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Thread: Wanting to start reloading.

  1. #1

    Default Wanting to start reloading.

    I want to start reloading and would like your help on where to get started. I have seen some starter kits on cabelas but don't know what all i would need other than dies, brass, primers, powder, and bullets. What I want to reload is 223, 243, 30-06, 300 win mag, and 40 sw. Thanks for any info.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    You're going to get a lot of replies on this question, with lots of opinions. Here's my 2 cents:

    Don't know how much you want to spend, but for less than $500 here's a good start:

    Basics:

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme kit.
    Shell holders for each caliber (many share shellholders)
    Dies for each caliber- get carbide dies for the 40 SW

    You're probably going to want:

    Powder Trickler
    Few extra reloading blocks
    Case trimmer


    I spent a lot of money and time with various equipment, and have it narrowed down to the following observations:

    I've had horrible luck with anything Lee- broke primer tool, stuck cases with dies.

    Redding makes a few things really well, and some not so hot- love the powder trickler, primer pocket uniformers, flash hole uniformers, and dies.

    Don't like Redding case trimmer- relies on a collet system which is inprecise, and the bit dulled quickly
    I feel like I overpaid for the Redding starter kit, since it had less stuff than the RCBS one, and the Boss press is lighter duty

    Overall, RCBS has been the best compromise with cost vs quality.


    Hope this helps

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanap View Post
    I want to start reloading and would like your help on where to get started. I have seen some starter kits on cabelas but don't know what all i would need other than dies, brass, primers, powder, and bullets. What I want to reload is 223, 243, 30-06, 300 win mag, and 40 sw. Thanks for any info.
    I would recommend that you start by purchasing several reloading books. The ABCs of Reloading is a great place to start. Reading this book before you buy supplies will provide greater awareness of what you are trying to do and which tools will help you accomplish this. It will save you time and money.

    http://www.amazon.com/Abcs-Reloading...4458521&sr=1-1

    I also recommend starting slowly. You mention that the 30/06 is one of the cartridges you hope to load. I recommend focusing solely on the '06 at first. I would begin buying the necessary equipment to load just '06 ammo knowing that it is easy to add the extra dies and odds & ends to load the other cartridges at a later time. Starting with just one round in mind will make the initial steps and decisions a bit less complicated.

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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    I just got started up myself over the holidays...look at Cabela's (or other) for the Lee 50th Anniversary kit..comes with everything you need to start (cept dies and case trimmer) and also order the "Modern Reloading 2nd edition"..I got dies for two calibers and case trimmers with the the book and kit and it was $150. Powders and primers I've been picking up around town slowly and went over to a friends to see how things were done.
    Everyone will have opinions about manufacturers and prices, I got the basics to see if i would enjoy it, if I ever upgrade I may go with others but Lee seems to have all the bases covered and step by step logical order.
    Oh and Lee included pictures, otherwise I'd be lost
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  5. #5

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    Welcome to the reloading bug! I would echo what 1Cor15:19 and AKheloce - stick with RCBS and start with the 30-06. This was how I started and it is a pretty easy cartridge to load for. In addition to the large equipment I would include: Hand Priming tool, deburring and primer pocket toolk, caliper for measuring cases to determine if trimming is necessary and some really good load books. I haven't read the one mentioned, although I am sure it is a great resource but also the load manuals of Speer, Hornady, Nosler, Barnes, etc. I like the Speer in particular - the first part of the manual is a good background of the basics of handloading step by step. Most important advice I could give is don't be afraid to ask questions - especially here.

    I also highly recommend RCBS. Their customer service has been stellar and have even sent me parts free of charge. Also, in Alaska most stores carry RCBS over most others. Just my .02

  6. #6

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    Thanks guys for your input maybe I will order a couple books and start there. Are the Speer, Nosler, and Barns books just for there bullets or will any of them do.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanap View Post
    Thanks guys for your input maybe I will order a couple books and start there. Are the Speer, Nosler, and Barns books just for there bullets or will any of them do.
    Technically, they are only for the individual manufacturer's product. What's more, the results are only precise for the particular lot of brass/primers/powder/bullets that were used in their testing. That is to say production tolerances and techniques do not guarantee that the components are identical one day to the next or one lot to the next. This does not mean the information is not very helpful, but that it is not Holy Writ and should be treated as helpful guides not as absolute rules. The books you mention are helpful but let me encourage you to first look at a more general manual on reloading such as The ABCs of Reloading or something similar.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I swage rifle bullets, I have a lot of RCBS rock chucker presses, I bought a half a dozen of them at gun shows for the grand price of 75.00 each.

    Buy a set of 1010 powder scales and a powder measure from Lynnwood Harrell. A trimmer tricked out from Sinclare with a Wilson case trimmer. Dies from Reddington. For 99% of reloading you will not have wasted a dime of your money, always look for 2nd hand when you can get it. You will seldom go wrong.


    For any specialized dies I do like Neil Jones. All can be found on the net.
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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    Technically, they are only for the individual manufacturer's product. What's more, the results are only precise for the particular lot of brass/primers/powder/bullets that were used in their testing. That is to say production tolerances and techniques do not guarantee that the components are identical one day to the next or one lot to the next. This does not mean the information is not very helpful, but that it is not Holy Writ and should be treated as helpful guides not as absolute rules. The books you mention are helpful but let me encourage you to first look at a more general manual on reloading such as The ABCs of Reloading or something similar.
    I agree with this 100%. Be careful and never load maximum loads as a start. Barnes for example has steered me down the wrong path more than once. I like their bullets but their data is a little out there.

    I have not been able to achieve their velocities and I've hit what appears to be max loads prior to their published max data in the cartridges I've loaded with their bullets.

  10. #10

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    I ordered abc's or reloading so I will read through that and with your guys advice I should have a good starting point. And any other info you guys have would be great.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post

    I spent a lot of money and time with various equipment, and have it narrowed down to the following observations:

    I've had horrible luck with anything Lee- broke primer tool, stuck cases with dies.
    Not trying to start an argument here - just offering a different experience. I've been loading for years with a basic Lee setup. Single stage press, powder scale, powder measure, hand-primer, etc. All Lee, all top-quality. No problems, many thousands of rounds loaded. I am a stickler for maintenance - maybe that's part of it. I disassemble my press about once a year and clean it up real good, apply some marvel mystery oil to the moving parts and put it all back together.

    I will say I have no experience with lee dies, except for a set of 25 ACP dies I haven't used in years. It's not that I prefer any other brand, just what happened to be available when I was shopping for dies.

    All of the companies produce a product that works as intended. Which is best is generally nothing more than a matter of opinion.

    And for what it's worth, I have a grand total of approximately $350 into all of my reloading equipment, including dies for 45 ACP, 300 win mag, 243 win and 450 Marlin.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Default I hope this helps.

    I have a few suggestions.

    Below is my Handloading List. I donít like KITs, cause there will be too many things you wonít use, or use for long, and they wonít have EVERYTHING. Howsomever, most of us start with a Kit of some kind.

    I suggest you NOT be brand loyal, or brand critical. Lee makes inexpensive equipment. Most of it is good, and some of it is Innovative, and some of it you may not like. Their dies are good. Most brand dies are good.

    With the list you know what you need. Big Als suggestion is good. Buy used, for the big items.

    Donít get carried away, and jump in the middle of things. I knew a guy who spent TOO much, IMO. He got TWO progressive presses, and never got either of them working satisfactorily.

    Minimal, but adequate handloading List

    Press (If you are loading a large bottle-necked case, get a heavy press)
    Dies (For the cartridge you will be loading)
    Shell Holder (One that fits your cartridge case)
    Case Lube
    Rag. (For wiping)
    Primer Pocket Cleaning Tool (You could use a slotted screwdriver of the right size.) (Better yet, use a Primer Pocket Uniformer.)
    Dial Caliper (To measure case length)
    Case Trimmer (You will need one eventually.)
    Chamfer Tool
    Primer Seater (The press may have a primer arm to seat primers with.)
    Powder Scale (Even if you were using a powder measure, youíd need a scale to set it.)
    Powder Funnel
    Maybe, a Powder Trickler. (You can do it with your fingers.)
    Loading Data

    Read the books, (I like the Lyman Manual) assemble the tools, and start with one cartridge. After you get that one down, do another, etc.

    Have fun.
    Smitty of the North
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    I must agree the Lyman manual is probably the best starter manual. Lots of good basic reloading info with excellent photos and diagrams, and the load data isn't geared toward any specific brand of component. Most of the folks I know use RCBS equipment, in Alaska it's the predominant brand on the shelf.
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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Maybe skip the kit

    I am just starting myself, but am finding after buying the RCBS kit that several of the items are not going to be used much and a few others may be upgraded soon so I would recommend getting with someone who is experienced, watch him do it, ask questions and do a custom build of your system.

    Two examples the case lube pad, not a big expense but sitting idle after someone suggested Hornady One Shot spray lube, it is so easy and seems less prone to overlubing that I am sure I'll never use the pad unless I run out of spray,

    The scale is nice on the kit but I can really see the advantage of an auto dispensing digital scale in the near future so will that relatively expensive scale be retired soon? This would also eliminate the need for the also expensive powder measure. Tons of them for sale online, for a reason, everyone upgraded beyond them without even using it?

    the little tools to get started (deburring, neck brush, pocket cleaner etc. )all come included as parts on a good case trimmer which you'll be ordering within your first 100 rounds so who needs the extra little tools?

    Get the picture? I've seen super inexpensive Presses on Ebay and all the components could be put together that way. You just have to get with someone to see what is really needed.

    I went with the kit to get started with basics and all new but I think you might even save money and get a better setup by piecemealing it together

    I bet if you PM'd somebody like Smitty of the North you could get advice on specifics of a custom build and really do better than the kit

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    I am just starting myself, but am finding after buying the RCBS kit that several of the items are not going to be used much and a few others may be upgraded soon so I would recommend getting with someone who is experienced, watch him do it, ask questions and do a custom build of your system.

    Two examples the case lube pad, not a big expense but sitting idle after someone suggested Hornady One Shot spray lube, it is so easy and seems less prone to overlubing that I am sure I'll never use the pad unless I run out of spray,

    The scale is nice on the kit but I can really see the advantage of an auto dispensing digital scale in the near future so will that relatively expensive scale be retired soon? This would also eliminate the need for the also expensive powder measure. Tons of them for sale online, for a reason, everyone upgraded beyond them without even using it?

    the little tools to get started (deburring, neck brush, pocket cleaner etc. )all come included as parts on a good case trimmer which you'll be ordering within your first 100 rounds so who needs the extra little tools?

    Get the picture? I've seen super inexpensive Presses on Ebay and all the components could be put together that way. You just have to get with someone to see what is really needed.

    I went with the kit to get started with basics and all new but I think you might even save money and get a better setup by piecemealing it together

    I bet if you PM'd somebody like Smitty of the North you could get advice on specifics of a custom build and really do better than the kit
    You make some very good points, I can agree with.

    I done posted my list of what I think is needed to handload, and I hope I didn't leave out anything.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default best case trimmer?

    Hey Smitty,
    I need to get a case trimmer soon, what do you or others recommend, I'm leaning toward the basic RCBS unit, lots of opinions out there,

    I'm probably only going to be doing a couple hundred rounds a month maybe twice that but trying to keep the overall cost down to basics as I add on to the original expense,

    Ideas are all really appreciated,

    Also just wiping down cleaning for now but the Vibrator Walnut Media deal looks good, Do I need it or just use solvent wipe. Doesn't seem too much with all the handling I am doing to primer pocket clean by hand, etc. to just have a solvent cleaning rag around? Should I spring for the case cleaner?

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Hey Smitty,
    I need to get a case trimmer soon, what do you or others recommend, I'm leaning toward the basic RCBS unit, lots of opinions out there,

    I'm probably only going to be doing a couple hundred rounds a month maybe twice that but trying to keep the overall cost down to basics as I add on to the original expense,
    They are all very similar till you get to the power models. I have the RCBS with a drill on it and it works great, it's about 15 years old now. I also have my Dad's that has about 25 years of hard use on it and is still fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Also just wiping down cleaning for now but the Vibrator Walnut Media deal looks good, Do I need it or just use solvent wipe. Doesn't seem too much with all the handling I am doing to primer pocket clean by hand, etc. to just have a solvent cleaning rag around? Should I spring for the case cleaner?
    You will want a tumbler sometime but you don't need one for what you are doing now. I have am old kids hobby rock tumbler that my Dad picked up at a yard sale for $5 and I grabbed it when he died last year. Itís a steel 6 sided pipe with wheels on the ends that it turns on, looks just like the high end rotary brass tumblers. That thing is quiet, fast, and does a heck of a good job. It has out lasted 3 vibrating tumblers doing a bunch more brass and will likely outlast me. So I would keep an eye on ebay and yard sales for a deal on a rock tumbler/polisher. The vibrating ones are fine just loud and donít last long. But I bet you can find one like mine used for less money that will outlast a bunch of the vibrating kind if you take your time.
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Here is a new tumbler just like mine for $180, same thing sold at shooting supplies as a brass tumbler is like $280+! I will never go back to the vibrating kind even if I had to pay the $280+, this thing is great.
    http://www.rocktumblers.com/rock-tum...umbler15lb.cfm
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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Great Scoop

    Thanks AD, that's a great idea, I'm on it
    Those plastic vibrators look a bit fragile by design

    Hey another question, for an older RCBS trimmer will I have to get a cartridge holder adapter if I want to put 270 wsm cases in there?

    It's kind of an exclusive type case at the base and is excluded by lots of the older stuff even the new stuff I think. Can't find anything short of calling RCBS on it, thought someone might know

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    I am just starting myself, but am finding after buying the RCBS kit that several of the items are not going to be used much and a few others may be upgraded soon so I would recommend getting with someone who is experienced, watch him do it, ask questions and do a custom build of your system.

    Thats what i did...


    EBAY can be your friend... or a nightmare started off just wanting some one to load some cheap stuff up for me. then moved to ebay and got ALL i needed for about 500- 600. including all my dies etc... Now ..


    well...


    lets just say it's a bug& don't save your receipts sure is hard to NOT buy powder now when you see if after last year. sure hard to NOT buy brass and primers when you see them, and little boxes of lead and or copper ingots take on an entirely new poise, while they sit on the shelf
    "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."

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