Need some Help

Need some Help

This is a discussion on Need some Help within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Hey Guy's, I know how stupid this is going to sound to you all,but I'm totally New to reloading and am about to embark on ...

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Thread: Need some Help

  1. #1
    Member Array ECHOONE's Avatar
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    Need some Help

    Hey Guy's, I know how stupid this is going to sound to you all,but I'm totally New to reloading and am about to embark on buying equipment to start.
    I'd love to buy the best at first and be done with it but being disabled and living on a fixed income I have to work with what I can afford so I have to go with the Lee Challenger Breech lock single stage Anniv. Kit.
    I plan on just reloading for my 9mm and .45 till I have a grasp on things,I already purchased a Speer Reloading Manual and a Kobalt manual/digital display stainless steel caliper. I know the Lee kit comes with everything I need except for the dies, but it doesn't really state what dies I actually need? DO I need the entire set of dies for each caliber I plan to reload right off the bat? or are there certain ones I need and others I can purchase as funding allows to make process easier?
    Thanks for helping with my first obvious laughable question for you guys,I can only imagine the chuckles,but we all start somewhere.Looking forward to this new hobby,As I started thumbing thru this reloading manual it made me realize how interesting and fun this could actually become.I look forward to getting to know you all better and hopefully will have a little bit better of a question next time!OK chuckles over now,what dies do I need here so I can order this........Thanks again


  2. #2
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    Nothing stupid about the question. Reloading can be confusing, sometimes, even after 30 years of doing it you can still find things to leave you scratching you head. When you buy a die "set" it will have the dies to reload a given cartridge. The only thing that you may want to look at is the type of crimp die your getting with that set. If it's a 3 die pistol set than the seating die will have a roll crimp. If it's a four die set than usually it will have a taper crimp die as a seperate die. The taper crimp for pistols is in my "opinion" (worth what your paying for it, my opinion that is) the only way to go on pistol cartridges for semi autos. You will also see carbide sizer dies in some sets, these are a worthwhile investmnet but not absolutely neccessary. Since you are using a single stage press lubing cases prior to sizing is not that hard of a added step.
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    You will need at least a 3 die set for each caliber. Might also consider a 4th die called a "factory crimp" die. It really isnt a MUST but will help out over the long run. The 2 most important items you will need are scales and a good reloading manual!!!!!! Read the manual several times and USE the scales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Each die in the set does a different, necessary step in reloading the round, so you do have to buy the whole set. The carbide sizer is worth the extra money to avoid having to lube the cases (keep them from sticking in the die).
    eschew obfuscation

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  5. #5
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    Just do yourself a favor and get the Lee Carbide, four-die set for about $30. Carbide is a must for straight-walled cartridges (like the .45 and 9mm) as no lube is required. The Lee Factory Crimp Die (FCD) is a joy to use for all kinds of bullets (including Berry's plated) and avoids many of the problems encountered with a roll die (like making sure the case lengths are the same, buckling cases by too much crimp, etc.).

    BTW, you can normally find die sets on ebay or other gun classified sites for less than $30. Also check out Midway, etc. for their sales.

  6. #6
    Member Array pollardjd's Avatar
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    Ditto on the comments on the Lee Factory Crimp die. For pistol ammo, it is the best there is, because it resizes the whole case after you've stuffed a bullet into it. If you intend to load in high volumes, you might consider the Lee turret press, which processes four cases at a time, making quick work of loading a lot of ammo (there is a cute video of this press in action on the training section of Lee's web site). Loading pistol ammo on a single-stage press can be frustratingly long, though I do my share of it. One nice thing about Lee pistol dies is that you can add the Auto-Disk powder measure to the top of the expander die and cut out one step on the single-stage process, but expanding and powder-charging at the same time.
    Last edited by pollardjd; October 29th, 2009 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Corrected for typos.

  7. #7
    Member Array rjfusedneck's Avatar
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    how many times can i reload a brass casing

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    MidwayUSA.com 800-243-3220 has the Lee Challenger Anniversary Kit for $80.99. Buy the time you buy the dies you should qualify for free shipping. I don't know how that price stacks up against other dealers.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjfusedneck View Post
    how many times can i reload a brass casing
    Depends upon the cartridge and the load. You can get a dozen or more on mild loads in low-pressure cartridges and two or three on maximum loads on high pressure cartriges.

    Too many variables to make a blanket statement.
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    I ditto the vote for carbide sizing dies. Lubing cases is the only real pain in the butt in reloading that I don't enjoy. Just make sure your cases are clean before running them thru a carbide sizer. One scratch in the die can ruin all the shells afterwards.

    Top-of-the-line equipment is nice ... if you can afford it! I'm still using my old Herter's press. Try to find that name anywhere. It's slow but works fine.
    A Lee setup will get the job done, just not as fast as the more expensive progressive models.
    Now, go forth and let let your ammo multiply!

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I ditto the vote for carbide sizing dies. Lubing cases is the only real pain in the butt in reloading that I don't enjoy. Just make sure your cases are clean before running them thru a carbide sizer. One scratch in the die can ruin all the shells afterwards.

    Top-of-the-line equipment is nice ... if you can afford it! I'm still using my old Herter's press. Try to find that name anywhere. It's slow but works fine.
    A Lee setup will get the job done, just not as fast as the more expensive progressive models.
    Now, go forth and let let your ammo multiply!
    If memory serves, the Herter line of presses and dies were actually made by Lyman. They were (and still are) great, if basic, presses. I have a Lyman Turret that is probably 40 years old (it was used when I bought it) that I still use on a regular basis, along with my RockChucker and Dillon 550B.

    I bet you won't hear folks bragging about their 40-year old Lees. None will last that long.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    As to number of reloads per case, I almost never have a .45 ACP case "wear out." I have had more .38 Spl cases split.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  13. #13
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    Been using the old Herter's press since '76. Cast iron, man. Weights a ton! But it works!

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Been using the old Herter's press since '76. Cast iron, man. Weights a ton! But it works!
    Why not, it is the best in the world regardless of cost.

    My first press was a Herter's along with dies, scale, and all that was needed. It worked fine, but did not have the mechanical advantage that I found (years later) in the RCBS Rockchucker. I still use the Rockchucker for rifles, but have gone to Dillons for handguns.

    That first Herter's press I bought in 1957 when I graduated from college.

    I bought a lot of Herter's stuff that was the best in the world, and they were easy to deal with until the sons took over, computerized everything, and I could not get anything it seemed. I stopped doing business with them in the early 60s. I sure did enjoy their catalogs.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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