Thinking of starting to Reload

This is a discussion on Thinking of starting to Reload within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by claude clay I'm to wonder about your statement about case gaging time. for pistol caliber i do not check. excepting 357 , ...

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  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    I'm to wonder about your statement about case gaging time. for pistol caliber i do not check. excepting 357 , 41 and 44 mag--and that is to look at the finished round that the bullets cannul is crimped proper. i do empty my finished bin every 20 or so and if a group has too much/too little lead showing--gotta find out why. is there another reason--besides culling range junk (a-merc or small primer cases)?
    Claude,

    As I use range brass and I am not reloading pistol for 50yd match bullseye accuracy (I am an action pistol IDPA/USPSA shooter), I do not bother with a lot of headstamp sorting and other pre-loading inspection time. My g/f and I both shoot, and I do all the reloading, so she gets to do the quality control step. Since I switched over to Lee full-length resizing dies, I don't think I have ever had a case fail to gauge properly, but going through the motions gets a second set of eyes on all the cases to find any dings or cracks I might have missed during the actual reloading, and just a chance to see that everything came out all right.

    By the way, the small primer stuff is easily picked out during reloading when the primer won't seat, and the A-Merc brass is even easier to find---it adheres to the powder funnel like nobody's business! (First time I ran across A-Merc resulted in my disassembling the powder die and taking a hacksaw to the stuck case. Next time it'll be a Dremel. )
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  3. #17
    Member Array WonderBra's Avatar
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    While I was doing some research, I found this article by Brian Enos on Dillon Presses to be super helpful:

    Dillon Precision Reloading Press Reviews
    "One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
    -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Before buying any equipment, I would read a good book on the subject. You can reload with a bare minimum of equipment or you can have a full blown ammo factory. Most people fall somewhere in between. I've been loading since the late '70's and have always used a single stage press. Regarding dies, be sure and get carbide dies for your pistol
    calibers. It'll save a bunch of work. Also you can reload .38 spl. and .357 with the same die set. An extra seater die will help.
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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    I want to do this too. But not necessarly for the cost savings but the experence and education. Videos I have watched seem to make it a no-brainer if you pay attention to what you are doing. Yet it still sort of evades me.. Sort of.... Interestingly enough I got a "Blue Press" catalog today. Than there is Caldwell, Lyman and others..
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  6. #20
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diddle View Post
    ...... Videos I have watched seem to make it a no-brainer if you pay attention to what you are doing. .......
    Well, reloading is definitely NOT a no-brainer. There are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. If you're gonna reload, don't do it halfway. Get good, accurate equipment. And study up, and then study up some more!

    You can sure save a boatload of money though. I was casting my own .45 bullets from wheel weights (that gas stations gave me for free), so my only cost was primers and powder. I had my total cost down to around 4 cents per round (as compared to 50 cents per round, brand new). It was pretty dang cool to go out and blast off 300 rounds in a practice session, and it only cost me $12!!

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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Diddle--for many adding re-loading rejuvenates the hobby.


    we reach a point of high cost per box so we cut back on range time cause we have reached a level of proficiency that we find suitable. and the next step will be costly in terms of ammo and instruction.
    lead pistol is 12 cents 380/9/40/45 and add 5 cents for plated. some trust hard lead in polygonal guns, others spend the extra for plated and the insurance.
    to become better than half the others at IDPA, Plates & Pins and other games takes practice and ammo. a Lee ( 175 RPHour) $300 or a dillion square deal (400 RPH) $600 start up costs with one year pay back.

    there is the power you control; make light 38's for the new shooter , than medium, factory and +P. so you can ease a new shooter into a S&W 642. or practice point shooting with lites and slip in assorted powers till you are at full power, on target and have acquired a new skill.

    winter i re-load for summer rifle. with 27 calibers ( 3 absolute) i can have fun with 150 year old guns (1861, 1871, 1882 on up)
    if it ever happens that eveything is clean at the same time, i'll take a picture.
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  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevy-SS View Post
    Well, reloading is definitely NOT a no-brainer. -
    Oh, I agree. By "no brainer" I was speaking from a financial standpoint as well as the relitave simplicity of the proceedure and education derived. I have books on reloading and reead them but until I feel confident and completely understand the ins and outs, I won't touch it.

    Re; Claude Clay - Good post. In the winter I have a lot of free time in the evenings and a nice warm place to work. Reloading would keep my interest up and allow me to stockpile for summer shooting. Even though I shoot about as much in the winter as I do the other season in KY. 95 or -5 degrees, if I take a notion to shoot, I do. :)

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diddle View Post
    Oh, I agree. By "no brainer" I was speaking from a financial standpoint as well as .........

    Ah, I misunderstood. I agree 1,000% that it is a "no brainer" financially.

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    Cool

    I don't shoot matches, etc., so I don't go thru 100s of rounds at a range session. My usual reload session might be 200 rounds. It wouldn't be worthwhile for me to invest in a progressive. I also find my time spent reloading to be theraputic, so I'm in no hurry to "get-er-done!"

    I recently picked up a Lee hand press (great $25 investment). Now I can relax in my recliner while I resize/flare my pistol cases (can even reprime with my Lee hand primer!). A LazyBoy, a cup of coffee, favorite show on TV, a Lee hand press--it don't get no better than that!
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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    As I am also looking into reloading I have another question for you experts.

    @Claude, Pretty sure this may be up your ally from reading your posts: Is the storage life on reloads different than factory rounds? While I do shoot and am trying to shoot more, part of my goal in reloading would be to create a stockpile to use when I cant reload, dont want to, or the zombie apocalypse .

    Thanks all

    BigJon

  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    BigJon.....shelf life

    depends on the crimp. even with no taper crimp on a 380/9/40/45 if stored in a cool dry area I'm gonna say-years.

    i replicate factory crimps so my ammo is a substitute for 'the best'
    it will also go through anything from your hand gun to a machine gun.
    and through the washer and dryer...my wife just places the shiny cartrages on the vanity for my daughter and i ( usually from pants pockets--perhaps a dozen a year).
    at the range--every one has fired normally.

    hope this helps
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  13. #27
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon10125 View Post
    A.... Is the storage life on reloads different than factory rounds? While I do shoot and am trying to shoot more, part of my goal in reloading would be to create a stockpile to use when I cant reload, ......

    I can help answer this. My last reloading session for .45ACP was probably around 1980. I had maybe 2,000 reloaded rounds left over when I quit shooting IPSC. I still have about 200 rounds left from that batch. I have been slowly using these rounds (~50 per year or so) and never had one misfire or malfunction from any of those old reloads, even after 30 years!

    Hope this helps.
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    Last edited by Chevy-SS; July 15th, 2011 at 03:32 PM.
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  14. #28
    Member Array Orange Boy's Avatar
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    I started about two years ago because I was having trouble getting .380 ammo. I was able to find the components...just not the loaded ammo. I didn't do it to save money, but for availability and load control. I believe it's best to learn the basics on a single stage press and load only one caliber to start. Master that one caliber and then move on. I bought an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme kit with almost everything I needed to start. I also bought a tumbler for about $50 and some lizard litter (crushed walnut media) at a cheaper price in the pet store. Then I got a set of dies and stopped there. I read books, watched YouTube videos and asked many specific questions in reloading sections of gun forums. I never wanted to have an accident from a double charge etc. so, I took it nice and slow. I was afraid if I bought a progressive to start that it would be a bit overwhelming and might cause me to make a noob mistake. As Old Vet said, it's not about speed for many of us. I preferred to enjoy the ride and be as safe as possible. Even if you upgrade soon, a single stage press is always helpful to have on the bench. In addition to the above, you naturally will need components (brass, bullets, powder, primers) and a decent caliper to measure OAL of your finished cartridge as well as setting up your dies. I like the digital ones a lot.

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    I like the digital ones a lot.

    Orange Boy, i notice you are Florida. i was gonna say that digital scales have never been a primary for me as the are temperature sensitive--but I'm in CT. FL has one temp--HOT. but us northern folk have variations....and breezes, drafts in the home cause of the seasonal changes of the houses thermal mass. it upsets most inexpensive ( under $300) e-scales. they also take up to 20 minutes to warm up and have to be re-zeroed often; even during a re-loading session. for me that may be 3 different calibers, 800 rounds in 3 hours.

    some have had good luck with them, heck--they sell well so I'm guessing they get used.

    and while you are in the gun store looking for re-loading stuff, ask if they can recommend someone who is teaching or that can help you out informally.
    but to speak intelligently--read Lyman's through page 80.

    and a single stage is a good start if you so not want to jump in for $300 to start.
    look for used as they either work or they don't. single stage is the least complicated.
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  16. #30
    Member Array Orange Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Boy View Post
    In addition to the above, you naturally will need components (brass, bullets, powder, primers) and a decent caliper to measure OAL of your finished cartridge as well as setting up your dies. I like the digital ones a lot.
    I agree totally with you Claude on the digital scales. I was referring to calipers. The Rock Chucker Supreme kit I bought came with a regular analog scale and it's accurate and consistent. It's never let me down.

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