The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 3, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
Reloading and other advice please. (My First Post)

Hi to all, and good morning / afternoon / evening depending on where you live.
I'm just starting up shooting again since moving from the UK to New Zealand and I would like some advice please.

In the UK I had a S&W 6" SS 686 Performance Center gun until that nice Tony Blair banned hand guns and I had to hand it in to be destroyed, a very sad day that was. :-{

I am taking up handgun shooting again but it will take 6-9 months for my "B" catagory endorsement to come through to allow me to buy handguns, rifles and other long firearms aren't a problem.

I intend to reload my own ammo as I did in the UK but have been getting conflicting advice on which press and powder to use. I had a Lee pro 1000 which I had no problems with but the advice I'm getting from most shooters is that the Pro 1000 is no good and to go for a Dillon, which is 2 -3 times the price.

I would be getting (when I can buy handguns) probably another 686, possibly a 629 also.
As for Semi-Auto I am not sure which to go for, some type of 9mm or a .45 (any advice on this would also be welcome as I have shot both but never owned one).

I also want an Underlever rifle (possibly a Rossi?) in the same caliber as my main handgun, so probably a .357 Mag (advice on this also welcome)

Any advice on reloading presses and powders (and type of brass and primers) will be most welcome as I have also been told that the Lee 1000 will only use CCI or Remington primers as others can be a real problem with going "bang" as you are reloading.

I should have pointed out earlier that I will be target shooting and not hunting.

Well, sorry it's a bit of a long post with so many questions for a first post.

So thanks in advance
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 3, 2012, 10:08 PM   #2
Kevin Rohrer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2010
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 509
1. Most any press will do. Australia is a lot closer to you than you to the US, so maybe a company there sells a progressive. I know they sell single-stage presses, but it sounds like you will shooting in volume. If nothing is available there, comparing a Dillon to a L*& (<---profanity censored by the Moderators) is like comparing an Aston Martin to a Ford Fiesta.

2. As for the 9mm/.45 debate, although the former is only suitable for women and Europeans, the brass might be more readily available than the latter, and cost/availability is a factor.

3. As for powders and primers, it would probably be more practical for you to goto Australia for them, and the Aussies make lots of powder for us. There is at least one Aussie here who can make suggestions.

It's a shame you couldn't emigrate here. This Free Fire Zone we call home always welcomes new shooters.
__________________
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

"Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!" --Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
Kevin Rohrer is offline  
Old September 3, 2012, 10:23 PM   #3
GNLaFrance
Member
 
Join Date: June 29, 2008
Location: Near Baltimore, the Soviet Socialist Democratic People's Republic of Maryland
Posts: 81
Welcome! You're in the land of kiwis, and I'm in the land of crabs.

As far as the advice about getting a Dillon press instead of another Lee, which do you have more faith in, your own experience or the urgings of others? Dillons are great machines, but before deciding on a brand, I read a great deal about reloading in general, presses, accessories, etc., and pestered a lot of reloaders about what they used and why. I finally decided on a Lee Classic Cast Turret, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. It works very well for me. Your mileage may vary, of course. Get what works for you.

As for gun choices, borrow or rent as many as you can get hold of to see which ones you like best. I see nothing wrong with anything you've mentioned, they're all fine firearms.

If you get a Lee Pro 1000 and can't get CCI or Remington primers, get the Lee Hand Priming Tool, which can safely use any brand of primer.

Cheers!
__________________
Guy N. LaFrance
Collector of Curios & Relics, Maryland Designated Collector
Maryland Shall Issue, GOA, NRA, SAF, JPFO
Grand Army of the Frontier, National Congress of Old West Shootists
GNLaFrance is offline  
Old September 3, 2012, 11:16 PM   #4
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
Hi guys,
Thanks for the info, very much appreciated.

I think I should have said that I will be shooting around 250 rounds probably .38spc or .357mag a week in 2 competitions + playing with the rifle on a Sunday and plinking with the semi and the 629 between comps. I want to only use 1 gun in comps and develop the optimum load, projectile and brass for that one, I am assuming at present it will be the 686 but I may go with the 629, I suppose it very much depends on which when I get the firearms, shoot them and see which feels better in the hand.

As for the semi, .45 brass is a little thin on the ground over here, 9x19 is everywhere but 9x21 is quite rare. For the amount of use it will get brass cost probably isn't a factor if I can pickup around 500 pieces that should keep me going with a .45.

I will probably get through a bit more ammo as I have just started teaching my 12 year old son to shoot handguns at a (semi) local club. He enjoys shooting and I started him off shooting clays with a .410 at 6 years old... AND he could take 60% out of the air with a single barrel 410 which is probably what I was doing with an over-under 12g.

He has shot .22, 9mm and .44mag, not factory loaded Mags I might add, someone else's reloads with 7.5Gr (powder unknown to me) with a 240Gr cast bullet and he had no problems with any of them.

Once again thanks for the replies, appreciated.

Cheers
G

Last edited by Gaz_in_NZ; September 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM. Reason: I can spell but apparently my fingers can't....
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 12:54 AM   #5
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,057
Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

I used to own two Lee Pro-1000s and switched to a Lee Classic Turret. It suited me better, as monitoring multiple simultaneous operations made me uneasy. My production rate is higher on the Turret than I was able to achieve on the Pro-1000. The primer feed device used on the turret was more reliable to manipulate (for me) and (in my opinion) is more immune to accidental primer ignition as well.

The Lee Classic Turret is the best auto-indexing turret in the world. (It happens to be the better of the ONLY two made in the world; the other is the Lee Deluxe Turret.) But I also opine that it is the fastest turret in the world and if you can get by with 125-200 rounds per hour continuous production rate and only 4 die stations, worthy of consideration.

The Dillon products are miles ahead of the Pro-1000. While I have never used one, I have studied on them some and believe their customer service to be the best in the world (from the very credible reports I have heard) and their operation to be reliable.

Hornady's LnL is a progressive press that is on a par with the Dillon and also worthy of your consideration.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 01:48 PM   #6
Wyoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,265
I love New Zealand!

I think you should purchase a 22 rimfire and a supressor! They are easy to obtain in NZ and the possums just hate them!

Seriously, I think any press will work fine for you and the suggestions about Austrailian components is spot on. They make good powder in Austrailia.

Happy shooting!
__________________
Go Pokes!
Go Rams!
Wyoredman is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 02:12 PM   #7
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,329
I have had 2 pro 1000 and gave them away for a dillon 550. It is a fantastic problem free machine. The reason I had 2 pro 1000 is they were relatively inexpensive (119 at the time) and I wanted to load a bunch of calibers. The dillon does this well, it is easy to change between calibers and primer sizes. A caliber change that doesn't require a primer size change (small to large or vice versa) takes no more then 2 min. With the primer change you can add another 5-7 min. It is very easy. The machine produces high volume, high quality ammo. they have great customer service and a great warranty. Nothing on my loading bench I have been more pleased with then my dillon, its 25 years old and has yet to have a part replaced. Runs so good, I neglect it. :-)
1stmar is online now  
Old September 4, 2012, 03:21 PM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
I am using a Dillon 550b press. You can easily excede the number of rounds produced per hour on one compared to the Lee turrets. Going slow will produce around 250 rounds per hour and going up to 350 rounds per hour is pretty easy to do once you get the feel for the machine. I believe it is rated some place near 500 rounds per hour. I'm loading .38 special/.357 mag, 9 mm and .45 with mine. The conversions and dies are a bit expensive but they work very well. I don't care much for the Square Deal press from Dillon. It uses steel dies and not carbide. They are unique to the machine as well. For a little more money you get a much better press. Your Lee dies will work in the 550 and 650 Dillon presses. The Dillon 550b also will allow you to load several rifle calibers. Loading slower you probably will find the Lee Classic Turret press works. I tend to go through a fair amount of ammo each week so the Dillon does work out better for me.

The S&W 686 is a fine weapon and I have been thinking about getting one in the future. I like my Dan Wesson and have do desire to get rid of it.

Sig along with other companies make good .45 cal auto pistols. They should serve you well. In 9 mm I like CZ, Tangfolio (CZ clone), Sig, Beretta and a few other pistols. Depending on what is available and what you prefer in your hand they should do well. I have never warmed up to the Sigma because the trigger is not very good out of the box. I tend to stay away from sub compact pistols since they normally don't feel that good for range use.

If you like shooting double action with revolvers you might consider the Sig P250. The prices here are good and you can get kits to switch calibers. That way you could get 9 mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W and .45 acp all with the same trigger just by adding kits. If you only like shooting single action, I don't think you will care much for the P250. It takes practice to be able to shoot double action well. Many Single Action Only (SAO) people I have met hated my P250s. People accustomed to DA triggers seemed to like them.

I also suggest looking into the used market for pistols until you find what you really want. Normally you won't be loosing much if any money on a used pistol you shoot for a little while and want to sell or trade it for something else.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 03:24 PM   #9
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
Lee Precision Classic Turret.
jmortimer is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 03:48 PM   #10
rajbcpa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2012
Posts: 315
Did tony blair compensate you for the unjust seizure of your S&W?
rajbcpa is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 04:01 PM   #11
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
Thank you all again for taking the time to reply with all this invaluable information, I really appreciate it.

I suppose the Dillon/Lee argument with reloading is just the same as the Gibson/Fender argument with guitars, I'm actually a Gibson man on that score.

What are the better makes of reloading brass available at present?

Sorry for all the questions but I want to do it once and get it right.

Thanks once again for the advice.

Cheers
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 04:08 PM   #12
GNLaFrance
Member
 
Join Date: June 29, 2008
Location: Near Baltimore, the Soviet Socialist Democratic People's Republic of Maryland
Posts: 81
I suppose the Dillon/Lee argument with reloading is just the same as the Gibson/Fender argument with guitars, I'm actually a Gibson man on that score.

Ford > Chevy

What are the better makes of reloading brass available at present?

You can't go wrong with Starline.
__________________
Guy N. LaFrance
Collector of Curios & Relics, Maryland Designated Collector
Maryland Shall Issue, GOA, NRA, SAF, JPFO
Grand Army of the Frontier, National Congress of Old West Shootists
GNLaFrance is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 04:23 PM   #13
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
To rajbcpa,
Yes we did get some form of compensation but it was a fraction of what they were worth. The payment did not take into account the fact that it was a Performance Center 686 (which I can't remember the name of... Carry Comp rings a bell, but I can't be sure) and we were only paid out on "Their View" of the second hand price of a basic model.
I really hate Blair (Bliar as he is normally referred to) for using the knee jerk reaction of the electorate over the Dunblaine shooting tragedy as a way to get election votes to get him into power, shows just what type of a lowlife, despicable B*****D he really is.
He has gone on to prove this with his lies and actions over the intervening years and I (and lots of other people) believe he should stand trial as a War Criminal.
That man wants shooting with a high mass, low velocity bullet so it hurts for longer.
Sorry for the mini-rant but he is a ****, and a total one at that, it is his administration that has turned the UK from what it was into the cesspit of the word!!

Cheers
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 04:32 PM   #14
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
To GNLaFrance,
Over here it's the same argument Ford/Holden... but I'd always prefer a '58-'59 Dodge Coronet Lancer or a '56 Packard Patrician (like the one I had to sell in the UK before emigrating).

Dunno why it's a Ford/Holden argument 'cause most of the cars over here are Rice Burners.

Cheers
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 04:44 PM   #15
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
You can't go wrong with Starline.

I did check out their web site and all the companies they mention in NZ as distributors do not actually appear to sell their cases.

May be I need to check out their Aussie dealers.

I have read most posts (not all) on powders and the volume of info is quite staggering and bewildering ...information overload!!... so I am no farer on which which powders are better, one thing that was apparently evident (if I extracted the inferences right) is that Titegroup powder can be a problem with overpressure. Not sure if thats exactly what I read, but that seems to be the general gripe people have with it(?).

Cheers
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 05:13 PM   #16
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
More questions... sorry guys.

Can someone please recommend a good reloading manual.

Cheers
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 05:32 PM   #17
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
Lymans 49th
Modern Reloading (Get this for sure if you go with Lee Precision equipment)
Many Recommend ABCs of Reloading
jmortimer is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 06:28 PM   #18
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
Cheers for that, very much appreciated.

G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 08:26 PM   #19
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
The cases I find to work the best new never fired are starline. Factory ammo or once fired cases I prefer Winchester or RWS. Both seem to be holding up quite well.

As to a load to use you might need to provide a little more information. Is it just for the range? Which caliber and what bullet do you plan to use. With that information maybe we can post our favorite load for you. Remember the OAL will affect the pressure of the load.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 09:26 PM   #20
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
I'll probably go for a .38 from a 6" 686 (if I can find one over here that doesn't cost an arm and a leg), primarily for target/competition shooting.
I used to use 148Gr hbwc when I shot comps in the UK (can't remember the loads or powder I used though), nice neat hole and no queries about near line cutters.

Thanks
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 09:33 PM   #21
Kevin Rohrer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2010
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 509
Quote:
What are the better makes of reloading brass available at present?
For pistol brass, Starline and Winchester are both top shelf, but Remington is ok. I 'believe' PMC is also good, as is IMI.
__________________
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

"Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!" --Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
Kevin Rohrer is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 10:04 PM   #22
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,407
There are several people here that do compete. I'm just not one of them.

I like using WST (Winchester Super Target) for .38 specials. It burns clean and is consistent in my powder measure. I've been using 158 grain jacketed hollow point bullets so what I'm loading probably won't do what you want. It is pretty accurate but I don't know if it would make it for competition. My eyes are just too old these days to even dream about bulls eye shooting. The best I could do this weekend was shoot a couple of 1" groups at 10 yards. Beyond that distance I have trouble seeing the target clear enough to place the sights in the proper place. I can still do well enough for combat center of mass shooting at 25 yards to know I will be able to hit silhouettes.

Maybe someone will be able to to help you with their pet load using the same bullet you prefer to use. Give it a bit of time for them to chime in.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old September 4, 2012, 10:08 PM   #23
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
Thanks Dave,
My eyes are also the limiting factor with how well I shoot... But I have been using them since 1952
Where did all the years go???
I suppose having a 12 year old son helps to keep me young and (sort of) fit (ish).

Cheers
G
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Old September 5, 2012, 12:30 AM   #24
MarkDozier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 1, 2010
Posts: 339
Hey Gus
If you can find one the 1894c Marlin 357Magnum is the one to get. I have one. Her name is SUGAR cause she is so sweet.
MarkDozier is offline  
Old September 5, 2012, 01:13 AM   #25
Gaz_in_NZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2012
Location: 40 miles North of Wellington, NZ
Posts: 189
Hey Gus
If you can find one the 1894c Marlin 357Magnum is the one to get. I have one. Her name is SUGAR cause she is so sweet.


Who is Gus? Did I miss something?

Yes, that would be very high on my list to buy, if I could ever find one for sale in NZ that is... Rossi are reasonably available here which is why I mentioned it.

The nearest I have found is a Marlin 336w 30 30 for $900NZ and I want either a .44mag or .357 mag not one that takes rifle hunting rounds.

Cheers
G

Last edited by Gaz_in_NZ; September 5, 2012 at 01:19 AM.
Gaz_in_NZ is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13098 seconds with 7 queries