How Do I Get Started??

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Hydra Shok, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Hydra Shok

    Hydra Shok Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    Chasing my Seven Year Old
    I'm curious on how expensive, and how difficult it is to get into reloading. I see things like gas checks, and I have no idea what that is. I would probably be doing .45 ACP, 9mm, .38 special only. Any starter kits available that y'all could recommend? Is it better to buy bullets or melt your own. I see where some people use wheel weights, should be easy to come by. Get one of those weight pullers and go to the Wal-Mart parking lot :D
    But really, I'm interested but don't know where to begin. Any info would be appreciated.
  2. warpig

    warpig Guest

    I need an education on this as well.

  3. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Well, the first thing I would tell you to do is get a copy of Lyman's Reloading Handbook. It will tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. It will also give you a good lesson on the tools and tips you need to keep you safe while doing it. After all that, the rear half of the book gives you reloading data for rifle and handgun cartidges. One stop shopping so to speak! Enjoy and let us know if you have questions. The book is a wealth of information on all aspects of reloading and bullet casting.

    Hydra, a gas check is clamped on to the base of a cast bullet to protect the bullet base from hot gases while going down the barrel. Usually used on hot loaded cast bullets. The cup is usually only maybe an 1/8" deep and is clamped on during the sizing and lubricating operation after the bullet is cast.

    I know RCBS makes starter kits and includes everything you need to start, including one set of dies. Since you will be doing mainly pistol cases, I would recommend carbide sizing dies. This way you can eliminate the lubing of the pistol cases which gets messy. No need to lube with carbide sizing dies except for bottleneck rifle cases.

    Bullet casting is an art unto itself and requires a bit of an investment, but does have it's payback in cheap bullets. I get my wheel weights from my local tire dealer. I pay him what his recycling costs are and I get all I can carry. You can buy cast and lubed bullets from Midway and other sources pretty cheap. The real cost comes in shipping them to you.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2003
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I'll second that recommendation on Lyman's book. I think it should be required reading for every novice and required re-reading for us old pharts.

    Reloading and handloading are considered two different arts. If you are reloading to save money, shoot more, plink or just go bang, don't get too hung up on the "accuracy" aspects of the game. If you are thinking of handloading as a way of making one hole with five rounds, approximately 2 calibers wide, at 1000 yards, THEN you can start to think about all the little things that make one round different from the next.

    Reloading requires a little equipment, which will cut your per round cost by about half. You should buy the book, read it a couple of times or more, then buy just the basics to get started and load a few, paying particular attention to EACH step of the process. Then buy another book. Try your ammo and read the other book. Load some more, paying particular attention to EACH step of the process. Buy another book. Buy another item/tool you just MUST have to absolutely, finally complete your bench. Continue this process for the rest of your life.

    Repeat after me: Hello. My name is ... I am a reloader and handloader. I am addicted and cannot quit. If you try to stop me, I will resist. If you persist... :D

  5. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Feb 23, 2001
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    By all means, before you buy any equipment, do some reading on reloading....

    If you know anybody local who reloads, don't hesitate to ask them questions....maybe sit in on a reloading session.

    If you do business with a local gunstore (and can trust them not to try to sell you a bunch of high-priced stuff), ask them about how to get started fairly cheap.

    Then, if you decide to go ahead with it, get this one: 48th Reloading Manual.htm

    You can often find some bargains here:

    AND.....before you spend any $$$$$$, if you have any questions, come back and ask. There are NO stupid questions....only people who are too stupid to ASK questions!

    Good Luck........
  6. Gunfyter

    Gunfyter New Member

    Mar 25, 2003
    Western Maryland

    I've been reloading for nearly 20 years and have saved a bunch of money which I promptly spent on more reloading equipment, bullets, primers and powder. Addictive?? - you could say that. From your description, you appear to be interested in pistol cartridges. If that's the case, you can start with a single stage press, but in short order you'll want a progressive. For pistol cartridges, a Dillon SDB is really hard to beat since you can buy additional tool heads and change calibers in a few minutes. They also carry a guarantees that can't be beat, if it breaks, they fix it, PERIOD. This little press will allow you to load about 200 rounds per hour which seems like a lot until you see how much more you'll shoot. My outfit is pretty spartan. Besides the SDB, I have a tumbler, powder scale, single stage press for rifle shells, adjustable powder measure, assorted reloading manuals and dies. It is fun and saves a great deal of money. Whatever you do, DO NOT be in a hurry. Go slowly, don't smoke, drink or have any distractions. Double powder charges in a pistol case are possible and can potentially destroy your gun. If you have specific ??? one of us will be able to help. GOOD LUCK and GOOD SHOOTING.
  7. Hydra Shok

    Hydra Shok Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    Chasing my Seven Year Old
    Thanks for leading me in the right direction guys. For right now I'll be doing pistol cartridges, but I may put a Remington 710 ( in .270 ) on law away soon and might try those one day. But I have accumulated quite a lot of .45 brass and would like to try reusing them. I do know a guy that reloads, so I'll ask him if I could watch him do a few. Thanks again all.
  8. Smoky14

    Smoky14 Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Nowhere NM
    I also have a Dillon SDB and have had good service from it and from Dillon.
    The NRA publishes reloading manuals and they are a good read and handy to have around for general knowledge. I have the Hodgden book and fine it to be OK. No one book covers it all, the more you read the more sense it will make and the better questions you'll be able to ask the guys here. I'm sure most will tell you that we never stop learning.
    I've been at it for 15yrs and paid for the loader in the first 6mo.

    Smoky likes 231
  9. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    You might want to look at some reviews on that 710 before you purchase. I've read some negative reviews of it, saying that it was more designed for the "once-a-year deer hunter" and not likely to be something you can hand down.

    I won't claim that this is Gospel, however. I just think you should do some research on your own before you buy.
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