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Old April 28, 2013, 07:07 PM   #1
ChaseReynolds
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Wanting to reload

I am new to this whole thing, my uncle has always reloaded my .45 colt but he is no longer here and I would like to reload them now along with my other calibers.

I just want to avoid some mistakes that people make when they are first starting out, what to look out for and what to avoid.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:23 PM   #2
Blindstitch
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How many different shells do you plan to reload for? And how many rounds do you go through at a time over a period of 1 month, 6 months or a year.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:49 PM   #3
BigD_in_FL
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Your uncle have some reloading manuals? If so, read them.
If not, get some and read them
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:52 PM   #4
LE-28
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This is a really open ended question,

Do you have a reloading press, dies, scales, calipers, a couple different reloading manuals, any of these things?

We need a place to start.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:10 PM   #5
David Bachelder
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You can also watch a few video's on youtube.

check it out.
__________________
David Bachelder
Trinity, Texas
I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 243 and 30-06
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:10 PM   #6
ChaseReynolds
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I have nothing, my uncle does have a lot of that stuff but I would need to talk to my aunt and see what she says about using any of it. Most of his stuff is in a place where it will probably stay all of its life. I will be out of state for probably the rest of my life. I am looking at a Hornady catalog and would like to know what I should avoid and what is crucial to reloading. I know nothing about this stuff.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:16 PM   #7
Blindstitch
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Ok so what kind of quantity do you plan on reloading? Small reloading operations can be done with a single stage or hand press, Middle and be done with turret press and reloading a ton can be done with and even better semi automated system.

Do you have a lot of room or confined to a small space?
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:21 PM   #8
ChaseReynolds
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I care more about consistency and quality more than anything. I will only be reloading for myself, and I don't go shooting but maybe a couple hundred rounds every two weeks or so.

As far as space goes I am not sure. If I need more space I will find more, I am willing to start out small because in the near future I will not have the time to be shooting a lot.

I just have the money right now to purchase reloading equipment and would like to get everything bought and ready to go for when I am able to start up my reloading operation.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:37 PM   #9
LE-28
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As far as equipment goes, any of the better single stage loading presses, Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, Lee, and so on will last you the rest of your life if you take care of them.

If I were to start over though I would be looking at the Lee Classic Turret Press. It is self indexing or you can take the indexing rod out of it and run it single stage until you get the hang of it.

As said above the U-Tube videos really would help you understand what all this stuff does.

http://www.titanreloading.com/lee-cl...rret-press-kit

You will need the kit, that would include most all the essentials, no matter what brand you decide to buy.

You will need a set of dial calipers to measure your overall length of the loaded rounds.
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.co...ku=00005050075

You will need a 3 die set of carbide loading dies for 45 long colt
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.co...&GO.x=0&GO.y=0

Then comes the hard part, finding supplies.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:41 PM   #10
ChaseReynolds
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I understand that supplies will be hard to come by for a while so getting the stuff and learning is what I am after right now.

Is there brand that y'all would say to look out for or anything?
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:48 PM   #11
Misssissippi Dave
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Reading about reloading is probably one of the best things you can do now. Later supplies to re-load should be easier to get and without outrageous prices. The ABC's of Reloading is one place to start. Another book would be Lyman's Reloading Manual and the Speer #14 Manual. There are others as well. Understanding the reasons you are doing something is much better than just repeating what you were shown or told about to do. This allows you to make changes to improve things or understand better what other loads you can develop when supplies are in short supply.

Nobody knows it all when they start reloading. We all needed to start some place. These books are a good place to start. Any or all of them. Many things related to rifle reloading also apply to pistol reloading. Pistol reloading in my opinion is easier to do.

A single stage kit is a good way to start. The Smart Reloader stuff seems to be over priced since most of what I've seen of it is low in quality. I have experience with RCBS and Dillon equipment and think they will last beyond your life time with proper maintenance. I don't even know how old you are and I'm pretty certain I'm right. If you are also thinking about reloading rifle ammo later, the Rock Chucker press is a good bet. It has the leverage to load rifle some of the light weights just don't do well. Major brands all make a heavy duty single stage press so it seems. I would think any of them would serve you well. Several companies also make kits containing all the basic items needed or close to it. Often these are cheaper than buying things one piece at a time. There may be a delay getting one of these kits now. Reading up on reloading will probably help you determine what is going to work best for you. For the amount you mentioned, you probably will not be needing any type of progressive press.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:58 PM   #12
AL45
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Most of my reloading is for .45 Colt. I have a Lee single stage press. A Lee 4 die set. A Lyman beam scale, Calipers. Lee hand primer. A primer pocket cleaner. Case mouth deburrer. A Lee and Lyman manual. I use the Lee dipper set to measure the powder along with the beam scale. Read through the manuals, watch you tube videos and talk with someone who reloads if possible. For .45 Colt, Unique powder, Starline cases, CCI or Winchester large pistol primers, and 250 grain lead bullets is a good place to start. My setup is slow, but in over 1500 reloads, no problems.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:16 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum Chase, even though you have been around TFL for a while, you should review the sticky at the top of the Handloading forum ->
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171
Good stuff to get you started in the right direction.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:19 PM   #14
JimDandy
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The Lee Turret Press is the ubiquitous press. I'm exaggerating for effect, but even non-shooters probably have one or know someone who does.

If you're looking for a sweet sweet "progressive press" setup you're looking at either

Dillon
RCBS
or
Hornady

The best way to describe them are Ford, Chevy, Chrysler. Everyone has a favorite. Everyone is right and everyone is wrong. Pick the color that matches your garage basically.

Now I've have no experience with Dillon, but I've heard they are more proprietary than Hornady and RCBS which use the industry standard dies and such- but someone with Dillon will have to confirm or deny.

Hornady and RCBS both have OUTSTANDING warranties on purely mechanical stuff like presses (but not electronic stuff like the pricey scales/dispensers obviously- no one warranties electronic stuff for life). I give a slight edge to Hornady on Customer Service/Warranty service, but it's a a nose hair, not a nose in that horse race.

How many calibers are you going to reload? How many rounds do you shoot a month? Those will be the big questions on what to buy.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:25 PM   #15
ChaseReynolds
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I would first like to say Thank You to everyone that has given me their two cents, I think I am going to go all out and get a progressive reloading kit. That being said, the thread I started and I may not have been clear, was meant to ask what I should look out for. What mistakes everyone made starting out that may save me a headache. I plan on getting the Hornady reloading manual tomorrow. I would like to know hints and little tricks of the trade if y'all don't mind giving them up.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:29 PM   #16
ChaseReynolds
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I plan on reloading 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 Colt and .308 win.

I shoot about a few hundred rounds a month of 9 and 40, I have yet to shoot any .308 because I want to zero my rifle at 200 meters and don't have that option where I am. .45 colt I shoot maybe 50 rounds every few months but that is because I am almost out of plinking rounds.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:52 PM   #17
Misssissippi Dave
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If you are set on a progressive press, I would suggest the Dillon RL550b. It is not an auto indexing press. This might be helpful when you are starting out. You can use it like a single stage or a turret press if you want to. It also can load a lot of ammo per hour once you are comfortable with the process. This Dillon press uses standard dies and is able to load rifle ammo. I would suggest using a single stage for .308 loading. It might be slower going, but, you will have more control in the quality. Pistol ammo is done quickly and without much of a problem for me on the Dillon. I do suggest people wanting to use a progressive press have some mechanical ability. They are more complicated machines than single stage presses are.
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:40 PM   #18
kilimanjaro
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I just started reloading, myself. I've got a Dillon 550B, and am set up to reload .308 and .22 Hornet right now, with other stuff coming on line this year, like .303 British and .416 Rigby. I bought the dies, just getting the conversion kits is limiting me to two calibers, which for a start, is probably good. A thousand primers goes a long ways, powder is tough to get, I got 2 pounds of H335 for the .308, since found a few more in 4064 and 4350 and looking for powder for the .22 Hornet.

A lot of folks say you need to start with a single-stage press, but I've found the Dillon progressive to be simple to set up and consistent quality is not an issue, but I'm not shooting matches, just general targets and 'plinking'. I'm pretty painstaking though, checking constantly. You have to feed the cartridge cases and the bullets by hand, but this is not a problem, and the manual indexing allows for taking your time with it. Two hundred rounds would take me less than an hour to reload, given it's all set up and ready to go, just add the powder in the hopper, run some test rounds to check the load, and start production. I weigh each round after completion, takes a few minutes, and disassemble anything that is light or heavy from standard. It takes a while to set up the correct powder charge, but once that's done, it's done. I do like to run each round back on the press and make sure the primer is well-seated, but that's just me, I think. The Dillon press has not had a failure to seat or properly charge the case yet, in the first few hundred rounds.

So far, my advice is to get as many reloading manuals as you can find, pick up a couple hundred pieces of new .308 brass (not fired), a pound or two of H335, 4064, 4350, or 4895 powder (other powders may be available, that's what I've got), some bullets, Large Rifle primers, a dial caliper to measure case length, a baking tray to lay out cases for lubing, a drafter's desk lamp, a reloading scale (don't skimp on that), a bottle of case lube, and go for it. You can get a tumbler/polisher in a little while when you've fired off the new brass you just loaded. Later on, you'll need more brass, bullets, primers, and powder, and a case trimmer, more dies, conversion kits, etc., etc., but for now, just start with .308. I'm using RCBS dies, they seem to be just fine, but also have some Hornady and Redding dies, too.
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:53 PM   #19
ChaseReynolds
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Ism looking at the hornady reloading progressive press. Until I get settled into my new place I plan on stocking up on all the supplies that I can.

Will the manuals tell what kind of powder to buyer will I just have to check out the forums?

It seems that's most things are pretty simple to pick out but powder seems pretty complicated.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:01 AM   #20
JimDandy
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Your .308 is far better on a single stage. You shoot enough to make a progressive worthwhile. Don't get the Hornady manual- it's a recipe book, not a How-to guide. IF you end up using Hornady bullets, or want stories on a ton of rounds you'll never shoot- history and trivia- THEN get it. Instead, get an ebook from amazon called The ABC's of reloading.

For Straight Walled case pistol rounds:
You will want:

A press
A Balance Beam Scale- the RCBS 5-05 is a nice one. (to check the charge thrown by your powder measure- Double check your double checks!)
An inertial hammer-type bullet puller
Good calipers
A 3 Die set in your caliber- Sizing die, Expander die, and (Probably) TAPER crimp Die. Pay attention to the crimp for your cartridge, and the one in your die set.

Additionally
For a bottleneck case i.e. your .308,
A Single Stage press
2 Die set -Sizer, and Seater/crimper
You MAY want a powder trickler.

You MAY want a Lee Hand Press & a Universal decapping die. Makes decapping big rifle cases so easy.


You'll also need a cleaning process.

There's Vibratory with Corncob/walnut media. This is long term messy. You'll likely have a small mess for the entire time you're working, dust, little bits and remants of the cleaning process will follow you the whole process.

Rotary Tumblers with Stainless Steel Pins/Media. Bigger chance of a mess for a much shorter time. Imagine a miniatureized clothes washer filled with tiny steel rods that flop around inside your brass. You dump your pins and brass in the sink, and life sucks. But once you're past the cleaning part, you're golden.

It's a personal choice.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:07 AM   #21
JimDandy
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Quote:
Will the manuals tell what kind of powder to buyer will I just have to check out the forums?

It seems that's most things are pretty simple to pick out but powder seems pretty complicated.
You have several options. If you buy Hornady Bullets, buy the Hornady manual, Speer, the Speer manual, Berrys the Berry manual, etc. the same MOST bullet makers put out a manual. Duplicate their loads exactly. Same primer brand, same powder, same powder load weights, same bullets...

Build the lowest one first. Minimum of 10. Shoot em. Check em for bulges, cracks, check the primer after you shoot em, look for signs of over pressure. Assuming no overpressure, decide if they're accurate enough for you. If not GRADUALLY work up to the middle, again 10 rounds at a time.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:45 AM   #22
ChaseReynolds
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Thank you for that little tid bit about buying same across the board.

On that note, what does over pressure look like? I don't want to blow up any of me weapons because after diving into this new hobby I won't have the money to replace them for a little while.
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Old April 29, 2013, 03:02 AM   #23
Lost Sheep
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[QUOTE=ChaseReynolds}
Thank you for that little tid bit about buying same across the board.

On that note, what does over pressure look like? I don't want to blow up any of me weapons because after diving into this new hobby I won't have the money to replace them for a little while. [/QUOTE]
There are dozens of signs of overpressure. Very few are truly conclusive on their own, but you observe the constellation of clues.

But first, you study up on loading and when you have the confidence of your convictions, start loading, not before.

When I started, my mentoring consisted of 6 rounds. I watched while the guy who sold me my gear loaded 3 and narrated. He watched while I loaded the other three. Long story short, I could have learned a lot more from a longer tutelage, but I continued on, staring well within the high and low recommended load recipes, averaged among several sources. After I established that I could do the metalwork reliably (sizing, depriming/priming, bullet seating, all that stuff) I began to vary the loads searching for desirable powder levels and accuracy. This was before the internet (1975) and my sources were solely the books available to me.

That's my story. Not the best, but not the worst, because I was extremely cautious, knowing there was much I did not know which could hurt me. So, I double-checked everything. Until I had the confidence of my convictions and when I dropped the hammer on a primer, I KNEW the content of the cartridge was safe.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

p.s. check out this thread
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=519606
post 5, the first half
post 8, the second half
post 9, my 10 Advices for the Novice

Last edited by Lost Sheep; April 29, 2013 at 03:08 AM.
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Old April 29, 2013, 04:47 AM   #24
ChaseReynolds
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Well I plan on getting the Hornady manual today and don't plan on reloading for a few months, so I will have plenty of time to learn all about loads.

I was looking at a progressive reloader and I would like to know how consistent the powder feeders are. I have seen them a lot on the internet and people seem to use them a lot. Are they pretty reliable?
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Old April 29, 2013, 07:11 AM   #25
Misssissippi Dave
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The Dillon powder measures work very well with ball/sperical powders. I load a lot of pistol ammo and found the powder drop from them is quite consistant. I have used W231, WST, WSF, AA2, AA5, AA7 and probably a few others as well. The ones mentioned all measured well. Normally I tweek the adjustment until I get what I'm looking for. An example is if I want 5 grains of powder to drop, I measure 4 loads and drop them into the pan to measure and it should be 20 grains of powder. I may do this a few times and I get the same reading each time. My scale is rated to be plus or minus .1 of a grain. This is more than accurate enough for pistol loads I use.

VV powders also work well but they cost a lot more.

Some powders like 700X and 800X do not measure consistanly in my measure. They do work well for pistol ammo if I measure each load with my scale prior to seating each bullet. It takes far too long to do it this way with a progressive press in my opinion. This is the reason I won't use them any more.

Fast burning powders work better for light to mid range loads. You can get soft shooting loads with them. Most slower burning powders will allow you to push the bullet faster. This may be something you want for hollow point bullets to get them up to a speed where they expand properly.

Many plated bullets have limits on how fast you can push them. Trying to go beyond those limits will normally result in ammo that is not accurate. I like shooting and loading jacketed bullets. Speed limits are not much of a factor with them. They are easier to get the crimp right too. Leading of the barrel is not an issue.
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