Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Why did I wait so Long to start Reloading????

  1. #1

    Default Why did I wait so Long to start Reloading????

    You know, I have owned a lot of guns over the years and with each new gun I buy I have a tendancy to shoot it a lot. I am a believer in using premium ammo here in Alaska because there is such a variance in what you might shoot , no matter the given hunt you might be on. I have shot up 100's of boxes of premium ammo over the years and just started reloading a couple months ago. In short order I have almost duplicated factory velocities in my 300 WSM with amazing accuracy. I have also done the same with my 338WM with several different rounds. Anyway just thought I'd voice how pumped I am that I am now a handloader and the final reward will be when I squeeze the triger on something with a round I made myself. For those of you that dont reload and are buying those $60+ a boxes of ammo, your missing out on a kick azz hobby that isn't near as hard as I once thought it was.

  2. #2
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    647

    Default

    Congratulations, it is addicting! I haven't shot a head of game with a store bought round in 30 years. Plus you tend to shoot more often and more different combinations of components.

  3. #3

    Default

    Fun isn't it.

    Even better when you collect that game animal with a handcrafted round.

  4. #4

    Default just starting too

    I recently started reloading myself. Always planned on it but just never got to it. Started with a bunch of red gear but gradually moving on... Picked up an old Bonanza press based on good reviews. I really like it so far. Especially the quick changing of dies. My next move is for something to turn necks...just for fun.
    Rich

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,805

    Default

    You didn't start handloading before, cuz yew didn't listen to yer frins on this hyar Forum. Better late than never, I reckon.

    With all that shootin of Factory Loads, I shore hope yew saved yore brass.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  6. #6
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Arco, Idaho
    Posts
    782

    Default Started out before I had a reason to shave...

    When I was sixteen, I bought a Colt Trooper Mk III .357 Magnum. Didn't leave a lot of my summer's earnings to buy ammunition after I bought the revolver. Sorta like paying 50K for a truck, and not having enough for fuel after I make the payment and insurance....anyhow, to make a short story long, I bought an RCBS Jr. kit, and reloaded the two boxes of shells that I got with the revolver. Some of them loads were scary, convinced I could do better than them factory loads!!! Actually, it WAS possible, as jacketed bullets in .357 bore were just getting popular, and performance was pretty spotty.
    I remember a time when we could collect wheel weights for the asking, picked up a 20 pound bottom pour Lyman furnace and a couple of four cavity bullet moulds and a luber sizer, and with a smidge of Bullseye or Unique, were loading .38 Specials for the same or a bit less than the cost of a box of .22 LR CCI Mini Mags.......
    Then someone convinced me that I could make my .308 more useful by loading 130 gr. Speer HP's and turning my BLR into a gopher gun. Talk about 'red mist'.... and then, I was gifted some 180 gr. Noslers, which weren't available factory loaded in .308 at the time. My shooting world ain't been the same since.
    If it ain't available, and I want it, I have to load it. Like others, I haven't collected a head of game in over 30 years with a factory loaded round. Anymore, I buy a set of dies with a new gun if I don't already have the cartridge covered on the bench.
    After awhile, though, you'll start looking for ways to take a lot of the handwork out of the process, like power case trimmers, tumblers, and such....just make sure yer wallet is ready!!!!

  7. #7

    Default

    I love it and it gives me lots of options with my rifles and gives me a reason to go to the range when hunting season is over. On top of all of that it is fun.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  8. #8

    Default Reloading of course!

    I started reloading in '59 for my brother's .44mag. Blackhawk (flattop). Then I discovered that my lousy performing .38-55 could be turned into a real deer and bear gun with hand-loaded, cast-bullet cartridges, at considerably lower cost than factory ammo, which had such low velocity it took 2 or 3 shots to kill a little deer.

    I am currently reloading for 26 calibers, and I get premium performance out of all of them. I couldn't afford to shoot most of them if I didn't reload. A chronograph helps with good load development.

    I avoid cartridges that don't allow me to achieve full, listed velocity with standard powders. This includes the WSMs, the RSUMs, and the Ruger compacts. All those cartridges require proprietary powders, not available to me. I shoot a .270 WSM at .270 Win. velocities or just a bit faster, because I was ignorant of the reloading problem when I built it. It works fine on deer and antelope, but doesn't shoot as flat as I expected it would. I like it anyway because it is so accurate. If I could get factory ballistics by reloading for a .325 WSM I would have one in a heartbeat.

    My reloads are much more accurate than factory ammo, and I can afford to shoot more of them. For hunting I can afford to shoot premium bullets, and I can tune my loads to what I am hunting. I love it.
    Jack.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    27

    Thumbs up New reloaded

    I have only been reloading for about a year, but it is certainly a rewarding process. Besides the cost savings, I have learned a great deal about balistics, drag, aerodynamics, gyroscopic stability, yaw, drift, etc. These were things I did not worry too much about when shooting factory ammo. Reloading makes you take them into account. It is also quite relaxing to close the door, turn on some jazz and punch out rounds. Lastly, if the crap ever hits the fan, the guy with the reloading press and casters for a long load wins.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    eagle river
    Posts
    142

    Default reloading

    Well, everyone that has posted here talks about how wonderful it is to reload and I do not doubt that a bit. It is great to hear the enthusiastic (sp) posts from people so excited about what they are doing. I have a couple of past acquaintenances who no longer live in the area that reloaded their own ammunition.
    Would some of you please identify what is required to get started reloading rifle shells and the approximate cost involved.
    375 H&H, 7mm mag, or 270 would be the place to start as I own rifles of that caliber.
    Thanks

  11. #11
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    647

    Thumbs up my .02$

    I can’t believe no one has jumped on this, so here it goes. Feel free to add what I may miss.

    Like any new hobby getting started can be spendy. Good news is that there is a fair amount of used equipment out there if you know what you want. If this route is not for you the major companies all seem to offer a beginners kit with “everything you need”. Check out Cablea’s catalogue for example. As far as brands, lots of opinions there. Eventually you will want to upgrade to better tools to make the job easier, but the basics are:

    Reloading manual (or two or six.). First thing to get. Most, if not all, have instructions on how to reload and how to solve problems. Everybody has their favorites but I would recommend the Hornaday or the Speer to start with. Looking through the load data will help you select your powder, primer and bullets.

    Press w/ priming bar

    Appropriate dies (lee die sets work very well for me)

    Powder measure

    Scale

    Reloading blocks

    Some manner to lube the brass (spray lube works best for me vice pad)

    Funnel

    Case rim chamfer tool

    Boxes to hold finished rounds

    Note pad to document loads

    Multi color sharpies to code various load primers (as you work up)
    And of course appropriate primers, brass powder and bullets.

    Be sure to use the starting loads and work up from there.

    Good luck,
    Dave

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,805

    Default

    daveintheburbs:
    Every time I make one of those lists, I ALWAYS forget something. Maybe you did too.

    A CASE LENGTH GAUGE, (Calipers) and a CASE TRIMMER, should qualify as basic.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  13. #13
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    647

    Default

    Absolutely! Although long ago and far away, I got along for a good while without trimming. I just didn't use oversized cases. You got to be able to measure them though. Also need to measure finished over all length among other things.

    Anything else?

  14. #14
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,133

    Default

    Yeah you guys left out half a garage and a sturdy workbench!

    Tumbler is nice, although Ive been using the chemical cleaner stuff with good results and less noise.

    Eventually youll need a bullet puller. I need one right now. I got a bunch of stuff laying around that are messups.

  15. #15

    Default Bullet Puller.

    Rimfire Matt. I am glad you mentioned a bullet puller. I started out using a kinetic bullet puller (looks kind of like a hammer), then I read about several people who managed to detonate a primer with one. Well, having had some loads I had to pull that were so well crimped in that I had to swing the thing almost as hard as I could, I got nervous. Then I discovered how hard it was to pull little, tiny bullets like 50 gr. 223s, because they didn't have much kinetic enery to pull with. I thought about the bullet tips I had mangled (learned to pack cotton in the receptacle) and the problem of dumping powder all over, and separating it from the cotton, and I started to look into the collet types.

    I wound up buying a collet type puller from Forster company and got all the collets I thought i might need. GREAT results. It is fast and safe. It is gentle on the bullets and they can be reloaded with good accuracy. Spend a little more at the outset and be safe and efficient.
    Jack.

  16. #16
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,133

    Default

    Ill check that out, thanks jack.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    505

    Default Reloading Equipment List

    I started reloading when I bought my very first revolver. I knew after making the purchase that I could not afford to shoot commercial ammo. In '75 it cost me a nickle per round to reload and twenty cents to buy.

    In Anchorage, there are two places I would definitely check out for equipment. One is Mountain View Sports on the right (west) side of Old Seward Highway just a couple hundred yards south of the intersection of Old Seward and 36th Ave. I know they have "starter" sets with the bulk of what you need all together in a carton. I have seen them. The other place is the Sportsmen's Warehouse on the east side of the Old Seward Highway just a few hundred yards south of the intersection of the Old Seward and Dimond. 'Way to the east, because of the parking lot(s). I am sure they have an even larger selection. Great Northern Guns just off Tudor has a nice little DVD for $8 that purports to show you how to reload and provide a tiny bit of reloading data. They also have a selection of equipment.

    Everything except the press, dies and scale can be had for pocket money. Dies are around $35 to $40. Scale and press higher, but I have not priced them lately.

    When I bought my gun and my reloading gear, my seller took me in the back of the store and gave me 6 .357 cartridges. Then we loaded them (him first, then me, while he watched). The guys at Mountain View have been nicer to me and more helpful, so I lean towards MVS, though I imagine insurance concerns would prevent "hands-on" instruction on site. The guys at Great Northern are very knowledgeable and are undeniably unthusiasts, but seem busy every time I go in there. Try to catch them on a slow day.

    Adding my two cents' worth to Daveintheburbs' list,

    Press w/ priming bar. My first press was an RCBS Jr, but since you are reloading bottleneck (vs the handgun's straight-wall cases) cartridges, you might consider jumping right to a compound leverage press like the RCBS Rockchucker or others of compound design.

    A separate hand primer instead of the primer arm most presses have might be more to your liking. They are supposed to be better at maintaining a consistent seating depth/pressure.

    Appropriate dies (lee die sets work very well for me). I went straight to carbide dies to avoid the need to lubricate (and then clean) the cases.

    Powder measure. I went without a powder measure for years, just using a set of Lee dippers and topping off the weight with my powder scale and a trickler. Then I learned to trust that the dipper would scoop up a pretty consistent charge weight.

    Scale Beyond the press and dies, the most important piece of equipment you can have. Besides measuring the powder charge, you can weight the bullets and the cases to separate lots of ammunition with as many variables as you can control, controlled. Some people are REALLY obsessive about consistency and accuracy. If you are in that group you are in heaven (or hell, depending) with reloading.

    Powder Trickler (if you want to really get the same amount of powder each time, weigh each charge)

    Reloading blocks

    Some manner to lube the brass (spray lube works best for me vice pad)

    Funnel Yes, really helps minimize spilled powder.

    Case rim chamfer tool. I still don't have one.

    Boxes to hold finished rounds

    Note pad to document loads

    Multi color sharpies to code various load primers (as you work up)
    And of course appropriate primers, brass powder and bullets.

    Be sure to use the starting loads and work up from there.

    Eye protection. I have never had the misfortune of a primer going off in my press (but I have crushed a couple sideways that MIGHT have gone off) or any other sort of explosion, but better safe than sorry.

    Case length Caliper or template.

    Case mouth chamfer tool

    Primer flipper (to flip all primers to face-up)

    anti-static spray or cloths (dryer fabric-softener sheets work well) to prevent "fly-away" of loose powder or sparks that might start a fire

    I mounted my press on a 2x6 about 2 feet long. I could wedge it into an end table's drawer or mount it on a table with "C" clamps. Portability and compactness was important in my early days.

    To review:

    Short list of absolute minimum items:
    Eye protection
    Press (compound) and some way to mount it
    Dies
    Powder/Bullet Scale (electronic or balance beam)
    Set of powder scoops or powder measure
    Powder trickler
    Powder funnel

    Useful other items:
    primer flipper (to flip all primers facing the same direction)
    2 blocks (each with 20 or 50 holes) to hold the cartridges as you are working
    hand primer
    lube pad and lube or spray lube
    anti-static spray or cloths (dryer fabric-softener sheets work well)
    Tools to regulate the dimensions of the case (rim, primer pocket, case mouth, length, wall thickness, etc.) by chamfering or trimming.


    Quote Originally Posted by jws View Post
    excerpted for brevity...Would some of you please identify what is required to get started reloading rifle shells and the approximate cost involved.
    375 H&H, 7mm mag, or 270 would be the place to start as I own rifles of that caliber.
    Thanks

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    505

    Default Reloading Equipment List

    JWS,

    To give the short answer first figure $200 to $250, minimum buying new equipment. It would be easy to double or triple that if you go high-end, fancy.

    I started reloading when I bought my very first revolver. I knew after making the purchase that I could not afford to shoot commercial ammo. In '75 it cost me a nickle per round to reload and twenty cents to buy.

    In Anchorage, there are two places I would definitely check out for equipment. One is Mountain View Sports on the right (west) side of Old Seward Highway just a couple hundred yards south of the intersection of Old Seward and 36th Ave. I know they have "starter" sets with the bulk of what you need all together in a carton. I have seen them. The other place is the Sportsmen's Warehouse on the east side of the Old Seward Highway just a few hundred yards south of the intersection of the Old Seward and Dimond. 'Way to the east, because of the parking lot(s). I am sure they have an even larger selection. Great Northern Guns just off Tudor has a nice little DVD for $8 that purports to show you how to reload and provide a tiny bit of reloading data. They also have a selection of equipment.

    Everything except the press, dies and scale can be had for pocket money. Dies are around $35 to $40. Scale and press higher, but I have not priced them lately.

    When I bought my gun and my reloading gear, my seller took me in the back of the store and gave me 6 .357 cartridges. Then we loaded them (him first, then me, while he watched). The guys at Mountain View have been nicer to me and more helpful, so I lean towards MVS, though I imagine insurance concerns would prevent "hands-on" instruction on site. The guys at Great Northern are very knowledgeable and are undeniably unthusiasts, but seem busy every time I go in there. Try to catch them on a slow day.

    Adding my two cents' worth to Daveintheburbs' list,

    Press w/ priming bar. My first press was an RCBS Jr, but since you are reloading bottleneck (vs the handgun's straight-wall cases) cartridges, you might consider jumping right to a compound leverage press like the RCBS Rockchucker or others of compound design.

    A separate hand primer instead of the primer arm most presses have might be more to your liking. They are supposed to be better at maintaining a consistent seating depth/pressure.

    Appropriate dies (lee die sets work very well for me). I went straight to carbide dies to avoid the need to lubricate (and then clean) the cases.

    Powder measure. I went without a powder measure for years, just using a set of Lee dippers and topping off the weight with my powder scale and a trickler. Then I learned to trust that the dipper would scoop up a pretty consistent charge weight.

    Scale Beyond the press and dies, the most important piece of equipment you can have. Besides measuring the powder charge, you can weight the bullets and the cases to separate lots of ammunition with as many variables as you can control, controlled. Some people are REALLY obsessive about consistency and accuracy. If you are in that group you are in heaven (or hell, depending) with reloading.

    Powder Trickler (if you want to really get the same amount of powder each time, weigh each charge. A tricler allows you to trickle flake by flake until you reach the desired weight)

    Reloading blocks

    Some manner to lube the brass (spray lube works best for me vice pad)

    Funnel Yes, really helps minimize spilled powder.

    Case rim chamfer tool. I still don't have one.

    Boxes to hold finished rounds

    Note pad to document loads

    Multi color sharpies to code various load primers (as you work up)
    And of course appropriate primers, brass powder and bullets.

    Be sure to use the starting loads and work up from there.

    Eye protection. I have never had the misfortune of a primer going off in my press (but I have crushed a couple sideways that MIGHT have gone off) or any other sort of explosion, but better safe than sorry.

    Case length Caliper or template.

    Case mouth chamfer tool

    Primer flipper (to flip all primers to face-up)

    anti-static spray or cloths (dryer fabric-softener sheets work well) to prevent "fly-away" of loose powder or sparks that might start a fire

    I mounted my press on a 2x6 about 2 feet long. I could wedge it into an end table's drawer or mount it on a table with "C" clamps. Portability and compactness was important in my early days.

    To review:

    Short list of absolute minimum items:
    Eye protection
    Press (compound) and some way to mount it
    Dies
    Powder/Bullet Scale (electronic or balance beam)
    Set of powder scoops or powder measure
    Powder trickler
    Powder funnel

    Useful other items:
    primer flipper (to flip all primers facing the same direction)
    2 blocks (each with 20 or 50 holes) to hold the cartridges as you are working
    hand primer
    lube pad and lube or spray lube
    anti-static spray or cloths (dryer fabric-softener sheets work well)
    Tools to regulate the dimensions of the case (rim, primer pocket, case mouth, length, wall thickness, etc.) by chamfering or trimming.

    Larry

    Quote Originally Posted by jws View Post
    excerpted for brevity...Would some of you please identify what is required to get started reloading rifle shells and the approximate cost involved.
    375 H&H, 7mm mag, or 270 would be the place to start as I own rifles of that caliber.
    Thanks
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 01-27-2008 at 18:32. Reason: Content

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    eagle river
    Posts
    142

    Default reloading

    thanks for all of the information. what a wealth of knowledge and experience is available out there and I appreciate everything that you all have shared.
    looks like another hobby to get into.

  20. #20

    Default

    Just remember, your doing it to save money......NOT!...grin

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •