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    Default Start up

    Could some one give me a price range for just getting into reloading. I will be reloading mainly .45 ACP and .300 WSM. I have never reloaded before and am wondering how much I am gooing to have to save to get everything I need. What's a good place to get equipment?

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    Should be able to do it for under $1,000,000.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CATMguru View Post
    Could some one give me a price range for just getting into reloading. I will be reloading mainly .45 ACP and .300 WSM. I have never reloaded before and am wondering how much I am gooing to have to save to get everything I need. What's a good place to get equipment?
    There are kits available to get you started. I am in the same boat (just getting started) but I found a guy selling a bunch of stuff and bought it all which I think saved me quite a bit. I think I am into it about $350 and still need some more dies, powder, primers, bullets and a few other things I am sure....

    Here is my "kit" I bought used:


    So it seems the easy/quick thing to do is buy an RCBS kit + your consumables. Or do a bunch of reading manuals, set aside some money and stay on top of the forum swap and sell, Craigslist, alaskaslist, 907bigboytoys etc. Then when you see good deals on what you need snatch it up quick. ( I planned to do the RCBS kit, but got lucky on the used market).

    I think Vince is actually testing all my stuff out for me at the moment since I haven't been back to get it from him yet. I should have him pick up a couple of my rifles and work up loads for them. Heck he may even be so kind as to "field test" them on game animals for me. That Vince is a heck of a guy!! Between him and my brother in law testing out my boat every weekend I never need to go home and actually use any of my stuff....

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default $500 Minimum

    Realistically I think $500 is going to get you started, Very Basically!! You'll very quickly be into a couple hundred more but, if it's tight I'd plan for $500.
    EVEN IF, you find the "Deal of a Century" like Lujon got there,

    The $1,000,000 joke is not too far off, you gotta watch out,
    cause you are gonna "Get Addicted" they all warned me, and I shrugged it off,
    for one caliber I am way up there now,
    Check out this link for some details, It's All Worth It Tho
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hink?highlight=
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Seriously, if you are looking to start up and you had a good supply of your own fire-formed brass you might be able to get a Classic Lee loader for each caliber, powder, primers and bullets for around a hundred bucks total. Remember, that would be the start of it. I would recommend a good scale as well, if you go that route as you will soon be looking to expand and upgrade. Next I would get a couple of good manuals and so on...

    I'm not sure you can still get the Classic for those calibers. Lee Precision has a pretty good starter set up on their website. "50th anniversary" I think.

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    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    I started on the Lee Anniversary kit. It is serviceable, but if you go that route, I would upgrade to an RCBS primer seater and an RCBS, Redding, etc. scale. Lee dies are also the cheapest I have found and seem to produce good quality rounds (Just ask Beartooth--he uses them and shoots TINY groups). You will probably also eventually want to get a case length trimmer, but again Lee makes a cheaper route--a small cutter and locking stud, along with length gauges sized specifically for your caliber of choice. These are also serviceable, if not as handy as a normal trimmer. All this, plus components (primers, powder, bullets, etc.) should be well within the $500 that Kodiakrain mentioned. This route is not for the high volume shooter, but will produce accurate, reliable loads if you do your part.

    P.S. Once you get your kit and start loading, pay attention to DETAILS!

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Honestly it all depends on what you want. If you're trying to save a bit of money, you can get a basic single stage press like this one: http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...roductId/10575 and have all the hardware you need for $180.

    Add a set of 45 ACP dies http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...productId/7923 for $28, a set of 300 WSM dies http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...productId/8279 for $26 and you're at $234 for all the equipment.

    Buy your powder and primers locally to avoid the ridiculous HAZMAT shipping fee, and you'll pay about $4/100 for primers and around $26/lb for powder. You'll need at least a pound of powder for the pistol and the rifle, as well as a different primers for each, so add another $60 for a total of $294.

    Hopefully you've already got brass, but if not you can barter/trade/find it used or just make your own out of range ammo. Bullets can be bought from the online stores, and you'll probably pay more by the time you include shipping prices. I've still got family in the states, so I order from places that offer free shipping to CONUS and have them throw it in a flat-rate box to me. Saves at least %50 in shipping, but don't try it with HAZMAT or you can get in trouble if (when) you get caught. A box of range bullets for the 45 will run you about $15/100 http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...roductId/12621 and a bullets for the 300 will run you anywhere from $14/100 to $80/50 (Lapua...very spendy ). Figure about $35 for 50 decent hunting slugs, bringing your grand total to $310. If you shoot 100 pistol rounds and 20 rifle rounds once a month, your investment will pay for itself within a year.

    Good luck, and let us know what you end up with. Don't forget to check craigslist and alsaskaslist for used presses, as well as the for-sale forum here. There are frequently good deals to be found as used reloading stuff doesn't really hold it's value that well.

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    When I started out I got the Dillon 550 and started out with one caliber. I dropped $600 for the press, dies, powder measure, primers, powder, bullets, 2 reloading manuals and case lube. I would say that it depends on what type of reloading you are going to do. If you are going to reload 45acp I would get a progressive or semi-progressive. It will cost a little more but you will kick yourself in the arse later for not getting one. I use my 550 for all my pistol reloading, my Dillon 650 for .223 and some pistol and a single stage rock chucker for my hunting ammo. Like most have said, it can add up quickly once you really start getting into it. But if you buy the right stuff the first time it will save time and money. Don't skimp on the reloading manuals, get a few different ones.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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    You won't save money. it looks good on paper, but you know how that works. Sure, it costs less to produce the ammo. You will shoot way more because you can, and will probably end up spending more on ammo than if you bought it at the store.

    That being said. You will become a better shot and be much better at ballistics etc. That is probably the best reason to reload, the increase in performance and the fun of it. It is like any sport. You have to practice a lot, often and well to be good at it. Reloading you ammo will afford you to do that.

    Get good gear. I looked high and low for good used gear and found some. The stuff I use the most I bought new.

    Press
    Loading blocks
    GOOD calipers
    powder dispenser
    Trimmer
    Trim pilots
    primer
    chamfer/debur tool
    Primer brush
    GOOD scale ( I learned that lesson the hard way)
    A GOOD BOOK the ABC's of reloading
    Get a couple of reloading manuals, especially if you have a favorite bullet. Don't rely on the internet postings.
    case lube
    Dies
    Shell holders and trim plates
    Powder and primers
    a couple kinds of bullets
    Brass
    Some cleaning solution, or make your own instead using a tumbler.

    Put that list on to www.midwayusa.com and see how much your total is.

    Good Luck.

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    Default $500

    I put that list into cabelas and it was about $500.

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    Lee Anniversary Reloading Kit ($80), Dies $30 each, Digital scale ($19)..... That all it cost me. Several thousand rounds later and it all still works!

    Ron

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Lee Anniversary Reloading Kit ($80), Dies $30 each, Digital scale ($19)..... That all it cost me. Several thousand rounds later and it all still works!

    Ron
    How long ago was that? I want to find those prices for dies and scales.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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    Cabelas. The digital scale: http://www.cabelas.com/link-12/produ...cm_pla=Primary

    and the Lee kit is: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...p.form1&Go.x=0

    So at this moment you will spend $134.... I caught them on sale.......

    Happy Shopping...

    Ron

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    Default My 10 Advices for the novice handloader

    Quote Originally Posted by CATMguru View Post
    Could some one give me a price range for just getting into reloading.... What's a good place to get equipment?
    Every hour you invest in research will save you $10 to $20 in equipment costs. Thank you for asking our advice.

    I recently switched from my Progressive presses to a turret (works like a single-stage press, but has several dies mounted in an interchangeable "head".

    My shopping research showed Kempf's gun shop is worthwhile to take a look at. So is FactorySales.com (specializing in Lee equipment).

    Lee makes good equipment. They have a reputation for being the "bargain basement" in the reloading arena but I mention Lee Precision, Inc.'s gear because I believe it is good value for the money and some of his stuff is superior regardless of price.

    First advice: Buy "The ABC's of Reloading" or check it out at your local library. But you will want to own your own copy eventually.

    Then (to answer your primary question, which I believe is NOT the most important to ask) budget $200 to $500 for your initial setup. $1,000 is not unreasonable for a first-class setup, but you can get started reloading for less than $50 and expand as finances allow. Or you can get a (or assemble yourself) a "kit" for $100 to $400. Be warned, no pre-assembled kit contains exactly what is ideal for you; it will always have stuff you don't need and lack stuff you do.

    I have thought of a few things I think are useful for handloaders to know or to consider which seem to be universal, so I put together this list.

    Here are my Ten Advices.

    Advice #1 Use Reliable Reference Sources Wisely - Books, Videos, Web Sites, etc.

    Study up in loading manuals until you understand the process well, before spending a lot of money on equipment.

    I found "The ABC's of Reloading" to be a good reference. Short on loading data but full of knowledge and understanding of the process. Check out your local library.

    Read as many manuals as you can, for the discussion of the how-to steps. What one manual covers thinly, another will cover well.

    The reason you want more than one or two manuals 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.

    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.

    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). 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.

    Only after you know the steps can you look at the contents of of a dealer's shelves, a mail-order catalog or a reloading kit and know what equipment you want to buy. If you are considering a loading kit, you will be in a better position to know what parts you don't need and what parts the kits lack.

    Advice #2 All equipment is good. But is it good FOR YOU?

    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 but not so abrasion resistant as cast iron. 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. Ask around. Testimonials are nice. But if you thing Ford/Cheby owners have brand loyalty, you have not met handloaders. Testimonials with reasoning behind them are better. RCBS equipment is almost all green, Dillon, blue, Lee red. Almost no manufacturers cross color lines and many handloaders simply identify themselves as "Blue" or whatever. Make your own choices.

    On Kits: Almost every manufacturer makes a kit that contains everything you need to do reloading (except dies and the consumables). A kit is a way to get started but most people wind up replacing most of the components of the kit as their personal taste develops,

    Advice #3 While Learning, don't get fancy.

    While you are learning, load mid-range 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). Use a "fluffy" powder that is, one that will overflow your cartridge case if you mistakenly put two powder charges in it.

    Learn on a single stage press or a turret press. Do not learn on a progressive press. Too many things happen at the same time, thus are hard to keep track of. Mistakes DO happen and you want to watch for them ONE AT A TIME. Until handloading becomes second nature to you.

    Note: A turret press is essentially a single stage press with a moveable head which can mount several dies at the same time. What makes it like a single stage rather than a progressive is that you are still using only one die at a time, not three or four dies simultaneously at each stroke.

    Also, a good, strong, single stage press is in the stable of every reloader I know, no matter how many others they have. They always keep at least one.

    Advice #4 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. I could have learned more, faster with a longer mentoring period, but I learned a lot in those first 6 rounds, as he explained each step. I educated myself after that. But now, on the internet, I have learned a WHOLE LOT MORE. But in-person is still the best.

    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 #5 Design your loading space for safety, efficiency, cleanliness

    When I started reloading, 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 My loading gear all fit in a footlocker and spread out on the coffeetable. Good leverage meant the table did not lift or rock. I still use the same plank, but now it is mounted in a Black & Decker folding workbench.

    You will probably spill powder or drop a primer eventually, so consider what you have for a floor covering when you pick your reloading room/workspace. I would not try to vacuum up spilt gunpowder unless using a Rainbow vacuum which uses water as the filter medium.

    Advice #6 Keep Current on loading tecnology

    Always use a CURRENT loading manual. Powder chemistry has changed over the years. They make some powders differently than they used to and even some powder names may have changed. However, if you are using 10 year old powder, you may want to check a 10 year old manual for the recipe. Then double check with a modern manual andthen triple check with the powder maker.

    Read previous threads on reloading, here are a couple I read.
    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 #7 You never regret buying the best (but once)

    When you buy the very best, it hurts only once, in the wallet. When you buy too cheaply 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 #8 Tungsten Carbide dies (or Titanium Nitride)

    T-C dies instead of regular tool steel (which require lubrication for sizing your brass) for your straight-walled cartridge cases. T-C dies 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 #9 Safety Always Safety All Ways.

    Wear eye protection, especially when seating primers. Gloves are good, too, especially if using the Lee "Hammer" Tools. Children (unless they are good helpers, not just playing around) are at risk and are a risk. Pets, too unless they have been vetted (no, not that kind of vetting). Any distractions that might induce you to forget charging a case (no charge or a double charge, equally disturbing). Imagine everything that CAN go wrong. Then imagine everything that you CAN'T imagine. I could go on, but it's your eyes, your fingers, your house, your children (present of future - lead is a hazard, too. Wash after loading and don't eat at your bench). Enough said?

    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. I heard about a powder manufacturer's web site that dropped a decimal point once. It was fixed REAL FAST, but mistakes happen. I work in accounting and frequently hit "7" instead of "4" because the are next to each other on the keypad.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep

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