Originally Posted by gorenut
1. First off I will primarily be reloading 357mag. What kind of savings will I be looking at here for just plinking ammo? I know reloading match ammo doesn't yield too much savings and I'll probably do it every now and then, but I'm really looking to save on range plinking ammo. Also throw 44mag and 45ACP in here. If I start reloading, I'll definitely get more guns in these calibers.
Savings are great especially for the 44 and 45 match grade ammo. Others provided some numbers but depends on the cost of bullets it could be around 60% less than factory fresh if you pick up range brass.
2. So I'll get the Lee hand press (I believe these come with funnel and the other small stuff), the appropriate carbide dies, brass tumbler, and something to weigh it all.. anything else really necessary aside from manuals, etc?
powder measure and loading blocks, it'll really speed up the charging process. Balance beam scale is all you need. For 45, 44 and 357 you 'can' find 1 powder for all of them. I use and like W231/HP38.
3. On the topic of manuals.... with all the sources on the net.. what are some reliable ones? I've already did some research on reloading and have heard differing views on the necessity of manuals. Essentially, everything in the manuals can be found on the net and just printed out.
Check out the powder company websites. they offer good recipes. A reloading book does offer more info you might need.
4. Since I've already brought up my small space (one of the downsides of living near work in CA), I have limited storage space. I probably will never buy primers and powder in bulk which I know also diminishes on the money I save.. but I'd still be interested in any storage advice. From what I've gathered, just keep them separate, possibly in low static, and even in their original packaging. I'm hearing differing views on the potential for fires on these items... essentially many do think its overstated and we probably have things under out kitchen sink thats more volatile.
Just look in the classified section for components you need. sometimes you'll get some good deals or you can hop on the 'group buy' threads. Storage wise, like I said, use a plastic storage box with lid. You can pretty much keep everything inside. It was slow but once process was developed I was able to load about 50 rounds an hour starting from sizing, belling, priming, charging, seating to crimping.
See bold text for my response.
I used to load mainly with the Lee Hand Press when my kids were born and we lived in a small apt. Everything I needed was in a plastic storage box.
I find most useful are:
1. powder measure - allows you to set the powder charge weight and charge empties fast. The Lee scoopers are useless. I use RCBS.
2. hand priming tool - seats the primers fast and safe. folds up into a small box for easy storage. have both large and small primer adapters. I use RCBS one.
3. loading blocks - makes powder charging, bullet seating faster and more stable.
4. balance beam scale - cheap, reliable and never need batteries. Just need to make sure you take it apart and store it properly after use.
5. tumbler is best but brass brush and '00' steel wool cleans the cases just fine since you don't need lube on the straight wall pistol cases.