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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2008, 10:17 PM
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Default Reloading 101

Handgun Reloading 101

Being new to the Forum, I have been reading and posting all over. After visiting the “Ammo and Reloading” section I thought, with the price of supplies going up, up, up we should consider reloading more.
I started in 1989, to save a couple of dollars. At that time you could reload .38 special 148 grain Hollow base Wad cutters for 3 or 4 cents a round.
With the possibility of more oppressive and restrictive laws and the certainty of higher prices I think those who do not reload should consider it.

I’ve gathered a few beginner level kits and necessary components from various websites and compiled them here along with links to a number of suppliers. If you are interested in starting reloading as a hobby, or just to shoot cheap, click the links below for info and pricing.
The items below are the most basic, as you search you will find many other “must have” items. I promise you’ll get “Hooked”. Have Fun.




Pictured above (from lf to rt-Top bottom)

Lee Basic Reloading Kit, Lyman Reloading Kit, Lee Challenger Reloading Kit.
Next a RCBS Accessories Kit, and the Lyman Pistol and Revolver Reloading Guide. A Manual or Guide is a must have. There are many Reloading manuals out there with the formulas for darn near every round ever made, and a RCBS Reloading Kit.

These are all Single Stage Press Kits, (manual, one step at a time) for handgun this will usually mean four steps. These items are specifically for Handgun although some will reload small rifle calibers like.223 and .30 carbine as well as others.

Moving down there’s Large Pistol Primers, a 4-die set (handgun) each caliber has it’s own set. Some die sets will do double duty with proper adjustment. I have used 9mm dies to load .380, 44-40 dies for .40SW, .45 dies will do .45 ACP.45 LC, and .45 Auto Rim, and of course .38/. 357 will share the same set.
To the right of the die set we have Small Pistol primers. The reloading Manuals tell you which to use for a specific load/handgun. The other pictured items are Bullets, Powders and Brass, Primed and unprimed

With the right combination of these components you can assemble quality Ammo. You will find and be directed to the more expensive “Progressive Press”, a fine piece of equipment, fast and reliable for the most part. However if you are a newbie, I think single stage is best. Single stage is slower making you pay more attention to the loading process, the “walk before you crawl” school of thought.

I will not provide step-by-step instructions for the Reloading of Handgun Ammo here; this is info only for the curious. I will however tell you the FIRST step; Buy a Reloading Manual and read it.
I bought my first kit from Siegel’s in Oakland on Lay-Away and was given the Manual with my Down Payment. I was told to read until I paid it off ($125.00) so I wouldn’t “Blow myself up. I bought a RCBS Partner jr. kit and I still have and use it. I do one stage a day as time permits, on rainy days I can do 50 or so rounds in an hour. That gives me 100-200 rounds for the weekend shoot.
Go to your favorite Store, buy a Manual, give it a read, or search the “net” for “Reloading” there are links below.
After you get the fever and buy that “Dillon Progressive” you’ll be cranking out a 100+ complete rounds an hour, here are some Product Links
www.midwayusa.com
www.dillonprecision.com
www.rcbs.com/
www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/
www.leeprecision.com/
www.nosler.com/
www.reloadbench.com/
www.alliantpowder.com/
www.wideners.com/
www.saami.org/
National Reloading Manufacturers Association
www.cabelas.com

Recommended Products for the Beginning Reloader
(Rifle & Pistol)
Most of these Items will come with a Kit. You can mix brands and take advantage of product sales. Shop Around for the Best Deals!
Not included; Dies, Powder, Primers, Bullets and Brass

1.Reloading Manual: Accurate Arms, A-Square, Barnes, Hodgdon, Hornady, Lapua, Lee, Lyman, Nosler, Sierra, SPG, Speer and Vihtavouri.
2.Press: Single Stage, Turret or Progressive
3.Dies
4.Shell holders (if the die set doesn't have them)
5.Case Tumbler: Media, Polish, Sifter, Bucket and Clear Lid
6.Loading Block (caliber specific)
7.Case Lube (you won't need if using carbide dies)
8.Case Neck Brush
9.Dial Calipers: Stainless Steel or Electronic
10.Case Trimmer
11.Deburring Tool
12.Primer Pocket Clean
13.Primer Tray
14.Priming Tool (if the press doesn't come with a primer attachment)
15.Powder Scale
16.Powder Funnel
17.Powder Trickler

Recommended Products for the Beginning Reloader

Recommended Products for the Beginning Reloader
(Rifle & Pistol)
Most of these Items will come with a Kit. You can mix brands and take advantage of product sales. Shop Around for the Best Deals!
Not included; Dies, Powder, Primers, Bullets and Brass

1.Reloading Manual: Accurate Arms, A-Square, Barnes, Hodgdon, Hornady, Lapua, Lee, Lyman, Nosler, Sierra, SPG, Speer and Vihtavouri.
2.Press: Single Stage, Turret or Progressive
3.Dies
4.Shell holders (if the die set doesn't have them)
5.Case Tumbler: Media, Polish, Sifter, Bucket and Clear Lid
6.Loading Block (caliber specific)
7.Case Lube (you won't need if using carbide dies)
8.Case Neck Brush
9.Dial Calipers: Stainless Steel or Electronic
10.Case Trimmer
11.Deburring Tool
12.Primer Pocket Clean
13.Primer Tray
14.Priming Tool (if the press doesn't come with a primer attachment)
15.Powder Scale
16.Powder Funnel
17.Powder Trickler
18.Powder Measure (nice for faster powder charges)
19.Bullet Puller
20.Plastic Ammo boxes and labels
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Last edited by depmac983ret; 07-01-2008 at 10:21 PM.. Reason: correction
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:25 PM
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Mac asked if he could post this starter guide here - I gladly agreed, as a means to help build up our community of knowledge.

If you find this guide useful, please let us know by posting here. I'll sticky this for now and monitor replies on this.

Thanks-
Turby
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:34 PM
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Wow thanks I have been looking into this a lot lately, lots of info I have learned and more in one post!
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Old 07-02-2008, 1:25 PM
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It's great I wish someone did this a year ago.
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Old 07-02-2008, 1:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rue View Post
It's great I wish someone did this a year ago.
The thing is, no one should have to do this. RCBS has a step-by-step reloading instructional for free on their website. All you have to do is read how to reload, then from there you can figure out what equipment you need to buy. There are tons of manuals out there that teach reloading. The NRA book is excellent and is only $10 or so.

The problem with trying to write-up an intro to reloading is that it's already been done via the reloading manuals out there.

Just because it's not on Calguns, doesn't mean the information is not out there, already published.
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Old 07-02-2008, 6:17 PM
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Ocabj. As I said in my post info is out there. What I was hoping for was an increased interest in Reloading among us Calgunners. I have seen postings on the Forum of fellow members trying to find the cheapest prices on ammo. I also state that California law is actively trying to restrict and control ammo sales and aquisition by private citizens. Maybe I should have titled my thread : when SHTF and You CAN'T BUY AMMO, here's what you should know how to do. Reloading is a fun hobby and I thought I could stir up some folks that might want to give it a try. There's more subjects for discussion here than OLL's and WTS/WTT. Give the thread a Chance before you slam it. I'll bet if you posted Reloading info from your wealth of knowledge, Calgunners would want to hear from you because YOU are one of US, someone we can trust.
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Last edited by depmac983ret; 07-02-2008 at 6:19 PM.. Reason: add text
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Old 07-02-2008, 9:15 PM
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As the mod who sticky'ed this, I would like to ask that we keep the comments constructive. Compliments are fine.

I am aware that this information exists - I personally own several reloading resources, hardcopy. However, I am also aware that many people today don't sit down to read paper any more - they prefer to read it online.

If you think about it, much of what we talk about on Calguns is not new at all - shooting tips, ammo selection, stopping power, etc.. all of it has been hashed over somewhere, whether it be in American Rifleman, Shotgun News, American Handgunner, or even Guns & Ammo. Yet, we still enjoy exchanging ideas and pontificating upon the same old subjects. Why? It's fun! It's our hobby, and we enjoy it even if we are covering the same thing 100 times.

Let's get back to focusing on the important thing - does this post help our community? I personally think so.

Turby
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Old 07-03-2008, 9:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Turbinator View Post
Compliments are fine.
Glad to hear that, because this is a great idea, and having this info in one sticky might save some of the repeat questions. Thanks for taking your time to help educate those of us who are at the beginning of the learning curve...
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Old 07-03-2008, 7:07 AM
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Thanks Turby
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Old 07-03-2008, 9:14 AM
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If you can pull a slot machine arm, you can reload.
In super simplified terms, reloading is only a matter of pulling the press handle a few times per cartridge to re-size the case, remove the primer, install a new primer, put powder in the case and seat a new bullet.
Of course there's a whole bunch of details, but those are nothing more than guidelines and methods of doing things.
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Old 07-03-2008, 9:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
If you can pull a slot machine arm, you can reload.
And actually it's better than playing a slot machine, 'cuz every time you pull the handle, you get something out of the machine!!

Turby
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Old 07-03-2008, 9:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbinator View Post
And actually it's better than playing a slot machine, 'cuz every time you pull the handle, you get something out of the machine!!
This is even better:



Up to 4400 rounds per hour.

http://camdexloader.com/2100Pistol.aspx
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:34 PM
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Once you go dillon you rarely ever go back.



http://www.dillonprecision.com
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanimal View Post
Once you go dillon you rarely ever go back.
If you twist my arm, I'll post the picture of my reloading bench...




































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Old 06-25-2009, 8:19 PM
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Hello everyone, my name is mike.

And i joined this forum specifically to ask the question, Can anyone help me make a list of equipment needed to start reloading .45 acp for my glock 21 since i cannot find any within 30 miles of my home under 50 bucks for 50rounds.

i read the posts for newbies about doing a search and found this thread( it took a while but i found it).

I was looking at getting a Lee pro 1000 set up. But as i compare and read i keep seeing coments about crimping and i dont think the pro crimps. Is that somthing i would have to do in addition to the steps of the pro 1000.

Do you have to trim the casing every time you reload it?

Again i am new and i might, no i will ask a some stupid questions now and in the future. So please bare with me.

I have ordered a reloading manual it just hasen't come yet.

thanks in advance
Mike
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Old 07-14-2009, 5:08 PM
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Thumbs up

Never mind, i received my lyman loading manual today, and got the answers to the questions i had so far.

No, you don't have to trim brass every time you reload, just check for the need to trim it every time.

thanks to all that responded.
mike
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Old 07-16-2008, 9:50 AM
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-24-2008, 2:46 PM
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Do most people reload these days for the customized loads or to save money on the rounds themselves? Also, if you decide to sell your reloads are you considered an Ammo Manufacturer and then have to get a special license for it? What can one expect to spend on a good setup to make a few hundred rounds per day spending maybe 2-3 hours per day doing it? Or is this just unrealistic? I'm interested in making .223s 7.62x39m, 9mm, .45ACP, and 30-06, and perhaps even .308. From what I've read so far the different bullets sizes all are the same process but with different die sizes for the sizing of the cases, etc... Not sure if this belongs in the 101, feel free to move this post if it doesn't belong in this thread.

Thanks,
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Old 08-24-2008, 3:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbooya View Post
Do most people reload these days for the customized loads or to save money on the rounds themselves? Also, if you decide to sell your reloads are you considered an Ammo Manufacturer and then have to get a special license for it? What can one expect to spend on a good setup to make a few hundred rounds per day spending maybe 2-3 hours per day doing it? Or is this just unrealistic? I'm interested in making .223s 7.62x39m, 9mm, .45ACP, and 30-06, and perhaps even .308. From what I've read so far the different bullets sizes all are the same process but with different die sizes for the sizing of the cases, etc... Not sure if this belongs in the 101, feel free to move this post if it doesn't belong in this thread.

Thanks,

The Reasons to reload are:

1. Better quality ammo, ammo can be tailored to your gun
2. Save money

In order to sell your reloads you would need to be licensed as an ammo manufacture

Depending on what setup you went with you could spend from a few hundred to over a $1000 to get setup. I just spent about $500 getting set up with a Rock Chucker press, die for 3 calibers, scale, tumbler and a few other accessories.
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Old 08-31-2008, 4:56 PM
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Default Lee Classic Reloader

would anyone here suggest the Lee Classic Reloader kit for a first-time reloader? besides the physical workout & noise, what's the upside to spending over $100 for a big fancy setup as opposed to $19 for the Lee Classic. i understand that other implements are necessary, such as case trimmer, tumbler, etc. all thoughts welcome. this is in reference to .308 Winchester, if that makes any difference.
ed
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Old 09-03-2008, 7:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edfitzfish View Post
would anyone here suggest the Lee Classic Reloader kit for a first-time reloader? besides the physical workout & noise, what's the upside to spending over $100 for a big fancy setup as opposed to $19 for the Lee Classic. i understand that other implements are necessary, such as case trimmer, tumbler, etc. all thoughts welcome. this is in reference to .308 Winchester, if that makes any difference.
ed
In addition to owning a Dillon Square Deal B, I also own a Lee single stage - I think this is the classic you are referring to.

As a single stage, you'll need to change the dies every time you want to change operations. In a progressive press, you're going to save a lot of time, and possibly aggravation and frustration, because you won't need to change the dies at all if you are reloading a single caliber.

You can crank out many more rounds on a progressive than you can on a single stage, given the same amount of time. The speed overall given the time savings on the die changes and the simple repetitive motion used on a progressive gives you a tremendous efficiency advantage over a single stage.

The quality of the Lee single stage is ok, but it is not close to the feel and operation of the Dillon reloader. Both use cast metal, but the Lee cast metal just feels cheaper. The handle motion isn't smooth and easy, as it is on the Dillon.

You could effectively reload on a Lee - but if you want to get started, my suggestion is to get started at least with a progressive, and my bias is towards Dillon. You'll have so much fun reloading your own rounds, that it won't feel like a chore and you'll actually look forward to each session.

In my humble opinion, it's worth the money to save for a progressive and years later, you'll not need to upgrade to anything. If you start with a Lee single stage, you'll always keep thinking that one day you'll upgrade to a full progressive press.

Turby

Last edited by Turbinator; 09-15-2008 at 3:45 PM..
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Old 09-15-2008, 3:30 PM
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Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-07-2008, 5:37 PM
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So from what I've read so far, no one is using the RCBS or you think it is not a good one.
I just bought one and feel that it is a good set-up or am I just miss informed?
If you are using this set-up ( I haven't got it up and working yet) how many rounds do you get an hour? and what problems do you have or not have?
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Old 03-27-2010, 9:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liketoshoot View Post
So from what I've read so far, no one is using the RCBS or you think it is not a good one.
I just bought one and feel that it is a good set-up or am I just miss informed?
If you are using this set-up ( I haven't got it up and working yet) how many rounds do you get an hour? and what problems do you have or not have?

some of us have. i reload .38, .357, 9mm, 45acp, 45 Colt, 30-30, and .243 with this press. the longest part is getting the new die plate on (i already have each caliber installed on a separate plate) and installing the shell plate. once i do that, i check one "empty" round for overall length and throw a couple of powder charges to measure and make adjustments. loading primers into the tube and throwing 100 rounds takes about 20 minutes or so. longer if loading rifle or really huge powder charges (because i check the thrown charge more often), or when i get in a hurry. being in a hurry always makes loading take longer.
I've also discovered Lee's Factory crimp dies since this picture was taken. now i just seat the boolits with the progressive, and crimp using an old Lee single stage i had laying around from when i started this madness. it takes a little more time to handle each round again to run through the crimp die, but my groups have gotten smaller, and the chrono times more consistent since changing to a dedicated crimp die. midway sells them pretty cheap, and i have one for each caliber i load for.

one more thing: i noticed that go-no go gauges aren't really talked about for the new reloaders here. in a nutshell, reloading without a go no go for pistol calibers is asking for a lot of jammed guns. midway sells them too, and they are really cheap insurance. but i must say that since i started using Lee's factory crimp dies, i haven't had to worry about case bulges caused by the press. they smooth out any bumps and bulges, and every round i've checked since using them have passed the go no go test. that was not the case before using the crimp dies.
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Last edited by bothenook; 03-27-2010 at 9:30 PM.. Reason: added more info
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Old 05-08-2010, 6:45 PM
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Default Horhady Lock-n-l0ad classic???

For loadind 308 win match loads for a beginner, what do you think about the Hornady Lock-n-load classic set up?

Is there an advantage to your lower priced set up?
Eventually I will also load 9mm and 223 practic rounds.
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Old 11-09-2008, 5:32 AM
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I use RCBS! I still use a RCBS Single Stage "Pardner Press" I prefer the hobbiest approach. I prep cases up to the last step (powder, bullet). I work one caliber @ a time when I prep. I've done this since 1989 I do 100-200 a night, (wife stays away), she won't come near to "Gun stuff",
I now have over 2000 rounds of ready to go ammo in six pistol calibers, .223. and 30 Carbine. That's over 2000 rnds of EACH caliber all done on my RCBS press with RCBS dies, never had a problem.
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Old 12-07-2008, 1:38 PM
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Default RCBS press

All,
I still use my first RCBS press, bought new in 1974. I loaded some .30-40 Gov't. on it this morning. I am slow, but I get there. I now have a RCBS Rockchucker press for my large black powder cartridges. I bought that one used and it works perfectly. Just my 2 cents.

Peter in CA
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  #28  
Old 12-07-2008, 4:19 PM
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Yeah!

Let's hear it for the RCBS "O" Press!

I still use mine to this day. Just like Barbeque, Low and Slow.
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  #29  
Old 01-27-2009, 6:44 AM
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Thanks to the OP for this resource. I have been shooting for years however I am new to metallic cartridge reloading. I am getting my equipment together little at a time and doing alot of reading and research so I come into this with a level of knowledge to safely reload and enjoy the benifits of custom loads for specific shooting needs. Thanks for the 411!
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  #30  
Old 06-25-2011, 8:52 PM
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Looks awesome, a lot of fun, and a little complicated.

I need to go buy a reloading book, and learn what i can, hope everything will fit in my one-bedroom apartment.
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Old 08-03-2011, 9:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by depmac983ret View Post
I use RCBS! I still use a RCBS Single Stage "Pardner Press" I prefer the hobbiest approach. I prep cases up to the last step (powder, bullet). I work one caliber @ a time when I prep. I've done this since 1989 I do 100-200 a night, (wife stays away), she won't come near to "Gun stuff",
I now have over 2000 rounds of ready to go ammo in six pistol calibers, .223. and 30 Carbine. That's over 2000 rnds of EACH caliber all done on my RCBS press with RCBS dies, never had a problem.

I was more than happy to stumble across this. I always shot my Dad's ammo growing up and he had plenty to spare.

Now that it's my own money I've been thinking about reloading. I will be studying and adding comments to this so thank you so much for taking the time to put so much detail for us beginners on here.
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  #32  
Old 08-03-2011, 9:43 PM
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http://cgi.ebay.com/Dillon-XL-650-on...item27bbbb6f19

Is this a good deal on a Dillon 650 and would it be close to everything I need to get started....?

Thanks guys.
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  #33  
Old 08-03-2011, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 1911 .45 View Post
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dillon-XL-650-on...item27bbbb6f19

Is this a good deal on a Dillon 650 and would it be close to everything I need to get started....?

Thanks guys.

Looks like its the going price. At that price I would buy it from a store with great customer service.
https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...ategoryId/599?
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...catid/1/XL_650
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Old 08-07-2011, 3:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Low-Pressure View Post
Looks like its the going price. At that price I would buy it from a store with great customer service.
https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...ategoryId/599?
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...catid/1/XL_650
Thank you for the great answer! Can't wait to get into it.
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Old 03-12-2009, 2:48 PM
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Great link for Case Prep that I found.

Part 1.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...reloading.html

Part 2.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...oading_12.html

Part 3.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...oading_14.html

Part 4.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...e-priming.html

Part 5.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...uring-and.html

Part 6.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...nal-event.html

Part 7.

http://carteach0.blogspot.com/2008/0...-find-six.html
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Last edited by USN CHIEF; 03-12-2009 at 2:53 PM..
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  #36  
Old 03-15-2009, 11:19 PM
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Nice addition Chief! Thanks for the input .
"MAC"
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  #37  
Old 04-03-2009, 7:19 AM
Tony Sopranno Tony Sopranno is offline
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Thumbs up

Those links put up by Chief is some really good stuff. When I was learning to reload initially I had some old military friends helping, and then when reentering the reloading game I did lots of "googling around" to put all the old memory pieces back together again and add newer info and better ideas.

The links Chief gave us are pretty darned good stuff, all in one place more or less.

Also for some really good load data use: Steve's Reloading Pages (which is an excellent source for tried and true load data on various powders and shell cases, etc.)
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  #38  
Old 04-08-2009, 8:18 AM
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This is a very informative thread, thanks!
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  #39  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:27 AM
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This is a total noob question, but are all dies proprietary to their mfgs presses or will dies from one complany work in another company's press?
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigante View Post
This is a total noob question, but are all dies proprietary to their mfgs presses or will dies from one complany work in another company's press?
Mst dies are standardized with 7/8"-14 threads so they can interchange with any brand of press.
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