The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 17, 2012, 08:37 AM   #1
Recondo
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2012
Posts: 4
New Comer to reloading

I am new to reloading. I have a lot of questions! Should I purchase a complete kit such as Lee, or look for a good used setup? I want to start with a single stage press and work on one caliber to start. Probably 45 ACP to begin with. I am not looking to be a bullet factory, just to make my own shooting less expensive over time and as a good way to decompress from the long days!! Any advice from you experts would be appreciated!
Recondo is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 09:18 AM   #2
jwrowland77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 23, 2012
Location: Conway, Arkansas
Posts: 982
There is a sticky at the top of this forum that has probably most of the questions you have. I would start there.
jwrowland77 is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 10:11 AM   #3
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,336
Any idea how many rounds per month you intend to reload?

Read the sticky note at the top. Get The ABCs of reloading along with one or two more reloading manuals. Reading will help you determine what you may need based on what you plan on doing.

I've been well pleased with the RCBS Rock Chucker kit. The Rock Chucker is a stout press, A+ heavy weight single stage. Other folks seem happy with the Lee Classic Turret.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 10:14 AM   #4
Kevin Rohrer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2010
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 507
Like every other newby threads that gets started on all the reloading boards on a daily basis, the first recommendation is to start by reading:

1. Lyman #49
2. Any version of the ABCs of Reloading except #9 (the newest version; it is dreck)
__________________
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

"Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!" --Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
Kevin Rohrer is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 11:19 AM   #5
browninghunter86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2011
Posts: 524
my advice would be to determine what you want(brand tools,what you need,etc...) then look on the forums for used equipment and do it that way. Also check out Ebay. You will save a ton of $$$ and get some great stuff.

Do a lot of reading online for the caliber and bullet you want to shoot/what your shooting needs are and then buy your components online at once to save money.

Also like other mentioned read the ABC of Reloading several times and get a manual of the bullets you intend to use. Also don't be afraid to ask questions on the forum that is what it is there for


Good luck
browninghunter86 is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 01:05 PM   #6
LittleBilly
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2012
Posts: 8
Little Billy

I have long been a fan of and a user of C&H reloading presses Internet http://www.ch4d.com/ that has in my opinion the best reloading single stage to multiple stage reloading.

I bought two of them on E-Bay for a very reasonable price; just over a $100.00 for one a three stage press and less than $130.00 for a 4 stage press.

I like them especially for doing pistol ammo because once set up, I don't need to switch the dies for the next stage of operation. The same goes for doing rifle reloads too.

One can get very consistent seating depths, sizing, de-priming, and priming with this set up. The press is in an H pattern with a handle that give the correct amount of leverage for reloading pistol and rifle ammo.

I hope this helps.
LittleBilly is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 01:45 PM   #7
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,340
I wouldn't recommend you buy used presses ...unless you really know enough on how they operate ...to know if they've been "Bubba-Fied" or not...

Your investment in a good press....will last you a long time / and I think you've picked a good caliber in .45 acp to begin on ...its a very strong case - and easy to load - with a lot of powder, bullet combinations.

A single stage is fine....but so are some of the entry level progressives. Attention to detail - is required - in reloading ...and a single stage isn't inherently safer...in fact the tedious repetition / can make it more dangerous because it may take an hour or more to get a single box of 50 rounds ...but if you want to start on a single stage like the RCBS Rockchucker or some kind of a Turret operation ...that could work for you for awhile.

I like Dillon equipment...and their entry level press is the SDB. It uses proprietary dies...its progressive, with auto indexing...and will handle only handgun calibers. Some guys use them forever...some want to upgrade....but in good condition, if you take care of it, its also a press that is easy to sell used...as you consider moving up to a Dillon 650 or something else.

I like reloading ...and it is a major part of the hobby ...but I like it a lot more when the press gives me 800 rds an hour rather than 50 rds in an hour...( none of us have too much time on our hands ) not even if we're retired, and I am, but I'm still busy...
BigJimP is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 02:00 PM   #8
bossman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 996
I went with the Lee Breech Lock Kit and soon upgraded almost everything in the kit but the single stage press. The scale will work but not with my old eyes. Moved up to a balance beam that I could read without having to get out my flashlight to read the scale. Also upgraded to the Auto disk powder measure.

If I had to do over I'd just buy a single stage press and find a nice set of scales. Lee's Breech lock press serves me well. I thought I'd move up to a Lee turret press but have found no need to.

The 45acp is a great low pressure round to start with. I load in batchs and have found this to be a fun and relaxing hobby. I use Bullseye powder for light loads and Universal Clays for hotter loads, but there's only about a million loads out there.

The single stage easily keeps up with my shooting needs and always have ammo on hand. Good luck with your choice of press and scale. Come on in the waters fine.
__________________
NRA life member

When the going gets tough, I just open another beer.
bossman is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 02:36 PM   #9
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,775
I love -- LOVE used stuff. I love used guns more than anything, but I am always on the look-out for used handloading gear. But I'm in a different spot than you are as I am quite familiar with loading gear, so I can assess used gear if it's a hands-on purchase... and sometimes, I can assess it through pics or descriptions.

But there's a whole other angle to used Handloading gear that I want to point out -- and why you should probably avoid it right now. Quite simply, most of it is NO SAVINGS WHATSOEVER.

It's a really odd market...used equipment often goes for nearly new prices and in some cases, higher than new prices. "How?!", you might say.

Well, it seems to boil down to it being equipment that is either not imported or simply "restricted" in foreign countries, yet still in demand. When buying something used (especially off Ebay), a buyer in a foreign country is simply getting old, used mechanical parts. Very non-specific and flies under the radar. They pay BIG for the ability to get the stuff.

For a brand new handloader in North America, you are best off simply buying new equipment. There are some deals in used, but they aren't so easy to find and you might simply not know what you are buying.

Suggestion: Buy a Lee Classic Turret and spend a little more money than you might want to and purchase a quality powder measure. I use & recommend a Lyman 55, but many are quite happy with the RCBS or Hornady measure. I like Lee dies the best and I don't need the FCD so I buy the 3-die sets.

Absolutely get one or two manuals and read them. Very interesting and insightful, and a reference you'll have and refer to until they bury you.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 02:46 PM   #10
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,775
Another tip: whatever you do, whatever tool you seek for any need, do not -EVER- buy -ANY- product, ANY, with the "Smart Reloader" brand name. Easily seen with it's bright yellow color.

None, not one, not any. Ever. If it's FREE, take it and smash it.
Then spit on it.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 04:13 PM   #11
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
Sevens that is a bit harsh to say Smart Reloader. I had one of the digital scales they market. It worked just fine for what I was using it for. It broke when I tipped it off of my bench. My fault. Though I say beware of the other stuff they make. It is like Harbor Freight of reloading stuff.

The Lee kit is a good one for getting started. I second the motion of a Turret if you can afford it. I traded brass for the Breech Lock Challenger kit. 3 years later I still use the press, the powder measure, the trimmer, the primer pocket cleaner, and the chamfer, and deburring tool. I quickly upgraded the scale.

Buy a reloading manual since you stated that you would load for .45 auto then I would suggest the Lyman Pistol and Revolver 3rd edition. Prices is less than $20 closer to $14 or so most places. It is straight forward on the basics, and uses plain English, with simple explanation of the what you are doing, how to do it, and why you are doing it.
__________________
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 December 17, 2012, 04:43 PM   #12
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Quote:
I second the motion of a Turret if you can afford it.
thirded.

I have great success using their Pro Auto Disk powder measure as well. Just make sure to break it in properly (rub it down with used dryer sheets, run a bunch of powder through it to build up a nice graphite coating) and once you get your technique down you will be holding .1grain spreads all day.

Not to mention the Lee Safety Prime setup on the LCT is a dream to use too.

And I like the Lee 4 deluxe die sets too. Love me some FCD.

OK, so I am a Lee lover. Hard not to be when your first piece of reloading equipment was an LCT. What a great tool.
tkglazie is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 07:37 PM   #13
Recondo
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2012
Posts: 4
Man, You guys are GREAT!

I just joined "The Firing Line" forum three days ago. I am still learning how this thing works, bare with me please! The responses that I have received on my question regarding reloading have been awesome! I will take all into account, at least now I can make a more informed decision. I am looking at the Lee Anniversary kit. I have read quite a bit of bad reports on the scale, I probably will look at a digital scale soon, if I go with the Lee. I will start with 150-200 rounds per month. I already have quite a bit of 45 casings. I would like to then move into .380 Auto, .243, and 30-06. I have a wide range of calibers, but I guess I will not reload all of them!
Recondo is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 08:50 PM   #14
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
.45 Auto is a good round to start with. As is .38 Spcl. Lots of choices for bullet weights, and powders. Most of them work very well.

If you can go to a local library see if they have The ABC's of Reloading, or one of the other reloading manuals. The local library here had it though it was checked out. They did have the Nostler 1st.

Lyman 49th is a great one for info. Though the Pistol & Revolver 3rd is awesome for beginning with handgun reloading. A lot more simple explanation, and more geared for handgun loading.

Before buying equipment read some beginner's literature to understand the starting steps.

Oh and for the turret. Get the Classic Turret, with the Pro Auto Disc, the riser for it, and the Safety Prime. This is one of those things that getting it now saves down the road. No need to buy upgrades later.
__________________
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 December 17, 2012, 10:43 PM   #15
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
I cant help you with .243 or .30-06, but in addition to the .45/.38 m&p mentioned above, I will say I find .380acp is about as easy as it get to reload for, surprisingly. Just be sure to check the cases thoroughly if they are range pickups (and afterwards, once you start reloading the same case over and over) as some .380s tend to beat up cases pretty hard.

You will have great luck with HP38/W231 (same powder) and N320 in both your .45 and .380 (and the aforementioned .38, if you have that caliber).

Both are equally accurate. N320 is much more expensive, but cleaner. Both are outstanding.
tkglazie is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 10:58 PM   #16
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,527
I know this sounds odd, but I started on a Hand Press and...still use it. Thousands of 9mm, 45, x39, '06 and 223.

If you just want to load a couple hundred 45's the Hand Press is perfect for that. Plus it allows you to do the work watching TV, once you get the gist of things. Decap, resize, prime etc.

45 has to be the easiest caliber to load for.
chris in va is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 11:06 PM   #17
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,994
Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice

Welcome to reloading, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Recondo
I am looking at the Lee Anniversary kit. I have read quite a bit of bad reports on the scale,
Ony believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for anything you get from casual sources on the internet.

The Lee scale is accurate. It is just hard to read. Put it on a solid shelf at eye level in good light and it will be fine once you learn to read a vernier scale.

The other shortcoming is that it only goes up to 110 grains, so weighing bullets might be problematic.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 01:55 PM   #18
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,775
Quote:
Sevens that is a bit harsh to say Smart Reloader.
That is not a bit harsh to say about Smart Reloader.
If you are suggesting that their products aren't as bad and/or useless as my post my suggest -- that's certainly your opinion.

However, my hate with the seething, white-hot intensity of a thousand suns comes not from the fact that ALL of their stuff is excrement, it's from their shady business practices. This is a pure Chinese bankrolled blatent RIP OFF company that designs nothing and copies established and patented tools.

Nobody will ever convince me that there is even one microscopic reason to support that yellow crap. Not you... and not ever.

Pass the word. Full and total embargo.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens 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 03:10 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 0.09819 seconds with 9 queries