Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: New To Handloading

  1. #1

    Default New To Handloading

    I want to start reloading for my various handguns and a few rifles I own. With absolutely no experience in loading my own ammo a buddy invited me over for reloading 101. He walked me through each step, let me ask questions, and then I loaded 20 rounds of .223 with his guidance. It was really cool and I learned the gist of loading.

    Here's a list of the equipment I plan to buy.

    RCBS (possibly redding) Turret press & a few spare heads
    RCBS 505 powder scale
    RCBS hand primer
    RCBS trickler
    RCBS Powder dropper & stand
    Trimmer LE wilson and case holder
    dies
    digital caliper
    bullet puller
    deburring tools
    a couple of loading blocks
    Stoney point over all length guide
    various manuals, & a basics manual

    But first I think a good starting point is the work bench where all this equipment will live. I'd love to see some pictures of what you guys use for a reloading bench. And any suggestions or comments about my above list would help out. So far, am I on the right track as a beginer?

  2. #2
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    381

    Default turret press

    Have you thought about buying a used press? There are quite a few good deals on used presses on ebay. I would also recommend looking at Lyman presses. I have a spar-t turret press that i got used for 50 bucks, and it is a great press. Just wanted to give you a few more options. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    I use pretty much that setup, except I use a Forster co-ax press, and a Redding BR powder thrower, I also don't use a trickler.

    I'd also say stick with Redding dies in the generic 2 die sets.

  4. #4

    Default

    Does sportsmans warehouse or anyone around town carry redding dies?

  5. #5
    New member George's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    286

    Default tools, bench

    Your list looks pretty good. Might add a case neck brush set for interior neck cleaning and dry lubing with mica and a flash hole deburring tool (both fairly inexpensive). Brass like Norma and Lapua among a few others don't need the flash hole deburred but many other manufacturers swage the pocket and punch the flash hole leaving a burr in the inside of the case surrounding the flash hole- for best results that needs to be lightly reamed and eliminated. As far as the bench goes- anything will work but, as with the press, a good one, home made or commercial, is so much better. It needs to be heavy enough to really anchor the press down for handling resizing stubborn stuff including the large amounts of pressure sometimes needed on the upstroke. Have fun and read and heed the manuals.

  6. #6

    Default

    What exactly is the flast hole? Is that the hole where the primer is inserted? If so I plan on buying one of the little brushes to clean out the depression when the primer has been popped out.

  7. #7
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    381

    Default redding dies

    Sportsmans carries redding dies, and i am pretty sure boondocks carries them too. If i remember correctly, boondocks had them a little cheaper, and your money supports local business. I use redding dies for rifles, but for pistols, i use either rcbs or lee carbide dies. They are quite a bit cheaper, and i think they are just as good. The flash hole is the little hole that goes from the primer pocket to the inside of the case.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    soldotna
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Amen to Redding dies. You won't regret going that route. Something I overlook was the simple, inexpensive funnel. Sure makes life easier. Your list looks like a good start. I just began reloading a few months ago.
    For a work bench I went to Home Dept. Purchased 2 sheets of 5/8" plywood 2'x4'. Glue together with a laminated sheet on top. Bolted to a Husky Heavy-Duty X-Sawhorse (20"x24").
    Works well enough that I made another one for placing my reloading "stuff" on, containing assortment of plastic enclosed storage bins.
    The Husky is rated to 750# and makes a very sturdy base for the boards. The Husky is $35.00, the boards and 8 -5/16"x2 1/2" carriage bolts/washers,nuts were about $40.00.(ea. table)
    Reloading to me is a little work, very rewarding, and strangely, somewhat relaxing.
    Any way, Good Luck!

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    I want to start reloading for my various handguns and a few rifles I own. With absolutely no experience in loading my own ammo a buddy invited me over for reloading 101. He walked me through each step, let me ask questions, and then I loaded 20 rounds of .223 with his guidance. It was really cool and I learned the gist of loading.

    Here's a list of the equipment I plan to buy.

    RCBS (possibly redding) Turret press & a few spare heads
    RCBS 505 powder scale
    RCBS hand primer
    RCBS trickler
    RCBS Powder dropper & stand
    Trimmer LE wilson and case holder
    dies
    digital caliper
    bullet puller
    deburring tools
    a couple of loading blocks
    Stoney point over all length guide
    various manuals, & a basics manual

    But first I think a good starting point is the work bench where all this equipment will live. I'd love to see some pictures of what you guys use for a reloading bench. And any suggestions or comments about my above list would help out. So far, am I on the right track as a beginer?
    W/G,

    I'll try a picture of a cluttered bench.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN0430.jpg   DSCN0433.jpg  
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default More pics...

    BTW, The rifle is the new Ruger African 375 Ruger. This bench is 8' long and 3' deep and doubles as a gun smithing and cleaning bench. You probably won't need this many sets of dies to start out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN0432.jpg   DSCN0431.jpg  
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  11. #11
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    854

    Default

    I am not sold on turret presses, so I would suggest a single stage press, like the RCBS Rockchucker. To me, swapping dies isn't a big enough deal to warrant twice the money spent on a press. The RCBS RC Master Kit has almost everything you want (if you can live with a single stage press), and you can save a bunch of money vs buying each component separately. It has a RC press, powder measure (no stand), 505 scale, hand priming tool, deburring tool, Speer manual, and some other little stuff. Add the rest of your goodies, and you're set.

    A couple of other suggestions....
    I would skip a case trimmer, for starters anyway. You can always get one later. I load calibers based off the .30-06 case, and at $12 a 50, I just toss them when they get long enough to trim. In the meantime, I can get lots of loadings out of a case. Brass is cheap, and trimming is a pain, so I just avoid the whole process.

    You've recieved good advice concerning dies. Redding dies are the way to go, IMO. Most of my pistol dies are RCBS, and they are fine too.

    I like the MTM loading blocks better than the RCBS ones. They are less cramped, and they work for all my calibers.

  12. #12
    New member George's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    286

    Default flash hole

    Water Gremlin,
    The primer pocket is the place where the primer fits and the flash hole is the small hole where the explosive flame travels from the primer into the body of the case- igniting the powder. When the cases are extruded (drawn) during the manufacturing process a seperate part of the machine making the case punches a hole thru the primer pocket and into the case body forming the flash hole. For those cases that are made this way a bur is usually formed on the inside of the case body and not readily visible with a casual inspection. The deburring tool gets rid of this bur. Most serious shooters using this type of brass remove the bur for more consistent ignition. This operation only has to be done once with new brass. Even with the punched flash holes sometimes the bur is very small and probably not a problem. But, on some lot runs of brass I've seen the burs cover nearly half the flash hole and resemble large flaps that looked like "hanging chads"!! BTW the worst I ever saw was a seasonal run of newly manufactured Winchester 348 brass from a few years ago. Just something to do to eliminate another variable in the reloaded ammo.

  13. #13

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies. My work gave me a good industrial maple top work bench and I set it up in my downstairs basement tonight. Hopefully this weekend I can hit sportsmans and pick up a majority of the equipment I need plus a few good manuals. I am excited to get my feet wet.

  14. #14

    Arrow Reloading set up

    Lots of great advise here and the only thing I see that I might change is the scales I would upgrade to the rcbs 10-10 its a little better scale and will last forever. Mine is 32 years old now and still going strong I have tried most of them including the electronic ones and always go back to the 10-10.I use a single stage press most of the time a RCBS RC and Dillons 650 for progressive never had a problem with any of them. Good luck with your new hobbie. Ronnie
    Last edited by Ronnie; 02-14-2007 at 03:45. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
    Member Wyatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    PAQ
    Posts
    360

    Default Murphy

    That shelf holding your dies is sagging....I could help lighten the load! Looks like you favor Redding! How would you rate the various die manufacturers and the premium Redding charges?

    Wyatt

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,417

    Default

    I'm in the same boat as you. Just getting geared up and trying to stay within a budget to get going and get as much stuff as I can. Spent a couple hours at Murphy's house one night. Man he's got the setup and experience. If money was no big deal I'd probably order a redding Big Boss Pro kit through him to get going. I'd still have to add a few things though.

    If you watch ebay you can get good deals. But, sometimes people bid up as high as you can buy new from Midway or localy at SW. Lots of rcbs stuff like the 5-10 and 10-10 scales, older but still new, just been sitting around for years. I got a rcbs 5-10 scale NIB for 40 shipped to me. I got a brand new rcbs case trimmer pro kit shipped for 50 bucks. Can't touch a new one from a retailer for less than about 80 at Midway. But I've seen rusty rcbs powder measures go for 50. You can get a brand spanking new Hornady Lock n Load powder measure for 55. I came across a new Lee Classic Cast O style press shipped to me in Fairbanks for 72 bucks. This is the solid steel one like the rock chucker or redding big boss. Lyman stainless steel calipers mint as new for 17 bucks shipped. 35 bucks at the local sportsmans warehouse.

    A couple days ago there was a "lot" that went for about 140 that had everything but a press and dies. It would have been a killer deal it looked like.

    I thought about getting a RCBS kit to start but wanted a little better scale, don't want to use lube pads (Murphy showed me a better way, imperial wax). Load trays and funnels may not fit my 325 wsm and manuals may not have 325wsm info yet. Also wanted a bench mounted primer tool. This might not be an issue for you.

    Have fun getting geared up.

    Perry

  17. #17
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    That shelf holding your dies is sagging....I could help lighten the load! Looks like you favor Redding! How would you rate the various die manufacturers and the premium Redding charges?

    Wyatt
    Wyatt,

    Actually I designed that shelf that way so the dies on top would be easier to reach there in the middle.

    Die brands. There are many good ones. I think to get better quality and better dimensional uniformity than Redding dies we would have to go to custom hand made dies. With the exception of Forester (Bonanza). I have several of the Forester and several RCBS. I will say that RCBS is a softer die (easier to scratch) than Redding. I do prefer RCBS for some calibers, rimmed cases and straight wall (some) I would prefer RCBS. I have about 20 sets of standard RCBS plus about that many custom dies, I just didn't take a picture of that shelf. Some caliber dies are just not made by Redding. My Nitro Express dies and most old metrics are RCBS. I also have a complete set of Weatherby calibers in the Forster dies, that just kinda happened. When I ordered a Co-ax press the company was selling all Wby mag dies at close out prices and I needed a 378 and 460 so I got them all. I have, several years ago, used Lyman and Hornady which I think is the old C&H dies. I didn't think them of the highest quality and rather soft but I have used neither lately.

    I use Redding because they are a small machine tool company, not a big conglomerate. They only make reloading equipment. They are very high quality and will fix anything for free or will send new parts after a phone call when I need it. No wasted time sending the old part back, they just take care of it. Also, all the die parts fit and with all the same dies for just about everything I can use the expander from this set, the sizer from that set, and the seater from this and can form a wildcat caliber without the expense of a custom set of dies. This gives me the chance to evaluate a case and measure it's capacity, etc. before I build one and have dies made. I can usually coddle together a few rounds to fire in a rifle then send those fired cases to Redding and they will make dies to match.

    I have a great deal of money invested in loading equipment, and I buy at dealer prices. I consider it a lifetime investment. I don't want to replace dies every few years. I also do, have in the past, a lot of load development work for different companies, and load ammo for many obsolete or unusual calibers for which no factory ammo exists. I need good equipment. I have made ammo for everything from a 22K Hornet to 600 Nitro Express. I have loaded for at least forty different wildcat/custom calibers. I know what quality loading dies are and what is important to make good ammo.

    Just my own bias coming through but I do like Redding dies. Thanks, for watchin'.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  18. #18

    Default

    I hope this bench will do. I still got some cleaning to do though.


  19. #19
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Southeast Alaska
    Posts
    513

    Wink

    Yeah, Water_Gremlin, that bench definitely needs to be cleared--styrofoam can hold a static charge that can throw off your powder scales.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •