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Old June 6, 2000, 05:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,882
Weights to verify scale.
Safety glasses.

Lets put them all in one thread OK? More and more people are asking what they need to get started, how about a generic list of items sans any personal preferences? One of the biggest stumbling blocks to anything is lack of what is needed to get started. We can put brand names and prices to the items later. if we keep this thread pretty clear, all we have to do is reference it later when someone asks how to start. By my inprecise calculations, there is a little over a thousand years of reloading experience here. I don't know about you others, but a semi real time, non commercial source would have saved me a lot of trial and error. Most of my reloading "knowledge" was gained from the guy behind the counter that would say anything to make a sale. Good idea/bad idea/waste of time? What say you?

[This message has been edited by RAE (edited June 06, 2000).]
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Old June 6, 2000, 01:35 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,122
Well, I've never owned verification-weights. I just weigh a range of weights of bullets on any new-to-me scale. It doesn't hurt to have them, for sure.

For shooting about 200 or so rounds a week, I recommend a used "C" or "O" press. Getting on up toward shooting enough to be competitive in IPSC or IDPA, I recommend a brand-new progressive--with warranty.

I look for used dies at gunshows, except I'll buy a new carbide sizer die for pistol.

A powder measure saves a lot of time in that phase of reloading. However, I personally am uncomfortable about using them for maximum loadings in rifles, particularly with IMR powders.

Many of the reloading handbooks have a lot of data on exterior ballistics and trajectories. At least one new book with the latest data is a Good Thing, but the older books are quite useful. There's a lot of pamphet-style material as well.

A case-cleaning tumbler or vibrator allows the use of scrounged brass from a range. The grungy stuff is more often free--and saves money.

Some sort of eye-shield is a Good Thing in the event of a primer going Bang! at the wrong time. The force from an exploding primer is more than most folks think.

Since I never know what new cartridge I'll load for, I have a full set of case holders for my "O" press. Same for my hand-vise type priming tool.

A case trimmer is a Good Thing, to trim the cases back to original length after repeated reloading/firing.

A good quality micrometer caliper lets you measure case length, overall length--as well as the thickness of the case wall or the outside diameter of case neck, bullets, etc.

The tapered reamer for chamfering rifle cartridge case mouths is also a Good Thing--particularly if you load flat-based bullets.

And appropriate screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and allen wrenches to assemble, dis-assemble, adjust and repair your equipment. You don't need a lot, but without these things Life is Bad.

I like to clean the primer pockets of my rifle cases, so some tool for that purpose is handy.

An impact bullet-puller can help rectify mistakes without wasting materials. If need be, you can set a cartridge into a press with no die. Run up the ram, and grab onto the bullet with a standard pair of pliers. As you lower the ram, the bullet comes out. The little tooth-marks on the bullet don't hurt anything.

Always start out with test-loads at least some 5% under the book's maximum. As you load closer toward the maximum, check the fired primers for any increase in flattening.

Segregate all cases for each cartridge by brand, and determine the relative volumes. In general, military cases are of thicker brass, and any given load will have higher pressures. In general, I prefer to use whatever brand has the largest capacity; at near maximum loadings I have a bit of "wiggle-room" against expensive mistakes.

Loading your own ammo is not the ideal occupation for the impatient. NEVER be in a big hurry!

So there's a beginning, Art

[This message has been edited by Art Eatman (edited June 06, 2000).]
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Old June 10, 2000, 07:29 PM   #3
Art Eatman
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