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newbie to reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by belcher, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. belcher

    belcher vancouver wa Active Member

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    I want to reload 9mm and 40 as a hobby with my spare time. Im on a budget, and could use some tips, and some suggestions. Thanks.
     
  2. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    If you know someone who reloads have them show you. That said, Bi-Mart sells a good starter kit made by RCBS. You'll have to buy your dies though. Books 3 or 4 different manuals. There is a book out there called the ABC of reloading, good book to get for a new person ( even one who has been reloading for a while ). Read everything you can before you start. The more you understand before you start the better it will be. Take your time. Get in a hurry and mistakes can be and will be made. I belive there are folks here that will put together a class once in a while for new reloaders. Check some past post to find out who. Good luck be safe and have fun.
     
  3. Mica

    Mica Eugene Active Member

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    If you are on a tight budget , Lee has a press for 25.00 and your lee carbide dies will be around 40.00 or less.

    THE VERY FIRST THING YOU NEED IS A RELOADING MANUEL. The Newest edition lyman book , Bi mart has them for 30.00 . or any good loading manuel. Keep on searching and asking your questions. I load those two rounds and plenty others. Just dont be in a hurry,Dont take shortcuts, And always use your brain for what our God gave it to us for. You will get alot more responses to come ,

    Glad to see another loader starting out. Then there is bullet casting as well. The whole HOBBY thing is just a ruse. Once you start the addiction there is no cure.
    Have a Merry Christmas, Dont be afraid to ask questions. It hurts alot less than a physical mistake.:cool:
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^Everything they said plus:

    Make sure you have a scale. Don't rely on "dippers" or "bushing sizes" alone. Weigh loads, at least until you are certain the powder measure bushing, setting, or dipper, are yielding correct weights for the powder you are using.

    Second essential tool is a Caliper. It doesn't have to be an expensive one. Even inexpensive dial (usually plastic) or digital calipers are adequate for the type of loading you indicated.

    Absolutely avoid short cuts when starting out. Don't worry about speed or efficiency, take your time and load ONE at a Time until you get them right EVERY time. Then you can add some clever time saving tricks to your process but not to start out.

    You asked for suggestions. First off, save as much brass as you can get your hands on. If you go to the range and see someone shooting new ammo fresh from the box, ask if he/she saves their brass. If no, ask if they mind your "cleaning up after them". I've been so successful with this approach I've even had other shooters sweep up their brass and give it to me as they leave.

    Then sort it by manufacturer/head stamp into empty coffee containers. When you segregate the brass, your loading process becomes more uniform. Really not required for just plain target shooting or "plinking" but not a bad habit to establish.

    In the world of Reloading, you go "fast" by first going "slow". That also allows you too keep important items like eyes and fingers all through your "career".
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Isn't that the nice Hispanic kid down the block that comes over and puts fresh ammo together for you?

    Just goofing with you man! Cracked myself up.......

    Belcher....If you don't shoot a whole lot you're not likely to save money for a long time, especially with 9mm. IF you get into this, IMO, don't go cheap. The RCBS Rock Chucker kit is built to last for many thousands of rounds, and IF you don't care for the hobby it will hold more value than the other less expensive setups. Savings don't really show untill you're buying components (primers/bullets) by the thousand, using oncefired, or free brass. Buy used dies. For me I wouldn't get a used scale. A Harbor Freight dial caliper has served me well.

    I only use one book, the Speer #14 that came with my kit. With that and printouts from the Hodgdon powder site, and other online sources when needed, I get a good idea of what's going on IN my ammo. But, hey, it's not a bad idea to get a whole bunch of reading and study it while sitting in front of your yet to be used equipment! That's the way I did it anyway.

    As I was amassing everthing I needed to hand load I was told this "Hobby" would not save money, it would only allow me to shoot more for less, that is the truth.

    Mike
     
  6. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Exactly what these members said. A kit will probably save you some money and include the items below. If your not real familiar with the process check out YouTube and you can watch different presses in action. Lee and RCBS products have served me well so far.
    #1 a manual and read it before you buy anything
    #2 a quality scale, a balance beam by any of the big names
    #3 calipers
    #4 Take your time and pay attention
    #5 a log/note book
    Lastly chances are you will save no money reloading HOWEVER you might gain a great hobby, shoot twice as much and craft the best ammunition possible for your guns. You have been warned!
     
  7. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I concur with all the above but once you get going you will begin to develop your own 'system' for doing things. Once you do, are comfortable with it keep doing it. Reloading - while a hobby and science, is also procedural and repetitive and requires a system of some sort to maintain consistency and safety. You will no doubt find easier ways to do things and may from time to time make modifications to your system (usually due to getting more equipment to make certain tasks easier and faster) but you still need to keep a system in place for efficiency and optimum results.
     
  8. rdt

    rdt SW Portland Active Member

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    Dont know what your "budget" is but if you want to "save" money and you shoot around 200 rounds a month consider the following. This setup has served me well; After learning on a single stage i wished i had bought a progressive in the first place; progressives lend themselves to auto pistol cartridges, especially with case and bullet feeder. The extra cost of the progressive press is offset by not needing reloading trays, a beam scale, trickler, hand primer, etc. If you dont shoot more than 300rds/month, just take the money and buy bulk factory ammo cause you wont recoup your investment for more than a year + and you will be spending all your time reloading not shooting.

    On MidwayUSA:

    Lee Load Master Kit in 9mm $245
    + load master case collator $11
    + load master bullet feeder .357" $27.50
    + Lee 9mm Factory Crimp Die $18 (only if it doesnt come with the kit, cant remember . . .)

    To add .40 cal ability
    + bullet feeder .40" fingers $10.50
    + extra turret plate $11
    + lee 40cal carbide 4 die set $40

    you should have these tools: Reloading manual, Tumbler, Scale, Impact puller, Dial caliper

    Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler Kit $63
    Lee modern reloading manual $13
    Frankford arsenal ds-750 scale $20
    Impact bullet puller $20
    Dial Caliper $20

    Figure on these Approximate component prices regardless of your press design/brand:
    primers ~$30/1k
    powder ~$20/1# (~1k rds either 9 or 40)
    jacketed bullets ~$100/1k
     
  9. belcher

    belcher vancouver wa Active Member

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    thanks everyone for tip's/advice, very helpful information. the amount i shoot varies on how much spare time i have during weekends. sometimes alot. I also would like to reload 30-30, and 308. I'm thinking about buying a lee pro 1000 from another member, or maybe trading don't know yet. would this work for my need's? i could gather all other necessities for the process wen i get the funds. or should i just get a single stage n though it out?
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    It also provides a fun hobby for the days you aren't shooting.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe the Lee Progressives will handle the rifle rounds you mentioned. Unless they made a recent change, the max rifle size is .223.

    The Lee 1000 would be adequate for the pistol rounds but you'll still need a press for the rifle lengths. With that in mind, take a good long look at the Dillon 550 Basic press. A nice progressive that's stripped to the basic functions. You'll have to hand prime and measure powder manually. The GOOD thing is that as your budget allows you can add priming and powder measure features without having to change presses. A true "from the ground up as you can afford" system.

    If you plan on loading any quantity of pistol ammo, it's always easier on a progressive if for no other reason than the smaller cases are only handled once during the loading process.
     
  12. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Yes & no. You can see 'real' savings depending on the round you reload. Typically pistol rounds will show the most savings as you can buy bulk cast bullets and create reduced loads. Similar savings can be had with rifle ammo again, depending on the round. Now your savings will not be as much with say .223 and 9mm ammo because typically (or should I say normally) these rounds can be found in bulk for reasonable prices. If look at something like .38 Special/.357 Magnum these are not as common in bulk and are much higher on a 'per 50 round box' and can be reloaded at a savings of roughly 50-60 %. You can still save some though over the bulk priced, common calibers. Most ammo in the traditional hunting rifle calibers can be loaded for much less also. A big plus of reloading is being able to tailor ammo for a specific purpose and most of the time this comes with a dramatic increase in accuracy. The reality is however you will find you shoot much more due to your readily available reloads as you will no doubt start stocking up on components.
     
  13. hawmanai

    hawmanai SW OR Member

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