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Questions about getting into reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Glockman19, May 25, 2012.

  1. Glockman19

    Glockman19 Hillsboro Active Member

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    My Brother and i are looking into possibly start reloading. What is the best way to get started? Or any tips? Will start with .223 and/then probably 9mm. Thanks for any info;)
     
  2. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member

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    Take a class from a member of this site, JohnH. He holds them periodically in his garage. It costs $50 for a 5 hour class and you get to leave with the 50 rounds of pistol ammo you loaded during the class. He's a great guy with lots of knowledge. It was the best money I ever spent on reloading.
     
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  3. BANE

    BANE Battle Ground WA. Well-Known Member

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    Get a single stage RCBS master kit and a few reloading books and start reloading.
    my brother and i did the same thing now we have the RCBS and a Dillon xl650 and never turned back! :thumbup:
     
  4. james2562

    james2562 Kent Member

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    Budget about $600 and keep an eye out for people seling parts. The RCBS or other companies have kits for $300 which gets you half way there. RCBS currently has a $50 realte on thier kit.

     
  5. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Get RCBS Rock Chucker from Bi-Mart or wherever, several reloading books (Hornady and Sierra highly recommended), and youtube videos. Since you will be loading 223Rem, you will need a case trimmer (mandatory) and a trickler (optional, but incredibly convenient). RCBS dies are ok, but I am starting to like Lee dies better. If you will be loading bullets w/o canelure for an autoloader (AR15, mini 14, Golani, etc), I strongly recommend the Lee Factory Crimp die. If your kit comes with a 22-50 funnel, it may not work well with 22. I advise you get a 22-45 funnel, too. I hatted the lube pad and have since moved to Hornady's and Lee's case lube. If you will resize once fired military surplus, you will need a pocket reamer or a swagger. But to start, I'd stick with Winchester 223 rem brass.

    This is the minimum. You will soon find you will need more stuff to polish the brass, neck sizing dies, universal expanders, electronic scales, motorized case trimmers or deburring/chamfering tools, etc. and the holy grail, the progressive press. Reloading is a money pit, but fun like heck!
     
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  6. Glockman19

    Glockman19 Hillsboro Active Member

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    Thanks guys for all the great information. I appreciate it. So far it seems quite a few people are high on RCBS.
     
  7. JohnH

    JohnH Milwaukie Active Member

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    The class I teach is a beginner’s introduction into reloading.

    The class starts at 8 and runs till 1 or 2 usually depending on the number of questions.
    I limit class size to 5 people maximum.
    The class is held in my garage in Milwaukie.

    The first half of the class covers bullet components and all the equipment that is available to reload with. I have examples of almost every piece of equipment for reloading.

    The second half of the class is a ‘hands on’ learning to load where each student performs all the step necessary to load 50 rounds of ammunition that they get to take home with them. This gives everyone a very clear picture and the confidence that they can or cannot do this. This is done on a single stage press. I also have Dillon progressive press’s so you can see the difference.

    I provide all the components necessary to load the 50 rounds of ammunition.

    The cost is $50 per person.
    The next class is scheduled for June 16th or 17th.

    If this sounds like something you would like to attend please send me a pm with your e-mail address and I have a questionnaire for you to fill out and return. This will help me to find a caliber we can load during class.

    Thanks, John
     
  8. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    My favorite reference book on reloading is the Lyman reloading manual; I think they are up to the 49th edition now. Covers the 'how to' for all the steps. Even if you take a class you won't regret the read! Full of loading data for pretty much all calibers, too.
     
  9. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Yep, it's the way to start for sure. And when you're deep into the illness you'll be helping some other poor soul who's just been infected, by selling him YOUR RCBS single stage, because YOU HAVE A DILLON 6000 AND YOUR CRANKING OUT SOMEWHERE AROUND 400 ROUNDS PER HOUR NOW!!

    Gotta go, time to pull the .45 outa the tumbler....

    Mike
     
  10. Marz

    Marz PDX Member

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    Seen some great books/tools at the recent portland expo gun show. I believe the next one comes in Sept. Good luck
     
  11. james2562

    james2562 Kent Member

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    I did not read a whole lot. This the posts on this board were very helpful. You should go through the whole reloading section. and Youtube clips took care of my education. Everyone is different but that worked for me and did not cost anything.

     
  12. gunfreak

    gunfreak Boise Well-Known Member

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    Do some research definately, but don't pay hundreds of dollars for reloading stuff. I bought my Lee kit for $100, you might think that because it is cheap that the products are cheaply made, not true. I have loaded thousands, THOUSANDS! of .40, 9mm, 30-06, and .243. had one thing break but e-mail them and a replacement was on my doorstep that week. The dies are less expensive and they have a lot of neat gadgets for reloading. The only RCBS item I have is a little dandy powder measuer.
     
  13. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    I STRONGLY urge you to start with pistol caliber rounds,then 'step up' to bottle-necked rifle rounds.youi'll learn the basics,then add-on more knowledge when you decide to do rifle rounds.
    here s some math for you to consider,time wise.:300 rounds on a single stage press using basic equipement takes 1200 hand operations,it's not something that is fast,but it is rewarding,
    what my bud and I did was get 2 presses,and have a 'barn day' out in the barn/reloading shed.2 or 3 people all cranking on preses can get a lot done,and it's just a lot of fun too.

    get carbide dies for pistol ammo,no lubing required,saves lots of time. buying used will leave more money for supplies.
     
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  14. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Get a good loading manual and read it cover to cover twice. Then check out youtube. Then buy your gear. A class sounds like a great idea however it was not an option when i started. Start slow and low and follow the directions and you will probably love it, i do.
    Be careful it addicting...
     
  15. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I recommend that all beginners start simple. A good single stage press kit from any of he major manufacturers. Lee is generally cheap but does work. RCBS is pretty much available everywhere. For Dies, Lee is probably the best place to start. Inexpensive and they are the best product Lee makes. Don't start loading unless you have a good powder scale and a simple set of check weights (RCBS has some good ones). Don't rely on scoops and guesses, always check with a scale.

    A Reloading bench always can use a single stage press so you won't be investing in anything that will become obsolete when you decide to buy one of those "whiz-bang" progressives. The most important thing is that you learn the basics from the beginning. When you do that, you'll not have all the problems many that just jump in and buy a progressive with all the accessories do. Understanding what's happening at each stage of the process is most important of all.

    You will be amazed at how much ammo you can produce with a single stage setup once you learn the basics. I used one for years, loading a "box a night" of .223 and 9mm.

    When starting, don't skimp on the quality of the important things. A good scale, good set of calipers, a good basic reloading manual, and most of all, case gauges for the 9mm and .223. These simple tools will make sure that your finished ammo will actually chamber in your firearm before you leave the bench.
     
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  16. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I got started on a single stage Lee press. Honestly, if you have a modicum of sense I think you could get started on a Lee turret press and do just fine especially with pistol ammo. Reloading .223 is more involved especially in the case prep part of things but once it is sized, trimmed, and primed the turret press will work great. Eventually I went with a Hornady LnL progressive press. Everyone has opinions on what brand of progressive press they think is best. Look at them all and pick what you think will work best for you.

    BTW, if a picture is worth a thousand words then a youtube video can be worth 10,000. That said, either read a good manual or get some experienced instruction.

    Once you get started it gets kind of addicting and expensive but as someone else mentioned can be very gratifying.
     
  17. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Truer words have never been spoken, especially that "expensive" part. The only way to keep reloading cheap is to just buy new, cheap ammo.;)
     
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  18. tdocz

    tdocz Beaverton Member

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    I agree with throckmorton, get an inexpensive single stage press loading kit and go with a pistol caliber first. Get a Lee die set (w/carbide sizing die) and a factory crimp die. Also get a good scale, digital caliper and a loading manual our three. I began with Lyman and Hornady manuals.
    This way, you will be able to focus on the key pistol reloading elements first then you can add the additional steps for rifle loading, case lubing, case trimming, neck sizing, etc. Pistol loading isn't nearly a finicky as rifle and you will be able to get reliable and accurate loads relatively easily. When you start loading for rifle calibers, aside from the additional complications of the loading process itself, fine tuning your loads for accuracy takes time and patience. The little things matter a lot more with rifle loads than pistol. I think it can be easy to get frustrated and lose interest when beginning loading with rifle calibers, kinda like homebrewing beer, I.e. after the early batches don't taste as good as store bought beer, a lot of homebrew beginners tend to give up and find a new hobby. Reloading I'd an amazing albeit expensive endeavor and it is highly advisable to start slowly build from that base as your interest increases. Good luck, shoot straight and most of all be safe.

    Sent from my LG-E739 using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Unlike homebrewed beer, most of one's early reloads can still be shot. I've tasted some "first attempts" at "homebrew" and it couldn't be drunk:(
     
  20. tdocz

    tdocz Beaverton Member

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    +1 on that retort, deadshot. :D

    Sent from my LG-E739 using Tapatalk 2