Reload equpment shopping time!

Reload equpment shopping time!

This is a discussion on Reload equpment shopping time! within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; So instead of splurging on a new Smith 460V right off the bat, I've decided to take a more pro-active approach to my hobby, and ...

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Thread: Reload equpment shopping time!

  1. #1
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Reload equpment shopping time!

    So instead of splurging on a new Smith 460V right off the bat, I've decided to take a more pro-active approach to my hobby, and hopefully reduce running costs. Thus I've decided to purchase some reloading equipment. Right now here's what I've got.

    Lee Loadmaster press w/.308 Winchester dies

    Case collater

    Loadbooks USA .308 Winchester manual


    As you could probably tell, I'm gonna try my hand at reloading .308 Winchester first, so I can actually shoot my M1A instead of letting it collect dust due to the surplus shortage. Just out of curiosity however, are there any other reloading manuals that have info for 7.62x51mm NATO? I know the specs are slightly different than .308, and I know the weapon will chamber/fire either, but I was just wondering. And yes I know for future reference to separate 7.62 brass from commercial .308 brass (7.62 is thicker, and has smaller interior case dimensions).

    I'd imagine the reloading dies and such will work for both .308 and 7.62, but if they don't, it'd be great if someone chimed in on that.

    I'll also point out that if this goes successfully, I'll start reloading .40S&W, and maybe a few other calibers too.

    Don't have a clue on powder, primers or anything of that sort as I have no idea what kinds to get yet. But I'm sure I'll learn.
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
    Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association


  2. #2
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    Get more load books if you can .... Richard Lee's 2nd reload manual, Speer #13 and Lyman #47 (#48 is latest but not liked by some). Then too download some PDF files from some powder makers on line. A search on Amazon and ebay might turn up some reload books for you.

    My thinking with the .308 dies is ... they'll do fine because, while I can put a .308 Win thru any mil chambered rifle ... the reverse is not true IMO.

    Good to separate brass - and also if you can lay hands on any Lapua .308 cases, grab 'em - they are IMO the best brass. Try and check out also the freebore in your gun ......... so as to get the COL set up to optimum.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    as chris said more load books and the lyman 47 48 thing is right find 47 has lot more info

    i will say on press you probley wont stick with it if you go whole hog dillon is a good choice though expensive in the begining

  4. #4
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    I picked that press because it's (A) cheap and (B) if I decide to upgrade to a dillon later, I have a friend who will probably buy it from me. :D


    edit; if you really think the dillons are better, could you give me some reasons? I don't mind spending a couple hundred bucks more on a piece of equipment that will serve me for years.
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
    Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    I don't mean to hijack your thread General Geoff, but why do people think that the #47 Lyman book is better? I've been looking but all I can ever find is the #48.
    TSgt. Lickey

    It takes a college degree to break'em;
    and a high school education to fix'em!

  6. #6
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    US mil brass needs a special deprimer if I remember correctly.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    No rocky it doesnt , lol but you need to lube the cases good , and be prepaired to break deprimer pins if you dont set them in the shellholder just right . pins are cheap tho to gain the use of brass .

    Edited to add :

    http://abcyber.org/bob/manuals/Hodgd...s%20Manual.pdf

    http://abcyber.org/bob/manuals/Winch...s%20Manual.pdf

    the two i have upped so far that may help you if you care to download and print them .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  8. #8
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    Since you're reloading for your M1A, you might consider swapping your standard resizing die for a small base resizing die. Standard dies often will not resize a case enough for reliable functioning in a self-loader.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    Terry

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    lot more info in 47 and in 48 they really really cut back on some of the loads

  10. #10
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    Bob - I had thought some Berdan milsurp cases still around - which of course WILL break pins!!

    Even tho with boxer primed, the (usually) three point crimp makes decapping difficult, after which a bit of pocket rim reaming gets rid of what is left.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array sisco's Avatar
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    In addition to what everyone else said may I suggest:

    A caliper. Digital or dial, it's nice to know how long your finished rounds are. Not just nice, it's necessary.

    A kinetic bullet puller. Someday you'll be glad you have one.

    If you use Lee sizing dies you won't break a de-capping pin.

    Go to www.thehighroad.org or www.thefiringline.com (there are others!) and search the reloading forums.
    I'm a child of the 60's, but I got over it.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Chris , yes there is a limited amount of berdin primed crap still out there lol . If you cannot id your brass beforehand and if its not your first decap tho you can usualy tell before you break a pin (going slow you can feel the anvil crush before the primer pops the detents on the pocket , berdin just stops . Reaming the primer pockets is helpfull on seating the new primers , but not necessary as long as you dont mind minor brass loss which you most likely will have due to outsized primer pockets anyway if you ream as a newby .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  13. #13
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    Guess that was what I was refering to. Especially since most the mil brass I had was headstamped '42 -'45 .
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Why is the Dillon better?

    Its just better built than the lee
    Search one of the forums like the highroad and you will see a lot of complaints about the lee press's. Also they say the timing adjustments on the lee press are a about the same as my hornady lately

    I think i got 50k round though my hornady have rebuilt it and still problems i think the frame is actually wore out now

    Lee dies are good though as are bullet molds

    Im on my second press and next one will be a Dillon

    I use a Lyman tmag for most of my rifle rounds except 223 it was my first press and still gets used

    I bought a hornady progressive and was very happy for about 2 years and after that what a nightmare and service has sucked

    My Buddie has a Dillon loads more than me and guess what no problems and everyone says customer relations ay Dillon are the best

    In reloading presses ya get what ya pay for

    though i will recommend the tmag II for a starter that if you dont get into wanting to load 1000 pistol rounds in a week will serve you well

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    As a good starting point, I suggest you take a look at some of the "kits" available. One decent setup is the Lyman T-Mag turret kit like this one available from Midway and others. This kit would provide most everything to get you started except for dies and a couple of odds and ends. Concerning dies, as one other poster already mentioned, I would suggest the small base dies if you a loading for an auto-loader. The auto loaders just don't have the camming force of a bolt action and require the ammunition be much closer to original specs.

    As to powder and primers, that's the fun part of reloading. I'm always amazed at how many times the change of just a primer brand can shave 1/2" or more off a 100 yd. group. Every gun has its own likes and dislikes. You just have to experiment until you find what yours likes best. Just personal preference, but I've always had great luck with CCI primers. Of the target/varmint rifles I've had, I've only found one that actually benefited from the more expensive "bench rest" primers. I guess I’ve been lucky. As for powders, most of my rifles settled in on either Vihtavuori or AA powders. If you stick with ball or short extruded powders, the Lyman 55 powder measure is a good measure. If you find yourself using the longer extruded powders, you can’t go wrong with a Belding & Mull powder measure. THEY ARE EXPENSIVE, but they are the most accurate powder measures I’ve ever used. They are currently available from Buffalo Brothers (and maybe others). I would look specifically at this one.

    If you want to use extruded powers but don’t want to invest in the B&M measure, you’ll want a powder trickler and use it to top of the last few tenths of a grain.

    As others have said, you’ll also want a decent set of calipers. Personally, I like the digitals and they aren’t much more than a good dial caliper.

    You’ll also want a reloading tray. I like the individual sized ones like this from Midway but you can also get more universal ones.

    Lastly, others have said it but it bears repeating – you can’t have too many loading manuals.

    Have fun.

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