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Old May 8, 2005, 02:41 PM   #1
locked'n'cocked
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First time reloading

I am thinking about getting a reloader to reload .223 rem, 9mm, and 300 win mag. I was looking at a lee aniversary kit. I know a little bit about reloading but I've never reloaded rifle or pistol. Also can you recomend a powder to use for .223 rem. If it works with the others thats great but not a big deal.

ps. this is my first post

edit: how about the lee turret press?

Last edited by locked'n'cocked; May 8, 2005 at 03:15 PM.
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Old May 8, 2005, 03:26 PM   #2
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I bought the Lee Anniversary kit and have had great results with it. I did swap the scale that came with it for a Hornady beam scale. I would suggest getting a couple good reloading manuals (I bought Lyman's 48th and a caliber specific book). Spend some quality time reading them, especially the page or so devoted to your caliber, before you get started loading. That will give you an idea of which powders to buy. There's a lot of reloading wisdom on this forum from guys who have been at it a lot longer than I have, and I know they'll have lots of good advice for you. If you get the Anniversary kit, it will be just fine for you. Maybe someday later if you choose, you can get more expensive stuff, but for now the Lee will help you load great ammo. I have been very pleased with mine. If you're like me, the time I set aside for reloading is like therapy.....it forces me to concentrate, lets me work at my own pace, and rewards me with the satisfaction of producing quality ammunition specifically designed for the type of shooting I want to do .
The kit is fairly complete, but you will probably want to get a dial or digital caliper soon. They have been indispensable for me. Good luck and be safe.
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Old May 8, 2005, 03:28 PM   #3
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I don't reload rifle brass, but the 300 is a long case so make sure your press has enough stroke and mechanical advantage to handle it.

I've tried alot of lee stuff and the only thing I like is their primimng tool.

As far as presses I use an old Texan (MEC) turrent press, it's a bout 40 yearsold but works great so I havent felt the need to replace it.

I guess my only advice is to look around and buy well once.

I say this b/c I think and I did buy cheap equipment at first and it only made my reloading experience less enjoyable.
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Old May 8, 2005, 05:30 PM   #4
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thanks for the info. anything else anybody has to say will be greatly appreciated.

lnc
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Old May 8, 2005, 10:06 PM   #5
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Welcome to the H&R forum here at TFL
There is a lot of good info available from the guys here. Second the suggestion to get a couple of good manuals, also recommend a book like The ABC's of Reloading, and if you have a decent reloading section in a sporting goods store near you the powder companies all put out small free booklets with a slightly limited amount of data. Most of the powder and bullet companies also have data available on their websites.
The Lee kit is a great way to get started in reloading without spending a bunch of money. I have used one for quite a while reloading for 5 rifle calibers and 4 handgun. A good friend, the guy that got me started reloading, has 2 Lee presses bolted on his bench. He loads at least twice as many calibers and probably at least 5 times as much ammo as I do, and his equipment was far from new when I met him 10 years ago.
There is not one powder that would work well/safely in all three of the calibers that you mention. I mostly use Varget in my .223, with 50-55 grain bullets.

good luck,
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Old May 8, 2005, 11:02 PM   #6
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locked'n'cocked-welcome to the best addiction since firearms were invented!

If you decide to go with the Lee press, you'll have no problems with the 300 Win Mag. I loaded 270 Weatherby cases on a Lee years ago and it did fine. One thing you will want to watch on a Lee press is their construction. They use aluminum or some kind of pot metal, and if you do not lube your cases correctly, it can cause issues.

Another vote here for the Lyman 48 manual. Very good articles which will guide you through what you need and want to know.

Not that you are one, but there are a lot of beginning reloaders who want max velocity out of their loads, and go straight for the max load listed. Please work up to it in increments-your rifle will thank you for it and your shooting buddies will too.
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Old May 8, 2005, 11:17 PM   #7
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All good info mentioned so far, There's really nothing wrong with Lee products, I've used them (along with other makes) for years, I have no real complaints.

I'll 3rd on the Lyman 48 th Manual, it's one of my favorites for reloading. It along with the manual in the Lee kit, should be enough to get you started.
A lot of guys here recommend the ABC's of reloading book as well, I can't comment, I've never read it myself, but I've heard nothing but good stuff about it.
Your Lee dies will come with some load data with them, it's limited in my opinion, but still another reference for info, it never hurts to cross reference loads from 2 or 3 sources (I do).

As for the turret press, you can always get that later, I'd say start with the Lee kit, load some ammo, try it out, then think about upgrading.
I've been loading for about 16 years now and I only have 2 single stage presses, one of them is my first, it's loaded thousands of rounds (RCBS partner press kit) and is still going strong. One of these days, I'll upgrade to a progressive press, but as you can tell, I'm in no hurry.
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Old May 8, 2005, 11:46 PM   #8
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i just finished loading a batch of .45 ACP using my lee anniversary kit. works great.

1st book i read was ABC's of Reloading - HIGHLY recommended.

also use Lyman 48th, Speer 13, and the Lee book that came with the kit.

will also need calipers, loading blocks, and safety glasses in addition to the appropriate die sets.
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Old May 9, 2005, 03:11 PM   #9
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sounds good. thanks for all the info. i think ill get the lee press along with the lyman book and the ABC's. i am also planning on the calipers. just out of curiosity(sp?) is it even possible to reload with out them?
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Old May 9, 2005, 06:55 PM   #10
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As suggested by others:
AT LEAST TWO MANUALS preferably 4 or 5 for data cross reference.

NEVER FORGET RULE #1: If you don't know, ask!!!!

Relaoding is very gratifying but done wrong it can be deadly.

Welcome aboard!!!
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Old May 9, 2005, 07:18 PM   #11
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Your post asked basically for a single powder to reload 223, 9mm and a 300 Win. There are powders like 4064, 3031, 4198 and others that can be used in the 223 and the 300. None of the rifle powders will work in your 9mm. you will need another powder to load that. A couple are Herco, Unique etc. etc.
As suggested get a couple of manuals including phamplets from the various powder and bullet manufactures. They almost have load data included. Good luck
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Old May 9, 2005, 07:25 PM   #12
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just picked up the lyman's 48th manual. its full of everything i need. i plan on getting a few caliber specific books too.
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Old May 9, 2005, 08:08 PM   #13
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A good press is a lifetime investment. Spend a little more money and get a Redding, Lyman, RCBS, or Hornady. In the long run, you'll be glad you did!
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Old May 9, 2005, 08:14 PM   #14
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Dad has an old RCBS "Jr." press. It's older than me, and I suspect has loaded over half a million rounds. (No joke, I used to crank out 500+ 357mag per week for a few years, 2 brothers that still run 500 round batches of 40 S&W/wk, no telling how much it loaded before dad got it.)

You may seriously want to consider the RCBS rockchucker kit. It has all the basics at a very good price. Nothing wrong with lee, but that RCBS press will outlast you. (and it can load 50 BMG if you ever get the urge. )
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Old May 9, 2005, 09:21 PM   #15
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i think ill sick with the lee because this would be my first experience reloading. i want to see how i like it before i spend too much money. i can always upgrade later, right? do you think it is worth the extra money to go with rcbs? i can get the lee from cabelas for 67.99.
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Old May 10, 2005, 11:00 AM   #16
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L&C, you're doing fine with the Lee Anniversary Kit. Do a search on beginning reloading. There may be one or two additional pieces of gear you want. Maybe a caliper or a chamfer tool. Its possible to reload without calipers. I did for a short time. I just compared my loads with the length of factory loads using the same bullet. Not very satisfying, or precise, so I got a caliper pretty quick.

Regarding powders, I have used both Varget and H335 in my .223. Both are great, but I like the H335 a little better. Its also a couple bucks cheaper, which appeals to the miser in me.

I don't think you'll want to use the same powder in your .300 WinMag as in your .223. The .300WinMag likes slower powders than the .223 does. It may be possible to use one powder in both, but you'll be compromising the performance of one or the other.

FWIW I like Unique in 9mm, but I have not tried much else. Again, its pretty inexpensive. The inly thing I don't like is it has a pretty good muzzle flash. I woudl like a powder with less flash for 9mm.
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Old May 10, 2005, 07:07 PM   #17
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Heed the advice of ensuring the press has a sufficiently long throw on the ram to handle the long 300 Win Mag case if you intend to handload for it. I load the 300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 25-06, and 45-70. My first press was a Forster Co-Ax. Nice press but I got tired of pinching my fingers and the clumsy way I had to handle a bullet to get it seated in the long cases. I bought a Redding Ultramag, then another, huge mechanical advantage and I'm sure I'll bequeath them to someone in the family. No more fumbling around and swearing. You might also take a look at the LEE Classic Press. It has a huge throw and is very reasonably priced. I gave up on handloading hand gun ammo (357 mag and 40 S&W) on a single stage press, too much time and the cost of ammo just doesn't warrant the effort.

The rifle cartridges are a different story. I don't spend less money but I shoot a whole lot more than I would if I had to buy factory ammo. I shoot 4 or 5 boxes of handloads every weekend, sometimes more. Ebay is a great place to buy bullets and I get a decent deal on powder and primers at the local gun show. I have every flavor of equipment there is on my loading bench but I favor Redding. LEE designs are super but they sometimes lack in quality. I have a LEE Collet Neck Die that I will throw in the garbage as soon as I get a Redding Neck Die to replace it. I have LEE Factory Crimp Dies for all my bottle neck cartridges and wouldn't be without one. I also like the LEE Case Trimmers, especially with the ball handle. Forster makes an outstanding Ultraseat die with the built in micrometer that deals handily with runout issues. Redding body and neck dies are really good as are their specialy dies. EJS makes really good primer pocket uniformers and flash hole burring tools. No one thing is going to break the bank but it will take you awhile to get a suite of equipment you really like. Oh yeah, get a digital caliper. The dials are too hard to read. The only equipment I won't have on my bench is Hornady. Their customer service did me dirty on some Lock-N-Load stuff I was having problems with and I won't own another product they make.
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Old May 10, 2005, 07:16 PM   #18
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Nothing wrong with upgrading later. I went from an RCBS to a dillon 650 with a casefeeder.

HOWEVER: when I need to test a new load or need 100% of possible variables eliminated from a given load(big game hunting ammo for an example) out comes the 'ol single stage.
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Old May 10, 2005, 08:27 PM   #19
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anybody have a good pet load that would be good to start out with? i was planning on using something from the books i bought but if anybody has anything they want to share ill definatly listen.

ps. nothing really hot as it is my first load
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Old May 10, 2005, 09:08 PM   #20
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Pess

Something I almost never see refered to on ANY reloading site is cleaning and relubing of the press, ALL of the press, the ram, the linkage pivot pins, the linkage to the ram.
I disassemble a new press, wash everything with solvent, amazing at the crud the factory leaves, especially in the cast iron and steel models, apply neverseize, the nickel bearing high pressure lube to the ram and all pivot points, same on my Lee hand primer. Then Lubriplate over the neverseize.
I clean and relube all of them at least 2 times a year.
I have an RCBS that is more than 35 years old and has no play,a $15 Lee cast aluminum that is 6-8 years old and has no play, a Lee 20ga loader that is likely 25 years old, my Lee handprimer is more than 20 years old and is like new except where my thumb has worn off some of the plating.
I really believe if you do basic maintenance and lubing, most any press will last longer than you will.
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Old May 10, 2005, 10:00 PM   #21
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Good point drinks,
I lube my presses every now and then, it does help, I have an RCBS Partner Press (Has a little play in it, but gawd, it's loading a BUNCH of ammo!) and an RCBS RC II.
For a single stager, I like the RCBS Rock Chucker II hands down better then any other, but that's just me.

Sorry L&C, I don't load those calibers, I got nothin'.
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Old May 11, 2005, 05:47 PM   #22
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sounds good. ill keep all of that in mind. one more question (i think ), what is a good way to store powder? maybe in a cabinet with some dehumidifier? just out on the bench? it is a fairly moist environment here (i live on the water) and my bench is going to be in a semi-finished walk-out basement, it had sheet rock up and good lighting but it kind of damp down there.
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Old May 11, 2005, 06:32 PM   #23
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Store your powder in a reasonably cool, dry place.
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Old May 11, 2005, 09:12 PM   #24
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I assume you are looking for a load for your 300?

Please keep in mind the 300 is not a "light weight" cartridge. What you will discover, if you pay close attention to your loads and subsequent shooting sessions, is - slow burning powders will generally develop lower pressures (ie. less recoil) for similar velocities. They are not as "sharp" as faster burn rate powders.

Slow burning powders are generally used with heavy-for-caliber bullets. In the 300 I consider bullet weights heavier than 180 grains heavy. I like Hodgdon H1000 and Hodgdon Retumbo powders for the 300. The lightest bullet I will handload for the 300 is 165 grains and I use the same powders. You may discover that slow burning powders need to hit a peak pressure value to be used efficiently (burn completely). Accuracy can suffer with low end loads. That means you want to be near the upper end of the max recommended load data and what you don't want to do is blow unburned powder out the fornt of the barrel. I generally end up about 1 grain below max load and get excellent accuracy. There are exceptions to this and I have a couple of loads developed for my guns that are over max published data but they are with powders that advertise significantly lower pressures than the SAMMI ratings for the case.

As a rule, when trying to select a powder for a particular bullet, I always look for a powder that has low(er) pressure for max loads and I try and find one that will fill the case with powder. Just because a load book lists a powder for a particular cartridge doesn't make it a good choice. For the 300 I would suggest you take a look at the Hodgdon Retumbo load data and start off with the lightest weight bullet for that powder.

You will also need to determine the bullet seating depth that is best suited to your gun. I keep a "master" for all the different bullets I load. Just a bullet seated and crimped in a case, no primer or powder. This allows me to set my seat die to the same location every time I load that particular bullet. I coat the end of the bullet in black magic marker and work it down away from the lands by seating it deeper and deeper into the case until the ink is no longer scarred from contacting the lands in the bore. It takes a little time but is well worth the effort. You must also ensure the cartridge is not excessively long and it will fit in your magazine and cycle through the action.
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Old May 11, 2005, 09:31 PM   #25
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thanks for the info. flashhole. that was exactly what i was looking for. thats a great tip too about the master bullet and how to set the depth. ill have to try that.
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