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Old October 25, 2011, 05:49 PM   #1
sigcurious
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Thinking about getting into reloading, help please

So I read the guide that's in this section and got a basic idea of what goes into reloading, but had some questions that hopefully y'all can answer.

What would be the estimated cost of getting a basic handgun caliber(Looking at 9mm initially) reloading set up?(not including the cartridge components) I looked at the Lee classic 4-hole turret press was surprised by its price, seems quite reasonable. From that piece of equipment alone, my guess would be $1500-2000, is that in the right ball park?

I live near the ocean so what concerns would I be looking at from the increased saline humidity? Would extra care be needed in storing all the components and/or would getting a dehumidifier for the room be a good idea?

What other online resources would be good to look at to figure what components to get, like bullets, powder, and primers? Not looking to do anything fancy just loads that would be good for target shooting.

And most importantly, any questions that I should be asking but haven't?
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Old October 25, 2011, 05:57 PM   #2
Indi
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Make sure you buy your manuals and read them. I am also just starting, got my press hornady ap lnl, getting dies and etc. I already got bullets, and a hornady 8th edition manual. I was also told that i should read the lymans reloading, plus the abc's of reloading. Good luck, from what i hear, reloading doesnt help you save money, it just gets you shooting a whole lot more....lol Which is fine with me

I like to shop at midwayusa. But a lot of online retailers offer reloading components

Last edited by Indi; October 25, 2011 at 06:04 PM.
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Old October 25, 2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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Order the Dillon Catalog. You ought to check at a nearby gun shop and see if you can meet a reloader. Have him teach you the very basic stuff. Stay within the published loading data.
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Old October 25, 2011, 06:54 PM   #4
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You can get tooled up for much less than $1500-2000. Now if you just WANT to spend that much, it is certainly possible.

Putting aside hand tools there are three basic types of reloading presses: Single stage, turret and progressive. All can produce quality ammunition so in part what you are paying for is production rates. Single stage presses are simple and precise but are somewhat slow. By the way I loaded thousands of rounds since the 1980s, all on a single stage press until about a year ago when I finally purchased a progressive press.

I think the Lee Classic Turret (not the other Lee Turret Press) is a good choice for a beginning handgun reloader. It is not as complicated as a progressive and much less expensive. Some of the best prices I've seen on Lee products is at the "Factory Sales" website.

Lee products are often less expensive than competing brands but the Lee stuff I've purchased as worked fine. A friend of mine runs Lee dies in his Dillon press-the Lee dies are about half the price of the Dillon dies but he swears by them.

Off the top of my head you would need the Lee Classic Turret press, a set of dies for each caliber you want to load, a Lee Auto Disk (or Auto Disk Pro) powder measure, and a Lee Safety Prime. There may be a bit or bracket to add.

I would recommend a decent quality scale and as others have said, a good reloading manual. Lee's manual is pretty good.

Midway USA is pretty good for components but I like to buy my components locally and save shipping and hazmat charges. There is a Sportsmans Warehouse store about 90 minutes away from me that sells reloading components for about the same prices as Midway.
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Old October 25, 2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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For $2000 you could get top of the line stuff like Sinclair, but you could also buy tools that will get the job done for far less.

Go to www.midwayusa.com, put everything you might want in your cart, then you'll know where you stand.
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Old October 25, 2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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I'm set with about $300 worth of equipment ,Minus components ; ) PS Handels all 4 Cal I shoot Hndguns.
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Old October 25, 2011, 07:41 PM   #7
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I'd suggest you look at/read The ABCs of Reloading and Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading Handbook. After reading these, you can determine what suits your reloading needs. A single stage "O" press. a set of carbide dies (for handgun cartridges), a beam scale, and Lee powder dippers or a powder measure. You can install primers on the press or use a hand primer or, as I do prime with a Ram Prime fixture (inserts in press like a die). I reloaded for nearly 12 years before I got a tumbler and just wiped the cases with a mineral spirits dampened rag. A way to measure OAL (calipers to .001") is needed too for semi-auto cartridges. This will get you started loading handgun ammo, and there are many hand tools from around the house can be used too. Here's an interesting article about reloading on a shoestring.http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech...h_notes.htm/51

I lived, reloaded, and shot 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean for many years. I used basic care and cleaning of my equipment and had no extra rust probs. I stored primers in original containers in Tupperware type boxes and powder was kept in original bottles with the lid kept snug. I didn't leave any components out opened. I still use the same methods and I now live 1/2 mile from the ocean and 3/4 mile from a large river. I'm still using some 12 year old Unique, and some 2400 that's a little older with no problems...
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Old October 25, 2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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Setup a Midway account (e-mail address & password), it's free.

Quote:
put everything you might want in your cart
You can skip the cart and just put them in your wish list. That also will give you a total cost without buyng anything. Then pick and chose from your wish list what you want to get and when you want to get it.

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Old October 25, 2011, 08:32 PM   #9
sigcurious
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Good to know I was way over estimating the costs of getting started up. More money for components once I get the hardware! Although I still need to get over a possible hurdle, my lady's approval for taking over the spare room or garage

I bought the ABCs of reloading book right after my post, and have gotten a little bit into it. Lyman's will have to be next after I get done with the ABCs book.

On reloading benches, what do y'all use? It's been a long time since jr high shop class, so while building something isn't out of the question, it would probably be easier for me to buy some sort of table. Do things need to be bolted or clamped onto the bench?
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Old October 25, 2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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If you can read a tape measure, you can probably build a bench with only very basic carpentry skills.

Yes stuff gets bolted on. Press, trimmer, primer seaters, etc.

Do a search for "reloading bench blueprints" on google or here. Probably some drawings or schematics or something floating around on them internetses.
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Old October 25, 2011, 08:44 PM   #11
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Ah, you will learn much here, grasshopper.

I think you are overestimating the space requirements, too.

My (well under $600) setup centers around a Lee Classic Turret (backed up with an RCBS RockChucker). Everything but the components fits in three toolboxes, the largest of which is about 20" x 6" x 7". That's dies (mounted in turrets) for 7 calibers, a scale, two powder measures, a set of Lee powder dippers, a small box of small tools (that goes inside one of the toolboxes), safety glasses, kinetic bullet puller and other miscellany.

This does not include my brass tumbler, a dropcloth, a couple of bowls and a Black & Decker folding workbench.

I can pull everything out of the closet, set up anywhere I please and be loading rounds in 5 minutes.

Living near salt air, you would be well advised to dehumidify AND oil your gear. Salt is not friendly to most metals.

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Old October 25, 2011, 08:45 PM   #12
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10 Advices for the novice handloader

Here are 10 advices I composed for the new handloader.

My perspective is that of a handgun reloader, but I tried my best to make this universal, at least for metallic cartridges for handguns and rifles. Shotgunners, sorry, very little applies beyond the broadest generatlities.

When I first started (with a single stage press) I could produce about 50 per hour. I recommend doing things one process at a time. Multiple operations at a time are too complex for me to keep track of. My due care kept me moving too slowly. I used progressives for a while, but but finally have settle on a Lee Classic Turret as my preferred machine. Others may choose differently, but this one suits my style and temperament. I have thought of a few things I think are useful for handloaders to know or to consider which seem to be almost universal. So much is a matter of personal taste and circumstance, though. So, all advice carries this caveat, "your mileage may vary".

Bonus advice: Advice zero, if you will, "Why load?"

At the same time as I bought my first gun (.357 Magnum Dan Wesson revolver), I bought a reloading setup because I knew I could not afford to shoot if I did not reload my own ammo. It cost me about 1/4 of factory ammo per round and paid for itself pretty quickly. However, most shooters will not realize any savings at all. Instead of shooting for 1/4 the ammo cost, you will shoot four times as much for the same cost.

Eventually, however, handloading can be more than a means to an end (money savings or increased accuracy). It became a satisfying satisfying pastime in itself.

The pride of punching tiny groups in paper or harvesting game with anmmunition you created yourself is great. The independence to create your own designer bullets (velocity you choose, bullet shape you select, recoil you adjust to your purpose – teaching someone to shoot a 44 magnum is much easier if you can start them off with soft-shooting loads, for example). Independence - priceless.

Now, here are my Ten Advices.

Advice #1 Use Reliable Reference Sources Wisely –
Books, Videos, Web Sites, etc. Study up in loading manuals until you understand the process well, before spending a lot of money on equipment. I found "The ABC's of Reloading" to be a very good reference. Short on loading data but full of knowledge and understanding of the process. Check out offerings in your local library. Dated, perhaps but the basics are pretty unchanging. Read as many manuals as you can, for the discussion of the how-to steps. What one manual covers thinly, another will cover well.

As far as load data in older manuals, the powder manufacturers and bullet manufacturers may have better information and their web sites are probably more up to date. But pay attention to what the ammunition was test-fired from. (regular firearm vs a sealed-breech pressure test barrel, for example) The reason you want more than one or two manuals is that you want to read differing authors/editors writing styles and find ones that "speak" to you. You also get better coverage of the subject; one author or editor may cover parts of the subject more thoroughly than the others. The public library should have manuals you can read, then decide which ones you want to buy. There are instructional videos now that did not exist in the '70s when I started. Richard Lee's book "Modern Reloading" has a lot of food for thought, and does discuss the reasoning behind his opinions (unlike many manuals, and postings). Whether right or wrong, the issues merit thought, which that book initiates. It is not a simple book, though and you will find it provocative reading for many years. Only after you know the steps can you look at the contents of of a dealer's shelves, a reloading kit or a mail-order catalog and know what equipment you want to buy. If you are considering a loading kit, you will be in a better position to know what parts you don't need and what parts the kits lack.

Advice #2 All equipment is good. But is it good FOR YOU?
Almost every manufacturer of loading equipment makes good stuff; if they didn't, they would lose reputation fast and disappear from the marketplace. Cast aluminum is lighter and less expensive but not so durable (e.g. abrasion resistant) as cast iron. Cast iron lasts practically forever. Just think about what you buy. Ask around. Testimonials are nice. But if you thing Ford/Chevrolet owners have brand loyalty, you have not met handloaders. Testimonials with reasoning behind them are better. Better equipment costs more generally, and better customer service also translates to higher prices, usually. But there are exceptions. Lee Precision is generally considered the "economy" equipment maker, but some of their stuff is considered preferable to more expensive makes. (e.g. their hand primer)

Be aware that many handloaders don't use brand names, prefering themanufacturer's chosen color, instead. RCBS equipment is almost all green; Dillon, blue; Lee, red. Almost no manufacturers cross color line, so many handloaders simply identify themselves as "Blue" or whatever. But this is not 100%. I have a Lee Powder Scale that is green. On Kits: Almost every manufacturer (and retailer) makes a kit that contains everything you need to do reloading (except consumables). A kit is decent way to get started (with less puzzling over unknowable questions). Eventually most people wind up replacing most of the components of the kit as theirpersonal taste develops, but you will have gotten started, at least. Assembling your own kit takes more effort, but yields a good bit of knowledge as well as the equipment.

Advice #3 While Learning, don't get fancy.
Progressive or Single Stage? Experimental loads? While you are learning, load mid-range at first so overpressures are not concerns. Just concentrate on getting the loading steps right and being VERY VERY consistent (charge weight, crimp strength, seating depth, primer seating force, all that). Use a "fluffy" powder, that is, one that will overflow your cartridge case if you mistakenly put two powder charges in it, and is easy to verify that you have not missed charging a case with powder.

Some definitions are in order at this point: Press types: Single Stage, Turret and Progressive. Single stage press mounts one die at a time and performs one operation at a time. A turret press mounts multiple dies in separate stations, but still only performs one operation at a time on only one cartrdige at a time. A progressive press mounts several time dies in separate stations and performes multiple operations simultaneously. The single stage is best suited to batch processing. Take a batch of cases (ususally 20 or 50 or 100) and do step #1 to each case in the batch, then swap dies and do step #2 to each case, swap dies and so forth. A progressive is best suited to continuous processing. Take a batch of cases and feed them into the press. Each stroke of the operating handle performs all the steps (#1, #2, #3, etc) simultaneously on a number of cases, producing one round per stroke of the handle. A turret press can operate in batch mode as if it were a single stage, or continuous mode (by leaving one case in the press and performing all the steps, in continuous sequence on that one case, before moving on to the next case in the batch). That makes it LIKE a progressive because you take each cartridge from empty cast to finished round before moving on to the next cartridge (continuous processing). But it still only does one step at a time and takes multple strokes of the handle to produce each finished cartridge. In other words, a turret press is essentially a single stage press with a moveable head mounting several dies at the same time. What makes it like a single stage rather than a progressive is that you are still using only one die at a time, not three or four dies simultaneously at each stroke.

Whether you are learning on a single stage press, a turret press or a progressive press, perform only one step at a time during the learning process. It is too easy to miss something important when many things happen at the same time and are thus are hard to keep track of. Mistakes DO happen and you want to watch for them ONE AT A TIME until handloading becomes second nature to you. You can learn on a progressive, but it is easier to make mistakes during the learning process. Most reloaders recommend against starting to learn to load with a progressive. Many recommend a single stage. Also, a good, strong, single stage press is in the stable of every reloader I know, no matter how many progressives they have. They always keep at least one single-stage.

Advice #4 Find a mentor.
There is no substitute for someone watching you load a few cartridges and critiquing your technigue BEFORE you develop bad habits or make a dangerous mistake. (A mistake that might not have consequences right away, but maybe only after you have escaped trouble a hundred times until one day you get bit, for instance having case lube on your fingers when you handle primers 99 times, no problem because primers are coated with a sealant, but the hundredth primer may not be perfectly sealed and now winds up "dead")

I started loading with the guy who sold me my press watching over my shoulder as I loaded my first 6 rounds to make sure I did not blow myself up, load a powderless cartridge or set off a primer in the press. I could have learned more, faster with a longer mentoring period, but I learned a lot in those first 6 rounds, as he explained each step. I educated myself after that. But now, on the internet, I have learned a WHOLE LOT MORE. But in-person is still the best.

After you have been mentored, mentor someone else. Not necessarily in loading or the shooting sports, but in SOMETHING in which you are enthusiastic and qualified. Just give back to the community.

Advice #5 Design your loading space for safety, efficiency, cleanliness
When I started reloading, I did not use a loading bench at all. I just mounted the press on a 2" x 6" plank long enough to wedge into the drawer of an end table My loading gear all fit in a footlocker and spread out on a coffeetable, end table and/or the lid of the footlocker. Good leverage meant the table did not lift or rock. I still use the same plank, but now it is mounted in a portable folding workbench. A loading bench "bolted to the center of the earth" (as some describe their setups) would be more stable, but I do not feel deprived without it. You will probably spill powder or drop a primer eventually, so consider what you have for a floor covering when you pick your reloading room/workspace. I would not try to vacuum up spilt gunpowder unless using a Rainbow vacuum which uses water as the filter medium. A dropcloth is a good idea. Cloth, not plastic.

Advice #6 Keep Current on loading technology
Always use a CURRENT loading manual. Powder chemistry has changed over the years. They make some powders differently than they used to and even some powder names may have changed. However, if you are using 10 year old powder, you may want to check a 10 year old manual for the recipe. Then double check with a modern manual and then triple check with the powder maker. Exception: "The ABC's of Reloading", an excellent tome on the general processes of reloading is timeless. Any edition in the past 40 years is good. Check your local library where you could read several for free.

Read several forums on reloading; here some I read.
TheFiringLine.com :: Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting
forums.accuratereloading.com/eve :: THE ACCURATE RELOADING.COM FORUMS
RugerForum.com :: View Forum - Factory Ammunition and Reloading
RugerForum.net :: (there are some VERY EXPERT guys on this one,
including the illustrious Iowegan.)
TheHighRoad.org

Let me share with you some posts and threads I think you will enjoy. So get a large mug of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever you keep on hand when you read and think. Then read through these. Don't read just my posts. These threads in their entirety will be useful to you. Like manuals, which have many different authors and different writing styles and emphasis different aspects of loading, the different authors of the posts in these threads will give a wide variety of viewpoints with different styles. Some writers may "speak" to you better than others.

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheFiringLine's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST "
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheHighRoad.com's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading;
Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST"
thehighroad.org//showthread.php?t=238214

The first draft of my "10 Advices..." is on page 2 of this thread, about halfway down.
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php?t=43055

rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=22344

My thread, "Budget Beginning bench you will never outgrow for the novice handloader" was informed by my recent (July 2010) repopulation of my loading bench. It is what I would have done 35 years ago if I had known then what I know now.
rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-outgrow-novice-handloader.html

I have a thread "To Kit or Not to Kit?" that describes different philosophies of buying or assembling a kit one piece at a time.
rugerforum.net/reloading/33660-kit-not-kit.html

rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

Minimalist minimal (the seventh post down)
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=107332

Thread entitled "Newby needs help."
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430391

My post 11 is entitled "Here's my reloading setup, which I think you might want to model" November 21, 2010)
Thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=439810

thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448410 scale choice

Advice #7 You never regret buying the best (but once) When you buy the very best, it hurts only once, in the wallet. When you buy too cheaply it hurts every time you use the gear. The trick is to buy good enough (on the scale between high quality and low price) to keep you happy without overpaying.

Put one way: "The bitter taste of cheap equipment lingers long after the sweetness of bargain pricing wears off." Another way, "The sweetness of quality gear lasts much longer than the pain of the price paid."

Advice #8 Tungsten Carbide dies (or Titanium Nitride) T-C dies instead of regular tool steel (which require lubrication for sizing your brass) for your straight-walled cartridge cases. T-C dies do not require lubrication, which will save you time. For your rifles' bottlenecked cases, a carbide expander button avoids the need for lube on the inside of the cases.

Advice #9 Safety Always Safety All Ways.Wear eye protection, especially when working with primers. Gloves are good, too, especially if using the Lee "Hammer" Tools. Children (unless they are good helpers, not just playing around) are at risk and are a risk. Pets, too unless they have been vetted (no, not that kind of vetting). Avoid anything that might distract you (e.g. cause a no charge or a double charge, equally disturbing). Imagine everything that CAN go wrong. Then imagine everything that you CAN'T imagine.

I could go on, but it's your eyes, your fingers, your house, your children. Enough said?

Advice #10 Remember, verify for yourself everything you learn from casual sources. Believe only half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for everything you find on the internet (with the possible exception of the actual web sites of the bullet and powder manufacturers). This advice applies to my message as much as anything else and especially to personal load recipes. Hare-brained reloaders might have dangerous habits and even an honest typographical error could be deadly. I heard about a powder manufacturer's web site that dropped a decimal point once. It was fixed REAL FAST, but mistakes happen. I work in accounting and frequently hit "7" instead of "4" because they are next to each other on the keypad.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep
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Old October 26, 2011, 03:29 PM   #13
sigcurious
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Well Im to chapter 7 in the ABCs book, a good read so far, I like that it has a lot of background information not just the meat and potatoes of the process. Thanks for the replies everyone it's helped make things more clear to me.

I took an initial look at the cost of all the equipment, came out to right around $300, with *I think* everything I would need. Before I buy anything though I'll definitely be posting a list of what I intend to buy to get suggestions on items I forgot, or items that have better/easier to use versions than what I picked at a similar price point, etc.

I'm still a little confused on a couple of things(well these two atm,I'm sure more confusion will come along the way), case lube and auto-indexing. If I get the appropriate carbide dies, do I need case lube for any other steps or things? And what exactly is auto-indexing and what are its pros and cons?

Once I get everything figured out I'd like to be able to process ~2000 rounds a month in a reasonable amount of time(3-4 hours per week) From what I've gleaned so far this should be doable after some practice.
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Old October 26, 2011, 05:43 PM   #14
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You can get started for a lot less than $1,500 to $2,000. To get set up with the Lee classic turret you were looking at with case tumbler, good scale and caliper you are looking at around $300. I like to reload at a relaxed pace and usually load 500 rounds in three hours. Use those numbers to see if the classic turret will meet your needs.
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Old October 26, 2011, 06:07 PM   #15
Old 454
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Welcome to The Firing Line!

You made a good choice in coming here to ask your questions about reloading.There are a ton of really great people here that reload and will offer very good info.

I too am new to reloading and have ask a ridiculous amount of questions here on the firing line, and all were answered with much knowladge and no ridicule.

I will start my reloading in the spring due to the fact I am trying garner as much info as I can so I can make good informed purchases and not waste money on things I don't need.

I think using Lee products you can set up a real nice reloading operation for well under your 1,000.00 to 1,500.00 dollar range.

The Lee Classic Turret press you can lock out and use as a single stage press.
And from every thing I have read Lee makes some pretty good dyes.

I think for around 500.00 more or less depending on what your needs are you can outfit your self pretty nice.

Good Luck to you and happy reloading
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:15 PM   #16
Lost Sheep
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Carbide, indexing/lube, throughput.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigcurious
If I get the appropriate carbide dies, do I need case lube for any other steps or things?
Not for 9mm.

If you use Tungsten Carbide dies or Titanium Nitride and are loading straight-walled cases or, like the 9mm, a slightly tapered case, (mostly pistol cases) you can get by without case lube. If using tool steel dies, you will need lube.

If loading very large cases, even straight-walled cases (500 S&W and such) benefit from a little lube.

Bottlenecked rifle cases' dies are generally made of tool steel. Difficult to form one of T-C, I think. So you will need lube. The case neck expander button, though, can be made of T-C, so lubricating the inside of the case neck can be avoided in that case. Rifle cases are generally larger, too, so have more surface area and friction drag. Lube will make sizing easier on your arm and keep from ripping the rim off the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigcurious
And what exactly is auto-indexing and what are its pros and cons?
Auto-indexing is largely a matter of convenience and does speed things up a bit.

With turret presses, it means the dies (mounted in a carriage, or turret head) rotate automatically, lining up with the cartridge being reloaded in sequence.

With progressive presses, the dies stay still, but the cases in their carriage (correct term is "shell plate") rotate automatically to line up under the dies, in sequence. New, empty cases are inserted as finished loaded cartridges are kicked out.

Lee's Classic Turret and Deluxe Turret presses are the only turret presses that feature auto-indexing. The feature can be turned off quite easily, by pulling the indexing rod out. By the way, the Classic Turret is the superior press for a number of reasons.

You will undoubtedly become acquainted with the many, many videos of people demonstrating loading techniques on youtube and various web sites. Enjoy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sigcurious
Once I get everything figured out I'd like to be able to process ~2000 rounds a month in a reasonable amount of time(3-4 hours per week) From what I've gleaned so far this should be doable after some practice.
Doing the math, 500 per week in 3 to 4 hours is within the reach of an auto-indexing turret press. With a really good progressive (Dillon, Hornady, etc) you can cut that down to 1-2 hours per week, but at a cost of a lot higher price. Plenty enough money to buy a 22 rimfire conversion for your 9mm frame, or a whole other gun. Just brainstorming, here.

Good luck, good questions.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; October 26, 2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Old October 26, 2011, 09:58 PM   #17
sigcurious
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Here's my preliminary Equipment List I still need to select a case trimmer. Any suggestions on additions/subtractions and or substitutions would be greatly appreciated.

Y'all have been a great help in making the path smoother for a complete novice.
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Old October 26, 2011, 11:11 PM   #18
Lost Sheep
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Well you asked for a review

Here's my review of your purchase list, prejudices and all.


RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool $49.99
I would spend a bit less money and get the much more efficient Lee Safety Prime, which primes on-press. I have one on my Classic Turret and it works fine. Some people like to prime in a separate operation with a hand tool like the fine RCBS hand primer, RCBS bench primer or Lee hand primer, but if you do that, you negate a LOT of the speed advantage of the turret press. When you take the time to extract and insert the case in the press to do the priming, you slow yourself down a lot.

Lyman Case Prep Multi Tool $19.99
I don't have one, but it probably is a good idea to be able to uniform your primer pockets and such.

Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set 9mm Luger $39.99
A fine choice. Adjusting the 4-die set is a lot easier than the 3-die set.

Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press $89.99
Note that the press does come with priming arms. You only need to add the Lee Safety Prime to use instead of your fingers to dispense the primers.

Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Electronic Powder Scale 750 Grain Capacity $24.99
The less expensive electronic scales do not have all that good a reputation for accuracy, precision or reliability. A balance beam scale instead of or in addition to the electronic scale would be a good idea.

Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure $24.99
I have used one of these for years, but the Pro Auto-disk has some added features that are worth the small increase in price.

Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper 6" Stainless Steel $12.99
All the same comments about scales apply here, too.

Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler 110 Volt $39.99
Yeah, they are nice. I have one given to me as a present. I wouldn't have bought one for myself, but my brass does look prettier than before. I used to just wipe the brass down with a cloth. Now I have to sift the tumbler media out.

Frankford Arsenal Impact Bullet Puller $11.99
Handy when you need one. I loaded for several years before I had one and several more before I needed to use it. $12 is a good price. I would get it.

If you are going to load in batch mode, a pair of loading blocks helps keep things organized. If loading in continuous mode, a couple of bowls to contain your components will do. Do not use the bowls ever again for food, nor wash them in your kitchen.

Dropcloth. If you load in your living area, a dropcloth to catch spilled powder and/or dropped primers is nice to have. Cloth is quieter than plastic, does not contribute to static electricity and is less likely to bounce small parts around.

I have a 30" long 2"x8" that I mount my press to, then clamp into a folding portable workbench rather than a permanent setup. I put my scale on a separate table to avoid any vibration or shaking from the press operation.

Again, thanks for asking our advice and thanks for reading.

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Old October 27, 2011, 11:52 AM   #19
Once Fired
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Utilitarian approach to reloading

Hi all

Just joined the forum, and wanted to dive right into what I'd like to tackle next - reloading.

Currently, I only have a Mossberg 12ga in the house. Now that we're in Texas, instead of California, and my wife is now convinced she does enjoy the activity - we are moving toward expanding that considerably.

I think my wife will end up with .38 or perhaps 9mm pistol. I'm gravitating toward 9mm pistol, maybe adding .357 as well, and considering stepping up to an AR for our second long gun. We live more rural than suburban, so we are looking into what is required locally for us to target shoot here. I know Texas is very friendly to such things, in general, but need to make absolutely certain we're in the clear.

All that said, I am interested in beginning reloading activities. I'm trying to be as utilitarian in my setup as I can - for efficiency and cost savings purposes, alike. The more I can re-use across this whole spectrum, the better. I plan to buy components - no current desire to mold the bullets, although that may be in the future.

Any suggestions for the newbie reloader? I already plan on reading up a ton on technique, based upon the recommendations given above. Right I am thinking equipment & ways that I can buy incrementally, instead of all at once.

Thanks!
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Old October 27, 2011, 01:17 PM   #20
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Even with carbide dies - I still suggest using a case lube - because it makes your press run a lot smoother ( even in 9mm )...etc...

I use a case feeder - so once I've cleaned and sorted by cases - I spritz them lightly with a case lube ( I use Dillons liquid spray lube ) - ( cases are laying flat in a box lid 12" X 18" ) and then roll them around ....spritz them lightly a 2nd time ...and let them dry for 30 min.

A consideration as you are picking a new press - is whether it allows for the installation of a "powder check die" - presses like Dillons 650 and Hornady LNL both do ( Dillon SDB and Dillon 550 do not ) ...the powder check helps you know if your powder is not on target ....and will absolutely prevent a squib round or an overcharge ...in fact, on the Dillon 650, depending on what powder I'm using it will alert me to a change of more than 0.1grain...so I think its an important issue.

Human error in mfging ammo is a big deal ...so having procedures / and a press that help eliminate that is a big deal in my view. So I like a press that auto-indexes ...takes human steps out of the process ...and in my mind, makes it safer.

You can make good ammo with a turret or single stage ...buy why - when these days / the payback on top end presses is really quick if you're shooting 30 or 40 boxes a month anyway ...why not go to a more automated operation like the Dillon 650 - with case feeder - and a powder check ?
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:21 PM   #21
CrustyFN
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sigcurious do yourself a favor and check out the classic turret kit at https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...mart&Itemid=41. With the upgrade to the pro auto disk measure and both safety primes it will cost around $225 and it comes with one set of dies. Just add a scale, tumbler and calipers.

Quote:
I still need to select a case trimmer.
You won't need a case trimmer for 9mm.
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:26 PM   #22
sigcurious
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Most of the stuff and opinions I've read have been that its better to learn on a single or turret. Do you think the learning curve would be complicated much by going straight to a progressive?

Good to know on not needing a case trimmer at first. I plan on starting with fresh brass, which I imagine should be mostly the right length. Do 9mm cases or handgun cases in general not get stretched out length wise after firing?
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:30 PM   #23
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Quote:
Do 9mm cases or handgun cases in general not get stretched out length wise after firing?
Not in my experience ....... but WWB and range pick-up brass are all over the place, as far as length ........
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:33 PM   #24
jimbob86
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Quote:
Do you think the learning curve would be complicated much by going straight to a progressive?
My vote is to keep it simple at first.

My younger brother loaded thousands of 9mm with a hand press kit his first year of reloading, before we built him a bench....... and a hand press is great for load development at the range, or shooting prairie dogs in late summer..... just keep loading the same cases over and over again while waiting for the grass rats to surface again.....
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:39 PM   #25
sigcurious
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For the time being, I'll be focused only on picking up the brass I shoot. The range I shoot at sells reloaded ammo which a lot of people use, and that brass is theirs again once it hits the floor.

Last edited by sigcurious; October 27, 2011 at 06:07 PM.
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