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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: January/08/2011 at 16:30
Cbissell07 View Drop Down
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Okay well me and my dad are planning to get into reloading but the thing is we know noting. we saw a bunch of kits from 100+ we were wonder what all we need in a kit. like what is everything we need to start reloading and what reasonably priced kit has everything except the dies + bullets and things like that. Anyone that knows anything about reloading please help us out.
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 16:37
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If I was starting over again, I'd buy one of the RCBS Rockchucker Kits.  They cost about 280 or so.  You could get by with one of the cheaper kits.  I know that Lee has one for 110 dollars.  The best thing to do is get a few reloading books and read them 2 or 3 or 4 times.  Nosler, Speer, Barnes, Hornady all have informative books.  They will tell you everything you will need to get.  You'll still have to buy extra stuff that doesn't come along with the kits.  ie dies, shell holders, and the reloading components obviously. 
The most important part is Safety.  Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 18:38
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I've been reloading for many years & the # 1 buying suggestion is start with a single stage,not a progressive machine.Lee sells a very good single for about $80 all steel.
Look around for used reloading books[e-bay] or a dvd on the topic.
A scale for weighing the powder & bullets....A caliper to measure lenght & diam. of brass & other components as mentioned above.
 
Try & find a local shooting club,I'm sure you will find someone there to help show you how to go about reloading.Ask alot of questions.
 
#1 thing to remember is SAFTEY,SAFTEY & SAFTEY.
 
I have always found it to be a very rewarding endevor,I save money & I gain a little accuracy in the process.Good luck & keep us posted & don't forget to ask questions,lots of great help on this site!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2011 at 20:07
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Before I started buying equipment, I asked a couple friends who I knew to be detail and safety-oriented, as well as my father-in-law, for advice and some demonstrations. Then I had a better idea of what the reloading process is and what sort of system to set up. By that I mean the actual steps in preparing brass, priming, weighing powder charges and seating bullets. Then maintaining a systematic approach to your brass inventory. Brass is the heart of reloading.

You need to keep it segregated by firearm (at least for rifles, which is all I load). You need to keep track of how many times it has been fired, whether it is dirty or has been cleaned, whether it has been resized. After a certain number of firings you may need to trim the case mouths because brass will flow during firing and grow longer and after a number of firings (typically 5) you may want to consider having the necks annealed because the brass work hardens from firing and resizing. That last item is optional because you may just choose to fire the brass until it starts cracking or simply start fresh with new brass. However, that can be both dangerous and a waste, given the effort that went into fireforming the brass and any trimming, etc. done to it.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 19:25
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Everything the members above said.
I started with the Lee starter kit. It did a fine job, but I moved up to the RCBS, you'll appreciate it more in the long run.

A good scale & dumper are key, and I like to trickle powder just to be precise, so you may want to consider a trickler as well.

Oh, and a bullet puller. You'll have a screw up from time to time.
Get several bibles, dont just stick with one. Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, & Barnes should cover you.

Main thing - start low and work up, and watch your seating depths.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 22:05
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check out this thread, this is a pretty good start.


http://www.opticstalk.com/what-do-i-need-to-reload_topic26534.html
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2011 at 22:39
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+1 on the Rock Chucker!! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 06:21
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Originally posted by billyburl2 billyburl2 wrote:

+1 on the Rock Chucker!! 

love mine, another vote here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 07:59
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Originally posted by Corndawg Corndawg wrote:

Oh, and a bullet puller. You'll have a screw up from time to time.
 
Amen! An oft overlooked piece of kit.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 09:25
FireEMT5 View Drop Down
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Another vote for the Rockchucker.  You can find them on sale of under $300 on and off during the year.
 
Once you get going, decide how many rounds you want to load up at a time, then buy one more loading block than you need - say you load 200 rounds at a time using 4 - 50 round loading blocks.  Buy a 5th - this gives you a place to move rounds once you complete a step with the 200.
 
The proper amount of lube on your cases is critical.  I've found that Hornady's Unique lube in the small tub works great.  Also instead of using a neck brush and powder for the inside of the neck, I'll run a dry brush in the neck and then when I lube the outside of the cases, and set them in my loading blocks, I'll follow up with a little bit of Unique on a Q-tip and lightly hit the inside of the necks with that.  Haven't stuck a case since I switched over to this method.
 
Yes, you will want to buy a stuck case removal tool.  Sooner or later you'll stick at least one and you'll want a way to remedy that, otherwise you'll be sending in your die to the manufacturer and your reloading bench will be out of service until you get it back.
 
If you want to spend the money, there's a guy over on sniper's hide that CNC's loading blocks out of alluminum for specific calibers with the caliber engraved on both long sides of the block.  They are pretty sweet, although a little expensive.  However the look they give your bench is sweet!  If you want to go a little cheaper, you can find universal blocks that hold several different calibers in the same block - at any rate you'll probably want at least 3 minimum.
 
Another item you'll want to consider is the method for cleaning your brass.  I just run a RCBS vibritory tumbler with a corncob/walnut shell mix and some additive.  Some folks like ultrasonic cleaning, or using stainless steel pins.  Pick your poison here and go with whatever you like.  A tumbler is also nice to get the media separated from the brass when you're done cleaning.
 
You may also want to consider Hornady or Foster's locking rings for your dies which are much better than the standard RCBS locking rings.  The Hornady quick change bushing and adaptors kit for RCBS is also really nice for swapping out your dies in your Rockchucker.  Once you have your dies set, you can swap them out with just a 1/4 turn.
 
Pick up several reloading books - Horandy, Speer, etc, as well as books from whatever powder brand you are using.  Study them all and compare the load recipies.  Once you start loading, DO NOT start at the top, at the very least, start somewhere in the middle making 10 rounds, bump up the powder, make 10 more, etc.  Shoot these and record your results with your guns.  You should be finding a load that your gun likes to eat.
 
+2 on a powder trickler.  Depending on the powder you settle on for a specific cartridge, some flow a hell of alot better than others through your powder measurer due to the type of powder - no doubt you will need one of these.
 
Depending on the volume of reloading you plan to do, if you can justify it and afford it, buy your components in bulk such as powder, primers and bullets, and brass if you don't have a free supply.  You'll save money over time this way as you'll pay a hazmat charge with each order of powder and primers.   I bought 20 lbs. of powder on my last order, as I didn't want to pay the $25.00 hazmat charge every time I needed a pound or two of powder.
 
Just getting started you may wonder what powder or bullets to try and use.  This is where you can spend alot of time and money, so ask other reloaders what they use.  At the very least this will help you narrow down your choices.  It can add up when you are buying 1 lb of this powder and 100 bullets of this brand just to try.  Get on some realoading forums and post the specs of your gun, and what you desire to shoot and people are sure to point you towards some answers.
 
As others have stated - it bears repeating.  Be safe, keep good records and stay organized.  I keep ammo cans around which I label.  Inside those I have qt and gallon freezer bags of brass which I also label.  Keep a note book or reloaders log on your bench to keep track of your recipies and other notes / measurements handy.
 
Don't reload when you don't have time.  You need to keep your head in the game here.  Don't reload when you are tired or have other things on your mind.  Don't drink or eat when at your bench - lead on your hands isn't good to be getting into your system.
 
Buy yourself a few spare tools like a cresent wrench, pliers, allen wrenches, small screwdriver, digital calipers that you can keep on or near your bench for setting up and adjustments.  It gets old having to run to your main tool box every time you need to adjust or change something and you don't have the right tools handy.
 
Brass prep - once you get a system down, prep as much brass as you can ahead of time.  This for me is the most time consuming step, as it in itself requires several steps.  Take a batch of brass and get it all cleaned, sized, trimmed.  Label it and store it however you like.  Now when you need to crank out some rounds, all you need to do is prime, powder and seat the bullet, and seal primer and bullet if you include that step.  If you start your day with prepped brass, you should be able to crank out several hundred rounds in a few hours.  Just a thought.
 
If you have the room, build yourself a dedicated realoading bench and build it sturdy.  There are tons of ideas out there from people who have done it already.  4' wide x 2' deep is as small as I would go.  Cabela's sells a kit that you just add lumber to which makes a very sturdy bench.  You'll most likely appreciate shelves above and below your bench to hold everything you acquire - meaning you need it, you just won't always be using it and you'll need a place to put it.  You may also want to consider power requirements on your bench, so placement of outlets or a powerstrip are considerations.
 
As you can see, just buying the realoading starter kit is only the beginning.  There is alot more you'll acquire before you are done - some things you really need, and alot of things that will just make the task that much faster and more enjoyable.  That said, yes you'll have an investment here and more than likely have to reaload several thousand rounds to recoup your costs.  If that is an issue, stop now and just keep buying factory rounds.  If breaking even at some point in the future is ok with you, and you want to squeeze more accuracy out of your gun(s), then by all means proceed.
 
Good luck!


Edited by FireEMT5 - January/10/2011 at 09:29
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2011 at 10:19
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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Start by your needs, if your just wanting to load a few hunting rds. use smaller production scales, if your looking to build enough practice loads to become proficient in one of the sports, or firearms in general there is no reason not to start with a progressive, and in the long run it could be cheaper.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 09:03
FireEMT5 View Drop Down
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I will agree and disagree with starting out with a progressive.  Yes, you should be able to crank out more rounds - ONCE you get the hang of it and everything is set properly.  I'll also agree that you may save money by not buying the single stage, then later spending more to go progressive.
 
For someone new just starting out, it's important to thoroughly know and understand each step in the process.  Sure this takes more time, but it forces the individual to complete each step before moving on to the next.  Your attention is or should be on the step at hand.  In my opinion, you also have more precise control over each step since you are doing it in a single, one at a time stage.
 
You still have to do all your brass prep which is probably the most time consuming step which ever route you choose.
 
Think of is this way - single stage is one step at a time, progressive does several things with one pull of the handle.
 
Again, just my opinion, but there could be much more chance for error with a progressive and with more than one thing going on, you could miss something.  YMMV.
 
I've loaded up just over 2000 rounds in the past 2 months on my single stage.  I know every round is correctly headspaced, trimmed and that each charge is properly weighed, etc.  You don't usually get that with a progressive since you aren't weighing each charge.  To each their own.
 
No doubt it is taking me 2 or 3 times longer - maybe more.  I do however know that my rounds are as good as I can make them and I find my reloading time enjoyable.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 09:16
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I started with a progressive and had no problems.  I really don't understand why everyone is so against it.  I think a lot of it is just fear of the unknown.  I wanted to make bulk pistol rounds so it made no sense to get a single stage at that point.  Later on I bought one as they are easier to set up and when I make my hunting rounds I don't need very many so it made sense. 

I went to a friends house before I started and spent a couple evenings with him and he taught me how to reload.  If you have that option I would do that.  It was nice being able to actually do it while having someone standing over my shoulder to help me. 

My progressive will make some very nice ammo.  I have loaded precision .308 ammo with it and shot some 2" groups at 400 yards and some 4 inch stuff at 600 yards.  Not just once, but several times.  It honestly makes me wonder at times if weighting every charge is worth it.  There is no way it is worth it with plinking and hunting rounds IMO.  Mostly now days I just use my single stage for working up loads and use the progressive for everything else.  It is just so nice being able to pump out 300+ rounds in an hour.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 09:25
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the reason im against a progressive for a beginner is similar to the reason why rancid is against the 1911 for a first handgun. their is a lot of stuff going on at one time, and if you dont know what you are doing you could really cause yourself problems.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 09:30
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And see I disagree with the 1911 thing as well.  The only extra step is to click off the safety, which is done in the presentation.  Not to big of a deal IMO.  I started with one and again had no problems. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 09:41
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One reason that I don't use a progressive is that the more time it takes the better.  Sometimes I sit at my reloading bench after finishing some loads and wish that I had more cases to resize, or trim or something...  I know in the back of my mind that I already have way to many rounds loaded for all of my rifles, but... Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 10:34
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Originally posted by ckk1106 ckk1106 wrote:

One reason that I don't use a progressive is that the more time it takes the better.  Sometimes I sit at my reloading bench after finishing some loads and wish that I had more cases to resize, or trim or something...  I know in the back of my mind that I already have way to many rounds loaded for all of my rifles, but... Big Smile


Now that is a good reason.  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 11:36
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The rockchucker kit makes a great starter kit. Only time I wish I had a progressive is loading for my AR or 1911s.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 11:57
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now that i have a pistol im starting to think i need one of dales blue presses.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2011 at 12:06
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

And see I disagree with the 1911 thing as well.  The only extra step is to click off the safety, which is done in the presentation.  Not to big of a deal IMO.  I started with one and again had no problems. 

well i tried.Big Grin i think you just have be very careful in what you do with a progressive as a "rookie"
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