The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 14, 1999, 12:01 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: July 7, 1999
Location: Joliet, Il.
Posts: 176
I've been shooting fairly regularly for the past several months and I'd like to get into loading my own. Problem is, no one I know reloads, therefore I have no one to ask about such matters. I'm currently doing research into equipment and such, but any personal help would be immensely appreciated. If it's any help, I'd only be loading a few calibers (.357 mag for S&W 686, .45ACP for HK USP & Combat Cmmdr, .308 for HK91, and .30-378 Wby mag for Weatherby Accumark) If anyone knows something that my research may not turn up, I'd be ever grateful to hear from someone before I make some sort of drastic mistake in purchasing equipment. Thanks in advance.
Christopher is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 07:23 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 653
I was in the same boat when I started reloading. No one I knew reloaded, so I got a good book on it at the store, read it, bought a single stage press w/accessories, and went at it. It's really a very simple process, and I find it relaxing. As long as you watch what you are doing, don't let your mind wander, and double check everything, you should be fine.

As far as reloading for rifles is concerned, that's something I haven't tried yet. This is mainly because I shoot my rifles sparingly; I'm more into handgun shooting, at least for now. Heck, now that I think about it, I wouldn't mind pulling out the '06 and working with it again.

I'm not sure what equipment to recommend; I bought a Lee reloading kit. The Lee kit seems to be a good one for beginners, but I can see now that it won't be too long before I'm going to want something more advanced, such as a turret press (although I'm not real clear on how they work). I guess it depends on how much reloading/shooting you plan on doing as to which equipment to buy.

Good luck. I hope you pursue reloading and enjoy it.

Reading "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," by Ayn Rand, should be required of every politician and in every high school.
DAL is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 08:48 AM   #3
Join Date: June 28, 1999
Posts: 26
Go get a copy of Lyman's 47th reloading manual. It has a very good section on how to reload and the equiptment needed.
Walker is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 08:54 AM   #4
Ala Dan
Member in memoriam
Join Date: August 13, 1999
Location: In The HOT, Humid, and Mu
Posts: 6,116
Greetings Christopher, Getting started I would load for handguns only; with straight
wall case's, no bottlenecks's etc. Start
with good equipment, such as RCBS Master
Reloading Kit; comes complete with every
thing you will need except dies, powder,
bullet's, primer's, and of course case's.
I think the going price is around $350.00
for this kit. It also has the Speer #13
Reloading Manual. The manual its-self is
approximately a $30.00 value. Once you
acquire this kit; read the manual and
all pamphlet's that come with the equip-
ment. After carefully reading and under-
standing the text you will be ready to
begin. The text will take you step by
step; from begining to end. As someone
else stated, once you learn the process;
it is an enjoyable process. Just be very
careful and DOUBLE check everything that
you do!!!

Happy Reloading Ahead,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
Ala Dan is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 09:43 AM   #5
Join Date: December 1, 1999
Location: Sherman,Tx,USA
Posts: 40
Might want to look at
for some good advice. Like everyone says read the manuals plural!! The RCBS master reloading kit is available from this month for $249.99 and comes with a portable reloading stand. If you don't need the stand
has the kit for $239.99. I bought one last year and have been very happy with it. Just add dies,bullets,cases,primers and powder and your set. I also purchased a tumbler, dial caliper and primer pocket brush and had everything that I needed. I have a buddy who purchased Lee equipment and wished he had sprung for a better press initially. The Lee press started getting a lot of slop in it due to wear, but he ran a lot of shells thru it.

[This message has been edited by linngl (edited December 14, 1999).]
linngl is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 03:52 PM   #6
Big Bunny
Senior Member
Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
Be cautious, read and ask, go 15% low on loads, get correct matched components and follow the directions EXACTLY. Wear eye protection.

I was once in your shoes, what a great time I have had over the last 10 years! Started on .410, then 38spl, then 12GA and 30/30, then ...everything... up to 7mm Ackerley Imp.

I feel "We" are mainly cartridge ASSEMBLERS to a recipe - not RELOADERS, to start with anyway!

Do not skimp on books (as I did) full Lyman, Sierra and Hornady manuals immediately ! Do not rely on anyone's "pet" loads. Work them up yourself and wear hearing and eye protection.

Welcome to a great hobby, [one that the Govnt is dead against, which gives it a little bit of spice!]

***Big Bunny***
Big Bunny is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 06:45 PM   #7
Join Date: November 8, 1999
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Posts: 53
Christopher, recently the NRA put together a reloading course. There may be an insturctor in your area who is offering this course. Local instructors can be found by calling the NRA for a reference. Also, many clubs and even dealers offer courses on reloading. If no courses are offered in your area, you may consider contacting your local shooting club and asking some members for help.

Most of us started on our own, you can as well. But, most of us also stumbled a few times and like holsters, probably have more equipment than we need and would have purchased if only we had someone we trusted to guide us along at the beginning. Good Luck and Good Learning....

Best Regards.....
"Train as You Live and Live as You Train"
TacTrain is offline  
Old December 14, 1999, 06:47 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
Get the Lee Anniversary kit. I think I paid $80 for mine about a year ago. Add about $20 in dies and you'll have everything you need to start. You're not out a ton of money if you decide reloading is not your thing. Lee may not be the Lincoln of reloaders, but they've probably introduced more people to this pastime than the rest of the manufactures combined.

"An unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Cesare Beccaria, the father of modern criminology

Sport45 is offline  
Old December 15, 1999, 01:11 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: October 16, 1999
Location: Surprise, Arizona, USA
Posts: 171
Christopher, all the info forgoing is good guidance. I don't want to join the chorus! Maybe what we need is a standard answer to this type of post. They hit the boards weekly and I wish we could just hit "response A" and be done with it.
The RCBS Rockchucker kit is one of the best made. I learned on the Rockchucker before I moved up to the Dillon 550B. If I were you, I would just start out on the Dillon 550B because it is SOOOOO easy to operate and the tech suppport is so great.
I agree that starting with straight walled handgun cartrdges is the way to go for a newbe. But do consider the Dillon 550B as you are going to have to come up for air very soon! Regards, Mikey

Retired, Broke, and In Need of Brass, Powder, and Shot. Will Work To Shoot!
TheOtherMikey is offline  
Old December 15, 1999, 02:11 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: July 7, 1999
Location: Joliet, Il.
Posts: 176
I'd like to thank you all for your responses, as you have undoubtedly been asked this many times. I picked up some of the aforementioned books (Lyman & Hornady) and I've been going through them to see exactly what is involved in all aspects of the process. With the amount I've been shooting, this seems to be an excellent investment, not to mention a greater overall gain of knowledge concerning ballistics and such matters. Once again, I'd like to thank you all for the help. I knew I could turn to the people here and get straight answers from people who know their stuff.
Christopher is offline  
Old December 15, 1999, 01:13 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 1999
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 1,686
9 months ago, I didn't know jack about reloading. Now I'm quite proud of my reloads and get much better accuracy and relaiblity of them than factory. factory stuff sucks!

Buy several reloading manuals including the "ABCs of Reloading" and start a reloading manual of your own with facts and data from various newsgroups and if you follow instructions well and follow safety rules, you'll be pumping out 100 + rounds an hour on a single stage.

Learn on a single stage like a turret press unless you shoot more that 600 rounds a month. Then it's time to meet Mr. Dillon.

Planning and reseach

The Seattle SharpShooter

jtduncan is offline  
Old December 15, 1999, 01:22 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 1999
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 1,686
shop around. There are lots of good deals on used reloading equipment. Especially when people "go progressive."

I bought my whole setup for $375 including a Lyman turret press, Lee C-press, beam scale, trickler, powder measure/dispenser, flip tray, hand primer, Lee dies, Midway tumbler, media sorter, steel calipers, case gauges, reloading blocks, etc.

Built the reloading bench for $5 for the wood screws. Local construction site let me pick up the wood for free.

Fast and efficent relaoding requires the right equipment. All of the above are necessary if you want to easily grind out 125 rounds an hour on a single stage/turret system.

Going progressive means you're going to be spending $600-700 for a similar setup and your breakeven may take 2 years worth of shooting to recover. I shoot some 45 and 9 and will break even in three months!

Save money, never worry about your dealer running out of your favorite ammo, make better than factory rounds, how can you lose?

The Seattle SharpShooter

jtduncan is offline  
Old December 15, 1999, 01:24 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 1999
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 1,686
PS - the tumbler noise may piss the wife off.

Tricks: Tumble when she's not at home.

Tumble 1500-2000 rounds in one or two night sessions when she is asleep so my marital relationship is minimally effected.

The Seattle SharpShooter

jtduncan is offline  
Old December 16, 1999, 12:29 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: December 10, 1998
Location: NY
Posts: 680
There's a pretty nice NRA Reloading Course Manual available from Midway for 9.99 I believe. It's the same one used in their courses. Might be worth a look for you.
Contender is offline  
Old December 16, 1999, 10:28 AM   #15
Bill Hebert
Senior Member
Join Date: May 15, 1999
Posts: 180
Chris, it wasn't that long ago that I was in the same boat that you are. I didn't even know what a shell holder was. I would suggest buying the Lee reloading manual for about $15 - and awhile back, Lee would throw a single-stage press in the deal. Naturally
it's not a press you would brag about, but it let me cut my teeth in reloading. I found a
Pacific press at the local range for twenty dollars (the primer feed tube was missing) and the difference in quality is evident. Be careful about buying "package deals." The manufacture puts all his stuff into it and you will soon find that different manufacturers make products you prefer over others. For instance, I think the Lee case lube stinks and I threw the stuff in the garbage. I like the Dillon case lube. I like the Dillon dies, but they're 2X more than the Lee's and the Lee is a good die.
The advice about the Dillon 550B is good advice - even if you don't like reloading, you could sell it with your eyes closed. Just don't let the price of the Dillon stop you from "getting into" reloading. Keep trying to find someone locally to guide you - I bet they're out there. They were there when I was looking- I just didn't know where.
Try a range or a gun store. One of my local gun dealers has 11 presses in his shop (talk about a reloader!) As a beginner, I had excellent results with Hodgdon powders. Good luck.
Bill Hebert is offline  
Old December 17, 1999, 03:46 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: December 4, 1999
Location: Lafayette, La. USA
Posts: 105
I too just started reloading about a year ago. It costs me 40.00 to reload 100 rounds of 30-06, 2 boxes of Federal ammo at Walmart costs me 36.00. There is no comparison between my handloads and factory ammo, my stock rifle has gone from 3/4" groups to right under 1/2". I use a single stage press, and it takes me about 2 hours to load 100 rounds, but all my cases are within .001" of each other in length, and i try to keep everything as consistent as possible. I load for quality, not quantity.
If your starting out, then i'll give you the same advice as I was given. Be safe, have no distractions, be safe, read the manual front to back until you understand it completely, be safe, remember your dealing with explosives,be safe, and did i mention be safe? Cuz
Cuz is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11392 seconds with 7 queries