If a feller was interested in reloading where would he start. Are there any good books for the beginner? What are some opinions on easy ways to get started or best routes to take? Eric
All of the major reloading manuals have how-to sections on reloading. Some manuals are better than others with these instructions. The best in my opinion for the beginner is the Lyman #48 manual. Good step-by-step instructions and a wide base of data (not limited to one manufacture of bullet, powder, etc).
I would pick up the manual and read through it. Ask questions on here. Then get a kit. If strapped for cash, I would go with a lee kit ($70). If you think you will be in it for the long haul upgrade to a RCBS, Hornady, etc. for $200-250. I know loaders who have used lee hand presses their entire lives and wouldnt trade if they were forced. I love my rock chucker.
Beware reloading is addictive and will turn you into a gun nut.
Seek help if you find yourself:
-reloading before noon
-lying about how much you reload
-selling things to pay for your reloading habit
-canceling plans w/others to make time to reload
Hope this helps ya out.
The major bullet manufacturers (Speer, Sierra, Hornady, Nosler) all have reloading manuals with extensive sections for beginners. I haven't seen them, but there are videos floating around, too. Best yet is to get with an experienced friend and go through the cycle with them. Clerks in gun shops probably know how or at least know the clients who are experienced, but forget about the minimum wagers in the big box stores, even if the store stocks the supplies. There are a few gems among them, but most don't know if they're punched or bored.
If you live near ANC, I've seen reloading classes offered at the Rabit Creek shooting range. Check the Fish and Game web site. I believe Sportsman's Warehouse also offer an abbreviated course on weekends sometimes. Or, you can post your questions here and we'll try to answer them for you.
'preciate the info. looking forward to learning about this!! Eric
Somebody wiser than I posted on an earlier thread: Get two reloading manuals. Read them both.
My two manuals emphasize different aspects of reloading. Both were interesting and have proved useful. One is geared much more toward the hunter/general shooter, the other toward the accuracy nut/benchrest shooter.
More importantly, they vary not at all in their descriptions of the basic steps and safety techniques all reloaders need. Reading both manuals reinforces these essentials.
The final side benefit is that the two manuals vary significantly in the powders and even some of the calibers for which they list loads. One has a chart of powder burn rates, while the other has a chart of powder densities. Etc. Always good to have more information close at hand!
Reloading can be very simple; a matter of simply pushing out your spent primer and resizing the case, repriming, scooping a powder charge, and seating a bullet (exactly how a LeeLoader or Wilson die set works), or it can be a pilgrimage for the "perfect" handload.
What kind of ammunition do you want to make, and for what purpose?
A Lee Loader will make good ammunition and it comes with directions and a powder scoop-measure that will work. Buy one for your cartridge, get a package of primers, a pound of powder and some bullets; you are set to go. Lee Loaders are still about $20, maybe another $45 for your components if you are using $20/100 rifle bullets.
Speer, Hornady, Sierra, Barnes all have great manuals. Speer probably the best starter book.
I have been reloading 40 years. If you want to reload some empty cases and ease into seeing if you like handling powder and bullets, or would rather buy factory ammo, a Lee Loader is the cheapest way to get your feet wet.
If you want to make superbly accurate ammunition for target shooting or longrange hunting, and you know that right from the start; then that is a whole other path and requires precision equipment and a mind for experimentation and consistency.
Reloading opens the door to understanding what your firearms are capable of. I would rather assemble my own ammuntion than buy it, even if it costs more.
I would suggest "Modern Reloading" by Richard Lee (yes it is heavy on Lee products), and ABC of Reloading" who's author I don't recall. I started with a lee loader and a mallet over 30 yrs ago (cost me $20.00 for the loader and components), it is still a good way to get started. At the same time I don't have a place to setup my press so am using a lee hand press at present (I'm neck sizing only). Once I have more room, it will be back to the RCBS press. Someone in your area will be willing to help you get started. REMEMBER THAT A GOOD LOAD IN SOMEONE ELSE'S RIFLE MIGHT BLOW YOURS UP!