Messages
73
Reactions
36
I like to reload
What do I need and should consider. Today need vs tomorrows. I like to know i can get components readily.
What is a proven system?
I not going in to manufacturing so i dont need a high volume. But i also dont want to do one a a time and have to change things to often.

What have you learned and regretted.

Reloading:
Primary:
9mm
5.56x45
12 guage
7.62x51

Future open to these calibers
30-06
44 mag
45cal
40cal
30WM
 
Messages
822
Reactions
1,033
First thing is to get a reloading manual outlining the process and the basic equipment needed. Also, if you know anyone who currently reloads who would show you the ropes, or if there is anyone in your area who does training courses for hands on experience, that would be a good place to start. After reading a manual and getting an overview of the basics, if you look around a bit, one can often pick up a good used, basic setup for not too much money. The last few years have been a tough time to get started as equipment and components have been harder to get, and thus more expensive. Primers have been the most difficult thing to find the last few years. As ammo is becoming more available and prices are beginning to reflect that, you may find better availability and prices on reloading gear and components. Before buying components, study a manual for the calibers you want to load to determine what is needed for the caliber(s) you want to start with.

I don't do any shotshell reloading. Some different equipment and components needed than for the other calibers you specified, so keep that in mind.

As for what caliber to start with, I'd suggest a straight wall pistol round, such as 45 cal (either 45 Colt or 45 ACP - not sure if either of these were what you meant by 45 cal). 9mm can be a bit more tricky as it is a slightly tapered case, and small case volume, so small differences in bullet seating depth and length can alter case volume and thus pressure quicker than others with more capacity. So keep that in mind if you decide to start there.
 
Messages
173
Reactions
53
Depends on how much you want to spend........... Buy Books on it, every book you can find honestly. always do your research (take nobodies word, just take as advice)

Having multiple Presses can always be handy, Starting out learning how to set up the dies and load development to what the rounds will be used for. Components are readily available at a reasonable cost to justify cost per bullet. there is a lot of hunting and finding deals and collecting.

Easy way would be to start with a Sigle stage RCBS Rockchucker honestly, i'd also for rifle calibers go with full length die sets and for pistol always make sure you get 3 die sets w/ crimp die. space is always nice and best to store components and gear in temperature controlled environment.

Once you get the hang of it you can retain the RCBS for de-priming or rifle rounds as they tend to be very specific to the need of the round.

Could pick up a Dillon 550c for automated reloading but then you'll need the individual tool heads + powder measure to set up each interchangeable puck and base plate (those add up in cost quickly) and Die sets. Then you'll need to get ahold of once fired brass or build up stock at a decent price per pound. processing the brass and cleaning it and inspecting it for damage to avoid injury to yourself and your firearms. But back to the first sentence, depends on how much you want to spend and get your hands on as many books as possible and research.

V/R
 
Messages
8
Reactions
23
You possibly opened a can of worms, but in a "good" way. Everyone has their prejudices (preferences) on how you should go about reloading. The first thing is to get some reloading manuals that can cover most/all questions you may have. And will inform you of the pitfalls you may encounter.
From your list, and the fact that you do not want to do "one at a time" I would guess a progressive press is what you need. NOT necessarily the best to learn reloading on (as opposed to a single stage press) but entirely doable. Presses like the Dillon 550C and 750 will do all the metallic reloading you list, you will need an additional one for shotgun. Also, you are looking at dies for each caliber.
Dillon and Hornady make excellent progressive presses. Dillon from personal experience, Hornady on the word of a friend. RCBS, Lyman and whomever have progressive presses also.
Your list of needs will include: dies, a scale, toolheads for each of your dies if you do not want to reset each time, shellplates for each caliber (some of which may be interchangeable between caliber - Dillon-wise anyway).
You can run up a pretty big bill with all the add-ons for each caliber. The Dillon website has/had a calculator to determine when you would reach a "break even" point on reloading as opposed to buying ammo all the time. Others may also have a calculator.
Do your research, look at reviews for the different machines (like the comments on Amazon) and get an idea how much each machine may run you. Dies are universal essentially, but each machine has propritary toolheads/shellplates/feeding systems.
Good luck and feel free to ask questions.
And remember, when components become readily available, stock up for the shortages like now.
 
Messages
1,755
Reactions
1,149
These are a good place to start as they come with everything you need to get started, except for dies and shell holders. A case guage is a good thing to have as well to measure both lenght and if it will fit after resizing.
An if you decide that it's not for you, than these are easy to resale.



Pistol cases are the easiest to start with in my experience but in fairness I started with 300WM so it's also a lot more about what you want to start with. Take the time to read and learn it before actually making a round or you can make dummy rounds to start as you go through each step.
 
Last Edited:
Messages
1,755
Reactions
1,149
I'd also say to pick the two calibers you use the most: one pistol/one rifle and get the dies and holders for them first and start with that. If you want to get all of the ones that you want to reload at once, then be prepared to spend a lot of money.
Powder and bullet are going to be your next big choice as to which ones you want to use. Some people also use multiple dies for different bullets, i.e. (round nose, flat nose; tall cone, short cone) to avoid changing seater pins.
Practice making several dummy rounds before you even touch powder or primer just to get use to what needs to be done plus the final dummies you make that are the way you want, you can use to reset your dies if you need to.

Safety is always something to be aware of as well.
Never, NEVER!, load while you are distracted. Complacency in loading can lead to you or others being hurt.
 
Last Edited:
Messages
4,633
Reactions
8,782
As far as reloading 9mm now, and I’m a reloader first, I’d buy on sale ammo. Doesn’t really pan out for buying components for the crazy prices people are asking here like on primers, etc. I’ve seen new brass 9mm for around 29 cents each round delivered a few times lately. Consider a primer averages still around 10 cents each, bullets for cheapo ones are 10-11 cents each, and figure powder is maybe 3-5 cents per round. I don’t see a benefit to loading that particular round. Unless you enjoy reloading and there is no cure for that, now, I need to go open those 5k small pistol primers and get ready to load all that 9mm brass I have prepped, LOL
 
Messages
15,082
Reactions
58,142
My advice is find a Lee turret press, Lee carbide dies for your 9mm, a reliable scale, a RCBS powder measure, and a set of calipers OR a set of 9mm cartridge gauges. My favorite reloading manual the Lyman Reloading manual It's in its 50th Edition but earlier editions still have tons of 9mm load data. I prefer Lyman because they don't make powder, primers or bullets so their loads aren't designed to push a particular product. Additionally they have load data for lead bullets which few if any other manuals have. The 1st part of the manual is info on how to get started in reloading, there's data on all the powders available. re: Powders I'm fond of Unique and Bullseye for pistol. Buy a1 pound can at first, even if the 8 lb jug is a super bargain, because you can load a ton of 9mm ammo with 1 pound of powder regardless of the brand. Also, if you decide reloading isn't for you then junking the powder is no major loss of $$.
The Lee turret press is what (and a whole bunch of other reloaders) started out with. I now load on Dillon machines BUT,,, I still have that Lee press and use it for small batches of odd calibers. Most reloaders I know still have their Lee turrets as well.
My final bit of advice is this "When in doubt, throw it out!" If you get that "Did I put 4 or 8 grains of powder in that case before I seated the bullet?" feeling, tear that cartridge down and start over. A new reload takes a few minutes to pull down and reload properly and even if the round turned out to be safe, it's still worth the caution A blown up gun and loss of fingers, eyes or worse can be the consequences of not heeding that little voice and getting the load wrong.
Good luck and stay safe!
 
Messages
17,939
Reactions
42,486
I like to reload
What do I need and should consider. Today need vs tomorrows. I like to know i can get components readily.
What is a proven system?
I not going in to manufacturing so i dont need a high volume. But i also dont want to do one a a time and have to change things to often.

What have you learned and regretted.

Reloading:
Primary:
9mm
5.56x45
12 guage
7.62x51

Future open to these calibers
30-06
44 mag
45cal
40cal
30WM
Now days its super simple as you have the net. Watch some video of how its done and start there. A LOT depends on how much you want to spend to start. Depending on how much and how fast you want to go. Even if you think you want a progressive I would start with a simple press first to learn. A good manual and the net and you can be off and running. The only hard part right now will be supplies. Primers are still harder to come by.
 
Messages
3,999
Reactions
7,921
Unless you are a steady wing shooter (trap, skeet, shooting clays, etc) and burn through a lot of shells, just buy your 12 gauge ammo. It's still fairly readily available and you can get fairly inexpensive target loads for practice. If you want to load some specialty rounds, like slugs, diff. sizes of buckshot, etc., you can get (literally) hand loading tools from places like Ballistic Products. You don't have to buy a press outfit to load small batches. Loading shot shells and loading centerfire metallic cartridges are two different worlds.

Since you're starting out, you might want to learn in phases. Like concentrate first on handgun cartridges, then bottleneck rifle types. Or vice versa. The two involve some different techniques.

My advice, don't start with a progressive press. Begin more simply. It's always possible that you might find that you don't like doing it.

When I was a buyer, I used to give some business to Midway USA which is an online source. Pre-Covid, they were a one stop shopping source. These days, they don't always have what a person needs. The typical supply chain deficiencies.
 
Messages
352
Reactions
609
I like to reload
What do I need and should consider. Today need vs tomorrows. I like to know i can get components readily.
What is a proven system?
I not going in to manufacturing so i dont need a high volume. But i also dont want to do one a a time and have to change things to often.

What have you learned and regretted.

Reloading:
Primary:
9mm
5.56x45
12 guage
7.62x51

Future open to these calibers
30-06
44 mag
45cal
40cal
30WM
I reload every cartridge you have listed except 12g on a Dillon 650XL... after investing thousands of dollars on dies, heads and other gear over the years. It has been worth every penny I have invested... to me!

Many reload the same cartridges with a whole lot less investment on a quality single stage like RCBS RockChucker or Lee Classic cast... but a whole lot slower.

30 years ago I started out loading on a progressive 650XL and found it a great platform to learn on. I find it MUCH harder to miss a step, like charging a case with powder, on a progressive than on a single stage or turret press.

If you want to test the water a quality single stage or turret is a great place to start. If you are sure you want to jump in with the big boys and swim a quality progressive is a great investment... but not a requirement for turning out quality cartridges.
 
Messages
3,639
Reactions
8,794
I've been reloading over 40 years in fact most of my guns have never had any other ammo than mine in them. What I recommend is to get the Lyman book and read the front section on reloading to get familiar with the terminology and process. Next I'd get the RCBS Master Reloading kit knowing that it is just a starting point but will get you going. Don't worry about it being a single stage press that you might out grow, I still have and use mine even though I am a manufacturer with 3 progressive presses. It's handy for load development, specialty loads and special projects. With loading blocks it's easy to load each step 50 cases at a time. Don't be afraid to ask questions of those that have been down the road farther than you.
 
Messages
18,708
Reactions
39,333
GOOD TO SEE A "I WANNA' START RELOADING WHAT DO I NEED THREAD". WE HARDLY EVER SEE THOSE QUESTIONS ASKED HERE.
Do not get a kit with only an electronic scale! You get down the loading road for awhile and decide you want to trust an electronic device to weigh you powder in hundreds of tiny explosive bombs that's up to you. A $50.00 electronic scale won't ever be on my bench unless I started selling coke. Personally I recommend RCBS Master Reloading Kit. Get that, and an Amazon account for $14.99/month, and get to playing, reading and gathering components from here and online websites.
 
Messages
735
Reactions
760
Oooo. A lot of responses quickly. A great amount of advice in this forum. Good peeps.
This is how I got started after getting a BOOK FIRST.
Everything thing you need to start down the rabbit hole. Except components and dies…
This just how I did it. Different brands and better equipment all over of course.

Still use it a couple years later…. I’ve added stuff to move a little fast but it’s still a single stage
 
Messages
3,190
Reactions
6,718
While I know it doesn’t qualify me as one of the cool kids, but in 40 plus years of reloading for a plethora of different cartridges I have never saw the need for more than a single stage press. I did buy a redding turret press with additional heads several years back for convenience and slightly higher output for some of my higher volume cartridges. Unless you are shooting thousands of rounds a month or you just don’t enjoy the time spent with the reloading process, a single stage will do all you need. I would forgo the kit route and piecemeal what you need together with better items. A mentor in your area would be a great asset.
 
Messages
16,263
Reactions
35,372
I’ve been reloading for a bit.

I’m almost done with it now.

It’s highly enjoyable to mess around with loads and try different things.

It is not enjoyable chasing down components in the last 4 years or so. It’s getting slightly better, but it could get a whole lot worse soon.

There are boxes of 100 primers on shelves here and there. You can usually buy primers online at 60-120 a brick of 1000. At 60 if you can find it that low, that’s a huge chunk of the price per round savings if anything. Anything in the 10 vents realm kills inexpensive hand loads entirely.

Then the bullets are going up in price too. As is powder.

So, if you are okay with 50 cents to 2 dollars a round to make reloads these days, I’d say go for it. Unless you are sitting on bullets and primers you bought back in the “$0.02 or less” a primer, days.

There really isn’t much worth to it these days, in my opinion, especially with the lack of primers and components at what I would consider decent prices.

I with you the best in your venture.

If it’s for prepping, buying anything right now wouldn’t hurt. IE if you are worried you won’t be able to buy ammo and you want stuff stored to make it.

Otherwise just buy a bunch of ammo instead.
 
Messages
3,190
Reactions
6,718
I’ve been reloading for a bit.

I’m almost done with it now.

It’s highly enjoyable to mess around with loads and try different things.

It is not enjoyable chasing down components in the last 4 years or so. It’s getting slightly better, but it could get a whole lot worse soon.

There are boxes of 100 primers on shelves here and there. You can usually buy primers online at 60-120 a brick of 1000. At 60 if you can find it that low, that’s a huge chunk of the price per round savings if anything. Anything in the 10 vents realm kills inexpensive hand loads entirely.

Then the bullets are going up in price too. As is powder.

So, if you are okay with 50 cents to 2 dollars a round to make reloads these days, I’d say go for it. Unless you are sitting on bullets and primers you bought back in the “$0.02 or less” a primer, days.

There really isn’t much worth to it these days, in my opinion, especially with the lack of primers and components at what I would consider decent prices.

I with you the best in your venture.

If it’s for prepping, buying anything right now wouldn’t hurt. IE if you are worried you won’t be able to buy ammo and you want stuff stored to make it.

Otherwise just buy a bunch of ammo instead.
Yeah getting into it these days has to be for specific reasons for sure. Having been doing it all these years I have a pretty good stock of components to work with although I have had to buy some expensive bullets here and there for hunting. Sps blems can be a good source for nosler products at discounted prices.
 
Messages
16,263
Reactions
35,372
Yeah getting into it these days has to be for specific reasons for sure. Having been doing it all these years I have a pretty good stock of components to work with although I have had to buy some expensive bullets here and there for hunting. Sps blems can be a good source for nosler products at discounted prices.
I used to try more to keep up with deals on components. I’m more of a, walk into Sportsmans and grab a box of bullets, type guy these days. Those trips have become scarce too after repetitive disappointments.

The primers are really the deadfall of reloading over the last 6-10 years. They have become increasingly difficult to obtain and until something happens to change that, it’s really become a PITA to track them down.

There is, “i thought had enough” and “I have enough”. I am the first one lately. I’m down to a few thousand primers left for pistol and rifle. Once the primers dry up completely, I’ll either get out of reloading entirely or keep a bare minimum of equipment to load up Gucci rounds.
 

Upcoming Events

Centralia Gun Show
Centralia, WA
Oregon Arms Collectors March Gun Show
Portland, OR
ONRI Rally at the Capitol
Salem, OR

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top