How to get started...

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by CobraGT40, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. CobraGT40

    CobraGT40 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Aurora, Illinois
    Due to the rapid rise in the price of ammunition, I would like to start loading my own... But this is all new to me and I have no idea whatsoever where to start.

    Anyone out there have some tips for newbie ?

    Thanks !

    Scott
  2. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    S Tx near San Antonio
    The ‘cost’ of ammo? What about just finding it!!! At any rate welcome both to the forum and to the world of reloading. You didn’t say what you are interested in handloading or what your interests are, but I’m sure hope we on this forum can help you.

    The best way (the only intelligent way) to get started is to polish your reading glasses, spend a few bucks on some good books, fluff your favorite pillow and spend a couple weeks studying. When your eyes get tired, log onto your computer and spend a weekend or two watching the numerous utube and other reloading videos on line. I know not very exciting but handloading, like anything worthwhile, has a learning curve – its well worth it once you get started!

    A couple books I would recommend would be Lee’s Reloading Manual (a huge book, but packed with information and easier to peruse than it looks) and Lyman’s Reloading Manual, another wealth of information for either the neophyte or expert handloader.

    In a couple weeks you’ll be ready to start equipment hunting. I strongly recommend you start out loading with a single stage press. It will help you develop the skills needed to successfully handload, and even if you move on to a more advanced (progressive or whatever) press you still need a single stage, for however long you load.

    Also, start seeking out a ‘mentor’ if you will, some old fart that has done it awhile. Not completely necessary, but someone to lean back on when uncertain sure help.

    Again, please take a minute to further explain your interests and needs, you will find a wealth of resources online, especially right here.

    Miles
  3. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,287
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    +1 on the reloading manuals my favorite for beginning was the Lyman.

    As far as presses go, you are going to find a plethora of responses when it comes time for that. I'll offer you my most unbiased response to the topic.....there are three types: single stage, semi progressive, and progressive. Do your research on each of these and buy the one that suits YOU; that is what fits your budget, your volume of shooting, the calibers you like to reload for and most of all what YOU like. This forum is exactly what you will need to accompany your growth in the reloading hobby. This forum also opens up many diverse opinions about what brand is better or worse, which can confuse,frustrate then discourage beginners right out of the hobby. Read a manual or two then start bringing questions to the forum, before you know it you'll be squeezing rounds off of your own making!

    Welcome and good luck......
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,261
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    A+ advice posted above. Dont hesitate to ask questions. We would be happy to help with anything you need.;)
  5. Rocket J Squirl

    Rocket J Squirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    Stockpile stuff 5 years ago.

    Now you get to paid way to much, and scrap for what you can find
  6. CobraGT40

    CobraGT40 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Aurora, Illinois
    Thanks for the advice fellas...

    The two cardridges I am most interested in hand loading is 30 Carbine and 7.7mm for my Arisaka rifle. I also plan on purchasing a .44 and .45 in the near future and would like to load those as well.


    Thanks again guys !

    Scott
  7. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    SW. Florida
    First off, welcome to TFF! A lot of good people here.

    Here's how I'd start:

    1. Get a single stage reloading press. The progressive press for high volume reloading can come later if you like it.

    2. A set if dies and a shell holder for each type of round you want to reload.

    3. Next you'll need brass, primers, powder and bullets for the rounds to be reloaded. Hopefully, you've been saving your brass when you go shoot.

    4. You'll need some calipers to measure case length and overall length.

    5. Then a powder measure and a scale to determine the correct powder charge.

    6. A hand priming tool will speed the primer seating.

    7. There's a lot of misc. items too like powder trickler, bullet lube pad, case length trimmer, deburring tool for the case neck and reamer cleaner/ primer pockets. A powder funnel and a case loading block is nice to have too.

    8. After you've collected all that stuff you'll probably want a case tumbler to clean your fired cases too.

    That should be enough to get you started. I've probably overlooked some items, but we have a lot of qualified reloaders here that can chime in to help you too. :)

    PS: I like primarily RCBS equipment, but I have some Lee and Lyman itmes that are better for the job.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  8. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Potosi, Mo
    HI and welcome! You got a lot of good advice, the really big thing is read read read. The more knowledge you gain the better off you will be.Have fun and be safe.........
  9. CobraGT40

    CobraGT40 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Aurora, Illinois
    Thanks again fellas...I'll pick up a couple books and see where I can go from there. As far as the equipment I'll need, am I better off buying it new, or is Ebay the way to go ? About what will be a ballpark estimate on the price of gear to get started ? Is this a modular thing ... as in equipment that I can keep building up and/or adding to ? I'm a thorough person and like to do things right the first time. I've actually wanted to load my own ammo since I started buying my own firearms 20 years ago.

    Thanks again guys for all your patience and advice...this is a great forum !

    Scott
  10. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,287
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    I was told $650 - $700 when I started to actually load your first round, I thought that was way out there as I looked at the lyman turret press kit for $300. By the time brass, primers, bullets, powder, a bench, and some of the things I didn't at first consider the $700 was spot on. Keep in mind you can pay 6-7 for a press by itself so I took the moderate path. Here's what I started on and I still find no reason to buy anything more............(this is a semi-progressive faster than single stage and a bit slower than progressive.)

    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10200317____SearchResults
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  11. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,961
    Location:
    SW Fort Worth
    Welcome to the world of Reloading, Cobra ! The press that 312 linked to in his post is on sale and a pretty darn good deal. The Lyman presses are very good. My personal choices are Blue, but the agree wholeheartedly that the best press for you is the one that You decide is best for your situation. Reading a couple of manuals will give you a very good idea of what equipment you'll want to start with.

    If you've done a search on the forum, you'll find alot of questions pertaining to starting out. Don't worry about starting another thread and asking the same questions; Nobody here minds; theres alot of info to dig through and I for one think the only place one should dig is in the manuals. The forum is here for quicker responses to sharing our experiences and solving common problems.

    I would avoid any website, private seller, retail store or gunshop to buy any reloading equipment....... unless you've done your homework and shopped around; then I don't think there is a problem with any of them. Some of my best "buys" have been on forum ads, however, the same theory applies, know what you're buying and who you're buying it from.

    Read, read and read some more; this will instill the basics and proper safety precautions that you'll need to have confidence in your reloading abilities. This is a MUST have; reading the manuals is one of the few times that I will jump in and beat a seemingly very dead horse...... The manuals are great reading material too, it's not like it's a chore to read them, at least not for me.

    You're in a good spot though, one of only a few times when a man can be truly Excited to go do some shopping !!!

    Semper Fi,

    Woolley

  12. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    SW. Florida
    Cobra, Cabela's has some good starter packages for around $300 that have many of the essentials you'll need. Here's a link:

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...parentType=index&parentId=cat20847&id=0018937

    It's RCBS equipment, but they have other's too. Here's one for a Hornady kit that's good as well:

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...parentType=index&parentId=cat20847&id=0044088

    Sometimes these packages are a good place to get you started. You'll still need to pick-up some dies for your particular calibers you want to load. I'd be careful about used dies from e-bay. For me new would be the only way for me to go on them. The rest of the accessories are probably good when used. Good luck on your new hobby, you'll enjoy the benefits of it.:)
  13. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    S Tx near San Antonio
    Cobra, a couple of posters brought up something else to look into early on, of course once your sure you are going to go into reloading.

    Once you know what your will need, start looking for, and probably stocking up on supplies – primers, bullets powder and brass if you will need any.. Not long ago I would never considered recommending this, but in today’s political and economic climate you can be assured supplies are on hand when you need them, and save some money by taking your time to shop (which is after all one of the major motivations for handloading).

    Miles
  14. army mp

    army mp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    western Pa,
    Cobra welcome to the Addiction, as said above I would go with a new starter kit. That way you have a good Idea, your equipment is up to par and not someone elses worn out or abused junk.. also start out slow. The 30 would be a good round to start out on. Straight wall. And with carbide Dies you don’t have to mess with lubed cases , till you start in on the bottle neck stuff.. I would check out Midsouth shooters, They are cheaper than Midway or Cabelas
  15. Lost One

    Lost One New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    SLC, Ut.
    Cobra I am in the same spot you are now. I have ordered in several books on reloading, some I bought new some from ebay and some from amazon, check around before you buy some of the books on ebay go for more than you can buy it for new.

    As far as equipment goes I have been adding it up and checking out the costs of new vs used (ebay, there doesnt seem to be much on local listing where I am) and after figuring in all the shipping costs from this seller and that seller I have decided to go with new. I will know what condition the equipment is in this way and it will have a warranty, so if spending $10 more for something new gives me the warranty I figure its money well spent.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Trying to get started Jan 24, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum It has started... Aug 3, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Help getting started May 6, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Wanting to get started Jan 13, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Looking to get started ? Mar 8, 2011

Share This Page