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New to reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Kimberman, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Kimberman

    Kimberman Allyn, Wa. New Member

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    OK, truth be told, I'm so new to reloading that I haven't done it yet but would like to learn. Lee vs Dillon? I'm sure that there's an exhaustive list of equipment that I need to purchase but where to start? Watched a million videos online and it seems that a progressive is the way to go. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I'll primarily be reloading 45 ACP.

    Thanks!!

    KM
     
  2. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of new reloader threads in this section, though they may have moved a page or two deeper. B-) Take some time and browse through (I'd normally say search, but I think just about every thread has the words Dillon, Lee, RCBS and Hornady).


    elsie
     
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  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    Dillon has the added expense of 'changeover kits' per caliber,but youi only buy dillon equipment once,and the reasle is high because of their quality,rep,and factory seervice and help.
    most say start with a single stage,whiich does have its' merits,BUT...
    A dillon 550b can be run as a single stage..sort of..meaning u can run one round thru at a time whle learning the ropes,I like the hand opening of it over the SDB by far,AND it will do rifle rounds,the SDB will not.
    even running one case at a time for a while,youi'll easily do a couple hundred rounds in just a couple of hours.
    THE thing to remember is to let speed come with experience,trying to max out the machine will lead to erroors.
    ONe thing that I guarantee will make life easier is to seat in one die,taper crimp in the next die.Trying to adjust a seat/crimp die has thrown many a newbie fo a loop,I see it on the gun boards all the time.And it makes making small adustments sooo much easier.
    save some money thusly..build bench high enuff to NOT NEED the strong mounts...
    ...the roller handle is nun necessary,the ball handle it comes with works just fine..I have the roller handle,would not buy it again.
    ..most any dies will work,buy used to save a few bucks

    it's a very fun and rewarding hobby,just pay FULL attentiong to what is going on at all times.
     
  4. Kimberman

    Kimberman Allyn, Wa. New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  5. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    I'm am a big fan of lee pro 1000 for starting out. They are easy on the budget, bought both of mine for $150/ea new. That being said they do have their quirks! Get on YouTube and watch videos on set up it helps alot! I have never been a big fan of Dillon's. More due to the snobbery of most owners. Lee change overs are a pita that's why I had one for each calibre I loaded. Now after a year or two you will outgrow the lees for sure, nice thing is when you decide to upgrade you can easily sell the lees for $125. They are definitely a good place to start even if you get the single stage kit then go to progressive. Now watch the blue crowd start slamming anything that's not Dillon! LOL!
     
  6. Varmint Slayer1

    Varmint Slayer1 Willamette Valley Member

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    I just started reloading again after several years of being lazy and just going to Bi-Mart sales everytime I needed ammo. I agree with dakaham, a single stage press is a great way to start. I just picked up a used Dillon 550B and it came with a ton of extras including several dies, caliber plates, bullets, primers, tumbler, etc. all for alot less than buying them new. I suggest looking around for a used setup, it can save you alot of money. I do agree, don't get in a hurry just because the machine can load more than you are safely capable of, be safe and take your time, it will get easier and faster with experience.
     
  7. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    One thing you may also want to consider is finding some one in your area that is reloading. Get with them and see if they will pas some of their knowledge to you. Most reloader are pretty good about that. That's how I got started and I have to say I felt alot more comfortable spending my money once I knew what I was in for.
     
  8. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you had a good experience or two with the Lee 1000 but I did not. Mine was a total pile 'o cwap. That said, I do like a lot of Lee products like dies and turret presses. I can't comment on Dillon equipment because I've never even seen one in person. I can enthusiastically vouch for Hornady products as well.
     
  9. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I'm another hornady fan take a look into the lock-n-load setups change overs are cheap and easy
     
  10. dakaham

    dakaham Albany, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    I replaced my lees with the hornady AP also. This is by far way superior to the lees for sure. But for people starting reloading its a bit of a financial commitment. This is where lee really fills a niche in the market while their equipment is bit light duty and inexpensively made they do their job. So unless the OP has deep pockets lee has always been the most economical way to get into the hobby. That said my hornady frigging rocks!
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For someone who is wanting to get started I usually advise that they take some time and think about how much reloading you really want to do and where you picture yourself as a reloader 5-10 years down the road. For the raw beginner I strongly recommend a single stage press. There's lots to learn and it's a great tool. You have to perform each step separately so it gives the noob a wonderful understanding of the process. It can be fairly quick once you learn the steps.

    A single stage press is almost a requirement on the bench. Great for loading a few test rounds, some hunting rounds where one box of bullets lasts 10 years, etc.

    Focus first on good tools that you need to support your reloading setup. Case preparation tools, a scale, caliper for measuring finished rounds, boxes for finished ammo are jsut a few. A good Beginners Manual such as the ABC's of Reloading.

    If you want to get a progressive press, look at the different presses available and pick one that fits your needs and budget. Everyone will have their favorite. Lee is a good budget press but requires more attention than others. Hornady has it's followers but again has it's quirks. Dillon has been around for years and has a large number of followers for the same reason that was stated in an earlier post. Buy a Dillon and you only buy once. Yes, they are expensive if all you look at are the finished units like the 550B, XL-650, or the real ammo factory, the 1050. Don't overlook their entry level units. If you're planning on loading .45acp and not switching back and forth with various pistol and rifle calibers, look carefully at the Dillon Square Deal B. A good value and a press you'll be able to pass on to future generations. Next up will be the BL 550 which is a stripped 550. Buy it, learn the process, then add the accessories as you can afford (or want to) until you have a 'full dress' 550B.

    One thing to not overlook. Whatever you plan on spending initially, you'll end up spending far more. There's always something overlooked at the beginning and as you progress you'll see those "I've got to have one of them" items. The hobby is as addicting as some drugs and almost as expensive.
     
  12. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    deadshot simply has to be exhausted at this point answering this same question so many times (because I can detect no "cut and paste" in his most recent effort).

    In the time-honored tradition in America called "Railroading", I nominate deadshot2 to compose his very best effort (perhaps a compilation of all his previous attentions) toward answering the zombie question: "New to reloading, seeking info for a beginner, including what do I need to know about single stage vs. progressive?"

    Then, I would support a group movement to have it published as a sticky. We don't want deadshot exhausted beyond his capabilities to contribute in other areas. This would also invite each of us who thinks for a moment we know something he left out (or a brand-name dispute) to make our own contributions, however accurate or misinformed.

    Caveat: NONE of this is directed toward discouragement of the newcomers from asking ANY question. Ignorance is a concious choice to NOT seek new input.

    Oh....I almost forgot.... ya need one of these to make sure people don't get mad when you speak "tongue in cheek" on the internet. So here ya go: :)
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I didn't "cut and paste" any of it. Typed it all as it came to mind. At my age I like to type to keep the arthritis out of my fingers and to use my brain as much as possible to ward off Alzheimers. I don't have any desire to join the "hide your own Easter Eggs brigade" anytime soon:laugh:

    As for me, I don't mind answering questions no matter how many times asked or how often asked. Some are new to the game, some don't know how to use the Search function, and some are just trolls. Whatever, I just remember those that shared with me when I was getting started. Back then we had to go to the local Gun Shop and hang around trading stories. It was before Al Gore invented the internet. But consider this, we usually got free coffee.:cool:
     
  14. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    In that case, I'll just keep making sure you get there before I do.:thumbup:
     
  15. mrbook

    mrbook Battle Ground, Washington Member

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    In my opinion i would get something like the lee classic turret press for starting out and then if you find that you like reloading invest in Dillon.

    Mrbook
     
  16. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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    Start with a single stage. It's easier to figure out what's going wrong, and something will go wrong. I started a year ago and bought used stuff as I could afford it thinking that down the road I could get what I really wanted. Here I am a year later and I still like what I started out using. I load about 600 to 1000 rounds a month and see no need to get something faster right now. You may not like it once you start. Hey, you might not be able to get the components if our government keeps going the way it is now. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  17. rds801

    rds801 Portland Member

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    Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit

    This is what I got when I first started reloading. Some years later it's still my only press. I've thought about getting a turret but my current press works for me. It's really all I need. Does everything I need it to do.

    As said above, think about how much you will reload.
     
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  18. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Good point. Also you might want to evaluate exactly why you are getting into reloading. I realize that may sound strange but think about it. If it is to save money forget it - you will justify your savings on more equipment and components which, in a way does result in some savings. Are you getting into it as an extension of your interest in guns, to experiment, try different loads for accuracy etc. basically as a hobby? If so then that is a good reason. I work with a guy who tells me all the time about how he 'used' to reload, has a Dillon 650, cranked out X amount of rounds an hour - but has not 'spilled' a grain of powder in years. I finally realized he was only reloading because it seemed like the fashionable thing to do because he got into IPSC, owned a $2K plus race gun and really only ever reloaded .38 Super in mass quantities for competition. He really never did it as a hobby, for accuracy or any other reason. In summary his total knowledge of reloading is there are two types of powder - flake and ball.
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Just had a funny thought.

    Sometimes us "Old-timers" end up going full circle. I've recently started using a Lee Hand Press to neck size and expand my cases while sitting downstairs watching TV with my wife. I can get 50 cases done during the Evening News with that hand press. The "Breech Lock" system has made that old standby a great tool. Preset dies just swap back and forth with no hassle. I even like the concept so much that I've converted my Rock Chucker although I had to use the Hornady LNL kit.
     
  20. torrejon224

    torrejon224 Springfield, OR Member

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    I started out with a Lee turret and it did OK, used mainly for 45acp and 9mm. After about a year bought a Dillon 550B and havn't looked back. I can easily do 100-150 rounds of 45 an hour and the Dillon service makes the price worth it. As an example I lost the hanging powder pan two weeks ago on my Dillon balance scale I bought maybe three years ago. Called Dillon and they no longer make the pan but they had me send the scale in and they found/calibrated another pan to the scale, had it back within a week and didn't cost me a dime! At Bi-Mart I could have bought an RCBS replacement pan but the cost was $27. Go with the Dillon you won't regret it!