Newbie thinking about reloading

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by DUTCHS, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. DUTCHS

    DUTCHS Well-Known Member Supporting

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    OK, I am going to show that I am a complete novice. A lot of the guys over at Glock Forum reload, I do not see the advantage for me, Just to much time and effort and Ammo where I am is not that bad priced. However, I do own a 45-70 and a .308 rifle, I do see that it could be well worth my time to reload the bigger rounds in the rifles, I have not a clue where to start? I hear about single presses, progressive presses ETC. I am not going to be doing a ton of loading and would like to experiment with different loads in my rifles. Any tips on where to start and if it is worth the equip. cost just to load two caliber rifle shells? Thanks guys
     
  2. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Just my opinion but, I would agree. In this area, the cost of 9mm & 45 acp isn't that bad compared to the cost of reloads with commercial bullets. There would be savings if you load high volumes but it would be minimal for the average shooter. For the occasional shooter, a single stage press will work fine. However, there is a noticeable savings when loading rifle cartridges plus you have more versatility with a greater variety of load. Once you get started with rifle bullets, you may want to try some pistol rounds just for fun.
    As for getting started, check here; http://www.marlinforum.com/forum/f22/reloading-keep-simple-538/
    If you have more questions, feel free to ask.
     

  3. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Well-Known Member

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    hey Dutch, I have been reloading for 20+ years and my recommendation would be to start with a single stage setup. It lets you focus on each step of the process. There are starter kits available(midwayusa.com); minus the dies of course. I have two progressives for pistol ammo and two single stages for rifle ammo.
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  4. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

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    Dutch, nothing wrong with being a novice as we all had to start somewhere. my first suggestion to someone interested in getting into reloading is to buy the book, " The ABC's of Reloading" excellent book for beginners and veteran reloaders. usually can be found at Amazon.com for about $15 or even less. another good book is Lee's Modern Reloading data book. lots of good info for how to reload as well as being a load data book.
     
  5. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I agree with axxe, and that's how I got started. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to do it. My primary reason was to reduce costs for pistol shooting, so I was interested in casting from the start. For that reason I bought Lymans Cast Bullet Handbook. It relieved all of my apprehensions about the subject and got me started with a base of knowledge. I've only been doing it for a few years so still a beginner, but it's now a central part of the shooting hobby for me. I reload to relax, it's quiet and private.
     
  6. Groffeaston

    Groffeaston Active Member

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    Hello,

    I am planning on getting started in reloading very soon. I have been wanting to do that for a few years now, but whenever I had thought that I had enough money to get one piece, then something happened and I had to use the money for that. Then my dad who is retired promised to by me a reloading kit for Christmas the one year so we both could get started together. We would learn together, a father & son thing to do, now that he has trouble walking and does not hunt very much any more. But again something came up and he could not get it for me, then he said for my Birthday, but again something came up. But now I have some gift cards that I can use to offset the cost of the equipment. I have been thinking either of the 2 Lee single stage kits or a RCBS single stage Press kit. With either of those 3 anyone getting into reloading will have almost everything needed to get started except dies, powder, brass, lead, and primers. There may be just a few odds and ends that you may have to get depending on which kit one goes with. But generally you have most of what you need to get started.

    What I suggest for those wanting to get started like myself, is to go with one of the singe stage press kits either by Lee or RCBS, or if you can afford it one of the other brands. Then get the other odds and ends that you need to get started and that do not come in the kits. Read a reloading manual and then have fun and be safe!! Remember to keep meticulous notes of all of your reloading data so you do not forget it!!
     
  7. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    I've been reloading for 39 years. (Started when I was 6. :D) My first press was a single stage RCBS Jr. I used it for 20 years. When I decided to up grade I stayed with a single stage press and moved up to the RCBS Rock Chucker. Don't discount what you can accomplish sitting in front of a single stage press for 60-90 minutes. You'll be shooting cheap ammo every weekend. Be careful...you'll be having so much fun you will start buying more rifles just so you can reload new calibers.

    Read the thread mentioned above, 'keep it simple'. That's good advice.
     
  8. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    Dutchs

    Congrats on thinking about reloading.
    I have been reloading for 15 years, and I can assure you, it's very satisfying.

    Take your time, experiment, but above all get advice, on some of the required techniques, you will have to do.

    Reloading is a continual thinking and re-checking process, in which to get the best results, everything you do will be down to 1/2 a thou of an inch, and weight measurement will be basically down to the very last granular of powder.

    It's not that hard, just need to take your time and be exact

    If I can help, just drop me an email at bloh@iinet.net.au

    Cheers mate
    Bucky
     
  9. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Was checking on prices of Loading Blocks.......I thought, simple to make.
    Just for grins whipped up one out of a piece of wood I had laying around. Used a Forstner bit to fit the .308 cases, layed out the hole pattern and drilled the holes on a drill press. Blocks like this will be used for case prep. Will make others, different dimensions for charging and seating bullets. Even painted it RED....:) If you can save a few bucks why not !!! This one is just a prototype and will refine before making full sets for the .308, .223, .357, and probley others.
     

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  10. Groffeaston

    Groffeaston Active Member

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    Hello everyone,

    For all the newbies thinking about reloading, I thank all of you for the advice.

    My dad who is 82 years young, has a drill press and we could definitely make a few loading blocks out of wood. May need a couple new drill-bits to get the proper size for the cases to fit in the holes so they do not wobble too much. But right now with my nephew, his wife and 2 kids living in our basement temporarily, we cannot get to the work bench with the drill press on it! lol Most of their stuff is piled up in our basement.

    I will probably get the reloading equipment within a month or 2 and then build a bench for it. I probably will not get started reloading until early spring or summer because of going for weight loss surgery and my back which will then need surgery also. So I will have plenty of time for reading reloading manuals.
     
  11. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Groff...sounds like a plan......:) Something else that would work just as well on the loading blocks......instead of using the drill press and buying Forstner bits (which drill holes with flat bottoms)...use a hand drill with a regular bit and drill all the way thru...then glue a thin piece of 1/8 or 1/4 to the bottom. that will work just as well....every few bucks saved in one area can be used in another. Another thing....I dont worry about the size of the blocks I have on hand....ever how they lay out for # of holes is fine. I know I was reading reviews on blocks and a lot of complaints on # of holes in em....LIKE IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.....:rolleyes: If your blocks have 10, 20, or what ever, ya load em in batches to match. I am going to make a set for working up test loads that have "7" holes. 1 for fouling shot and two 3 shot groups.
     
  12. Groffeaston

    Groffeaston Active Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for the advice. What I was thinking of doing for the loading blocks after seeing the home-made ones mentioned above, was make a few of them for the different calibers/cartridges I ant to reload. I was not going to worry about how many holes were in each one. I was going to use either a 2x6 or a 2x4, cut it to a length of about 6 or 8 inches maybe even a little as 4 inches. Then drill the holes. I was thinking of between 10 holes and 20 holes. 10 holes gives me a halve box and 20 a full box. Then after making the blocks I was either going to paint them or shellac them to give them a nice color or bring out the wood grain.

    I like the idea of having a 5 hole loading block for a test load.

    Also what I was thinking of was having some way of labeling the loading blocks for the calibers/cartridges that they accept. Either by painting them each a different color, painting the caliber/Cartridge on them or using something like a Dremel tool to engrave the caliber/cartridge on them and then painting the engraved area a different color than the loading block. but that will have to wait until dad and I can get to his work bench with the drill press on it. lol :)
     
  13. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Whoaa...Goin Furniture Grade on me there with the engraving and shellac.....I :D it. Gives your stuff a Personal touch and you can combine woodworking with reloading...:cool: When you get one made and all dressed up post a picture....I wanna see.

    You done give me a complex now Groff....gonna go throw my ole pine/painted one back on the burn pile and start over......:eek:

    This will become an "Arms Race" with loading blocks. I'm gonna cut off the shell base, paint the Caliber engraving in Relief and inlay it into the loading block....:p
     
  14. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna have to sneak into Kalifornia and poach me one of those Redwood trees just so I can compete in the loading block 'Arms Race'. A chunk of 200 year old Redwood and $5K worth of woodworking tools and I'm in. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  15. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    I wouldn't go out yonder if I was you Hyphenated......every thing there is "known to cause cancer"......:eek: Besides with all this "high grade walnut" in the show me state not to mention the Red Oak which is the priemum furniture stuff. And lets not forget the White Oak.....got a great Stave factory about 23 miles from me in Lebanon...ship Burbon barrells to Kanetuck....and also to France for big buck wine.
     
  16. Groffeaston

    Groffeaston Active Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Gee, I did not intend to start an arms race in loading blocks! :D I was just mentioning what someone COULD do or what I was thinking about doing! lol :D Just mentioning some ideas that had popped up into my empty head! lmao But if and when I do decide to go the fancy route I will definitely post pictures for everyone to see! :)
     
  17. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    It's too late for apologies now Groff. I have already sold my wife and kids to raise money for this project. :D I'm taking SWO1 advice and going to the barrel factory instead of Kalifornia. It's just a couple hours down I-44 and I'm pretty sure MO oak trees don't cause cancer.
     
  18. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    On your way to Lebanon as you go thru Springfield, stop by the GRIZZLEY tool store. You can pick up your $5K worth of woodworking tools. They have a complete line....$5K will set you up for anything, or it won't buy you ONE MACHINE.....:eek: If it does it....They make it. Metal working also...Lets dont even get into that...:p
     
  19. Spoon

    Spoon Well-Known Member

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    I've been dropping powder and stuffing lead for over 45yrs. It all depends on number of rounds you consume and whether a fella has a good supply of brass or ready access. I load MO Bullet LC Small Ball for high-count range trips. Cost up front is the biggie with a press from $30 Lee to ~$100 Lee Classic Turret on to well over a $1000 for a Blue monster ammo factory. Rifle dies, $20 to as much as a fella wants to spend for each caliber. For pistols...you can't beat the Lee Carbide 4-die sets. Carbide by any company eliminates case lube. One thing that I whole-heartedly believe in is the Lee Factory Crimp die for all rounds EXCEPT fine-tuned high-power gnat shooting loads for BR competitions, and then you might want a neck size only die. Oh the choices to be had and selections made.

    As for the 9mm LCs, component cost 11.3 cents per round (not including brass) or $5.65 per box of 50. You can't match that ANYWHERE unless you make 'em at home. With larger calibers and jacketed bullets the price increases exponentially with the weight of the projectiles and their "touted" features. I also have the luxury of buying direct from Sierra in Sedalia at the outlet store. I had my bride stop by today on her shopping trip to town and retrieve two pounds of 60grHPs for the AR loads. I found these the most accurate in my and a family member's M4s, so I just keep stuffing them for a 'rainy day'. Bullet count this lot equaled 323 pieces. Sierra's policy is to always give a little extra, but still only charge for the number of pounds you request. Sweet deal that is walk-in only, no phone or net orders. I wt check each batch by random sample and find these within .2gr+ - and diameters perfect at 0.224 on my Mitutoyo caliper. Cost was a mear $28.17 w/tax...what would you pay for 3 boxes of the same bullet at your favorite supplier?

    Anywho the decision is up to you, but I'm sure most of the guys that post here and elsewhere can tell you with a little experimentation, you can turn an "OKay" rifle into a shooter with the correct recipe. It's the search that compells many of us to load, load and load some more! IT's ADDICTING and in some cases more $$$ than just buying factory fodder Read up, decide and good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  20. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Hey spoon....is the Sierra outlet open on Saturday. My wife wants to go also and she cant get away during the week. I hate to go without her.....BUT .....she knows and understands if I havta.....:cool: