Looking to get into reloading...

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Looking to get into reloading...

Post by E » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:53 pm

... Luckily my buddy has a setup he's willing to let me use, as long as i provide materials. (note: he just got it, so he's not a source of info i will look to at the moment)

I'm looking to reload .223 / 5.56 for now, since that's the only caliber i have

I know nothing about reloading, and google leads me down a confusing road quite frankly, i just need a couple pointers and some advice and a starting point. I'm going to the book store tomorrow to get the ABC's of reloading book, and am ordering a couple manuals from amazn next paycheck.

I'm looking for a good, general, 55 grain target load using brass from the most recent batch i bought (it was federal ammo... Lake city brass i believe?). This will be range ammo for the moment, strictly plinking, until i can get the hang of reloading and working up loads. Then i'll get into heavier weights and more specialized loads.

Sorry if this is such a general question, but i can admit i know nothing about this.

So where do i start?
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Abacus
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by Abacus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:19 pm

Start by searching out any of the other reloading threads out there, and buy a reloading manual.
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So you want to reload but you dont know where to begin?

Post by linkpimp » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:32 pm

Congratulations TO ALL for taking your first step in beginning your independence by reloading your own ammunition. As reloader’s have known for years (Generations) there are several distinct advantages to reloading our own ammunition, .

1. It’s cheaper than factory ammo
2. It shoots straighter than factory ammo
3. It shoots faster than factory ammo
4. It’s more reliable than factory ammo
5. It’s more accurate than factory ammo
6. It’s a hell of lot of fun.
7. It’s provides you with all of the ammunition you will ever need.

I’ll attempt to provide you with a foundation that you can comfortably build off of in regards to different tools of the trades you’ll need to have that are currently available to us.

Please note:
The information presented here is based off my own personnel experiences (9 years) and opinion and the personnel opinions and experiences of others that I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years. It is the sole responsibility of the individual reloader to thoroughly review, examine and (for GOD SAKES) research each product and method of reloading for Him and or herself. Please consider this a merely a guide to use in your endeavor to produce safe and reliable ammunition.


With that said lets begin!..

Recommended list of items needed for the Beginner

(Rifle & Pistol)
1.Reloading Manual: Accurate Arms, A-Square, Barnes, Hodgdon, Hornady, Lapua, Lee, Lyman, Nosler, Sierra, SPG, Speer and Vihtavouri.
2.Press: Single Stage, Turret or Progressive
3.Dies
4.Shell holders (if the die set doesn't have them)
5.Case Tumbler: Media, Polish, Sifter, Bucket and Clear Lid
6.Loading Block (caliber specific)
7.Case Lube (you won't need if using carbide dies)
8.Case Neck Brush
9.Dial Calipers: Stainless Steel or Electronic
10.Case Trimmer
11.Deburring Tool
12.Primer Pocket Clean
13.Primer Tray
14.Priming Tool (if the press doesn't come with a primer attachment)
15.Powder Scale
16.Powder Funnel
17.Powder Trickler
18.Powder Measure (nice for faster powder charges)
19.Bullet Puller
20.Plastic Ammo boxes and labels
NOTE!
You can always mix brands, shop Around for the Best Deals!


Building a proper foundation:
Before you go out and spend your hard earned money on the latest and greatest reloading supplies I strongly suggest that you buy, borrow or check from your local library this book First!! This book should be mandatory reading for all reloader’s.

“The ABC’s of reloading” The Definitive Guide For Novice To Expert (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Abcs-Reloading-De ... 896896099/

It can be found on amazon.com for $16.49 and it will provide you with the proper foundation in order for you to produce safe and reliable ammunition.


Reloading Manuals.
You should try to have at least 3 different on hand to reference at all times. Personally I would look into acquiring the following: Lyman 49th, Serra 5th and Speer's Manual No. 14. (Please note) Many manuals are made by the Bullet manufactures so the data is geared towards their products. Also note that each powder manufacture also has their own loading data recommendations that you should also review, especially if you’re new to reloading. Also each reloader should also have a (powder burn chart) to review and reference: http://www.reloadbench.com/burn.html


Bench.
You are going to need a good strong bench to work from. You can make your own or use a table. I have found it really helps to attach the bench to the wall to stabilize it. Also be sure to have more than adequate lighting! There no such thing as too much light here! You will need to have enough light on the press and the bench that will allow you to easily look in a case to see the powder and that requires good lighting. A good sitting height is 30-32 inch’s, standing is about 36-42 inch’s.


Powder Scale.
Get a good scale. Cheapest good scale I am willing to recommend is going to cost about $59. Most people buy a beam scale to start. I will recommend the Dillon Eliminator Dillon's 'Eliminator' Scale: http://www.dillonprecision.com/content/ ... tor__039__, because it has a lifetime warranty, is made by Ohaus and is very well priced for its quality. If buy it directly from Dillon you get a Blue Press every month. Dillon, RCBs, CED, Pact and others all make good Electric Scales. I have tried some of the cheap electric scales and they are not worth the money. Expect to pay around $90 or more for a good electric scale. You will find many people have very different opinions about electric scales. I am not going to recommend one other then to recommend that you get a name brand and expect to pay about double the beam scale cost. Be sure you can plug it in and not rely only on batteries and that it has check weights. For what it worth! I have / use this one and LOVE IT! http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/conten ... onic_Scale


Dial / Digital Calipers.
You will find a bunch of people who sell Electric Dial Calipers that cost about $50. You will also find Harbor Freight sells what looks like the same thing for under $20. I got mine for under $20 at Harbor Freight and have been extremely satisfied with it - http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=47256. You can get regular dial calipers cheaper but unless you are familiar with their use I am going to recommend the digital one just to avoid user error. Simplify your life gentlemen don’t complicate it.


Flip Tray.
Dillon sells a nice one that I know works extremely well (I have it!). Midway USA has several options such as the Lyman, RCBS and MTM all have “Primer Turning Tray’s” and they are about a 1/3 the price of the Dillon.


Tumbler. There are two different tumblers available that you should be aware of:
1. Rotary
2. Vibrator

I would strongly recommend a tumbler as all good reloading starts with clean brass. You can find tumblers just about anywhere (Wall mart, Midway, Harbor freight, Dillon, RCBs, etc). Harbor freight has great (cheap) Vibrator tumbler for just under $60.00 - http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=93252 of course a tumbler is not required, you can always just wipe off each case by hand (huge PITA) and or you can wash the cases with water/vinegar and some soap. Then let them dry a really long time (48 – 72 hrs). This actually works pretty well if you have time to wait for them to dry. You just want to be sure all the water was out of the case before loading.
(JUST NOTE!) The tumbler is the place with the most of the potential for lead exposure happens. PLEASE do this task outside and away from kids!..


Dies. (In general)

Dillon, Lee, RCBs and other all make good dies. Take my advice buy only one set of dies to start with and learn the process before you buy more latter. You can use Lee Dies on Dillon/Hornady presses. Get the Lee Deluxe Die set for pistol if you choose the Lee. They are carbide dies and you want carbide dies. Dillon and other dies cost more but they have some nice features Lee does not have. Functionally they all will work just fine. So don’t sweat it. I use Lee dies on my 550 and have one Dillon die. It’s just not that big a deal. You will find every Die maker sells their dies a little differently. Dillon Die Sets do not include the Powder die because that die is supplied with the press. Dillon includes a Sizing Die, Seating Die and Crimp Die. Lee 3 and 4 die sets both include a powder die that only works with the Lee Powder Measure (but can be used as a flaring die on the LnL). The Lee 3 die set does not include a Factory Crimp Die (FCD) or a dedicated crimp die. As with most 3 Die Sets the bullet seating die also crimps the case at the same time. Lee’s 4 die set includes a Factory Crimp Die which is a crimping die that also does a final resize of the cartridge to insure everything is in spec. Hornady sells you a Sizer, Seating/Crimp (Like a Lee) and a flaring die. With any 3 Die Set I would recommend that you get a separate crimp die and avoid crimping and seating the bullet at the same time. For those that don’t like the idea of resizing a completed round with the Lee 4 Die Set and the FCD, just get Lee’s Deluxe 3 Die set and add the proper crimp die for your caliber from Lee or someone else.
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by linkpimp » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:32 pm

Choosing your press.
So how do you choose? :confused: Well, there is no easy answer to that one my friend, but I will say the LCT is a great first press. It’s inexpensive and easy to learn. It makes some acceptable tradeoffs in the name of price. The Dillon 550 is simple for a “progressive” (one pull of handle gives you one cartridge). It’s probably the easiest to setup and use for the newbie reloader. It does everything it tries to do well but does not try to do everything. Simplicity and reliability are its strengths. LnL is a tough press to classify. It’s cheaper than the 550. It’s on par with the 650 in some ways and some will argue its better than the 650 in others.

Once you set it up as a real 5 station press it’s a smoking good deal for the money. But people have had issues with that PTX die so be aware it may not function as well as a 5 Station Press. It too has a lifetime warranty. Many people (including myself) are loyal to Dillon and continue to pay a premium for Dillon products. More USPSA shooters use Dillon Presses by a HUGE margin but Hornady is gaining ground. These are tough calls. Wise people have said “A press is a lifetime investment” so therefore cost should not a factor when obtaining your press.


Press Design
Let us briefly talk about what a “station” is on a press. You will hear me and others talk about “It’s a 3,4,5 station press”. BUT - First let’s review the basics of the press and what functions it performs.

1) Resizes and de-primes the case
2) Primes case
3) Flares the neck to allow easy bullet insertion
4) Inserts powder in case
5) Seats the bullet
6) Crimps the Bullet (removes flare and adds the required pressure against the bullet) is a better way to think about it).

Most 4 station presses operate in the same way. 5 station presses can be configured a variety of ways. The primary reason for a 5 station press is a Powder Check Die to insure every case has powder. It’s still important to look in every case even with the powder check die. Here is the standard process of a 4 station press:

Station 1, Resize/de-prime case on the down stroke, prime case at the end of the upstroke
Station 2. Flare the case and insert powder
Station 3. Seat bullet
Station 4. Crimp/Remove flare

Some 5 station press will give you an extra station after the flaring/powder drop for a powder check die. The LnL does not come configured like this from the start but it’s easy to set it up to work as a traditional 5 station press. For the record the Lee Load Master does not have room for a powder check die if you seat and crimp in separate stations.

All right now the fun part. Let’s talk about presses. :D I am only going to list the presses that most owners have expressed good results. I’m so sorry, if your favorite press is not listed but that’s the breaks big guy (suck it up! :p). This thread is meant to help the newbie get into reloading without a lot of hassle. I’m trying to be objective here but at the same time list the differences and issues so they / you can make a wise choice.


Single Stage Presses.
Nearly everyone makes a good single stage. Hornady, Lyman, RCBs, Lee and Redding all have kits assembled with all the stuff you need to start reloading (reloading blocks, scales, etc). The only major draw back when using a single stage press is its slow.. But it’s a GREAT!!! way to start out in reloading. If you are going to reload on a single stage I would strongly recommend you get the Lyman Reloading Manual. Read it and then choose your kit based on your needs. Low volume rifle shooters should really consider the single stage as their first press.


Lee Classic Turret. (LCT)
http://www.leeprecision.com
It’s considered an “auto indexing turret” press. You have to pull the handle 4 times to get one completed round. Lee is the only maker who does this type of press. It’s a lot faster then a normal turret and cheaper on top of it all. You can expect to load about 200rds an hour once you get in the groove. You can get a nice LCT kit from Home - Kempf Gun Shop. Be aware that others sell a kit but the kit includes the dreaded Lee Scale. Avoid them. Kempf’s kit includes:

• Lee Classic Turret Press
• Lee Deluxe 4-Die Set for the pistol caliber of your choice. (3 Die set in 380)
• Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure
• Lee Safety Prime System (Large or Small)
• Lee Auto Disk Riser (Required for the Safety Prime System)
• Six MTM 50 round Plastic Ammo Boxes

I would recommend you upgrade the kit to the Pro Auto Disc Powder Measure. Not only does it give you the better powder measure but you also get the Large and Small primer setup. It’s worth it for the powder measure alone. With this kit you do not need a primer turning tray. The Auto Disc powder measure does not have the ability to adjust powder to very small increments like most measures. You simply change “discs” with different size holes to get the charge you want. This gets you pretty close and it works fine. You can add an adjustable charge bar but it does not work well with small charges and some powders. People say it works better with larger volume charges. Lee even warns you about this on their instructions. The priming system is workable. Some people have had to add a washer under the primer mounting location to get it 100% dialed in. Most people don’t have any trouble doing this slight mod. The LCT is a great, low cost, relatively quick entry into reloading. Once you get it dialed in it’s amazing how much ammo it can make. Caliber changes are so easy it’s unbelievable. You can also easily disable the auto-indexing and convert it to a single stage press. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and function.
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by linkpimp » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:33 pm

Dillon
http://www.dillonprecision.com/ = Square Deal B/550/650

For a great overview of Dillon Reloading Press Review
http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html#550


Square Deal B (SDB) only loads pistol. It is an auto indexing 4 station press. It uses special non-upgradeable Dillon dies. It comes with Dies and is preset from the factory ready to go. Just add Powder, Primers and components. It’s a good press. If you will never want to load rifle then you should consider it. Caliber Conversion Cost more then the 550 so be aware and price it out as you will eventually want it set up to get a real price comparison. The tool-head/shell-plate is smaller so it’s a little harder to manipulate. You can not use any other dies so if you need a different sizing die (for instance) you are out of luck.


Dillon 550. The 550 is a 4 station manually indexing press. It is sold with out dies but with the proper caliber conversion for one caliber which includes the shell-plate, locator buttons and powder funnel. It also comes with the Powder Die for the Powder Measure. All you do is add dies of your choice for your caliber. I highly recommend you order from BrianEnos.com. He will make sure you get the right stuff when you order. Dillon sells a lot of upgrades for the 550/650. Avoid them to start with, Christmas is always less then a year away and you can treat yourself later. I am also going to suggest only getting one caliber to start with even if you have multiple calibers to load. Just buy it for your most common caliber. Learn and then get the other parts later. The back of the manual has all the info about caliber conversions. You can also learn about caliber conversion on Brian Enos’s excellent website. Go read and learn. When you need to change calibers you will need a combination of these parts; shellplate, locator buttons and powder funnel. You will also want a new toolhead and powder die. All you do is swap your Powder measure over from one toolhead to the next. If you are going to load sitting you do not want the Strong Mount. Standing you will want it depending on the bench height. I would get the Strong Mount for standing, but it’s personal preference (same goes for the 650 and the strong mount). The 550’s strengths are its simplicity, reliability and reasonable speed (about 400rds a hour). For a Dillon the caliber conversions are reasonably priced. Because it doesn’t auto-index it’s easier to clear problems and do caliber conversions. Like the 650 it comes with a low primer sensor and has a ton of options. Dillon’s No BS warranty is one of the best. Some people don’t like that it does not auto-index. You need to be sure to index the press every time you pull the handle. It’s a little slower as a result. You index the press while your right hand is grabbing a new case so it’s not really that big a deal. You also may want to seat the bullet in station #2. Then you simply can not double charge the case if you always seat the bullet right after looking in the case because the bullet is in the way. All the Dillons have a excellent Fail-Safe System to help prevent short stroking and double charges as a result of short stroking the press.

Dillon 650. This is a 5 station auto-indexing press. Because it’s a 5 station press it has room for a Powder Check Die. Besides that it’s a typical Dillon. It’s sold just like the 550 with out dies but with the caliber conversion parts you need for your chosen caliber. Caliber conversion take a little more time and are more expensive than the 550. If you shoot a lot you won’t care because you will buy a casefeeder and really crank out the ammo. Strength are it’s 5 stations, auto-indexing for added speed. Caliber conversion costs more and takes more time to accomplish than a 550.

Options I would probably buy with any Dillon from the start are:
1) Toolholder/Wrench Set $26. Has a set of Ball Head Allen Wrenchs and a Bench Wrench.
2) Dillon Lock rings if you use the Lee dies (550/650 only)
3) Spare Parts kit. This avoids any downtime if you break anything.
That’s it. I know there are a lot more but start simple and cheap (at least for a Dillon). For instance I used to think having a bunch of primer tubes was important. Now I like the change in pace that I get from loading 100rds, taking a break to load a primer tube and loading another 100rds, repeat. So I don’t use my extra primer tubes any longer. Spare parts kit avoids any downtime. Dillon will replace the parts that wear out.
Recommended Setup:
550/650, comes with proper powder die, buttons, powder funnel. Add either Dillon Dies or the Lee 3 or 4 dieset (if you use the three die set get the crimp die as well), Scale, Dial Calipers, Tumbler. Add the Dillon 1 inch lock rings if you use the Lee Dies. Spare parts kit, Toolholder.


Hornady Lock N Load (LnL)
http://www.hornady.com/
The LnL is like a 650 with some minor but important differences. It is a 5 station auto-indexing press. It does not use a “toolhead” but instead mounts each die in its own individual “bushing”. So you don’t change a toolhead you just change out the dies one at a time in their bushings. They don’t loose their adjustment. As a result you don’t have to swap over the Powder Measure when you do caliber conversions. Some people really like the setup as it makes some things easier. The LnL is a 5 station press but as it ships from the factory it uses all its available stations because it does not flare and drop powder at the same time. So unlike the Dillon the LnL does not come standard with a Powder Measure/die that flares the case and throws the powder charge all at the same time. It uses a separate die to flare the case mouth and that die takes up the extra station it has over the 550. Hornady sells the proper dies for flaring or you can use a Lee Powder die with the powder funnel installed to hold the expander in place. You can convert the LnL to flare and throw the powder all at the same time. It’s called the Powder Through Expander(PTX). The PTX has not received good reviews from some people. You only need it if you are going to add a powder check die. It works fine for most people who don’t use lead bullets. Even some people have success with it and lead bullets. I hear it is getting redesigned to flare better and that would really solve its only drawback. Hornady does not offer as many calibers with the PTX setup check to be sure your desired calibers have the proper insert. The Press does not come with a shellplate. Get the proper shellplate when you order the press. One other difference with the LnL over the 550/650 is you load both the bullet and case on the left side of the press. 550/650 you load the bullet on the left and the case on the right. Besides that the LnL is much like the 650 and it’s a lot less expensive. Hornady recently has been working hard to improve this press (new ejection system). They have a lifetime warranty on the press as well. Once dialed in it’s a fast, inexpensive press especially if Hornady is offering the “Free Bullets” like it normally does. It does seem to require a little more time/effort to setup then the Dillon because the instructions are not as good. Many of the Dillon accessories can be adapted to work on the LnL. If you are willing to spend the time to learn it’s setup then this press is a great press. Many claim it’s Powder Measure is better then the Dillon. It even index’s in ½ steps which is unique and smoother. The powder measure has some great options that Dillon does not offer. It does not come with a Low Primer Warning system. You can adapt the RCBS/Dillon system to the LnL.

Recommended Setup.
LnL, Shellplate, Hornandy Custom Grade New Dimension Dies, add a crimping die of your choice (Lee Dies can work fine), Scale, Dial Calipers, Tumbler. Add a RCBS low primer sensor as well. PTX die if you are going to want a powder check die. An aftermarket PTX die insert is available at Powderfunnels.com -- http://www.powderfunnels.com/ I have heard good things about this PTX option.
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by linkpimp » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:34 pm

Here is a list of manufactures and or companies that you should know about if you plan on reloading and buying reloading supplies:

Listed in no Particular Order

Where to find "Bullet"s:
http://www.dardascastbullets.com
http://www.berrysmfg.com/
http://www.missouribullet.com/
http://www.twoalphabullets.com/
http://www.rmrbullets.com/
http://www.rozedist.com
http://www.montanagoldbullet.com/index.html
http://www.precisiondelta.com/index1.htm
http://www.xtremebullets.com/index.htm
http://www.scharch.com/index.php
http://www.grafs.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.gamaliel.com/
http://www.rrarms.com/
http://www.wideners.com
http://www.sinclairintl.com/
http://www.natchezss.com/index.cfm
http://www.tjconevera.com/index.html
http://www.rmrbullets.com/
http://www.twoalphabullets.com/ [/COLOR]


Who has "Primers?"
http://www.cabelas.com
http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/
http://www.grafs.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.natchezss.com/index.cfm
http://www.wideners.com
http://www.sinclairintl.com/
http://www.rrarms.com/
http://www.gamaliel.com/


Where can I get "Brass"
http://www.starlinebrass.com/
http://www.oncefiredbrass.net/
http://www.berrysmfg.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.grafs.com/
http://www.gamaliel.com/
http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/
http://www.starlinebrass.com
http://www.natchezss.com/index.cfm
http://www.tjconevera.com/index.html
http://www.rrarms.com/


Reloading Press and Tools:
http://www.kempfgunshop.com/
http://www.gamaliel.com/
http://www.dillonprecision.com/
http://www.eguns.com
http://www.brianenos.com/
http://www.wideners.com
http://www.sinclairintl.com/
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/index.htm
http://www.hornady.com/
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.rrarms.com/



Dies:
http://www.kempfgunshop.com/
http://www.dillonprecision.com/
http://www.eguns.com
http://www.brianenos.com/
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/index.htm
http://www.hornady.com/
http://www.natchezss.com/index.cfm
http://www.wideners.com
http://www.sinclairintl.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.rrarms.com/


Misc. Tools and other places to spend your kids Inheritance :D
http://www.rrarms.com/
http://www.berrysmfg.com/
http://www.kempfgunshop.com/
http://www.dillonprecision.com/
http://www.eguns.com
http://www.brianenos.com/
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/index.html
http://www.hornady.com/
http://www.harborfreight.com/
http://www.wideners.com
http://www.sinclairintl.com/
http://www.natchezss.com/index.cfm
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/
http://www.jandjproducts.com/.
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.gamaliel.com/



Here is an excellent source for tried and true load data on various powders and shell cases, etc.
Steve's Reloading Data Pages http://stevespages.com/page8a.htm

Well team for what it worth that's (My Two Cents) and that's all I've got, I think I’ve laid out enough information for you to review and safely begin your quest in reloading.

Please feel free to leave your questions & comments as I know there are many extremely knowledgeable people on here who will be more than happy to answer your questions..

I hope you find the information helpful.

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Last edited by linkpimp on Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by NoMercy » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:38 pm

I learned a lot about reloading by watching reloading videos on youtube before I got started.
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by huntingohio » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:45 pm

tagged linkpimp your the shit!!

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Re: So you want to reload but you dont know where to begin?

Post by Abacus » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:18 am

First of all, wow, that was a bloody good post.

However, The OP mentioned that he is getting to use an existing setup, so the impressive list of kit was for ...?

Also,
linkpimp wrote:
1. It’s cheaper than factory ammo
Sometimes
2. It shoots straighter than factory ammo
Sometimes
3. It shoots faster than factory ammo
What?
4. It’s more reliable than factory ammo
Sometimes
5. It’s more accurate than factory ammo
Sometimes
6. It’s a hell of lot of fun.
Sort of
7. It’s provides you with all of the ammunition you will ever need.
Bollocks
Maybe give the new guy realistic expectations?



To the OP,

I started reloading with no prior experience in it and no local resources. Reloading is probably the single thing I've done that has had the most effect on my shooting. Spend as much as you can on your press. Spend a little more than that if you can. Buy your press as if you will never get another chance to do so. This is not the place to cheap out with some intro starter kit. Spend as much on your press as you would on your next firearm purchase. Get a press you can grow into and will grow with you.

And the piece of kit not included in the big list of kit that you MUST have: Eyepro.
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linkpimp
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Re: So you want to reload but you dont know where to begin?

Post by linkpimp » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:38 am

Abacus wrote:First of all, wow, that was a bloody good post.

However, The OP mentioned that he is getting to use an existing setup, so the impressive list of kit was for ...?

Also,
linkpimp wrote:
1. It’s cheaper than factory ammo
Sometimes
2. It shoots straighter than factory ammo
Sometimes
3. It shoots faster than factory ammo
What?
4. It’s more reliable than factory ammo
Sometimes
5. It’s more accurate than factory ammo
Sometimes
6. It’s a hell of lot of fun.
Sort of
7. It’s provides you with all of the ammunition you will ever need.
Bollocks
Maybe give the new guy realistic expectations?



To the OP,

I started reloading with no prior experience in it and no local resources. Reloading is probably the single thing I've done that has had the most effect on my shooting. Spend as much as you can on your press. Spend a little more than that if you can. Buy your press as if you will never get another chance to do so. This is not the place to cheap out with some intro starter kit. Spend as much on your press as you would on your next firearm purchase. Get a press you can grow into and will grow with you.

And the piece of kit not included in the big list of kit that you MUST have: Eyepro.


Hey Abacus,

I’m sorry sir, this is just my boiler plate response.. I’ve been reloading for more than 9 years and like most old school guys, we’ve been asked this questions more times than I can count, so one day a few years ago I put this together.. It takes me all of 3 minutes to post. I’m just throwing it out there sir, I’ll leave it up to the OP to take what he wants from it.. I’m sorry if I put out more information that what the OP asked. IMO you can never have too much information when it comes to building a proper foundation in reloading.



As for your comments.. hahahaaa I’ve got a few too.. How long have you been reloading? I’m going to guess about 2-3 years based off your responses below..


1. It’s cheaper than factory ammo
Sometimes (you lost me here!).. I can reload every caliber I have for FAR less than it cost me at the store.. I load up 7 different calibers so trust me, it is always cheaper..
2. It shoots straighter than factory ammo
Sometimes (if it doesn’t than you doing something wrong)
3. It shoots faster than factory ammo
What? Please dude.. This shows you have a long way to go and lots to learn.. We can totally control our velocities.. We can control them with our seating depths, our choice of powder (hot / vrs slow burning) we do have over 176 different powders to chose from (hot, regular and slow) don’t forget about gr count, and by our primers, again some burning hotter than others.. That’s why we have chrono’s.. We need to know how fast were pushing them..
4. It’s more reliable than factory ammo
Sometimes It better be.. It only takes one wrong round to ruin your whole day.. That’s why a proper foundation is so important..
5. It’s more accurate than factory ammo
Sometimes WOW.. Again it better BE.. If it’s not your doing something wrong. Because we can totally control this by proper brass preparation, powder and bullet choice, seating depths, etc, etc..
6. It’s a hell of lot of fun.
Sort of IDK.. It does take up lots of time, hours and hours to do it right so I’ll give you this one..
7. It’s provides you with all of the ammunition you will ever need.
Bollocks What?? Again hahahahaa what??


OP.. You should really IMO read, read, and read some more / everything you can, then try to hookup with a local reloader (some one who knows what their doing).

Start out slow, double check everything and you’ll be fine.. remember the only stupid question in reloading are the one’s not asked..

Link.
http://www.zombiecamo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ~ It's (NOT) for the Children..
or
http://www.wheelchairdesigns.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ~ It (is) for the Children

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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by yar1182 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:31 am

I load lots of 223 for 3 gun competition. I have a 55gr load that I use for short range (under 100 yards) and a 75gr load for long range targets. Mostly I do this to save on my long range ammo as the bullets are more expensive and I do more work on the brass prep.

The biggest thing about loading bottle neck rifle is all the case prep. I assume your going to pick up brass and reload it. You got to clean, then lube, then size, then trim, then chamfer/deburr, and maybe even swage the primer pockets.

So here are my tips

Lube the shit out of your brass. If you don't have enough lube it will stick in the resizing die and is a royal pain to pull it out. Get a stuck case puller, you will need it at some point. It's under $20.
get a good case guage. I like the dillon precision. Use the case guage to set the shoulder. After you resize the case use the case guage to make sure the shoulder is set properly. I do not use the case guage to determine case lenght. I use calipers for that.
After you trim brass use calipers to measure case lenght. One common mistake new reloaders make is they don't trim their brass down far enough. Then the case gets stuck in the rifling. I trim my 223 cases to 1.750" Anything over 1.760 is going to be an issue.
I like to use the same powder for both my 55gr and 75gr ammo. It is just easier for me. Then I just have to stock one powder. You use a lot of powder for rifle so it goes quick. I load 24gr of AA2520 for both my loads. I am consider switching to ramshot TAC. I also do like Varget but it's a little pricey for how much I shoot.

I shoot a lot and I invest in good reloading gear. I don't particularly like reloading anymore, it's become a chore. But I do love to shoot and compete in matches weekly so it has to be done.

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markie
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by markie » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:08 am

get a good reloading manual first. and read it a couple of times. lee or lyman or speer or such they explain all the details u will need to know also there are many good reloading forums out there too.
A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part

http://www.theboxotruth.com/index.htm

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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by UrbanConquest » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:26 am

G
Last edited by UrbanConquest on Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Absintheur
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Re: Looking to get into reloading...

Post by Absintheur » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:25 am

Your buddy is being generous letting you use his gear but doesn't sound like he will be much help as he too is just starting. I would try to find someone with some good experience who is willing to walk you through things till you get the hang of it. A manual is very much needed but nothing beats personal instruction. There is some good info online but there is just as much bad and a lot of misconceptions as well. The best advise is to take it slow and double check things carefully. Do not have any distractions like tv or music playing and keep conversation to a minimum if your buddy is there with you. I like a progressive press but I do some prep work on an old Hollywood single stage. I full length size on it and then tumble to remove lube. I then prime by hand, after that everything else is done on the Dillon 550. This is for rifle ammo, for most handgun everything is done start to finish on a Dillon 650.

Reloading is not difficult as all, I started when I was 14 or so reloading 45 for Blackhawk. Just about anyone can turn our quality ammo if they are willing to take their time. Here are a few suggestions for your .223 loading.

1. Unless you have a way to remove the crimp from the primer pocket avoid military brass.
2. Use adequate lube (even with carbide dies it is necessary unless just neck sizing for bolt guns) but don't overdo it...too much is as bad as too little. I use Dillon spray lube then roll on a paper towel.
3. Do not handle primers with lube on your fingers.
4. After de-priming clean the primer pocket, even commercial brass can have a ring of sealant that can keep the primer from seating correcting.
5.Double and triple check your powder, make sure you are using the powder you mean to, H110 and N110 are not the same thing...always make sure you know what the manual calls for a check it twice.
6. Do the same with your powder charge...make sure you are reading it right and check weigh every ten rounds or so if using an automatic measure.
7. Small rifle and small rifle magnum primers are not interchangeable...use what the manual calls for.
8. Find a mentor for you and your buddy if at all possible.

I don't find reloading fun but neither is it a chore...it just is. When I was really competing I was going through 50,000 rounds a year just in pistol, reloading was mandatory, sponsors I had would pay entry fees and hotel rooms but not my ammo costs. Now I do it because it is cheaper even tho I don't shoot nearly that much. When you start it is not going to seem worth the amount of time it took you to load those first few boxes...and it isn't. However as you learn and become proficient you will speed up your production rate. This is why I recommend not buying a single stage press and it will always limit your production rate. You can use a progressive like the Dillon 550 as a single stage till you get the hang of reloading and then move on. Once you get good it is not hard to load 500 round an hour on it, especially if you prep your brass. Go slow, double check, be careful. Wear eye protection. Don't get discouraged by how long those first few boxws take...you will get faster as you learn.
"I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." -- J.R.R.Tolkien

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