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Old February 24, 2005, 10:32 PM   #1
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can any idiot (me) do reloads??

how easy/hard is it to learn to do your own handloads? how much money must one invest to get into it? once you get accustomed to doing it, how long does it take to crank out oh say 100 rounds? i sure would like to bring down my costs on .40 and .357sig ammo.
beretta cx4 storm .40 caliber
sig P290
Kahr PM9 Glock 26
Bushmaster AR15
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Old February 24, 2005, 11:31 PM   #2
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Most people are capable of loading safe reloads , I always suggest reading a couple manuals first and then load with someone with experiance if possible . avoid distractions in the loading area .
You can probally get started on 1 cartridge for less than $100 and then build from there if you enjoy it , I have a few freinds that hunt alot and shoot regular but dont reload.
I started with a used press , a set of lee dippers (for measuring the charge) , a set of rcbs dies , the brass I saved , 1 lb of powder and a box of bullets . and built from there . I now load for 14 cartridges and have alot invested in reloading and enjoy it almost as much as makeing the emptys
I use single stage presses and I can usually load 100 rounds an hour on cleaned and preped brass.
I started out to save money and then found that I could load more accurate ammo than the factory and then got into the wildcats .
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Old February 25, 2005, 12:28 AM   #3
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Any person that has normal manual dexterity and average intelliegnce can become an expert reloader. Common sense and a cautious attitude are tye most important attributes of a good reloader.

you can save a lot, or a little, depending on what you load, where you buy conponents, and how much you reload.

I would recommend buying a copy of the Lyman reloading manual and reading it. then, if possible, join a gun club and have an experienced reloader help you select equipment and help set it up.

If you're doing a lot of precision rifle shooting, try to find another precision rifle shooter that reloads. If you're shooting high volumes of action style pistol, find a guy that does that.

It's fairly easy, but like most hobbies, it requires a bit of good research, a little help from someone with experience, and a BIG dose of common sense.

If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
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Old February 25, 2005, 07:59 AM   #4
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Can you reload?

The simple question is: Can you read? Understand what you have read? Have sence enough not to go over the maximums in the Reloading Manuals?
If you can do all the above then go for it. It will take time...
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Old February 25, 2005, 09:42 AM   #5
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I've been reloading for close to 30 years. I can't remember when I bought my last box of factory ammo, it's been awhile. If you seriously get into reloading, you'll likely find that it becomes a hobby unto itself, apart from shooting. It gives you something to do on those cold, rainy days when you don't want to go shooting.

The other posters have given you good advice on how to proceed. Above all, your undivided attention to the process and being SAFE are the keys.
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Old February 25, 2005, 07:48 PM   #6
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I can't paint, hammer a nail, do electrical work or plumbing but I do first class reloading. I have been at it for 30 years and have yet to load a dud. Read a lot first, take it slow and double check everything. If I can do it, you can.
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Old February 26, 2005, 12:46 AM   #7
Dave R
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1. It is no harder than making scrambled eggs and bacon. Just follow directions.

2. I got into it for under $100 by buying cheap stuff used. $20 for a press, $15 for die sets, etc. Or you can get a Lee Anniversary Kit, which has almost everything you need for about $80. Most people elect to spend more. $250-$300 would get a pretty nice system. Someday my total expenditures on equipment will get there. But it'll be a while (been doing it about 3 yrs so far--my cheap equipment works.)

3. From start to finish, could probably do 100 in an hour (after the cases are tumbled). But most reloaders I know don't do all the steps at once. After shooting, you tumble your cases. Maybe resize them, too. Later, when you get the hankering, you prime, charge and seat. That latter part is easy to do at the rate of 100/hr.
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
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Old February 26, 2005, 03:17 AM   #8
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I agree with Dave R.,

When your cases are prepared, on a single stage press, about 100 an hour or so.
Granted, you probably won't do that many when you first get started, but once you are comfortable with what you are doing, and get a good pattern developed, 100 an hour isn't out of the ordinary.
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Old February 26, 2005, 01:46 PM   #9
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I just started reloading .44 mags about a month ago and you might find this article interesting. It's called "Handloading On A Shoe String"
I started with the Lee Aniversery Kit that I found in a local gun shop for $65.00. I also ordered Lee's Deluxe 4 die set for $30.00. I wasn't really happy with the quality of all of the Lee equipment but it works. I did break down and buy a Hornady digital powder scale. I think I actually enjoy reloading as much as I like shooting. Once the brass is clean, I can load 100 rounds in a couple hours or less. SAFETY IS THE PRIORITY! Read all the manuals and info you can find. Triple check everything you do. If you can find someone in your area who reloads maybe you can get them to show you the ropes. Local gun stores are a good place to start. These forums have a ton of info but be carefull about just throwing any charge that someone posts. I try to cross reference any data I find with loading manuals. ( I ain't got the prettiest face around but I'd kind of like to keep it intact )
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Old February 27, 2005, 04:19 AM   #10
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Idiots cannot safely reload but any person of average intelligence who is willing to study the subject and adhere to safety guidelines can pull it off.
The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is the height to which one raises one's foot.
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Old February 27, 2005, 10:54 AM   #11
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well im not an idiot, thats just my sense of humor. im sure i could learn to do it if i take the time. i dont know though if i have a proper place in which to set up the loading station, my garage is a small 1 car deal, and i dont have a bench/table or anything in it on which to mount the press. im guessing that most of yall have a garage or workroom seperate from the house where you do your reloads? i think if i got into it though, i would enjoy it, theres bound to be some pride in knowing that your shooting your own bullets.
beretta cx4 storm .40 caliber
sig P290
Kahr PM9 Glock 26
Bushmaster AR15
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Old February 27, 2005, 01:19 PM   #12
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I have a small table made from 1" thick particle board. It's 1' wide, about 2 1/2' long and about 30 inches high, with a shelf on the bottom. I was using it to store books under my computer table. I bolted the lee powder dispenser and single stage press to it and keep all my supplies on the shelf below. It's not the greatest setup but it works. I move it around to where ever I want to reload at, (on the porch, the kitchen, the bathroon...wherever the lighting is best.) For that matter Lee make a small hand press that doesn't need to be bolted down. You can always start out small and add on as needed.
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Old February 27, 2005, 07:26 PM   #13
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Starting up reloading

9mmsnoopy--The best primer for learnining the ins & outs of reloading IMHO is The ABC's of Reloading, available from your local gun shop, a gun show, Midway or any of the big mailorder houses, or from the publisher, Krause Publishing. is how to contact them.
This is not a loading manual but a textbook on the subject of reloading.

The above advice to get and read a loading manual is also good--My preference is for the Lyman's 48th edition manual. More than one manual is better. The big manufacturers also put out little pamphlets--on their own products, natch--which are available at your local gun shop or for the asking from said manufacturer. These all will be helpful but for starters you want the book that talks about the "how to" stuff, not the recipie books. That's why ABC's is so good.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe
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Old February 27, 2005, 07:46 PM   #14
Moe Mentum
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I started with the Lee hand loader for 12 ga shotgun shells at the age of 15. I had no reloaders in the family, or any friends that reloaded. I just bought the Lee loader, read the instructions, and never had a problem, all reloads were first rate, and If a 15 yr old can do it, so can you...go for it.
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Old February 28, 2005, 01:38 AM   #15
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There are no old and bold reloaders, the bold are minus fingers and hands or dead. There millions of old reloaders who carefully have read up on the subject, began with starting loads and stopped adding increments of powder at a safe level prior to maximum loads in the reloading books.

Don't smoke, don't drink, and go by the book, when handling
gunpowder, don't substitute. pay attention and it is equally rewarding as shooting.
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Old March 3, 2005, 09:11 PM   #16
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i can you can!

it's like baking a cake, except it can blow up. i load for three rifles and three hand guns. all my equipment is lee except redding case trimmer and pact electronic scale. follow the recipe, keep your area clean,avoid distractions and you to can be involved in the complete shooting experience.
checkout past post, and i usually find the best ( accurate ) loads are nearer the start rather then max. (except my .243) its safe its fun and interesting but not always cheeper.
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Old March 4, 2005, 02:01 PM   #17
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Visit the supplier web sites

I've always wanted to re-load But I always got frustrated with the equipment. Most places carry one or two of the items you need to re-load
and when your new it seems difficult to identify exactly what you need to load a certain caliber. I just started I got informed enough to make a purchase through Dillon Precisions web-site. I've had my press for a month now and have since then been learning through loading manuals, forums
you have to be able to read, follow directions, and measure.
Another overlooked aspect of re-loading is lead contamination, This should be taken seriously, at the very least you should have a bench top surface that is not porous. If you choose wood Clear coat it so it can be wiped clean. You don't want to be filling wood pores with lead and rubbing your arms
hour after hour with lead.
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Old March 5, 2005, 03:01 AM   #18
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Hey, Snoop....

If I can do it, you can do it. There's LOTS of good info on this forum. Read up on it here. Then go out and buy yourself two or three good books (also recommended here) and read more about it. Then buy yourself just enough stuff to do some very basic reloading. Regarding cost - you generally get what you pay for. Do some basic reloading in order to get a better handle on what works; what doesn't work (for you at least). Then spend a little more money to upgrade your equipment and "let 'er roll".

I've found that gun shows are a good place to look at equipment and pick a few brains. Sometimes their prices are better than anyplace else you'll find, BUT be sure you have already researched prices BEFORE you go to the show.

Just stick a toe or two in, to test the water. Splash around a little before you jump clear in. But don't be afraid to jump - eventually. Think about it - of ALL the people posting on this forum, are you really dumber than all of them? Nahhhhhhhhhhh.....
"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
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Old March 13, 2005, 05:37 AM   #19
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For under $300.00 you can have a good reliable reloading bench that will bring you years of enjoyment. That is $300 bucks initially....if your like me then the price will go up and up. You see I have to have all of the latest gizmos and gadgets...that probably really are unnecessary....but it makes me feel better! And as long as you feel confident with your loads and will automatically shoot better.
The Roman Empire was not built nor did it prosper and come to be feared by all the land by doing paperwork or having meetings....It accomplished this by killing all that opposed it!

There are no "stupid questions"...There are, however... Alot of "inquisitive idiots!"
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Old March 13, 2005, 11:06 AM   #20
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You can learn it. It is one of those things that is not really hard but you do need to pay attention.

If you are squeezed for room do what I did. I made a box about 18 inces wide by 24 inches long and about 30 inches high. All of my meager reloading stuff fits in the box. I put it on cheap wheels so it can easily be moved from one place to another in the house. When I reload, I set up next to the kitchen table. When I am done I pack up and tuck it into a corner.

One thing is for sure, if you re load, you will shoot more!
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Old March 13, 2005, 11:31 AM   #21
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9mmsnoopy, when you buy a computer desk or something from wal-mart that requires assembly, do you read the instructions first or do you just jump right in and start putting it together, leaving the instructions for desperation?

if you read the instructions first, you will have no problem with reloading.

if you just jump right in and start putting it together, well, that could be a different story.
{thought cloud}
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Old March 15, 2005, 10:34 PM   #22
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I don't think any idiot could reload.

That would be giving idiots too much credit. I've been reloading for close to a year now and still have all my fingers. My character requires me to be thoroughly prepared and meticulous in my processes. I read several manuals for a few weeks and then purchased a Rockchucker starter kit. In addition to the kit I got a digital micrometer and a tumbler. I check and recheck and recheck every measurement, never load from memory, and never try to push the envelope on my loads. Developing loads can be a pain, because you usually just want to load up 100 rounds and go, but you need to find out what each of your guns like and see what load will fire accurately and still safely function your gun.
-- norielX
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Old July 17, 2005, 12:12 PM   #23
Daniel BOON
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walking and chewing gum

my wife is a registered nurse for the past 30 yrs....could she reload? I wouldn't shoot any of her reloads, but if I ever need to go to the E R, I hope she is there.
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Old July 19, 2005, 12:23 PM   #24
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This is all good info. I too have been on the verge of taking up reloading for a number of years. Like others mentioned, I'm also very limited for space.

If possible, I'd be interested in seeing pics of the setups you've got. Especially from the two posters above that mentioned building small work tables for reloading. Thanks in advance
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Old July 19, 2005, 10:05 PM   #25
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I started out on a Lee Anniversary Kit. It was a little slow but everything worked. I mounted my press and powder throw on a Black and Decker Work Mate. When not in use, the workmate would fold up and get hung in a closet.Once you get your system down pat, you will enjoy the process. Good luck.
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