I'm new here, and trying to find advice on reloading. Right now I'm over in Iraq, soon to be out, so the cash I have for ammo will drop a LOT. I wanted to get into reloading while I have the cash for the initial equipment so I could shoot cheaper in the future, but as I'm new to this, I have a lot of questions.
I've read a few of the other posts asking for advice in this area, and come up with a few other answers. I don't expect everyone here to do all the work for me, but if you could answer some of them or point me in the right direction, possibly some guides or tutorials, that would help.
The first question, is what equipment do I need and why? I've read a lot about the press and dies, tumbling/cleaning brass, removing primers, resizing, crimping (what exactly is this?) etc. From what I understand the Dillon press (550B specifically) will do all this but cleaning the brass. Is this true? Do I need to clean the brass? Is there any equipment I'm missing out on, or will that pretty much do it as long as I have the supplies? (bullets, casings, primer, and powder). If I reload other caliber rounds in the future, do I need a completely differnet press, or just different dies?
My second question is, will any casings do? I have a lot of spent casings around, from Wolf to Aguila, Remington, Winchester and Magtech. I shoot about a thousand rounds every time I go on leave, so I usually buy the cheapest rounds I can find at the time. Will these work for reloading? (and once again, do I need to clean them?).
One last question for now, and this seems to be one in every Help Me post on this board, but what would you guys recommend for powder, primers, and bullets. For the last I've heard a lot of good things about Remington and Winchester. Keep in mind I'm looking for the cheapest stuff I can get to take to the range and just practice with, but at the same time I don't want something so cheap that it's going to misfire on me or something (harm me or the weapon).
If it helps at all, the weapon I'm firing it out of is a Springfield XD (great weapon by the way).
Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me, and any other advice I may be too ignorant to ask about yet is appreciated.
Last edited by DarkArchon; 09-11-2008 at 03:20 AM..
I don't have a dillon, but others here greatly recommend it, and you definitely want a progressive press if you plan on loading lots of rounds.
Starting with the brass.
All those spent cases you have, remove the steel/aluminum ones.
If you shoot CCI Blazer (not CCI Blazer Brass), its aluminum cased, and
no good for reloading at all - dump it.
Some of the Wolf stuff, if not brass, is usually steel or lacquered steel,
dump that as well.
All the brass casing, and nickel if you have, should be fine for reloading.
cleaning, while not entirely necessary, is recommended, but you don't have
to clean them every time, could probably shoot 2 or 3 times before cleaning.
Cleaning helps because it minimizes the chance of stuck cases or scratching the dies.
So, for cleaning - 2 things necessary, a tumbler, and the media.
tumblers, range anywhere from $40-100, and media is usually around $10-20 for a box.
The press and dies - I'll leave others to answer as I don't have Dillon, I use Lee dies/press, but I don't reload mass quantities, and prefer single stage.
Single stage, you do batches of loading, 1 step at a time.
1) deprime/size, 2) prime, 3) load powder, 4) seat bullet, 5) crimp
So, you do step 1 for 100 cases, then those same cases, goto step 2, etc, etc.
I have a 45 as well, but don't reload for it, but its easy to plow thru the ammo.
You want a progresive press, because every time you pull the handle, you make a bullet, much quicker.
Now as far as powders/bullets - am guessing you're probably not wanting to cast your own, lot of work.
Most gun shops that sell powder, also have bullets fairly cheap.
They sell cast bullets (lead) and copper ones (more expensive)
You really need to just try different ones and see what your XD likes.
IF your XD eats anything, and it sounds like it does from the variety of ammo you shoot, the cast lead bullets should be fine.
Primers, I've used Winchester, CCI, Remington, all are good ones.
CCI seems to be one of the most popular primers, one I use, and never had a failure yet.
For powders, matter of preference and power.
If you're just plinking, you can load the rounds a little lighter, using minimum
powder loads, and saving money per shot.
Unique or Bullseye is a good general all around powder.
If you got the cash, and loading alot, look for the 8lb cans/bottles of powder,
much cheaper overall than buying by the pound.
Last edited by DoesItMatter; 09-11-2008 at 04:02 AM..
Most of your questions can be answered by reading the introductory sections of a good reloading manual. I like beginning reloaders to read the Hornady manual as it explains how cartridges work with illustrations and how to reload as well. It all makes more sense if you know how it works and what the reloading processes are doing to make the ammo.
I would add to what has already been said that when you go through your spent brass you not only have to throw out the aluminum and steel cases but those primed with Berdan primer.
Most American made ammo uses Boxer primers. The difference is that the Boxer primed case has two small non-central holes that lead the flame from the primer to the powder, inside the case, while the Boxer primed cases have a single larger central hole (again inside the case). You can not easily reload Berdan primed brass as the die with the central stem (the sizing die), that removes the primer during reloading, will get broken trying to punch through the solid brass case head. Almost any brass from a foreign country is primed with Berdan primers but you actually have to look inside each case to be sure which it is. Discard all Berdan primed cases.
Definitely get a reloading manual. I was intensely interested in reloading while I too was still in the service so I started reading about it before I got out. When I did get out I was chomping at the bit to get started !
I reload for the .45 ACP and I've found that AA #2 works well for powder.Any powder you find you like while experimenting will be cheaper if you can buy it an 8# container. e.g.-I use alot of Varget for rifle rounds and have paid as much as $25 a pound for it, but an 8# container is only $120 or so. That's only $15 a pound. If you're going to a range to shoot, look around for brass there. You can't beat the price. Just inspect it and clean it before reloading. You'll also save money if you can find lead bullets that you like instead of jacketed. Lead bullets are considerably cheaper than jacketed,although there are some mfg's of jacketed that have inexpensive jacketed bullets.
Kick some ass in Iraq, and happy reloading !!
Change...it's all you'll have left in your pocket by 2013.