Complete entry set up
Like many, I'm just getting started with reloading. In fact, it was just yesterday that I decided to do so and have read several of the threads here and tried to collect as much information as I can. I have zero previous experience with reloading and don't know anyone locally that could give assistance.
I only have a very limited area to work with, so I am starting with a hand loader for now. I expect to do at most 200-300 a month of strictly 9mm for economic reasons more than as a real hobby. I plan later on expanding, but not right now. Total budget for now is around $150.
Here are the pieces I am looking at.
Lee Hand Press Kit
Lee Perfect Powder Measure
Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler
Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool
For dies I dont want to hassle with lube, so I want carbide even if they are a bit more expensive up front. I'm not sure what the difference is here and if I need both or just one.
Lee Carbide Sizer Die 9mm Luger
Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die 9mm Luger
Then there are a bunch of small tools that I figure I'll probably want eventually even if not immediately required
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 9mm Luger
Lee Universal Depriming and Decapping Die
Lee Chamfer Tool
Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner
Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud
This also looks like it would be helpful eventually just to speed things up
Lee Zip Trim
Then of course, I need some manual
Lee "Modern Reloading Second Edition" Reloading
Total comes to a little under 200+SH but Ill probably hold off on the tumbler for a few weeks and buy it later. Is there anything I am missing or can exclude? Or perhaps another store too check out? I just picked midway out of the blue. I've never done business with them before so its just arbitrary.
Check out the complete kits at Kempf Gun Shop.
They are really nice folks to deal with.
Most pistol cartridges do not need any trimming.
Get a powder scale (in their kit).
Good luck and feel free to ask anything on this forum.. Always a lot of good advice here.. NO QUESTION is a stupid question when aking about reloading.
Thanks, but over at Kempf they dont have a kit set up for the hand press. I really dont have room at the moment for anything larger than that (poor college student...)
As for not needing to trim pistol cartidges, that means I could eliminate the chamfer and trimmer cutter correct? That saves me 10 bucks or so. Probably the Zip trim so there is another 20. :)
If your short on $ have you looked at the Lee Classic Loader $33.98 from Lee. I have never used one but a frind has said it is slow but good but would add a scale.
I looked at that for a while but opted out. I think its a bit too small for my tastes. Id rather go for the midrange at first.
I did look for a scale though
Frankford Arsenal Micro Reloading Electronic Powder Scale
Seems good enough for a start
I just watched a video on youtube of a guy with the classic. Too much work per round IMO
You need a 3-die (at minimum) to load the 9x19. Something like this:
MidwayUSA - Lee Carbide 3-Die Set 9mm Luger
The Factory Crimp die isn't necessary (some like it, some don't). But the three die set includes an expanding die and bullet seat/crimp die. You need both to handload in addition to the sizing die.
I would skip pretty much everything on your optional list except perhaps the primer pocket cleaner (and even that isn't necessary for handgun cartridges most of the time). I would add the 3-die set as listed above and a powder scale.
Awesome, that is exactly what I was looking for. As per your recommendation, I'll drop all the little tools. I think I'll opt for the 4 piece die set rather than the 3. Its only a 10 dollar difference and that's cheaper than if I decide on getting the crimping die later on its own. Unfortunately both the 3 and 4 are OOS so gonna have to wait either way.
So, there you have it. The Basics
1. A press ( hand or bench ).
2. A stet of dies, as per Landric 3 die set is fine. CARBIDE FOR SURE.
3. A scale.
4. IMHO- If I were you I would get the Lee Powder Measure Kit for
$9.95. If you have no room for a powder thrower this will get you almost spot on for most of your loads and you can verify with the scale. This will be a lot easier than weighing each charge out on the scale.
5. A set of calipers will be something I would get. You can use this to verify that your finished cartridges are within specs and can be used for all calibers in the future.
AND MOST OF ALL A RELOADING MANUAL.
Order your powder and primers now. My primers have been on backorder for almost 2 months now.
I recommend getting the Lee Perfect powder meausure right off the bat. It will cut your loading time by 2/3 over weighing each charge. It's also a sinch to use with the handpress and the Lee Powder thru expanding die that is in the die set you are looking at. You just put the powder funnel in the die and leave it in there (it fits nicely) and squeeze the press to flare, then stick the whole thing under the powder measure and charge the case through the die. Open the press, remove the charged case and place it in a tray and repeat with the next case. I started out doing this with the handpress, with the Lee powder measure temporarily C-clamped to the dinner table while reloading. It works well.
Weighing each charge just takes forever.
You don't need the Unversal depiming tool, becuase your sizing die will depime when you size. Your press kit should come with a priming die, so you could do without the hand priming tool, but it's nice to have and worth the money.
The handpress is a good tool. I still use mine quite a lot. The other night I reloaded 50 .223 rounds with it in the living room while watching TV, rather than doing it on the bech press downstairs.
I see you don't have a loading tray on your list. You may want to get one of those or make one. They reduce the risk of knocking over or spilling charged cases. I use two trays and transfer the cases one at a time from one tray to the other during each step for safety. Not necesary probably, but I like doing it that way.
I'm bouncing back and forth between using the dippers or the powder measure. Leaning towards the measure at the moment and you might have just sealed the deal for me :D
As for trays, I got lots of the ones that my factory loads have come in. I've been saving them in part of the "someday ill find a use" box.
Like you, I'll probably end up using it most while watching TV or something. I'm not really the type to go to a "workshop" in the garage (if I had one) for hours :P
Another idea I had. I have a rock polisher that I got when I was a kid.Its the 45C found here.
Would this work as a temporary replacement for a tumbler? I haven't used it in a long time and if it works, then that saves me another 40 bucks for the moment.
Tumbler should work fine. Just make sure they tumble in the media.
Awesome. It looks like I got it all worked out. Gonna hold off a few days to order so I dont have to pay double shipping on backordered stuff. I'm excited to start :D
Don't get me wrong, I have dippers and use them from time to time, especially when developing loads where I measure each charge. Dippers are also good if you happen to luck upon one that throws just the right charge. My .223 load is perfect with a 1.9cc dipper, so that's how I charge those. I just dip, level, and dump and it works out to .2-.5 above the start load, which is just around 3000fps. I also found a two dipper combination that throws a perfect charge in my 30-30 loads. Maybe I will eventually find others, who knows? But as a general rule, the powder measure is the way to go. That's why the vast majority of people use them.
Originally Posted by KralBlbec
As far as making ammo from the easy chair, I don't want to make it sound as if I am too cavalier when doing this. It's great, especially for sizing, and case prep, and even bullet seating once your dies are set, but make sure that you are fully focused on loading when priming and charging cases. ESPECIALLY CHARGING! If I'm watching a movie or something, I pause it or turn it off when charging cases. If it's tv, then I don't charge until the show is over and I can focus fully on what I'm doing.
No distactions during charging or you could make a mistake and overcharge or under charge. That could result in a bad outcome. Just make sure you take it slow and follow all safety precautions, like weighing at least every 10th charge and visually inspecting all of the cases in the tray before seating bullets.