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Old August 9, 2011, 03:18 PM   #1
fred68
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Want to start reloading

Ok, I want to start reloading. Looking for advise on pretty much everything. What equipment do I need? What are the advantages or disadvantages over one vs another. I will be reloading .270, 357mag, 38spl, 9mm, 40s&W.

Please any advise, websites I can visit, videos whatever is appreciated.
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Old August 9, 2011, 03:37 PM   #2
Don H
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Welcome to TFL!

Might I suggest that you start out by reading this stickie at the top of this forum: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

Then I'd suggest reading through some of the threads posted here dealing with your questions - we get a lot of new reloaders seeking much the same advice.

That should give you a good start on getting general answers to your questions.
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Old August 9, 2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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As Don stated, read the stickies above and other similar post on the Forum. Your question sounds simple enough, but it takes pages to answer. Also buy a couple of good reloading manuals. Lee puts out a decent one if you are OK with Lee reloading equipment.

I am big fan of the Lee four hole classic turret press, and I think it will fit your needs. It will be a good one to start with. As your skills develop and if you need more volume reloading then consider the Dillon since it is the RR of reloading. Enjoy~
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Old August 9, 2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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When I had those same questions not too long ago, I followed some simple advice: get a reloading manual.

I bought a Lyman's manual (49th edition) and read the first several chapters that covered everything I had questions about. I read the manual, read (and used the search function in) this forum, and watched videos on YouTube about reloading. So far, I've been reloading for 1.5 months and have found a good .45 acp load and have started reloading for .30-06 sprg. .44 magnum comes next.

There's lots of info out there and in this forum. Invest the twenty bucks in a good reloading manual and read, read, READ. Spend some time here searching the forums and do some more reading. It's amazing how easy it is to educate yourself.

Welcome to the forum!

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Old August 9, 2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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I agree Read read and read some more manuals and you tube and this site has alot of great reads itself. Not everyone on here is a pro though, you also read some bull crap and silly stuff But in a month or two you will educate yourself. And dont get carried away by richer is better.Im sure all will do just dont buy junk either. Personally I load on a rcbs single stage and its very accurate and I wouldnt change a thing. Been loading for about 15 years and love it.
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Old August 9, 2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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Its too broad of a hobby. Even when it comes to powders for one caliber you have 10 or more options on top of several different charges.

I got lucky. The Asst Manager of my local Sportsmans walked me around and we stocked my cart up with the basic essentials. Then I quickly learned what I wanted to add after I started relaoding.

I left the Beam scale and now use a digital. Left the crank style trimmer and now use a Zip Trim. Will hopefully someday use a Giraurd if my buddy ever gets around to ordering one. Bought more loading trays, a kinetic bullet puller, etc....

Start off with a basic kit. The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is a great starter and then you will quickly learn what else you need.
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Old August 9, 2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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Do yourself a favor and get the Dillon 550! it makes it easy reloading all thoes caliburs and get a few reloading manuals like lymans 49th edition hornady and so on and a beam scale.



http://www.dillonprecision.com/
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:49 PM   #8
GregInAtl
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Case Trimmer

Is it necessary to buy a case trimmer, I noticed most of the kits do not come with one.
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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I'd recommend that you buy the RCBS deluxe package. And get a Lyman loading manual and a Nosler loading manual and read them until you get a feeling that you understand what you are reading. I wouldn't go to any sort of high volume loading gear until you are completely comfortable with your reloading. I started with a Lee Loader, and that worked fine till I wanted to move up to fancier gear. If you don't understand what you are doing and why, you are dangerous to yourself. The good news is that it isn't rocket science, though you do need to be careful. From following this forum, there are some serious OCD guys out there, and in this instance, it might be a good thing.
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:56 PM   #10
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after time rifle brass streach so you have to trim em back down.
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:59 PM   #11
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Alot of them use too about two years ago and earlier. Then they quit I guess they thought they could get another say 80 dollars or so. All cases do stretch most trim rifles only. I like to trim both. But you don't have to. I like to keep all same length so my crimp is same length but even that alot don't crimp at all. Personal preference really
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Old August 9, 2011, 08:33 PM   #12
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If you are reloading rifle brass you NEED a case trimmer. Not everyone reloads rifle so they don't include it in basic "kits".
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Old August 9, 2011, 11:14 PM   #13
fred68
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Ok, this is what Im talking about. This is the kind of advise I need. Not just what someone wants to sell me.

What kind of reloaders are you guys using? Im guessing from what Im reading single reloaders is the way to start. Scales? primer seaters?

Really appreciating all the advise.
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Old August 9, 2011, 11:24 PM   #14
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The sticky mentioned in post #2 answers your questions.

No offense, but it's kind of like asking "What kind of truck do you like?"

(There's the Ford camp, the Chevy camp, and the "trucks are gas guzzlers and you should drive a hybrid" camp...)

Based on your needs and budget limitations, you're going to have to select equipment.

I'd be happy to preach the virtues of the Dillon 550B for several pages, but this may not meet your requirements, though it meets mine.
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Old August 10, 2011, 01:32 AM   #15
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•What is your budget?
•How many rounds per month are you planning?
•Do you have enough space for a bench?
•How much brass have you accumulated?
•Have you read any manuals or books pertaining to reloading?
•Will you reload for competition, hunting, target shooting or SD?
•Are you a detail oriented person that enjoys repetitious work?
•Do you expect reloading will save you money?
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Old August 10, 2011, 05:49 PM   #16
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Also there are many videos on youtube you can watch and see what you are getting into.
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Old August 10, 2011, 08:24 PM   #17
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Starting simple worked for me.

I started with the kit that Lee makes that doesn't require a press. I think I paid $15 for the kit, added a plastic mallet and had everything I needed to reload my 44 mags. (Well, you have to have the components too, powder, brass etc.) I learned the basics of reloading with that gear and it wasn't too long before I bought a single stage press that I still use. I started with the 44 mag because the jacketed hollow point hunting ammo was eighty cents a shot off the shelf. Reloading my own gets it down to about 30 cents so there is a huge savings in that caliber with that bullet.

Live well, be safe
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Old August 10, 2011, 08:33 PM   #18
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Go for it and good luck.
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Old August 10, 2011, 08:56 PM   #19
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Fred, there's no shame in beginning with a LEE 50th Anniv. kit. Low-dollar start-up cost and will enable you to start slowly. Beyond that, depending on budget, maybe start with the Classic Turret.

Welcome aboard.
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Old August 10, 2011, 11:37 PM   #20
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Hi Fred!

I recommend two books:

Lyman's 49th edition Reloading Handbook:
http://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Reloadin...3036840&sr=1-1

And the ABC's of Reloading:
http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading...3036702&sr=8-7

The ABCs book gives a really good overview of ammunition and reloading. The Lyman book gives you load data that you will need when making your own ammunition.

The basic steps of reloading are:

1) Clean your brass
1a) Trim if necessary
2) Deprime
3) Resize
4) Prime
5) Bell case mouth
6) Charge cartridge
7) Seat bullet
8) Crimp cartridge

You can do this with simple hand tools, doing each step individually, a single-stage press, doing each step individually and swapping out dies for each step as you go, or you can have a progressive machine that does each step in turn with each swing of the handle, until a finished cartridge falls out at the end.

Some people advice starting off with single-stage machines so that you can focus on each step individually and understand what is going on. It is difficult to manage this in a progressive machine because with each movement of the machine 3 or more things are happening to 3 or more different cartridges simultaneously.

That said, I started off with a Lee Pro 1000 progressive reloader and have reloaded a couple of thousand rounds so far with no problems.

Your biggest fears in reloading are a no-charge (squib) or an over-charge. Overcharging obviously can blow your gun apart and injure the shooter. A squib can leave a bullet lodged in the barrel which can make the next round blow up the gun.

They say you don't generally need to worry about trimming pistol brass, because it expands radially rather than longitudinally when the charge goes off. Necked cartridges, however, exert force longitudinally and thus stretch the brass in length when the charge goes off. So most rifle brass needs to be trimmed.

It is possible to reload without cleaning your brass, but it is much harder on your dies and the amount of effort required to cycle your brass through the dies is very noticeably higher. Your chances of getting brass stuck in your dies is probably higher.

Carbide dies do not require case lubricant. Otherwise, you will need to lubricate your cases before running them through your dies or they will get stuck. Some people advocate using case lube regardless.

Some machines don't recommend certain kinds of primers. The Lee Pro 1000, for example, only recommends CCI or Winchester primers.

The kind of powder you use matters. Gunpowder is not interchangeable.

That's about all off the top of my head right now.

Steve
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Old August 11, 2011, 10:47 AM   #21
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Is the Dillon 550/550B that much superior to other presses. It seems to be a lot more money.

I am interested in starting with a turrett or better. From what I have read everyone says that a turret presss is a night and day difference from the single stage.

I have the money to spend on a good press, just want to make sure something costing more is that much better.

The Lee turret press can be got new for around $120. The Dillon and RCBS are about double that. From the reviews I read, the RCBS
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Old August 11, 2011, 12:07 PM   #22
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All the big name companies are making pretty good equipment these days...Dillon, Hornady, RCBS, etc...

The deal breaker for me on a press - is does it have some time of mechanism that will "check the powder drop" so I know with some certainty - that I'm not off more than 0.2 grain ...and in handgun ammo, that's a big deal where min's are 4.0 and max is 4.4 gr.../ so picking a press that has that option, is smart in my opinion.

In the Dillon lineup of machines - the SDB and the 550 do not have a powder check option. The 650 is the machine you will want - if you decide that option is important. Hornady LNL has an option - called the powder cop I believe.

It doesn't mean the Dillon 550 is a bad machine ...but you need to know its limitations ...it manually indexes ( even though its a progressive ) and it has no powder check option because the toolhead lacks a 5th spot for the die. Some guys will combine a seating die and a final crimp die in one spot in the toolhead / I understand RCBS makes a combo die. Dillon will tell you they don't recommend it ......who's right / I don't know ...

But my point is - take the time to learn what each press does and does not do ...as an example...because I am mostly familiar with Dillon equipment:

SDB - is progressive, auto indexes, is handgun calibers only, had no powder check, has no case feeder option - and it uses a proprietary sized die.

550B - is progressive, does not auto index, handgun and rifle calibers, has no powder check, does have a case feeder option - uses standard dies.

650 - is progressive, does auto index, handgun and rifle calibers, has powder check option, has a case feeder option and uses standard dies ( look at Hornady LNL as a comparable machine).
------------------
Personally, I see no reason not to start with a Progressive machine or a single stage or a turret. Progressives are not inherently dangerous - you need to understand how a press works and what each station is doing and how it does it - or you're being foolish. Many progressives will crank out 1,000 rds an hour ...and while I like reloading ....I don't like it enough to spend 5 hours getting 20 boxes of ammo -- when I can do it in one hour on a better machine.
------------------
For what its worth - I use a Dillon 650 with a case feeder - for 12 calibers ...and I'd buy it again. I also like the Hornady LNL - but thought it was a little less sturdy - and Dillon's people seemed more helpful.
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Old August 11, 2011, 12:32 PM   #23
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"I started with the kit that Lee makes that doesn't require a press. I think I paid $15 for the kit, added a plastic mallet and had everything I needed to reload my 44 mags. (Well, you have to have the components too, powder, brass etc.) I learned the basics of reloading with that gear and it wasn't too long before I bought a single stage press that I still use. I started with the 44 mag because the jacketed hollow point hunting ammo was eighty cents a shot off the shelf. Reloading my own gets it down to about 30 cents so there is a huge savings in that caliber with that bullet.

Live well, be safe"

I too, started with a Lee Loader and a Speer Manual, in '69 or so. With this simple set up I understood exactly what each step does and the reason for doing it. I had one revolver and about 100 cases and the Lee Loader kept me in ammo for several months (I still have 4 Lee Loaders along with two single stage and one turret press). Next purchase was a used single stage press and Lee dies. As I needed items/tools I purchased or made them (I'm not fond of "kits"; many kits contain what a salesman thinks you need. I have been reloading since 1969 and still don't have a trim tool or primer pocket reamer for .38 Spec./357 Mag.). ABCs of Reloading and Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading Handbook are excellent starter manuals/texts...
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Old August 11, 2011, 02:00 PM   #24
GregInAtl
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What to mount press on

Do you think something like this (minus the chairs) would be heavy duty enough to mount a press on. I found this on Craigslist for sale.

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Old August 11, 2011, 02:34 PM   #25
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Greg:

I have a very similar table that is my reloading table. It is a cheap-o particle board wonder.

The thing is you don't want it to move around. I've got enough **** on my loading table that it doesn't move much. You can also always bolt it to the wall with some angle brackets.

If the table wobbles, you are going to find it harder to operate the press and/or "feel" what it is doing as you operate it.

My table wobbles more than I would like. I need to build a solid table.

Steve
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