Getting started in reloading

For those who like to roll their own.

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jrs_diesel
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Getting started in reloading

#1

Post by jrs_diesel »

Greetings all,

Reloading is something that has always piqued my interest, not to mention somewhat cheaper than buying factory ammo. Also being able to get through a shortage (like we have now) if one has sufficient supplies. For now I only plan on loading 5.56, .45 ACP, and 9mm. I have a book on order, Lee's Modern Reloading, 2nd revised edition.

Trying to figure what all I need, without everything being really expensive (gotta keep my better half happy!). I also don't want to get cheap gear that I'll end up replacing later. I'd like to get recommendations please.

Items I know I need

- I'd like to get a single stage or a turret press, though not sure which. I don't want a progressive, I'd rather focus on learning the process.
- Dies for each caliber I am reloading.
- Scale, I'm leaning towards a beam scale
- Powder measure
- Bullet puller
- Hand priming tool
- Calipers (I already have both calipers and a micrometer)
- Supplies (powder, cases, primers, and bullets)

Items I think I need

- Case tumbler. Not sure whether to go with wet or dry tumbling.
- Trays
- Powder trickler

Not sure what else I may need. Anyone want to give a new guy some guidance?
Last edited by jrs_diesel on Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
J.R.

kayt00
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Re: Getting started

#2

Post by kayt00 »

First off, whether or not you actually save any money is debatable, more realistically what you'll end up with is more consistent ammo. I use an RCBS RCII (single stage press) that was handed down to me from my dad. Providing I can source supplies, I haven't bought a box of ammo in some time with the exception being the rare new caliber that I add to the collection. I use an RCBS vibratory tumbler with a mix of corn cob and walnut media, it works pretty well for my purposes.

Just my opinion, if you want to use a beam scale, get a digital scale and calibrated weights for nothing other than verifying your weights on both. Again, my opinion, unless you're loading match ammo, a trickler isn't really needed for pistol ammo as a good powder throw will throw consistent charges. My list for when you get going: press, dies, priming tool, powder throw, tumbler, case trimmer, reloading manual (the more the merrier again to verify info), scale, calipers, and consumables.
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MaduroBU
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Re: Getting started

#3

Post by MaduroBU »

You won't save money unless your time has very little value....nobody loves reloading enough to enjoy cranking out blasting ammo. That said, if you enjoy the process and learn about it, you'll enjoy shooting in a way that is nearly impossible otherwise. Seeing a 5 shot string that you worked up take the edges off of one ragged hole is absolutely thrilling. Making a decent birdshot pattern with a load that you were sure would work great is less thrilling. Some stuff matters a lot, other stuff less so. Figure out what your goals are before you start- you're allowed to change them, but you need a guide post other than "do the thing", even if the journey is a lot of the fun. If you want a half MOA rifle, look around and see what it takes to get there. That also allows you to have a rough idea of what it'll cost you ("what the internet expert says he paid" x2).

The single stage is a great idea. I use my single stage more than my other presses.

Wet tumbling is generally better than dry. I like it because I can pour all the lead and gunk out into my yard and be done with it after a few good rinses. A dry vibratory cleaner is just a nasty hive of lead and walnut shells. I HAVE and USE a dry vibratory cleaner, but it is a finishing step on cases that were already thoroughly cleaned with a wet tumbler. The wet tumbler is just a beast...it will take nasty range brass and make it look brand new. Pro tip: a cheapo food dehydrator will avoid water spots on your brass.

For rifle rounds made for accuracy, annealing and neck turning matter. Consistent neck tension with a tight chamber is the path to small groups. 6.5 Creedmoor is just some kind of black magic cheat code that ignores that rule, so honestly I'd start there.

Have fun.

crazy2medic
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Re: Getting started

#4

Post by crazy2medic »

My background I still have some 30.06 I loaded when I was in high school, I'm 59yo now
I currently load the following calibers: 30.06, 6mm-06, .223/5.56 .204 ruger
My reloading stuff is a single stage press, dies for the above calibers, thumbler Tumbler with walnut media in it, powder dispenser, beam scale and a electronic scale, hand case primer, several case holding trays Several reloading manuals, CASE LUBE!!! I use the Imperial case sizing lube...best case lube I've ever used!
M3y 2 cents
I use to load 38/357 .45acp but just not interested in pistol reloading now!
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Deitz83
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Re: Getting started

#5

Post by Deitz83 »

I bought a Dillon 550 4 years ago and I load 9mm, 40 S& W, 45 ACP, 223 and 308. One issue you will run into now is finding primers. Everything else can be bought with no delay.
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jrs_diesel
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Re: Getting started

#6

Post by jrs_diesel »

Thank ya'll for the advice :tiphat:

My main goal with reloading is a reduced cost of rounds (which I know may be a wash as I may want to go shooting more often), and a degree of self sufficiency and being able to get through an ammo shortage. Not looking to do match grade loads or competition shooting at this point, thanks for the advice on that about the powder trickler kayt00.

I'm leaning towards a good single stage press. Am I correct in assuming that an "O" press is more sturdy than a "C" press?

Do scales usually coming with a calibration weight in order to verify accuracy, or are calibrated weights something I would need to buy in addition to the scale?
J.R.

striker55
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Re: Getting started

#7

Post by striker55 »

Brings back memories, in the 80's I started out pounding rounds out one at a time on my coffee table, using a hammer and dies with powder scoops. Pretty basic I could do it while watching TV https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012833230

crazy2medic
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Re: Getting started

#8

Post by crazy2medic »

Do scales usually coming with a calibration weight in order to verify accuracy, or are calibrated weights something I would need to buy in addition to the scale?

Electronic scales do! Balance beam scales not so much!
Government, like fire is a dangerous servant and a fearful master
If you ain't paranoid you ain't paying attention
Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war let it begin here- John Parker

flechero
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Re: Getting started

#9

Post by flechero »

crazy2medic wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:40 pm Do scales usually coming with a calibration weight in order to verify accuracy, or are calibrated weights something I would need to buy in addition to the scale?

Electronic scales do! Balance beam scales not so much!
Careful on those... the ones that do usually include a big weight, nothing small like you'd need to verify a powder charge.

I always suggest buying a set of calibration weights in milligrams (because they are finer) so you can balance at the weight you need... for example I load a lot of 45acp at 4.0gr of Clays, so I calibrate my beam with 260 mg (which is 4.01 grains). And when I load 270 Win, I calibrate with 3700 mg (which is 57.1gr) and I'm loading between 56 and 59 grains.

Few scales will hold true across their entire range so it's always safest to calibrate close to your intended charge... if you calibrate with a 1 oz weight that comes with the scale, that's over 400 grains... if off by just 0.1% at the low end of the scale you could be a half a grain off which can hurt you in high end pistol charges, or leave you with a squib on the low end. :shock:

Several 9mm loads have a charge range of .3gr or .4gr from low to high so you can see where the variance could be ugly.

crazy2medic
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Re: Getting started

#10

Post by crazy2medic »

My scale came with two scale weights 10mg and a 20mg
Government, like fire is a dangerous servant and a fearful master
If you ain't paranoid you ain't paying attention
Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war let it begin here- John Parker
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jrs_diesel
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Re: Getting started

#11

Post by jrs_diesel »

Santa Claus left a nice surprise under the tree for me in the form of a Hornady Lock n Load single stage kit :smile:. Even came with an Auto Charge powder dispenser.

So now I have a press, powder dispenser/scale, dies for each caliber I shoot, a Lee universal decapper, and a wet tumbler. Over the past few months I've been able to get some rifle powder, pistol powder, and a couple hundred small pistol primers, and some bullets.

My oldest son and I spent some time decapping some range pickup 223 casings. Made it through about 600 cases before a steel case slipped though and bent the decapper pin.

Looking forward to loading up some rounds, though the hunt for primers continues. :???:
J.R.

orionengnr
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#12

Post by orionengnr »

GINEX primers available at Capital Cartridge. Have to buy 5000, and at $450, not exactly cheap.
Maybe find someone local to split the order.
I just ordered 5000 this evening. Un unknown (to me) brand but they have been around since at least 2015, manufactured in Bosnia/Herzegovina.
Reading some pretty good reviews, so I gave them a shot.
Good luck.

orionengnr
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#13

Post by orionengnr »

Ooops, just realized this thread is a year old.
Reloading forum must be really dead...
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03Lightningrocks
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#14

Post by 03Lightningrocks »

orionengnr wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 7:23 pm Ooops, just realized this thread is a year old.
Reloading forum must be really dead...
Hahaha.... I was just about to share a warning about watching TV while reloading. I have an RCBS Rock chucker single stage press. Bought it as a kit in 1981 with scales, powder hopper, calipers and scales. Darn thing still works like new. I was about a year into reloading and starting to move on auto pilot while watching TV, eating and what ever else I felt I needed to do. Long story short. Was reloading some 357 with blue dot. Switched everything over to reload some 44 mag with the old Elmer Keith preferred load. I got distracted and did not change the powder so I used heavy loads of blue dot. Unfortunately, I didn't realize my mistake until firing a couple rounds of 44 mag at the range. Darn near broke my wrists and actually caused the stirrup the cylinder rides on to warp out of shape. Couldn't fire a third round. I was told I was lucky I was firing them through a Ruger Redhawk stainless or it could have blown the darn thing up in my hands. 22 grains of blue dot makes a much bigger boom than 22 grains of 2400. I always concentrate on reloading when I am loading now. A lesson learned 38 years ago.

Deitz83
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#15

Post by Deitz83 »

orionengnr wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 7:21 pm GINEX primers available at Capital Cartridge. Have to buy 5000, and at $450, not exactly cheap.
Maybe find someone local to split the order.
I just ordered 5000 this evening. Un unknown (to me) brand but they have been around since at least 2015, manufactured in Bosnia/Herzegovina.
Reading some pretty good reviews, so I gave them a shot.
Good luck.
I have been finding small rilfe and small pistol primers. Looking for large rifle primers, but the prices are a bit concerning. I have been in global supply chain for over 22 years. My profession has given me the ability to shoot throughout this crisis. My wife loves to shoot as well, so giving up on eatting out, reducing other none essential cost. Gives me an opportunity to make strategic purchases for longterm planning. I will never let any crisis take way our love of a recreational activity. Now, she wants a small AR 15 that she can carry when grocery shopping in a sling backpack. Time for another AR build.
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