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New to reloading, do I have everything planned ok?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by eternalphoenix64, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    So I'm hoping to get into reloading with my tax return this year (provided it is large enough to still allow some emergency savings). My dad has reloaded in the past but no longer has his equipment. I helped a few times but that was ages ago (12+ years). I just want to be sure I've planned for all the tools I will need.

    As a side note(s):
    I do not plan to be buying a tumbler at this time because I don't care if my brass is shiny and polished. Mostly, that's because I only want to load target loads at first to learn and I don't plan to let the insides get crusty. Now, as I start collecting old brass laying around on the range and start doing hunting/defense loads, that is when I will buy one.
    I have guns in 270 (one bolt-action, one semi-auto), 7.62x39, .223, and .380auto, and hopefully soon, 30-06 (preference is bolt-action). A good friend has 357mag, 45ACP, and 7.62x54R.

    So, my plans (you'll note all RCBS, that is due to their current rebate and my ability to split up the purchase with above friend getting multiple rebates) - some unnecessary things to meet price needs for rebate

    Rock Chucker Supreme Kit
    Shell Trimmer Pro kit
    Dies for .223, 270, 357mag/38special, 380auto, 45auto, 7.63x39, 7.62x54
    Shell holders #3,6,10,13,32
    Primer pocket brush set
    additional Trim Pro shell holders #6,13,32
    Powder Trickler
    Large Neck Brush
    Case trimmer .37 pilot
    Stuck case remover
    Additional reloading tray
    Pow'r Pull Impact Bullet Puller
    Check weight set
    Die Maintenance kit
    Uniflow Powder Measure Powder Baffle
    additional primer tray
    additional case lube

    I AM still researching powders. I want to start with a (couple) good all-around powders that will work for all my calibers for target rounds, and as I learn more I want to start using different powders for hunting/defense rounds. Any good suggestions along those lines are highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    As many reloading manuals you can afford and as much on-line information you can lay your hands on. (Assume you'll go with carbide sizing dies for all straight-wall cases.)
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Just some thoughts but do as you choose.

    A tumble is NOT use for making "shiny" brass. It is used to CLEAN the brass, which is dirty simply by firing it, before running it though your dies and causing excessive wear on your dies. Yes there are other ways to clean your brass. At any rate you want clean brass before sizing.

    If you are getting a trimmer kit why do you need more pilots and shell holders? It should come with them. Also on the trimmer you may not need it right away. Usually it takes a time or two of firing before they become over length. On the other hand I do like to trim so all are even length. One thing I do not see on your list is a chamfer tool that you will need when you trim. I have gone to 3 way cutting dies on my trimmer. They cost more money but save a few extra steps and do a better job.

    On 7.62x39 and the 7.62x54r do you have boxer primed bass that you can reload? If not then there is no point in getting these dies. The majority of brass for these guns is Berdan primed and while it can be reloaded it takes different tools and primer that can be VERY hard to fins.

    I am not sure what dies you are looking at but for the pistol calibers make sure to get Carbide dies at the minimum. I understand your use of all RCBS and the majority of my stuff is also. I have switched over to (yes selling my RCBS carbide dies I had) to Hornady TiN dies as they run so much smoother and nicer.

    BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS and READ, READ, READ them.
     
  4. Gun Mechanic

    Gun Mechanic Portland Active Member

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    Polishing your brass isn't just to make it shiny, it keeps your reloading dies cleaner. It also aids in feeding and extracting while shooting. I would at least hand polish or make a homemade cleaning solution to start off, if you're just reloading 100 rounds or so. Just my $.02
     
  5. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    Yes, to my knowledge the RCBS for straight-wall are all carbide. I have an older Hornady my dad still had laying around and I don't plan (yet) to get any more reloading manuals other than the Speer that comes with the kit. There is a powder manufacturer (Hogdon?) that has a utility on their website for looking up loading info. Can't recall if specific to their powders or not. I spent a good chunk of my time off from school the past 3 weeks doing lots of research, both info and prices. I may have to add a 9mm to my list of dies, as there is a rather inexpensive compact that might still be available when I have the funds. Perfect for a CC
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  6. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    Yes, definitely, I do plan to clean it, just don't want to spend all the money on a tumbler if I can avoid it for something I'm just doing target loads in.

    The press kit comes with the chamfer/debur tool (yet no trimmer..... gee... thanks RCBS...). The trimmer kit does come with some pilots and shell holders, but not all the ones I need (e.g. #6 for the 357mag). I also like to trim them just to keep them uniform, but I do also have some pre-fired and reloaded a few times brass for 270 that is leftover from when my dad reloaded (when I start reloading that will be when I use a tumbler to get off all the stuck on gunk)

    This is something I've seen but have no clue what it means. Can you explain a little better? Is this just a type of primer pocket? What's the difference? How can I tell?
     
  7. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Here I will save you A LOT of time and help. I am guessing the reason you don't gets trimmer parts for .357 is NOBODY trims pistol brass. I guess there is probably someone that does but it is very uncommon to do so.

    There are 2 different styles of primers I can't write this much so, Centerfire ammunition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As for cleaning the brass I am not sure what you mean about "just for target loads". If you fire the brass it gets dirty, end of story. If it falls on the ground (ejected onto the ground) it gets even dirtier. A tumbler is just the easiest way to clean brass. Again all the brass needs cleaned BEFORE you run it into the dies as that is where the damage is done. One way that is cheep and easy to clean is put a little warm water and Dawn in a bucket. Dump your brass in and swish it around aggressively. Rinse the water and repeat a couple of times till the water comes out clean. Then make sure the brass is dry before loading.
     
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  8. hoody

    hoody Tigard/Beaverton area Active Member

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    Berdan primer pockets have two side-by-side spark holes, not one like a boxer primer. Don't break your decapping pin.
     
  9. Phil218b

    Phil218b Oregon City Member

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    Berdan primers have two holes in the base of the shell, instead of one hole in the center. Your cannot deprime it with the decapping pin. Check a lapidary supply or Harbor Freight for an inexpensive tumbler, if a vibrator is too much money to start you can tumble it for a lot less. A clean shell casing is a must, for wear and tear, and accuracy. Enjoy reloading it is a blast and a sure fire way to learn something new. Just be careful in all you do.
     
  10. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    Thanks for the cleaning tip. As well as pointing out my oversight on getting trimming components for pistol brass.

    How hard is it to get boxer brass for the 7.62 stuff?
     
  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    You will have to check with reloading sites. For the most part most people don't reload either caliber. In 7.62x39 there are few guns that will have an increase in accuracy in hand loaded ammo and it has been more expensive to reload then to buy "surplus" ammo for them. For 7.62x54r again few people load for it due to the low cost of this ammo. Not counting for the current craziness in most cases it would cost about 4x as much to load this vs buying it. The reason people load these would be for "fun". The MN rifles that most people shoot this ammo in are considered cheep, have poor triggers and mostly just get shot for fun. Some that really like to play load for them. The other reason (and the reason I might some time) is last time I checked the only non FMJ ammo (legal for hunting) was over 200gr bullets and most of the semi auto guns that shoot this ammo are not made to shoot anything heavier then 150gr.
     
  12. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    One of the other things I noticed was there seems to be a variance in the bore? Most are around .308, but some have been up as high as .312 or as low as .306 (seen on another forum). They seemed to reload for hunting and were using bullets that better matched their barrel. I'll have to look at the cost of ammo again on the 54, I bought it once with another friend a long time ago but we barely got to shoot it because the stock broke after a few rounds. The 39 though, I'd like to find some brass for reloading, due to the shortages that we've been seeing as of late. Even keeping old Berdan brass can be good for trade in event of a global crisis. Or for scrap. Something for me to think about for sure.
     
  13. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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  14. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    In my some-what limited expierience I agree, except for .38/357. When roll crimping it makes it MUCH easier if the brass is all within .002, longer brass will fold and shorter brass has a very light crimp.

    Mike
     
  15. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    In my some-what limited expierience I agree, except for .38/357. When roll crimping it makes it MUCH easier if the brass is all within .002, longer brass will fold and shorter brass has a very light crimp.

    Mike
     
  16. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    I haven't loaded .45 specifically (I load .308 in trade for .45 rounds), but it is my understanding the auto cartridge head-spaces off the end of the case, and a .45ACP that is too long will not chamber properly. I could be wrong, but I would trim pistol brass to spec - it's revolvers that have much more leway to case length. And, like with my .308, I have measured the chamber, and it is slightly longer than the trim length in the books, so I trim it a little longer, which allows for better tension and alignment on the bullet without messing up the pressures. YMMV, but read and measure to know for sure. Welcome to the fun hobby of reloading!
     
  17. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    Thank you both for your input, especially on the 38/357 trimming. Even if unnecessary.... it's still nice to make things easier.

    I'm excited to get started, but with all this talk of possible Executive Orders and Obama's track record.... I worry. I certainly hope that someone can make him and Biden realize it is the education of the public that is the most crucial obstacle in gun control.
     
  18. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Stuck Case Remover? Follow the lubing instructions, using a good lube and you won't ever need one.

    OR

    Use Lee Dies. If you do get a case stuck, then merely remove the depriming rod collet and use a brass mallet to drive the stuck case out. Many of the newer dies have similar features.

    Dillon dies have this feature incorporated in kind of a "screw jack design" so you can hold the lock nut with a wrench and merely tighten the rod with another wrench. Case pops out with no problems, just a reminder to lube the case properly.
     
  19. eternalphoenix64

    eternalphoenix64 Washougal, WA Member

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    I'd rather have a remover, just in case. Better to be safe than sorry.
     
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