What to Buy, New to reloading.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dbltap, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. dbltap

    dbltap New Member

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    I want to start reloading 223, 9mm and 45 for now. Any DVDs and or books to get me going? Also I'm on a budget and am looking for a progressive press.
    So far I'm looking at a Lee Loadmaster. Any thoughts?

    Thanks
  2. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    i was in your shoes 3 months ago. first buy books 1. lyman and 2. nosler. i am going to buy the hornady also. i am on a budget also and there is a nice starter kit from lee thats about 100 bucks but it is single stage. i would check out midwayusa as an online resource to see what starter kits are out there. i also bought a dvd from rcbs at cabelas that is very helpful because i learn more seeing things. that was like ten bucks.
  3. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

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    Check out my website http://www.rifles-shooting-reloading.com, it should be able to help you out with getting started.

    What kind of a budget? Progressives aren't known for being cheap. The lee turret press isn't too bad though and I can knock out 100 rounds an hour + with it. What is the volume of shooting that you do? Anything less than 1000 rounds a month and I would say go with the turret, above that you may want to look into a progressive.

    +1 on zkovach, buy one or two reloading manuals first and foremost. The Lyman is an excellent starter.
  4. res45

    res45 New Member

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  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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  6. springerbuster

    springerbuster New Member

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    +1 for the Hornady LNL. That's what I chose 3 months ago for my first press. No regrets, it is a great deal.
  7. scrat

    scrat New Member

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    you can not have enough of books. The ABC's of reloading, and load manuals are all very good. Videos are also great. a place where you can see some quick videos online RCBS.

    http://www.rcbs.com/general/videos.aspx
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Buy a couple of reloading manuals. Read and re-read the "how-to" sections of the manual until you understand all of the process. If you understand the "why's" of reloading, the process will become easy and you won't get into trouble. The Hornady manual is good at explaining the "why's".

    Do your load development from the Starting Load and work up from there. NEVER exceed the Maximum Load levels and start out using the components exactly as in the recipes.

    There are pitfalls to reloading but if go in educated you will not fall into them. Remember, safety first. A reloading mistake can be life threatening. If you follow the manuals there is no problem but make a mistake or perform a bad test and...... you get the idea, I'm sure. Come here for any help you may need but get educated first.

    LDBennett
  9. neilin

    neilin New Member

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    Of those three calibers, I reload for the 9mm and .45 acp. I use a Lee Turret press, and I really like it. When it comes to dies I prefer RCBS (carbide). I find Lyman's reloading manual very helpful.
  10. Horsky1911

    Horsky1911 New Member

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    As a boy I grew up watching my step father reload. When I was 16 I bought my first press and manual. I went with the RCBS Rock Chucker kit and the Lyman manual. Five years after that the press was still in the box due to having nowhere to use it and a new child on the way. At that point in time i bought another Lyman manual to have for when the time came. I read them both front to back several times. Five years later I have finally set up the Rock Chucker and bought a few more manuals. I have reloaded solo for the last 4 months as I used to do it with my step dad until I got my own man cave. Since then and a few hundred rounds under my belt I have upgraded to a Hornady LNL AP for pistol but I still use the rock chucker for all my rifle loads. The best thing I did was wait 12 years to solo reload as I have matured greatly and have also become patient. I suggest reading ABC's of Reloading and reading the lyman manual a few times from front to back and decide if reloading is for you. Also figure out how much you will shoot regularly, you are on a budget and it is quite expensive to set yourself up with a progressive if you do not shoot a lot. You need more than the press to have a proper set up (scale, primer flip tray, tumbler, bullet puller, ect.) and you could easily spend $700 and not have everything with a progressive that you may need and no components. Or you could get a kit with a turret or single stage press and have components for that same $700. It is your money but IMHO you need to read the manuals first then figure out a press as the manuals have a great section on what you need to get started.
  11. Shorty Bang

    Shorty Bang New Member

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    My opinion is go with the "Rock Chucker" press from RCBS, it is an easy to use single stage press. Also buy a hand primer (insert favorite brand here I prefer RCBS). I have found the one on the press can be frustrating to a new "hand loader". Something else to think about is always buy updated books and guides, because hand loading has evolved. Something that works in 1970 still might work today, but there could be something better and safer out there for the modern rifle. One more tip, buy an extra shell holder to keep in your primer. That way you don't have to keep changing from press to primer all the time. Never mind I just now realized you were looking for a progressive.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  12. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

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    Lots of good advice here. I've been reloading since the early 1970s, and I'm still learning new tricks (I'm an OLD DOG). The volume you are going to shoot should decide what gear you buy. Just know that if you buy really inexpensive tools, you will replace them with better quality later, anyway. I understand the budget thing, and you can find some otherwise expensive tools cheaply on-line or at a gun show. Just get an idea of what they cost new so you don't get ripped off.

    Being an 'Old Dog' I like the RCBS presses, either RCBS, Lyman or Lee dies, Lyman case trimmers and Loading Manuals. I just retired my old balance beam scale and RCBS powder measurer and went with a Lyman DPS 3 powder measurer/scale. Found that on the internet new for under $200. Just bought a replacement case trimmer (Lyman Universal) for about $60 at Bass Pro Shop. Guys will spend MUCH more than new prices on Ebay, so be careful and know what new prices are.

    Some basic tools, other than the press, loading manual, dies, case trimmer, powder weighing and dispensing gear will include a dial caliper, de-burring tool, a hand priming tool (RCBS or Lee). Later you will want to add a case cleaner/tumbler. Makes your reloads look and perform much better.

    The Lyman reloading manual has a great forward on the basics of reloading. Read it, then re-read it, then sit down with a cup of coffee, and read it again. Make sure you understand what you are going to do, and why you are doing it. The book will tell you - as have other wise writers here - to follow loading manual instructions TO THE LETTER. Don't take short cuts. Good luck, and ask questions!
  13. Crow Juice

    Crow Juice New Member

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    I noticed someone suggested the Lee clasic turret press .I think this would be a better way to go for a novice than a progressive . The lee is easy to set up and very cost effective .The auto indexing feature produces a loaded round every 4 strokes .The auto index can be disabled and the press used as a single stage unit as well. Spare turrets are very cost effective compared to turrets on other presses . Lee's web sight has a video of this press in use . A friend new to reloading just bought one and was able to set up and get going by himself .When I got there I just loaded some shells . You need the primer feeder and disc powder measure options to get the best results .
  14. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    A lot of good tips so far. Do you by any chance have a friend that reloads that would let you sit in and watch? It's a great way to find out if it's what you really want to do.
    1st- Manuals, books and dvd's. All you can get and afford
    2nd- Read them and watch them and then do it again several times. My books and manuals are all dog eared and have broken spines from so much referring.
    3rd- Take into consideration how often you shoot and how much. Is it worth the time and the expense of the equipment and supplies? If yes... is it worth a progressive or a single stage (be honest with yourself on that one. I'd love the Dillon 1050 but I know I don't need it or can swing the cash for it). If you start with a single stage, it won't go unused if you upgrade to one of the fancy colors of the rainbow.
    4th- Shop around. Look for the best prices you can find, there is quite a bit of stuff you'll need and it all adds up.
    5th- Check and re-check yourself. A small mistake can cause serious damage to you, others and your weapon. Take your time, it should be relaxing.
    6th- When in doubt... ask for advice.
  15. dbltap

    dbltap New Member

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    Yes it is a great price. Just bought it. 45 cal is one of the rounds I want to reload anyway so that's what I will choose for my free bullets. Thanks for the info.
  16. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Congrats! Welcome to the world of reloading, have fun!
  17. bizy

    bizy New Member

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    I started with an RCBS single stage.. After 3 years I bought a Hornady LnL 5 stage press. I thought I would be better off. Well I found out maybe it is good for some people, but not for me. Take a bike vs motor cycle. Motorcycle goes very fast, BUT, there are many, many things that must happen in a certian order before the motor cycle will go. A bicycle will always go. My son-in-law loves his Hornady LnL, mine is just like his and all the features have ever worked at the same time. I do use it but not like it is suppose to.. Try a single stage first...
  18. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    bizy:

    One of the reasons I always suggest the Dillon Progressive over others is the simplicity of the Dillon RL550B. Most importantly is the manual advance of the table. When something goes wrong, and it will happen when there are four processes happening at once as on any progressive, being able to remove a cartridge from a stage and not have the table auto advance when you move the press handle is a big advantage. This also allows the press to easily be used as a single stage or a turret press.

    I reload over 30 different cartridges, both pistol and rifle. Pistol cartridges are always loaded full progressive and most of the times I do rifle cartridges that way too. But I will run a handful of rifle cases from a batch through sizing only to determine if the batch needs trimming. If so, then I single stage de-prime and size the entire batch. I then trim and de-burr the batch and clean the primer pockets. I unscrew and remove the sizing die and run the batch through progressively (but without the sizing die installed). Sometimes I use the press as a turret press if I'm fooling with adjustments of powder or seating depth or crimp. The Dillon RL550B allows a case to be pulled from any station at any time by simply removing a small pin on the base plate by lifting it out.

    If I feel that I need super accurately measured loads with some poorly metering powder, I install a special adapter on the powder station and then add my Redding BR-30 Powder Measure that I hand operate rather than use the auto measure supplied with the Dillon. I only have two cartridges that I regularly do this with.

    Each caliber that I reload for gets its die set mounted to its own tool head, all pre-adjusted for perfect operation and correctly made cartridges. A changeover takes perhaps 5 minutes or less if I am using a cartridge that uses the same primer (large or small). Setting up the powder measure to deliver the proper amount of powder is the "long stake in the tent", time wise.

    I started reloading in the early 1960's, using a friend's equipment. At that time I made mental notes about what I did not want to do if and when I bought my own equipment. In the mid 1980's I finally got around to setting up for reloading after I realized that progressive reloading machines were readily available. I bought a few different ones and watched both RCBS and Hornady go through an evolution of several different models whereas Dillon made few changes after the early 1980's. Hornady and RCBS are on generatiion 2 or 3 or maybe more (?). I did make the mistake of buying a cheapy Lee Progressive and it was a disaster... it broke every time I attempted to reload with it. Finally I got a Dillon RL550B and never looked back. Their service is great. My press is well over 20 years old and has been rebuilt by them totally twice, for free, in an expeditious manner. They have sent update parts for free and anything that broke they replaced for free, quickly.

    Progressive reloading is alive and well in Dillon-ville. There are others but the most successful ones look amazingly like Dillons(???). Even commercial reloaders sometimes use Dillons for custom reloading.

    But we all get to choose and I happily choose Dillon RL550B. Sorry the Hornady progressive is not working out for you. My Hornady shotgun progressive was a joke, and so bad they abandoned my version leaving me high and dry.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
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