New to reloading and seeking advice to prepare!

New to reloading and seeking advice to prepare!

This is a discussion on New to reloading and seeking advice to prepare! within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; With the rising ammo prices I have been catching heat from my wife about my ammo purchases. So I've decided to move forward with my ...

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Thread: New to reloading and seeking advice to prepare!

  1. #1
    Member Array lamerem's Avatar
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    New to reloading and seeking advice to prepare!

    With the rising ammo prices I have been catching heat from my wife about my ammo purchases. So I've decided to move forward with my plans to reload. I have done a ton of research on presses and equipment and watched about every (exaggeration) video on YouTube. Money is a concern as usual but we understand it won't be cheap to get started. I have purchased the Lee Precision hard back reloading manual and read it cover to cover. I am probably going to pick up a few more just to utile the library.

    I have decided on the Lee Loadmaster Progressive. I can get a progressive with Lee for the price of a non progressive from the other guys. I know press manufacturer fans are hardcore for their brands and do not wish to start a war on this page. The press comes with the dies to load my 40S&W cartridges. I also like that the primer is seated on the upstroke and not the downstroke. I have read that Lee Progressives are not for the faint of heart, but I am a machinist and feel that I have the technical ability to learn such a machine. I am super attentive to detail and will not be using their bullet loader so that I can hand fit and inspect powder charge 100% of the time.

    I won't need a case trimmer as I am not planning to reload rifle at this time. What I would like to know is from you guys reloading handgun ammo, what all do I need. Obviously I know I need primers, bullets, and powder. Tell me which components you have and brands. Model numbers if possible for the items that work for you. Where do you purchase your consumables. What powder do you pref and why?

    If your anti-Lee and recommend another machine tell me which one and why. Please be specific, hopefully this will help others as well. If you have a Lee Loadmaster, what are the pros and cons. Tips and tricks? Thanks guys!!!!!!!


  2. #2
    Member Array RockinRiley's Avatar
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    Loadmasters are nice, but I love my pro 1000 it does 9mm very well!

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    I've never used the Lee progressive, or any other progressive for that matter, and still use my single-stage press for all my loads. I'm more comfortable that way. I typically don't reccommend starting out with a progressive, but I suppose with your machinest background you can figure it out.

    Obviously you have access to calipers for checking cartridge OAL. My biggest suggest is to not rush things. Make sure each round is consistant. A little mistake in powder load can be a big problem at the range.

    These days, components are where you can find them--at whatever price you can find them. You can look up most powder manufacturers online and gain access to their loading data and suggestions. Bullet company manuals will give loads with their bullets, which may or may not match what the powder makers list in their data.
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    I used a single stage lee press for years. I could load about 150 rounds an hours with the single stage. I finally went to a lee turret press. I am very happy with it. I looked at the progressive press and just couldn't see that is was a good fit for me. Lee makes great stuff. I sure you'll be happy with your selection. I cast my own bullets and that's where you can really save a lot of money. It costs me less than $3.00 to load a box of 9mm. good luck

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    New Member Array warlock1944's Avatar
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    All the presses work well, some are just faster than others. Welcome to a great hobby with some small savings to be had but most of all you can afford to shoot more. Also remember that reloading is best accomplished with attention to detail. Check, check again and then check again.

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    As said , go slow. When I first started loading on a progressive it was on cartridge at a time through all the stations. Get used to what your machine does first before trying to crank out ammo. Another technique I use if something hangs up or fails to properly complete the task,cstop and check each station and pull all stations if need be. Better to have to pull a fe wbullets than have a double charge or other issue.
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    Member Array lamerem's Avatar
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    New to reloading and seeking advice to prepare!

    Is it really apparent by looking to see if a brass is double charged?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamerem View Post
    Is it really apparent by looking to see if a brass is double charged?
    Depending on the charge and type of powder , yes. I would look to use a powder that fills or almost fills your casing to start. I started with Unique and it seemed good for this. A double charge was fairly obvious with .40 cal. And a medium charge.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    If you have a double charge while single loading you will know. And while using a progressive it would be difficult to get a double. You would have to back up or be lifting levers by hand and out of sequence. The problem I had with Lees progressive is in the primer feeders. [ I also had the same problem with Hornaday's progressive ]. The only progressive that has worked 100% for me was the Dillion. To get passed this with my Lee I de-prime and resize on my single stage press, Then after Case cleaning I prime with a hand primer. I set up my press as a 3 station and had no more problems. The Lee Progressive presses do work but you need to watch each station to be sure. I still use Lee equipment, and I like their kits. They have most everything you "need". Just use a good load recipe, check it against other sources, and you will be fine. DR

  10. #10
    Member Array paynetrain1988's Avatar
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    The progressive press can be tricky to start out on. Unless you shooting 1k plus rounds a month it's not completely necessary (just my opinion). I use a lee single stage press and can put out about 150 rounds an hour taking my time.

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    Member Array denver's Avatar
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    I too am a machinist. Detail is our stock and trade. That being said I sold my Lee 1000. I worked great but there was too many things going on at each stroke of the handle. Never had a double charge or any thing dangerous, but had a lot of ruined cases and primmers. I downgraded to a Lee turret press and I like it better. The Lee brand is my go to now. Been loading over 40 years and always had green equip. Bought a set of Lee dies on Ebay and haven't looked back. Still use the RCBS single stage for rifle, but all new equip is Lee.
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  12. #12
    Member Array AZ_Larz_NY's Avatar
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    I have a Hornady LNL Progressive and love it. That aside, you will need the following...

    Reliable scale
    Caliper for OAL
    Reloading books for learning and load info

    I use Bullseye and Unique powders. They seem pretty close to me, so either one works. Primers, I use CCI or Winchester, they are hard to find out where I am now.

    Good luck.

    Be safe!
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    AND for GODS sake, get your finger off the trigger until you are ready to squeeze the trigger!

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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    I used a Lee progressive 1000 for a couple of years. A trick that was told to me (and it worked very well) place some graphite powder on the primer chute. I did constantly have problems with the Lee autodisk breaking chains. I recently moved to a Hornady Lock-n-Load. I just got done this weekend setting it up and loaded my 1st 100 rounds (I'll shoot them this weekend). The Hornady does look a lot more heavy duty and what I can tell you is it takes less effort to prime. On the Lee I sometimes found that I had to push the arm rather hard, didn't seem to have the same issue with the Hornady.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamerem View Post
    Is it really apparent by looking to see if a brass is double charged?
    As an experiment, deliberately double-charge a cartridge case with your powder of choice to see for yourself if it is apparent. Just be sure to dump it back into the powder measure after making your observation.

    Rocky's suggestion to use a more bulky propellent powder has merit for those who are concerned about double-charging a case. Some of the really fast-burning powders, like Bulls-Eye for example, don't occupy much space in a handgun cartridge case's interior. Even multiple charges of Bulls-Eye or other fast burning powders would fit easily.

    I like the benefits of using the fast-burning powders with their miniscule charge weights. They can provide loads that are especially accurate and they are economical as well. One just has to be attentive when using them as indeed he should be anytime he's reloading.
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    Member Array qwert's Avatar
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    First attempt at reloading was with a Lee "Loadmaster" progressive press. .40, .45, and .38. A lot going on all the time. Case feed,primer feed,powder feed,(Broken chain"and bullet feed. Keep everything full. Be observant. Works well.
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