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Just me giving a basic overview of the benefits and joys of reloading. More of an educational piece for those who have thought about reloading but haven't gotten around to it yet.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1sPArlp5Ts"]VIDEO[/ame]
 

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I have been reloading for about 3 years now. It helps me through the winter time when I can not get to range. It is cheaper, but that is not why I took up the hobby. I like to use my time on my hobby and this fills in the time when I can not shoot. It is satisfying when I go to the range and fire my own ammo and it goes bang! I also pick up used brass while I am there and this helps me build my supply for when SHTF.
 

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I've been casting and reloading handgun since I was 9 years old, rifle was added when I was around 11, and shotgun reloading when I got out of the Army at 22 years old.

I love it and it's still as new and magic to me as it was 'way back then. I owe it all to my Dad, though, as he insisted I learn this when I was 9.
 

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Need some help - first reloading attempt

I am thinking about starting to reload my ammo. I have never done this before. Any pointers from you pros would be appreciated.

What equipment is needed?
What tools are needed?
What supplies - your brand recommendations?
How long does it take to load a 1000rds?
Any special technique more successful than others?
Any safety concerns to be aware of?
Mistakes noobs make.
 

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My tips are to tripple check you load data, check more than one source. There are misprints and some of the old loads are insane!!!

Only keep the powder your loading with on the bench, keep it close to your powder measure. Put the powder up after you finish, i've had to dump the powder measure acouple times for forgetting what was in it. And you can pour it back into the wrong container.

And after you think you got your load all figured out, check it agian!!!

Keep good notes!!!!

It's really not hard at tall, just got to start!!!
 

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Buy a basic kit containing press, powder trickler, primer, loading blocks, scale, etc.

Buy 2 GOOD reloading books. Read them cover to cover.

After you've done a few batches, you'll have a better idea for your preferences and can start spending money where it will matter most to you (like digital scale, etc. if that's what you want).

Oh, and never, ever, ever use a vacuum cleaner to clean up a powder spill. Dust pan and brush, please, followed by damp paper towels. Helps to minimize the blowing-up of oneself.
 

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I am thinking about starting to reload my ammo. I have never done this before. Any pointers from you pros would be appreciated.

What equipment is needed?
What tools are needed?
What supplies - your brand recommendations?
How long does it take to load a 1000rds?
Any special technique more successful than others?
Any safety concerns to be aware of?
Mistakes noobs make.
Well, you need a press, dies for the caliber, a .1 grain resolution scale, calipers at the very least.

You need brass, powder, primers, and bullets. Brand does not matter. I use accurate powders because they work in the lee disk device. I use range looted brass. I use whatever cheap bullets I can find in bulk, usually hard cast lead for pistol.

I can load 1000 rounds of pistol ammo in a few hours with a turret press, one 8 hour day tops. Necked rifle cases would take 2 8 hour days for 1000.

technique? Its more about how much $$$ you dump into gear. The more you spend the easier and faster the process can go.

You are handling explosives in bulk. A 9mm round is pretty dangerous and is like 6 grains of powder. You will be handling as much as 70,000 grains of powder at times. Yes, its dangerous. Don't beat on primers. Dont beat on anything, actually, or force things. Don't smoke around the stuff. Dont static electric zap your powder keg. Its pretty much a no brainer --- if you would not do it in a fireworks factory, don't do it here either.

Other mistakes, the big ones are too much powder in a case. This can be avoided by using a type of powder that fills the cast for 1 charge, rather than a hot powder that can fit 3-4 charges in one case. Another is seating the bullet too deep --- thats why you have the calipers. Other stuff... do not want to use the wrong powder or materials, keep a neat clean work area and be organized.

Its not hard, nor really unsafe if you use common sense and are careful. Its only dangerous when you rush or try to do it while watching tv or do not pay attention to details.
 

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First, buy the Lyman Reloading Manual. That's one of the better ones for learning.

Straight-walled pistol cases are easier to reload than necked down rifle cases.

Large cases are easier to reload than small cases (e.g., given a choice, you might want to choose .38spl over .380acp as a first caliber to reload).

Do not buy a fancy progressive reloading press to start with. I think turret presses are ideal, for both beginners and more advanced reloaders. Progressives give you lots of room for error, but you can turn out boatloads of ammo with them. Single stages are quite a bit slower and IMHO best for rifles. The sweet spot for pistol reloading is the turret press IMHO.

Lee makes very good and very inexpensive reloading equipment. I would highly recommend their "Classic Turret Press". And also Lee die sets. You can pay a lot more than you pay for Lee and not get a performance increase commensurate with the great price difference.

Save yourself some frustration and just get a digital scale and skip the balance beam type. At least on the low end models. Low end digital scales are perfectly acceptable, low end balance beam scales ... no so much.

I reload about 100 rounds per hour in my turret press.

Safety concerns? Yes, lots of them. Primers are explosive. Powders burn. Handle them appropriately. Too much powder in a case makes a bomb, not a cartridge. Follow established and trusted recipes (powder, primer, bullet) for the cartridge you are reloading. Do not experiment outside of normal powder charge ranges that are specified in (trusted) load data.

You will need a press, a set of dies, a turret to hold the dies (if a turret press), a powder scale, a powder funnel, a reloading block or two (a piece of wood with appropriate holes drilled in it would work too - but the plastic blocks are cheap), a sturdy bench to mount your press on, a pair of calipers, and some type of priming setup (be that a separate hand primer or something that attaches to your press). There are probably some other things you'll need too that I'm not remembering off the top of my head.

Shortly after getting started you will probably want a case tumbler and media and sifter, a bullet puller, more die sets, more spare turrets, and plastic ammo boxes to store your ammo in.

For components - you need four: bullets, brass, powder, and primers. Bullets - I like Berry's Manufacturing copper plated and Missouri Bullet lead, but there are lots of excellent choices. The bullet will be your more expensive component. Brass - I prefer Starline simply because it's very good and inexpensive too. Powder - that depends on what caliber you will be reloading. For "standard pistol stuff" like .38spl, .45acp, 9mm, etc you could do well by picking up some Winchester 231, some Bullseye, some 700X, some Trailboss, some Unique, some Titegroup, or one of many other powders. If I was going to pick one and only one powder to start with for "standard pistol stuff", I'd probably go with Bullseye or Winchester 231. Primers - pretty much I buy what I can find. I've used Winchester, Remington, Federal and CCI ... not much difference between them in my experience. Note that there is a difference between standard pistol primers and magnum pistol primers. Not a whole lot of handgun things use the magnum primers, so you'll probably be looking for the standard primers.

Mistakes newbies make? I would say if you pay attention to what you're doing you'll be just fine. Drinking a beer while watching TV while reloading is a recipe for disaster. You will probably be surprised at just how little powder goes in a pistol case. It's definitely not "just fill'er up!" You have to weigh the powder, or measure it by volume. And then after dropping the powder in the case I always take a look-see to verify things look correct (especially if you're using a turret or progressive press that does multiple operations). You don't want too much powder nor do your want too little. And for most things, your powder will be barely visible down inside the case. Depending on caliber and brand of powder, it's not unusual for you to be able to fit 8x more powder than you need into a case. Yeah, you really do use that little. Trailboss is a high volume powder that fills the case more than other powders. It's harder to make a big mistake with Trailboss, but of course it can still happen.

Final notes: If you are thinking about getting into reloading to "save a ton of money" you're probably chasing a false hope. Yes, you can save money, but usually you won't. You will just load and shoot more. And you'll be able to shoot many calibers that you wouldn't dare buy due to ammo expense. My current "fun caliber" is .45colt, but that's not one I would be shooting if I had to pay retail price for the ammo. Think of reloading as a new hobby in-and-of-itself and you'll be better off.

My recommendation for starting out? Buy your reloading manual first. Lyman is best for learning about general reloading tasks. Read that before you buy anything else so you know what you're getting into, and have (maybe) started to form a few preferences in your mind. Buy a Lee Classic Turret Press in a kit (I think Cabela's sells these). The kit will contain the most needed things to get started. Most kits come with a balance beam scale. I'd buy an additional cheap digital scale, like for example, a Franklin Arsenal DS-750 (Midway sells these). Buy a set of Lee dies (they will work fine with any brand press - maybe not some exotic presses that you're not likely to find anyway). Pick up some Bullseye or Winchester 231 powder. This powder recommendation is based on "standard pistol stuff". A little goes a long way. Buy the smallest container size until you decide what you like the best. Buy whatever primers you can find (but first you need to know if you need pistol or rifle, large or small, and standard or magnum). Buy the correct primers for the caliber you are reloading. Grab a bag/box of appropriate brass (whatever they're selling is probably "good enough" to get started) or scrounge some in good condition from your shooting range.
 

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I watched "Hickok45" video on youtube. He gave a very good overview about reloading without going into a lot of fluff stuff.

I think the video is about 18/22 minuets long, then he done several shorter ones about some of the more detailed procedures.
 

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If I start I am starting with a Dillon 550b, specifically a pre-built rig as offered on the Brian Enos site. I shoot a fair amount but lack free time, so productivity would be important to me.

If I had more free time and less disposable income I would start with a single stage.

In the mean time I am educating myself and collecting brass, and I buy $500+ at a time from Georgia Arms (free shipping, no taxes)' buying theor .40 Canned Heat @ $260/1000.
 

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I'm about to get started with the reloading. I got a great deal on a Dillon 550b off of craigslist for $150. Guy said he hadn't loaded more than 50 rounds through it. Got it with 40 cal dies in it and extra powder measure and primer pickup tubes unused and still in packaging unopened. I'm thinking he may have got frustrated with it setting it up because it still had a 40 cal bullet stuck up in the seating die. Got the bullet out and cleaned everything up and it looks brand new!
 

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Wow, that's a lot less than I paid for my dillon. Dont' forget to call them if you have problems. The folks who answer the phone speak English AND have been reloading for at least 20 years each. Phone or email, they are helpful.
Have fun,
Lop
 

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I own a Lee Classic Turret press and in my opinion its one of the best buys in presses out there. It has the speed,convenience and accuracy I am looking for all around a fraction of the price of the blue and green stuff(btw this thing is built like a tank). The best part is if you are a beginner you can always use the turret as a single stage press and as you gain confidence you can activate the auto indexing and start cranking out the bullets. Sure its not as fast as a progressive but I don't shoot as much as someone who might need one. Now if you find a good deal on a dillion go for it but I will always be happy with my Lee and see no reason to ever get rid of it.
 

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Anyone use a Redding T-7? How does it compare to some of the others?
 

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Chavo and others, I've a easy question. I know a single stage does one operation at a time. I have a progressive that does all stages with each pull of the handle. I'm not sure what a turret press is. I've think I saw one with room for 1 shell, but 4 dies above. Do I understand correctly that you can run 100 shells thru for sizeing, then turn the turret and do the next 100, or you could put 1 shell in, pull the handle, turn the turret, pull the handle... 3-4 times and produce one round? It sounds like that would be great for working up loads or testing new compents.
So am I understanding this term?
Thanks,
Lop
 

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Chavo and others, I've a easy question. I know a single stage does one operation at a time. I have a progressive that does all stages with each pull of the handle. I'm not sure what a turret press is. I've think I saw one with room for 1 shell, but 4 dies above. Do I understand correctly that you can run 100 shells thru for sizeing, then turn the turret and do the next 100, or you could put 1 shell in, pull the handle, turn the turret, pull the handle... 3-4 times and produce one round? It sounds like that would be great for working up loads or testing new compents.
So am I understanding this term?
Thanks,
Lop
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Deactivate the auto index and use it like a single stage press, activate auto indexing and every time you pull the handle it performs a operation, turns the turret to a different die and performs a operation one round at a time.
 
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