Need some advice

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by cjschaben, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. cjschaben

    cjschaben New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    I am thinking about getting a Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit
    and a set of dies for 40 S&W. I am going to Cabelas in a few days and am planning to pick it up along with 1000 primers, 500 bullets, 100 brass, a reloading manual, and some powder. Am I missing anything?
    From what research I have done the only thing that looks cheaper online after shipping is the brass. I am hoping to get once fired brass cheaper online.

    What are some good websites for reloading supplies?
    What brands of components are cheapest yet reliable?
    At this time I am just trying to get low cost target rounds.

    Thanks for the help
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth

    Welcome to TFF, the threads at the top of this forum are very helpful to start with.

    Have you read some manuals/been around any reloading operations before?

    The Challenger Breech lock is probably Lee's sturdiest press and for the price is an economical buy.

    You'll need a good workbench, maybe some c-clamps depending on how you're going to mount your press. Do you have a tumbler? If I were you, I would just buy some factory ammo, shoot it and then reload it, rather than buy brass. This will give you a good baseline comparison for when you start shooting your reloads. Save your targets to compare.


  3. New Member

    May 4, 2009
  4. cjschaben

    cjschaben New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    I have never been around any reloading operations. I have been researching online. I plan on making a bench I need to search some posts and get some ideas but it will be basic to start. The tumbler will probably come in the future. I have seen some solvents for cleaning brass do they work well enought to put the tumbler off for a few months?
  5. cjschaben

    cjschaben New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    Thanks Tim I added it to my favorites
  6. New Member

    May 4, 2009
    can you find a old rock tumbler that was my fist one.
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    I like to buy from Powder Valley or Graf and Sons. When you buy powder and primers it is best to max out the order for one hazmat fee to make it worth while.
  8. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    .........continuing :D

    Most of my supplies come out of Midway or Grafs. Midsouth is also good. Since you've got a Cabelas nearby; it's a good idea that you've got to buy at least 1k of primers and save on the hazmat fee. They may have a bit higher price in the store, but its still much cheaper than having 1k mailed.

    Once fired 40 brass is a dime a dozen, I just gave away well over 3k of 40's a couple weeks ago. I'm pretty certain that I can get a few hundred to send your way. I'll even polish it up for you. LEO's leave tons of it behind at the range here.

    If you're only going to load one caliber for the time being, pick up a .40SW One Caliber Load Book while you're at Cabelas. I'd go with either the Lyman 49th or the Hornady manual to accompany it.

    For cost effectiveness on components, stick with plated or lead bullets. Not sure what gun you're shooting though.
    Berrys or Rainier both make reasonably priced plated bullets that are excellent for plinking.
  9. cjschaben

    cjschaben New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    Thanks for all the great advice woolleyworm! Im not looking for a handout but id be happy to buy some from you. Im shooting a S&W M&P 40 does the gun make a difference on how you load it? I plan on loading other calibers in the future but I want to see how I like it first.

    Thanks again
  10. JohnTheCalifornian

    JohnTheCalifornian Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    I have been reloading for almost 10 yearsd now, and only a couple years back did I get myself a tumbler. They are not an absolute necessity. But if you are like me, and like to pick up every piece of brass you can find, then you will find having one will be usefull.
  11. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    If I can give away a few thousand, a few hundred is no problem. It all comes around sooner or later anyways.

    M&P's have conventional rifling, so you don't have the poly-rifling issues with lead. Yes, it can make a huge difference.

    You can probably find the Berry's bullets at Cabelas. If you're not going to buy bulk right now, I would say; pick it all up while you're there. I don't think you'd pend more than 2-3 bucks over buying online in small quantity.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  12. cjschaben

    cjschaben New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    I picked up the press today. I also go some Blue Dot powder and some berry's 155gr rs bullets. I made a mistake and only got a 40 S&W reloading manual, I will get a better manual as soon as I can. The manual I have doesn’t have berry’s 155gr bullets but it looks like other 155gr bullets range from 5.8gr of powder to a max of 10gr. I am trying to make cheap target loads what would you suggest? I was thinking 6.5 or 7 but I really don’t know.

    I was not impressed with the Lee scale and I am worried about the accuracy. I had no problem getting it to zero but it seemed as though the slide would move by .1gr almost on its own. Is this something to be concerned about?

    Thanks for all the advice so far! Its starting to look like I will need a lot of it!
  13. Before you buy anything else, get at least three reloading manuals. Read them cover-to-cover, then read them again!

    I, as well as most everyone else, suggest Lyman #48 or #49, The ABC's of Reloading and Modern Reloading, 2nd Ed., by Richard Lee. These are, by far, the most comprehensive instructional manuals on the art of cartridge reloading for the beginner to be found.
  14. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    You will need a caliper before you start pulling that handle. You have to be able to measure the OAL of your rounds.

    I use the Harbor Freight digital (under $20) I suspect it is made in the same factory in China as all the other store brand digital calipers out there - lol - and it is sufficiently accurate for my reloading needs.
  15. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    First things first. You start at the minimum and work up. You don't just pick a powder weight and start, that's why we have manuals. Secondly, a lot of people aren't impressed with the Lee scale (I shot mine :D). Ditch it and get a good quality beam scale. Third, you can clean brass in a vinegar/water solution. Just be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly.

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