Just ordered reloading equipment....

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Tony Mig, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    I'm another step closer to rolling my own.... ;)

    Just ordered the Lee Anniversary Reloading kit, and a set of Lee Carbide pistol dies for .38 Spl / .357 Magnum, from Midway, and it should be here on the 7th. When I get paid again in another two weeks, I'll pick up a box of CCI standard pistol primers, a pound of Bullseye powder, and a box of either 148 grain wadcutters, or 158 grain semi-wadcutters from the local gun shop.
    I've got a buddy from the shooting range that offered to run my brass through his tumbler, and I've got plenty of brass to get started with. As I can afford it, I'll add a tumbler of my own, a set of .40 S&W dies, and try some different powders and primers.
    I'm also reading as much info as I can about casting my own bullets, but it seems as though it's not all that cost effective.
  2. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    What great news from you Tony!

    You will love what will happen the first time you "roll your own" and pop it off.

    Remember read the reloading books over and over and never stray from them.

    Get ready for the addiction....................
  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Repeat after me: "Hi. My name is Tony and I'm a handloader." :D

    Welcome to the club, Tony. Read the manuals while you are waiting for your stuff. Read the manuals while you are setting up your kit. Read the manuals wh....well, you get the idea.

    Pops
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    That's a really wise choice as a first reloader's kit. Large enough to do the job for a beginner, but inexpensive enough so that if you decide that reloading's not for you, you're not out much.

    Also, Bullseye is a good choice for a "first powder".....looks like you've done everything right, so far, Tony.

    Later on, you'll probably want to go "bigger & better", but for the time being, you've got all you need to get started, and learn the fun, and the "do's and don't's" of reloading.

    And read, read, read! And then read some more!

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...f=sr_1_1/002-2618098-2879224?v=glance&s=books

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...t_1/002-2618098-2879224?v=glance&s=books&st=*

    http://precisionreloading.com/reloadingmanualsguides.htm
  5. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    Thanks guys, always appreciate the good words and advice.
    I have been doing my reading, and I've got a buddy from the shooting range that's been rolling his own for more years than he'd like to admit to. He's been teaching me the ropes, and showing me how to do it safely. We are both target shooters, and aren't into hot rodding our ammo, but preffer accuracy and proper pressures above all.
    (my buddy always says..."if you want something that gives more kick, get a .44 Magnum"....."if you want to place them next to each other in the black, load for accuracy")

    I figured the same way with buying the Lee Kit to start off with, if I get real serious with this endevor, I can always add better components as time goes on.

    I did manage to pick up a pound of Bullseye, a couple packs of CCI #500 small pistol primers, and I bought the last 100 count box of 158 Gr. LRN bullets from the gun shop. I'll have to check with other area gun shops to see what they have in stock, that or order a bulk pack from Midway.com, I'm just not sure if the shipping on lead bullets won't offset any savings over buying locally......I got more homework to do......;)
  6. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    Get Started

    Good for you, Tony.

    Just to reassure you (if it's even needed) I started off with exactly the same equipment for exactly the same reasons.

    I have since "graduated" to a couple of additional presses, some accessories, and additional calibers as well. It's a great set to start from.

    As mentioned by others, read, read, and read some more. I didn't have the luxury of having somebody looking over my shoulder and helping out with advice as needed. Don't discount that feature as well.

    Good luck!
  7. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    I too started with the same equipment the same way. Dont forget to pick up some hornady one shot. Its good stuff and much less messy than the roll on lube & pad. Dont forget to hit the garage sales...you can pick up reloading equipment dirt cheap.
    E-bay is good too if you know exactly what you want.

    Happy reloading...


    swede
  8. armabill

    armabill Member

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    Welcome to the world of reloading. It's fun and pays for itself in the long run.

    Go easy of your first loads and as everyone has said, go by the charts.

    Also, I might add, I don't know if you smoke or not but don't smoke while reloading. That's very bad.
  9. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    Armabill, I quit the cancer sticks 16 years ago, and being a professional fire fighter I'm cautious of things that go boom.....I even printed up a couple of "No Smoking or Open Flame" signs to put on the garage door, and walls. There's also a warning sign on the side entry door advising the local fire dept of the contents inside......(professional courtiousy)

    After careful concideration, I decided to order a Lee 158 Gr. SWC double cavity bullet mold, and various other components to cast my own bullets. When I'm on duty with the fire dept on weekends, I can spend all day casting bullets. I got the mold for Lee's "total lubrication" system that uses their liquid alox to lube the bullets....(no heating bee's wax, just roll the bullets around in a container with a few drops of liquid alox, and let them dry over night on wax paper)

    My buddy e-mailed me to let me know he tumbled all my brass, so I'm ready to rock & roll when my stuff shows up.....
  10. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Make sure you set up your casting station outdoors and watch your temperatures closely.

    Incidentally, casting is another hobby that is addivtive. :D

    Pops
  11. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    We have a high velocity ventilation system on our engine room floor where the work bench is located, it's designed to suck all the diesel fumes out of the building, and will do the same with lead fumes......

    Well my stuff is here, and I've already loaded 50 rounds of .38 Spl., and 50 rounds of .357 Magnum.
    I loaded the .38's with 3.6 Grs. of Bullseye, CCI #500 primers, 158 Gr. Speer LRN bullets, in once fired R-P brass.
    With the Magnums I used 6.5 Grs. of Bullseye, CCI #550 primers, 158 Gr. Speer LRN bullets in once fired Magtech brass.

    I'd like to test them out tomorrow, but it's supposed to be very, very cold here.......maybe I'll wait for a break in this weather before I test my loads......
  12. Gunguy

    Gunguy Guest

    Good deal on the Lee set, Tony.

    Now for your second press to be on your reloading table or bench...check out the new Lee Classic...looks to be a real winner and Lee's first all cast iron press with super linkage and ram pistion.

    And the price at Midway is only $59.95 plus S&H.

    Jim

    Attached Files:

  13. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    Yeh GunGuy, I was looking at that one on Midway's site earlier today....

    Well today was the big day, the first field test of my reloads, and I'm very happy with the results.

    I braved some preety cold temps, but I just had to fire off some of my handy work. 200 rounds all together, and the results are as follows......

    First I fired off 50 rounds of .38 Spl's I loaded with 3.6 Grs. of Bullseye, CCI #500 (SP) primers, topped with a 158 Gr. Speer LRN bullet. These worked better than I expected, with fantastic consistency, and accuracy.

    Next came the .357 Magnums loaded with 6.5 Grs. of Bullseye, CCI #550 (SPM) primers, topped with the same 158 Gr. Speer bullets. I was surprised with the power and velocity of these loads using the Bullseye. I expected them to be somewhat whimpy, but they had plenty of heat behind them. Accuracy wasn't quite the same as the .38's, as these rounds tened to go slightly high and right, but overall they worked very well.

    Then came the real test. I brought 100 rounds of .38 Spl's that were loaded the same as the first 50, but these were topped with my home cast 158 Gr. SWC's. These bullets were cast from Lee's total lubrication system mold, they have the micro grooves, and uses the Liquid Alox bullet lube. Lee claims these bullets rarely need to be sized, but they did appear to be just a hair fatter than the factory sized (.358) Speer bullets I had used in the other loads, and I was concerned that they may cause a pressure problem. As it turns out, they not only fired without any problems, but their accuracy was absolutely outstanding.
    I shoot an NRA "B-3" target at 50 feet, and planted darn near every shot in the black, with quite a few X's. Then I posted a .38 caliber dot compition target at 7 yards, and scored a "7", my previous best was a "5".......

    The only minor drawback.....the liquid alox does make a mess of your barrel, but it's nother Hoppe's #9, and a bore brush won't handle.
    I ordered the Lee bullet sizer in .358, even though these bullets performed exceptionally well, I'd like to get a bottle of 2400, and try out some "Kieth" loads, and I want to be absolutely sure they are sized right with high pressure loads like that.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2004
  14. Gunguy

    Gunguy Guest

    Hey, you did real good on the .38s and .357 for a first timmer.

    I remember back in 58 was about the first time I reloaded some .357 lead store bought bullets...what a dissaster, unburn powder coupled with leading of the barrel that I never did get it all out.

    It was an old S&W 5 inch barrel job made about the same era as Patton's revolver in the 30s.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jim :)
  15. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    Hey Tony, sounds like your having alot of fun, I'm glad... I've been keeping up with your posts...I've only been reloading for a little over a year now..My first reloads wern't as much fun as yours, but like you, I couldnt wait to go try them, I only made 5 .45 fmj's... drove out to the private range, it was so late that I didn't even fool with the gate, just aimed at the dirt and shot 'em, really expecting them to "roll" out the end of the barrel :D I stayed up the rest of the night reloading, many other nights like that have followed, Heh Heh...

    These guys really helped me through some frusterating 25-06 reloading problems, and in the process they educated me on how to trouble shoot some things. So if you run into a jam, dont forget these folks, some of 'em been reloading longer than I've been alive.... Well, okay I'm done rambling.

    Congrats!

    ~Crp
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2004
  16. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Tony, I would suggest slugging your barrel. Most lead bullets want to be .001" over barrel size. So if your barrel is .358, then I would size them to .359. This will give you the accuracy you are looking for.
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