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Old November 17, 2012, 10:44 AM   #1
whiskyrunner
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basic reloading questions

Gentlemen (& Ladies)

I have been reading this forum for awhile, and have read the sticky concerning reloading basics and equipment several times, however im having an issue with something, INFORMATION OVERLOAD, i have requested my local library to get a copy of the abcs of reloading before i go any further.

That being said, is there a kit out there that has all the basics in it that i can save for? i understand all the dies for differant calibers will have to be purchased seperatly.

i am not really concerned about cranking out hundreds of rounds, i want to do this 1 step at a time, the last time i reloaded was 1982 and i had an rcbs that i had to change the dies on for each step, are those still in existance?

I will not be loading more than 1-200 rounds per month, and probably less than that, the calibers i will be reloading for are .223, 30/30,.300 win mag. 30/40 krag and possibly 7.62X54r, my friend that reloads for my .300 for me is moving, he has given me the load data for that rifle, and it was worked up for that rifle, so its now up to me

things sure have changed since the last time i reloaded in for my 30/30 in 1982!

I appreciate your patince in dealing with me and my questions, im not the sharpest tool in the shed, but this is something i want to do. correctly.
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Old November 17, 2012, 11:37 AM   #2
45YearsShooting
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Sure, there are plenty of complete reloading kits for sale that include all the basics including reloading manual and hand priming tool. One example is the "RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit", for $289.95 (plus shipping) from Natchezss.com (item # F10RC09357).
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Old November 17, 2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
things sure have changed since the last time i reloaded in for my 30/30 in 1982!
Not as much as you think. A single stage press and the appropriate dies are still the way to do the loading you have talked about.
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Old November 17, 2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Here are a few questions that can help us to help you.

1. How much can you spare to spend? (Equipment has a price. The amount you can truly afford to spend makes a huge difference in what we would suggest.)

2. How much space do you have to dedicate? (This is a huge factor in equipment choices as well.)

3. How much time can you invest? (You have loaded before from what you stated though it was 30 years ago. You may remember that distraction free time is imperative to reloading.)

4. What are you going to reload for as far a calibers?

5. What are you looking for your ammo to do? (Huge difference in super accurate rifle loads to pick gnat poo out pepper at a half mile, and go bang ever time, and hit pop cans when having fun rounds?

Ok now that asked and said.

I would suggest buying a reloading manual. Lyman 49 th has a great first section that details the loading practices, of the what, how to, and why for each step. Most of the manuals have some form of this in them.

ABC's of Reloading is good for information on the steps, and the hows. Think of it like this.

Lyman is like the Betty Crocker cook book with a section at the first detailing some of the steps, and processes of things you will do while cooking, and what ingredients do what. With most of it dedicated to recipies.

ABC's of Reloading is like the Cooking for Dummies book with a good bit of content dedicated to the processes involved in cooking. Very little for recipies.
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Old November 17, 2012, 12:59 PM   #5
whiskyrunner
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1. How much can you spare to spend? (Equipment has a price. The amount you can truly afford to spend makes a huge difference in what we would suggest.)

A: an honest answer is the $300 for that kit mentioned previously is right at the upper edge of what i can afford right now, however i can save for a few more months and possibly have 3-400 more to spend

2. How much space do you have to dedicate? (This is a huge factor in equipment choices as well.)

A:i have a 3 bedroom 900sq ft house, the room i have chosen for this is 10X10 and used to be my stepdaughters room, it is completely empty sans my antique upright piano, I can build a reloading bench if i had an idea as to dimensions

3. How much time can you invest? (You have loaded before from what you stated though it was 30 years ago. You may remember that distraction free time is imperative to reloading.)

A:time is not an issue, i dont own a tv, and when i get online its at my local public library, my main distraction will be my beagles, the radio, and dinner

4. What are you going to reload for as far a calibers?
A: 30/30, .300win mag, .223(for an ar type rifle),7.62X54r, and 30/40 krag

5. What are you looking for your ammo to do? (Huge difference in super accurate rifle loads to pick gnat poo out pepper at a half mile, and go bang ever time, and hit pop cans when having fun rounds?

A: 30/30 to put food on the table, longest shot is MABY 100yds
.223, want it to go bang, hit a pop can or smaller, and dispatch the local coyote population
7.62X54R, 30/40 krag, just pretty much to go bang
.300 win mag, the load that is worked up using a 208gr berger will shoot gnat poop at 100yds, i want to extend the range out as far as im comfortable,(i have 1700yds before the field ends and the woods begins) to eventually go elk hunting, but i need to practice...alot
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Old November 17, 2012, 01:00 PM   #6
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An idea; get a catalog from MidwayUSA, Midsouth, Natchez, etc to see what equipment is available (google "reloading equipment"). I'd suggest reading The ABCs before you purchase any equipment so you can get what suits your reloading needs. Personally, I don't like kits as I prefer to research and purchase each piece of equipment I need, not what was put together by someone who doesn't know my needs...
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Old November 17, 2012, 01:06 PM   #7
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I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I have the RCBS rock chucker kit and could not be happier. I shopped the classified ads and found a good used tumbler and saved my pennies for quality dies. I believe I bought the best system my dollars would allow!

I also started with the ABC'S of reloading and then purchased the Lyman 49th. The RCBS kit mentioned above comes with a Speer manual with many great loads in it also. I'm a book nerd so I like to read a lot of different sources which is why I now have 4 manuals, but the ABC's and the Speer manual is more than enough to get started.
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Old November 17, 2012, 01:30 PM   #8
m&p45acp10+1
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Ok thanks for awnsering the questions.

You have a room for a bench. That is a huge plus. Since you are going to load rifle rounds it will need to be solid for sizing the brass.

I would say for equipment the Lee Beech Lock Challenger kit would serve you well. Though I would suggest a better scale that can be had for under $100 (closer to $25 to $80 depending if you want a manual, or digital scale.)

Kit price is under $110 dollars. Add the scale. Now you will need dies. I suggest Lee Dies. Some people bash them. All of mine make ammo that is more accurate than I can milk it for. For the bolt action if you can get the Deluxe die set with the collet die I would do it. Crimping should not be necessary in most cases. Has been shown in many to be counter productive to accuracy most cases that I have seen.

For the Mosin I would suggest bulk spam can ammo if it a cost factor. I can not buy components as cheap as the spam can stuff. I spend more to reload for the round, though I enjoy reloading for it, and Mrs M&P likes shooting my reduced loads with Trail Boss.

Since time is not a big factor, and budget is a big factor then the Lee kit will get you started, and shooting. You can save up, and upgrade as you go along .
That leaves plenty left for a manual, and components.

If there is a Cabella's you can drive to not too far away then you can buy the kit off the shelf, and they will have the manual, and a selection of scales you can buy off the shelf. Start with a die set for one, or two calibers that you shoot. I would say that the .223 is the cheapest for components. Some bullets, and a can of H-335, or IMR 4895, and some Magnum, small rifle primers. As well as a Lee die set. The standard red box ones since it for an AR. Follow the directions for set up, after reading the how to section in the manual you buy. (About 80 or so pages) You can start into reloading.

Oh and as a secondary note. Reloading for .223 Rem buy some thing to remove the stakes, or crimp in the primer pockets. Most of brass I have been picking up for the past two years seems to have it. The Lyman case prep tool cost less than $20 will do large, and small primer pocket sizes. If you feel so inclined RCBS makes a primer pocket swagger that works from on the press. I think it cost in the $40 something dollar range. Also you will need to trim cases. The Lee case length guage, and lock stud will work with the trimmer that come in the kit. Cost of each is Less than $8 per caliber from most places. You can chuck it in a drill, or buy a Lee Zip Trim. Cost is under $20.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; November 17, 2012 at 01:42 PM.
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:24 AM   #9
whiskyrunner
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WOW, THANK YOU GENTLEMEN!!!
unfortunatly the nearest cabellas is 317 miles away, i do however have a bass pro about 75 miles away and they have that kit for $129.99.

45years i appreciate your response,(and all the others) and eventually will be able to upgrade, right now im in a financial bind, and unfortunatly the press is going to have to wait a month or 2, because right now a box of ammo is $20 that i know will work, and it will put meat in the freezer,
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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Lee equipment is the cheapest to buy ! How often does cheapest mean best ?
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:34 AM   #11
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Im glad to read you want to get back into loading. Good for you sir !
There are so many out there that dont want to waste the time, I'll just go buy a box ! Right ! When ammo was half the price it is now,some of us still wanted to load our own and still save a buck or two, enjoy the experience of loading and shooting what we made ourselves.
The younger generation needs us older guys to "learn them right". I'll bet ammo will be so far over priced that the teenagers today wont spend the money when they reach 23-25 yrs to shoot. That is if there is a place left to shoot and firearms to shoot it with !

Sending you a PM sir,

Mike
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Old November 18, 2012, 12:15 PM   #12
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If you're financially strapped but want to reload for sure eventually, you could buy it a piece at a time like I did. I started with a plain single stage press (RC), one set of Dies, a shell holder, and a scale. I loaded for a year with nothing more. I used a cereal bowl & spoon for powder tapping the powder into the pan. I set OAL by my magazine and chamber checked them. That's all I needed. It was super basic but worked.

The point is don't think you have to buy a kit. Sure it'd be nice but sometimes when we put something on hold until we can afford it...it doesn't happen. Become a scrounger and hit all the garage sales and pawn shops. Lots of time used equipment is regarded as useless to people because it was granpas or whatever and the don't know how to use it or even what it is. A lot of my stuff was bought for pennies on the dollar or even given to me by people not knowing or disinterested about reloading. Set a goal to scrounge one thing a week (big or small) at least, that you will need. In a year you'll have a nice setup.
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Old November 18, 2012, 02:29 PM   #13
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Low price does not disqualify a tool from being the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneoldsap
Lee equipment is the cheapest to buy ! How often does cheapest mean best ?
Every once in a while, it does. Many people swear by Lee's hand primer. Many of those same people swear at the Lee Reloader Press and their Safety Scale (which is as accurate as any, but hard to use if you don't know how to use a Vernier scale).

Lee's Classic Turret press is the best auto-indexing available in the world today, bar none, at any price. That fact is indisputable.

But if you need a turret press with 5 die stations, the Lee Classic Turret is worthless to you. That is a fact, too.

Which highlights the pertinent question: What tool(s) is best for each individual handloader? A low price is not a disqualification.

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Old November 18, 2012, 04:02 PM   #14
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I would not kick a gal out of bed for wanting to use a Lee Classic Turret Press. But I also don't see a whole lot of difference between a turret press and the LNL Classic. The Lee Turret press is that middle ground... not the best at anything, but good for almost everything. If I wasn't using my Ammo Plant, and I still haven't setting it up this weekend, I would batch load. Size em all, then prime em all, then charge, then etc. etc. etc. I would rather at that point have a LNL Classic single stage and be able to quick swap with their bushing system.
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Old November 18, 2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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Hi, I started out not too long ago . I researched how I could start out with the least amount of money. I wanted something beginner friendly . I ended up with something between a single stage and a progressive. For $104 I bought a Lee Classic (deluxe) press KIT. The classic kit as opposed to the (deluxe) was more money . To get started , with this kit you need to order a extension for the powder hopper in order to use the auto primer. Even with this extension the hopper still comes in slight contact with the auto primer. Not a big deal , it works fine. The extension costs about $10 dollers. The additional auto primer that attaches to the press costs $19. The third item I bought were the dies for 9mm ,$37. I'm sure rifle dies will be a little more. With these 3 extra items added to the kit , the deluxe 4 hole turret kit was still less than the classic 4 hole turret kit. I'm not sure of the difference but I believe the classic version may be more heavy duty. Either way this press will do the job. For a total of $160 plus about $15 or $20 in shipping, you will have what you need to get started again. Now , I'm loading 9mm so if you decide on something like this double check which caliber rifle dies this press uses . I find the press easy to use and set up. I did use YouTube and some contact with Lee for the initial set up. There are many options out there but I found this press economical and easy to use. I found this press and all the above prices on a web store called FS reloading . Google it . I have no affiliations with this company. I'm just passing on the conclusion to my research. They had the best prices I could find. Good luck!
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:03 PM   #16
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The Lee Hand Press does everything the bench press can, but cheaper and more versatile. Heck, I reload while watching a good movie. Thousands of rounds, including rifle. My entire reloading setup probably cost about $200 including dies, used Redding scale and various other instruments.

You can make your own custom powder dippers using spent cases, some stiff wire and a hacksaw. No need for a powder drop.
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:46 PM   #17
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In very similar shoes as OP. I too am getting back into reloading from being out of it for 10 years. Back then I had the Lee single stage. O frame. Not a bad press. I did break it after 2 years of working the press. Not sure how but where the arm connects to the bottom of the ram, that's what broke.

I just posted a question last week asking about Lee or RCBS. Quite surprised by the results that I got. Most people jumped right to Lee and said the Turret press was the way to go. I did see them on ebay for like 114 ish. I have never used an RCBS press so I don't have much to base it off of.

The only thing that had me a bit concerned: When I was looking at the Lee Turret press, people were saying that that the shelf that the dies are in seemed to move a little bit. So they were worried about if the FL size was indeed giving FL. But they didn't have any trouble out on the range.

There seem to be two kits for this press. The Deluxe and the ????? Cant remember that one. I know that you more and less do not want the Deluxe. That one is,,,,, Say,,, missing parts. The press is set up to reload quick. Getting the Deluxe, you have to buy other parts that go on the press to go faster.

Hope that helps a bit..... Welcome back.... Oh yea, One more thing, if you don't like turret operation, it can turn into a single stage press in the matter of seconds.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:53 AM   #18
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Thanks for sharing, loademwell and brigond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loademwell
In very similar shoes as OP. I too am getting back into reloading from being out of it for 10 years. Back then I had the Lee single stage. O frame. Not a bad press. I did break it after 2 years of working the press. Not sure how but where the arm connects to the bottom of the ram, that's what broke.
The linkage on the Lee Challenger (single stage) press (which is the same as that on the Deluxe Turret Press) is not as strong as the linkage on the Lee Classic Cast (single stage) press. The Lee Deluxe Turret press uses the same linkage as the Challenger. The Lee Classic Turret uses the same linkage as the Classic Cast.

I have been told that the weaker linkages have been upgraded in the past year, but cannot testify to that personally yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loademwell
The only thing that had me a bit concerned: When I was looking at the Lee Turret press, people were saying that that the shelf that the dies are in seemed to move a little bit. So they were worried about if the FL size was indeed giving FL. But they didn't have any trouble out on the range.
The "shelf" or Turret Disk does have vertical movement. But all turret presses have vertical movement. Otherwise they would be bound up and would not turn. If the vertical movement is always the same, there is no adjustment problem and full-length sizing is full-length sizing.
Quote:
There seem to be two kits for this press. The Deluxe and the ????? Cant remember that one. I know that you more and less do not want the Deluxe. That one is,,,,, Say,,, missing parts. The press is set up to reload quick. Getting the Deluxe, you have to buy other parts that go on the press to go faster.
Deluxe Turret is the older design. Classic Turret is newer.

There are 3-hole Deluxe Turrets still being sold. There are 4-Hole Deluxe Turrets with auto-indexing. There are Classic Turrets (4-hole only). The new models of the Deluxe Turret operate the same way as the Classic Turret. Both have auto-advance and both have 4-hole turrets. I believe older models of the Deluxe with the 3-hole turrets don't have the auto-advance.

Note: The Classic Turret is made of cast iron where the Deluxe is Aluminum framed. The Deluxe sends spent primers down a spillway (but not 100%) where the Classic drops them down the center of the ram nearly 100%. The Classic Turret has a full inch more vertical space than the Deluxe Turret, allowing loading long action rifle cartridges that the Deluxe cannot.

The Classic Turret is superior to the Deluxe Turret in several ways. Depending on your needs, the less expensive Deluxe Turret or the more expensive Classic Turret may be better for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brigond
To get started , with this kit you need to order a extension for the powder hopper in order to use the auto primer.
If you have the swivel adapter, you can rotate the Auto-Disk powder measure (your "hopper") to get it centered over the center of rotation. Doing so makes the indexing of the turret smoother and maximizes the distance between the primer feed and the powder measure. You can also stack two (or even three) of the risers (extension) and they still work as designed.

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Old November 19, 2012, 05:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
But I also don't see a whole lot of difference between a turret press and the LNL Classic.
I do, about 100 rounds more an hour without spending more effort(safely). Besides the saving money part, on a press that will last a couple lifetimes.

Other turret presses, yeah, those are SS presses that hold extra dies, the LCT stands above those.
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Old November 19, 2012, 10:13 AM   #20
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Yeah, I meant for me, the way my mind works. If I'm sticking one case in at a time, my mind wants to batch load.
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Old November 19, 2012, 01:41 PM   #21
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+1 on the "RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit",

The difference between the kits is the quality of the "other" components.

I've Loaded a ton of competition grade 223 for my son and am just getting into 9mm para/Luger. The above mentioned kit has solid components, specifically the powder thrower and scale. I bought and use that deluxe kit. I'm considering adding a Lee Classic turret press, but I suggest starting with the RCBS kit. You will learn a lot about reloading on a single press.
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:24 PM   #22
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just got a call from a friend of mine that works in a pawn shop, he just got in a lee 2001 chalenger complete kit wants $69.00 for it, good deal or not?
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:33 PM   #23
JimDandy
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As long as it really is complete, it'll get you started. I would imagine you'll end up upgrading and replacing parts as you go along. No company makes the best X, the best Y, and the best Z, so you'l more than likely end up with a different powder measure, and a different scale, and a different whatever over time. But that'll get your foot in the door, and at just over half the cost of buying it new.
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Old November 20, 2012, 01:29 AM   #24
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
Yeah, I meant for me, the way my mind works. If I'm sticking one case in at a time, my mind wants to batch load.
There are definitely advantages to batch processing. The ability to visually check 50 cases at once (and compare them) for the proper powder charge is a major one. Running one operation repetitively and perfectly 50 times or 100 or 1,000 times is another. Some people find batches more natural and I find no fault with that.

There are definitely advantages to continuous processing. Being able to put an empty case in the press and not have to handle it again until it is a finished cartridge is a major one. It certainly does speed up the process. Running one cartridge from start to finish feels natural to some people and I find no fault with that.

To each their own.

Design your process like a good operations engineer designs a factory floor and stick with it.

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Old November 20, 2012, 06:37 AM   #25
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I use a Dillon 550B and am very happy with it. Its very easy to use and change calibers as well. Although youre not into making alot of ammo, It can churn out in the neighborhood of 600 rounds per hour. That being said, I like to slow it down and make sure each round is perfect, so Im more in the 250-350 range per hour. Thats fine with me considering I make better ammo that I can buy in the stores and what I shoot is expensive. Reloading is the way to go. Its a hobby just like this whole gun thing is, enjoy it and good luck!

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