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New to Reloading , Need Suggestions ...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by SDR, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. SDR

    SDR Clackamas County, Oregon Silver Vendor Silver Vendor

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  2. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    I would start with a single stage, and get the basics down before going to a progressive. Don't buy from Cabelas, they'll be more expensive. A progressive cranks out a lot of rounds, but it also makes for a lot of bullet pulling if it get's messed up in the process. Just my $0.02.
     
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  3. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    RCBS and Hornady are both excellent quality. I have a mixture of both.
     
  4. SDR

    SDR Clackamas County, Oregon Silver Vendor Silver Vendor

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    Thank You ...
     
  5. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    Need to know what you are going to reload for, it matters.
     
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  6. SDR

    SDR Clackamas County, Oregon Silver Vendor Silver Vendor

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    The main handgun calibers I shoot is the common 9mm and 45 ACP ,
    Want to learn to create performance loads for 45-70 , 300RUM , 375RUM and then S&W 500 ...
     
  7. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    I have reloaded for 43 years with many different presses and loading a number of different cartridges. A good single stage press would be what I would use for rifle rounds, I use RCBS. Average guy will get 100 rounds of non target ammo per hr out of these presses.

    Handguns there is no better press than the Dillon Square deal. It's an automatic progressive so you can't double charge. It makes perfect ammo and I know because I check every round after I make it. It produces 450 rounds per hour if you do your part so you don't waste time in making ammo. Press has lifetime guarantee and support on the phone. I have worn one completely out in the last 25 years with no idea how much I reloaded, they rebuilt it free of charge.
     
  8. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    I have an RCBS, both a single stage and a progressive. But I know several people with Dillon presses that love them.
    And I agree with both comments about starting with the single stage.
     
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  9. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The press you get is just one of many things necessary to reload.
    I have 2 RCBS rock crusher single stage presses for my rifle loads - they work great.
    Hornady Lock-N-Load AP progressive for 9mm, 40S&W and 223Win. Fast caliber changes and very reliable.

    I started on a Lee Loadmaster progressive. As much as people claim they suck, I liked mine and cranked out thousands of pistol rounds over 2 years. There is, however, a noticeable difference in quality between the different presses.

    Now that the craziness is over, you should be able to get into a L-N-L for ~$280 (shop around), and a single stage for ~$145.
    A brass tumbler is necessary. Many options there.
    For rifle you need a scale and calipers at a minimum, also recommend a hand priming tool.

    Learning to Reload: If you prefer to read, get a good book on reloading. I hear Lyman's is a great place to start.
    Plenty of how-to videos on the internet too.
     
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  11. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Go RCBS or Redding for my money. Single stage to start with. I don't love Hornady. I Had all their stuff for a while and just wasn't as good as RCBS IMO. For dies, the RCBS are better. I don't like the decapper assembly on the Hornady dies. they are ribbed rather than threaded and if you have a tough primer it pushes the decapping pin assembly up where the RCBS will punch the primer out because it can't move back up the die vertically.

    For high accuracy redding "s" type dies but be sure to order the right bushing for it.

    Small base dies are for semi-auto rifles, but they work the brass a lot. I wish I had not bought mine. But your milage may vary.

    Tumblers are REALLY cheap at Harbor Frieght, but you might want a media tumbler separator thingy which is a round cage which fits on a barrel. You pour your tumbled brass into it then spin it and the media comes out of the cases. This is a problem because the tumbler medium can get stuck and then your charge might not fit and will not hit the flash hole etc.... check to be sure your media is out of your tumbled cases.

    For medium do NOT buy the medium at the gun stores, they charge way too much. You can get great medium in the lizard bedding section at PetCo. Walnut shells. Works great. if you want add a table spoon of brasso to the media when you tumble. I don't but some do.

    If you have the cash I HIGHLY recommend the RCBS chargemaster scale and dispenser. http://www.natchezss.com/rcbs-chargemaster-dispenser-and-scale-110-volt.html In the end it saves you a lot of time.

    YOU MUST GET A GOOD SCALE AND KEEP IT CALIBRATED... not optional.

    From there you have two choices, you can use a chargemaster to load each case (you will need a reloading funnel. Be sure to get plastic or brass or glass NOT STEEL which theoretically can spark.

    If you want to go faster, then use a powder dispenser. I have had several and the best was the Redding Competition which can keep its setting to the 1/10th of a grain over 400 or 500 rounds. VERY good quality.

    In either event. you may want a powder trickler. This is to get the last 1/10th grain into your pan. I have had a bunch of these too and the Redding is the only winner here. It is steel with a good coating. The RCBS is aluminum and I really like it to be heavier so it doesn't move or twitch when you are trickling.

    You need to lube your cases very lightly. I like Hornady one shot spray, but they are all pretty good.

    You will also need a case chamfering tool which is about $25. If you are serious, think about a case prep station. I have the Hornady and I like it a lot. It can trim, chamfer the neck clean the primer pockets and uniform them and even trim them if you are using cases with crimped primers.

    BTW DO NOT TRY TO PRIME CASES WITH CRIMPED PRIMERS WITHOUT trimming the rim of the primer pocket first. You'll screw up a bunch of primers if you don't do that. They just won't fit well.

    You can insert primers on the press and that is OK, but I like the hand priming tools. RCBS here. That way I can do them in bed watching TV. There are two, one that uses the regular shell holders for the press and a universal one that holds all cases... badly. Avoid that one. Note that the shaft in the RCBS that I reccomend will fall right out if you turn the priming pan over. Defective engineering. However RCBS will send you a couple extras if you call. I would do that before you lose one of them and can't prime.

    RCBS primer video


    Get some reloading blocks to hold your shells as you work.

    You also need a Stoney Point/Hornady overall case length gauge. This will let you get your seating right in relation to the actual throat of your cartridge in YOUR gun. Not optional for real accuracy and not great for safety. You need to buy a drilled case for each caliber you are gong to reload. You will understand when you see them what that means. Remember to get the sample shell when you order it.

    OAL gage and comparitor video


    Reloading is fun. Very fun. Enjoy it.

    If you are all about accuracy, you might wait on the press and look for videos on using LE Wilson dies. That is the real way to go but it is SLOW. This is how I do all my high accuracy ammo. However I talked to one of the guys on Team Hornady and he uses Redding Dies and gets world class scores.

    Video on using LE Wilson dies.


    You will probably need a bullet puller too. There are two sorts, one like a hammer that is a kinetic puller. This is harder to use and hurts my wrist with the shock from impact. It is also loud.

    The other choice is the RCBS collet bullet puller which is better but you need to buy a collet for each caliber bullet you are removing. 22, 243, 308 etc... I like this a lot. When I reload if I have ANY doubt about a load I drop it in a box and then later will unload all the questionable shells at one time.

    Everyone has opinions about powder and bullets and brass. If you want that I can tell you what I think if you want. Otherwise enjoy the interactions with all the loaders and get everyone's opinion.
     
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  12. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    BTW, that is all for rifles. If you are doing pistols a dillon is the way to go.

    PS, Sportsman's Warehouse has the best prices on components overall that I have found locally. Cabelas has a lot, but 10% more about...
     
  13. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    Only item I would add to a reloading set up that you really don't need but helps so much is a chronograph. It really helps by telling you the velocity of the round and velocity gives bullet drop and how close to factory your load is.

    I chronographed lots of factory loads and some brand names were off 200fps. Working up a hunting or target load velocity is key.
     
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  14. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Be careful not to shoot the chronograph... not that I have done that... at least not that I will admit to...
     
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  15. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    Ya oops, buy a cheap one if you think you are going to shoot it. Mine is only $100:rolleyes::oops:o_O:D
     
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  16. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    GooseBrown nailed it. Some of my 2¢:

    I have Hornady, Forster, RCBS, Lyman and Lee dies. All of them do a good job. RCBS Gold Medal Match seating dies with Micrometer adjustment are the cat's meow when it comes to ease of use.

    I don't use the decapping pin on any of my sizing dies. For that, I have both Lyman and Lee decappers. Of those two, only the Lyman can handle 416 Rigby and 338 Lapua. They both work great. If you're reloading range brass and come across a boxer primer flash hole, you'll break your pin if you're not careful. On full length sizers, the pin is attached to the case mouth flare. Depending on how hard you're cranking the ram, you can certainly fubar that. A PITA for sure. :mad:

    Or dig around in the kitchen and steal one of mama's colanders. :eek:

    ^^^^ All of the above = superb advice ^^^^ +1

    Seek ye the way of lanolin and alcohol. Mix it yerself. Amazing stuff. I still have sizing wax, but that gets used when I'm resizing 300RUM to 338 Edge.

    Damn right, Grasshopper. The collet puller is absolutely the way to go. I have the Hornady version.
    Recently misadjusted my seating die and loaded 20 308 bullets to 2.760 (way too short). I used the collet puller to ease the bullets out a bit, then put them back through the seating die so they were 2.800 OAL. No can do that with a kinetic device.

    *** I note you mentioned reloading 300 RUM. Whatever single stage press you get, make sure it will handle the long OAL of the RUM. ***
     
  17. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Why you need a case length gauge - for beginners or anyone else.

    I didn't take this step for years and although I never blew anything up... well not anything of mine up. I did create a load for 308 for my buddy's MacMillan that actually blew the primers out every shot. We joked that we were saving time decapping the cases in the chamber, but looking back it was stupid as poop.

    Why did that happen in his rifle and not mine (a Steyr SSG)?

    Pressure - because the bullet was seated improperly in his rifle in relation to the lands and was fine in my rifle.

    Same "case length" because we measured with calipers, but as I know now, that is pretty meaningless except for how the round is going to feed from your magazine. Obviously if the loaded round is longer than your magazine or really close to it, you are going have problems. The real issue is not how long the round is once the bullet is seated, it where the point of the bullet that is going to come into contact with the lands in the barrel is in relation to the actual lands. This point of the bullet is not the tip, it is on the side of the curve of the bullet. The spot is technically called the bearing point and THAT is what you need to measure. You need to know where that bearing point is in relation to the lands when the case is loaded.

    This is the Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) measurement and it is more important to accuracy and safety than any other measurement.

    In the case of my friend's rifle the lands were farther out and when the bullet had freebore at the start it picked up speed as it started to move and then hit the rifling and the bullet all of a sudden wasn't moving as fast and the pressure spiked blowing out the primers. (federal cases with the nickel plating)

    Interestingly it was the most accurate ammo we ever produced in that rifle. (sigh)

    So how do you fix that? That is why you need the Stoney Point/Hornady OAL case length gauge and bullet comparitor. (Or something like it. There are other brands but I think Hornady is pretty good for this piece of equipment)

    With the gauge, you buy a special threaded case for your caliber. I have 6mmbr, 308, 8mm, 22-250 and 204 one for each cartridge. Now I think you should buy these. I tried to make one out of my own brass and it was not a success. I think they are $6.50 or so from Hornady.

    You screw the threaded case into the outer part of your gauge and then insert a bullet part way. The bullet should not be tight, you want it to move in and out easily but not freely. You can neck size your threaded case if you need to but generally that won't be necessary straight from the factory.

    In the outer threaded rod with the case and bullet screwed on, you insert the plastic rod into the gauge from the back until you come in contact with the bullet. Don't push the bullet out with the plastic rod.

    Now take the whole contraption and with your bolt removed, insert it through the back of your action into the chamber. Seat the red threaded rod so that the case is in the chamber tight like it was there in place with the bold closed. Then press the plastic rod into the gauge until the bullet gets pushed into the throat of the barrel and into the rifling. It will stop. Now you tighten the screw on the threaded rod to tighten down the plastic rod.

    Now, once you pull the gauge out of the action, you can retrieve the bullet (it might be stuck a little, use a cleaning rod carefully from the muzzle to push the bullet back out) Then take that bullet and place it back in the threaded case on the threaded rod with the plastic rod locked down and you can EXACTLY measure YOUR chamber and throat with the comparitor which fits on your calipers.

    Now you know exactly where THAT particular bullet needs to be seated to fit to the lands in your rifle. You aren't done though. You now need to figure out how much to set that bullet back from the lands. I think most people start at about .002" off the lands. You should go and research for your caliber and what advice is there. Also if you are using lead free bullets they may want more or less "jump" to the lands for accuracy.

    Point is, now you KNOW where your bullet is and can control it and make the decisions. If you measure just from the tip to the rim, you are getting a pretty much useless number.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/57...-length-gage-bolt-action?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    $30 or so. GREAT investment. Comes with comparitor inserts for most diameter bullets. Threaded cases are $6.50 or so.

    For a MUCH better explanation of this Berger has an excellent article.
    http://www.bergerbullets.com/effect...coal-and-cartridge-base-to-ogive-cbto-part-2/
     
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  18. SDR

    SDR Clackamas County, Oregon Silver Vendor Silver Vendor

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    Wow,
    Thank You very much for investing the time to give Me the information to help Me get into reloading , Hopefully others that read will benefit from the knowledge here also ...

    Thank You
     
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  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Good God, this fella got helped and then some. respect.
    But that's common in the shooting community.
    Me, I don't tumble.. never have. And Lee makes some darn good stuff.
     
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  20. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    I wish I was a member of this forum back when I was starting to reload, I would have used my bullet puller less.
    I'm still learning and this is a great thread.
     
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