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Thread: reloading newbie

  1. #1
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default reloading newbie

    folks, I am trying to learn more about reloading and what is involved in the whole process...... I have been trying to find a "reloading 101" type book where I can see an overview of the process, what tools and equipment are required and how to get started...

    anybody have any recommendations on a good resource to get me started on learning how to reload??

    thanks ya'll

    Greg

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Prety much any reloading manual will have a very detailed "how to" section at the front. If there is a brand of bullet that you like, go and get a reloading manual from that company and start reading. I think I have nearly all of them, and they are all good reading, and very informative. Hornady, Lee, Barnes, Speer etc. they are all good. The Lyman books are especialy informative.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Every new reloader should start with The A,B,Cs of Reloding
    Andy
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    If, after doing your home work, you want to, I would be glad to show you my proceedure for reloading and help you load your first batch of ammo. Depending on what you load for,( I may have dies ) we can go through the routine with rounds for your rifle and I can show you what you will have to have and what you will probably want to have. PM me if interested. Always glad to help a new reloader. Buck

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Every new reloader should start with The A,B,Cs of Reloading
    ABC's are a great place to start. In addition pick up a couple of component manuals (Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, etc.) and you'll find out the basics. Start slow and cautious and you'll have a great time.

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    I'm fairly new to reloading myself and I second Adfield's recommendation of The ABC's of reloading. Once you're done reading through that, then read whatever you can, wherever you can. Read manuals, check out different websites and try to absord as much knowledge as you can. Take your time and decide what it is you want to do and then go slowly.

    One thing I've discovered though is, like just about any other subject, you will get several different ideas and suggestions from people and they will not agree with each other.

    I've fired off about a hundred of my own reloads so far and I can tell you that I'm hooked. Just go slow and you'll be fine.

    Oh yeah, it would help if you have a small fortune buried in a tin can out back to use because that's what this obsession could end up costing you.

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    Awww, get the Lyman Manual. It covers cast bullets, too.

    Smitty of the North
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    I'm no pro, but i have been loading for a while. ABC's is spot on, then pick up the manual put out by the bullet maker you think you'll use the most early on (Hornaday, Nosler, etc) they are all great, and I would be you now, that within the year you will have 4 or 5 of these. They are great reading. The older Nosler's are my favorite for plain reading. :-)

    I can't believe I'm the first to warn you here, but it IS addicting and will cost you a FORTUNE. lol

    Enjoy! I enjoy the loading almost more than shooting any more.

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    hey now...


    NOBODY refered me to the ABC's last spring when i started...


    but i did get some one to show me.. and got me started... after that i was able to squeeze a spot out in the house when the kids left for the summer and got my own spot for high explosives now...i have spent way more money then i ever thought i would. or planned on ... and still do..


    man... is it fun.. i met another member again this weekend BECAUSE of reloading.. i had powder and he had bullets..


    so..

    i like the Hornady book for step by step and explanations..

    Noslers for the process.

    you will need several Books from different manufactures..

    noslers, hornady, laymen, speer,,, etc etc...

    all these guys on here are a bountiful of information for you.. i have found what i think are REALLY stupid questions.. these guy eat up and fill me in ... there is no stupid question..

    your on the right track...just don't listen to book seller...


    he'll prolly blow you up ( not really!)
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    hey now...


    NOBODY refered me to the ABC's last spring when i started.
    I sure thought I told ya about it, maybe you were in info overload.

    You should still get it, it’s a good reference to have.
    Andy
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    I was going to offer my copy of ABC's up for loan, but just found I can't find it. Probably still in Cali somewhere. Heading to Amazon now.. :-)

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    Default Here are my 10 Advices for reloading

    Welcome to your new obsession.

    Seriously, don't pay any attention to the people who say you will spend a lot of money. You will spend about the same amount of money as you do now for ammunition. You will just get to shoot a lot more.

    Now, here are my Ten Advices.

    So much is a matter of personal taste. All advice carries this caveat, "your mileage may vary".

    When I bought my first gun (.357 Magnum Dan Wesson revolver), I bought, at the same time, a reloading setup because I knew I could not afford to shoot if I did not reload my own ammo. It cost me about 1/4 of factory ammo per round and paid for itself pretty quickly. I did not use a loading bench at all. I just mounted the press on a 2 x 6 plank long enough to wedge into the drawer of an end table. Good leverage meant the table did not lift or rock. I still use the same plank, but not it is mounted in a Black & Decker folding workbench. A loading bench "bolted to the center of the earth" would be more stable, but I do not feel deprived without it.

    Advice #1 I found "The ABC's of Reloading" to be a very good reference. Short on data, yes, but I found it full of knowledge and understanding of the process. Check out offereings in your local library. Dated, perhaps, but you can taste-test their writing style. Richard Lee's book "Modern Reloading" has a lot of food for thought, and does discuss the reasoning behind his opinions (unlike many manuals, and postings). Whether right or wrong, the issues merit thought, which that book initiates. It is not a simple book, though and you will find it provocative reading for many years.

    Read as many manuals as you can, for the discussion of the how-to steps. What one manual covers thinly, another will cover well. As far as load data in older manuals, the powder manufacturers and bullet manufacturers may have better information and their web sites are probably more up to date. But pay attention to what the ammunition was test-fired from. (regular firearm vs a sealed-breech pressure test barrel, for example)

    The reason you want more than one or two is that you want to read differing authors/editors writing styles and find ones that "speak" to you. You also get better coverage of the subject; one author or editor may cover parts of the subject more thoroughly than the others.

    Only after you know the steps can you look at the contents of a reloading kit and know what parts you will use and what parts the kits lack.

    The public library should have manuals you can read, then decide which ones you want to buy.

    There are instructional videos now that did not exist in the '70s when I started.


    Load mid-range or slightly light at first so overpressures are not concerns. Just concentrate on getting the loading steps right and being VERY VERY consistent (charge weight, crimp strength, seating depth, primer seating force, all that)

    You will probably spill powder or drop a primer eventually, so consider what you have for floor covering when you pick your reloading room. (Note: my worktable is portable, a folding workbench with two presses mounted on a board that I simply clamp into place. One press has a large primer feed, the other a small primer feed.)



    Advice #2 Almost every manufacturer of loading equipment makes good stuff; if they didn't, they would lose reputation fast and disappear from the marketplace. Better equipment costs more generally. Cast aluminum is lighter and less expensive. Cast iron lasts practically forever. Lee makes good equipment, but is generally considered the "economy" equipment maker, though some of their stuff is considered preferable to more expensive makes. Just think about what you buy.

    Almost every manufacturer makes a kit that contains everything you need to do reloading (except dies and the consumables). A decent way to get started without too much prior experience. Eventually most reloaders wind up replacing most of the components of the kit as their personal taste develops, but you will have gotten started, at least..

    Advice #3 Learn on a single stage press or a turret press. Do not learn on a progressive press. Too many things happening at the same time are hard to keep track of.

    Advice #4 Tungsten Carbide dies for your straight-walled cartridge cases. They do not require lubrication which will save you time. Carbide expander button for your bottlenecked cases. Keeps lube out of the inside of the cases.

    Advice #5 Find a mentor. There is no substitute for someone watching you load a few cartridges and critiquing your technigue BEFORE you develop bad habits or make a dangerous mistake. (A mistake that might not have consequences right away, but maybe only after you have escaped trouble a hundred times until one day you get bit, for instance having case lube on your fingers when you handle primers 99 times, no problem because primers are coated with a sealant, but the hundredth primer may not be perfectly sealed and now winds up "dead")

    I started loading with the guy who sold me my press watching over my shoulder as I loaded my first 6 rounds to make sure I did not blow myself up, load a powderless cartridge or set off a primer in the press. There is nothing like a tutor, or better yet, a mentor. A longer mentoring period might have changed my reloading style, but I learned a lot in those first 6 rounds, as he explained each step. Then I educated myself after that.

    After you have been mentored, mentor someone else. Not necessarily in loading or the shooting sports, but in SOMETHING in which you are enthusiastic and qualified. Just give back to the community.

    Advice #6 Wear eye protection, especially when seating primers

    Advice #7 Don't pinch your fingers in your press.

    Advice #8 Read previous threads on reloading, here are a couple I recommend.
    http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve
    http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543
    http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/view...fbd5ae1f754eec
    The second one is a thread started by a new recruit to reloading which the moderators thought highly enough of to make it "sticky" so it stays on the top of the list of threads.

    Advice #9 When you buy the very best, it hurts only once, in the wallet. When you buy cheap (too cheap) it hurts every time you use the gear. The trick is to buy good enough (on the scale between high quality and low price) to keep you happy without overpaying.

    Advice #10 Verify for yourself everything you learn. Believe only half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for everything you find on the internet (with the possible exception of the actual web sites of the bullet and powder manufacturers). This advice applies to my message as much as anything else and especially to personal load recipes. Hare-brained reloaders might have dangerous habits and even an honest typographical error could be deadly.


    Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you get from the internet. Even this post. Maybe especially this post.

    Do your own independent, confirming research when ANYONE gives you new facts on the web.

    Also remember, even the idiotic stuff might have a kernel of truth buried in there somewhere.

    Lost Sheep

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    your on the right track...just don't listen to book seller...


    he'll prolly blow you up ( not really!)

    butthead

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    There is LOTS of good advice here so let me give you an example of a screwup by a newbie. (me)

    It's a good thing I always go out and recheck my work a day or so after I finish. I was sitting out in the garage yesterday just admiring my freshly cleaned AR when I decided to check the rounds I had reloaded last week. I pulled one round out of the box and as I sat there looking at it, I decided it didn't look quite right. I got out my calipers and checked the round. OOPS, it was supposed to be 2.200 OAL and I had screwed up somehow and every one of them was 2.300.

  15. #15

    Smile a few tips...

    Nothing technical here, just a few hard learned tips. Keep a well organized and clean loading area. Do not worry about getting the top velocity for your load. Decide what your goals are for your finished load, be realistic about it. Keep good notes. Never load when you are in a hurry, it takes the fun out of it. Maxamize your investment by making good use of your range time with your loads. By that I mean have a good rest and a pre-determined amount of ammo you are going to fire. Read up on how to sight in your load. Remember this, with a clean barell, proper sight picture and trigger press the same load out of the same rifle should shoot to the same point of impact. All you are doing is adjusting your scope to that point of impact. Go slow and have fun!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    I did not use a loading bench at all. I just mounted the press on a 2 x 6 plank long enough to wedge into the drawer of an end table. Good leverage meant the table did not lift or rock. I still use the same plank, but not it is mounted in a Black & Decker folding workbench. A loading bench "bolted to the center of the earth" would be more stable, but I do not feel deprived without it.
    Lost Sheep
    Good post and good advice Sheep.
    Since I know you are mostly a handgun guy I did want to add to your press mounting advice though. How solid the press is mounted as well as how solid a press a guy needs will depend on what will be loaded with the setup.

    For loading straight wall rounds like 357, 44, 45, 454, even 54-70 the 2X4 will do just fine. When you get into longer bottleneck and tapered rounds they require much more force so something more substantial in the way of mounting will likely be needed. Now if a guy gets into forming cases he better have a very strong press and bolt it to the center of the earth. Years ago I busted a 2X6 I had my Rockcrusher bolted to off like a twig while forming 30-06 brass for use in my 7.7mm Jap rifle.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Every new reloader should start with The A,B,Cs of Reloding
    Ya. Great book. I checked it out at the library when I read it the first time as I was getting going.

  18. #18
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default WOW

    terrific thread ya'll.... thank you very much for your experienced and thoughtful advise....

    I am planning on taking it very slow and use this winter to get book "educated" on the process... I have a fairly narrow intent for what I want to reload... .308 and .338 only...

    thanks for the caution about the addiction factor... that is an issue with me around "toys".....

    Greg

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    Lost Sheep:

    You've got good ideas.

    I'm gonna use my B&D folding workbench to mount a powder scale.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Advice #7 Don't pinch your fingers in your press.
    Finger?

    Advice 7a....Never load in just your underwear

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