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View Full Version : Noob reloading questions


WokMaster1
02-18-2007, 8:20 AM
Yes, I'm interested in reloading. Just want to hear from you experts out there.

How did you get started?
What's the best way to learn?
How much $$$ am I looking at to get the equipment?
What kind/brand of equipment?

Anything else would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!:)

C.G.
02-18-2007, 9:18 AM
The initial reason I started to get into reloading was that the 6.5 Grendel and .50 Beowulf round were almost $2/round. Now with the ammo prices going up it only makes sense to reload.

Originally I planned for someone to watch over me, i. e. Bu-buy who has been reloading for some time, but time constraints didn't make that happen. Instead I read a lot, bought several reloading manuals, and started off on my own with a straightwall case (.50 Beowulf), which is not overly demanding. Initially I tripple checked everything (if not more:) ). As I get a little more systematic I don't have to check as much. Obviously, I must have done it correctly as I still have all my fingers, eyesight and nothing went kaboom.

As a noob, I think I went the correct way with a single stage RCBS Rockchucker. When I'll get more confident, I may upgrade it to a multi-stage or get a turret press for my handgun rounds.
This is the set up I have and it has served me well (that is also the lowest price I found):
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=000449357
It pretty much has everything.
You will also need shellplates and dies for your particular rounds and at some point you will also need a trimmer. Of course, you need powders and primers (best to order many at once, due to hazmat charge), and cases.

tujungatoes
02-18-2007, 9:34 AM
Just about any reloading manual will have a tutorial on the basics. And your local range should be able to point you toward a reloading class. I read everything I could get my hands on. Here's a link to a basic tutorial.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reloading/index.asp

As far as equipment, for a beginner a single stage press would probably be the best way to start. If you want to load bulk you can always upgrade to a progressive setup later, and use the single for de-capping and such. As far as a brand of equipment...you get into the Chevy vs. ford thing. most guys will swear by one or another. But if price is you main concern, check out "lee". It's the cheapest way to get started, and their equipment isn't bad.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=820810
this kit plus a few odds and ends will get you started.

Omega13device
02-18-2007, 10:23 AM
I don't think it's hard to learn. Before you go out buying stuff, a great way to familiarize yourself with what's involved is to see a friend's setup and have them do some reloading so you can see the steps in person. Once you see it in person I think it will be demystified.

A lot of people recommend starting off with a single stage press. If you're serious about reloading and reasonably good at figuring things out, I'm not sure that's necessary. Dillon's progressive presses are well designed and you can definitely start off on them. I started with the Square Deal B and am still using it. Just start with a pistol caliber and get good at that before moving on to rifle calibers.

50ae
02-18-2007, 5:50 PM
I started reloading because I found that shooting was a whole lot better for me than drinking and I was an E5 in the Navy. I started with a Lee 1000 and promptly dumped it for a Dillon 650.

I highly recommend any of the Dillon products. You'll need the manual, dies, tumbler, and a scale to start with. You'll figure out what else you need as you get into it.

Anthony
02-18-2007, 5:59 PM
Yes, I'm interested in reloading. Just want to hear from you experts out there.

How did you get started?
I started reloading because I ended shooting more than I expected to shoot. Originally, I was only shooting 9mm, then got interested with 45's, then my son got interested in shooting too. My cost doubled with him joining the hobby. Actually, low cost is just a benefit, customizing a load for my son is PRICELESS :) .

What's the best way to learn?
I think every person has different abilities to learn. One can learn from just reading, others may need to actually be taught on how to do it. A lot of people offered to show their reloading process, especially here, but I ended biting the bullet and bought a reloader and learned it myself with the help of other people posts in different forums.

How much $$$ am I looking at to get the equipment?
Depending on which press you go with will dictate how much you will be spending. I think single stage presses are the cheapest but that doesn't mean they are cheap quality. It's just you'll be spending a lot of time sitting on your reloading bench. Progressive presses are the exact opposite. I ended up getting a Dillon 550B which you can possible setup as a single stage and progress as needed. I'd take a hard look at a used Dillon's but they are hard to come by.

What kind/brand of equipment?
A lot of people seem to like Dillons. I can't say anything about others as I have no experience with them.

madjack956
02-18-2007, 6:25 PM
DIllon Dillon Dillon... Easy learning curve and it beats buying and selling different rigs to work your way up..Spend the dough once and be done with it.

WokMaster1
02-18-2007, 7:29 PM
Wow! you guys are a wealth of info. I realized that I have a lot of research to do but thank you all for sharing the info.:)

Omega13device
02-18-2007, 7:58 PM
I highly recommend any of the Dillon products. You'll need the manual, dies, tumbler, and a scale to start with. You'll figure out what else you need as you get into it.
Definitely agree on the Dillon recommendation. And don't forget to get a primer flip tray!

eckerph
02-18-2007, 9:57 PM
I started because of cost, its much cheaper than buying factory ammo. As far as equipment i would do my own research and remember blue isnt everything:D

Blue
02-19-2007, 6:59 PM
I bought a used Dillon 550 for $250. It's alot cheaper to reload 45 than it is to buy it off the shelf. My guns don't mind and neither does my wallet. I've had it about 4 months and I've already recouped my money on it. So until I go out and buy a bunch more reloading gear, my loaded round cost for 45acp is around $75-85 per 1k depending on what components I'm using. Downtime is key, if you've got alot of freetime a 550 will be fine. My 6 year old and I reload alot after dinner. But if you're looking to crank out alot of ammo in a short period of time, a 650 is your best bet.

grammaton76
02-19-2007, 10:50 PM
As far as equipment i would do my own research and remember blue isnt everything:D

It's not everything, it's just everything you'd wanna reload with. ;)

Couldn't resist that one. I actually do see plenty of value in the Lee hand press, and I've got a Lee single stage I picked up after the 650, for use with collet bullet puller operations and universal depriming dies.

But for actual load operations... gimme the 650 any day.

PLINK
02-20-2007, 12:52 AM
How did you get started? I recently got into action pistol shooting and needed to have cheaper ammo (.45 ACP) to shoot two matches a month plus practice time.

What's the best way to learn? Find a Cal Gunner in your area and see if they will show you the process. Hopefully you can do this before you buy anything.

How much $$$ am I looking at to get the equipment? I believe everything cost me approx. $650.

What kind/brand of equipment? I am using a Dillon 550B that I bought off of ebay for $385 shipped with Dillon .45 ACP dies. I am using a Dillon beam scale, Dillon Tumbler, homemade media seperator (two strainers and a bucket), Dillon strong mount, Dillon bullet tray, Dillon case tray, RCBS primer flip tray, RCBS bullet puller, Dillon .45 ACP case guage, Lee factory crimp die (to replace the Dillon crimp die), pet store walnut media, Nu-Finish car wax (case polish), Dillon primer pick up tubes, Home Depot calipers (had these prior to reloading), nylon laundery bag for press cover.

I am currently using Laser-cast bullets 230 grain LRN .452 dia, Winchester WLP large pistol primers and Clays universal powder.

Anything else would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!:)

If you want the one stop shop for Dillon stuff check http://www.brianenos.com/store/home.html

3GunFunShooter
02-20-2007, 9:56 AM
+1 on Dillon. The only way to reload.

eckerph
02-20-2007, 10:39 AM
Couldn't resist that one. I actually do see plenty of value in the Lee hand press, and I've got a Lee single stage I picked up after the 650, for use with collet bullet puller operations and universal depriming dies.

But for actual load operations... gimme the 650 any day.

I'm a Hornady L-n-L man my self, if i loaned you mu press you probably wouldnt go back too that overpriced Blue machine:D all i need to swap calibers is a $25 shell plate and a set of Lee dies.

grammaton76
02-20-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm a Hornady L-n-L man my self, if i loaned you mu press you probably wouldnt go back too that overpriced Blue machine:D all i need to swap calibers is a $25 shell plate and a set of Lee dies.

Unless it includes an electric casefeeder, I could tell you right off the bat that it wouldn't be a go... :p