A Reloading Question

A Reloading Question

This is a discussion on A Reloading Question within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have been following the threads in ammunition price increases.As I have never attempted to reload no do I own any such equipment, What advice ...

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Thread: A Reloading Question

  1. #1
    Member Array sdr7871's Avatar
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    A Reloading Question

    I have been following the threads in ammunition price increases.As I have never attempted to reload no do I own any such equipment, What advice would some of you with reloading experience offer? Is it something that will take allot of my time? Will it take an expensive outlay of cash to get me started? I have watched the process done by a fellow shooter once and it looked rather simple to do.However, I am sure it is a bit more complicated than it looked....

  2. #2
    Lead Moderator
    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    it is fairly simple. Yes it costs some for the loading supplies and loader. Best is to read a book(or several) on reloading before starting to reload.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  3. #3
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Good start for overall ''feel'' of the process might be Dean Grennell's ''ABC's of Reloading".

    Also Richard Lee's 2nd Edition of "Modern Reloading".

    Nothing very complex to learn but - just some things you gotta do right and understand. A search here on reloading should turn up some useful threads for you too.

    If you can again ''use'' your fellow shooter's reloading to watch, that too is invaluable - see it done and ask questions.
    Chris - P95
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  5. #4
    Member Array shooter1's Avatar
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    Complicated? No. Expensive? Doesn't have to be. Around $250 should get you a Lee Turret Press Kit w/dies, and enough compotents to load 1000rds, assuming you already have the brass. That's pretty close to the cost of 1000rds of .45 ammo at your local gun store. The second thousand and subsiquent rounds will be much cheaper. Reloading equipment pays for it's self quickly. It can also be a great hobby. Using the turret, you can easily load 150-200rds per hour.Your call.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor; Go buy a Dillon square deal progressive machine, they are not that expensive. 20 minutes after you unbox it, provided you have a location to mount it, you can be reloading ammunition. I can tell you from actual experience that Mike Dillon stands behind his product as no other company does, even if the equipment failure is your own fault. You want references? Check out front sight magazine, or the IDPA publication when they print the results of their national championship matches, you will see that Dillon machinies all but comletely dominate the ranks of the competitors who reload their own ammo for these matches. After you get a machine, just pick up everybody's brass when they leave it; within a month, I will guarantee you that you can collect 1,000 rounds of brass depending on the caliber you choose to load. If I were you, I would stay away from 9mm and tapered case rounds, becuase you can only load them a couple of time before the brass is useless. Straight-walled cases like the .45ACP, .40, .38 super and any revolver round are the way to travel. You can load thse cases till they won't chamber or crack, there are some .45ACP cases I have loaded at least 15 times before the cases cracked.

    Hope this helps you.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Mtbiker's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    I second the Dillon. I would say get the 550 not the square deal in case you ever want to load rifle. I got the whole setup with dies, scale, case tumbler etc. for around $500.

  8. #7
    Member Array sdr7871's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post

    If you can again ''use'' your fellow shooter's reloading to watch, that too is invaluable - see it done and ask questions.
    Alas, He died a year ago.Perhaps there may be a video out there somewhere......

  9. #8
    Member Array ShadeAngel's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Right before I my budget fell out from under me I was going to order a Dillon 550 package deal from here.


    And probably still will when the funds become available again. But for now there are just to many guns on the list. :)
    "You can't shake the devils hand and say you were only kidding"

  10. #9
    Member Array houdini's Avatar
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    May 2007
    look at a dillon it worth the money,you can fine turn you own ammo and you know who made it.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    read all you can. find someone close by that reloads and have them show you how it is done. start out small. nothing wrong with used equipment, i.e. single stage press, dies, etc... later on you can move up to a dillon. dillon makes one of the best, i got my first dillon in 1982 and am still using it to reload nine different cals. things/parts have broke and dillon replace them free. still use two single stage press for rifle cals, i use the dillon for pistol only.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    There are a few videos on youtube.com
    I also recommend The ABC's of Reloading.
    It can cost as much as you want to get started. You could get a Lee Loader and have everything you need for about $50. It would be slow going. There are many different tools you can reload with - all have their own benefits and drawbacks. Get educated on the matter, and then make the best decision for you.


  13. #12
    Senior Member Array wvshooter's Avatar
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    If you like shooting (more than 50 rounds per month) then you probably should reload your own ammo. You will save about 70% over buying factory ammo. You can then shoot 500 rounds per month and not break the bank. Also, it becomes a fun hobby.

    IMO the only person that needs a progressive press is someone shooting 1,000 rounds or more per month. I can easily load 50 rounds on my single stage press in a hour. A progressive press performs about five different functions on five different cartrideges every time you pull the handle down. You have five opportunities for something to go wrong. With a single stage press every pull of the handle does one function on one cartridege. You have much more control over the quality of your finished ammo with a single stage press.

    Here's how it works with a single stage press.....

    1. Collect some fired brass for your chosen caliber
    2. Put it in a turbo tumbler and let it tumble for a couple hours. The brass will come out looking almost new
    3. Take about 25 of the cases out of the tumbler and run them through the press with the sizing/depriming die inserted in the press. Perform this resizing step with all 25 cases.
    4. Use a small screwdriver like tool with a small wire bristle on the end to clean the residue of powder from inside the primer hole of all 25 cases.
    5. Remove the sizing/depriming die and insert the die which opens the case mouth up to make it easy for the new bullet to enter the case. The sizer die mentioned in #3 above shrinks the case diameter along its entire length while the fluting die mentioned in #5 opens the case mouth just a little. Do all 25 cases.
    6. Insert new primers by using a handheld primer tool. It looks a little like those spingy things you've seen for strengthing your grip. Yes, I know all the reloading presses have attachments for inserting new primers but the seperate hand primer gizmo gives you more "feel" and you need feel for inserting new primers
    7. You're now ready to put a measured amount of new powder into the 25 cases you're working on. I use a charge thrower that has a cylinder which you fill with enough powder to do 500 to 1,000 rounds. It has simple adjustments which allow you to select the desired amount of powder for each case. Once you've adjusted for amount of powder you hold the case under the powder discharge outlet and lift and then drop a small handle, about like the handle on a pencil sharpener.

    Instead of holding each case under the powder outlet one at a time take the 25 cases, put them on a case holder tray and drop the powder into all 25 cases at the same time. Of course you'll have to move the tray a little for each powder drop.
    8. Last step. Get rid of the fluting die and put in the bullet seating die. Put one of your charged cases on the press, put the chosen bullet on top of the case and seat the bullet by pushing down on the press handle like you did for all the other steps. It is not necessary to have the bullet perfectly in line with the case prior to using the handle. Just get close with allignment and the press will perfectly allign the bullet.

    You will usually save money by buying a reloading kit which will contain just about everything you will need. I bought an RCBS "supreme" kit and paid $300. The quality is outstanding. My turbo tumbler was about $100 and makes the brass look new. For each caliber you load you will need a set of dies. A die set is about $40 and for handgun ammo will contain three dies. You will also need a shell holder for each caliber. They are about $7 each. I bought two for each caliber I load. One for the press and one for the hand primer tool. The last thing you really have to have is one or two reloading manuals. Some of the kits will come with a manual.

    Its a great hobby and if you shoot much it will save a ton of money.

  14. #13
    Lead Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Great post wvshooter.

    Reminds me exactly of a guy at work that used to say the same thing...all of the time.

    I invited him over to the house when we got in a discussion about reloading and the time spent doing it. Since we were both working alot of overtime at that time, we didn't have a whole lot of spare time to reload.

    He was a die hard single stage fanatic. I say fanatic because he wasn't willing to concede the fact that a progressive could load as good a quality of ammo that he could on a single stage. At that time,he had never actually used one.

    So anyhow, he came over and checked out everything I had. I just sat back and let him try everything out. He didn't believe that the powder measure could be so accurate so he loaded some up and checked every single charge. Then every 10th charge and when he was convinced that it was as good as was used to he quit checking.

    I can easily load 50 rounds on my single stage press in a hour
    He too stated that he could do 50 rounds per hour.

    In an hours time, I can load the 500 that you talked about shooting in a month. One hour.

    I guess whether you use a single stage or a progressive really comes down to how much your time is worth. I am currently loading 22 different calibers and generally do it on the Dillon 550. I do own several single stages presses and I do believe that they have their place. I use them for developing loads for rifles. Once I figure out a great load, I'll duplicate them on the Dillon and usually knock out several hundred just so I don't have to mess with it for awhile.

    I do shoot pistol more than rifle though and there is no comparison between the single stage and the progressive. Ive been known to come home from work, load 2-300 and then go to the range and shoot it all up.

    No way could I do that with a single stage.

    And about my friend...

    not long after he broke down and bought a Dillon 550B. I wish I got a commission from Dillon, there has been at least had a dozen hard shooters that tried mine out and eventually bought one.

    I guess they all figured their time was worth the cost of the progressive stuff.
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  15. #14
    Member Array sdr7871's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Thanks for all the great info.Looks like I have it narrowed down to this.Either the Dillon RL550B or the Lee Loadmaster.So now the big question is.......which one?

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array kavity's Avatar
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    May 2007
    If i got this to reload .38spl what else would I need to get started?


    BTW keep this as inexpensive as possible :)
    <--college student

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