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Old December 26, 2008, 04:25 PM   #1
The Meatman
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Advice for the novice?

So my boss called the other day and is giving me a nice year end bonus. I thought about buying another gun (.45) but I got checking ammo prices and remembered all the reloads I've shot with my dad. I have no previous experience with reloading (I did however read the newbie thread here.) My question is, should I buy a kit, or individual pieces? My dad sent my an RCBS powder measure awhile back, but I've seen Lee kits that come with them. Also I'm curious about the durability of some presses in an area with high moisture. I live in Alabama and most likely would end up with my bench in my outside metal shed. Would the presses rust? I would obviously keep the powder and primers indoors, but not sure about the presses, and brass. Thanks for any advice.
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Old December 26, 2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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I have used a Lee kit now for the past 6 years.It is a single stage press. I have enjoyed using it. When I got my kit, it came with a beam scale. I didn't have much luck with it. It to me was hard to read. So, I got one of RCBS digital scales. Everything was good to go from that point. I use the Lee Perfect Powder measure that came with my kit. However, a friend of mine has an RCBS and it is easier to calibrate than my Lee.
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Old December 26, 2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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If you don't have one why not get a current reloading manual & read/ look it over good. It's a way to ease into it & most have good instruction & procedures chapters. One idea is to get one who's bullets you are partial too. In that reguard I like Sierra, but Lyman,Hornaday, Lee are very fine.
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Old December 26, 2008, 07:34 PM   #4
The Meatman
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What I really should have asked was how the reloading gear holds up in outside workshop settings. I have a 10X15 metal building with a good sized bench and plenty of light and space. My only concern is with the press and powder measure in a fixed mount, how will they fare? Will they rust or corrode? Should I consider buying covers for them if I do go this route? I know alot of guys have set-ups in the garage, and this is probably pretty close to that scenario...Thoughts and observations appreciated.
D.A.V. - N.R.A. - U.S. Army Vet
Navy/Army Dad.
If you won't stand behind our service members, stand in front of them.
"Are you guys ready? Let's Roll" Todd Beamer, Flight 93.
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Old December 26, 2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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Have mine in my truck shop

And here in NW Wash State it is also very damp (different kind - cold and wet). In fact, we just experienced the 1st White Xmas is 20 yrs. We have maybe 18" of snow.
Anyway, I try to keep the shot heated with a wood stove. My Dillon 550b Progressive press has been out there for 6 months and doesn't show any signs of rust or corrosion yet.
I bought a cheapy Lee single stage press 2 mos ago. The FL (full length) Size Die has and the case holder have already shown rust. Cleaned it off with steelwool and WD-40.
I will move the actual loading part of the operation into the house as soon as I get the bench done but I will continue to do the case prep in the shop and will keep a single stage press out there for sizing cases and knocking out primers.
Yes, I would keep any equipment outside covered completely. Keep lids on the powder. I empty the powder from the Progressive Press back into the plastic bottle it came in and seal it.
Wipe exposed parts down with WD-40 or PB Blaster when not in use, then wipe the preservative off when you start to reload.
I also use Iso Alcohol for remove grease and dirt. Does and good job and dries fast. Not as harsh as Acetone.
Good luck. I am still learning way more than I can understand but my shooting accuracy has improved considerably since I started reloading.
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Old December 26, 2008, 10:21 PM   #6
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You will surely be testing the press in very high humidity conditions. As long as you maintain a coat of oil on ALL exposed surfaces (including dies, gages, etc.) you will have no problems. I would though at the first sign of rust store your equipment in the air conditioned house!
Matt Dardas
Dardas Cast Bullets
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Old December 26, 2008, 11:10 PM   #7
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High humidity

One solution I saw a guy use is he bought a rubbermaid storage box or something similar. the lid sealed on it. he put a hole next to the bottom and installed a goldenrod in the box and sealed the hole he made with silicon gasket sealer. He stored all his parts dies and such inthe box. the press was wiped down with some sort of oil and covered with a plastic trash bag. worked for him. Powder and primers were stored in the house. I suppose you could do the same thing with a cabinet if you can find one that the door shuts tight.
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Old December 27, 2008, 12:05 AM   #8
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As much as you dont wont to or "cant" I would do reloading indoors. The press and Dies will show signs of rust, as mine did. I live in West Texas and I can count the times it rained here this year on one hand. You will want a comfortable place to reload, and store components.
I moved my operation indoors several years ago and got better results.
I didnt think about it, but the press and dies being cold made the bullets a little different. ( It could have been the fact that I was cold, or sweating or whatever). You dont need a lot of room to reload. maybe a 4 foot section of bench. You can figure out some way to bolt the press to a piece of plywood, and clamp it to your dining room table.
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Old December 30, 2008, 10:14 AM   #9
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I had mine in basement, indoors, and garage -- now in an outside metal building like yours, in Mississippi. It will be fine, just make sure you use a little WD40 or Hoppe's on things occasionally....
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