Shooters new to reloading

This is a discussion on Shooters new to reloading within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I work part-time at an indoor range/gunshop. I have seen an increase in folks new to reloading due in part to the increase in ammo ...

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Thread: Shooters new to reloading

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array jhh3rd's Avatar
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    Shooters new to reloading

    I work part-time at an indoor range/gunshop. I have seen an increase in folks new to reloading due in part to the increase in ammo prices, the inability to find certain calibers, political climate, etc. Some folks have spent their time and money crafting some darn good ammo. Now comes the horror stories. One lady fired two squibs in a row in her Smith model 432. One gentleman showed me a once crushed .357 magnum case, complete with wrinkles in the brass, that he "re-sized" and intended to shoot. One gent complained that his .45acp loads were not feeding, and when i looked at them, the lead bullets were so heavily crimped they gave the cartridge an hourglass figure.

    If you know anyone interested in starting re-loading please counsel them to research, read, and buy videos to watch. It still amazes me that people want to take shortcuts to save a buck. If you ruin a firearm, that is an expensive loss. If you lose an eye, limb, or a life just to save money thats crazy.

    Thank goodness some of these folks can't refine their own gasoline. Stay safe and spend wisely. Being cheap can be deadly. john

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  3. #2
    Member Array houdini's Avatar
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    They are careless When I load I take my time and watch every round that comes out and check them to make sure they look good.

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    Ex Member Array AVIVIII's Avatar
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    You should have to take a class to own a progressive press. Too many people think that just because the book says that they can turn out 400 rounds an hour on their lee pro1000 or dillon 550 that they should....

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    Good thread, I hope it takes off. I have thought about reloading, and I will think about it more if I join this cowboy action shooting club Sunday.

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array AVIVIII's Avatar
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    All I can say is that the absolute best way is to get a couple manuals, read them, buy a single stage press (and appropriate accessories) and find a friend that can show you the ropes.

    I was not fortunate enough to have anyone that could instruct me, so I bought my stuff piece by piece and made the guy at the reloading counter show me how to use it. The first 100 rounds that I turned out (50 .38spl and 50 9mm) sit in a box that I will never shoot. No sense tempting fate.

    Without looking through my log, I have loaded and shot nearly 10,000 rounds through various pistols, revolvers and rifles. Without incident. Knock on wood.

    Ask a lot of questions and start with a min load, only after verifying its source. Go slow, even after you think you know what you are doing.

    If you have a friend that gives you a 'Great Load,' a 'real deer slayer,' a 'personal favorite' or if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no such thing as a cast .38spl doing 1200fps or a .223 thats over 4000fps. If they do exist its not safe. I like to verify that all my loads are safe. I do so by checking them against what the powder manufacturer and/or bullet manufacturer recommends as well as whats listed in the Speer and Lyman manuals.

    Good luck everyone and be safe.

  7. #6
    Member Array Skye's Avatar
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    Good info in the above posts.

    I wish that I had someone back then to mentor me on reloading, but didn't.

    I started out with a single stage press loading .38spl and just used good sense.

    Finally got a Dillion Square Deal B progressive press and have never looked back. The SDB press is for straight walled pistol cartridges only and sells for about $350 set up for one caliber.

    Beginners - You will need a powder scale ($30 for a beam balance and around $150 for a digital) Get a beam balance first and later you will want a digital.

    Put a chronograph on your wish list - Nothing is better than to actually see what velocity those rounds are going downrange. (about $70 will get a very servicable chrony).

    A good place to start would be to give Dillion Precision a call at
    1-800-762-3844 for their free catalog.

    PS, I'm not connected to Dillion Precision in any way, but all the "big boys" use their equipment almost exclusively. Also they have a "No BS" gaurantee on their equipment that means it will be fixed free forever. Very impressive in this day and age.

    ...Skye...

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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Start with the cheapest outfit you can find. Get good instruction from someone that has been in the game for a few years and read,read,read. Reloading is NOT for everyone. I foy find that you enjoy it and can turn out good ammo---then spend a few more bucks and get "better" equipment. Those simple Lee Loaders can and will turn out decent ammo. They are very slow and labor intensive, but are great tools to learn on. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!!!!!!!

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    Member Array Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    I've been thinking (finally) about getting into reloading. But I have limited space for a set-up.

    Anybody got a pic they can post of their reloading set-up?

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Be VERY careful about shooting someone else's reloads. I'll shoot my instructor's reloads, if necessary, because he taught me a little about reloading and I know how particular and careful he is.

    During a recent match, someone's .45 ACP loads resulted in two squibs. Luckily, both times other shooters on the squad recognized the squib shot and stopped the guy from trying to fire his 1911 again.

    -JT

  11. #10
    Member Array Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    During a recent match, someone's .45 ACP loads resulted in two squibs. Luckily, both times other shooters on the squad recognized the squib shot and stopped the guy from trying to fire his 1911 again.
    Is there only one cause for a squib-an undercharge? Or can it somehow happen for other reasons?

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Under- or no-charge would be the first suspected culprit. Another could be that, for whatever reason, the primer failed to ignite the powder. It could also be possible that a deformed or overly large bullet gets lodged in the barrel, effectively creating a squib load situation, but in that scenario, with a full charge cartridge, some type of catastrophic failure would also result.

    -JT

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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mxyzptlk View Post
    Is there only one cause for a squib-an undercharge? Or can it somehow happen for other reasons?
    Once while shooting with a buddy, he had a squib in a 45 Colt revolver. When we pulled the cylinder to clear the barrel we pulled the case from the cylinder and the entire powder charge fell out of the case as a single hard lump. Looked like one of those Pyrodex pellets. I can only guess that over time, the case had somehow drawn moisture and clumped the powder (Hodgdon Clays).

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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Mxyzptlk;964427]I've been thinking (finally) about getting into reloading. But I have limited space for a set-up.


    Those Lee loaders I was speaking of are smaller than a cigar box. Get one along with a can of powder and a few hundred primers,a box of bullets, and you can be in business. The whole outfit will go into a GI ammo can very easily.

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    Member Array Snakedriver's Avatar
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    Cool

    In most cases, if you are using the right powder you'll overflow the case thus warning you that you've double charged a case with too much powder. Most pistol rounds hold just enough powder to seat the bullet and they are hard to overcharge.

    The most dangerous reloading error is the squib-load from no powder charge. For those new to the reloading business, the primer will have enough umph to pop the bullet out of the shell casing and will lodge the bullet somwhere in the firearm's barrel forming a plug. If you chamber another round, or on a revolver simply pull the trigger again without clearing the barrel, it will blow up. So that said, if you hear just a little pop and not a bang, check you barrel before firing any more rounds through it.
    Fear is a reaction.......
    Courage is a decision.

    FOR GOD, FOR COUNTRY AND FOR BLUE MAX

    Blue Max 24, U.S. Army, RVN 1972

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    +1 on talking to somebody who already reloads and getting some basic instructions. I had the good fortune of having someone who showed me his set up, took an afternoon showing me the basics and was kind enough to lend me a press to get me started. Follow that with a good basic reloading book, read it cover to cover twice and then start loading in small batches. Always be careful, examine the cases after every step and accept NO distractions while you are reloading.
    Reloading is not complicated at all that does not mean you should not respect it. One distraction will lead to a squib or you activating a shower of shrapnel in your hand.
    And don't feel bad if you try it and don't like it or do not have the time to do it properly. As with anything having to do with guns, you want to be safe and forcing yourself into something you don't like may result in careless reloading which nobody wants. We want you safe to shoot for a long time!
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

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