New to reloading


kerstingm

New member
I am new to the reloading part of our expensive sport. I did just finish a class where we were able to reload 50 pistol or 20 rifle rounds at the end of the class. So at this aspect I was able to get my hands dirty before I dropped a ton of money before I knew what I was getting into. I picked up a couple Lee Turret press starter kits at the gunshow yesterday for under $200. Eventually we want to get a Horady progressive, but for now we have enough to get started..
If anybody has any info on bulk bullet or brass please pass it on. I will also take any good info on presses, or reloading tips.
 

Bighouse Doc

New member
Dillon is the absolute best for a progressive. With a little practice, you can easily load several hundred an hour.

They have the best warranty in the industry (complete, noBS you break it, they fix it). I have only had to use this a couple times for minor issues in the 23 years I have owned the press. They sent the parts quickly at no charge.

Brass can be purchased from Midway and several other online stores. I like to pick up range brass, and this has accumulated quite a few thousand rounds over the years. It is amazing how much brass people simply throw away!

-Doc
 

cawpin

New member
DILLON, period.

I agree with Bighouse Doc. If and when you buy another press, buy a Dillon, no question. I would have told you to buy a Dillon first but you've already bought the Lee. And, as far as Lees go, it is a fine beginning press.

I would suggest the 550B as it will load load damned near anything out there. Mine is going on 20 years old and I just took it into Dillon, I happen to live in the Phoenix metro area, about a year and a half ago for a sticking problem that I couldn't figure out. I dropped it off and they went completely through the machine cleaning and putting on updated parts. I picked it up 3 days later and it was like a brand new machine again. This was all done completely for free, no questions asked.
 

TooCalm

New member
I have had a RCBS Junior single stage press for 33 years. The primer arm broke once. RCBS sent me a new one free of charge no questions asked.
Has anyone reloaded with different brands of progressive presses? What do you think of the difficulty or ease of setting up the dies, changing over to a different caliber, and the overall function of the presses?
 

cawpin

New member
difficulty or ease of setting up the dies

Dillon

changing over to a different caliber

Dillon

and the overall function of the presses?

Dillon

I know it's getting old but Dillon is the best in everything. Even their case lube is the best on the market. The leverage of their arm setup is superior to me as well.

Changing calibers on my 550B is a 10 minute operation; that includes changing primer size, powder, and powder bar. It may take a bit longer the first few times you do it but after that it is a very simple thing.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
How much money do you save by reloading? How much does it cost to reload 250 rounds of .45 if you have to buy the brass instead of getting it from a range? I want to get into reloading, I just don't know how cost effective it is.
 

cawpin

New member
How much money do you save by reloading? How much does it cost to reload 250 rounds of .45 if you have to buy the brass instead of getting it from a range? I want to get into reloading, I just don't know how cost effective it is.

The last time I went through my cost spreadsheet was in September of 2010 when things were expensive, which is why I went through it again.

My prices then were as follows:

45 ACP, 230 gr FMJ, 6 gr of Winchester 231 powder.
$0.65 per cartridge

That comes out to $12.97 per 20, $162.08 per 250.

While this isn't much savings, if any, over buying ammo the whole savings is in being able to reuse the brass which, at the time I did the spreadsheet, was $25/100. That is, with tax included, $0.27 per cartridge. So, taking out the brass cost, is &0.38, a savings of $0.27 per cartridge.

This comes out to $7.52/20 or $93.95/250.
 

kerstingm

New member
I also purchased some 55 grain .223 $55 for 500, 45's $17 for 100, and 9mm $25 for 250. Not sure if these were good prices or not. I was thinking of how much it cost me the last time I purchased 500 and 1000 rounds of each and I could start seeing the savings. I still need to do some kind of spread sheet so I know what each round cost. All in due time, I just need a bench to set everything up and I can start my new Bobbie. Hopefully tonight
I do have a question to all of you that have been reloading for a while. What is the better way to clean brass media or ultra sonic? And do I need to take the primers out before I clean the brass? I got a ultra sonic, but after reading sounds like I still need a media cleaner if I want polished brass.
 

packngoccw

New member
Buy the book first....read it 4-5 times (seriously), then sit down with the book and the reloading equipment and walk through the steps once more.

If you make a mistake on the reloading bench, there may be serious consequences.
 

kerstingm

New member
I have a question to anybody that has been reloading for a while. When I took my reloading class one of the
instructors had a jig that he put a riffle case in to check the case length. Can somebody please tell what this is called I would really like to get one.
Thank you
 

Jes

New member
I have a question to anybody that has been reloading for a while. When I took my reloading class one of the
instructors had a jig that he put a riffle case in to check the case length. Can somebody please tell what this is called I would really like to get one.
Thank you

Case length gauge/trimmer Link Removed

You can also just use a caliper.
 

TekGreg

New member
Case length gauge/trimmer Link Removed

You can also just use a caliper.

You can check it with the caliper, but a gauge/trimmer will check the length and shave the excess brass off if it is stretched too long, so it's a time saver because it's a two-fer.

Also, if you ever shoot Eastern European ammo that has the crimped primer pockets and want to reload it, Dillon provides the Super Swage 600 that can remove the crimp and NOT strip the brass from the rims! This can make brass reloadable that used to be garbage.
 

M1911a1lvr

New member
My suggestion for you, Now that you are looking to get into reloading is this, don't start with a progressive press. Go to a single stage or turret type press, That way you manipulate each stage manually. It is also a less expensive way to get into reloading, Plus it gives you more control on each step. You can get started with a LEE precision single stage kit, with all that you need for 1 caliber for about 150$.

As for components, look at buying them in bulk. IE 500-1000 bullet lots, powder in 5 lbs jugs, primers in 5000-10,000 cnt flats. It cost's you much less in the long run when you figure it out.

Scavenge brass from what ever ranges that are around you. A great way to get more money for reloading is by separating all that brass from the stuff you can use and the stuff you can't. Then go to your local metal recycling center to turn it in. I get about $.43/ lbs here in Vermont.

Here are some places to order from for components, there are other's but these are the ones i deal with the most.

Berry's bullets.
Wideners
Midway inc.



buy them online and not in your local store's that way you will get some of the best deals possible. It does take away from your LGS's but you want to reload for the cheapest cost.
 

kerstingm

New member
Okay all I got my first 40 rounds done. I have a couple questions about setting up the RCBS bullet seater die. If I seat the bullet to the top of the cannelure like the instructions say to then my COAL is below the reloading data of 2.260. Do I seat it to the load data or worry more about COAL? Right now my cartridges were coming out around 2.238.
 

Stan45

New member
Buy in bulk and save
example loading for 45 acp a hardcast 200 SWC with 5.7 gr of 231 and large pistol primer.
1 lb of 321 price is $16 dollars = 1228 rounds per lb.
powder .013 per round
primer .029 per round
bullet .07 per round
that equals 11.2 cents per round
or $5.60 per 50 rounds
or $112. for 1,000 rounds.

American Eagle 45acp FMJ is 15.99 for a box of 50
That equals $319.80 per 1,000 - $112 for reloads = $207.80 savings.
if you shoot 2,000 rds the savings of $415.60 just paid for some nice reloading equipment.
 

mappow

New member
I'm thinking about getting into reloading myself. Burning up .45ACP and 30.06 for my M1 Garand, it'll be getting a bit much on the wallet. Who offers classes? Is there like a DYI Vid or book? Also, the recurring suggestion is Dillon, as was stated by a fellow shooter yesterday at the range. Any input would be appreciated.
 

Stan45

New member
Dillon is a progressive press. Is that what you are looking for?
I like to see people start out on a single stage press.
 

wizard

New member
kerstingm, sounds like a stoney point COL gauge. I believe hornady has bought them out and now call it a lock-n-load O.A.L. gauge. Lots of other gadgets out there, just gotta look and see. You might look into sinclair also. Very good products.
 

wizard

New member
kerstingm, As long as you can eject a cartridge, there is no problem, generally. These numbers are from sammi so that the cartridges cycle in most firearms. If your COAL is shorter that is fine, as long as the bullet is firmly seated in the neck. The one thing that bullet seat depth affects is accuracy. If you have a rifle with a lot of free bore, I tend to not seat the bullet too deep as the jump from case mouth to bore can be longer than the bullet itself ( Ruger .204!) I also had a 7mm mag that liked the bullet seated .010 from the rifling. All you have to do is xperiment a bit to see what works, the reloading manuals are a guideline. None of the 8 I own have the same max loads. You will know when you reach the max for a particular firearm long before it blows up!! Caution and being aware of the danger signs is paramount......Heed the signs! I rarely use a max load, but diligence pays off.
 

wizard

New member
For those of you wondering what types and brands of equipt. others use, I started out with a Hornady single stage lock-n-load press and still use it for sizing my .40 S&W cases. I now use a Redding T-7 Turret press. I also use exclusively Redding dies. I had tons of trouble with the sizing button on a set of .204 dies from Hornady, it kept breaking off in the neck. Hornady stood behind them and sent parts free, but it kept happening. never did figure out why. I like there stuff as it is very affordable, good quality. After trying the Redding dies there was no turning back. Expensive they are. No lies there. Super Quality. My rifles shoot very well. Concentricity is way up, consistency is super. I like to shoot small groups, Redding helps. The Ruger .204 is shooting .250" groups consistantly, 5 shot groups. My .22-250 is right at .300 for a 5 shot group. Both are at 100 meters. I also like Sinclair case prep tools. I kind of take reloading seriously! I think good equipment is worth the return in tiny groups. I realize not everyone will want to spend these amounts of cash on reloading. That is fine, there are plenty of products out there that are more than capable of doing what you need and not costing an arm and a leg! Find a press and make bullets!
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
49,435
Messages
623,650
Members
74,274
Latest member
Jlynn610
Top