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Old May 25, 2007, 06:18 PM   #1
Join Date: February 19, 2007
Location: Florida
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Help getting started reloading

Gentlemen, I hope you will share your opinions and knowledge with me so I can start loading my own handgun cartridges. I've been shooting for a long time and have never considered reloading until I retired and found myself shooting a great deal more often. I go to the two or three times a week and fire more than 200-300 rounds each session consisting of 380's, 9mm, 40mm, 45's and a bunch of 22lr's.
Anyway I was talking to a fellow the other day and he suggested I look into reloading because he thought it might save me some money and it was funl I am looking for help and getting me on the right path. I have looked on the net and looked at the Dillon RL550 and 650, but I read those wouldn't be a good choice for a starter outfit (I don't mind paying some extra if it saves me headachs/problems later on) I'v also learned you get what you pay for.
I don't know dittley-squat about this stuff so tell me what you suggest and where I can find what I need to get going.
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Old May 25, 2007, 06:34 PM   #2
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My opinion:
Current best starter press is the Lee Turret press. You can reload single stage until you get the hang of it, then move up into progressive reloading and get the speed you need for real-time high-volume reloading. Since you are shooting pistol cartridges only, you can use the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure, relatively easy to master and very consistent with most loads and powders.


You can look into a Lee Pro 1000, but it won't do rifle calibers, and is not as sturdy as the Turrett press, but is faster for most folks to set up and start loading.
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Old May 25, 2007, 06:56 PM   #3
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pitfalls of reloading

Warning Will Robinson, reloading will not save you money. You will shoot a lot more. Reloading is extremly addictive. There is no cure. I would agree the Lee Turret is a great way to start. I would suggest the Classic turret 4 hole and get the lee 4 die set for each caliber and a extra turret for each also. if you can swing it get an autodisk powder measure for each also. The new safety prime is a good way to go. but before you jump off that cliff get yourself a copy of, "Modern Reloading" by Lee if you going to use Lee stuff. otherwise get," The ABC's of Reloading". In either case read it at least twice before you start.
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Old May 25, 2007, 07:12 PM   #4
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When you buy dies, buy carbide dies!!!! a little more money, but worth every penny. Also, you might want to look around locally for a used single stage press, they are cheap, and sometimes its a good idea to start simple. Plus if you buy one used, you should be able to sell it for the same price you bought it for when its time to upgrade.
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Old May 25, 2007, 07:37 PM   #5
Don H
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A lot of information in this stickey from above:
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Old May 25, 2007, 07:45 PM   #6
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Some points

You want to get the Lee Classic Turret. Can be used either as a single stage or a progressive. If I had to do it again I would have gotten the Lee as my first press.

I like Lee dies the best. The locking ring setup on the Lee dies however isn't the best, I replaced some of them with RCBS locking rings.

Get carbide dies. Once you have been reloading it is a no-brainer.

Get a good digital scale, they are inexpencive and easy to use. Balance scales should only be used to confirm that the digital is working right since they take a long time to use compared to a digital.
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Last edited by Crosshair; May 25, 2007 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old May 25, 2007, 08:20 PM   #7
Join Date: November 25, 2006
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Addition to Crosshair:I like LEE dies the best. The locking ring setup on the LEE dies isn't the best, I replaced some of them with RCBS locking rings.

I second that on RCBS locking rings. I have all Lee equipment and have no problems, but the lock rings are bad. Get the RCBS locking rings.
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Old May 25, 2007, 08:26 PM   #8
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I would also advise you to buy the Lee Classic Turret Press. This is the best place to buy one, You will want to upgrade to the Pro Auto Disk and the Large & small safety prime, those upgrades are a total of about $20. If you buy a extra turret for each caliber you can change calibers in minutes and your dies will stay setup, a turret is around $10. In my opinion you only need one Pro Auto Disk. I keep a log of my loads with the disk number and I can go back to that load very easy. You can change disks in less than a minute. You should be able to get setup with a Classic Turret for around $200. The Classic will let you make ammo at around 200 per hour. If you have plenty of time to reload the Classic is the perfect press. If you need to make ammo faster then you will need to go with a true progressive like the Lee Loadmaster, Dillon or Hornady. They are all good presses and have their own quirks it just comes down to which quirks you want to get used to. With the Classic Turret you won't have any of the priming problems you will have with most progressives. I hope this helps more than confuses you. Welcome,
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Old May 25, 2007, 09:50 PM   #9
Smokey Joe
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What you need first and foremost

JimK--Reloading is fun, rewarding, a challenge, a great hobby, and can become addictive. Whenever you are contemplating a new kind of endeavor, the first thing you need is knowledge about that endeavor, NOT equipment.

May I suggest obtaining and studying The Standard Textbook as a useful beginning point. In the case of reloading, this is The ABC's of Reloading, put out by Krause Publishing. They must be doing something right; it is in its 7th edition. It covers all aspects of cartridge case reloading, and deals with both introductory and advanced techniques. Should be on all reloaders' bookshelves, well thumbed, IMHO.

Get it @ yr local sptg gds sto, gun sho, the I'net, or order from Krause Pub at:

But get it. Having read it, you will be in a much better position to say what you need to get started, what you want (as opposed to need,) and what you can wait until later to buy.

The ABC's is a how-to and why-and-why-not to kind of book. You will also need a loading manual---Lyman's 48th edition is my go-to manual but there are several other good ones. A loading manual is like a recipie book for the various cartridges, primers, powders, bullets, etc.

Having read the ABC's, you may or may not decide to continue in reloading. If you do, well and good. If you don't, you will have at least gained a greater appreciation of what goes into the ammo that we shoot--I fail to see a downside to that.

Oh, and welcome to The Magnificent Obsession--Reloading.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe

Last edited by Smokey Joe; May 25, 2007 at 09:51 PM. Reason: misspelling
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