I was lucky enough to get a RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme single stage press for Christmas, it's the combo that came with a powder measure, scale, priming tool and a few other things. I also got a case tumbler and a Speer reloading manual and a set of .40 dies so I can reload for my Glock 23. I know I still need a few case prep tools like a case trimmer.
My real question however, is about powder, primers, bullets and brass. What's most cost effective but still quality? I don't even know where to start, there are a lot of choices out there. I've collected a little bit of brass and probably have about 200 cases. I would like to work up a good standard target load equivalent to the 165 grain WWB stuff (but hopefully cheaper).
Thanks in advance for your help!
I like Winchester or CCI primers and Win231 powder for my 40sw. The 231 is a very versatile powder that can be measured in very small doses. I started using it when I started loading .32acp and it works well for .40, 9mm and .45acp also. I like 700X for my trap loads and it works well for 9mm and .45acp though I never worked up a load for .40sw with it.
Don't worry about a case trimmer for straight walled hand gun cartridges. They'll start splitting before they stretch enough to worry about.
Get a cheap caliper for measuring OAL and a couple universal case trays. Also be aware that you will be looking for a turret or progressive press in a couple months when you find that a day's work with the single stage lasts about 20min. at the range.
Welcome to reloading! You won't save much but you'll shoot a lot more!
Look through your reloading manuals and come up with a powder that is common for what you are trying to achieve. Pretty much everything is $15-25 per pound - less if you buy in bulk. Primers - I take what I can get, usually Winchester or CCI.
If you're reloading Glock .40 brass you might want to get a "Bulge Buster" - I don't have one, but I don't have a .40 Glock either.
If you just want to match WWB for plinking, almost any powder will work. I like Unique because it's bulky - some of the shotshell/pistol stuff is very low weight per cartridge, so a double charge isn't as obvious when you're loading single stage. Blue Dot is a good .40 powder too.
Welcome to reloading! As noted above, you won't need a case trimmer and a set of decent calipers is important (check Harbor Freight web or go to Lowes or Home Depot). For cost effectiveness, you have to buy in quantity (maybe go in with other reloaders in your area). That means at least 1k bullets, 4 to 8 lbs or powder, and 1 to 5k primers. The cheapest bullets will be lead, but for jacketed Zero and Precision Delta have good prices. For brass pickup what you can find at the range; but for new, try Starline. Do a web search and you can find fired brass for decent prices. Because of panic buying, you'll find powder and primers hard to come by at any cost--just start searching. FWIW, my favorite powder for the 40 is WSF, followed closely by Power Pistol (but there is nothing wrong with Unique in the 40). Both powders are very friendly for someone just starting out (hard to double charge, can be loaded up or down).
Take your time, be careful, and have fun!
Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice!
I use a single stage press too. For that rock chucker the very best thing you could buy next is a RCBS uniflow powder measure. I got mine off ebay. It comes with a "strap" you can attach under your die and have it mounted to your press. It saves me tons and tons of time and will make your drops more accurate. It doesnt like a really fine powder. I use universal most of the timeand it meters very well. My first loads I used a lee powder measure kit and it drove me flipping nuts.