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Thread: New to Reloading

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Talking New to Reloading

    Alright Fellas,

    I am new to reloading and am trying to piece together a decent kit. I was just going to buy one of the beginner kits but after some research felt that I would just end up replacing some things right off the bat anyway, so I decided building my own made more sense.

    I know saving money is a big incentive for people to dive into reloading, but I have a few other motives for taking the plunge as well. I hope to make loads that shoot even better than factory ammunition. I also hope that buying in bulk for reloading will put a stop to me sprinting to the store every time I hear its finally Ammo Day! Last, I think it will be flat-out-cool and bring me closer to my love for guns/shooting/hunting.

    I really wish I had someone closer that I could ask for tips (a mentor), but unfortunately, I'm in the dark on this one. I will mainly be reloading for my hunting rifles, but do have a Glock that I would also like to reload for. I will make a list of calibers below if that will help tailor certain items to my specific needs.

    Tikka 7mm-08
    Rem 700 308
    BAR 7mm-08
    Glock 20 10mm
    Tikka 300 WM on order

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    I also have a few Q's on dies and powder, but figured the basics would be a good place to start.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    wow..... Your gettin a lotta stuff. Alot of it you spend less money on by getting different products. A digital caliper is nice but you gotta worry about you gotta worry bout batteries, they don't work well in cold temps at the range, they are susceptible to moisture and water damage and if you drop it..... Well..... That's alot of money. Everyone I know uses a manual hand caliper tool. Easier to use and just a better investment. Your scale is probably good but you could get by with a scale under $100. Try the RCBS 5-0-5 scale ($90) Plenty capable for the big magnums and very easy to calibrate/ balance. If I feel a load is off, I also use a Hornady digital scale ($26) jus as accurate as a $100 dollar model.

    you don't really need a tumbler unless your going to be dealing with ALOT of brass..... All the time. Your find it sits in the corner collecting dust more than in use. I use a piece of steel wool in combination with a lee lock stud case bit that connects to my dewalt drill. Again it's jus more convenient to me. Jus a few suggestions. Another one is your case trimmer. While I have one, I have not used it. I prefer using a lee case length gauge and cutter ( again my drill setup). It's consistently accurate and only takes a second to trim to length without any doubt.

    There's lots of ways to save money and gain efficiency. What side of town you on? I could give you some pointers on case prepping and sizing.



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  5. #5
    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    wow..... Your gettin a lotta stuff. Alot of it you spend less money on by getting different products. A digital caliper is nice but you gotta worry about you gotta worry bout batteries, they don't work well in cold temps at the range, they are susceptible to moisture and water damage and if you drop it..... Well..... That's alot of money. Everyone I know uses a manual hand caliper tool. Easier to use and just a better investment. Your scale is probably good but you could get by with a scale under $100. Try the RCBS 5-0-5 scale ($90) Plenty capable for the big magnums and very easy to calibrate/ balance. If I feel a load is off, I also use a Hornady digital scale ($26) jus as accurate as a $100 dollar model.

    you don't really need a tumbler unless your going to be dealing with ALOT of brass..... All the time. Your find it sits in the corner collecting dust more than in use. I use a piece of steel wool in combination with a lee lock stud case bit that connects to my dewalt drill. Again it's jus more convenient to me. Jus a few suggestions. Another one is your case trimmer. While I have one, I have not used it. I prefer using a lee case length gauge and cutter ( again my drill setup). It's consistently accurate and only takes a second to trim to length without any doubt.

    There's lots of ways to save money and gain efficiency. What side of town you on? I could give you some pointers on case prepping and sizing.
    Thanks for the reply Hunt&FishAK!

    That was the kind of advice I was looking for.. I'm all for saving $!!! Like I said, I am all new to this so any pointers are greatly appreciated.

    I live on JBER and would definitely be willing to join you for a "dummy" session.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I agree, you can live without the case trimmer and tumbler for a long time, perhaps forever. Most cases simply never need trimmed, and a tumbler's handy for large volumes of filthy pistol cases, but not a necessity in any case.

    Calipers are personal preference; I prefer dial calipers. Some guys will argue for digital.

    Yeah, you could save a little money on a scale, but on the other hand a good beam scale will last you literally forever, so...
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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I agree, you can live without the case trimmer and tumbler for a long time, perhaps forever. Most cases simply never need trimmed, and a tumbler's handy for large volumes of filthy pistol cases, but not a necessity in any case.

    Calipers are personal preference; I prefer dial calipers. Some guys will argue for digital.

    Yeah, you could save a little money on a scale, but on the other hand a good beam scale will last you literally forever, so...
    I am definitely a buy-it-once cry-once kinda guy.. I don't mind spending a little extra money if it means less hassle and a longer life span. With that said, I don't want to waste money either.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    A Redding #2 or one of the less expensive RCBS beam scales will serve you well. I like the Redding. I'm a huge fan of their dies too.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Unless I missed it, you might want to have powder dispenser, shell case holder, lubrication pad, a powder trickler, and a funnel for you brass.


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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt-Hunter View Post
    Unless I missed it, you might want to have powder dispenser, shell case holder, lubrication pad, a powder trickler, and a funnel for you brass.


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    Baby steps.... While you are stocking up on everything your going to need, do as much research and reading on all subjects regarding hand loading as you can get your hands on. Then by the time you have everything you need, you'll be that much more educated on how to properly use all your equipment. No need to rush it. I'd be happy to show you a few things, I live in west dimond, lol, exact opposite side of town. And very rarely go on base.



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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    Baby steps.... While you are stocking up on everything your going to need, do as much research and reading on all subjects regarding hand loading as you can get your hands on. Then by the time you have everything you need, you'll be that much more educated on how to properly use all your equipment. No need to rush it. I'd be happy to show you a few things, I live in west dimond, lol, exact opposite side of town. And very rarely go on base.
    Well if you don't mind, maybe one of these slow weekends we can get together at your place. I'm always willing to learn hands on. If that works for you I can PM you later for details. Thanks again!

    Mark

  12. #12

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    Not trying to hijack the thread, but it seems like there are a lot of us in the same boat-wanting to get into reloading, but not sure where to start. It would sure be nice to have a seminar at the outdoor show or perhaps SW could host one. I know that they are not having a hard time selling reloading stuff right now, but I wish it was easier to get access to those with the knowledge. I realize that there is plenty of literature out there, but I am a hands on guy first and literature guy second. After seeing something done, the reading makes a lot more sense to me.


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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    Not trying to hijack the thread, but it seems like there are a lot of us in the same boat-wanting to get into reloading, but not sure where to start. It would sure be nice to have a seminar at the outdoor show or perhaps SW could host one. I know that they are not having a hard time selling reloading stuff right now, but I wish it was easier to get access to those with the knowledge. I realize that there is plenty of literature out there, but I am a hands on guy first and literature guy second. After seeing something done, the reading makes a lot more sense to me.


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    Sportsmans warehouse anchorage hosted a reloading seminar in early January this year. I didn't go to it but I read about it.

    there are also lots of videos on you tube and other gun forums to check out if that helps.



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    Thanks Hunt&FishAK, I have watched some of the YouTube videos out there, but wasn't aware SW had the seminar. I'll have to call and see if they're having another anytime soon.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    Thanks Hunt&FishAK, I have watched some of the YouTube videos out there, but wasn't aware SW had the seminar. I'll have to call and see if they're having another anytime soon.


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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    With all of their resources maybe Cabela's could have classes?
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    I enjoy showing new folks how to get started loading. I have several presses set up from simple single stage to a Dillon 550 as well as casting goodies. I live in Chugiak am glad to help anyone get started with a hands on loading secession. I have many of the common die sets and some weird ones as well. I have been loading for about 50 years and have already made most of the screw ups that can be made. It's nice to be able to see how stuff works before spending green on something you may not want or need. PM me if interested.

  18. #18

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    I like the LEE hand primer better, have broken an RCBS with little use, coulda been a fluke though. You don't need a hand primer but I prefer them as I load 50-100 rounds at a time and I can prime them all in a few minutes

    I use the RCBS electronic case prep center(or similar is fine), but the manual tool will work just fine and cost less. I just like the speed of the case prep center and MAY be a little lazy.

    I've never owned a bullet puller, but they are cheap enough and I could see the usefulness. I am particular and just dispose of mess-ups not saying thats the right way as Im sure the components are salvageable. I never got into reloading to do it cheaper, I got in to do it better. You can certainly achieve both though and I understand the merit in that.

    I used manual scales for a long time but would never go back from my RCBS chargemaster combo. So much faster and still accurate. I do check it very often for accuracy and it stays true.

    I use a lyman case trimmer, but its the only one I've had and never had problems with it, cant comment on others. I have the drill attachment for when doing 100+ rounds at a time.

    I use a digital caliper, but see the merits of a dial, think my pops gave me the digital and was always worked for me.

    Additionally, a good reloading manual will get you started on the process as well as the instructions that come with most die sets. With those alone you can start reloading on your own. Of course some time with an experienced reloader will help you avoid all the little pitfalls and you may get some hard learned secrets of success.

    Keep in mind everyone is different and you may take the advise given to heart only to learn through experience that you like doing things a completely different way. In other words my way and equipment is just what I like from my experiences, but you will have no problem finding someone who disagrees with me. Good luck and enjoy your new hobby.

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    Given the direction you seem to be headed, I suggest you back off a bit, and if you haven't already, READ about handloading, (That book, ABCs of Handloading is often recommended.)

    Then, start slowly, with minimal equipment, until you understand what each tool is accomplishing. In other words, don't jump in with all four feet, all at once.

    A Powder Scale, and a Case Trimmer are IMO, essentials, as is a Dial Caliper.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Though Id always wanted to just jump in and do it, I waited till I had a good chance to learn. I spent an entire winter with my dad on our idaho farm learning about everything step by step by tedious step and learning how to reload. He's been reloading for 60 years, and spent many years working in the Speer factory in lewiston idaho. I still get kinda nervous about things being just right as he would have done it, that's how instructive a teacher he was. And so, whenever I am in doubt about most things. I can always call and talk it over with him for advice. He sticks with proven methods ( the safe way is the right way, don't cheat, don't cut corners, don't skip steps) and loads and doesn't approve of jumping to different powders that you've never tried before. I try not to experiment much but sometimes you jus gotta look into it.



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