Please help just started thinking about reloading...

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Posts: 1
    (10/21/02 11:15:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Please help just started thinking about reloading...
    I've found myself with a number of guns that shoot 38spl/357 rounds and it's made me think it would be a good time to start reloading. I need very basic idiot proof information on where to start looking. I would also reload 9mm, 44spec/mag and maybe a 40 here and there.

    My main question is what would be best to use for my needs. I was looking at the Dillion RL 550B and the price of that unit is fine as it seems to be under $300. What I don't know is if there's something that includes more, is easier to use or better quality for the price.

    Any info or advice for somebody just getting started would be great.

    Thanks a million,

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 295
    (10/22/02 8:21:18 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Please help just started thinking about reloading...
    Adam: Welcome to TFF. You can't read too much when it comes to reloading. Read as many different books as you can as there are subtle and substantial differences.

    I don't think you can beat the quality or customer service that comes from Dillon. If there is a better press I haven't found it.

    Good luck Smoky

    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 1314
    (10/22/02 8:27:06 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Please help just started thinking about reloading...
    Dillon is great although a little pricey. I don't regret buying my 550 though. It is a pleasure to use and cranks out some very good ammo.

    I just wish I could get my reloading table set back up again!
    "They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety." (...Benjamin Franklin, 1759)

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 244
    (10/22/02 10:54:32 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del starting reloading
    sonoanfun, welcome to the best board on the net.

    I will add MTCW, ( I my get trashed by some of the others ), but her goes.

    Lee makes a good quality press, if you are just starting, as it seems. you may want to look into the Lee starter kit.

    Comes with:
    1. Press ( Turret Type, 3 or 4 hole ) takes three pulls of the handle to make a round. It is what I started on. You can see every step in the process. Nothing is hidden, you can see the primer go in, check powder, make sure the case is full length sized. Max loading rate is about 100rds per hour. BUt as you are just starting, PLEASE TAKE YOUR TIME, INSPECT EVERYTHING YOU DO, TWICE.
    2. Scale: to measure powder.
    3. Primer pocket cleaner, Small & Large.
    4. Powder dippers,
    5. case length cutter and champfer tool ( to deburr the ends of the brass after you have cut back to size ).
    6. powder thrower. Puts the right amount of powder in the case.
    7. Set of powder disks, for the powder thrower.
    8. For a few $ extra, Lee will install the die set ( 1 ) of your choice, setup in the press, ready to start reloading.

    All you need now is a tumbler for cleaning the brass. This press is EXTREAMLY easy to setup and use.

    Cost for the hole set , about 129.95. You may be able to find it a little cheaper, just have to look around.

    This press, ( I still have and use mine ) will load everything from 9mm to 458win mag. I have loaded these rounds. ( 9mm,38spec,357mag,40S&W,44spec,44mag,45lc,45acp, 50AE,30-30,35rem,45/70,458win mag ) on this same press. I now load most of my handgun rounds on my LoadMaster, but the Turret press is what I started with.

    If you are REAL SURE you want to reload for a lifetime, then I would suggest the Dillion 550, If you are not sure, spend a little now with the Lee equipment, you can always upgrade later or keep the Lee for taking to the range with you, I have taken mine for extra time at the range and also to test new and different loads at the range. It breaks down ( come apart easy for transportation ) ( I know what you dillion guys are thinking , hahaha ) for movement.

    Hope this helps a little.


    p.s. you can e-mail me direct if you have questions.

    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 1317
    (10/22/02 12:01:47 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: starting reloading
    loader44, Good advice for a beginner. Why spend a lot of money until you know whether you like reloading or not.

    The Lee equipment is highly regarded by those that have used it a lot. I bought a Lee Anniversary Kit about a year ago for range use and was satisfied with what I got except the powder measure did not throw consistantly. I have RCBS rock chucker press and accessories I used for almost 30 years before I bought the Dillon equipment I mentioned above. I like all three for their intended purposes.

    For the cost of Lee equipment you have not lost many $$ if you decide not to reload any longer or you want to upgrade to something else. I believe a lot is personal preference and budget.

    The Dillon equipment is more expensive, but it is the last you will buy unless you have to have the latest and greatest gadget.
    "They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety." (...Benjamin Franklin, 1759)

    Bob In St Louis
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3154
    (10/22/02 12:06:53 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: starting reloading
    Been cranking on a Dillon progressive reloader since the early 1980s - to borrow an old Timex slogan - "it takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'!"
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1355
    (10/22/02 12:37:34 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: starting reloading
    Sonoranfun -

    Welcome to the board - does the Sonoran refer to the southwest region?

    Don't crank out many handgun loads, anymore. Those I do, get done on a Bonanza Co-Ax single stage press, along with the rifle ammo.

    Dillon is just up the road apiece from me in Scottsdale, Az, near their airport. Haven't made the trip over yet, tho.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 296
    (10/22/02 3:29:14 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: starting reloading
    Kdub: Get in that vehicle and get over to Dillon's. I did and it only cost me a little under $500. Talk abut a kid in a candy store.

    I've never delt with a more knowledgeable group of people

    Smoky the loader

    Posts: 2
    (10/22/02 5:27:30 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Here's what I was thinking...
    Thanks for the warm welcome guys. 44 that's some great advice and has made me think a little. I have pleanty of time to reload and the speed isn't as much of an issue. I found the following on eBay and if I can pick it up under $100 is would be well worth it to me.

    Lee seems to have very basic setups I can get ready to load 38/357 for about $129 and that'll be more then enough for me as that's what I shoot most.

    As for location, I'm in Tucson at the moment however planning a move to S.C. within the next 6 months.

    Last thing, people always told me how hard it was to keep saltwater fish and that kept me out of that hobby for a long time. When I started keeping them I had to laugh at how easy it really was. Is reloading along the same lines? It seems pretty hard to sort things out now but I get the feeling you catch on pretty quick.

    Thanks everybody,
    Adam Block

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1359
    (10/22/02 9:35:33 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Here's what I was thinking...
    Well, Adam -

    Reloading isn't any more complicated than anything else. The main two ingredients are common sense and safety.

    If you obtain a reloading manual (all of them have the basic instructions) and read it, then load per instructions, you'll be OK. The one cavet is to NEVER be bold in reloading. ALWAYS follow instructions.

    Good luck with your reloading - it's fun and rewarding.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2648
    (10/23/02 6:51:45 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Here's what I was thinking...
    I expect Dillon, RCBS, Lee all have their VHS vidio tapes for how to reload as a beginner. But many good books out there, plus, the manufacuers include photo pages on how to work their equipment step by step.

    You have a great time reloading, keeps ya out of trouble.

    Oh, and welcome to TFF.


    Posts: 6
    (10/23/02 12:54:18 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del It's not hard at all
    When I started studying the reloading manuals it was difficult for me to visualize what was going on with the reloading press and dies, etc. When you do it the first time most of the puzzlement evaporates pretty quickly.
  2. Hanover67

    Hanover67 New Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Alamo, CA
    I started reloading 25 years ago with a Hornady kit - press, scale, powder measure and a set of .30-06 dies. I'm still using the same basic outfit plus dies for .38 Spl, .45 ACP, .32-20, .223 Remington, .308, .303 British and .30-30. It is a single stage press, and I know I'm sacrificing speed. If I were to do more pistol shooting, I'd get a Dillon.

    Safety is key, and never exceeding maximum listed loads is important to avoid damage to yourself or even worse, to your gun. Read all you can, I recommend Handloader Magazine, Precision Shooting, and The American Rifleman. One caveat here - as a competitive shooter, most reloading articles disappoint in that they do not discuss match-type loads, but emphasize hunting loads. If you're a match shooter, talk to others, most of whom are happy to share what works for them. But, remember that the best load is the one your gun likes, not necessarily what some gun writer says it should be.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2007
  3. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

    Aug 23, 2003
    I started last year with a Lee Anniversary Kit and dies. Been a pretty good setup so far. I reload for 357 mag, 32 H&R mag, 380 ACP, 9mm and 40 S&W.
    I reload to medium specs with jacketed bullets for everything and some lead SWC's for 357 and 32 H&R mag.
    Always read your manuals and double check everything.
    It can be a fun hobby in and of itself.
  4. rainyday

    rainyday New Member

    Dec 1, 2007
    reloading is a great way to save money over buying factory loads. for me in western wash,the winter time is a great time to get alot of ammo up for shooting over the summer time and when other time allows
  5. RDub

    RDub New Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Southern Oregon
    My advise for any new reloader...
    Start out with some very basic and simple tools and go "single stage".

    This way you can actually LEARN about what you are doing. You will become very familiar with each operational step and will be able to troubleshoot problems better and better as time goes along.

    These skills are VITAL when using a machine like a dillon or similar.. If you just jump into this with one of these machines your experience will very likely be very frustrating.

    After you have learned and mastered reloading, then by all means jump into a progressive if you want to..

    I started out this way and I'm glad I did..

    Just a thought..:)
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