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Old March 30, 2005, 07:03 PM   #1
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New to reloading...

I have years of spent brass in buckets at home, and I want to start reloading all of my 357s and 45acp. I don't know where to start. As of right now I want to get person to person feedback before I get any books etc.

I had my eye on the Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive press, I feel that I should buy excellent equipment from the start, not beginner equipment that feels, looks, and costs cheap, because I want something to grow into, that's where this comes in.

How does this machine work, and once I purchase the press, dies, obtain materials like bullets, primer and powder, and of course measurement data, is this all I need to get myself going?

And once I get this machine, generally what happens step by step to start loading my brass?

Any recommendations on high quality materials to include also?
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Old March 30, 2005, 07:32 PM   #2
bill k
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RCBS equipment, lifetime warrenty and a great service department. Other than that go out and buy a reloading manual. I have a Nosler and Speer manual that gives step by step instructions as well as the equipment you'll need.
I agree with you, don't but junk reloading equipment. I say RCBS but their are also other quality reloaders out there, plus lots of junk reloaders.
Good luck,
PS Don't make my mistake, get a tumbler right off the bat.
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Old March 30, 2005, 10:06 PM   #3
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Buy a couple of manuals and read them to start with , I strongly suggest that you dont start with a progressive press , A good turret press maybe . Loading single stage as I have 20 years Is fine for the quanities that most people shoot , On preped brass I can load 100+ rounds and hour depending on what it is .
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Old March 30, 2005, 11:27 PM   #4
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Premium stuff

I would suggest the lyman manual. The most critical piece of equipment is located between your ears. When you venture into the water go real slow and be sure you understand each step.

Another word of caution. reloading is a very addictive hobby. When you get to the point that your going to the range to shoot some ammo so you can load that new load you you thought up, you know your hooked. Fortunatly for you it will be a long time if you have buckets of once fired brass about. straight wall pistol brass such as .45ACP and 38/357 will last for a long time. I have .45 brass that has been reloaded so many times the head stamp is hard to read.

Yes get a tumbler.
yes get a separate crimp die.
a case gauge or calipers to insure overall length.
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Old March 31, 2005, 01:19 AM   #5
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Might consider picking up a copy of "The ABCs of Reloading." It will explain the process step-by-step and will answer questions that you haven't even thought of yet.
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Old April 4, 2005, 07:43 PM   #6
Smokey Joe
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Study up first.

Second Red Rooster's reccommendation! The ABC's IMHO is THE primer for new reloaders. When it came out I'd reloaded for years, but I read it through and through, and learnt a thing or 2 myself!

Get it at a gun show, your local dealer, or order from the publisher, Krause Publications,

Reading up BEFORE you make a mistake is cheaper and less painful than finding out the hard way. Less embarrassing too.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe
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Old April 4, 2005, 07:56 PM   #7
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Good advice above, I prefer single stage presses like smokin54 does, I have two and use them both when loading quantities of ammo.

Tumbler - yes
separate crimp die - yes (taper crimp are nice, case length is less of an issue)

Other than that, sounds like you have a plan to go with.
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Old April 5, 2005, 11:43 AM   #8
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1. Lyman manual and ABCs of reloading.
2. A second manual, either Hornady, Speer, Sierra, Hodgdon or Accurare Arms.

Reloading equipment is a lifetime investment if you buy quality. You are wise get quality from the start.

I don't believe there is a dime's worth of difference between Lyman, RCBS, Hornady and CH equipment. They are all EXCELLENT+

Personally, I prefer Redding. It's a little more expensive than most others, but IMHO, well worth it. Forster is also up there with Redding.

I strongly recommend starting out with a single stage press such as the Redding "Boss.," or even better, a turret like the Redding T7. Even after you get a progressive, you'll still use the single for load development, etc.

If you do decide to start out with a progressive, I recommend the Dillon XL650. Again, expensive, but worth it.

And perhaps most importantly, you don't need to buy EVERYTHING at once! Read your reloading manuals before buying equipment, and if possible, get an experienced reloader to let you come over some evening, and watch it being done, then decide what you need "right now" and what can be put off for a few ,months.

If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
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Old April 5, 2005, 04:05 PM   #9
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Wow! I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Dillon! I went the Lyman route early on, went up to RCBS, and ended up with a Dillon 650. What a machine!! All the makes mentioned are great, but Dillon's are built like the perverbial brick sh**house. The thing that most impressed me about Dillon though, is their customer service and tech support. Dillon will absolutely bend over backwards for their customers, even years after purchase.

To put my two cents worth of advice in, if you've had a fight with the old lady, problems at work, you're daydreaming about coming in #1 at the next IPSC match, etc. etc etc., or in ANY way distracted, don't sit down to a reloading session! Only reload when you are 100% focused. Trust me; experience a double load and you'll be a believer.
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Old April 5, 2005, 06:13 PM   #10
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Capt. Charlie,

Excellent advice!!

I did mention, and I am sold on Dillon. I've had a
Dillon 450 since the early eighties, and a 650 since the early nineties.

I do believe though, that a beginner just starting out should start on a high quality single stage machine, and learn the basics well. Especiallly when you consider that the single stage will still be needed, and used, after the new person becomes experienced and buys a Dillon. Just my thoughts!
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
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Old April 5, 2005, 08:13 PM   #11
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I did it just that way. I went with the Hornady LNL , a digital Rcbs scale, and a good case prep kit. I read Hornady and sierra manuals. Eventually I got a RCBS five station case prep center. Then I got a compatibl eelectronic powder drop that goes with the RCBS scale. You cann learn loading rounds one at a time, then have the ability to go Auto progressive. It is a fair monetary step to go this route, but I would do it again in a heart beat.

I Now have both the Auto progressive LNLand got a single stage LNL to do extreme preision loading of rifle rounds. Now, don't get me wrong, you can load rifle with the LNL auto pregressive, but when I am making precision ammo for bench shooting or hunting, I lke to take it one sgtage at a time.

I do load all my pistol ammo with the auto LNL after I have developed a roud for each particualr gun.

If you go this route, and need any questions answered, just send me a PM(private message here).
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Old April 6, 2005, 03:02 AM   #12
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The Hornady L-N-L AP is a first rate no hassle press and is the best VFM progressive on the market at present.

However I would go with the others on saying start with a good manual and a cast iron single stage press. Or consider a turret as you can use as a single stage whilst you get the hang of the drill. Reddings T7 is a class act turret

Hornady, Lyman, Redding, RCBS and now Lee with their cast iron press all make good single stage "O" frame presses, the Redding Ultra Mag is a "C" frame but because of its construction is a s strong as the "O" frames, pick your colour.

My recommendation for the best single station press has to go to the Forster/Bonanza Co Ax, a first rate press that looks at the job slightly differently from the others. The only down is that it won't take some of the overly long competition seating dies by Redding, however as Fortser make a good seating die then thats not really a problem.
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