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Old August 23, 2001, 06:41 AM   #1
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Join Date: August 1, 2001
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Starting to reload

I was just wondering how everyone learned the process to reload your own shells. I would like to start but don't know where to learn. Any help would be greatly appericated.
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Old August 23, 2001, 07:15 AM   #2
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Read everything I could find...followed the directions...Prayed like mad before pulling the triggger!
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Old August 23, 2001, 07:30 AM   #3
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Before my friend started to reload, he bought manuals, read a lot of rags, dicussed the pros and cons (if any) with other shooters and lurk in different forums. I suggest you do the same.

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Old August 23, 2001, 12:26 PM   #4
Chris McDermott
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Join Date: March 30, 2000
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NRA now sponsers a course in reloading, ask at your local gun shops/ranges to see if anyone gives it in your area. If you know someone (who you trust) that reloads, ask them for a demo and any pointers. Some things (like adjusting the reloading dies in the press) are just easier to understand if someone shows you how instead of trying to understand written directions.

I bought & read loading manuals, they all have sections at the front of them explaining how to reload. NRA's manual is available from Midway. Only problem with a book is not being able to ask questions, which is where the internet forums (like this one) can help.
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Old August 23, 2001, 02:41 PM   #5
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Basic reloading is a straight forward process. If you can get someone to show you, that's a bonus! But almost every reloading manual contains sufficient instructions, as do the instructions that accompany many presses, to successfully guide even a neophyte through the process the very first time.

It's like following a recipe. Just be very careful, and pay very close attention to detail. Make no assumptions, and remember "close enough" doesn't cut it, i.e. 0.52" means 0.52" - not 0.54"; and 3.6 grains of Brand X means exactly that.

Sure, reloading can become very esoteric, much like any pursuit. But the basic process is easily learned, and yields reliable, accurate ammo that normally exceeds our expectations and requirements.
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Old August 23, 2001, 02:43 PM   #6
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Join Date: November 22, 1999
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1. (didn't have that years ago)

2. get a mentor that you trust and who loads what you shoot

3. take the NRA reloading course or at least get the NRA Reloading Guide (very excellent 'How To' manual)

4. get lots of manuals and read, read, read

5. hang around the guys here and maybe a couple other internet forums.

6. lastly, develop a sense of how to weed out the BS

I learned to reload first from a trusted friend (also bullet casting), and reading, and doing. Somewhere late in that process I also became a NRA Reloading Instructor (very rewarding). All this started over thirty years ago, and I'm STILL learning.

safety first
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Old August 23, 2001, 04:58 PM   #7
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Join Date: April 24, 2000
Location: Northern Indiana
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Beginning reloading

A few months ago I was at the same point you are. I did what I still feel was right and listened to the advice from the guys here. I spent months trying to figure everything out before I made any investments. Some stuff just doesn't make sense 'til you start doing it.

I stumbled across an older Dillon that was never used and got a screaming deal. My suggestion would be about the same as above..

Buy at least 2 reloading can find older ones around that are cheap and still have good info

Decide whether you want a single stage (usually rifle) or progressive (usually pistol/rifle). Lots of guys here like Dillon though it seems most any brand will give good service.

Find someone that can help you out. This can be another reloader or a good shop with helpful people.

Go back as far as you can on this site and see what has been suggested. Most all your questions have been answered before you can think of them.

DON'T interchange components (primers, case brands, etc.) until you understand what you're doing.

I get Handloader magazine. Don't know that it has all the answers but it's sure helped me.
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Old August 23, 2001, 07:59 PM   #8
Peter M. Eick
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Location: Houston, Texas
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I suggest the following (very cheap).

Get a lee handloader kit for about $20.00.

Buy 2 good reloading manuals for about $40.00.

Read them all.

Pick a bullet and powder and primer from the card in the lee kit and verify it with the books.

Buy bullets, powder and primers.

Follow the lee instructions and load up your brass for a few thousand times.

By the time you are skilled with the lee kit, you will have figured out how to be accurate, understand the prinipals of reloading and will have a lot of safe confidence in you skills. And besides, you will have built up some good forearm muscles.
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Old August 24, 2001, 01:32 PM   #9
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Learn what all the steps of reloading are, understand every one of them, and why they are done. Then DOING it is easy!

Everything is easier when you understand not only HOW, but WHY.

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Old August 24, 2001, 07:30 PM   #10
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,155
Remember that a shooter that's been handloading for ten years or more, didn't have TFL to consult. Ironically, ten years ago, about the only dependable resource online, for any subject, WAS a bulletin board. TFL is a great resource for beginners and the experienced alike. I really believe the best way to introduce yourself to handloading is to read. Here and the literature. I was given three or four major reloading manuals to read before my mentor would take me into his reloading room. It really helped my understanding of what was going on! Sometimes "dumb" questions are unavoidable, but for those of us that hate to ask them, the info is there in the manuals. Anything worth doing or knowing is worth a little work. The enjoyment, knowledge and pride in handloading is immeasurable, speaking for myself. To understand how something works is a reward in itself. I never did it to save the cost of a round.

Resist looking for a quick way to learn handloading. This is a hobby worth the time. IMHO, a combination of the experienced help here on TFL, the reloading manuals (I prefer Lyman, and Speer for beginner intro) and an experienced handloader that is willing to give personal time would be the best way to learn to do it right.

Good luck.



edit .... PS: I am beholden to LEE for making it possible for me to affordably "ease" into handloading.
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Old August 25, 2001, 10:41 AM   #11
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Join Date: May 31, 2000
Location: Great Lakes State
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First let me tell you that I spent 2 years researching before I started relaoding. Not having anyone around to teach me and being rather "attached" to my hands I wanted to do everything I could to make sure they stayed attached. So I read anything and everything I could get my hands on while making good use of all the information available here.


Now I was really scared at first only because of the unknown. If I would have had any idea just how easy it is to reload I might not taken so long to get started

If you are interested I have teh Serria Reloading video set that I am no longer using and I would be willing to sell them to you at a fair price. After all of my research the videos got me off to a good start. If you are interested email me at [email protected]
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Old August 25, 2001, 08:56 PM   #12
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Location: Montana
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In 1950 I learned to ride a bike by getting on it and rolling downhill.

In 1957 I learned to drive by getting in a car with an older kid.

In 1960 I learned to SCUBA dive by borrowing a friend's tank and mask.

In 1961 or 1962 I learned to reload by borrowing a friend's reloading gear and manual.

In 1980 I learned to fly by getting in a small Cessna, and do what I felt was right.

I have had NO misadventures or catasrophies other than I had to peddle the damn bike back up the hill.

I guess what it boils down to, is use common sense...and you will learn.
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