HighLine Firearms
J&B Firearm Sales
Gun Deals
Oregon Rifleworks
Defensive Arts
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Southwest Firearms
Simply Triggers
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Sporting Systems
Low Price Guns
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Messages
769
Reactions
1,545
for pistol reloading you need
a reloading manual to explain the process. any brand name will do rcbs, lyman, sierra, speer, hornady. youtube is a good source for explaining a part of the process you may not understand from the manual. i would never steer a new reloader to learn reloading from youtube.
2. a press. rcbs, lyman, hornady and lee all make quality single stage presses. don't let age scare you. make sure you have the proper primer seater size for your cal. 9 and 40 small primer. again the manual.
3. a 3 die "set" of dies for your caliber. that includes a resize/deprime die. if buying used, be careful. most newer sets are either carbide or nitride ring. older dies that are not will require the extra step of lubing and cleaning before the next step. an expander die and a seating/crimping die.
4. a shell holder that fits your press and the shell you are reloading. most die sets do not include this. different mfg.s use different #'s for the same shell/case. shell and case are now one in the same here. therefore, the manual.
5. a "powder" scale. this is a must for your hearing, extremities, sight and life and those around you. it must be a "powder" scale in good condition!!!
6.a good set of calipers for measuring. many pistol bullets come with a cant/groove for seating depth. many do not. 9mm and 40sw fall into this catagory. seating depth will affect many aspects of pistol reloading. pressure, feeding, frustration. this is learned with time, but measuring to complete overall length-col from your manual is a good start.
that's just the "basic" list for equipment for reloading nine, 40 and 45acp. from there, you can go to where no man has gone before.
if i blew something here i'm sure others i trust will correct me.
 
Messages
345
Reactions
821
What stuff didn't I really need? Enlighten me please! I can't really think of what I didn't use out of my Rockchucker kit?

I disagree with the blanket statement that kits have things you don't need. Some do, but many don't have things you wont use much. Here's a starter kit from RCBS that has what you'll need, and I see nothing in this kit you wont use.


You need a press, a scale, and a powder measure at the minimum. You can use a lube pad, or just lube using your fingers, but that's messy. Or you can buy Hornady spray lube and not use a pad or your fingers. I've used nothing but Hornady since it first came out, and love it.
At some point you should also buy a dial caliper if you load high pressure cases that stretch. Most pistol cases don't stretch, or don't need trimming, or rarely need it. If you do rifle cases, and especially bottleneck rifle cases, you'll need to check OAL, and trim too. So at some point you'll likely add a case trimmer. And I personally would be lost without my micrometer to check bullet diameters on cast bullets. But if you don't cast, and only buy factory bullets you might never need a micrometer.
 

Mikej

Messages
12,650
Reactions
25,995
I disagree with the blanket statement that kits have things you don't need. Some do, but many don't have things you wont use much. Here's a starter kit from RCBS that has what you'll need, and I see nothing in this kit you wont use.


You need a press, a scale, and a powder measure at the minimum. You can use a lube pad, or just lube using your fingers, but that's messy. Or you can buy Hornady spray lube and not use a pad or your fingers. I've used nothing but Hornady since it first came out, and love it.
At some point you should also buy a dial caliper if you load high pressure cases that stretch. Most pistol cases don't stretch, or don't need trimming, or rarely need it. If you do rifle cases, and especially bottleneck rifle cases, you'll need to check OAL, and trim too. So at some point you'll likely add a case trimmer. And I personally would be lost without my micrometer to check bullet diameters on cast bullets. But if you don't cast, and only buy factory bullets you might never need a micrometer.

I can't imagine being without a hand primer. But again, that's the way I started. Getting older fingers, to fiddle with putting little primers, on that primer-arm thingy. Now way Jose!
 

RVTECH

Messages
9,900
Reactions
17,079
to fiddle with putting little primers, on that primer-arm thingy.
Hopefully you were pushing the tube down onto the primers to load it and not picking them up one by one to load the tube!

However like you I can't imagine being without a hand primer as well!
 

Mikej

Messages
12,650
Reactions
25,995
Hopefully you were pushing the tube down onto the primers to load it and not picking them up one by one to load the tube!

However like you I can't imagine being without a hand primer as well!

HA, I don't even know of what you speak! :s0140: Like I said, I can't imagine using the press to prime. Never done it!
 
Messages
25
Reactions
15
So I just acquired some small pistol primers and want to get into reloading some 9mm and 40sw. Can someone point me to any guides and a list of equipment to get started.
The BEST thing you can do is FIRST pick up a copy of the LYMAN Reloading Manual! I think edition #50 is the current printing.
With the Lyman manual you have 90% of what you need to SAFELY reload your own.
The Lyman manual gives you more, and better, information than ANY manual out there, and considerable safer than any online load data.
Do not use any load data that is NOT in the manual, which means any load that anyone gives toy should be held as suspect, because there may be a mistype, or who knows what...
I have been loading since I was 8 years old, so 54 years now, and I trust MY loads implicitly, but I will not allow them to be shot in anyone elses' firearms because I do not know if their guns are safe, and I will not shoot anyoen elses loas in MY firearms because I do not know if their loads are safe.
 

Mikej

Messages
12,650
Reactions
25,995
Well destroyed my budget and ordered a redding turret press

Well, roughly twice the price as the RCBS Rochchucker press, with the added ability of going turret after you learn the basics and feel using it single stage. Not too bad I'd say. Now, to get searching for other critical needs.
 
Messages
446
Reactions
523
You may get away without a powder measure for now with reloading equipment being scarce. You would need a dipper, scale, funnel, powder pan and a trickler. Determine the powder load, then leaving the powder pan on the scale, dip a few grains lower. Use the trickler to trickle up to your target load. Its slow but doable.

A reloading scale should already come with the pan and Lee dies (3 dies and 4 dies set) come with a dipper. And make sure the trickler is high enough to clear both scale and pan or you're going to need to prop it up, like say, on a reloading manual.
 
Messages
769
Reactions
1,545

Lee Dies come with a shell holder.
good to know this day in age. thanks for the tip (in case of buying a new or used set). i have rcbs, hornady, herters and pacific. haven't owned a lee set yet.
btw some rcbs single stage presses come with or can get an auto-prime priming mechanism. i use it to bell and re-prime at the same stage. couple of set screws and re-priming with the press a hundred at a time;).
as per an above comment on not needing a set of calipers, how seating is depth acquired on a nine, 40, or 45acp without a set of calipers?
 

RVTECH

Messages
9,900
Reactions
17,079
how seating is depth acquired on a nine, 40, or 45acp without a set of calipers?
One way is to take a fired case and give the mouth a slight 'squeeze' to hold a bullet snugly, gently insert it into the chamber and slowly release the slide to COMPLETE closure. Do not let the slide slam shut or it will force the bullet into the rifling lands and you will have to knock the bullet out and start over.

Again gently open the slide to remove your 'test' round and gently 'press' the bullet in approx a 32nd of an inch and this will work but while 'chamber seating' bullets is a good Idea for any first reloads (especially with semi auto guns) a caliper makes it easier as you can place your 'test' round in the calipers and use them to 'press' the bullet in about .003 to establish you COAL for that load HOWEVER calipers are really an essential part of reloading.
 
Last Edited:
Messages
446
Reactions
523
Wouldn't a headspace gauge take the place of calipers?

It won't take measurement of COL but for straight walled pistol calibers it shouldn't matter (BTW, I do own/use both dial and digital calipers.).
 
NW Custom Firearms
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Southwest Firearms Forum
Copeland Custom Gunworks
Sporting Systems
Project Appleseed
Cerberus Training Group

Upcoming Events

22 Rimfire Challenge
Redmond , OR
Appleseed Patriots Day Event
Dundee , OR
Rimfire Challenge May 8th @ DRRC
Eagle Creek , OR

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Top Bottom