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Old October 24, 2008, 05:29 PM   #5
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Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Southern CT
Posts: 1,406
Parts list from Smaug

So a little background here. I'm kinda lazy and after I stumbled upon Smaug's tutorials, I PM'd him for a detailed list of his setup; trying to avoid hours of lurking and piecing a parts list together myself from various threads. He was totally open to sharing his setup and even went so far as to send me the links to the stuff to purchase. Talk about helpful!

So as a thanks to Smaug and to help anyone else who is thinking about getting into hand/reloading, below is the PM Smaug sent to me about his parts list and setup that he uses in the videos. (He as OK with my re-posting it publicly for all to benefit).

The links are active as of: October 24, 2008.

Bear in mind this is for a single-stage setup, something I think is helpful for a noob, like myself, to reloading. Others may disagree and say to start with semi-progressive or progressive, but I wanted to learn all the steps manually at first to gain experience.


Originally Posted by Smaug
I just realized I'm having family over tonight, so I probably won't get to it tonight.

I'll see what I can do now.

Here's the Lyman manual, $20:
If you only have one manual, this is the one to have. I would say this was the best $20 I've ever spent in my shooting career.

Here's the press, $70, on sale now:
I've been very happy with this, and I think I wrote a review for Midway on it too.

Here's the 45 ACP carbide die set, $23 on sale:

Here's the 9mm die set, $23, currently backordered:

If you just can't wait, here's the 4 die set, for $33. It has a factory crimp die, which you don't really need for auto pistol ammo.

Here's the reloading trays. @ $5 ea. Start with 5 of them, so you can load batches of 200 rounds:
These are nice because they work with all calibers and they're stackable & cheap.

Here's the bullet puller, $14. Yes, you'll need this for starting out:

Here's a basic caliper, $20
You need this as a starting point, to compare your cartridge overall length (OAL or COL) to specs.

Here's the powder funnel, $3
Worth its weight in gold for using the Lee Dippers to powder charge your cases and for pouring powder back in the canisters without spilling it everywhere.

Here's the powder measure, $33:
This, you could safely skip for now, but it speeds things up quite a bit. If you're strapped, add it later and use the dippers and powder trickler for now.

Here's the hand-priming tool, $12:
This, you could also safely skip for now, as you can prime on the downstroke with your press. It is set up to do that, but this gives much more sensitivity.

Here's the shellholder set for the above priming tool, $12:

Here's the powder scale, $22:
You could skip this, but then you'll be tied down to the loads that Lee provides data for the Lee dippers with.

Here's the powder trickler, $10:
This goes with the scale. If you get one, get the other. You could weigh each charge and make ultra precision pistol ammo, but the difference is not that great and it will take you all day to load 50 rounds, hehehe.

45 ACP Ammo boxes, $2 ea.:
Made in the USA. I'd get at least 4. I think different colors are available.

9mm Ammo boxes, $2 ea:

I'll let you choose your own bullets. I assume you have brass. Do take the time to sort it by mfr., as it will greatly help consistency & accuracy. I don't order bullets from midway any more, because they're always out of stock on the ones I want. Rainier Ballistics plated bullets are good. For conventionally rifled barrels, has good hard cast bullets for good prices. You may want to order your first batch of bullets from midway though, just to have it all in one order.

Buy powder & primers locally. Otherwise, you will REALLY get shafted in shipping with the Hazardous Materials fees. I buy mine at Bass Pro Shop, Gander Mountain, or a well-equipped gun shop. The two best starting powders for 9mm and 45 ACP are Alliant Bullseye and Hodgdon HP38. I can make other recommendations if you don't have either of those available locally. Let me know. For primers, you will need small pistol and large pistols sizes, NON magnum. A case of 1000 primers should go for around $20. A 1 lb. bottle of powder should go for around $25-30. (but it lasts forever for handgun ammo)
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