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Old May 2, 2008, 09:11 PM   #1
M1AFan
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New to Reloading and the firing line

Hi everyone. I'm a life long shooter new to the forums and reloading and had a couple of questions that I was hoping someone could answer.

My wife got me a Dillon 550B and some dies and plates for our anniversary so I can start reloading. I've also got a Speer reloading book but it seems very dry and overwhelming for me as a begginner with no experience. Can someone reccommend a better book for begginners?

I'm also looking for a good recipe to clean and polish brass. Most of the brass is pretty clean on the outside but has the normal burned powder inside. I'd like something that isn't going to corrode or weaken the brass. Some of my reloads will probably be setting for long term storage and I don't want it corroded when I open it up later.

I'm also looking for a guide as to what brass I can get away with using and that I should throw away. I know splits, cracks, and bulges should go into the recycling bin. I mostly mean when it comes to brass with small dings from extraction. I've been told this is ok to use because it will come out during resizing.

Any help to these questions or advise is really appreciated. I don't want to jump in because I can't afford to replace damaged guns, and certainly can't afford to losing fingers or limbs.
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Old May 2, 2008, 10:44 PM   #2
elkman06
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The absolute best advice that can be given here is to find someone to mentor you a bit and learn from there. If not possible, stay on this website alot and ask questions while you work up your loads starting in the lower end of suggested powder amounts, etc.
I started w/ a Speer book and asked a lot of friends a multitude of questions. I prefer corn cob media for cleaning w/ no additives so far.
I toss all questionable brass and or poorly loaded rounds.
I personally store my loads in a vacuum sealer type bag. Great for my wild game too.
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Old May 3, 2008, 05:23 AM   #3
saudst
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Welcome.

M1AFan, welcome to reloading. This forum is a great place to get some valuble information and I wish I found it long ago. I started reloading 26 years ago when I was 18 and found the first reloading manual a little technical for me and a guy gave me one called The ABC's of reloading and it helped a lot. Elkman is right though, you just can't beat a mentor who has been doing this for a long time, they should be able to set you up with all their checks and balances that you only get from experience, but this book will help, it explains everything more clearly to the beginer.

As for the cleaning, I use cracked walnut shells I got from Midway USA when I bought a tumbler there and it works fine. Some people don't like the redish dust it leaves on the inside of the case, but I think this is only asthetics as I've never had a problem with this. Never used corn cobs but I'll give them a try when I run out of what I have.

Have fun and be safe, Tim.
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Old May 3, 2008, 07:48 AM   #4
wingman
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Start slow load only 5-10 rounds and test, a pain sometimes depending on distance to range but I've seen far too many new people load 100-200 rounds and all poor, won't chamber, etc.

Reading is always a good start, boring perhaps, but well worth the effort, when your new always work slow and without distractions.

Its a great hobby after 40+ years I prefer my ammo to commerical any day.
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Old May 3, 2008, 08:34 AM   #5
wogpotter
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Are you anywhere near central MD?
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Old May 3, 2008, 08:39 AM   #6
hodaka
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I would recommend Lyman's book. A set of calipers is a good investment as is a scale. Cleaning brass is a personal thing, it works well enough dirty. Dishwashing soap with a little vinegar and hot water works well as long as you give it time to dry. Most of us have ended up with tumblers with corncob or walnut media. Welcome aboard!

Last edited by hodaka; May 3, 2008 at 10:30 AM.
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Old May 3, 2008, 10:05 AM   #7
The Lovemaster
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I recommend the Sierra manual too, it has a great Q & A section.
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Old May 3, 2008, 10:42 AM   #8
Shane Tuttle
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Quote:
Can someone reccommend a better book for begginners?
ABC's of Reloading. It's a good start with some anectdotes. Lyman's 48th edition is what I'd recommend also. Don't know by personal experience, but was told the 47th edition is the best of the bunch.

Quote:
I'm also looking for a good recipe to clean and polish brass. Most of the brass is pretty clean on the outside but has the normal burned powder inside. I'd like something that isn't going to corrode or weaken the brass. Some of my reloads will probably be setting for long term storage and I don't want it corroded when I open it up later.
Get a tumbler such as Lyman's or MidwayUSA (Frakford Arsenal). Walnut media to clean, corn media with AMMONIA FREE agent to polish.

Quote:
I'm also looking for a guide as to what brass I can get away with using and that I should throw away. I know splits, cracks, and bulges should go into the recycling bin. I mostly mean when it comes to brass with small dings from extraction. I've been told this is ok to use because it will come out during resizing.
Correct. Small dings, etc. will come out when resizing or when you fire the round. Even if that doesn't do the trick, there's no issue. Just inspect the area every time you reload the brass.

Quote:
Any help to these questions or advise is really appreciated. I don't want to jump in because I can't afford to replace damaged guns, and certainly can't afford to losing fingers or limbs.
Common sense will be your best friend. Just be sure to ask questions like you are now. The whole purpose of these forums is to encourage responsible firearm ownership and most folks here will be more than willing to help you in any way to feel like you're family...
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Old May 3, 2008, 10:45 AM   #9
CrustyFN
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I have heard the ABC's of reloading is a good book to learn from but have never read it myself. For cleaning brass the easiest and fastest way I have found is to use a vribratory tumbler and crushed walnut. I buy the walnut at WalMart in the pet section. I add a cap full of Nu Finish car polish to help shine the cases and a paper towel cut into 10 or 12 pieces to help keep the media clean. Where are you located? If you lived close enough to somebody here most here would be happy to help you get started and get the press running. Welcome,
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Old May 3, 2008, 12:14 PM   #10
M1AFan
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Thanks for all the info. guys. I live in Gloucester, Va.

I have a Lyman tumbler and use different types of media. This is one thing I actually understood. I use some Lyman Cob Green, but also have crushed Walnut and corn cob I picked up from Walmart and Petsmart. The Lyman green and crushed Walnut works the best for the brass I have. The brass is pretty dirty from being on an outdoor range.

I actually need a second preferably larger tumbler if anyone could recommend one. I got close to 7000 rounds of free once fired brass in various handgun calibers from the department I work for. Since we do alot of shooting I can get this pretty regular.

Again thanks for all the help and look forward to sharing my first goods loads once I'm ready and have some worked up.
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Old May 3, 2008, 01:51 PM   #11
CrustyFN
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I bought a Cabela's tumbler a while back and really like it. It is a lot quieter than my old tumbler and light weight. It is a high capacity, will hold 650 38 spcl cases. I think they have it for around $44.
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Old May 3, 2008, 01:52 PM   #12
dmickey
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I use the Lyman 2500. It has the largest capacity. I also have a Midway tumbler (back when they sold it under their own name) but they no longer make the larger machine. If there is a larger tumbler I wish someone would let me know. I started with one that had a bowl the size of a half-gallon ice cream bucket. I believe the brand was Vibra teck (or something like that). Way too small! After that I have gone to the other extreme!
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Old May 3, 2008, 05:40 PM   #13
BigV
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Do yourself a favor and go out to your local pet store and look for crushed walnut shells used for reptile bedding. I paid $17.99 for my first 5# of RCBS ($3.60 a pound) walnut media, but quickly learned that 10 dry pounds of “Zilla” ground English walnut shells at Pet Smart sells for $10.99 a bag ($1.10 a pound). I don’t know where the walnuts come from, but there ground, processed and packaged in the USA. The media size is a bit larger, but it works just as well and soooo much cheaper! Add a little car polish about every 3rd cycle and my brass turns out as shiny and clean as new. A used dryer sheet cut into 1” squares thrown in while tumbling absorbs the dust and keeps the media cleaner longer.
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Old May 4, 2008, 05:15 PM   #14
totalloser
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Best starting book

In my opinion, is Lee's "Modern Reloading". First half of the book will answer almost any of the layman's questions. I used it to learn reloading from SCRATCH before I knew ANYTHING. More books are a good buy no matter what you get, and I haven't seen the ABC's book, but I would consider the Lee book in addition. It answered all my beginner questions. ALL OF THEM. Wish I could bring home brass from work! Just greasy tractor parts for me!
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Old May 4, 2008, 06:11 PM   #15
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I have to agree about Lee's Modern Reloading, it was my first book along with my first press (Lee Pro 1000). You'll find he promotes his products a lot but the info in the book about general reloading is excellent for a beginner. I have been reloading for exactly one year and still have my fingers and toes. The ABC's of Reloading is OK BUT I prefer the Lee book as there's plenty of good load data for all calibers and bullet types.

Also you'll want to get some calipers, a GOOD scale, and probably some extra primer pick up tubes for your Dillon. I've had mine for five months and have loved every minute of it.

As far as brass I got the Frankford Arsenal tumbler from Midway and use Dillon polish. I'm happy with it.

And finally congratulations on having a wife that would buy you a 550 lol.
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Old May 5, 2008, 10:33 AM   #16
ryalred
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I have to throw in my vote for the Lee Modern Reloading manual as one of the best for the beginning reloader. I know he plugs the Lee product line heavily, but the info is excellent and seemed to me to be easy to understand without being overwhelming.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old May 5, 2008, 11:42 AM   #17
graham82
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Welcome to the forum!

I started reloading just over a year ago and found the sticky note (For the new reloader: Equipment basics) at the top of this section very informative. It's a good place to start.

I read the ABC's of reloading and Lyman's manual along with spending much time here reading and getting answers to all of my nooby questions. I now safely reload for .308, 30-06, .223,45ACP, and 40S&W. If you are like me, you will find this forum to be the best tool you have if you do not have someone to show you about reloading.

Good luck and have fun firing your first reload.
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Old May 5, 2008, 12:04 PM   #18
ELMOUSMC
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Ditto on the Lee Manual it will answer just about any question you have.Spend some quality time on this forum the members here have a lot of wisdom to wizz and can help you with any question that might come up not covered in a book Good luck and good shooting ELMOUSMC
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Old May 5, 2008, 12:10 PM   #19
gandog56
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Quote:
I add a cap full of Nu Finish car polish to help shine the cases and a paper towel cut into 10 or 12 pieces to help keep the media clean.
Anti-static dryer sheets work much better than paper towel. Lee Modern Reloading Second Edition is a very informative manual, once you get past the parts why Lee stuff is better than cheaper than anybody else's. But it has lots of good info. I think everybody who is getting into reloading should get the ABC's of Reloading manual, too.
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Old May 7, 2008, 07:22 AM   #20
lakebilly
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I too am new, offer this; DF Curran DVD "Learn handgun & rifle reloading in under 41 minutes." The 'Mentor" suggestion is the best. find someone who KNOWS reloading. have ABC's, Lymans Handgun reloading. like em.
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