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Old July 19, 2018, 06:45 AM   #1
Targa
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New to reloading

Hi all, long time shooter just now about to get into the reloading game and welcome any input. I have been shooting my .454, 44mag, 45lc and 45acp quite a bit lately and decided that it would be fun to get into reloading. This isn’t for cost effectiveness but more for the hobby of it to open up new doors in shooting for me.
I will be reloading for the above mentioned rounds and will also be adding dies for .475 Linebaugh and 45-70. I have decided on a Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press. One question in particular I have is about reloading literature. There is a number of books out on reloading and some recommendations to get me started and any other input you seasoned folks have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Darrin.

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Old July 19, 2018, 06:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targa View Post
Hi all, long time shooter just now about to get into the reloading game and welcome any input. I have been shooting my .454, 44mag, 45lc and 45acp quite a bit lately and decided that it would be fun to get into reloading. This isn’t for cost effectiveness but more for the hobby of it to open up new doors in shooting for me.
I will be reloading for the above mentioned rounds and will also be adding dies for .475 Linebaugh and 45-70. I have decided on a Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press. One question in particular I have is about reloading literature. There is a number of books out on reloading and some recommendations to get me started and any other input you seasoned folks have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Darrin.
ABCs of reloading is a great book to get you started.

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Old July 19, 2018, 06:54 AM   #3
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Excellent, thank you.
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Old July 19, 2018, 07:14 AM   #4
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The powder maker sites will have load data as well.
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Old July 19, 2018, 07:36 AM   #5
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Thats another issue, man there seems to be a lot of powder out there for different applications. I guess that is part of the hobby though in reference to playing with different loads, bullets etc.. to see what works well for a particular chambering and what you want it to do.
My research is showing me there is a number of options to achieve different results, it’s a little overwhelming but certainly has my interest peaked.
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Old July 19, 2018, 08:12 AM   #6
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Here's a book that was written specifically for new reloaders, it covers many of the questions that you will have regarding what load data to use and how to select bullets, powder and equipment. I've seen a copy of the book and it appears to be well written and well thought out.

https://shop.reloadingbasics.com/pro...you-w-shipping
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Old July 19, 2018, 08:31 AM   #7
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ABC's of reloading is a good start. All the common reloading manuals have sections that cover the basics of reloading. The Lyman manual has decent variety of bullets and powders.

You are correct about the amount of information out there. Just reviewing published load data and load data on manufacturers websites will provide an abundance of data. The number of powders and bullets combinations available is overwhelming at first. That's why it's a good idea to get a reloading manual and then choose a bullet and then choose a powder.

Doing online searches and reviewing forum posts can be a great reference point and helpful in many instances but in the end make sure to always verify any information found online against a published source.
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Old July 19, 2018, 08:39 AM   #8
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Targa, looks like you are primarily a handgun shooter so a progressive press is a good choice. The books will definitely help, but my advice is to get with a veteran reloader or two as mentors to get you started. Most reloaders are anxious to help fellow shooters get started.

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Old July 19, 2018, 09:50 AM   #9
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For pistol I would highly recommend starting with a turret press. The Lee classic or RCBS turret kit would be a good starter kit. I have 2 Lees, a RCBS Rockchucker, and a Hornady APL progressive and my favorite of the group is the old Lee Classic Turret. Also 1 more vote for the ABCs of Reloading book
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Old July 19, 2018, 11:50 AM   #10
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I believe The ABCs is prolly the most recommended text for new reloaders as it shows how to reload (and why some steps are done), explains components, and shows equipment used. I got my copy 25 years after I started reloading, just out of curiosity, and found it to be well written and a good explanatory text.

FWIW, I would suggest a single stage press to start as you want to learn how to reload vs. operating a reloading machine. A single stage press is a very simple "machine" and no learning curve to operate it (1. Insert case. 2. Raise the handle to it's full travel. 3. Lower the handle to it's full travel. 4. Remove case. 5-100. Repeat as necessary). And when learning a new operation/hobby K.I.S.S. is a good motto to keep in mind.

Go slow, double check everything, and most important, have fun...
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Old July 19, 2018, 11:52 AM   #11
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The ABC's of Reloading(About $17 on Amazon or your local gun shop. There are 2 by different guys. Either will do.) and look into one of the Beginner's kits(tell you exactly what you need.). Partial to RCBS myself. Primarily for the warrantee(any issues with RCBS kit, even if you buy used, will be fixed with a phone call.). The kits give you every thing you need less dies and shell holder. They come with a manual, but buy the Lyman book as well. It's far more versatile than any bullet or powder makers book.
Pick the cartridge you shoot most and learn with it. Vs trying to load 'em all right away. Rimmed cartridges and rimless are slightly different to load. That'd be the ACP and everything else you shoot. Principles are the same though. Pay attention to what shell holder can be used for 2 cartridges as well. The Colt and Casull use the same one. Saved you about $5 right there. They use the same diameter bullet too. The ACP does not.
Oh and no handgun die sets that do not have a carbide sizer die. Don't think there is a .45-70 carbide set though.
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Old July 19, 2018, 01:03 PM   #12
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Picking up a few different books wouldn't hurt either. ABC, Lyman's, Lee's, Hornady, Speer/CCI. I started with the Speer #10 long ago when the 10th edition was the latest release. I also bought the book "Handloading for Handgunners". Found it very interesting and full of history on many of the cartridges.

As you're reading and learning stop by youtube and also start watching videos of whichever press you get. Watch how people are using them, the problems they are having and some of the tips to make them work better. Trust me you will also run into some real wacked out videos as well and it doesn't take long to sort thru those. Then of course don't forget us here at the forums. There are some very knowledgeable people here.

Good luck and enjoy yourself!
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Old July 19, 2018, 01:27 PM   #13
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I would 2nd Mikld's suggestion for a single stage press for exactly the reason he states. I have the LNL and it is a great press, but it's a lot to learn just operating the press, let alone the art of reloading.
I'd suggest the cheap little Lee C type press (about $30-40 I think). Just load a few on it and then get your LNL. That little press comes in handy as a bullet puller later on in addition to having something just to run a few shells with without having to change out the LNL for.
Starting with the single will be a great learning method.
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Old July 19, 2018, 01:28 PM   #14
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The powder manufacturers have load data, for that brand of powder.

The bullet manufacturers are usually the ones that do the comprehensive manuals, and there is a wealth of information if you bother to read cover to cover.

Welcome to reloading! Be prepared to pull your hair out. Lol
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Old July 19, 2018, 04:36 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the great input. I will certainly pick up the ABC’s of reloading and most likely a Lyman, RCBS, Hornady etc...manual as well. Might have to rethink my press choice as well.

From what I have been researching in reference to case cleaning a tumblr seems to get the nod over a sonic cleaner. Any input on that would be appreciated as well. Thank you again.
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Old July 19, 2018, 04:41 PM   #16
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AA#9 might be a good powder choice mate.

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Old July 19, 2018, 05:33 PM   #17
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I wouldn't shy away from a LNL-AP just because you never reloaded ammo before.
You can run the cases through there one at time from start to finish until you learn the press.
You will pull the handle almost the same number of times loading this way as you will with a single stage.
After you learn the press you will have something that will save you a lot of time and let you enjoy shooting more than a being a slave to a single stage.

With a single stage press if you end up loading a lot a single stage becomes a chore instead of fun.
If you want to learn to load on something not as complicated as a full progressive, look at the Lee Classic Cast Turret press.
They are very well thought of and are still faster than a single stage.
https://www.titanreloading.com/lee-c...t-turret-press
They are self indexing and really work well.
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Old July 19, 2018, 10:18 PM   #18
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If it were me I'd base my press choice in this case by my own mechanical knowledge and ability. I have a mechanical background for 60+years and I have worked on and with machines that are or were much more complicated than any of these progressive loading machines. Unfortunately none of us know you or your ability so only you can make a fair assessment of your a skills. Go watch some videos of each and then make a fair selection.

I am not one of those that believe a person that has never loaded before cannot learn and start on a progressive press but I am one of those that believe that some people should never even try to start, period! Just as some people should never procreate.

Whether single stage, turret or progressive the principals are the same, there are still basic rules to follow and precautions to take. I do agree though that at this point a turret press is a very good starting in-between point. Be it an old Lyman ST turret or one of the other manual advance presses or the Lee turret. Which Lee now has an updated 4 hole Value press that has many improvements and was basically designed with pistol calibers in mind. As a matter of fact I have been considering one of these as an upgrade from a Lee 3 hole press so I can add my Factory Crimp Die for my 45acp or moving to the new this year Lee Breech Lock Pro 4000 which is a bit more progressive yet still a very simple design.

Thing is we all start somewhere with the end goal being to enjoy the fruits of our labors and doing it in a safe and enjoyable manner. Again just be honest with yourself and find a press that fits your abilities and intelligence. It's easier and less stressful to upgrade than to jump in over your head and struggle the whole time.
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Old July 19, 2018, 10:39 PM   #19
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Go through the reloading book to learn the process of reloading. Then you can go to the powder or bullet manufacture for reloading formulas for your best reloading combinations.
Try a lot & take it slow, keep good records of your progress.
Here is a good place to start.
http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/node
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Old July 19, 2018, 11:16 PM   #20
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It's not totally necessary, but the NRA has a course on Metallic Cartridge Reloading. I think it's a good introduction to reloading, and if the instructor actually follows the lesson plan you will personally load ammunition right there in the class.

Don't know where you are located, Targa, so I can't run the search for you. Here's the link:
https://www.nrainstructors.org/search.aspx

You'll find "Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading" listed under both Pistol and Rifle. Check the box for that course, fill in your zip code and preferred radius at the bottom, then click "Search."
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Old July 20, 2018, 06:20 AM   #21
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Thank you Aguila, they are holding a class just up the road from me in Sep. I would enjoy the class but at a $100 admission fee, I will have to pass on it.

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Old July 20, 2018, 08:01 AM   #22
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When you hang out at the range, inquire until you find someone local who is experienced at reloading and see if they are willing to let you learn on their equipment before you get a lot of money into it.

Read this sticky post at the top of this forum, if you haven't already. The book recommendations are fine. The ABC's of Reloading is now in its 9th edition. Advanced handloading gets you into a whole other area of detail, but most of the specialized advanced techniques are mainly useful in rifle and long-range single-shot handgun reloading, as they make improvements that, for statistical reasons, can be very hard to detect shooting pistols and revolvers handguns.

When it comes to selecting powder, there is a simple approach to use at the beginning and until you get your feet wet. Look through powder company data, like Hodgdon's, that gives measured maximum load pressures. You will notice the maximum pressures listed for different powders are not the same. That may be confusing, but what the powder maker is doing is backing down from the SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure rating by the amount of pressure variation he observed in testing. The lower that maximum pressure, the more variation the maker saw. You generally want to minimize variation where you can, so you make initial choices from among the powders with the highest pressures listed, then read to see if others have liked those powders in your chambering. The last step is important because manufacturer's testing doesn't tell you everything, like how dirty the powder burned or how well it does with powder position changes in the case.

The reason powders with a lot of variation are still listed is for people who already have those powders on hand and who want to avoid the expense of an additional powder and are therefore willing to make do. Since you haven't bought powder yet, pick two or three that have the highest maximum pressures listed and who's load range, from start to finish corresponds to a velocity range you want. Read about them and note which one comes closest to serving your purposes. Commonly, the final choice is simply the one that works well in the largest number of different cartridges you load for. If you can narrow your powder choice like that and test it with a single pound first and find that satisfactory, that makes it easier to swallow buying a larger quantity at one time to get a better price per pound later.

Good luck, and enjoy the new hobby!
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Old July 20, 2018, 10:07 AM   #23
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Another consideration in selecting a powder is what's available. These days pretty much everything is available on-line, but for shipping powders and primers there's a hazmat surcharge that can be significant if you're buying in small quantities. It's not uncommon for groups of reloaders to combine orders, because the hazmat fee usually applies one time to the entire order, so they can amortize it by spreading it out over several buyers.

If you're just starting out and won't be loading lots and lots of cartridges in a short time, it's probably going to be more economical to buy locally if there's a source that's local to you. But many smaller gun shops, if they sell reloading components at all, won't stock every powder from every brand, so you may wind up having to work with what's available.

In my case, when I finally worked up the nerve to try loading my own for .45 ACP the shop at the range where I shoot carried Winchester 231 powder and Winchester primers. It turned out that Winchester 231 was (and is) a fairly popular choice for .45 ACP, so I went with that and I still use it. It's also good for 9mm, so Winchester 231 is the only powder I've ever used since I began reloading.

Until last week, when I found that the .44 Colt cowboy loads I was playing with didn't work well with Winchester 231. So I'm now about to test my first attempts at using Trail Boss powder -- which I had to buy on-line, pay a hazmat fee, and then drive 25 miles to a FedEx depot to pick up because the shipment required an adult signature, I live alone, and I couldn't be at home when the driver goes through my street.
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Old July 20, 2018, 10:09 AM   #24
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Keep your LNL! After you get a good knowledge base on reloading you will want to go a little faster, make more. And there's always a use for a single stage press on your bench for specific operations (I have one just for priming with a ram prime, sizing bullets and for when I have a small run and I don't want to change over my primary press).

Also, find a load (bullet, powder) in your reloading manual before you buy any components. Many fewer headaches that way. For deciding on powder, most of my reloading manuals have a Powder Profile section and gives a good idea of what each powder is best suited for. I have loaded thousands of rounds of 45 ACP with Unique and Bullseye (my "just in case" ammo in 45 ACP uses a "classic" load of Bullseye under a 230 FMJ)...
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Old July 21, 2018, 07:24 AM   #25
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Thank you again everyone for sharing your knowledge, input and advice.
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