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Thread: Need a little advice...

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Default Need a little advice...

    I'm getting into reloading. I haven't loaded my first round, yet. I'm in the process of getting all the gear I need to start. I bought the Rock Chucker Supreme kit at Sportsman's, some digital calipers, a digital scale (even though the kit comes with the 5-0-5 scale), some dies, and some shell holders.

    I was given some gift cards for Cabelas and want to go ahead and pick up some more reloading stuff. Apart from components, what would you guys suggest I pick up? For now, I'll be reloading 10mm, .40 S&W, and .300 RUM. I still have quite a bit of .300 ultra factory ammo left, so that'll probably take a back burner for the next few months, but I still want to get the necessary tools for that, as well. I'm not above pulling the bullets from the factory ammo and using them in different loads; but, I'm trying to get my wife carrying so focus will be on handguns during the winter so she can put rounds down range and gain some confidence.

    I know I'll need some case prep stuff, but what, specifically, would you guys recommend from experience? I've read about all sorts of stuff and it all seems overwhelming right now. I'm focusing on the pistol rounds right now, but I do want to go ahead and get the necessary tools to start turning out accurate rifle handloads when the time comes. I just want to make sure I buy stuff that I'll actually need and use, not stuff Cabelas says I need!

    Thanks!

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    Reloading manuals for bullets you like to use.

    ABC's of reloading. Read cover to cover.

    Case prep. Chamfer, deburring, trimming, and primer pocket cleaning, at least for the RUM. Good to get a head space gauge for the RUM too, I like Hornady's.

    A way to measure bullets from the ogive instead of from the tip to get an accurate COL. Again, more important for the RUM.

    Maybe a way to clean a whole bunch of brass. They can get dirty with the auto loaders. A cheap way is with a home solution. You can also use a sonic cleaner or tumbler.

    Reloading Trays.

    A good way to document your reloading. For reproducibility.

    Get your powder and primers now. Who knows what legislators will try and pass.

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    A buddy suggested I read ABC's of Reloading, as well. It's purchased and I'm going to read it when I get back to the slope.

    I looked at a Lyman case prep kit that had 8 hand tools for all that you mentioned. I don't remember the name of it, but Cabelas has it and it seemed like it'd get the job done. What are your thoughts on that vs. one of the rotary deals?

    Head space gauge, check.

    I'd seen the gauge that attaches to a set of calipers and measures from the ogive. Will it work on the digital calipers? I'd planned on getting that for the RUM because of a thread I'd read on here.

    I'm looking at ordering Lyman's ultrasonic cleaner and some solution and then picking up a tumbler at Sportsmans for polishing, just because I like neat brass. I like the idea of the ultrasonic cleaner because you can use it to clean other stuff, like gun parts, as well. At least that's how they advertise them, if anyone has any info on this, I'd really appreciate it.

    I've got one reloading tray that came with the kit. How many do you suggest - or is that one of those "you can never have enough" type of things?



    I'm trying to get powder and primers but I don't really know what to look for with powders. I saw some loads for both .40 and 10mm that used Blue Dot and looked pretty impressive in the Speer manual, so I picked up a few pounds of Blue Dot. I got primers for the 10mm, but need more. Tough to find primers for the .40 and the RUM right now.


    Thanks for the help and keep it coming! Would it help if I posted links to what I'm looking at getting and you can tell me if there is a better alternative?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    A buddy suggested I read ABC's of Reloading, as well. It's purchased and I'm going to read it when I get back to the slope.
    Here is another extremely educational e-book on the subject. It's well worth downloading. (note the small pdf link at upper left corner of the page which allows you to download the whole thing in pdf and save it):
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

    There are lots of very informative links at the main page as well:
    http://www.lasc.us/ArticleIndex.htm
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    I agree that you need clean brass. I always used a rock tumbler with rice. Polishes the brass nicely without damaging the brass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    I'm looking at ordering Lyman's ultrasonic cleaner and some solution and then picking up a tumbler at Sportsmans for polishing, just because I like neat brass. I like the idea of the ultrasonic cleaner because you can use it to clean other stuff, like gun parts, as well. At least that's how they advertise them, if anyone has any info on this, I'd really appreciate it.
    I have and use that very Ultrasonic Cleaner and am pleased with it. However, mine does not say "Lyman" on it. I got mine from Harbor Freight. It is the exact same unit as the Lyman without the sticker. It costs about half depending on what coupons you can find for Harbor Freight.

    The brass does come out clean, but not really shiney. I am using a home brew solution that I had read about using distilled water, white vinegar, lemon juice, and a few drops of Dawn detergent. Very effective cleaner, but leaves brass dull. I run them through clean media in a vibrator for about 30 mins. to shine them up. Vibrator media lasts a long time this way with no gunk going into it.

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    Right now...the most important thing to do is get a reloading book for the brand of bullets you prefer to use, e.g., Barnes, Nosler, etc. Your master kit included a Speer reloading book didn't it? The manual will list the primer as well as the powders that they tested for each caliber and bullet wt.

    Once you have your reloading manuals(s)...most of us own many...the next thing RIGHT NOW is buying components (powder, primers, brass, and bullets). Those items (especially powder and primers) are flying off the shelves right now as people seem to be stocking-up for political fall-out. You can fittle with reloading gadgets in a few weeks because those will still be on the shelves...but get your powders, primers, brass and bullets now.

    I'd pick the powder in the manual that is noted as most accurate for the bullet and weight that you want/have and buy a couple cans of it (I buy kegs). Also, buy a brick of primers instead of one or two packages. If stored correctly, powders and primers last longer than you will.

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    If possible, find a live mentor. I didn't have access to all the great info and guys on here when I started 30+ years ago, it is very handy to have someone SHOW you how to set dies, trim and de-burr brass, etc...and share stories and tips with.

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice! I've been buying components anywhere I see them. I've got a few buddies that reload and plan to get some time learning from them before I head off to the range and blow myself up!

    I want to go ahead and start, but I want to build a bench first and make sure I've got everything I need. I bought about 1,500 pieces of used brass so I've gotta wait on the cleaner to get here (or the new brass) before I can really start.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default Need a little advice...

    There is a good cleaning thread on here from last year. I went with a sonic cleaner and it's ok. Don't bother with the one shot cleaner solution. Some lemishine and dish soap will work fine and save a bunch of money.

    You'll want a well organize work area. Only work with one round or load at a time.

    For pistol ammo making you will want lots of case holders. You may even want to move up to a turrent press at some point to make pistol ammo cranking out faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    Thanks for all the advice! I've been buying components anywhere I see them. I've got a few buddies that reload and plan to get some time learning from them before I head off to the range and blow myself up!

    I want to go ahead and start, but I want to build a bench first and make sure I've got everything I need. I bought about 1,500 pieces of used brass so I've gotta wait on the cleaner to get here (or the new brass) before I can really start.
    Don't hesitate to ask...there's lots to learn (I'm still learning after all these years). Good to hear that you have some friends who will ride shotgun with you for a loading session or two. Pick your most fussy and precise friend as your coach...if none of them fit the bill advertise here and I'm sure one of us will help you.

  12. #12

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    While not an immediate must an electronic powder scale would save a lot of time. As for loading with Blue Dot powder it's a pretty dirty burning propellant. There are better powders at the same price. AA#5,231,HP-38 would be a better choice for your 2 pistol calibers.

    A "Taper Crimp" die for the auto pistols will improve ammo function and feeding; and one die will do both the 40 & 10mm.

    A clean well organized place without distractions is a must. Keep good records of your loads and the number as well.

    Start with the 40 Short and Weak as it will be the easiest to load and you can improve your skill set and add to the motions as you move onto the rifle rounds.

    GOOD LUCK !!
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    RUM Powder: RETUMBO and then everything else. RL 25, Magnum are good too. Not as good as Retumbo though. Good temperature sensitivity and slow burning. It may not meter real well, so measure each load.

    RUM primers: Magnum Large rifle. They don't go bad, so if you see some, get some. I have not seen much difference in one brand being better than another, but each brand is a little different and not interchangeable for the same load recipe. I have had accurate loads with Match primers and regular magnum primers from Federal, CCI and Remington.

    I use the Hornady big ultrasonic cleaner. It works good, not too messy. In about an hour I can decap, resize and clean about 100 or more rifle rounds. My brass is clean, just not real shiny. Clean up is pretty easy. I have not use the Lemishine trick, but plan to when my Hornady solution runs out.

    So, why did you pick the RUM? Just wondering. It is always interesting to hear why somebody uses the hot rod gun. Not judging mind you, just curious (I am on my 3rd). The caliber really shines when reloaded properly in my opinion. Factory ammo just does not do it justice.

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Magnum primers--including rifle--we're all SW had left yesterday. 2nd the Retumbo and RL 25 for the RUM. I have a McWhorter custom in 300 RUM that's an absolute laser with 180 Nosler Accubonds over Retumbo. It produces bug holes even out to 300 yards and sub moa as far out as I have shot it. Am about to part with it, as I spend more time with 338 and 300 WM's, but certainly a hand loaders cartridge.

    Think folks hit all the high spots. As soon as you start with the RUM, you will need a case trimmer in short order.

    Sounds l,Ike your set, just read, make note, organize, go slow and have fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    RUM Powder: RETUMBO and then everything else. RL 25, Magnum are good too. Not as good as Retumbo though. Good temperature sensitivity and slow burning. It may not meter real well, so measure each load.

    RUM primers: Magnum Large rifle. They don't go bad, so if you see some, get some. I have not seen much difference in one brand being better than another, but each brand is a little different and not interchangeable for the same load recipe. I have had accurate loads with Match primers and regular magnum primers from Federal, CCI and Remington.

    I use the Hornady big ultrasonic cleaner. It works good, not too messy. In about an hour I can decap, resize and clean about 100 or more rifle rounds. My brass is clean, just not real shiny. Clean up is pretty easy. I have not use the Lemishine trick, but plan to when my Hornady solution runs out.

    So, why did you pick the RUM? Just wondering. It is always interesting to hear why somebody uses the hot rod gun. Not judging mind you, just curious (I am on my 3rd). The caliber really shines when reloaded properly in my opinion. Factory ammo just does not do it justice.


    Thanks for the input. I'd read that Retumbo is the way to go. I'd planned to just go ahead and buy a keg of it right off the bat. It seems it's the powder for most recipes in the RUM. I picked the .300 RUM because I wanted a caliber that would handle anything in the state. I did a lot of research, I liked the velocities I'd found with the bullets I was interested in, so I went for it. I couldn't be happier. I've been a little concerned with the accuracy, though. Nothing bad, mind you, just not what I'd expect from a rifle that I had custom built. Not the smith's fault, I'm blaming factory ammo. So, it's time to reload! I'll probably stick with pistol loads for the next few months so my wife and I can keep shooting during the winter; but, come March or so, I'll start developing a load for the .300 and get to the range a few times so I can have something ready for bears this spring/summer.

    I'm going to redo a room in my house for guns and reloading. I plan to have some storage in there and will start picking up components when I see them and try to stockpile a decent amount. I loaded 100 rounds of 10mm last night at a buddy's (duckslayer56) house. As soon as I get the room cleared and the benches built, It'll be time to get the press going here!

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    DucksAndDogs: I, too, have the .300RUM and would like to get in to reloading for it & my .270... so I will be interested to hear your experience. Is your new reloader a single stage or multi-stage style? When I was a teenager 20 yrs ago my father reloaded handgun ammo using this carousel-style bench mounted reloader, fit about 5 shells at a time and every crank of the lever did something different to each shell. That's the extent of what I remember but it sure seemed efficient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernalberta View Post
    DucksAndDogs: I, too, have the .300RUM and would like to get in to reloading for it & my .270... so I will be interested to hear your experience. Is your new reloader a single stage or multi-stage style? When I was a teenager 20 yrs ago my father reloaded handgun ammo using this carousel-style bench mounted reloader, fit about 5 shells at a time and every crank of the lever did something different to each shell. That's the extent of what I remember but it sure seemed efficient.

    I bought a Rock Chucker which is a single stage. I'm going to use that for rifle cartridges. I also just picked up a Dillon Square Deal B for pistol ammo. It's a progressive press like your father had and dumps a bullet every time you pull the handle once it's set up and running.

    So far the bench is coming along nicely. All that's left is adding shelves and bolting everything down. I hope to be reloading here at the house tomorrow night. I've been picking up a lot of components, too. Starting to build a small collection of what I think I may need. I bought a tumbler AND an ultrasonic cleaner. I figure I'll use the ultrasonic for gun parts as well and can always tumble brass once I'm done in the ultrasonic if I want it shiny.

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    Default LemiShine

    LemiShine in your ultrasonic cleaner will brightened it up nicely - much better than lemon juice etc. Indeed, LemiShine does a pretty good job even without an ultrasonic cleaner.

    You don't need much and if you leave it in too long it will start to etch the brass.

    Oh - and do you use ice or rice in your tumbler?

    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    I have and use that very Ultrasonic Cleaner and am pleased with it. However, mine does not say "Lyman" on it. I got mine from Harbor Freight. It is the exact same unit as the Lyman without the sticker. It costs about half depending on what coupons you can find for Harbor Freight.

    The brass does come out clean, but not really shiney. I am using a home brew solution that I had read about using distilled water, white vinegar, lemon juice, and a few drops of Dawn detergent. Very effective cleaner, but leaves brass dull. I run them through clean media in a vibrator for about 30 mins. to shine them up. Vibrator media lasts a long time this way with no gunk going into it.
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