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 Orange Boy
I agree totally with you Claude on the digital scales. I was referring to calipers. The Rock Chucker Supreme kit ...
July 15th, 2011 04:37 PM
my bad.....the last noun refereed to was 'caliper'
Originally Posted by Orange Boy
i have both cause i am often running 3 presses and don't like to make changes more than i have to.
my mind went to e-scale cause the last person i had over wanted that cause 'it's what so & so has'
had to take the time to show him reality. turned out so & so also had a dillion balance also, but
some are taken in by technology's pretty rather more so than its practical value.
You plug 'em, I plant 'em
...kid can't read at 17 (Garcia/Hunter 1985)
Lack of preparation on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on mine
July 15th, 2011 04:54 PM
I too have reloaded for going on 25 years. I still have some of my original 9mm and 357 ammo and it shoots great with never a failure. I recently bought the 45 dies and have been saving brass and buying bullets. I am about about to start reloading this caliber as well very soon.
I have a single stage RCBS Rock Chucker, a balance beam measure that came in the kit, as well as all the other original stuff. I have updated my reload books every couple years due to changing tech and components. I would love a progressive press but in the big picture I get by just fine. I shoot 2x per months most months and go through about 100-150 rounds when I go. I can reload that many easily while just poking around in the evenings or on a weekend when the spouse is out and about.
Like may have said, buy good stuff and it will be a one time, lifetime, purchase. It also makes the hobby and your understanding of it much better. There is just something to be said about owning everything in the process about shooting from the gun purchase, to loading, to tweaking the gun, to of course the cleaning and maintenance, to the actual sport of shooting targets to the sharing with friends and family. There is a lot of pleasure in the whole deal.
I hope all who are interested will give it a go.
It's not a problem til they make it one!
July 16th, 2011 12:23 AM
Every time I read one of these threads it gets me more in the mind that I need to start reloading. I have wanted to for a long time and I need to just do it. I'd love to be able to reload several hundred 9mm rounds and take the family to the range and have it not cost an arm and a leg.
last weekend my wife and daughter and I (the boys all had other things going on that day) went to the range and shot 500 rounds. 250 9mm and 250 .40. That cost us, before the range fees, about $175 or so. If we could do the same thing and have it cost us $20 or so, we'd be shooting a whole lot more.
I'm still in the reading everything and learning stage and at the moment I am leaning towards the Dillion Square Deal 'B'. But that could change as I research this more.....
July 16th, 2011 02:56 AM
As a new reloader, I'll just throw out that I closely compared the Hornady AP progressive with the Dillon offerings. No slight to the Dillons, but for a price point the Hornady offers auto-indexing and 5 stations on a par with the Dillon 650 for a lot less money. Throw in a Midway sale and cost-wise, it was a no-brainer. Hornady's customer service matches everything you've heard about Dillon. Don't rule it out.
The other thing a new reloader needs is a mentor, or as a minimum someone to bounce ideas off of. I'm a highly technical guy (aerospace test engineer) and very analytical, but reloading ain't exactly like riding a bicycle. Starting out with a progressive press can be a frustrating experience if - as I experienced - you have problems with one operation. With my rig, it was priming, due to a defective part which was replaced once the problem was identified. But working with one of my equally analytical work associates (also a new reloader, with a Dillon) helped me through the problem. Now I'm around the 1000-round mark and running the press like a sewing machine.
I had a ton of good .45 brass on hand, so my reloading cost for now is based on primer, powder and bullets. Titegroup powder was $18 for a pound locally (cheaper in larger quantity), primers were $16/K at the last gun show, and moly-coated bullets are $90/K from a local supplier. Overall, I load .45 ACP for about 12 cents a round, a third the cost of the cheapest factory ammo I can find. The added bonus is - my ammo is more accurate!
NRA Endowment Member
NROI Chief Range Officer
July 17th, 2011 12:48 AM
Can any of you give me a short list of the must have esential books to get started in reloading?
July 17th, 2011 02:48 AM
I've not owned a Dillon (yet), but I have friends that use and swear by them. One buddy of mine only loads .38 Special and loves his SDB. The down side (so I hear) is that they are good for 1 caliber and not great if you change calibers a lot as they are more time consuming to set up. The dies are also proprietary for the SDB only. I'm sure others with more Dillon expertise could elaborate. When I jump into a progressive I think I will go with the Dillon 650. It has an extra station and I'd be putting a powder check die there. That will stop the press if there is an under/over charge in one of the cases. I'd just feel more comfortable with that. Good luck Mike.
Originally Posted by TN_Mike
July 17th, 2011 02:59 AM
It's a little dated, but still has a lot of solid info:
Originally Posted by catdaddyxx
ABC's of Reloading at Amazon (check out inside the book)
I also read all the introductory information with this one as it came with my kit:
There is a lot of great stuff in Speer Reloading Manual
Other than the above, I let YouTube be my friend. I like to see something done more than I like to read about it.
July 19th, 2011 10:21 PM
I have the Hornady AP press, (Love the Lock 'N Load feature!) and go with the newest reloading book from them as well. Some of the powder charge recommendations ARE different from edition to edition so I figure that it's best to stick with the newest findings available. (I'm talking about newest Hornady edition compared to older Hornady books BTW) A base list of items that you will need besides the press and dies should include a good powder scale, caliper, bullet puller, primer pocket cleaning tool, chamfer and deburring tool, case tumbler, media and polish, and case lube if you're doing rifle bullets. The list will still grow on you but that should take care of the basics.
Store powder and primers in a cool, dry place and write the date purchased on them with a Sharpie as soon as you get them home. This ensures that you rotate items properly and helps keep them from getting mixed up.
Measure and trim EVERY case to be the same, as recommended by the book's "Case Trim Length." This will ensure that a slightly longer case, even by a few thousandths is not in your batch to bulge during it's final stage which is the bullet set / case crimp stage. I think we've all done it, and it's ugly.
Periodically check the powder charge for proper weight according to your recipe and of course the C.O.L., (case overall length) to make sure the final product isn't getting out of whack as you go.
Spend plenty of time on the prep work! Getting the powder charge exact AND consistent is very important. Also, take the time to concentrate on mastering one bullet in the batch before getting into a "progressive" mode. That is if a progressive press is something you're looking in to.
And which should probably be #1, don't drink and load. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy drinking my beer at times but believe me, you will have enough to think about while you're reloading without a 2 beer buzz getting in your way. I figure if I get something wrong, I could have 2 headaches a comin'; one the day after reloading and another one after shooting my reloads. :)
You will also want to save up a few coffee cans or mayonaise jars to use for your spent primers and casings that are either damaged or just too short to use etc.. A handy "trash" jar if you will. But I like to use a clear mayo jar to temporarily hold my casings, a different caliber in different jars and label them.
1. Even with a progressive press, I run all of my brass through the first die only. This is the die that pops out the spent primer and resizes the case down to the correct outside diameter, like it was before firing and stretching the case.
2. Then I trim all of them according to the "case trim length" in the book. Some may not think this order of doing things is necessary but I figure that I will get better case length consistency if the trimming is done AFTER the stretching and resizing is done.
3. Clean out the primer pockets to minimize the risk of running "high primers." If the new primers can't seat all the way in, you could run into problems, especially with picky revolvers with tight clearances between the frame and the cylinder.
4. Use the deburring tool to clean the sharp edges and burrs from the case as a result of trimming.
5. Add a recommended case polish to media and tumble brass for hours to pretty them up.
6. Check brass to make sure there's no media still stuck in the casing or primer pockets.
7. You should be pretty much set to run them through all stages of the press and have nice bullets come out the end.
Last edited by mprp; July 19th, 2011 at 10:23 PM.
Reason: double typing a line
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