After seeing ammo increase in price to the point that I can hardly afford to shoot, I decided to take the plunge and start reloading metallic cartridges.
I have reloaded thousands of shot shells in 12 and 20 gauge, and was set up for .410, 16 and 28gauge as well. When I moved from FL to Kansas last year I sold all my reloading stuff, which consisted mainly of two MEC 600 presses and all accessories needed. I had one press set up for 12 and the other for 20 gauge.
To get me going on metallic cartridges, I bought a Lee hand press, a set of carbide dies and a Lee auto-prime along with all the necessary case prep tools and a scale. Total cost was about $180.00 to get started.
I live in a small rental with no garage or shed and have no room for a loading bench, but with the hand press I can collect dies that I need, and when I finish law school and get settled somewhere, all I will need is a bench press. I will already have the dies and other stuff necessary to upgrade.
For now I prep cases and install primers on the couch while watching TV and then move to the dinner table for charging and seating. The hand press is slow, but does a nice job. I only shoot a maximum of 50-100rnds per week. Some weeks none. I try to get to the range once a week but sometimes only make it two weeks a month depending on how busy life gets.
I started off with 38 spl., since that is my primary carry caliber and my wife's HD caliber in her Ruger Security-Six. Also, my daughter has a 38/357 Winchester 94 trapper so we can have some "long gun fun". So now I can reload for three guns with only one set of dies. I reloaded my first box last night and just shot them up at the range today.
So, you guys can look forward to me asking some dumb questions here and there if I run into any issues or problems in the future.
I'll start with a couple now to get ya'll warmed up.
Will the standard crimp on the Lee die I have now be sufficient for the tube magazine and lever action feed in the Winchester or should I go ahead and get a factory crimp die for .38/357?
I plan to add die sets for .45acp and .40cal and perhaps .223 in the near future. Probably with a factory crimp die for each of those. (4 die set) The regular crimp works good for the revolver as far as I can tell, but in an autoloader I'd feel better using the factory crimp die.
Am I misguided, or is this the best course of action in regard to making ammo for autoloaders?