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Old August 7, 2011, 07:40 AM   #1
GregInAtl
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Getting started

Thinking of getting started reloading both for hobby and saving money on ammo. The first thing I wanted to find out is how much room is needed and how messy is this. Is it something that can be done in a spare bedroom in my house or do I need a workbench in the garage (don't have one). It is very hot 6 months of the year and too cold 3 months here where I live so there is probably no way I could do it in the garage
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Old August 7, 2011, 08:29 AM   #2
PawPaw
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My current set-up is in the garage, and I don't think it's any hotter in Georgia than it is in Louisiana.

I've also reloaded on the kitchen table. A start-up reloading kit doesn't take up much space. LINKY!
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Old August 7, 2011, 08:43 AM   #3
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This is like any other venture/hobby in that you can start with reloading kits for $25 up to spending thousands getting in set ups with all the bells and whistles. If you are going to practice shooting less than 1,000 rounds per year you may want to calculate the cost of materials and machinery versus just looking for ammo on sale. I personally re-load for the pleasure of making my own and testing out new to me loads but sometimes wonder if I divided the cost of all my equipment by the number of rounds I fire per year if it would be better for me to just buy in bullets in bulk when they come on sale. I do not know what it costs to break even on supplies and tools; maybe someone else can answer.
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:25 AM   #4
GregInAtl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PawPaw
My current set-up is in the garage, and I don't think it's any hotter in Georgia than it is in Louisiana.
Your probably right about the heat, I just don't have the tolerance for it. I stay inside mostly in the summer. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't ruin the carpet or have any ventilation issues doing it in the house.
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:30 AM   #5
Jim243
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Get a de-humidifier, humidity will be your bigest problem.

Like they say, keep your powder dry.
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:31 AM   #6
mehavey
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Quote:
how much room is needed...
A dedicated bedroom corner is required. One of those (relatively) inexpensive Unpainted Furniture desks w/ side drawers is ideal. Laying/gluing a piece of 3/4" plywood across the top is a growth option as calibers/force-required grows over time.

(What I use for last 31 years at left)

Quote:
and how messy is this....
It is very neat, clean, and orderly -- by both necessity and definition.

Quote:
probably no way I could do it in the garage...
I like many others started in a garage. But... I quickly transitioned inside the house for both comfort and temperature humidity control of materials. (Starting small & neat is good training for you. Starting in the house is good training for the wife.)

Eventually getting a small side bookcase/cabinet for "stuff" and additional workspace is also a growth option. You'll know (and the wife will tell you) when....


Last edited by mehavey; August 7, 2011 at 09:46 AM.
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Old August 7, 2011, 10:04 AM   #7
dmazur
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I also reload in a spare bedroom. (Which also is our office)

Yes, it is clean and neat. As stated, it kind of has to be.

I use a solid-core door on 4x4 legs. The press removes for storage on closet shelves (with a few other reloading tools) and then the table is available for other activities. Sometimes fly-tying...

However, as trimming and case cleaning involve motorized units in my setup, I do these two things in the garage. It is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, but I found that these operations don't take as long as the rest of reloading.

(Also, the other occupants of the house are happier with the noise in the garage. )
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Old August 8, 2011, 01:33 PM   #8
Billy Shears
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If you are just getting started and don't plan on reloading any massive quantities of ammo and space is an issue, think about this.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=650614

I love these things. Mine has gone through tens of thousands of rounds without a hitch. It's a lot slower than the Super Big Blue Whiz Bang Progressives, but a helluva lot cheaper and it will force you to slow down and give individual attention to each round and hopefully avoid any dangerous mistakes.

You can use it in any room at any time of year and put it away in a desk drawer when you're done.

Good luck.
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Old August 8, 2011, 01:42 PM   #9
chris in va
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I use a Lee Hand Press, so my entire setup is within a 10 sq/ft area.
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Old August 8, 2011, 02:02 PM   #10
praetorian97
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Like they said it depends on how high end you want to go.

I would say a middle ground would be to set aside about a grand. That should get you a decent single stage kit, some dies and other extras, and reloading supplies to get you started.
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Old August 8, 2011, 03:56 PM   #11
BigJimP
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I reload in my home ...in a basement shop ...and occasionally a spent primer will roll off the bench / so if it was a carpeted space ..you can vacuum them up. ( I just sweep them up when I'm done on a concrete floor ).

No ventilation is not a problem ...in a climate like yours / you'll be better off keeping your components and loading operation inside your home.

You don't need a lot of space ....regardless of the type of equipment.

I had my loader bolted to a 2" X 24" plank for many yrs - when I lived in apt's and condos - and thru bolted them down to a bench or even to a portable work bench ( like a Black and Decker workmate bench ) ...and when I was done / I'd empty components back into original containers - put a pillow case over loader and put the loader back on a shelf in a closet or the garage for storage.
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Old August 8, 2011, 03:59 PM   #12
GregInAtl
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I noticed that in a lot of the videos on youtube the people have the press bolted to a wood workbench. I was thinking of using a polymer fold up table like the one below

as I may have to take it down if we have company. Do most of these presses clamp on or do they have to be bolted on?
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Old August 8, 2011, 04:04 PM   #13
praetorian97
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Bolted. But you can bolt to a piece of wood/metal and clamp that to a table. I wouldnt recommend a plastic fold away table. That much leverage may be asking for trouble.
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Old August 8, 2011, 06:13 PM   #14
Billy Shears
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Quote:
Do most of these presses clamp on or do they have to be bolted on?
So long as you aren't loading anything that potentially requires lots of leverage [.30-06 brass, for example] clamps work just fine. I have a couple of big $3 Home Depot "C Clamps" I use to attach an old RCBS single stage press to my dinner table on occasion when the basement gets too cold in the winter. Been doing it for years with no problems.
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Old August 8, 2011, 06:34 PM   #15
oneounceload
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That plastic folding table won't handle the torque from the press - you'd be better getting a B&D Workmate and putting a new top on it - (get rid of the pressboard)

Depending on how much you are reloading, a small area of 3-4 feet long by 1.5-2' deep will work great for most folks
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Old August 8, 2011, 07:13 PM   #16
mehavey
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Cost:

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Kit: $300
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=646599
- Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage press
- 505 scale
- Uniflow Powder Measure
- Speer Reloading Manual
- Hand priming tool with small and large primer plugs
- Folding Hex Key Set with 0.050", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/64" and 5/32" keys
- Universal Case Loading Block, which holds 40 cases in most rifle and pistol calibers
- Case Lube Kit, which includes a 2 oz bottle of Case Lube-2, a case lube pad, 2 case neck brushes for .22 through .30 calibers and an accessory handle
- Powder Funnel for .22 to .45 caliber, including the Winchester Short Magnum calibers
- Chamfer and deburring tool for .17 through .45 caliber

RCBS Dies (2) each for a pistol and rifle (45ACP/30-06): $80 total

Two shellholders for above: $15 total

Digital caliper: $60

2 Powders (one pistol/one rifle): $50

100 (each) primers/one set pistol, one rifle: $10

100 bullets each, rifle & pistol: Total $60

Others may chime in with other "stuff," but this is a solid base to both load from and build on. Less ~$600 all told

Last edited by mehavey; August 8, 2011 at 07:47 PM.
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Old August 8, 2011, 09:34 PM   #17
mehavey
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I just realized that 45 & `06 take the same shellholder.

So if you don't already have/load for both, now's the time to buy one or both to save the extra shellholder cost.

(At least this is how my wife explains "savings")
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Old August 8, 2011, 09:56 PM   #18
GregInAtl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehavey
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Kit: $300
I noticed that the Lee presses seem to be quite a bit lower in price than the RCBS or Hornaday. I realize that the RCBS kit above comes with a lot of stuff that I have to buy extra if I get a Lee but I can get a Lee Turret Press from Cabela's for $99. Even if I bought the Lee Turret press and had to buy all the other stuff extra, I would come out cheaper or about even and I would have a Turret press instead of a single stage. The Lee single stage press is only $39.

Is RCBS or Hornaday just that much better. The Hornaday single stage is about $150
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Old August 8, 2011, 10:52 PM   #19
mehavey
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I would call RCBS & Lyman equipment the "standard." Opinions vary, but you literally get what you pay for in this particular game and I'm still using equipment from 25 years ago in that regard. Because the major items like presses & dies tend to be a lifetime investment which will stay with you always, I'd recommend starting with the most solid core material you can. If that means you have to buy some things one month and wait until next to get others/the rest, you won't regret it.

Now I've tippy-toed all around things here,... but you get the drift.
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Old August 9, 2011, 02:51 AM   #20
GregInAtl
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Thanks for everyone's help. It is duly appreciated.
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Old August 9, 2011, 06:48 AM   #21
jephthai
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As far as space, I built a tiny "workbench". It's 2x2' of 3/4" plywood on 18" 4x4 legs. It sits in my (indoor) (air conditioned) man cave. I bolted a rock chucker (RCBS) to it, and have no complaints. I operate it while seated in my computer chair, and find it comfortable.

I went with the more expensive kit, since I had a bonus to spend. I didn't spend $600 though! Kit was ~$250, 200 lead bullets for $10 at the gun show, had the brass, ~$40 for bench materials, $29 for powder, can't remember price on primers. My first 200 rounds reloaded cost me less than $400, for sure.

My recommendation, though, is that you add a tumbler to your list. I got tired of the by-hand cleaning approach and was blown away by the tumbler the first time I used it.

Sent from my Ally using Tapatalk
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:49 AM   #22
kalevatom
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You won't save any money. It's a lie. It's an excuse used to convince the wife to let you start reloading. You'll have lots of fun, but, you will NOT save any money. For starters, just add up the cost of everything that was just recommended.
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Old August 9, 2011, 08:40 AM   #23
oneounceload
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Looks for used equipment on your local Craig's List, E-bay and at your local gun clubs and ranges. Someone is either stopping or upgrading and used equipment of better quality can be found for the price of new lesser quality equipment
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Old August 9, 2011, 08:56 AM   #24
jaguarxk120
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The sportsman swaps a gun clubs are very good when looking for used equipment. You can find older high quality tools at low prices.
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Old August 9, 2011, 09:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
kalevatom - You won't save any money. It's a lie. It's an excuse used to convince the wife to let you start reloading.


SHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Gentlemen I think we have a whistle blower!
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