Reloading, how did you start?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by RockinRiley, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    For Christmas the wife and I bought 9mm M&P's (great guns, love em implicitly!) Lately we have been shooting 300 rounds when we go to the range. This last time I picked all my brass and want to start reloading. Where did you all start? I have been on Youtube and Midway reading reviews, I am just beside myself on what to buy!

    One minute I want a single stage press, the next just the simple Lee handheld, the next a lee pro 1000, the next a lee turret.

    I think I am round wagon back at buying a lee single stage cheap press to start out with, then grow from there.

    The problem I see is all these flashy kits that are out there, then read about the problems with the scales. In my opinion the scales is where you really need the accuracy!

    How would you have a relative start out?

    I hope that I have not started a landslide forum, I am just in a pickle as to what to do. Thanks, hope everyone had an Excellent Christmas!
  2. dbennett48

    dbennett48 New Member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Ukiah, California
    Getting started with a turret press will make your life a nightmare. You should get the basic principals down before you tackle the turret. Any makers single stage press will work well for you. I use the dreaded (others here) LEE presses and have not found any problem that can't be overcome. You will find this in any manufacture's presses. Good luck.

  3. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    Wichita, Ks
    I bought a single stage Lyman press 19 years ago and I'm still using it.

    I only shoot 1000 rounds a year, so I have no need for a multi-stage press.
  4. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    I advised my brother last year to buy the Lee Classic 4-hole turret as his first press. He was at my house and tried out both my turret and my Lee Anniv single stage.

    He bought the Single stage kit and could not be happier. I did get him and inexpensive digital scale for his birthday. Neither of our eyeballs is improving with age.

    In general you will trade $$$$ for rounds per hour output and some other features.

    At a very relaxed pace I reload 50-75 rounds per hour on my single stage and 150-175 per hour on my turret. I mostly use only the turret these days. The Lee Classic turret auto-advances but that feature can be disabled in 30 seconds if one wanted. A turret is simply a single stage where you don't have to remove the dies each time to batch process. 4 handle pulls = one completed round.

    Lots of self help videos to see the processes at the Lee website and of course youtube.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  5. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    Option one:
    Reloading is just too tedious and time consuming. - Buy a 'strong' single stage press, a kit would be good. You determine this premise and haven't lost all that much after selling the stuff off.

    Option two:
    You are like most people and become addicted to the process of making much better custom loadings for 'your' weapons. - Buy a 'strong' single stage press. You will use it even after you have upgraded to that automated progressive machine.

    A single stage, OK a turret will work just the same, is much easier to start with. And much more conducive to load larger numbers of rounds than the hand type units. Have a few of them and they will work, in a pinch.

    I've been loading for some 55 years and have to admit that I still fall back to the same old 'off-set ' "O" press I started with. It is just simpler to load 10 rounds of what ever for testing on that single stage press.

    Hint, it is not cheaper to reload.... you will only shoot more ;)

    Always error on the side of safety, be safe and enjoy.

  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    Before LD comes along and says it, I will. If you can afford a Dillon press, get one. You can use the 550 as a single press, a turret, or a progressive. If you are going to load a large amount of ammo, it will be worth the prices in the long run.

    With that said, I do have a Dillon 550, but I also have one of the Lee hand presses and one of the Lee single stage presses and I do use each of them. I very seldom use the hand press and I suggest that you pass on getting one of them if you plan on going to a regular single stage. I load 9mm, .380, .38, .45ACP, and .40 with the Dillon and use the Lee for every thing else I load (which is quite a few).
  7. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Good point Randy, the LEE videos are a big help when making decisions regarding what equipment to purchase regardless of brand. I too have used LEE for many years/rounds. I use their basic single for odd jobs, Classic Single w/bushings for rifle, and LoadMaster for handgun. The only thing I point out is LEE is not for the "Bull in the China Shop" mentality. Many of their parts are made of nylon for lubricity purposes and works well, but can be abused if one gets carried away. Those concerns are mostly in play with the LoadMaster though and not so much with any of their singles. The most important thing you can do and continue to do is READ YOUR LOADING MANUALS and apply common sense, this is a fun and rewarding hobby to do but can be very dangerous if done haphazardly. Welcome aboard, good luck, and Merry Christmas!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  8. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I would suggest that you buy a good reloading manual, or two. Read the parts about reloading, and decide what you need vs what you want. I think that when buying the kits, you wind up paying for things you don't really need. Once you have determined what you want to buy, then do so. Buy a kit, and you get scoops! That is something you may never use.
  9. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Active Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    First get yourself a couple reloading books and read. Lyman 49th Ed reloading book is great. Lee's reloading book is ok also. Fair warning about the LEE book, he thinks LEE products are the best and everyone else--- Well you will see. I have been studying these fourms and reading since last spring. I went from LEE single stage to LEE turret, to RCBS turret, to LEE turret, to Dillon RL 550b. I am set on the Dillon and waiting on my next day off (not a hoilday) to stop by my LGS to place my order. My reason for making the leap to a Dillon is I can use it as a single stage, turret, or Progressive. My wife and I shoot atleast once per week and usually burn 100-200 rnds each. I have been saving all my brass for the last 11 months. I see the value in spending the money up front to get a quality press with a no BS warranty. I dont plan on selling it, but if I had to the resale value is exellent on the Dillon. I already had a list of items made up and save on my wish list at midway USA. After adding up the cost and figuring up the cost to go Dillon, it was obvious which way to go. I talked it over with my wife and she to agreed the Dillon was the best choice, even though it's going to be about $200 more. Just my 2 cents
  10. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

    Dec 5, 2011
    I started out 20 some years ago with a Dillon 550B and still use it today. I was fortune to have a shooting buddy who was an experienced reloader and he tutored me in the basics. My buddy had a Dillon,among other presses, and I would take my toolhead, dies and supplies to his house. I would use his press to set up my dies and work up a load, go out in his backyard and test fire the rounds. Once I had everything set up then I would return to the city and turn out rounds at my leisure. Sadly my buddy passed away two weeks ago. He was 79 years young and I will miss him and his sage advise that he provided me over the years.

  11. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Batesville, Arkansas
    I started with the rcbs turret press and loooove it. I bought the kit and since have added to it with a little of everything. If you have never loaded then get ready cause it is really nice, fun, and saves money. With me it helps my mind, what little I have left of it. LOL Good Luck with which ever you choose.
  12. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    My start?

    In 1973, with a hand-held LEE Target model loading kit and a set of LEE powder scoops so I could load for two .308 Win. rifles I had. Loaded this way for about two years before getting my first press. Worked just fine too I might add.

    How would I start a relative?

    On a single stage press so they could get the basics down pat.
    AND: I'd supply them with a press. ;) :)
  13. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Thanks one and all for the comments. I have been watching alot of youtube and I see one common item on most of the long time reloaders and that is the O frame single stage press in the background behind their progressives. I was looking at the presses and thinking that I would read on how to use whatever I buy, but I think I will follow advice and get the reloading books coming, then buy afterwards. I am thinking that I am going to go with the LEE Challenger (we will see after I get done reading up). I really want to go slow with the single stage then have it for what ever I would want if I upgrade after that. Thanks again and look forward to reloading.
  14. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    You can't go wrong with that approach.
  15. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    NW Louisiana
    Friend had one set up in the store he managed...I was about 17...He let me use it and then let me buy a Lee "C" press, 38spl dies, scales and a few other things on 'time'...I mowed a lot of grass to pay that off...

    Next was a Lyman Turret, followed by Rockchuker and now Dillon...Finally broke the little aluminium Lee press trying to muscle out a stuck case...First progressive was a CH...still wish I had it..
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