Just Considering Reloading

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by starman, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. starman

    starman New Member

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    I'm considering the practice of reloading my own ammo now. I done a little on a friends bench and would like to have my own equipment. I would be starting out with 38spl & 357 mag rounds. What would be a good brand of equipment to start with and should I consider a carocel or multi station style rather than a single station style. An estimate on cost would be nice also and the availability of all the loading materials less brass I have prenty of that. I haven't check supply availability on primers, bullets and powder are they getting difficult to find like new ammo?

    Thanks
  2. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    Starman your in luck! if you are not particular in the brands of primers, and others stuff you can put in an order now and maybe get it in 3 months or so. if your particular about what you use then you might get it by Christmas, if your really particular there is a good chance you might never get it. :mad:

    Check midway usa for equiptment: Lee will be the cheapest and work fine. If you feel like gettting higher end equipt go to the rcbs. You will just have to search various vendors for deals and avaliability.

    single stage or not. totally up to you and what you want to produce in the amount of time you have. I use a single stage press because i mostly reload rifle rounds and like to have complete control over every step. If I were loading pistol rounds only i would use a progressive press.
    Let me say one thing further. if i were loading brass that did not have to be trimmed and measured then i would use a progressive press. that's what i should have said.

    seriously for your componients like primers, projectiles, ect place your order now and hurry up and wait. Although pistol componients are easier to come by. good luck

    How much will it cost you. i think if you take the low road a couple of hundred, if you take the high road a grand. remember you need componients. its up to you if you buy one pound of powder for 25.00 or 8lb for 145.00 same with primers 1000 may cost you 45.00 or 5K will hit you 2 to 300, depending on how long you want to wait.

    here are some suppliers

    http://www.grafs.com/metallic/644

    http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/

    http://www.natchezss.com/

    midway usa / and cabelas to name a few
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  3. army mp

    army mp New Member

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    This has been discussed extensively on this site, Components are almost impossible to find in most parts of the country. Most any press will get the job done. A lot of guys go with the Lee Turret, Hornady LNL progressive is a lot more money but you get 1000 free bullets with it. Reloading is a great hobby and can save you some money if you shoot a lot. The set up is the most expensive part of it. But you can start out with a Lee single stage press for $25.00 or you can go hog wild and get the Dillon 650 for about $700.00, as you see you can put as much or little money into it as you want.
  4. 38 special

    38 special New Member

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    UNique ,bullseye, 2400 and red dot are good powders.cci 500 primers and I like hornady hpxtp bullets. For target practice 148 grain hollow base wad cutters.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Active Member

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    Here's the skinny on presses:

    Single stage.... good for reloading rifle rounds where every step is desired to be totally controlled. The loading is done in batches. That is, you deprime and size all cases to be reloaded. You then change the press dies to the belling die for pistol cartridges and do the whole batch. Then you change the press dies again to do the bullet seating step and do the whole batch.

    Turret press.... They have up to 7 stations for dies. You install all three dies for a particular caliber. You start by sizing and priming a case in the first station. You rotate the turret head (or on some models the case holder plate) and bell that case. On some you can put the powder into the case through the belling die on the press so that the case doesn't leaves the press cartridge holder for filing the case with powder. Then you move the plateform or rotate the turret head and seat the bullet and crimp. The turret press setup is at least three times faster than a single stage press because you don't have to remove and reinsert the case for each process step. It takes three pulls of the handle for each case in order to do the three process step to the case.

    Progressive press... This press is similar in operation to the turret press except that all stations are working cases at once. So instead of thee pulls of the handle giving one completed round, as in the turret press, each pull of the handle gives a finished round. That makes it about three times faster than the turret press, or five to tens times faster than a single stage press.

    If you buy the right progressive it can be used as a single stage press, a turret press, or in full progressive mode. Of the progressives the Dillon RL550B is the most versatile as it loads pistol and rifle brass and is very easy to use as a single stage press, a turret press, or a full progressive press. Progressive presses with auto table rotation are much harder to use as a single stage press, or a turret press. Pistol cartridges only presses are too limited. The Dillon family of presses comes with a no BS warrantee that really works. You buy the press and if anything breaks (the forces needed to make ammunition are high and ANY press will eventually break something) they fix it for free forever! They update it as required for free! They will completely rebuild it for free too, multiple times if it needs it!

    I suggest that if you think you will be doing reloading into the future that you do not buy too little press. If you do you will be replacing it shortly with a faster, better press. Reloading is making something and the rewards both mentally and physically can be huge. They are for me and I like reloading as much a shooting. So determine if that is the case for you by reloading with others for awhile and if you think you will really like it then buy the best press you can.

    LDBennett
  6. starman

    starman New Member

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    Thanks guys, I'm looking at a used Hornably LNL, the guy say's its 4 months old $360
    I believe the last stage of loading on these should kick the finished shell out into a tray. He say's he just uses his finger to knock it out of the shell holder into the tray. After looking at Hornady web site there's two styles of shell plates the older one uses a eject spring to kick them out, and the newer EZJect plate to kicks them out by its self. Either way I don't think you should have to use your finger.
    I've also looked at a new Dillon RL550B progressive seems to work alright but it seems more complicated and more small pieces than the Hornady. I also looked at the RCBS single stage and turret style.
    So in a progressive style press is Hornady, Dillon or RCBS which one is considered best.

    Thanks
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  7. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    Dillon is great - been reloading on it for about 2 years. .38, .45, .223
    Did not have any experience with reloading before and the Dillon has treated a newbie awesome in my opinion.
  8. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    I think that price is a little steep for a used machine. For a few dollars more Cabelas has a brand new one. Unless that includes a case feeder. Just my opinion.
  9. starman

    starman New Member

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    I have to agree with the little high and not only that but he got the 1000 free bullets not me.
  10. smokyhollowforge

    smokyhollowforge New Member

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    The Hornady lnl at Natchez is $389.00 brand new with 1000 free bullets you can go to www.natchezss.com
  11. tEN wOLVES

    tEN wOLVES New Member

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    I've only had my Hornady Lock & Load AP, for a while now, and I love it, it has the new EZject shell plate that works great, I also set up my Rock Chucker with the Bushing conversion kit, so I can pop a dye out of either and use either press I want, this is really a great feature, there are a lot of good presses out there, and you wouldn't go wrong buying them, but for me this Hornady L&L AP answers ALL my needs, this is without a doubt the smoothest press I tried over the last year of looking and doing my homework, and even though it's a progressive , you can stop and remove a shell at any station without any problem if you think you need to check something, nice feature, and you can arrange the dies the way you want them another nice feature, they added a primer follower, to put mild pressure on the primers to keep them moving right, and this press comes with cert fittings, so you can keep it greased up and running smooth and easy, there is no play in the die head like there is in others which adds to its solid feel and precise movement, it's big strong sturdy and stable, so if you do choose the L&L AP, you should be a happy loader. the next step for me will be the auto case loader, but that's down the road a bit, I'm having too much fun just the way it is. And you can get a 1,000 free bullets if you buy one during this year of 2009, can't beat that with a stick.

    Good luck with what ever press you choose.:confused:


    tEN wOLVES :):D
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  12. starman

    starman New Member

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    ten wolves where did you order yours from?
  13. tEN wOLVES

    tEN wOLVES New Member

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    Hello Starman,

    I ordered mine from Midway USA, last December 20,08 and received it April 10, 09 They had a sale back then, I paid $359.00, plus I'm getting 1,000 free bullets from Hornady also, it was a long wait, but after having it for a while, I'd do it all over again, even at the new price which isn't that much more.this Press is Awesome. if you want one get your order in as soon as you can,no matter who you want to buy it from, they fill all orders first, and they don't bill you until they have it in stock and are ready to send it to you, either way it's worth the wait. And the 1,000 bullets will be honored the rest of the year of 2009.

    Regards

    tEN wOLVES :D
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  14. starman

    starman New Member

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    I've now been looking at the RCBS Rockchucker kit. Seems to have most everything I would need to get started, except the tumbler. I thought this might be a more modest way to get started and see if my interest holds on the reloading. If anyone has this set up and would like to give it a new home let me know.

    Thanks
  15. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    I think you'll find MANY of us that have the Chucker, good luck in finding any of us that will give it up though. You'll find very very few of these on the used market for a reason. You will NEVER go wrong with this press, go for it and keep us posted. The kit new can be had for just under 300, a good value for what you get. Do you have an idea on what your budget is?

    I'll also make u an offer, I have a Lee 3 die set for 38/357. they're still in great shape, I'll donate them to you upon you buying a press, with the only condition being that we get pics of your green baby !!
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  16. starman

    starman New Member

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    Sounds like a deal to me, I plan on ordering one Tuesday after the Holiday. I've really been on the fence as to whether or not to jump into this hand loading game. However after looking for some good 38spl target ammo today and not finding it I beleive its time to make the move. I've now found components except the auto prime feeder attachment for the rockchucker and a brass tumbler. Question is it always nessisary to tumble the brass or can it be washed clean w/o the tumbling step?
    Oh not to look a gift horse in the mouth but is the lee sizer die a carbide one?
    Thanks for your offer, When I order I'll probably be waiting on the B/O primer feeder and tumbler so it may be a few weeks ?? before I actually have it.
  17. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    If you order the kit, you'll get the hand primer with it, it's just as easy to use and you'll be ready to loading after reading a few manuals.
    You can clean the brass in solution without tumbling, there are some that prefer to do it that way, you just have a few more hands on steps and have to ensure they're completely dry.
    Yes, it's carbide. I've collected a few sets and can spare them, they're not expensive and I've got my needs covered, so I'd be happy to help out.
  18. retired grunt

    retired grunt New Member

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    Wooley
    +1 on helping a new reloader out! That's what I truly enjoy about this board.
  19. RustyFN

    RustyFN New Member

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    Starman,
    Just from my experience I would recommend the Lee classic cast turret. It can be used as a single stage press and when you understand and want to step things up a bit you can use it in auto index mode and load 3 to 4 times faster than a single stage. With the SS you will be stuck at 50 to 75 rounds per hour. Nothing wrong with taking your time and being safe but it would get old if you shoot any quantity. Most people including myself can load 200 rounds per hour on the CT. Here are a couple of videos so you can see the press in operation.
    http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/videos/Turret%20Press/loading%20on%20turret-1.wmv
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOpN9iYOyE8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmGIxg1ybwg

    Rusty
  20. starman

    starman New Member

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    Wooley your generosity is very much appreciated and I will put them to good use. This forum and everyone involved has been great, I've learned a lot and yes it has saved me from mistakes and has helped me make bettter decissions and choices.
    Rusty, good information and I'll keep it in mind. I shoot most weekends but not it great quanities with the bigger bore pistols. If I can produce 50 per hour that should satisfy my needs for now.
    Thanks to all and be safe.
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