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Thread: Getting into reloading??

  1. #1
    MNTS_R_MY_PLYGRND
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    Default Getting into reloading??

    I'm interested in getting started in reloading. Can anyone please point in the direction on some good brands to buy for scales/a press/dyes/powder/bullets/etc. Some links would be much appriecated as well. Also if you could show me where I could find a good "how to" book on reloading that would be appriecated as well. I'm looking at wanting to spend about $1000 dollars to get my self setup I realize that probably wouldn't get me top of the line stuff, but I would it be enough to get me well on my way. Am I way off on that? Any help would be greatly appriecated.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default reloading setup

    Alot of the type equipment you buy is based on the quality and quanity of ammo reloaded. The one item i would suggest is the RCBS electronic dispenser/scale combo. Of all the reloading tools i've bought over the years, this is the best.Speed is around 20 sec per charge, and accuracy is +/- 1/10th gr. As far as a press, any single stage that is an "o" frame style will load anything between 204 caliber and 460 wthby....Dies are also a choice between getting the job done, and benchrest....Having access to the internet, get into some of the websites, (like this one) as most of the people have alot of knowledge they will share, and some tips that only years of reloading will teach.....Hope this helps a little...rsbhunter

  3. #3

    Default new to reloading

    I suggest you get a book on how to reload and study it. This will help you decide how you want to go. When you get your equipment, get a current reloading manual and this will help you decide what powders,primers, etc., to use. I definitely suggest starting with a single stage press to learn the basics, and would even suggest, at the beginning, doing one caliber to start, to avoid any common mistakes in switching powders by mistake, etc. RCBS makes excellent quality equipment in kits that have just about all you need for reloading. Great Northern Guns in Anchorage has a good book on how to and also has some great prices on reloading equipment. As to getting a combo electronic powder dispenser/scale; this is a spendy item that would be great for a more advanced reloader, but unless you know for sure you will keep at this satisfying hobby, I would hold off on that a bit.
    I have been loading about 40 years and was a licensed custom reloader for many years. Enjoy!

  4. #4
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    Default Get a manual!

    Best advice here. Get a manual and READ it. I find the Speer manual number 13 to be one of the most informative of the current offerings. It basically assumes that you are starting with no experience and walks you thru. If you know someone that reloads, talk to them, learn from their experience, but don't necessarily take their word for gospel. Some people use dangerous shortcuts. I just recently got my own set-up and am in for near $500. Press, couple sets of dies, caliper (a must!), powder thrower and stand. One thing I'd like to note: Make sure you mount your press on a SOLID surface.

  5. #5

    Default

    As has been said already, a GOOD reloading manual, like Speer, Nosler, Hornady, Barnes, etc., will have a great deal of information for you. If you have a friend or aquaintance that is a reloader, get with them, as long as they are safe and follow the rules of reloading.
    One thing you do NOT want to do is to get creative when you are learning the art of reloading.
    A good quality single-stage press is the best way to really learn the basics of reloading. I have been reloading since 1976, and my first loading press was an RCBS Rock Chucker. I use this press to this day for my centerfire rifle loads. I own a Dillon 550B progressive reloader for all of my handgun ammo. I had a 650, but my 550 does what I want to do, so I gave it to my brother-in-law.
    The problem with starting out with a progressive is all you do is set the dies and it does everything for you. This is great when loading hundreds of rounds, as I occasionally do at a time, but is not the best way to learn.
    RCBS is about as good as you can get for reloading components. I use a lot of their products, but do have a large number of Lee Precision reloading dies. I do not like Lee presses or their progressives, because if you get into volume loading, it won't stay tuned and will wear out quickly (Lee progressives).
    Another great place to go for information is te websites of different component manufacturers, such as RCBS, Lee, Hornady, Dillon Precision, gunpowder makers such as Hodgdon, DuPont, IMR, Winchester, etc.
    Also, google "reloading" and you will get a wealth of info. Beware of anything from "wikipedia", as that site is open for some kook to change legitimate load data to something that can blow you up. Beware of ANY "shortcuts" anyone tries to teach you. Follow the rules and this will be something you will enjoy forever. I still enjoy it after these literally 10's and 10's of thousands of rounds I have reloaded over the years.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  6. #6
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    I've done all the above (manuals) and will start reloading for the first time this winter as well (too busy right now). I just built a new work bench in the garage and reserved one end for reloading, e.g. solid 3/4" top with 2x4 framing below, no shelves (for knee space while seated), and a big blank area on the wall for lockable cabinets (not done yet.) I also bought the RCBS Supreme Rockchucker kit on sale and it's still in the box. I've got all new carbide dies for my .480 Ruger, but nothing for the .30-06 yet.

    Someone told me that the powder measures differ, depending on whether or not you are measuring rifle powder or pistol powder, or upon what type of powder (shape of granules) you are measuring ...they told me which one that they use and it was very good across the board. Can any of you verify this and maybe suggest a particular brand of (manual) powder measure that works well on all powders, or with minor adjustments can do well with any powder?

    Thanks,
    Brian

  7. #7

    Default

    TananaBrian, if you are talking about a powder measure that throws the charge by volume, I recommend you start your reloading experience by weighing and pouring each powder load until you learn and understand this step's critical importance for each round loaded.
    Every manual powder scale will weigh the same weights if they are zeroed correctly. You weigh each charge with the scale and pour this load into the case. This is the most exact measure you can do, and will ensure each load is identical.
    A powder measure that throws by volume is different. They do throw charges in the general weights you want, but vary a bit. I manually measure each of my hunting loads to ensure each is the same. My Dillon has an automatic measure, which throws by volume and works well with most other shooting loads. Even with this, I manually weigh every 10 or 15th round to ensure consistancy. You'd be surprised how it can change and you have to constantly tweak the measure.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  8. #8
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    Default Use a thrower, but weigh to finish

    Tanana, I echo the sentiments of weighing each load. I use a Rockchucker Supreme as well, so it's easy. A little time consuming, but, hey, reloading is enjoyable.

    I use the RCBS powder thrower. Yes, it throws a volume, but for rifle loads, I throw it into my scale's pan, then trickle to the charge desired. If the kit you got does not come with a powder trickler, buy one. If the cash for the powder thrower has you concerned, get a set of (powder) scoops and do the same thing. Then, using a funnel, pour it into the cases. Make sure each case gets exactly one charge!

    Since we're on powder, just a note of advice. Make sure you only have the can of powder you are currently using sitting on your bench. That way, when it's time to dump the unused powder back, you know exactly which can it goes in to.

  9. #9

    Default

    Akdreamn is exactly right!!!! If you have cable, watch Guns and Ammo t.v. tonight. There is a segment on what happens if you mix components while reloading. They fire a .300 Magnum round in an Encore rifle. It is very sobering.
    Keep ALL other powder away from where you are loading. A friend of mine that was a shooting instructor and made his living shooting had a very unpleasant experience that I was present to see. We went to the range in Fairbanks and were shooting quite a few rounds working up loads for a few rifles. He shot one batch he had loaded a few weeks before and all was well. He loaded and fired one round that he had loaded the day before and all he1l broke loose. He was shooting a Remington 700 BDL rifle in .30-06. As I was watching him, it recoiled fiercely with a HUGE flame out the muzzle. The bolt was smoking, and when he tried to open it, the bolt was welded shut. We thought the rifle had failed, and cussed Remington for 2 days. We walked down to his basement a few days later, and there was his daughter, I believe 7 at the time, pouring different cans of powder into different cans!!!!!!! I took a couple of the rounds he had loaded of the same batch that ruined that rifle, and pulled the bullet. I found Red Dot, and 2 different spherical and one flake type powders mixed in the case!!!! Could have been catastrophic if it had been fired in a lesser rifle. Made me look at Remington rifles in a whole new light when I realized what had happened and how well that rifle stood the blast.
    Upset as he was, he couldn't punish his daughter. He should have kept those components secured and out of her reach. He had to pour out nearly 20 pounds of different powder, as he had no way to ensure it wasn't tainted, except the few unopened and sealed cans he had.
    Definitely a lesson learned, and I never forget that when I am reloading.
    To mix powders or using the wrong type can be deadly, so be careful.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  10. #10

    Default

    I agree with all the preceding. In addition I'd sure try hard to sit down with an experienced and competent reloader on his own setup. In a great and perfect world, I'd also have him sit with you the first time you load your own. Extra eyes and all that.

  11. #11
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    Ok, thanks guys. I'll save some money and use one of the two scales that I have ...got one from when I started into shotshell reloading and got an identical one in the kit (I believe.) Time's not an issue and accurate loads are more important to me anyway.

    I do have a friend at work who can sit with me when I reload for the first time. He's got many many years of experience, but no longer reloads. THAT said, he says he wants to get back into it and was wondering if he could use my stuff once I got it set up. Sounds like a deal to me ...tutor me, load his own, load my own, go shooting/hunting together.

    Thanks again,
    Brian

  12. #12
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    Default

    Well doggone it I did it again, lost my message with some button on the left!

    I will keep this simple. I must have about 10 different reloading manuals and a QL reloading software-lots of good information on hand.

    I use my ProChrony all the time-priceless.

    Hornady One Shot lube is quite handy.

    My RCBS 505 has not been replaced to date along with my Lee dippers.

    Multiple reloading trays are a must.

    Finally got a Tumbler a couple of yrs back and have used it maybe twice thus far.

    have 2 different chamfering/deburring tools, one is a VLD.

    yes having lots of time and being in no hurry you will establish a good sound practice in reloading your ammo. reloading for the .30-06 is fun, so many options in bullet choices!

    I use a Bonanza single stage and think it is the creme de la creme of single sage presses to date. I too have lots of time and don't think as of yet I need a progressive press. Them pistols I reload for have me leaning that way but I don't use them that much, establish a load for accuracies and practice abit and have done that for years now and it works for me. My handguns are for them up close emergencies and I doubt with my yrs in the brush I won't faint when the time comes to pull trigger.

    I can ramble on but....I will be sensible(ha) and stop here.

    Have fun with reloading and them chores you are doing for your reloading sounds like a good thing.

    best regards,

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