Ammo Reloading

Casimir

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#1
Hope this is the right forum for this :D

Did a search on the site and found 2 dedicated threads to reloading, one of which was shotgun. Still have a few questions.

Am reading up on how to reload. Any opinions or experience any reloaders on this site may have concerning this topic is appreciated!

Topics I'm wondering about:

Reloading equipment:
Who do you think makes the best equipment for the money?
Types of reloading equipment depending on quantity of reloading? (Manual vs turret presses, vs progressive) * I plan on firing appx 500 rounds a month or more at least, for 45, 9mm and 5.56/223
equipment that is not necessarily needed?
new vs used equipment?
known sources for purchasing good equipment for good prices?

components of the round
Best places to find bulk bullets & brass for good money vs quality?
what kind of primers are considered good quality for practice ammo?
powder differences/preferences?
online sources?

anything else you might be able to add to help a beginner to get started?

That's all I can think of for the moment, all input is very much appreciated!
 

HOLLiS

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#2
The answer could take a book in length. Maybe easier just to give you my phone number. One thing you can do, is read several reloading manuals. Also do you have financial constraints? Do you have plans to grow.

This is my bench, represents over 35 years of reloading and reloading for about 40 different calibers. (still not all of it)

 

Casimir

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#3
I'm not gonna start buying the equipment till about Jan or so. As far as $$ goes, well, let me put it this way, I'm a Spc in the Army :D Realistically, I'm not totally sure what to expect on the cost side of things for the equipment to get started. I definitely plan to grow so I can produce a good amount of ammunition and would like to get into more precision/higher quality ammo once I get some experience. I shoot A LOT and aside from wanting another cool hobby to do with guns, economy is a big motivator, not to mention I'm a tad paranoid about big brother finding ways to jack up the price of ammo to make it nearly unaffordable (serial #'s on every round perhaps?) and/or a zombie apocalypse :-"

I don't necessarily plan on buying EVERYTHING at once so I can spread my cost out a little and afford to get something that's not total crap for cheap. Just from looking around for 20 minutes on the web, I've found some basic manual press' from Lee for less than a hundred dollars. I didnt go through and price all the other stuff I need for it like tumbler, dies, scales, etc, but the price for the press was less than I expected. Granted, I don't really know what I'm looking at for now because I have no basis for comparison.

In the beginning I plan on reloading 9mm, 45 ACP and 5.56/223 and possibly 30-06 for my bigger rifle (but primarily the 3 former)

I've read one book so far and it was more in depth than I expected, which I liked. Gonna pick up a few more books on the subject before I make any purchases.
 

HoosierAnnie

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#4
As I'm sure Hollis will tell you, no matter what equipment you go with, get good tables and follow them and keep good records. I personally like my rock chucker for pistol and rifle. Its mounted on a nice thick lil chunk o wood and will C-clamp to the Workmate for portability. Put a power throw on it and can also use it to crank out paper loads for the black power cartridges we go through by the dozens out shootin' Frenchies (sorry Frank)
 

HOLLiS

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#5
As I'm sure Hollis will tell you, no matter what equipment you go with, get good tables and follow them and keep good records. I personally like my rock chucker for pistol and rifle. Its mounted on a nice thick lil chunk o wood and will C-clamp to the Workmate for portability. Put a power throw on it and can also use it to crank out paper loads for the black power cartridges we go through by the dozens out shootin' Frenchies (sorry Frank)
Well said. If you notice in my photo a Black powder measure mounted high, it has a drop tube. I also do black powder, front stuffer, paper, combustible and metallic. BP is addictive, very addictive.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#7
I would recommend you buy a cheap multi stage Lee from Midway, allow yourself so time to learn about reloading, figuring out the ropes and all that. Lee’s suck ass and have more jams then a smuckers factory, but they will get the job done. It’s a great easy way to get started out, and if you decide to say fuck reloading after a while, you are not $1500 into it and pissed.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=351321

You can buy new die kits and turret plates for most calibers. This cheap kit will get you started without cleaning out your pocket, and if you stick with it and move on to a Dillon, you can always pass the Lee on to someone or sell it.
 

HOLLiS

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#8
I would recommend you buy a cheap multi stage Lee from Midway, allow yourself so time to learn about reloading, figuring out the ropes and all that. Lee’s suck ass and have more jams then a smuckers factory, but they will get the job done. It’s a great easy way to get started out, and if you decide to say fuck reloading after a while, you are not $1500 into it and pissed.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=351321

You can buy new die kits and turret plates for most calibers. This cheap kit will get you started without cleaning out your pocket, and if you stick with it and move on to a Dillon, you can always pass the Lee on to someone or sell it.
Not sure if a multi-stage is the best choice for a beginner. BTW Lee makes some really good stuff. A single stage is what I learned on and still use for case forming and small loads. Progressive have their own set of issues.

Also there a number of progressive out now, Hornady has a good review. Mine are over 10 years old. Problem with a Dillon, it makes a person lazy.
 

Totentanz

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#11
I started a few months ago and the Lee Anniversary kit was the best bang-for-the-buck I could find. I've upgraded several of the components (picked up an RCBS hand primer, a digital scale, stuff like that), but it's a solid starting point.

Just my two pesos.
 

skeeter

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#12
If you’re just starting out the RCBS rockchucker is a great single stage press, as already mentioned. Later on if you get into it a used Dillon square deal is amazing for pistol rounds and large amounts of 5.56x45
As far as components go midway is probably one of your best bets if you don't have a local shop to avoid the hazardous shipping fee. Reiner bullets are great for pistol shooters who want to save money by shooting plated bullets instead of fully jacketed bullets.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#14
Not sure if a multi-stage is the best choice for a beginner. BTW Lee makes some really good stuff. A single stage is what I learned on and still use for case forming and small loads. Progressive have their own set of issues.

Also there a number of progressive out now, Hornady has a good review. Mine are over 10 years old. Problem with a Dillon, it makes a person lazy.
Your probably right, my dad had taught me on a single, but my first buy was a Lee multi. Personally single stage take way too much time for me to mess with, at this point I am looking for an Auto press. I like too shoot alot more then I like to sweat in my garage loading... The Lee 1000 is a $150, its multi stage and comes with a set of dies and everything you need to start. It dosent get much cheaper then that and the biggest problem was set up and timing it. I would say single is the way to go for precision builds (i.e long range or match ammo), but for production it's a pain.

Dillon is where it's at IMHO, but again I think I am looking towards an auto at this point. Fill my powder, primers, casings and bullets, flip the switch and come back in an hour. I like that idea!:thumbsup::sneaky:
 

policemedic

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#15
The answer could take a book in length. Maybe easier just to give you my phone number. One thing you can do, is read several reloading manuals. Also do you have financial constraints? Do you have plans to grow.

This is my bench, represents over 35 years of reloading and reloading for about 40 different calibers. (still not all of it)
Soooooo jealous.
 

msg _rod

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#16
The answer could take a book in length. Maybe easier just to give you my phone number. One thing you can do, is read several reloading manuals. Also do you have financial constraints? Do you have plans to grow.

This is my bench, represents over 35 years of reloading and reloading for about 40 different calibers. (still not all of it)
Now, this is nice!!
 

medicchick

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#17
We got our Dillon XL650 off of e-bay for ~$600...with lots of extras. We have dies for most popular calibers, case-feeder, extra primer tubes, strong mount,powder check , you get the point. I like having a progressive loader...it's like pulling a slot handle and winning a bullet everytime!
 

The91Bravo

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#18
Not sure if a multi-stage is the best choice for a beginner. BTW Lee makes some really good stuff. A single stage is what I learned on and still use for case forming and small loads. Progressive have their own set of issues.

Also there a number of progressive out now, Hornady has a good review. Mine are over 10 years old. Problem with a Dillon, it makes a person lazy.
I have probably processed and loaded 25-30,000 with my Lee Anniversary kit, then I got an Dillon 450 and bought the upgrade kit to a 550. It is all I ever need.

Go very slow when starting, read everything twice, try it once. Measure and then check your work. After you are sure, and have learned the first step, THEN move on to the next.

It is very therapeutic for me, just cranking out ammo... I love it for decompressing from the day.

You have joined the family of reloaders that is as old as the boom stick... welcome
 

medicchick

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#19
And if you change the actual bullet, don't load hundreds until you have a chance to test them at the range. We tried actual lead, used the amount of powder the book said too, and they are now used for failure drills. NONE will cycle the action on the pistols, the load is too light, all 500 of them:rolleyes:
 

HOLLiS

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#20
And if you change the actual bullet, don't load hundreds until you have a chance to test them at the range. We tried actual lead, used the amount of powder the book said too, and they are now used for failure drills. NONE will cycle the action on the pistols, the load is too light, all 500 of them:rolleyes:
Probably two things. If the loads are with in manufacturer's recommendation/reloading book range. If that is OK, then you might see about getting a lighter recoil spring. If you go too light, then a recoil buffer would be needed. Check with Brownells. Race guns are generally made where every thing is light. One reason race guns do not use over the counter ammo.

If you are using sub-loads, below specification, then the bullets need to be pulled and components saved. Sub-loads can cause excessive chamber pressures and the problems that go along with that. Sub-loads are a different duck and need to be developed carefully. Generally a filler, like polyester (smokeless powder) or corn meal (black powder) is used.
 
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