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Thread: Finally, I'm reloading

  1. #1
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    Default Finally, I'm reloading

    Sheesh, after lots of waiting and a false start I have finally completed my first reload session. I loaded up 50 rounds of 30-30 ammo and other than a couple of small errors and some fumble finger problems at the beginning, it went quite easily.

    Some of you might remember that I was having a lot of trouble measuring out a powder load I could trust using the Lee beam scale. Well, today I got my RCBS digital scale and I am impressed. Once I had calibrated and Zero'd it I was able to get some very accurate loads going without too much trouble.

    I disassembled the one 30-30 round I had loaded using the Lee scale and discovered that the powder load I had put into it was exactly correct. Nice to know but I think I prefer the digital now anyhow because it's a LOT faster than watching that dang beam swing up and down. Now, once I get the primers and powder for my 300 I'll be loading up a box of those also. Then my .44, and then, and then...

    It was a fun afternoon.

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    Welcome to the club, finally. I think you will truly enjoy your time spent at the "bench". Your efforts will give you great satisfaction every time you shoot or hunt.


    Ron

    PS- Now I'd like 3000 rounds of 375.....

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Bookseller; since you are fresh in this game can you give a breakdown of what gear you purchased to start, and what you recommend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Bookseller; since you are fresh in this game can you give a breakdown of what gear you purchased to start, and what you recommend?
    Good idea.

    Here is what I have now and if I had to do it all over again I would probably go with RCBS or maybe Lyman instead of the Lee Anniversary kit because there are several items in the kit I do not use.

    Book - ABCs of reloading (Highly recommended for newbies)
    I actually spent the winter occasionally reading and reviewing the info in this book.

    Lyman reloading manual
    Hodgdon reloading data (downloaded for free)
    Lee Single stage press (slower than progressive press but it works for my purposes)
    Set of shell holders for Lee press
    Set of shell holders for Lee primer
    RCBS 1500 Chargemaster digital powder scale (replaces Lee beam scale which I'm not a fan of)
    Dial caliper (digital is also good but I'm old school)
    Die set for three different calibers
    Case lube
    Ammo box
    Primers
    Cartridge cases
    Bullets
    Powder

    Here are a couple more things I don't have yet that I will be purchasing soon.

    Reloading tray - I tried to save a couple bucks and not buy one of these. The result? I knocked over a charged cartridge and before I knew it a domino effect had taken place and I ended up with the powder from 4 cartridges spilled on my bench.

    Case lube pad - Not necessary but I think there's less chance of putting too much lube on the case with one of these.

    Case trimmer - Once you start reloading fired brass you will need this.


    And finally, ask questions. There are two guys that come into my store quite often and both of them are reloaders. I picked their brains for recommendations on equipment, manuals, experiences both good and bad, etc. Also, I asked questions here on the forum. There is a WEALTH of information in the heads of the people here and I highly recommend using it. These guys are great!

  5. #5

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    Lujon, after a few reloading lessons from a couple buddies I decided to piece together my equipment instead of buying one of the kits. By piecing together my equipment I ended up with exactly the components I want instead of what RCBS or Lyman decided to stick in the box. By going this route I spent more money but I'm much happier with what I have. See link for the list of my equipment. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=8834

    Don't waiste your time with the Stoney Point gauge.

    Don't bother with the case lube/pad stuff and use the redding imperisal sizing die wax instead. Boonies sells that stuff for a couple bucks and will last for years.
    http://www.ambientsw.com/gs20502.html

    I really like the poly loading blocks
    http://www.sinclairintl.com./prod_de...st/Poly-Blocks

    You'll need a kinetic bullet puller!
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=630146

    It's kind of a bad time to jump into handloading since supplies are scarce to almost impossible to find and the price hikes have been jaw dropping. Eitherway good luck

    Here's a pic of my bench.

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    Dang Gremlin, now I have a severe case of reload envy.

    I concur on everything but I hadn't heard anything bad about lube pads before. What was the issue?

    btw, I'm looking at picking up an AR-15 but I heard it's dang near impossible to find brass. True or only partially true?

  7. #7

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    Give the wax a try and @ $5 at boonies you cannot go wrong.

    It took me two years of hard labor to build up those supplies. I'm set to reload for all my guns for the next couple of years, except for the 10mm I just bought.

    223 brass is not all that hard to find. I was at SW yesterday and they had an entire bin full of 223 Rem brass. I would've bought some but I'm set for life. GNG has bulk 224 Hornady FMJ bullets for sale at a decent price. Then add a canister of W748 and your good to go.

  8. #8
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am hoping that the presidential ammo surge will slow down one of these days! I am in no hurry at the moment, but I am starting to learn what I can. I still have some ammo for the 325 and 270wsm and my new wssm is still in the form of a stripped lower and will stay that way for at least 3-5 months just waiting on a lower parts kit. When that bad boy starts coming to life then I can see my ammo cost going up a pretty good bit!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookseller View Post
    Sheesh, after lots of waiting and a false start I have finally completed my first reload session. I loaded up 50 rounds of 30-30 ammo and other than a couple of small errors and some fumble finger problems at the beginning, it went quite easily.

    Some of you might remember that I was having a lot of trouble measuring out a powder load I could trust using the Lee beam scale. Well, today I got my RCBS digital scale and I am impressed. Once I had calibrated and Zero'd it I was able to get some very accurate loads going without too much trouble.

    I disassembled the one 30-30 round I had loaded using the Lee scale and discovered that the powder load I had put into it was exactly correct. Nice to know but I think I prefer the digital now anyhow because it's a LOT faster than watching that dang beam swing up and down. Now, once I get the primers and powder for my 300 I'll be loading up a box of those also. Then my .44, and then, and then...

    It was a fun afternoon.
    Sounds like you're off to a dandy start. Congratulations!

    One bit of advice.

    Start keeping a reloading log, and using it religiously. Make lots of notes. Even cut out some of your groups and tape them to the pages, if you want to go that far. I use 3-ring binders and plain old notebook paper, but there are commercial versions available.

    You'll value that logbook more than any other book as the years accumulate. You'll also value it next year when you need to load more ammo, but can't for the life of you remember what the good load was a year ago.

    After 45 years of reloading, that's happening to me more and more these days!!!!! :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Sounds like you're off to a dandy start. Congratulations!

    One bit of advice.

    Start keeping a reloading log, and using it religiously. Make lots of notes. Even cut out some of your groups and tape them to the pages, if you want to go that far. I use 3-ring binders and plain old notebook paper, but there are commercial versions available.
    I just got done talking to one of my customers who is also well established in reloading and he told me the exact same thing. There must be something to it and I just happen to have the perfect book for that.

    Thanks

  11. #11

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    brownbear made a great point with the log book. I've only been at this reloading thing for a couple of years so I cannot fully appreciate the value of a reloading log, eventhough I have thoroughly logged every load from day one. I even write the load data on every peice of brass so I cannot forget what's what and whats in that. I even keep my targets in a 3 ring binder.

  12. #12
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    Put the lube pad on a back shelf somewhere, along with the lube, and go buy a can of Hornady One-Shot spray lube. Dries dry in a few seconds and is compatible with all components. Just place all your brass on a couple of paper towels, give a light spray over just the side that shows, done. Load away.... no muss, no fuss, no rolling things around. The random orientation of brass in the press will keep all sides of the dies lubed.

    Brian


    Quote Originally Posted by Bookseller View Post
    Good idea.

    Here is what I have now and if I had to do it all over again I would probably go with RCBS or maybe Lyman instead of the Lee Anniversary kit because there are several items in the kit I do not use.

    Book - ABCs of reloading (Highly recommended for newbies)
    I actually spent the winter occasionally reading and reviewing the info in this book.

    Lyman reloading manual
    Hodgdon reloading data (downloaded for free)
    Lee Single stage press (slower than progressive press but it works for my purposes)
    Set of shell holders for Lee press
    Set of shell holders for Lee primer
    RCBS 1500 Chargemaster digital powder scale (replaces Lee beam scale which I'm not a fan of)
    Dial caliper (digital is also good but I'm old school)
    Die set for three different calibers
    Case lube
    Ammo box
    Primers
    Cartridge cases
    Bullets
    Powder

    Here are a couple more things I don't have yet that I will be purchasing soon.

    Reloading tray - I tried to save a couple bucks and not buy one of these. The result? I knocked over a charged cartridge and before I knew it a domino effect had taken place and I ended up with the powder from 4 cartridges spilled on my bench.

    Case lube pad - Not necessary but I think there's less chance of putting too much lube on the case with one of these.

    Case trimmer - Once you start reloading fired brass you will need this.


    And finally, ask questions. There are two guys that come into my store quite often and both of them are reloaders. I picked their brains for recommendations on equipment, manuals, experiences both good and bad, etc. Also, I asked questions here on the forum. There is a WEALTH of information in the heads of the people here and I highly recommend using it. These guys are great!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    brownbear made a great point with the log book. I've only been at this reloading thing for a couple of years so I cannot fully appreciate the value of a reloading log, eventhough I have thoroughly logged every load from day one. I even write the load data on every peice of brass so I cannot forget what's what and whats in that. I even keep my targets in a 3 ring binder.
    Ditto. I used to keep a slip of paper with the reloading data on it in each box of ammo, but that gets old. I code the boxes with masking tape and a Sharpie, then the code can be looked up in my log to get the exact load ...or vice versa.

    Brian

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    Default Data recording

    Here is my method of recording data. I saw this in a book and thought I would give it a try. The nice think is that when components are the same a dido mark or arrow can be used to save rewriting the same thing over.

    I directly copied the original format I found. However, I will make a few changes on the next batch of copy's. I will use 8.5" by 14" paper next time to give a little more room for everything. I will also include a location for overall length, and a loads comment area to be separate from the shooting comments area. On the whole though this general setup has worked well for me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_1771_crop.jpg  

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    Now that I have primers and powder, (thanks Vince) I'm going to head out to the garage tomorrow and work up some loads for my 300 win mag. I want these to be less punishing for my shoulder than the factory rounds I had been using and I'm going to try 4 different loads and shoot each one working my way up. This should be fun.

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    Bookseller, Welcome to the affliction of reloading. There's no turning back now. Please weigh the charges in your electroninc scale again on your balance beam from time to time as you reload. I have two balance beams and an RCBS electronic. While I like my electronic/digital scale it gets out of calibration from time to time. Sometimes in the middle of a reloading session. Sometimes it is drastic and sometimes it is subtle. Therefore every tenth or so charge that I drop I weigh it also with one of my balance beam scales. If both of these are pretty close then I know they both ain't lying. also, FWIW this is my third RCBS electronic scale. The first two I had less than a year and RCBS replaced them because they wouldn't maintain a calibration setting. My electronic scale gets the lions shrae of use on my bench but I wouldn't want to have to depend on it without a back up balance beam.

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanAKAL View Post
    Bookseller, Welcome to the affliction of reloading. There's no turning back now. Please weigh the charges in your electroninc scale again on your balance beam from time to time as you reload. I have two balance beams and an RCBS electronic. While I like my electronic/digital scale it gets out of calibration from time to time. Sometimes in the middle of a reloading session. Sometimes it is drastic and sometimes it is subtle. Therefore every tenth or so charge that I drop I weigh it also with one of my balance beam scales. If both of these are pretty close then I know they both ain't lying. also, FWIW this is my third RCBS electronic scale. The first two I had less than a year and RCBS replaced them because they wouldn't maintain a calibration setting. My electronic scale gets the lions shrae of use on my bench but I wouldn't want to have to depend on it without a back up balance beam.

    Dan
    Dan,
    Rather than keeping two scales on the bench it would be far easier to just keep either a calibration weight or an object of known weight on the table to verify accuracy. Just toss the weight on there every 10-20 cartridges and verify that it is still the same.

    http://www.amazon.com/Gram-Chrome-Sc...pd_sim_dbs_k_1

  18. #18
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    I considered this as my RCBS scales have the calibration/check weights but I usually only use them when I turn on the scale each day and go through the calibration process. If memory serves they are 20 and 30 grams each. Since most of my loads are no more than 50 grains this is considerably less than what the calibration weights are and outside where I am actually weighing my charges. I could get weights in the 50 grain range but I have another scale to compare. This is something that could be considered several different ways and probably none of them would be wrong. I've had my share of failures with electronic scales and while I still use mine I keep a sharp out out for any irregularities. To each his own and if using the weights works for you then by all means stick with it. It is another method of verifying that the scale is working properly.

    Dan

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