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Want to start Reloading

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 13:50
loaded4bear View Drop Down
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I've been putting it off for so many years and now I want to start reloading.  Some recommend a progressive press like a Dillon but maybe I should just start with good quality single stage RCBS equipment.  Is it best to start with a kit or should I purchase everything individually?  There's alot of questions to ask so I might as well start with the basics, equipment, books etc. 

thanks

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 14:00
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As a beginner I would skip the Dillon and go with the RCBS in kit form ,add or change as you see fit after some practice and reading A LOT,there are a couple things that don't come in the kit you will need.you can get these separately from the manufacture of your choice, you don't need high dollar stuff but don't go cheap. get at least two reloading manuals. the first should be, LYMAN reloading basics. and then the one that manufactures the bullets you will be using or one that lists multiple. 

Edited by rifle looney - February/28/2009 at 14:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 14:20
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Originally posted by rifle looney rifle looney wrote:

As a beginner I would skip the Dillon and go with the RCBS in kit form ,add or change as you see fit after some practice and reading A LOT,there are a couple things that don't come in the kit you will need.you can get these separtly from the manufacture of your choice you dont need high dollar stuff but dont go cheap. get at least two reloading manuals. the first should be, LYMAN reloading basics. and then the one that manufactures the bullets you will be using or one that lists multiple. 

Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 14:36
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Agree with Looney.
 
The RCBS Special-5 Kit or the Rockchuker Kit, if you prefer.
I've had the Special-5 for several years and it has worked wonderfully......YES, even on big magnum cases. I've loaded several rounds for .300 RUM and a gajillion .300 Win Mag rounds.
 
RCBS customer service is ridiculously generous too boot.
 
(Let me know if you need me to custom build you a mobile reloading bench.) Peeker  
J/K  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 14:49
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Lee has some great reloading gear and dies.  You can even buy one of their little hand reloading kits for less than $20. 

I wouldn't start with a progressive press until you've reloaded for a while and fully understand the process. 
 
When you get a press, you will be happier if you get a 4-station unit (3-station minimum).  I haven't tried Lee's Classic 4-hole turret press, but it would be interesting to hear from others who have.  
 


Edited by Longhunter - February/28/2009 at 14:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 15:06
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RCBS kit ala Rockchucker. If you have a range by your house with a clubhouse, go there and hangout to watch some of the boys reload. Some of the tips you will get here are much easier to understand if you see them in actual practice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 16:17
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What are you going to be reloading? If rifle bullets for hunting, buy a single stage press, if reloading for hand gun, go progressive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 16:29
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

What are you going to be reloading? If rifle bullets for hunting, buy a single stage press, if reloading for hand gun, go progressive.
 
+1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 16:47
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Just remember to keep detailed notes on everything you do. You can't imagine the time and money you can waste if you don't. I know these things.Big Smile
 
I agree with the Rockchucker kit, unless you are doing high volume pistol.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 17:15
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I agree with Trigger, don't skimp on the press or any of the related reloading accessories, you'll just end up replacing them.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2009 at 21:26
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Good info guys, thanks.  I will be reloading rifle and pistol but I suspect that once I start loading, my range time will increase dramatically.
 
Over that past 20 years or so, I saved enough brass to keep me going for quite a long time, but this brings up a few questions.  How many times can a case be reloaded safely?  Are visual signs of too much wear the only way to tell?  Are there better qualities of brass to use?
 
The other question is, how does one determine the amount of depth to seat a bullet?  Is this data supplied which each load?
 
Roy, if you remember I belong to Cherry Ridge too.  I haven't been to the club house since orientation last summer,  but do guys reload there? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2009 at 00:02
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I have the rockchucker supreme kit.  Great way to start out.  I just wish they had inlcude a powder trickle with it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2009 at 13:22
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Many of the questions you seek will be explained in a good reloading manual.  If your looking for a inexpensive "do all" manual, try the Lee reloading manual II, it can be found for under $15.00.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2009 at 15:37
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+1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2009 at 07:44
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Thanks everyone.  I just ordered the Rock Chucker supreme master kit from Midsouth for $279 plus a few extra manuals to start. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2009 at 08:02
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

Thanks everyone.  I just ordered the Rock Chucker supreme master kit from Midsouth for $279 plus a few extra manuals to start. 
 
Good call! Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2009 at 10:10
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I  started reloading with a Redding single stage press,used it for a year and then a relative passed away and I was given his stuff and he had a Lyman turret press and I love it I can put on three different die sets and don't have to fool around removing dies. The seating depth will vary from rifle to rifle as well as bullet weigth reloading manuals will tell you on how to determine the seating depth for your rifle
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2009 at 10:56
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I started with a progressive and love it for handgun and bulk .223.  I could not imagine loading that stuff on a single stage.  It would take forever and back again to make enough handgun ammo to shoot.

I have a Hornday progressive and Hornady single stage.  They are awesome for fast die changes.  none of this twist and twist crap, they have a bushing and you just pop them on and off.  Very nice that way.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2009 at 21:06
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ExcellentExcellentExcellent
Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

Many of the questions you seek will be explained in a good reloading manual.  If your looking for a inexpensive "do all" manual, try the Lee reloading manual II, it can be found for under $15.00.
  I'm new also about 5 years now I use Lee dies myself. My next purchase I am going to upgrade to digital scale and dispenser..READ THE MANUAL
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2009 at 21:40
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

What are you going to be reloading? If rifle bullets for hunting, buy a single stage press, if reloading for hand gun, go progressive.
 
This is probably the correct answer as your powder charge must be exact with rifles and you have to lube the cases with rifles where pistols will work with carbide dies so no lube is needed with carbide dies.
 
This is rather an awkward time to jump into it.  One item that I find incredibly useful is the electronic powder thrower with built in electronic scale.  I have never had a progressive press just a  RCBS  Rockchucker.  I believe the Horniday progressive press to be the newest design and I have heard good things about it but most people use Dillon which have been around forever.  I really like the Horniday brand lube that comes in a small butter dish looking plastic container.  I would probably be inclined to buy things individually. I would probably get the electric RCBS powder thrower electric scale and a RCBS Rockchucker or the Redding press where the top plate allows about 6 dies which would be ideal for two calibers once the die was set to correct depth it would never be taken out. Since I load more calibers I have the single hole rockchucker. Save up some plastic half gallon ice cream containers and use them to transfer brass from one stage to the next.  You will eventually want a brass polisher and case trimmer but I went better than 20 yrs without those.  You do want a couple of small hand tools the de-burring tool that is used inside and out on the neck of rifle brass and the primer pocket uniformer and flash hole uniformer.  Get one of the hand held primer devices that you squeeze the grip.  I also like to have on hand a Lee brand primer removing tool which is about $4.50 and works well to hammer out .223 military primers.  A small acrilic hammer and a pair of channel locks and set of hex wrinches.   I know there is a huge difference in price between a manual scale plus a manual powder thrower & powder trickler  vs the electronic model but the difference in frustration level is worth the cost.   I will say that if you load rifles buy extra depriming rods because sooner or later you will bend one.    This should be a good list add a Horniday reloading book or find the caliber specific books. Come back and ask us any questions you need to know and we will walk you through it.  Do tell us what calibers you need to load though as there are some ins and outs to certain calibers.  
 
PS:  if I was only loading pistol with a progressive I would probably not buy the electronic powder thrower electric scale because you wont be measuring every charge of powder like you would with a rifle so the cheaper manual scale would get you set up.  Just allow about three tenths under max for minor variation from the thrower.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - March/06/2009 at 21:45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/07/2009 at 12:37
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My brother and brother in law just got the Lee 50th Anniversary kit.  Not a bad way to start.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/07/2009 at 13:55
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i love my rock chucker IV good stuff!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/07/2009 at 23:31
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

...How many times can a case be reloaded safely?  Several  sometimes 5 to 7 times posibly more. Are visual signs of too much wear the only way to tell? Cracks are a givaway that its trash.  Are there better qualities of brass to use?
 Lapua is the best 
The other question is, how does one determine the amount of depth to seat a bullet? The reloading book has a measurment for OAL  over all length you need to measure it. Is this data supplied which each load? YES
 
accuracy depends on consistency
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/08/2009 at 17:03
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Good call on the Rockchuker.  I've been using that same press about 15yrs and it's as good as when new.

**I would consider getting a case tumbler sooner than later.  I know you have alot of brass saved up, but when you get into loading those cases for a third time (incl. factory load) they need to be cleaned for proper inspection.  Plus, they feed into the rifle better anyway. 

***I'd also stay away from electronic scales.  Balance beam-type scales are the most consistent out there.  You can do your own research, talk to BR shooters and you'll find this to be true.

Enjoy your new handloads and be safe!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/08/2009 at 18:41
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With the electronic scale you have to watch that it resets to zero when you put the empty pan back on the scale then you push dispense and it spins the metal dispensing rod until it thinks it has the selected powder charge. What hapens a lot of times is that as it slows down to stop a few tenths of a grain extra will fall in the pan. When the machine thinks it has the correct load it beeps audibly and you need to look to be sure the measurement shown is the one you selected.  Say you selected 44.0 grains and you actually wound up with 44.2 gr in the pan take a pinch of powder from the pan with your thumb and index finger and see what it reads if its 44.1 take out another pinch if it reads 39.9 let a little of the powder fall from between your fingers to get the correct ammount or gently tap the metal rod to make a tenth of a grain fall in the pan. When you measure every charge exactly I dont see how anything could be more accurate than that. 
With the manual scale powder trickler and powder thrower you set the powder thrower to measure a charge hopefully a couple of tenths below what you want and turn the powder trickler to bring the charge up to the correct charge.  Failure to ballance the scale properly will result in problems and its not that hard to mis-adjust the manual ones .  The electric is a lot faster if you measure every charge. If you are charging pistol cartridges and shooting a load like 5.5grains Unique with a minimum of 5 and a max of 6 you have some room for error and can use a powder thrower that may vary 2 to 3 tenths.  rifle cartridges should be exact but with pistol target cartridges a couple of tenths at 15 to 25 yds wont make much difference.
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