probably gonna start reloading, need help

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by DrDenby, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

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    Sorry if this has been done to death, but I have lost my reading glasses and would probably get a powerful headache poring thru the search results.

    I am trying to get a fix on start up costs of just equipment.

    Do I have this right that I need:

    Primer press to remove old primer/put in new

    Tumbler to clean my brass

    Press, single stage to start out

    Die set for each caliber

    Scale

    Funnel

    Powder guide to tell how much to put in

    Do I have it right? Am I missing anything?

    Doc
     
  2. DoubleR

    DoubleR Active Member

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    Are you looking at reloading rifle or pistol or both?
     

  3. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    My best advice to anyone considering reloading , has always been.....
    Buy Lymans 49th edition reloading hand book....read it cover to cover.

    Then read it again,:)

    Your list is fine.
    Most die sets ( I use Lee) have primer removal in the resizing die.

    Like DoubleRR says handgun or rifle ? May determine additional tools.


    Jim
     
  4. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Doc, I am taking the liberty of numbering your questions - makes specific response simpler. also those answers are based on need and common practice, not alternative practice (see #1).

    1. You do not need a primer (decapping) press. The single stage press (#3) will handle that.

    2. You don't need a tumbler to clean your used brass, though a tumbler (or ultrasonic cleaner) is handy. Cases can be cleaned in soapy water. When I started reloading, I just blew out the cases with compressed air.

    3. You do need a press, and a single stage press helps maintain the focus that is absolutely necessary while reloading.

    4. You need a die set for each bottleneck cartridge; some of the die sets for straight wall cartridges are multi-use; the part descriptions will tell you when. BTW one of the dies in the set will be a de-priming/sizing die.

    5. You need a powder scale (or a measure, as sometimes provided in Lee die sets). The scale is obviously more flexible. There is wide variability in accuracy among the various scales, both electronic and balance types.

    6. A small funnel certainly comes in handy.

    7. You absolutely need a reloading manual; more than one of them, because powder charges are not handed down by God - the manuals vary some - and because there is more info in them than just powder charges.

    Unless you are limiting yourself to a volume measure, (ref #5), you need a powder thrower/dropper powder dispenser - its used in the step before the scale is used - or a powder trickler. Using a trickler is s-l-o-w.

    Some of us folks can discuss the pleasures and hazards of reloading long after the cows come in to be milked - they have to get up close and moo in our ears to be noticed. Glad to have you sitting in.

    Mooo!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  5. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I will be wanting to reload handgun ammo. Specifically 45ACP, 40SW, 9mm luger.

    Will the Lymans 46th edition be suitable for these common calibers?

    Is a powder guide a separate manual?

    What other manuals should I be looking for?

    Doc
     
  6. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    A Lyman's reloading Manual just like a Speer or Hornady will have loading data (powder charges) for about all rifle and handgun calibers out there. They also give you instructions on HOW to reload.
     
  7. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    Doc,
    Jim and Bob's stating buying and reading the Lymans book of reloading is a must. Read it cover to cover at least 3 times and it will give you a good comprehension of what it takes to reload. My Herter's single stage reloader is over 50 yrs. old but it does a good job. Today if you want to go to a single stage, Jim can clue you in on RCBS single stage and he has worked with it for quite a while. I also have a Dillon Square Deal progressive loader which is the most simple and less costly progressive out there and they carry a lifetime guarantee. The Square D is set up so you can ONLY load pistol rounds. By the time you purchase a Dillon progressive you can expect to spend about $500.00 and that should set you up fairly well. Now the head can be changed out if you wish so you can load about any pistol size you want. Of course that will come at an additional cost. I would recommend starting out with 1 size first, .45 if that is the round you shoot the most, and then tell Dillon what size you are loading, and they will set it up for you. They have a catalog that you can order at a N/C and it will show you the different loaders they have and cost and options. Just give them a call and they will send it to you. They are located in Scottsdale, Az which is 20 miles north of me. One thing nice about them is if you have any questions while you are reloading, you can call them and they will walk you through step by step. But by all means, read the Lyman's reloading book first of all! You can request a catalog off of their website and also look at the different supplies they carry on hand. Good luck and keep us advised of your progress. There are many on here who can and will help you.

    Tommy
     
  8. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    Reloading trays, someway to measure case length and cartridge overall length, possibly a case trim tool.
     
  9. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

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    I appreciate all the help.

    Will the Lyman 46th edition work? Or has things changed to need the 49th for these 3 calibers?

    Doc
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  10. spikedriver

    spikedriver Active Member

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    I'm not very experienced, but I got a new Lyman manual, a Nosler manual, and a booklet for both calibers I reload that has data from multiple sources. And I would recommend an RCBS Partner reloading kit, it has almost all you'll need, it can handle all non magnum cartridges easily, and it's pretty reasonable. I wish I had bought one to start with.
     
  11. Reloader54

    Reloader54 Reloader54

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    Everything said here I agree with. when I started reloading I bought a RCBS Rock Chunker single stage starter kit. It came with everything that was needed to start reloading. the only things that it did not have were the dies, rings to hold the shell cases, and powder that I was going to use. It cost me around $240.00. for the kit.
     
  12. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    I think Jeff brings out a good point here. Starting out, initially I would start with a single stage reloader to get the basics down and have a complete understanding on how the reloading process works. You may find out that this is not your ballywick and decide that you would rather use factory rounds. Cost wise, it will be less and then should you decide you want to further your skills, then you can move on to a progressive. You can still keep the single stage and keep it for other rounds you don't shoot quite as frequently. I know at first it might seem overwhelming, but this is a learning curve that we all have to go through. I keep my single stage on my bench along with my progressive so I can load 9mm when desired and my progressive is set up for .45 which I shoot all the time. Just make sure when you buy your dies that they are carbide. There are still some manufacturers that don't have carbide dies, and sell for less, however I would recommend, especially when buying dies, buy the best you can get. Best of luck Doc and let us know how you are doing.

    Tommy
     
  13. shadecorp

    shadecorp Member

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    Realoading

    Buy the Lyman Book.
    I always used the Lyman book,
    once, for the heck of it
    I checked some other manuals and hand out information
    and quite often got different recipes for the same load.
    Checkout the Dillon site.
    Years ago loaded MANY rounds of 12ga. Trap & Skeet
    on a Possness-Warren??
    With a Lyman book.
    Eventually,
    Wanted to load
    .45 Auto, .45 Auto Rim and .44 Special.
    Went to a Gun shop that sold Dillon
    got a demonstration, bought one.
    I like the Dillon Attitude.
    I like the Dillon Product.
     
  14. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    I don't reload but when I was checking into it the Dillon kept coming up according to majority as the best rig out there. I priced the middle of the line Dillon and in all I figured I should have it came to about $700. So many said they wished they had bought the Dillon in the first place because they were tired of repairing/working on the cheaper presses. In the long run it steadily performs the best according to the majority on the forums. Lifetime warranty, no questions asked, on a Dillon press no matter how many owners it has had.
    Like Tommy said you might be better starting off with an inexpensive single stage to see if you really want to continue with reloading. I have heard many say you still spend a lot on ammo because you shoot more when you reload. So per round you are saving but in the long run you still spend a lot on ammo due to your shooting more. I have known quite a few friends that had reloading presses that just sat in storage. I sure wish I could find one of those presses for cheap but that hasn't happened.
     
  15. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Except for a brief time with a Lyman turret at the beginning, I have always used a single stage press. I switched to an RCBS Rock Chucker because it was less work full length sizing .30-06 cases. My job took me away from reloading in '82, so I sold everything. When I came back to reloading a year or so ago I bought the Hornady single stage kit. The press is similar to the Rock Chucker, a little smaller, shorter lever. Bought a .270, then bought another Rock Chucker. I'm keeping this one. BTW the powder dispenser/thrower in that Hornady kit works very well, as long as you swap out rotors and meters between big charges and small ones. Shears extruded powders some, not a big deal. I use a jeweler's quality electronic scale, cost $100+, but it is routinely accurate to +/- .05 grains; important in small handgun loads.

    [If Doc Denby is reading this, don't worry about it, Doc. Reloading is mostly easier than hitting the 1-3 pocket.]
     
  16. gunslinger669

    gunslinger669 Active Member

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    The only thing I would add to all the excellent information already provided is that; One- get into reloading because you enjoy it. Two- don't do it to save money, because you really won't. Unless, of course, you get all of your equipment free.
     
  17. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

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    Just getting general prices it looks like it is going to be quite a while before I start getting into it.

    Will pick up Lyman book and read in meantime.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Doc
     
  18. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Once you've read thru the book once or twice , you'll be wanting to get started.
    Keep your eyes open for a good used RCBS single stage, and then watch Midway USA for sale on Lee dies , at $25 a set.
    Then add a few bullets and brass, get a pound of powder, a scale ...

    Well ....little by little,

    I'm sure you will enjoy it.




    Jim
     
  19. shadecorp

    shadecorp Member

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    I started reloading brass because I started shooting a LOT.
    as I said before
    .45 acp, .45 Auto Rim & .44 spcl.
    YES it is expensive to get started
    you should see if you are going to shoot enough
    to cover the cost of reloading.
    Or if you enjoy reloading as I did
    Bugger the expense.

     
  20. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    The experimenters delight.

    I got into shooting cause it was a fun hobby.
    I got into reloading to save money.
    Then reloading became the predominant hobby.
    Next I was shooting just to work up new loads and accuracy testing with existing loads. Crude penetration tests also.

    For the first 6~8 years of reloading I spent more money shooting than previously with factory loads. But I had a premium load for every purpose.
    (Like bear loads on the S E Tex Coast) :cheesy:

    Reloading is the experimenters delight and a very interesting hobby.

    After startup you can save good money loading cheap practice ammo.... With premium components you still save, just not as much.
    BUT, if ammo costs are cut by 50%, does that mean you get to shoot twice as much??? :confused: ;) :) :D See how that works, saving money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015