Getting Started


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Does anyone know of a good starter kit or maybe a list of supplies to get started in reloading? Maybe some beginner tips and suggestions?

I have a Lee Anniversary kit. It has almost everything you need. It's a very good starter kit. I have been using it for about 5 years with no problems. It's very economical. It is around $100. I got my dad one for Christmas. He is also very pleased. They have made some nice upgrades since I got mine. You need separate die sets for each caliber, but it has almost everything else.

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Wow, that's a lot cheaper than I kind of expected to get started but I guess I never really looked into it that much. They are backordered right now but I'll keep an eye on it. I may get one for my Dad as well since he was talking about getting into it as well.
+1 on the Lee. Lee make very inexpensive reloading equipment that holds up and does a fantastic job. I highly recommend Lee for beginners.
I did one heckuva lotta research and after all was said and done, I chose Lee equipment. The Lee Classic Turret Loader to be precise. It is in between a single stage loader and a progressive loader. It can be switched to a single-stage loader in seconds. All of the other equipment is as good, or in some people's minds, a lot better. Just as with handguns, calibers, holsters, etc. everyone has their favs. I am very content with my decision and purchases. Time will tell, and lemme tell you, that ain't far off.

I looked at Midway, Cabela's, Lyman, Hornady, RCBS, Dillon and others (I've listed a small pile of'em below). On the Lee website, there was a list of online vendors. I looked at each of them. Kempf's Gun Shop in Michigan City, IN, struck me because they carry the Lee Classic Turret Loader in a kit form, and had the upgrades I wanted listed as options that were discounted. It really made this a one-stop online shop for me. Just to be sure, I shopped and compared once again: Midway, Cabela's, all of the others, and now Kempf. The Kempf deal was easy to make happen; they had everything I wanted in stock including brass (Starline) and bullets. The only thing I didn't order online was primers and powder. NOTE: Everyone charges a $20 Haz Mat fee for sending these 2 items through the mail, so buy locally if you can. I found Hodgdon's HP38 at the Bass Pro Shop in Orlando. I wanted Winchester 231 but couldn't readily find it. Ah, such is life. I used Lee's data for my caliber ( 230gr. 45ACP), wrote down the brands he had listed and took that into the store with me. That is where I bought the CCI primers also.

I had initially looked at and liked the Dillon equipment. The website by Brian Enos is excellent. It also showed me that Dillon was out of my price range, at least for now. But I'll wait and see what I learn with the Lee equipment. If I can load 150 to 200 rounds per hour and like the quality, I'll probably stick with Lee. Cost was the determining factor in choosing Lee over all of the other brands as a first time reloader. There are enough websites and forums online to "listen" to what others say.

Here's a partial list: - there are videos of the turret press in action - an article about Lee equipment - a forum - This is a FAQ about Dillon products. Very good.

BTW: I don't work for Kempf; I never heard of them until I visited the Lee site. But I found them easy to use and everything on their website was pretty well explained.
Midway has very good testimonials about reloading products (as well as most everything else they sell). I read them all before choosing the Classic Turret Press.

I have my setup almost complete. I need to move one piece of furniture so I can put my reloading workbench in place. I am so looking forward to loading. I have absolutely no intention of loading anything but standard loads. Richard Lee, in his book Modern Reloading 2nd Edition does not subscribe to "scooping" or whatever you care to call your hot loads. He basically says that the deer or bear or whatever wouldn't know the difference and the risks are just not worth it. Pretty damned good advice, and I intend on heeding it. Be Forewarned: Richard Lee is very proud of his products, so there is some bias in his writing. But if you take that into account, it is a good book and definitely informative. There are 205 pages of text about reloading and his machinery. The next 500+ pages are charts on most every caliber you could want, the starting loads for most any kind of smokeless powder and most of the bullet sizes, jacketed and lead.

Good Luck in your search.
Most of the machines out their are pretty good now days. Before you pick your machine you need to decide what and how much your planning to reload.
When I started I used a single stage RCBS. very good machine but very time consuming,as you can only do one step at a time.
Then I got into PPC shooting and the Single stage took way too long reloading everynight after work and tring to shoot three nights a week. In the early 80's the Lee Machine was a piece of crap and talking with other shooters was led to buying a Dillion, bought a square deal and loaded over twelve thousand loads a year. Had a few problems but their were my fault and I called Dillion told them what I did and said I'd pay for the parts, they never did charge me for broken or lost parts. Over the years I wanted to reload more calibers and ended up buying a Dillion 550B as it would reload Rifle and Pistol rounds. Has easy change caliber setup and I reloaded over 23,000 rounds a year for about ten years and I still use both machines today but I only reload about 2-4 thousand a year now.
Lee equipment is what I use, and i highly reccomend it. You might as well get a lee PRO 1000 and get started at progressive reloading. the primer feed is a little hinky, and it is possible to double charge a case, but you can load a crtridge one at a time, until you learn the ropes. You will still need a single stage to reload rifle, and some operations are best done singly. Send pm if i can help more. Bullet casting is fun too.
Does anyone know of a good starter kit or maybe a list of supplies to get started in reloading? Maybe some beginner tips and suggestions?

I have the lee classic turret press and love it. Its a great started press. You can removed the indexing rod and load one station at a time like a single stage press then when you're comfortable pop the indexing rod back in and pump out some ammo. Cabela's use to have the entire kit with everything needed (minus the tumbler) but have not been on to look lately. The Classic turret press is well made, strong, and well priced. I'd highly recommend it.
I also load with the Lee Pro 1000. Decent press for the money.

To prevent double charges:
-make smooth strokes completely in each direction with the lever
-use a powder that fills the case to near capacity with a single charge. A double charge will overflow, make a mess of the press and shell plate, and is almost impossible to miss when placing the bullet onto the case.

i.e. unique in 9mm is a full case capacity charge.
If you start out with an RCBS Rockchucker You will have top of the line to start with. You will also need dies, scale, powder measure, and a few minor accessories. You will spend a little more up front, but in the long run, probably be happier. After you get accustomed to reloading single stage, A piggyback can be added to the press for progressive loading of handgun and small rifle ammo. I used to have this set up. Decided I needed something more automated. Sold it and bought a Lee Loadmaster and while the Loadmaster is a fine unit that has loaded 10s of thousands of rounds, if I had it to do over again, I'd still have my Rockchucker and Piggyback. If you decide to go with the Lee, if price is a factor, I would go with the Loadmaster over the Pro 1000 as the Loadmaster can load full length rifle ammo and the Pro 1000 is limited to small rifle and pistol only. Also the Loadmaster is a 5 stage loader rather than 3 stage making it more versatile.

One more thing, if you're reloading for a Glock, Lead bullets are not recommended and because Glock barrels sport an unsupported rear section of the chamber, I would recommend you purchase an after market barrel with standard rifling and fully supported chamber to shoot reloads through. This is especially the case if you shoot a 40 S&W or 10 mm. Glock barrels are designed for jacketed bullets, and new ammo. 40 S&W has been especially troublesome for reloaders due to the 40's pressures and the unsupported section of the chamber of a Glock barrel. I think the design is to make for more dependable operation, but it's a weak point for reloaders.

Good Luck!!!
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