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333
02-09-2011, 01:14 PM
Peace,

Hi every one,

Its nice now that the forum is a little easier to patrol, which means I have time to visit like everyone else. I have been meaning to get to this board. I had a little experience many moons ago with an uncle one summer, working his reloading equiptment, under his supervision.

We tumbled the brass clean, measured and inspected it, re sized, and the rest for you experts is self explanatory, set the primer, add the measure of powder, press the round and repeat.

So to my inquiry? I would like to get set up for my own small selection of firearms and are very reluctant to go to the big stores and be taken for way to much money, so a private sale would be preferable.

But the question still is where to start? What brands are best quality? I used to go to all kinds of gun shows back in the day. Would like to get set up for: 16 gauge, .45acp, .38/ .357, and of course .308..........

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

333

MichaelK
02-09-2011, 02:30 PM
Hi 333

Reloading is my #1 hobby and I've been doing it since the 1980's. My recommendation to any newbie in reloading is to get a kit containing a single stage press. Here are two depending on the money you want to spend.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=121744

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=646599

Personally, I use mostly RCBS equipment and my advice is that you'll remember the quality long after the price is forgotten.

If you wait for it to be on sale though you can get the Lee kit for as little as 90$
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=423081

Once you have the kit, you will need die sets for it. You buy individual die sets for each caliber you reload. I'd say go with carbide because you don't have oil, the wash cases to resize them. Lee makes decent carbide dies.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=418312

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=661032

For rifles, you'll need steel dies. You have to lubricate the cases before sizing, then wash the cases afterwards to remove all traces of lubricant.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=148525

For shotshells
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=750550

You might find some of this equipment online at Craigslist or at flea markets. I bought a Champain shotshell reloader at the flea market for 20$. I've also bought reloading manuals there for a dollar. Shop around and you're likely to find a lot for sale.
Good luck,
Michael

grumble
02-09-2011, 03:28 PM
333, first thing to say is that your 16 ga is a different animal when it comes to reloading, you normally can't use the same reloading press as you do for centerfire metallic cartridges.

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to presses and dies. For a starter unit, I suggest a Lee, but I'm sure others will have different suggestions. Personally, I really like my Lee turret press for handgun reloading. If you want to do a LOT of reloading, the Dillon progressive (550) is one of the best, but it's a bit spendy. I've had mine for about 10 years now, and any problem I ever ran into was quickly solved over the phone, they have a lifetime warranty for parts. RCBS is also good for that, but getting them on the phone or an email reply can take a while.

Check places like gunbroker.com or auctionarms.com for used equipment. Expect to pay 1/2 to 2/3 of the new retail costs. For new stuff, I recommend MidwayUSA.com, watch for sales.

For the dies, I gave up on all brands except Lee Precision. For me, they are the best dies out there, even if they cost less. (that statement will probably generate all sorts of disagreement, but so be it.)

EDIT: Oh yeah, reloading books. For the first book (you'll want a bunch of them over time), spring for the $15 book, "Lee Reloading." It covers a lot of territory. You'll also want to spend what it takes to get a good, easy-to-use scale, the Rock Chucker scales are darn good.

333
02-10-2011, 12:42 PM
Peace,

Thanks folks, really....you all remind me of why I love this forum. Now to get the tax refund......lol and then......I hope you all dont mind but i got a feeling I will be in here with a lot of questions.

333

Mike LI
02-10-2011, 05:01 PM
I picked up an RCBS, rock chucker supreme for about 300. Full kit, powder measure, scale, priming tool, lube pad and some other stuff. Nice full starter kit. Midway has em.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=646599

Have to buy calipers and dies as well, I went for the SS dial type caliper cost me about 30 bucks.What I like about all this stuff is no power or batteries are required with the exception of the tumbler.

I picked up a tumbler as well that was about 100 bucks if I recall. But that's optional depending on where you get your brass. Some folks still clean it up, I probably would also.

May want to pick up a stuck case remover and a pullet puller as well. ;)

Probably all told depending on what you do your looking at 500 bucks, cheaper if ya leave out the tumbler.

I like the RCBS stuff it works for me. I find reloaders are pretty brand loyal once they find what they like. Some guys swear by the Lee stuff and I will probably be shot for this but I don't care for it. For me RCBS was a good set that didn't cost me a ton of money. I'm not sure what the Lee stuff runs. Nothing more satisfying then making your own bullets and taking them to the range and finding a load the gun likes that shoots well.

Good luck and have fun!

175lt2
04-08-2011, 03:24 AM
I have many different loading presses,dies,etc. I would consider lee a good choice for a beginner but stay away from lee progressive presses. lee's dies are good quality and cheap! Lyman makes a good product at a fair price also. hornady reloading equipment is fairly new to me but I love the stuff I have. Dillon makes an excellent product as well but Pricey$$$.
I also have a lot of RCBS equipment,,, After finding out that a so called American made product is made from nearly all Chinese parts and buying a really crappy set of dies(Dimensions were all wrong) I would not recommend RCBS.

gunsmoke
04-08-2011, 06:15 AM
Iuse nealy exclusively RCBS and REDDING.

i DO VERY MUCH LIKE THE lEE HAND PRIMING TOOL, AND THEIR 'FACTORY CRIMP DIES." They also make some very good bullet moulds. I shop for the older RCBS die sets and individual specialized and custom dies at gunshows and on EBAY they cannot be beat for shear quality.

Some brands that are not so popular like the BONANZA COAX are of the very highest quality.

The best presses ever made are HOLLYWOOD and when you can find them they are priced accordingly. Used BAIR equipment especially the KODIAK press is some fine stuff.

If I have to buy new dies I try to stick to Reddding expensive but quality costs.

keydl
04-08-2011, 09:59 AM
I set up with a Lee hand press, scale and dies for 9mm, 10mm and .45 ACP with freight from Midway for about $135. Powder, primers, bullets and some brass was $81. Not the fastest or the most convenient but it does the job. Lee manual $13 or find the loads on the web like ammoguide

Pot from Goodwill,burner from a junk water heater, wheel weights from the tire store and Lee molds from Midway came to $71 and then I need to change the size of the bullets from one of the molds so the sizer and freight was $25

About $312 - the same as just a press and I have the stuff for 1k rounds with some stuff left over. BIL bought Powder, primer out of Kansas $110 5k primers and $19 powder but the freight was a killer $25 hazmat and $7 UPS plus dies so together whe have between 3 & 4 k rounds for $505 and the time to put assemble. Another $40 in powder and we would run out of primers first :) things don't come out even 8 buns and 10 hotdogs.

If you don't load hot the cases will recycle between 10 and 20 times and see 1-200 loaded as a target and 1k as not unreasonable - burning 50-100 at the range once or twice a month is 'normal' and leaves time to get ready for the next session.

Powder Valley cataloges berdan primers and steel cases will run 2-3 times before splitting, the tool for pulling the primers is $63 or they can usually be hydrauliced out with water in the case and a close fitting punch, leave the primer a place to go. You can also drill and pry the primer

keydl
04-08-2011, 10:32 AM
One of the neat things on the Midway online catalog is the wish list - it will add the stuff for you and keep track of it so you can see what the price is and the freight, your setup is nearly the same as mine.

The components for 12 ga cost the same as loaded and take simular room to store but for .410, 20 and 16 ga you can save a little and a fair amount on the other shotgun shells. Wads are a pain though and you can 'tune' the powder and seating pressure some if your gun does not pattern well with the cook book. The other is with a 10# bottle or 25# bag of shot you are not out of the shells that you want. Texan is one of the best shotshell loaders, Mec is good, I haven't used the Lee but everything that I have bought from them has been first rate and mostly 1/2 or less than the competition. The safety scale will weigh a bit of paper 3/16 in square - Lyman 1010 won't but the safety scale won't scale the load for a .50 BMG or sort bullets for weight

bacpacker1513
04-09-2011, 12:37 AM
Great thread. I'm looking at gettin into reloading myself later this year. Several of the suggestions are very similar to what I've been able to learn so far locally. I'm hoping to load 9mm, .223, 7.62x39, .308, and possibly 12 & 20 ga.
A big question I have, what do you folks use to store your powder in? I've been thinking about a fireproof cabinet. Ideas?

keydl
04-10-2011, 10:38 AM
I use a cardboard box. I do not want to have a situation where it can generate pressure to accelerate combustion, it will just burn. It has 2 layers of corrugated for strength in case something should fall on the box - it is stored low to stay cool. I have had up to 25 # but kept it segregated 8 # to the box in different places.

Wood is good as long as it will not build pressure, dump a tablespoon on the ground and light it, then roll up a bean sized bit in a dozen layers of newspaper twist off the ends and light it ( leave some space ) :) More than 1/2 the time pistol powder will make noise, rifle a little less than 1/2, black powder always.

Poonie
04-12-2011, 12:51 PM
First off, Midway is a ripoff, period! They may have alot of stuff but their prices are one of the highest around. I'd look elswhere first from a price standpoint.

As to a beginner's press, the Lee cast iron press is hard to beat for the price. I have one and for the beginner or occasional reloader(such as myself), they can't be beat.

As to shotgun reloading, a MEC 600 jr reloader is a great choice. My dad and me loaded thousands of rounds with his MEC. Nice little machine and put out a decent shell. About the easiest reloader I've ever used.

stickbowhntr
04-12-2011, 01:20 PM
A big question I have, what do you folks use to store your powder in? I've been thinking about a fireproof cabinet. Ideas?

Well Think on this. With all the regualtions the Govenrment puts on business how dio the BIG stores store it? Well lets see , I go into one of them and they just have way more than me and its on open shelves. IF thats good enough for ALL the regs business has to go thru for safe storage , well I guess I am saying that is EXACTLY how I store it and have no where near as much to store. just keep dry and on open shelves .Now if you worried of little hands and such, keep the room locked.

Tim Horton
04-12-2011, 02:08 PM
Going to make a couple guesses here..............

By using a "fire proof" cabinet, you are creating the potential for a bomb.........
That being, "fire proof" isn't I don't think. Maybe VERY fire resistant, but eventually the contents will get hot enough to do something. And it may not be a good result.

I have burned free standing smokeless powder, in small quantities, as a demonstration for firearms safety class. So from that experience I'm going to think smokeless powder stored in the original containers will burn off harmlessly. If you contain it, there will be pressure build up and uncontrolled release of that pressure.

Black powder is a VERY different animal. I have no experience with storing large quantities of it. Other than to burn off a small amount in a demo.

Good luck
Wyo

Poonie
04-12-2011, 03:37 PM
Agree. I keep only small amounts of powder and they simply stay on a shelf in my basement. Its cool, its dry, and the containers are kept tightly closed until being used.

bacpacker1513
04-12-2011, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I'll just save the money for something else, Maybe a nicer set of scales.

333
01-15-2015, 08:53 PM
Peace,

Wow, its been sometime, but all the excellent info was put to good use....... thanks

Some how I never seem to be finished loading ;)

Ran across one the other day w/2flash holes and well the primer extractor no likey..:(

In my absence "doin time in ilion" lol, have managed some nice acquisitions ie. a 700 that maintains .49 - .63 @ 100 very happy.

hope all are well thanks again

333

MichaelK
01-16-2015, 03:50 PM
Ran across one the other day w/2flash holes and well the primer extractor no likey..:(
I assume from this statement that you tried to decap a Berdan-primed case and you damaged something? Did you bend/break the decapping pin, or did things just get stuck?

How are you proceeding in your acquisition of reloading equipment? Years back I was somewhat lucky. Years ago I spotted a Craigslist ad (maybe it wasn't Craigslist back then) and bought an entire Lyman casting setup with molds, furnace, lubesizer, and tools for 80$. That got me jumpstarted into casting my own bullets instantaneously. In the years since, I've added greatly the number of molds, dies, tools to my reloading setup. I can make my own 9mm/40S&W/45ACP loads for about 3$ per box, though the fixed costs of all the tooling would be huge if I had to purchase it all retail.

I like to frequent flea markets, and have found great stuff there. Got a RCBS balance for 5$, A powder measure for 19$, and about 1000 44 magnum brass for just 18$. It's a place to find great deals, but not so good if you want something specific ASAP. Good luck with your own endever.

333
01-16-2015, 08:54 PM
Peace,

lol your operation makes one drool with envy :)

Yea bent a pin heh heh

333

blackpowderbill
02-01-2015, 08:08 PM
If you're looking ~I have several Lee caliber kits and one Anniversary kit. for sale, dies from several manufactures new and used. Bullets,brass, 9mm , 6 cavity mould

Jjr
04-06-2015, 02:26 PM
I have a motley mix of reloading equipment for metallic cartridges. I began mostly with Lyman dies and one of their "C" Presses, but had just about as much RCBS equipment in the end. Then did little or no reloading for a number of years before beginning again. When picking up the hobby or practice again I purchased some Redding equipment but mostly Lee reloading equipment the 2nd time around.

The old "C" press has served me well for 30+ years, and is no longer manufactured (I believe), but if it were, I would recommend an "0" or "D" style press because they have greater strength.

Carbide dies are the only way to go for handgun calibers. They are certainly quicker & cleaner to use and the cheapest in the long run.

In addition to the full length sizer, I also have a neck sizing die for all calibers using a bolt action. Unfortunately most leaver actions and semi-automatics will not function with just neck sized brass in reloaded ammo.

I have a Lyman table top case trimmer, but find the Lee hand trimmers more user friendly in the long run. I find a powder trickler useful for very small cases more than anything else, but if you want to be exacting on powder charges they will be a very useful consideration. I have scales, a Lyman uniflow powder measures, and an old Bonanze Bulleye Powder dropper (similar to the RCBS Little Dandy measurer) but find myself using the Lee Powder Dippers more than anything else (having both the older red set and the newer yellow set), so it's not always whats out there, but what works for you.

Lyman split rings for setting the depth of dies are the cats meow, and regardless of Lee, Redding, RCBS or Lyman dies, they all wear Lyman split rings at my place. The Lee Factory Crimp Die is "the BEST" in my book and I have retrofitted all my die sets with one regardless of the original dies manufacturer.

I have never had a complaint with any of the brands I use & mentioned here. I do believe much of the older equipment is the better equipment, but that is just my personal opinion. Quality equipment is never regretted, and price is usually an indication of quality, but price is not always an absolute regarding quality.

Shotgun reloading is a different ballgame completely. I have a Mec shotgun press, and it has always served me well. It rarely ever gets used anymore, unless I shoot a little skeet. I just don't hunt anything requiring a shotgun anymore, more because of leasing than anything else.

I purchased a Lee .20 gauge loader for my BIL one Christmas, and he seemed to like it, and I have reloaded at times for him, so he could take a break, while visiting with him. The Lee seems a little slower and is set up different from the Mec, but given time and use (familiarity) it would probably be just a fast as the Mec I am (insert was) accustom to using.

Kachad
04-09-2015, 08:02 AM
I started reloading about 5 years ago, so I don't have a lot of years of experience - but have really enjoyed the science behind it and the savings. Although, come to think of it, I spend a lot more on components now than purchasing ammo at the store. I probably shoot at least 5x more rounds now than I did previously, at the range.

The most satisfaction that I receive from the practice is when you take game with your personal load. The first deer that I dropped with my first hand load was more or less a spiritual experience.

I use a Lee turret for most of my loading. The gear that rotates the dies went down after the first year, so I switch them by hand now. I came to prefer doing that, so haven't replaced the gear.

I also have a hornady progressive, which was gifted to me by a friend (he moved out to the east coast, dropped the range and reloading work). Puts out a lot of .45 rounds quickly, but I find I don't use it that often. I still prefer the turret.

Currently load for .45, 30-06, .308, .300 Savage, 30-30, and 35 Rem.

I don't neck size for my bolts, so far just stay with full length. I plan on comparing the two methods sometime in the future, but almost all my shots are in the 50 yard range (or less). This year I do plan on doing some work comparing the two methods - testing at 200 yards, but for practical purposes where I hunt - there's not a lot of shots taken at 200 yards +.

oeb
04-09-2015, 09:57 AM
333, I was surfing stores this AM and noted that Titan Reloading had Lee Loadalls with all the necessary accessories on sale for under $55. I saw 20s and 12s but didn't look for 16s, et al. I've used a lot of Lee equipment over the years --I'm mid-70s, been reloading since mid-20s and now casting-- and it has served me just as good if not better than the several other brands of stuff I've since discarded in favor of Lee. BTW, the LoadAlls have great unconditional guarantees. Another source for cheap equipment is often on eBay. Not long ago I bought a MEC Jr. kit for a nephew on eBay for $46 shipped. Another inexpensive way for you to start might be with the little hand presses that are available and/or the Classic Lee Loaders. I use bench stuff mostly now but still use those little kits for some of my bolt guns with outstanding results. I've loaded lots of shotgun shells with the Lee Loader; rifle, too. You can pick up this kind of stuff used on forums, etc., for around $15-20. I just bought a good .243 loader on Gun Broker for $15 to use in the field, Throws excellent rounds for the DW especially using patched cast. Good luck to you and keep us posted on your headway.

oeb

Jjr
04-11-2015, 01:45 AM
I started reloading about 5 years ago,

I also have a hornady progressive, which was gifted to me by a friend (he moved out to the east coast, dropped the range and reloading work).

I don't neck size for my bolts, so far just stay with full length. I plan on comparing the two methods sometime in the future, but almost all my shots are in the 50 yard range (or less). This year I do plan on doing some work comparing the two methods - testing at 200 yards, but for practical purposes where I hunt - there's not a lot of shots taken at 200 yards +.

Equipment gifted to one becomes very special equipment usually. Your friend obviously though very highly of you. That Hornady Progressive was a very nice gift.

Kachad, before you try using a neck die, invest a few bucks in a Forster Graphiter. Using Powdered Graphite (White Mica) is much cleaner and faster in the long run than using lube the necks. I have never dented a neck using graphite, but even being very careful, just a little too much lube can and will dimple a neck. Neck sizing works the brass much less than full length resizing and extends the life of your brass.

The Forster Graphiter will probably set you back 12 - 17.50+ tax depending upon where you purchase it. I don't think you will be disappointed with it.

Kachad
04-11-2015, 02:49 AM
Equipment gifted to one becomes very special equipment usually. Your friend obviously though very highly of you. That Hornady Progressive was a very nice gift.

Kachad, before you try using a neck die, invest a few bucks in a Forster Graphiter. Using Powdered Graphite (White Mica) is much cleaner and faster in the long run than using lube the necks. I have never dented a neck using graphite, but even being very careful, just a little too much lube can and will dimple a neck. Neck sizing works the brass much less than full length resizing and extends the life of your brass.

The Forster Graphiter will probably set you back 12 - 17.50+ tax depending upon where you purchase it. I don't think you will be disappointed with it.

Yep, he's a very close Friend of mine, we've been hanging out since we were about 14. So pretty much Brothers. :D

I switched to a powdered graphite product soon after I started loading. Will never go back. I put some of it in an old film canister and shot, dip the brass in and go.

Thanks about the heads up on extending brass life with neck sizing, I didn't think about that - good info!

Bearfootfarm
04-17-2015, 11:08 PM
Thanks about the heads up on extending brass life with neck sizing, I didn't think about that - good info!
That works as long as the actions will close easily on the cases, and they are used in the gun in which they were fired.

Otherwise, you can just bump the shoulders back about .002

You can also anneal the necks if needed, but for most people that won't be necessary if you start out with a lot of brass to begin with

blackpowderbill
04-25-2015, 11:54 PM
Another dry lube is Motor mica is fantastic it is white too! Fire annealing also softens brass that has been worked several times. Every time u size it hardens the brass