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Thread: New To Hand Loading

  1. #1
    Member Sharpshooterassassin's Avatar
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    Default New To Hand Loading

    I know this question has probably been asked before but with ammo prices going up, I want to start hand loading ammo. Is there a specific kit that has EVERYTHING included except for the dies, primers, bullets, and casings? I want to start out from the ground up and learn as much as I can and be as safe not only to myself but for my family as well. I would be loading mostly handgun calibers, specifically 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45acp. Money isn't really and obstacle but I don't need the Cadillac of all loaders. If I can be recommended a loading kit that'll do the job along with a good book or two, that'd be awesome for the help. Thanks!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    you can get started with the basic kits... but.. YOU WILL add to them in a hurry. its a habit... er... HOBBY, ( yeah hobby!!!! at least thats what our spouces are told)

    i still use a single stage loader, and can put out a lot of ammo in a spell.. the hand gun stuff though.. i think i would like progressive loader just to simplify it. or at least one that holdes all the dies, to switch back and forth..

    a good measure will soon follow the kit.. if not a power one.. case trimming and prep tools will soon be upgraded..


    i peiced mine together.. pre national hysteria.. off of EBAY.. and have all parts, i want for about the same as a kit.
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    Before you buy anything else, get the book ABCs of reloading and also a reloading manual or two. Most manuals have a how to section in the front as well as reloading data. Yes there are a few different brands of kits available ranging from a couple hundred dollars to quite a bit more. The best thing is to find a mentor to help get you started. I have shown a few others how to get started and am willing to do the same for you if you want. I live in Chugiak and have several different types of presses set up from simple to progressive so you can get a better idea of what you might want to get. If interested call at 688-3849 2pm /5pm the next 5 days.( I work nights, week on week off).

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Well I have long recommended RCBS Rockcrusher single stage, as a kit or bit by bit itís a good starting place. But any more, especially if loading a lot of pistol rounds, Iíd recommend Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive. For a tad over $400 (not counting dies and shell holders) you can crank out a round with every pull of the handle. I just love the thing, takes a bit to learn and set up the first time but itís fast after that. Lot of info and help for it on Youtube, makes great ammo just as easy as the more expensive Dillonís.


    Drawback is you will likely still want a single stage at some point, for loading the longer magnum rifle stuff, for knocking out primers fast, for this and that stuff. But if youíre a pistol guy and you get the single stage first youíll really be wanting a progressive too. So eventually you will be wanting both and I say start with the harder to get progressive and nab a single cheap at a gun show down the road.
    Andy
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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Get the single stage first and learn the 'how to's' first then later go to a progressive.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    If you're into pistol cartridges just skip the single and get a progressive. I've got a Hornady progressive and it's fantastic. Pistol rounds are a piece of cake- don't be cavalier about it, but don't think it's more complex than it really is. You can really crank out some ammo and that's a good thing since pistols can really burn through ammo.

    For rifle cartridges the progressive is pretty pointless. I generally load them one at a time- even on the progressive. 65kpsi makes you want to be careful.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Get the single stage first and learn the 'how to's' first then later go to a progressive.
    I agree.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    For rifle cartridges the progressive is pretty pointless. I generally load them one at a time- even on the progressive. 65kpsi makes you want to be careful.


    Yea I ether single stage rifle rounds (other than 223 or 7.62x39) or pull them off and trickle powder then back on. Makes progressive almost pointless for high precision rifle rounds. But it sure makes up for any of that cranking out handgun, AR, AK ammo 300+ rounds an hour without even working at it. It ainít bad at all to set up even when learning, you still set it up one operation at a time. Just like putting on your britches and boots in the morning, one thing at a time.
    Andy
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Another cool thread on this forum. I just got back in to hand loading this past spring. Got Black Rifle disease and need to handload for the 6.8spc I like.
    I agree with Hodge. Get a progressive............you can use a progressive as a single, but not vice versa. I could really see having both so you can do the magnum rifle stuff if you need to.
    Reloading, like black rifles, are like Lays potato chips..................you won't eat (want) just one.............Haha!
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  10. #10
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I use a Dillon 550B and don't have any complaints. I load .380, 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP progressively. I also load 204 Ruger up to 338 Lapua and 19 other cartridges in between with no issues. I load the rifle stuff single stage using position 1 for sizing and de-capping. I use position 3 for bullet seating and crimping if necessary.

    I'm sure the Hornady is a fine unit but I don't have any experience with it. I've considered a single stage but don't really have the need as I get by with the Dillon and load some very accurate ammo with it. Mine is quite old as I received it third hand. Dillon's customer service is exceptional. They pretty much rebuilt it for free because it had a little slop in it after all the years of use.

  11. #11
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I've found the Lyman T-Mag Expert Deluxe Kit pretty good value for the money. It's got all the tools (less dies) you need to get started and then some. They also offer the Crusher with the same tools if you prefer an "O" frame single stage press.


    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/p...p_Del_Tmag.php

    BTW, find some place else besides the Lyman website to purchase it, as their prices are a bit......... ah offensive. I bought mine from Cabela's on sale for just a little over $300. They can be had most places for around $370.

    If you need to load volumes of ammo to feed EBRs or auto pistols then you may want to consider a progressive. I would suggest Dillon as they wrote the book on progressive presses.
    Now what ?

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    I started with both the Lee turret press kit and the single stage kits like the ones offered at this link. http://leeprecision.com/reloading-kits/
    They are decent starter kits, get the job done for basic loading for hunting and plinking. If you are trying to get very exacting seating depths on hunting or long range rifle rounds, you may want to invest in higher grade equipment from the start. I found the turret press removalble die heads did have some upward movement (wiggle) that I didn't like, but never seen any reloading or accuracy variance that I could directly relate to that movement. All the rounds came out as expected, and provided me with exceptable accuracy for everything I wanted at the time. I prefered the turret press for higher volume loading, like handgun ammo, and the single stage for lower volume rifle rounds.

    As I got more into reloading and could afford to upgrade, I moved to a used Dillon Square Deal B like the one at this site. http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...l___039_B__039_ It is a world better for handgun ammo. Each pull of the handle drops a finished round once it is all set up. Much faster and less human error on my part, haven't reloaded my thumb as much as I did with the turret press. It is well worth the money if you can afford it, versus starting out with lower end stuff and then spending more later on better.

    Oh by the way, also invest in a good bench to mount everything to. That is, unless your better half is extremely supportive and will tolerate you mounting the press to a 2x12x18 and C-clamping it to her dinner table when you reload.... which is a method, but may result in the added cost a dinner for two at her favorite restuarant.
    Last edited by Ralph; 11-23-2012 at 07:57. Reason: spelling

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default New To Hand Loading

    I just started and am loving it. I took a different route than many I suppose. I took a hard look inside and decided that this was a perfect hobby for me. Rather than do the basic kit then slowly upgrade I just started with top notch equipment purchased over several months. Redding T-7 press, shopped discounts online for dies etc. While stacking boxes in the corner of a room designated as the "gun room" I built a 10'x14' L shaped bench right into the space using 3/4" plywood topped with a second sheet of 3/4" hardwood finished ply glued/screwed together and coated with about 10 coats of clear urethane polished between coats. Plenty of room for cleaning guns and all sorts of reloading gear without having to ever take any of it down.

    For my powder measure, trimmers and such I mounted them to 2x4 blocks. Mounting a drill press vice to the table near the press allows me to clamp in any of those tools securely in an instant.

    I am still putting up shelving but most of my storage has been made by scavenging cabinets from kitchen renovations. A little sanding and spray pain turns them into nice looking storage garage storage! I am using cheap metal clamp lights for loading and cleaning areas but tend to use timers on them so that if I get called away they won't run more than a couple hours.

    My thoughts at this point (only a couple hundred rounds later) is that an honest assessment of how much reloading you will do is key. From there if it is only 100 rounds a year for a hunting rifle go small. If you have a family of 5 that all love to shoot and you are going to do a lot then you should probably just save and buy what you know you really want. Because my stuff is already set up and easy to use I am more apt to sit down and make ammo! I would never have the time and space with my family to do the kitchen table deal! With good equipment it is easy to hit the room for a while and move a lot of brass through a stage or two in the process at any point.

    My favorite things in the room are the T-7 press, charge master and a couple worlds finest trimmers in the Cals I do the most. Good equipment reduces effort and increases productivity and fun. I also believe it will be cheaper in the long run for two reasons. First is that you won't buy twice and second that you are more likely to USE it.

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