Reloading.... Where To Start?

thor447

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You'll get no shortage of help here. There are lots of other threads, including my own from years ago, of users seeking help and advice in reloading. My first piece of advice would be to buy a good solid press. This doesn't have to mean expensive, but means well made. Even if you go full progressive, you'll find yourself needing a good single stage from time to time, at least I do. Buy a quality press, dies, and tools, otherwise as you grow you will find that as you get deeper into the hobby, you'll be investing in the same items again but in a better quality. If you will be reloading rifle cartridges, do yourself a favor and spend a little money on brass prep equipment, like a good case prep station. It'll save you tons of time, frustration, and hand cramps.

Triple check everything, verify your load data before starting and spot check during loading. I don't fire a single round that doesn't pass through a case gauge, and I also plunk test several handgun loads, especially when loading a new projectile.

Speaking of case gauges, I learned the expensive way the difference between minimum chamber and max cartridge sized gauges. I've had pistol reloads that easily pass a min. chamber gauge, but fail the plunk test in the barrel. The case head could have the slightest bulge that is barely visible and only fixable through a bulge buster or roll sizer, and the minimum chamber gauge would pass it. It would still fail to fully drop in a plunk test though. I then switched all of my gauges to max cartridge which are a little smaller than minimum chamber, and have never looked back (Wilson gauges are among the best IMO).
 
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Roadking Larry

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Lots of good advice here.
Reloading manuals, you absolutely have to have one, Lee, Lyman, Hornady are all good, the powder manufacturers also have manuals specific to their powder I don't think you can really have too many good reloading manuals.

Plenty of good youtube videos to watch. This guy has lots of good info - https://www.youtube.com/c/Ultimatereloader

I'm not a brand snob when it comes to tools and presses I have Lee, Lyman, Hornady and RCBS tools and presses All of them are good tools. I started with Lee stuff in the late '80s and still have and use some of the Lee tools I started with. ( I am not a fan of their powder measures though).

I have the Hornady LNL AP progressive and I have loaded thousands of rounds of ammo on it. It has it's eccentricities but is a good solid press. For my lower volume stuff like .45-70 blackpowder rounds or .30-30 I like my Lyman turret press.
When I'm working up a new cartridge or load I like to run off the initial test loads on the turret press as well.

Once you get sorted out with reloading then you can start looking at casting your own bullets. :50cal:
 

JaredC

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My first press was a Dillon XL650. I bought it 7 years ago and I'm still using it today. I'm glad that I started with a more advanced press. I shoot between 5K and 12K rounds a year and there's no way I would want to devote the time it would take to load that much ammo on a single stage press. The XL650 also let's me leave my dies set-up while switching calibers (quick change tool heads), which is another huge time saver.

The Dillon also has a station just to verify the powder charge. I REALLY like the extra layer of safety of having each charge volume checked electronically.

Dillon warranty is second to none. Their presses are spendy, but if it breaks they'll send you parts for free. I've used the warranty several times and they've always been great.

Above all, be sure to do your homework. Get some help from someone who's experienced if you can. Be cautious. Check your work often. Verify your load data and your measurements. Keep a clean reloading bench.

Hope your reloading journey is as rewarding as mine has been.

Cheers
I was looking at the Dillion presses last night. I probably would have just bought one of the mid range multi stage presses and kits except for the fact that most of their dies are backordered over 60 weeks!
If you are around the Tulsa area, I would be glad to show you the in's and out's of reloading. I have been reloading for over 50 years, and have done it as a profession for many years.

Thank you so much. I may take you up on that. And thank you to all the others who offered the same that I didnt quote
Check this out. Links and prices probably outdated but the content should be good.


I read that whole thread.....Of course AFTER I posted my question. Lol
 

okierider

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Youtube has some good stuff as well to watch while waiting on manuals and parts .
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Been said earlier...... spend as little as possible to see if it strikes your fancy.............. This is not for everyone.

Search google for the Lee reloading manuals in pdf format ,they can be downloaded for free................... lots of good info there. That is how I started and once I figured out I like the whole shebang I started buying new and old manuals when I find them at garage sales and on the fleabay .
 

okierider

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Ask on the wanted forums if anyone has a single stage they will sell ya ..........Guys on here will surprise you!! Even our trolls are good guys most of the time ! Just keep em outa the P&HT section!! 🙂
 

thor447

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Ding, ding, ding ..ding.....we have a winner. Best advice get with someone experienced, then, move fwd from there.
Totally agree. I had a well-known OSA member take me under his wing when I first started. I’ve got two friends coming over Saturday during the football game. One of which will be their second reloading session here, the other will be there first.
 

dennishoddy

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The first thing i always suggest to someone wanting to get started is get a reloading manual ( I usually suggest Lee since it goes into detail more than some of the others) and also the ABC's of reloading sometimes you can find it at your library so you can check it out and not have to buy it. I always start a newbie out on a single stage and even if you want to upgrade later you will always find a use for the single stage
I've been reloading since 1980.
100% great advice above.
I used to to shoot a lot of rounds monthly in competition prior to this shortage. Backed off completely as reloading supplies have dwindled. Still have tons of supplies to reload, but am wary of the political winds so quit the competition hobby.
Since your new the game, I'll offer the advice I keep posting.
When prices get back to normal, no matter how long it takes, buy a lot and stack it deep.
Primers, brass, bullets, and the associated components to shine your brass, and so on.
You can't buy enough. I keep a minimum stock of 10,000 primers. That wouldn't last 6 months when shooting USPSA.
The story is...................buy the hell out of reloading supplies, more than you will think will last a lifetime and shoot. when others are sitting on the sidelines.
 

SSGDave762

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Learned a lot reloading for 41 years, Father, Grandfather, and friends-Books are good, useful-Crushed fingers are not, so Patience Always. get a Feel for your equipment no matter what you choose-resistance is a tool telling you "Something is Wrong" so Never Force. Lubricant is your Friend, but like Chocolate, you CAN overdo it especially in a dusty environment like Arizona (phoenix area). Clean your brass before loading-a good tumbler and walnut shell is cheap and extends the life of your equipment. Ask questions just like you're doing-only Bad question is one you didnt ask. (I'm a former Drill Sgt, US Army and i tell my kids that too). Dont give up if something proves difficult-look at the problem, ask questions, because sometimes simple things can trip you up, like getting a primer stuck in the ram-had to disassemble plenty of times just to get a stuck primer out-sure wasnt going to throw the press away no matter how much my Wife wanted me to-LMAO! Reloading 31 calibers now, including .50BMG and That's a Bear if you dont understand real Patience-have to resize by "Stages" because even with a LOT of lube, the press handle has bent when i tried to full length resize in 1 step and i've had surgery on both hands which doesnt make anything easier. Learn, gain experience, and save Buku dollars! (never forget, when priming, make Very Sure it's Flush with the bottom of the case or it can slam fire!) Enjoy the fun and welcome to the hobby!
 

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