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Old February 29, 2012, 05:48 PM   #1
jake1191
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Looking into Loading my own

After picking up my S&W 500 two days ago i have come to the conclusion i will need to reload my own to keep any money in the bank at all. I had looked into some things in the past for my 45 acp and .308 but there is always cheap ammo readily available for them.

What is a good setup that will allow me do do handgun and rifle ammo? Preferably bench mounted.

What all do i need to get starter and where is a good place to buy from?
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Old February 29, 2012, 06:09 PM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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Read this sticky for info on what you need to get started.



http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

A huge factor in all of this is going to be how much are you able to afford to spend? Budget is a huge factor.


Midway is a good place to do buisness with. Thier customer service will go the extra mile, and then some if you have any problems. Sometimes they are bit more expensive than a few other places though most times it evens out, and they have super quick shipping as an option.

Here is a good starter kit, it even includes am manual. I would recomend adding a scale as the Lee scale is very accurate, it is simple, and it is a real chore to use properly.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/785...dex-deluxe-kit

If cost is the big factor, then here is a kit that is cost effective. The only thing is it takes a bit longer to load up large batches of ammo. I started with a similar kit. The only differance is mine came with the hand priming tool, and the shell holders for it. In fact I still load with the press, and still use the powder measure for pistol reloading. I would recomend just order Auto Prime XR with the shell holder kit when you order the kit, and add a Lyman 49th, and the Lyman Pistol & Revolver 3rd Edition for Manuals.


http://www.midwayusa.com/product/423...nniversary-kit

If loading bottle necked rifle rounds order the lockstud, and guage for the case trimmer, and use a cordless drill. If you do not want to use a drill order a Lee Zip Trim for the around $10 to $15.
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Old February 29, 2012, 07:22 PM   #3
jake1191
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I would like the ability to load larger amounts of rounds because a few friends have ARs and will be wanting to buy from me if i can produce a decent round for myself.

I had been looking at the below Dillon Press but was wondering if it would even be worth it at that price.

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...atid/1/RL_550B

As for a budget i would like to get a decent number of shells loaded for less than the $700 mark.

Last edited by jake1191; February 29, 2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old February 29, 2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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be careful you'll find that you can't load for others for pay. Keep it simple and safe load only your rounds and let your friends load their rounds. I had a friend that would come over and use the equipment but he loaded all of his own.
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Old February 29, 2012, 08:54 PM   #5
jake1191
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I hadnt planned on doing anything until way further down the road. For now it would be just me and my cousin/room mate as we hit the range together all the time and fire the same calibers.
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Old February 29, 2012, 09:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
...decent number of shells loaded for less than the $700 mark.
By "decent number" are you referring to a production rate or do you have some kind of total round count in mind as a goal?

Unless you go with a single stage or turret, I believe the price of a progressive press (and a scale and other things not included with the press) is going to use up your budget before you order any components.

There are inexpensive presses out there, as well as used equipment, so you don't have to spend $500 on a press. Even a nice, blue one with lifetime support.

A very common compromise between progessive speed and single stage price is the Lee Classic Cast Turret press. I don't have one, but I wouldn't mind owning one, from all the good things I've read about them.
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Old February 29, 2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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Also, as a serious practical matter : do not start out loading the 500 magnum. Start out with your 45. Spend a few months cranking out and shooting 1000 rounds of 45 acp. Make all your mistakes there. Then move on to the 500. Mistakes get made, and you do not want to lose your entire face and hands when you screw up on something of that magnitude.
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Old March 1, 2012, 06:00 AM   #8
jake1191
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As for a number of sheels i would like to be able to do would be about 1000 a month or so.

The plan was to do .45 acp shells for a while because of that exact reason.
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Old March 1, 2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake1191 View Post
I would like the ability to load larger amounts of rounds because a few friends have ARs and will be wanting to buy from me if i can produce a decent round for myself.
It is illegal to sell ammo to your friends unless you have the appropriate FFL (Federal Firearms License).
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:14 PM   #10
jake1191
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After some thinking I will only reload for my self n the one person I shoot with. Otherwise I could see a lawsuit from a "friend" if something went wrong.

Now for $450 could I have a complete setup minus supplies and be able to produce a fair amount of ammo?

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Old March 1, 2012, 10:47 PM   #11
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Keep it simple.

First, Kayser has a really good suggestion in going with a smaller caliber to start with.

My thought for you is to keep it simple.

I started reloading cause I like to shoot my 44 mag and the rounds are pricy off the shelf. I started with and still have a single stage press. I have now have dies for 44 mag, 45 colt, 223 and 9mm. I have a couple of really simple hand held case trimmers, use lee dippers to measure my power, have a caliper for measuring length and a hand held primer seater. I started with the liquid brass cleaner and moved up to a vibrator, but you don't have to have that. I think the carbide sizing dies are nice and find I only need to use case lube on my 223. I'd be you can get all the gear you need to reload one caliber for $100 or less if you keep it simple.

The other thing it so keep it safe. I don't mess around with "hot" loads. I stick with the charts that come with the dies.

Good luck!

Live well, be safe
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Old March 1, 2012, 10:52 PM   #12
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Lee 50th kit or Lee Classic Turret kit would be great starters with die sets in your calibres and a reloading manual or 10.
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:19 PM   #13
jake1191
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Trying to decide which press i need to buy. Today was payday so it is time to blow it all....
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:40 PM   #14
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If you start with a low end single stage like a Lee, you can use it to load most anything, and can use it for single operations after you upgrade. That way you still have cash for components. I like the idea of loading .45 .
That has to be the most forgiving round, especially out of a 1911. If you run your finished rounds through a factory crimp die, they even chamber like you
been doing it awhile.
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:48 PM   #15
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$450 is a decent equipment starting point. I think you could get to the point of making shootable ammo for near that amount. Look at the Lee stuff. Some of it is quite handy and reasonably priced. I would buy Hornady, RCBS or Lyman presses. Lyman and RCBS make good starter kits. They are a good way to get in the game.
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Old March 2, 2012, 07:34 PM   #16
jake1191
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Anyone know if the load-master or pro 1000 will do the .308 and the 500 S&W
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Old March 2, 2012, 07:45 PM   #17
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Don't start with a progressive. You are asking for trouble if you don't spend a large chunk of time doing things round by round to understand the process and get a feel for where things can go wrong. Start with a single stage like a Lee, or if you must have the feel of high production get the Lee Classic Turret which functions in single-stage mode but can be toggled into pseudo-progressive mode.

Progressives are complex, and they add a layer of obfuscation-of-process that is dangerous for someone who hasn't experienced the basics yet.

Start simple. Keep the blood on the inside.
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Old March 2, 2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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Here's an excerpt from another post on this forum, concerning Lee progressive presses -

Quote:
...He's a very good mechanical fix it yourself type of guy, and he does fiddle with his all the time.
here's the whole thing -

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192653

Most agree that Lee progressive presses can be set up to make good rounds, but they generally are more trouble than some that are more "substantial" in their design.

For those who have the funds and don't have time to fiddle, they seem to get something else. For those in the opposite situation (short on funds and lots of time), they may think Lee is just fine.

I don't believe in "Lee bashing", but I think some full disclosure would be appropriate...Lee progressives just aren't the same quality as their Classic Cast Turret.
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Old March 2, 2012, 08:55 PM   #19
jake1191
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I know this sounds ridiculous but can someone set me up a list of items for the $450 range(without supplies) that will get me loading .45 ACP, .308, and the 500 S&W. I keep changing my mind and would like a setup someone with some experience would buy. I need to be able to do a decent amount of .45 ACP ammo because i run a lot through my XD.
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Old March 2, 2012, 09:33 PM   #20
Brian Pfleuger
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  1. Lee Classic turret press
  2. Lyman 49th Edition
  3. RCBS 505 scale
  4. Lee Safety Prime
  5. Lee Pro Auto-Disk
  6. Lee riser
  7. Lee primer pocket cleaner
  8. Lee trimmer and lock stud
  9. Lee case length gage for each rifle cartridge
  10. Lee chamfer/deburr tool
  11. Lee carbide die set for each handgun round
  12. Lee collet neck die set and Redding body die for each rifle cartridge in bolt-action
  13. Set of calipers
  14. 4-hole turret for each cartridge set
  15. Tumbler
  16. Bag of lizard litter from pet store
  17. Bottle of Flitz polish from auto store

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; March 2, 2012 at 09:44 PM. Reason: forgot powder dispenser
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Old March 2, 2012, 09:41 PM   #21
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I would go with the Lee Classic Turret setup that comes with the Lee manual, the press, powder dispenser, priming system and scale for $215. The .308 die set is $33, the .45 ACP set is $43 for the carbide 4-die set with the Final Crimp Die. The 500 S&W three-die set is $30. Three powder risers (one for each set) are about $22 total. About $11 for the .308 case trimmer. $24 for two additional four-hole turrets, and $11 for the rifle charging die to use with the Auto-Disk measure.

That's about $390, leaving you $60 for odds and ends, such as a case tumbler if you want one, along with media. I've probably forgotten something as well - I've gotten everything I've needed a bit at a time, so it's hard for me to remember all of it at once.
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Old March 5, 2012, 12:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
If you run your finished rounds through a factory crimp die, they even chamber like you
been doing it awhile.
In all fairness to the new reloader, this should be clarified for him that this is an option that there are two schools of thought on. One school of thought says they chamber like you been doing it awhile...

The other school of thought says uh, no, I don't need to destroy my ammo by sizing my intentionally oversized lead bullet cartridges down to they will fit in anyones gun. I don't load for everyone, and my ammo fits my guns fine.

RCBS and Lee had a magazine ad war about these dies in the 80's. RCBS saying it is unnecessary, and Lee saying you're not a real reloader without it.

The dies do make a nice crimp. I have two of them. But the pistol round FCD's have a carbide sizing ring in them that crushes (sizes) the entire diameter of the case down. This destroys your bullet that you have taken so much care to seat nice. I popped the carbide ring out of mine so I can get the crimp without the sizing.

You need to toss this around in your head and decide what your needs require for yourself. The trend that I have seen with these dies is that newbies love them and old timers wont use them.
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Old March 5, 2012, 06:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
because a few friends have ARs and will be wanting to buy from me if i can produce a decent round for myself.
Federal felony without the proper licenses and ITAR designations - 10 years in Federal prison, lose ALL gun ownership forever, minimum $250,000 fine

Your buddies going to come visit you and make your house payment in the meantime?
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Old March 5, 2012, 07:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Now for $450 could I have a complete setup minus supplies and be able to produce a fair amount of ammo?
The only set up I can think of for that price that will give you a decent production rate is the Lee classic turret. I can load 175 to 200 rounds per hour on mine. You can get set up for one caliber for around $270. Check out the kit at www.kempfgunshop.com and www.fsreloading.com. I also have a Dillon 550 but you would be closer to $600 for one caliber. Both are quality presses from my experience.
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Old March 5, 2012, 07:15 PM   #25
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In all fairness to the new reloader, this should be clarified for him that this is an option that there are two schools of thought on. One school of thought says they chamber like you been doing it awhile...

The other school of thought says uh, no, I don't need to destroy my ammo by sizing my intentionally oversized lead bullet cartridges down to they will fit in anyones gun. I don't load for everyone, and my ammo fits my guns fine.

RCBS and Lee had a magazine ad war about these dies in the 80's. RCBS saying it is unnecessary, and Lee saying you're not a real reloader without it.

The dies do make a nice crimp. I have two of them. But the pistol round FCD's have a carbide sizing ring in them that crushes (sizes) the entire diameter of the case down. This destroys your bullet that you have taken so much care to seat nice. I popped the carbide ring out of mine so I can get the crimp without the sizing.

You need to toss this around in your head and decide what your needs require for yourself. The trend that I have seen with these dies is that newbies love them and old timers wont use them.
I know Ed won't believe this but I'm going to agree with him. I don't believe in using the FCD to fix ammo that could have been loaded problem free with correct set up. I do think it makes a great case gauge and the post sizing ring can help find problem rounds. I use the FCD's with 9mm, 38/357 and 45 auto with jacketed and lead bullets and don'thave any problems with the post sizing ring doing anything. I did have two rounds get post sized around 5 years ago. They were both jacketed bullets in 9mm. The FCD is basically a finishing die. All the major ammo makers use a finishing die in their production.
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Last edited by CrustyFN; March 5, 2012 at 07:21 PM.
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