem pole.

Lost Sheep: Great point about the brass catcher, I will look into one. I see they are cheap. Not having to purchase additional brass (at around $60-$80 per 1k) will add to my savings.

Thanks again everyone for the help. I ordered all my Lee items today from Titan Reloading and they showed as shipping less than 2 hours later, same for my brass and projectiles. I should have everything ready to start by this weekend. In the meantime I will be doing more and more research.

I am REALLY excited to start this process, to learn about all of the individual components and their subsequent performance characteristics after assembly. I've been putting this off for quite a while, many times had stuff in the "cart" and never hit the "buy" button. NO LONGER!
p loader is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 09:50 PM   #14
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
While you are waiting on the goods, if you have an Amazon Prime account you can borrow the ABCs of Reloading for free using their lending library. You dont need a Kindle, there is a free app you can use. Well worth the read. You will also enjoy the Lee Modern Reloading 2nd Edition that comes with your kit. Excellent tutorial info in the front half. Lyman;s is good and I am glad to own it but the load data is not that comprehensive.

Good luck and happy loading. And extra good luck in your efforts to catch your brass at the Nazi-range you shoot at. I shudder at the thought of leaving good brass on the floor.
tkglazie is offline  
Old October 1, 2012, 09:55 PM   #15
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Thanks for the tips, will look into it.

Also, after I get through this first 2k reloads (I will keep this thread updated for other people who follow in my footsteps, maybe they can learn) if you all have any suggestions reference loads or even switching to new calibers please don't hesitate to pipe up.

As far as the range goes, I'm pretty sure they sell the brass. My "home" range is basically a guy's farm with a massive berm. I can do whatever I want as long as I don't leave a mess and shoot out to 200 yards. He even has doors and windows built in for practice on the side. This current range....notsomuch. I guess it's the lowest common denominator type of thing and I can understand they have to be that way. What I don't understand is why I can't have my OWN brass back.
p loader is offline  
Old October 2, 2012, 08:15 AM   #16
wingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2002
Posts: 2,074
I would suggest you load no more then 20 rounds to start, huge problems have occurred with new loaders who turned out hundreds of unusable rounds, second best to buy components in small quantities at first, you will find certain combinations are poor while others excellent.

Please do not rush think safety first as you proceed you will gain speed and knowledge. Once the knowledge is gained you'll enjoy shooting more with greater accuracy.
wingman is offline  
Old October 2, 2012, 08:43 AM   #17
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Thanks. I was thinking I could load batches of 10 or so, each with various loads of powder based on book recommendations, maybe no more than 50 or 60 rounds. Keep labeled and batched accordingly and then take to the range, shoot, record results.

After validating what works (I hope they all work) that will give me a good idea of what to produce.

Correct?
p loader is offline  
Old October 2, 2012, 08:53 AM   #18
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,203
You'll want to be detailed with your notes, especially if there will be significant time before you shoot.make sure you capture:
Bullet info, weight, manufacturer, type (flat base, boat tail)
Powder charge
Oval
Case info (times loaded, new, trimmed, not trimmed..)
Primer manufacturer
If rifle I note runout (<.003, >.003)
Date loaded
1stmar is offline  
Old October 2, 2012, 11:26 AM   #19
wingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2002
Posts: 2,074
Quote:
Thanks. I was thinking I could load batches of 10 or so, each with various loads of powder based on book recommendations, maybe no more than 50 or 60 rounds. Keep labeled and batched accordingly and then take to the range, shoot, record results.

After validating what works (I hope they all work) that will give me a good idea of what to produce.

Correct?
Bingo, your on the right track,when I started 40+years ago(stone age) there was not the information you have available I made a lot of mistakes but fortunately back then components were much cheaper.

I keep a log of the load, date, etc, when I return from the range I make notes in log as to temp.wind,accuracy of loads.

Happy reloading your entering a great hobby that makes shooting more enjoyable.
wingman is offline  
Old October 2, 2012, 08:34 PM   #20
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by p loader
What I don't understand is why I can't have my OWN brass back.
You answered your own question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by p loader
As far as the range goes, I'm pretty sure they sell the brass.
It is part of their profit margin.

If they keep their range fees down commensurate with the extra profit they get from the brass sales, well that is OK.

If they don't give you a break on the cost of range time, they are (in my opinion) being something. If that is unscrupulous, greedy or whatever, I will let you decide and come up with your own descriptor.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 05:58 AM   #21
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
I guess I did (answer my own question).

My reloading items should start being delivered in a day or two.....

ARGH the wait is tough.
p loader is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 09:01 PM   #22
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Well my Turret Press kit and stand (and accessories) came via UPS today. Set up was alright I guess, instructions could have been a bit more detailed but thankfully YouTube exists. I spent about an hour working on it and figure I'm about 90% complete. I'm in no rush as my brass/projectiles are sitting at the post office and I won't be able to sign for them until Monday (I'm working all weekend).

Still pretty excited to have the press sitting here next to me.

More to follow
p loader is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 09:19 PM   #23
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
It is exciting loading those first few rounds and most times frustrating trying to get things right at first. Then comes the moment of truth, firing those first rounds you made. Once you find the load you want to continue to make, it just becomes fun for most people. Good luck and enjoy.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 09:27 PM   #24
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
Thanks Dave, like everyone has said I'll be taking it slowly. I'm really wondering why I hadn't started this years ago. Right now little things about the setup are ticking me off because I can't figure it out, but all in due time.

Like you said when I squeeze off that first round all the work will come to fruition. Can't wait.
p loader is offline  
Old October 5, 2012, 11:30 AM   #25
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
For those of you who have the Lee and the double disc for use with the auto disc powder measure, could you check my math on this to see if I'm grasping the concept. Based on what I've read in my manual plus what the instructions from Lee provided:

VMD x Charge in grains = Volume CC

Volume CC = Top + Bottom disc for auto powder dispenser.

So for my starting load with Accurate 2230 powder and a 55 grain
bullet, I need 21.2 grains. Accurate powder has a VMD of .0657.

So .0657 x 21.2 = 1.392 CC

Referencing my chart that means I need the .82 top disc and .57 bottom
disc on the powder dispenser. Once I have everything set up I'll throw a few loads into a case and weigh each one to see how they turn out.

Punch out 10 rounds or so, and then try a few different loads keeping in mind not to go above 23.5 (max). In what increments should I increase my loads? If the minimum is 21.2, should I go up by 0.5 or is that too much? For example I could create 10 rounds of the following.

21.2
21.7
22.2
22.7

Shoot each load and record the results. I have heard it's not a good idea (especially for beginners) to try the max load, maybe I should stick to the middle of the road. Thanks.
p loader is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13042 seconds with 9 queries