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Old December 8, 2012, 09:48 PM   #1
FloridaGuy
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New to reloading!

I started shooting about 2 months ago. Since then I have acquired multiple handguns in the following calibers 9mm, .357 Magnum .40 S&W, .44 Magnum, .45ACP. I am shooting about 300 rounds a week currently. That includes at least 50 rounds out of each caliber.

I would like to start reloading to try and lower the cost of at least shooting the .44 Magnum. My local range does not allow the shooting of any magnum ammunition so I have to shoot .44 special ammunition at a cost of $44.00 a box of 50.

Were is the best place to get brass shell casings? I have checked with the three local ranges to see if I could get some of the brass shot there. But they have contracts with some company that removes there brass and the lead out of the range.

FG
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Old December 8, 2012, 09:57 PM   #2
jmortimer
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Starline
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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Starline is the best. I've also bought Winchester when it was available and cheaper, and it's good too.

You can probably shoot .44 Magnum handloads loaded down to .44 Special or .44-40 or .45 Colt levels. My club has the same rules about shooting indoors or on the pistol range (you can shoot whatever handguns you want on the rifle range) and they allow downloaded ammo -- especially if you use lead bullets.
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Old December 8, 2012, 11:04 PM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
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The first rule I have for anyone thinking of reloading is to save your brass. Many indoor ranges these days say any brass that hits the floor is their brass. Most also will let you keep your revover brass since it isn't hitting the floor. Starline does make the best new brass that I have ever heard of. Winchester brass is also very good.

Saving your brass is step one. Getting some reading in about reloading is step two. A book like the ABC's of Reloading will go a long way to furthering your Continuing education to a great hobby.
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Old December 8, 2012, 11:27 PM   #5
FloridaGuy
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I save as much of my brass as I can. But the only .44 Special ammo I can buy locally is in aluminum casings. I plan on doing a lot of reading before I start. I have ordered the following books and they should be here this week.
  • ABC's of reloading
  • Reloading for Handgunners
  • Modern reloading
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:04 AM   #6
LarryFlew
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Since you are likely to start of small means you will be buying some local supplies. Your supplier will have range brass for sale. Also almost every Craigslist has someone selling their brass.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:33 AM   #7
Misssissippi Dave
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https://www.starlinebrass.com/order-...fm/caliber/44/
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Old December 9, 2012, 03:56 PM   #8
Lost Sheep
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice

Does your range allow handloaded ammunition? If not, the question is academic.

I would ask if it would be OK to load Magnum cases to Special power levels and shoot those. If not, ask if the range has any 44 Special cases they could sell you.

I believe you can buy loaded 44 Special ammunition over the internet, but buying the brass is probably the most reasonable way to go. I get all my brass from buying commercially loaded ammo and using that brass over, but that is not the only way. Buying virgin brass may be the best choice for your situation

Good Luck

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Old December 9, 2012, 04:05 PM   #9
m&p45acp10+1
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Shop around on some online dealers. Many times they have brass priced cheaper than the maker of the brass sells it for.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/941...ass-44-special
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:35 PM   #10
dmazur
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If you are planning to shoot mostly .44 Special in your .44 Magnum, and once in a while use it as a "woods gun" with full house loads, you may encounter accumulations of lead/crud and/or cylinder erosion in the area just forward of the shorter .44 Special cases.

I haven't experienced this yet because -

1. I'm a relatively new .44 Magnum revolver owner, and
2. I use high end .44 Special loads in .44 Magnum cases if I don't want to shoot at Magnum velocities.

I believe the lead/crud problem can cause problems in chambering and the erosion problem can cause problems in extraction. Both of which will go unnoticed until you try to shoot the longer .44 Magnum cases.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:48 PM   #11
MonkeyKnight
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I suggest buying a reloading kit. One of the ones that has everything to get started. I bought the rock chucker kit when I started. Once you have your kit, take out only the book. Read. Read. Read. (Who am I joking; your gonna take out all the gizmos, and jack with your new toys. How much does this weigh, how about this, that? Enjoy.)

In the meantime, continue to buy ammo, knowing that it's easy and you are collecting brass in the mean time while learning what you like to shoot. Yeah, it's pricier than reloading, but you need a couple K of brass for each caliber anyway. Buy different stuff. Try out different factory loads. See if any stick out. Get a chrony. Check the speeds that you are getting on the factory stuff you like. Check the consistancy. Cross reference with your book, where do those loads land? Light? Hot? Take notes. Lots of notes. Buy a stack of the same notebooks, if you are as finicky as I am, one for each gun.

Check around to what everyone else is loading. Take notes. On an initial investment, I try to buy powder that I can load multiple cartridges for. I reload mostly rifle, so I think it is a bit easier for me to accomplish. I also try to buy my guns to double up on equipment. My 22-250, 308, 243 and 30-06 all use the same shell holder. Trivial in the grand scheme of things, but it's handy when you want to hand prime a couple K of various rounds. It's also handy when a neck is cracked on the 30-06, it gets trimmed down to one of the other three.

If you just started shooting, you have much to learn yet. As I am sure you are aware; your wallet just contracted bulimia. There is no cure. Don't fight it, you'll only die tired.

Just my two cents.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:54 PM   #12
dmazur
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More on tumbling and lead styphnate dust -

I've found (using lead test kits) that there is no problem with loading the brass into the vibratory tumbler, or the tumbling itself. The gasketed lid contains everything just fine. It is when you dump the media/brass through the separator that things get dusty. So that one step I do outdoors, wearing gloves and a HEPA respirator, and I toss the shirt I'm wearing into the washing machine. The dust is just walnut shell dust, and unless you are filling a room with this dust, I don't believe there is a reason to worry about dust explosions.

More on cleaning fumes -

As long as you have a tight container for any rags, patches, etc. this might be OK indoors, with a fume extractor of some kind running. A solvent-resistant mat might be sufficient to protect whatever benchtop you have, but I'd watch for porous surfaces which could accumulate the cleaning products. Even with a fume extractor running, I'd still wear Nitrile gloves. The thin ones don't compromise dexterity and they are disposable. You might note that latex gloves are not as solvent-resistant as Nitrile gloves.


More on fire extinguishers -

The stuff used in reloading has its own oxidizing agent as part of the compound and all a fire extinguisher is going to do is scatter the stuff all over the room without extinguishing it. In fact, it might happily ignite other combustibles. While there is nothing wrong with having a fire extinguisher around, no matter what you are doing, you should not let it give you a false sense of security. What is important is making sure there are no other fire hazards, ignition sources, etc. in that room. Wiring has to be to code, if you smoke do it somewhere else, etc. And, while the odds are very low, if you have humidity / carpet conditions which lead to static electricity, you should consider grounding your press, metal benchtop, whatever else is around primers when you are handling them. Especially in primer magazine tubes.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:54 PM   #13
FloridaGuy
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Lost Sheep,

My range does allow reloaded ammunition to be fired.

I asked them about shooting a .44 special load that is loaded in a .44 Magnum brass. They did not seem to have an issue with this as long as I can provide them with the load information.

Most of the .44 Special preloaded ammunition seems to be loaded in aluminum and not brass. That is why I am looking at buying brass for this caliber.

FG
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:58 PM   #14
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See if you can scrounge empty ammo boxes from the range trash can. That's what I do, and nobody will question whether or not you are shooting reloads.
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:56 PM   #15
tkglazie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misssissippi Dave View Post
The first rule I have for anyone thinking of reloading is to save your brass. Many indoor ranges these days say any brass that hits the floor is their brass. Most also will let you keep your revover brass since it isn't hitting the floor. Starline does make the best new brass that I have ever heard of. Winchester brass is also very good.

Saving your brass is step one. Getting some reading in about reloading is step two. A book like the ABC's of Reloading will go a long way to furthering your Continuing education to a great hobby.
Great advice. I will add that if pennies are tight, and you have an Amazon Prime account, the ABCs are available for free via the Amazon Lending Library

Last edited by tkglazie; December 9, 2012 at 10:13 PM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 01:19 AM   #16
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaGuy
Lost Sheep,

My range does allow reloaded ammunition to be fired.

I asked them about shooting a .44 special load that is loaded in a .44 Magnum brass. They did not seem to have an issue with this as long as I can provide them with the load information.

Most of the .44 Special preloaded ammunition seems to be loaded in aluminum and not brass. That is why I am looking at buying brass for this caliber.

FG
You are golden, then.

None of my 44 magnum guns and only one of my .357s have ever even SEEN a Special case. But 95% of all my loads are mid-range Special power levels. I do this to keep the logistics of my supply of cases simpler. Also, there is the issue of buildup of shooting residue in front of the shorter Special cases.

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