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Looking to start Reloading.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by primewish, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. primewish

    primewish Yakima, Washington Member

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    Hello I am looking to start reloading my rounds. I don't have any idea what I am looking to spend on a set up. I have alot of different weapons. 9mm, 38 super, 45acp, .223 30-06,7mm. I am going to be getting a 308 soon. So is it going to be worth it to start reloading? I know it depends on how much Ammo I use. I am at the point that it is getting way to expensive to go shooting. I want a to get a set up that will be the easiest for use and ammo production.
     
  2. dustinm

    dustinm The BEAVER State Member

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    I reload a lot. Sometimes its cost effective, sometimes its not. Depends on what your looking to get out of it. I would start very basic. You can do pretty much all calibers with the basic kit. Most kits include a press, scale, trickler and a couple had tools. Pick a caliber and start reloading it. If you still like it after 6 months then expand. I started very basic and have replaced my triple balance scale with an electronic measurer / scale, bought a electric case trimmer and slowly upgraded my setup to fit my needs. I don't mass produce, just because I don’t like to go out and load a 20rd clip in my .223 M4 and shoot in one minute what took me an hour from start to finish to reload.

    I find it a nice way to spend a few hours every week alone doing something relaxing.

    What are you looking at getting into? I live in Central Oregon and have the luxury of having Nosler nearby to get REALLY cheap factory second bullets. It makes it a bit more cost effective.
     
  3. primewish

    primewish Yakima, Washington Member

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    I am looking to make it easy to shoot my 223 more and my 38 super mostly and then when I get my 308 as well
     
  4. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    for rifle rounds, a cast iron single stage press makes the sizing operation a whole lot easier,so don't go cheap on the press .Lee cast iron is a good one,RCBS Rockchucker has been the gold std. for years,but the Lee gets reallly good ratings for less money.
    FIRST,buy at least 2 books with how-to chapters.I luv my Lyman's,it's my go-to book. read and abosrb.
    then acqure the following. used will save some bucks..
    Press,dies,trimmer,scale,good not cheap powder measure (like a Hornady or RCBS) caliper,case lube ,tumbler.
    when you buy dies,DON'T FORGET THE SHELL HOLDER. Most don't come with it,and soooo many folks get ready to go and DOH !!! no shell holder !
    ||those are the basics,later if u decide to go prgressive,u'll still use the single stage so it won't be money wasted.
    Good idea to start with pistol rounds,straight walled cases are a whole lot easier to learn on than bottle neck rifle rounds.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  5. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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    I recently got into reloading. My reasons were both economics and a desire to get the most out of my firearms by putting together ammo that is tailored to each gun. I got a RCBS rock chucker supreme boxed kit at Cabelas for $270 (they matched their own website price in store). I opted to get a digital scale/dispenser at the same time. My initial goal was to recreate a factory load that my .308 bolt rifle seemed to really like. I was able to get started with this and have made some rounds with it.

    It didn't take long at all to realize that I wanted a progressive for loading my .45acp and .223 for my AR15. I got a Dillon 550 from a NWFA member for these. I will continue to use the single stage hand-load process for my .308 rounds. I am wanting accuracy here. I also really enjoy the process. The round count in .45 and .223 is a lot higher. The Dillon excels here for me.

    The major benefit that I didn't know about is the .45 and .223 I'm loading is being made for my guns specifically.

    I really enjoy reloading.. My .02.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There are benefits of reloading beyond just cost savings.

    For most rifle hand loaders, cost isn't the first consideration but that of accuracy and effectiveness.

    For Pistol, cost can be more of a consideration as the usual savings is at least half, even if you're lucky with finding low cost ammo. Hand Loading benefit here by allowing you to shoot a quality ammo, more like what you might carry for Self Defense, for far less than the factory ammo. My "top end" 9mm loads cost me about $0.10 ea to load myself and the same type ammo usually sells for closer to $0.40 per round, factory made.

    If you shoot a high volume rifle round like .223 or .308, in an AR or M1A, reloading makes even more sense. Even surplus ammo for these rifles in in the $0.30 - $0.50 per round category where. My .223 rounds cost me $0.16 ea and are every bit as good as any |Mil-Surp".

    As a hobby its very rewarding. The time spent learning how to reload, match ammo to a firearm or desired performance doesn't just fill available time, it fills your mind as well. If you have young children or grandchildren it's great to see them curious and join in on many little tasks. Eventually they want to try their hand too. Time spent with them is priceless. When they grow older they then become your "shooting buddies".

    The amount of each caliber you need will dictate your equipment needs. To learn the process I highly recommend you start with a basic single stage operation. A Press, Die set for each caliber, priming tool, powder measure, scale, caliper, case trimmer, and MANUAL, can all be had in starter kits from the major manufacturers with varying prices starting around $100. A single stage setup will be more than adequate for some caliber requirements and even those one tends to shoot a lot of, it's capable of producing a couple boxes of finished ammo in an evening session. Once you get the hang of it it goes quicker than you'd think. Using prepped and primed brass, I was able to load 50 rounds of "Match Grade" ammo yesterday afternoon in less than an hour using my 40 year old single stage press.

    Before you jump in and buy a progressive, take some time and estimate how many rounds you go through for each caliber in let's say a year. Once you do that you'll be able to see whether you can just load to your needs on a single stage, doing a couple boxes per session, or if you need more production.

    If you do decide to go with a progressive, buy the BEST one you can afford. Lee's are sure attractive at the price but they also have the highest "fiddle factor" attached to them. You almost have to have them blessed by a witch doctor in order to make them trouble free but even then the "spell" only lasts so long. For more trouble free units, consider the Hornady LNL or Dillon offerings. I love my Dillon 650 but I also shoot an insane amount of ammo each year. Others love their Hornady's. I think most who own Lee's have just made peace with theirs.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    Many people these days like to go directly to a progressive press but I've never been able to recommend that approach to relative newcomers. A RCBS Rockchucker is a very good place to start and it will always have a place on your bench.
     
  8. washfire

    washfire SW Washington New Member

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    What about the Lee classic turret? I read that it is a lot better than the original lee turret and for the price may be an option for someone who wants something a little quicker than a single stage... but can also do single if wanted?
    \
     
  9. primewish

    primewish Yakima, Washington Member

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    ok thanks guys that make a lot more sense then the route I was going to go. I was going to go with a dillion form what I was reading on here. I used to shoot alot and now that ammo is getting crazy expensive I want to get in to shooting and reloading ammo on my own and plus I want to get a suppressor and make sub sonic rounds later in the future when I get good at reloading. I think I will start looking for a single stage that way I don't get too deep in to and not like it just in case. I doubt that I wont like it but who knows.
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The only real advantage to a turret is that you can do one round at a time from beginning to end and have all the dies ready to go on the press. Just change the turret as needed for a different die.

    I load using the batch method when using my single stage. I deprime and size 50 cases and put them in my loading block. I then prime them. Then I change the sizing die in the press to a seater die. Fill the case with powder and seat a bullet, returning it to the block. When finished, if I want the cartridge crimped, I then install the crimp die and crimp all. I would put my money in a nice solid single stage.
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    There is the best, most succinct piece of advice ever offered on threads of this type. Best of all, Primewish listened. My hat is off to both of you.
     
  12. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    I did it that way for about a month; then it got old.

    Today I loaded 150 .45ACP, 200 .357Magnum and 250 .38 Special on my Lee Classic Turret Press. With prepped and primed Brass and the three sets of dies already pre-mounted for my favorite loads. Considering the press was under $100 used, and it works smoothly, I have no complaints. Another $100 for a pro dispenser and some plates and I call it a good bang for the buck. Though I also use my Lee Classic Cast press for lots of tasks, and that was how I started. I'm going to try rifle loads on the classic cast single stage this week.

    Lots of good advice.
     
  13. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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    I've been looking at a Redding T-7 for the same basic reason - so I can setup my .308 dies and leave them setup. I currently use a Rock Chucker. Being able to leave my seating die and sizing die settings dialed in seems like a big time saver.
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    You can do the same thing, leave the dies "dialed in", with a Hornady LNL. Just set the dies up in the Bushings and die change is almost as quick as with a turret but with less chance of error due to moving the "turret". Also less money.
     
  15. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    Unless you buy used. Then the cost savings for a turret are good.
    However, if funds are not an issue, always buy the best you can afford.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    About 40 years ago I saw something on a Tire Dealer's Sign Board (Not Les Schwab). It simply said "It's not how much you pay, it's how often you have to pay it".

    Simple advice that's served me well over the years.
     
  17. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    I learned 50 years ago spending big money on things you don't need leaves little for those things you do need.

    I won't ever fire enough ammo to justify a Dillon 650 or the like. The OP will have to decide for himself how much ammo he needs, especially pistol ammo. I have no doubt there are some here who live happily with a single stage, a turret, or progressive -- even combinations. But to decide that one solution fits all needs and budgets is hubris.

    To the OP: There is a T7 on the Lyman site that is factory reconditioned and inexpensive. You mentioned you were looking at those.
     
  18. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    We basically agree. By no means am I suggesting that someone jump in and buy a Dillon XL650 as their first press, unless they KNOW from the start that they will need that capacity.

    What I AM advocating is that one buy the BEST single stage they can afford. If there are "Deals" on used, fine. Unfortunately the beginner isn't always able to determine what's a good deal or just something that's worn out, abused, missing parts, or won't meet their needs. For many that means the best "deal" is a new press and usually a single stage to start.
     
  19. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    Yeah, I was having a less-than-thoughtful ungentlemanly moment. I apologize.
     
  20. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    I bypassed the single stage and got a turret press. Its just easier cause it acts like a single stage but you can have all your dies on one turret head. Ive got a 5 stage turret and in position 5 ive got my ram prime die which i love! I highly recommend one. It wasnt long before I started craving a progressive though. I do only load pistol ammo though but I see a 650 in my near future.