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Old March 27, 2010, 07:40 AM   #1
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Getting started in Handloading?

I'm considering getting into handloading but have zero experience with it. What all would I have to aquire to get started in reloading the following cartridges?

-44 Mag/Special
-7.62x39 Subsonic loads
-50 BMG (from what I've read so far it seems I'd have to get a whole new set up)

I shoot alot, so I'd like to get something that will allow me to reload quite a few rounds at a time.

Also is there some books you can recommend to get started with?

Any info you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
"Our contract called for 16 cases of rifles and ammunition for $10,000 dollars, not a machine gun...........That is our present to the General"-Pike Bishop

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Old March 27, 2010, 07:58 AM   #2
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That is quite a diverse range you will be reloading. Geeez, I would say go with a 4 hole turret like the Lee Classic which sells for just over $200. You can buy extra 4 hole turret disc for like $10 each. That way you can have each die setup and ready to change out in seconds.

The 4 hole will provide you with a decapper; sizer/powder charger; bullet seater; and crimper.

I think a progressive may be in order but usually there is a learning curve I hear on using one. The Lee Classic Turret Press is easy and once you get use to it can pump out maybe around 150 rounds per hour.

I am not sure on the 50 caliber if the LCTP can do those but I bet it can. I guess I could have looked for you before typing this but it will be just as easy for you to look in on that on the many retailers that sell the LCTP.

You will without a doubt get alot of feedback on people's favorite press and what you should get. My suggestion here is just that......a suggestion.

As far as books/manuals go I mainly use my Lee latest edition. Also I have a Speer manual. I really think it depends on the round and who has the most current data.

And BTW.......Lee I am pretty sure makes a totally separate BMG loader which would/could be totally dedicated to the beast!

If you have a great budget and money is really no issue you should have no issue.

Good luck.
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Old March 27, 2010, 08:00 AM   #3
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1. Read the stickies at the top of this forum; they'll answer a lot of questions.

2. I recommend you start w/ .45 ACP, learn and master that, and then branch out. Learning all this is fun, and that's a relatively easy cartridge to learn on.

3. Buy, and read, and read again, the ABCs of Reloading. Much of the process will be explained there.

4. You can spend a ton, or a more reasonable amount, on reloading equipment. Much depends on the volume of shooting you expect to do. If you're talking about shooting 100 rounds a month of various calibers, you can do very well w/ a single-stage press. If you're looking at hundreds or even potentially thousands of rounds per month, a progressive is the way to go.

5. I think most people--and I'm included in that--recommend starting on a single-stage press to learn the steps of reloading. Even if you intend to go w/ a progressive eventually, you'll still want/need the single-stage press so it's not a wasted expenditure. But start on the single-stage. The fact that you're asking here suggests you know of no one locally who can help you learn this, so taking it a bit slower is advisable.

I started reloading about a year and a half ago. I had no one to show me, and I started on a single-stage. Having only that single-stage was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I figured out how to do .223, then 9mm, then went on to .45 (but .45 is a good caliber to start with).

After 4 months of this I was ready for a progressive, a Hornady LnL AP. I can't imagine trying to learn all the normal steps of reloading on top of trying to figure out the progressive. A few people will tell you they started on one, but I don't think it's the way to go at first.

One more thing: If saving money is one of your goals, you'll only find the maximum savings you see people report if you buy your components in bulk, and reuse brass. That means buying primers in the thousands, bullets by the thousands, powder in bulk (though powder is the least expensive in this equation). So factor that in.

Good luck, and welcome to a fascinating side of the shooting hobby. There's much cool stuff to learn and you end up with the satisfaction of not only producing your own ammo, but producing ammo better than what you can buy.
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Old March 27, 2010, 08:04 AM   #4
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BTW- I just looked and Lee does have a totally dedicated 50 BMG press for $285 which is the entire kit.

The part number is: 90859

I currently load .38 Special; .357 Magnum; and .380 ACP.

Believe it or not the .380 is the hardest to load due to the tight tolerances. The .357 and .38 loads quickly with the least of rechecking of measurements.

Not sure about your 7.62 x 39 and how pesky those can be but the 10mm; .45 ACP and .44 should be easy too. I find the larger calibers a bit more forgiving than those tight tolerance smaller rounds.

If you click on my blog in my signature you will find where I did a review of the LCTP with some detailed load information.
Ruger GP100 4" SS; Ruger LCP;
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Old March 27, 2010, 08:59 AM   #5
Join Date: January 26, 2010
Location: Central Missouri
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I'm in the process of starting up too. I found a bunch of youtube videos about the whole reloading process. Many of them are very good. There is single stage, turret and progressive videos. Take a look. They provide some great insight into what you're getting into.
Be Safe!
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Old March 27, 2010, 09:10 AM   #6
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+1 Lee Classic Turret Press. All Brands are good and work. Read reviews from actual owners on Midway USA and Cabelas web sites for any piece of equipment you want to buy regardless of where you get the equipment from. Get Lyman's manual for sure and Modern Reloading by Richard Lee especially if you end up using Lee Precision equipment. Lee does have a dedicated .50 BMG set up. If you read the reviews you will see what a fantastic value the Lee Preciion Classic Turret press is.

Last edited by jmortimer; March 27, 2010 at 09:16 AM.
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Old March 28, 2010, 03:12 PM   #7
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+1 on the Lee Classic Turret press. The press it's self is $124.00 but there is also a kit setup check out Midway USA for the best prices.

Good Luck
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Old March 28, 2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Cabela's and Kempf Gun Shop are the only places that I know of that have kits that include the LCT.

Lee does not offer any LCT kits themselves.

The LCT press by itself is usually ~$90 or so.

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