JavaScript is disabled
Our website requires JavaScript to function properly. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser settings before proceeding.
Messages
1,877
Reactions
5,314
I've been thinking about getting into reloading lately. I'm not a gunsmith by any means, but I've built a few AR's, I've tinkered with triggers, done some repairs, changed out springs and detents, done some playing around with lots of little moving parts. I've really enjoyed all the time I've put into little projects, but my space is extremely limited and for various other reasons, all my hobbies have either dwindled away or been back-burnered more or less indefinitely. I've always been interested in loading my own ammo, and I think it would be a great hobby to do a little bit of tinkering with a little bit of free time here and there if and when that comes along.
Here's the thing, I don't know my azz from a hole in the ground when it comes to reloading. I know the bullet profiles and grain weights for a variety of different calibers, but I have no clue which powders I would need or what primers are appropriate for certain rounds. Are there different primers for different powder loads? I heard some casings need to be resized or reamed? What does it take to clean and prep fired casings? And the equipment... I have no clue what equipment I would need, do I need different equipment for rifle vs pistol, I've got no clue how much I'd be spending just to load my first round. How do I know if that equipment is reliable and can provide consistent quality? Do I need ventilation? How much space does it actually take? Would it be practical or safe for me to have a setup on a desk in the corner of my apartment bedroom?
I guess I can look up all my questions and find some youtube videos, but does anyone have some insight? Where would I even start? Are there any good resources for information you'd suggest for someone with limited space, no experience, and no real working knowledge of the craft?
 
I can only speak for the way I jumped into this hobby. When I look back to November 2011 and decided I wanted to start loading I did it for money saving. Saving on ammo costs. I'm mechanically inclined so that helped. And I made the choice at that time to get the RCBS kit because that's what Bimart carried. After the years passed I feel I couldn't have made a better choice for myself.
You will need and use everything in this kit if you will be loading for hand gun and rifle cartridge's. You can probably find it for less money than listed here. My advice would be to not go with any lighter press to save money. Other than that kit, the only other thing that I'd consider absolutely necessary is a case cleaner. The least expensive would most likely be a vibratory W/walnut tumbler. You can get one fairy inexpensive watching the classifieds here. Or on other forums. Same with dies for your chosen caliber(s).
Another necessity is a loading table/bench. Needs to have a good heavy top. I found my old 2-student school desk (probably from the '60s) at City Liquidator's here in potland. Where I would suggest looking now is the "Habitat for Humanity Re-store" https://pdxrestore.org/ . They have some incredibly sturdy, old desks, of different sizes that would work quite well for little money.
After that all you have to do is start sourcing other needs through gun show. Collector show to be exact. A lot of those vendors at the collectors shows have been buying estates, or from people that quit loading and sold the whole thing for one price.
 
I can only speak for the way I jumped into this hobby. When I look back to November 2011 and decided I wanted to start loading I did it for money saving. Saving on ammo costs. I'm mechanically inclined so that helped. And I made the choice at that time to get the RCBS kit because that's what Bimart carried. After the years passed I feel I couldn't have made a better choice for myself.
You will need and use everything in this kit if you will be loading for hand gun and rifle cartridge's. You can probably find it for less money than listed here. My advice would be to not go with any lighter press to save money. Other than that kit, the only other thing that I'd consider absolutely necessary is a case cleaner. The least expensive would most likely be a vibratory W/walnut tumbler. You can get one fairy inexpensive watching the classifieds here. Or on other forums. Same with dies for your chosen caliber(s).
Another necessity is a loading table/bench. Needs to have a good heavy top. I found my old 2-student school desk (probably from the '60s) at City Liquidator's here in potland. Where I would suggest looking now is the "Habitat for Humanity Re-store" https://pdxrestore.org/ . They have some incredibly sturdy, old desks, of different sizes that would work quite well for little money.
After that all you have to do is start sourcing other needs through gun show. Collector show to be exact. A lot of those vendors at the collectors shows have been buying estates, or from people that quit loading and sold the whole thing for one price.
I recall your entry to the reloading game, and the OP will benefit best from listening to those recently having asked an identical question. This advice is fresh and prioritized. ;)
 
A reloading Manual is a good place for deciding if you want to get into reloading. Hornady also gives you a breakdown of the reloading process and what is needed on their website and on their youtube channel. As for the calibers you listed it's all small rifle and pistol primers, the 45acp can use both small and large pistol primers depending on the cases. Hodgdon also offers free load data information and what powders will work. Most bullet manufactures also offer load for their bullets and what powder they suggest.
If you do decide that you want to start loading, I'm going to be offering up a starter kit for $160(press, vibratory cleaner, scale, powder drop & stand)
 
Right now primers and powder are the hardest to come by. What caliber(s) are you wanting to load for?
The hard part is knowing what is the right one. With so little available at times, it's something offbrand or not talked much about, on the shelf. The clerk usually doesn't know anything about it.

Especially with primers. For 308, can it use both small and large primers depending on the bullet?
 

Where should I start?


View: https://youtu.be/drnBMAEA3AM?si=OduD9C04uebW25EQ

Yeah....I grew up during the 60's.

Aloha, Mark

PS....or for the more serious people. Yeah, there are plenty of YouTube videos.

View: https://youtu.be/0lihWyUlBYg?si=r89JQbfZkY2pUirq

My first reloading lesson, was from the guy (my mentor) who sold be my first press (RCBS Jr) which I found advertised in a local classified newspaper. It was all a part of the deal. He would teach me how to load and I would buy from him.

Buying equipment.

View: https://youtu.be/Ss_izn0fi-U?si=FeOU973VX70sPAuy
 
Last Edited:
Primers come in four basic sizes, Small Pistol, Small Rifle, Large Pistol, & Large Rifle. Within those sizes are other classifications such as Magnum, & Benchrest. For the calibres the OP listed you won't be needing Magnum or Benchrest primers. The .223 Remington will need Small Rifle primers, the 9mm & .40 S&W take Small Pistol, & .45 ACP will take Large Pistol (though recently we are seeing some .45ACP with small primer pockets, so sort any range pick-up brass carefully!)
 
nwslopoke asked "For 308, can it use both small and large primers depending on the bullet?"

For .308 Winchester cases you need Large Rifle primers. The main difference between Small & Large primers is the diameter, so the primer pockets are different sizes.
 
So I've been doing some reading and looking around online and I found this on gunbroker.... https://www.gunbroker.com/item/1050368406
It's a lot of money to drop all at once, but for what it includes, it seems like heck of a deal. It looks like the only thing I'd need to add to the kit would be dies? And a cleaner and a trimmer? There's a lot of good reviews and I haven't heard anything bad while looking around. Is this a good deal and would this be a good starter set or is it overkill for someone just learning?
 
If you want to jump in, I'd check at BiMart for the RCBS starter kit. Or find someone liquidating a used kit. I think that I've sold off most of my extra stuff, but I'll take a look and see if I have anything surplus.

Nothing wrong with the older equipment; honestly I prefer the older stuff in many cases as some of it was better made in my view. Sometimes you can save some $ also.
 
To enjoy reloading, you need to be able to pay attention to detail and not be bothered by long periods of repetitiveness...
It depends on the type of reloading press one uses, but I pull a handle six times (turret press) for every round of pistol ammunition I reload after I pick up a used case from the ground..
The biggest financal savings, if that is your goal, comes from reloading large or uncommon calibers. The least amount of savings is probably 9mm ammunition because it is often on sale if purchased in bulk.
 
I don't have much Hornady reloading stuff, but others who do generally speak favorably. Here is a kit that seems priced pretty decent (on clearance) at BiMart:

I was looking at the RCBS Rebel plus kit specifically because it's got so much included that I would otherwise have to source separately. Like the Rock Chucker that @Mikej suggested, It's an all-in-one package. For myself I don't even have calipers, so I'd need to source every tool and part.
 
To enjoy reloading, you need to be able to pay attention to detail and not be bothered by long periods of repetitiveness...
It depends on the type of reloading press one uses, but I pull a handle six times (turret press) for every round of pistol ammunition I reload after I pick up a used case from the ground..
The biggest financal savings, if that is your goal, comes from reloading large or uncommon calibers. The least amount of savings is probably 9mm ammunition because it is often on sale if purchased in bulk.
I'm thinking I would enjoy the meditative benefits of the process. Just doing some basic searches of the cost of primers, powder and projectiles I can see that loading 9mm might not be the way to go unless I was trying to do something more specialized with them. The repetition sounds calming and I honestly think I would enjoy it greatly. As far as cost, I'm not looking at shooting in huge volumes to begin with, but it would be nice to get to a point eventually where I can minimize the cost of ammo. I'm primarily shooting extremely common cartridges for the time being.
 

Upcoming Events

Rifle Mechanics
Sweet Home, OR
Handgun Self Defense Fundamentals
Sweet Home, OR
Teen Rifle 1 Class
Springfield, OR
Kids Firearm Safety 2 Class
Springfield, OR

New Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top