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ckprax 02-08-2012 8:01 AM

Finally Joining the Club!

So last night I finally bit the bullet and ordered my press and dies.

I scooped up the last Lee Classic Turret kit from Grafs. I had a Cabela's gift card and was going to get their kit but when I broke it down and compared the two Grafs kit was a much better deal and with $5 shipping it was a no-brainer.

I ended up using my gift card too, and got a tumbler, .38/.357 dies and 700 bullets. This morning I realized that I forgot to get a bullet puller so I'll look for one locally. Everything should be here in about a week!:jump:

Here is a list of everything I got.

From Cabela's
- LEE Deluxe Pistol 4-Die Set 38 SPCL
- Hornady Pistol Per 100 38Cal .357"Dia Bullets .38 158 GR HP XTP
- (x2) 300 Hornady Lead Pistol Bullets .38 CAL 158GR SWC/HP
- Lyman 1200 Pro Tumbler

Grafs Kit
- Lee Classic Turret Press
- Pro Auto-Disk powder measure and riser
- Large and Small Safety Prime
- Cutter
- Lock Stud
- Chamfer Tool
- Small and Large Primer Pocket Cleaner
- Tube of Lee Case Sizing Lube
- Lee Safety powder scale (going to use for now)
- Modern Reloading Second Edition

I need to get a bullet puller, primers and some powder; I am thinking either Trail Boss, 231, Unique or Universal Clays I am not sure what they will have locally. I am also going to pick up another manual or two.

Once I get comfortable I plan to also reload .44Mag and 30-06 for my immediate needs and then add .45ACP, 10mm/40 S&W and maybe 9mm.

Anything I am missing? Everyone's input is appreciated. I am very excited not only to start saving money/shooting more but to have the ability to tailor loads to my liking.:D

Bill Steele 02-08-2012 8:20 AM

Welcome to the addiction.

You made a good choice with the LCT.

You will need something to measure the OAL (calipers) and when you get to loading rifle, a bullet comparator so you can measure the OAL accurately.

A lot of people use Trail Boss and love it. It is a really good powder for beginners as it will be impossible to double charge. The downside is it is a powder puff load.

My preferred powder for light target loads in .357 is W231. The downside is it will be pretty small down in that case, so you will have to pay attention when loading. The auto indexing of the LCT will help in avoiding double charges, but denser powders are always a risk in those long deep cases.

Have fun, good luck.

ckprax 02-08-2012 9:17 AM

Thanks for the insight. I have a set of calipers so that is not an issue. I like the idea of "impossible to double charge" but I also know that it can be avoided as long as I am paying attention. I will see what I can find locally and go from there.

I saw a link you posted to factory sales and now I am kinda bummed, I could have save a fair amount of money. Oh well.

morrow 02-08-2012 12:59 PM

Welcome to the reloading club!!!

undercow16969 02-08-2012 1:31 PM

Reloading manuals. I would recommend at least three, speer, hornady and the ABC reloading manuals. Never trust load data that people use from forums only use it for a ball park reference.

For rifles I use a powder trickler for every load, if you have a powder dispenser, the rifle grains can get cut in half causing the burn rate to change.

Pistols, I verify 5 times that the powder grains are the same weight then I check every 3rd round to make sure it is consistent the powder granules are smaller so even if they are cut it really doesnt matter very much.

A brass tumbler/polisher, midway USA has a good kit with the tumbler, corn based media, a media removal tumbler also.

As far as a bullet puller, RCBS has a really good kinetic energy one, its gree and you can miss it.

With your reloading stuff make sure you get the right shell holders for the size of brass, you can't do anything without them.

Other than that, even if you are familiar with some aspects of reloading, Make sure you read the setup manual before you adjust your dies, press a few rounds before you tighten the brass set screws, you may not be able to take them back out again. <--first hand experience with a set of 22-250AI comp dies ($110)

also welcome, and if you find places to buy cheap brass please let us know!

undercow16969 02-08-2012 1:42 PM

Oh also, powder, I would say to start, find what is available locally first and use what is in a reloading manual so you know you have a good load. This goes for tips also just because it is 155gr (as an example) doesnt mean it will fly the same if you use cheaper or different style tips.

I use hodgen and vhitavouri depending on the caliber generally speaking, pistols I use alliant-bullseye

Primers I have not found to make a difference in regards to brand. If you ever wonder why large pistol/rifle are the same size (same for the small primers) the difference is the primer punch area thickness. Pistols (in theory) will not fracture the primer meant for a rifle because it takes more force, rifles you never want to substitute for pistol primers because it is too thin for the pressure that the rifle creates when fired.

If you can help it, try to get your powder and primers locally unless you get a ton of stuff on a website, they will charge you a hazmat fee.

Retzius 02-08-2012 1:42 PM

The Lyman manual is a must for the beginning reloader. I dont like the Lee manual very much, it is more of a product advertisement than an instructional manual.

lpspinner 02-08-2012 1:49 PM

Welcome to the club! I find reloading like a drug..... :)

Fishslayer 02-08-2012 4:39 PM

You will be assimilated! Resistance is futile!:D

Local availability was a factor in choosing my powders. I don't really want to buy enough online to make the hazmat fees worth it. Also availability of load data. You'll find plenty of .38/.357 data for Unique & W231/HP38. I use mostly Bullseye & Green Dot for light target loads & 2400 for the Big Dog magnums.

x whatever on the RCBS bullet puller. $26-ish at Turners & works well.

The Lee safety scale is not as hard to work with as some would have you believe. Have it out of any air currents, on a level surface and use a flashlight to see the graduations.

Bug Splat 02-08-2012 5:44 PM

Welcome to the club! The Classic Turret is an awesome press. I just love mine and I'm sure you will love yours.

damndave 02-08-2012 6:53 PM

Welcome! Reloading is addicting. Few other items when you move over to rifes, but tarting with handgun rounds you will be fine.

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