April 17, 2007, 08:47 PM
How hard is this thing called reloading? There seems to be a lot to know... I want to get started and am looking into Lee's Anniversary Kit. I just don't know if I'm gonna just sit there and stare at the kit and wonder when I'm gonna blow myself up... Or become a successful reloader.. :)


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April 17, 2007, 08:57 PM
Before long, you'll wonder why you thought it could be difficult. I think we've all been there. Following safe reloading procedures will remove the danger element. The first place to start is by reading your reloading manual, and there are several good videos that will help take you through the process, along with your manual.;)

April 17, 2007, 08:59 PM
The best thing you can do is buy a reloading manual FIRST and read the first few chapters involving the process and mechanics of reloading. also has some good videos (one of which features John Larroquette :D )

April 17, 2007, 09:03 PM
Boy, do I know how you feel. I'm about 1.500 rounds into it and remember when it was time to light off the first one at the range. I wore gloves and goggles! As CZ57 says, read as much as you can - get several manuals - and use the starting loads. Once you do it you'll be hooked. Good luck.

April 17, 2007, 09:03 PM
There's really nothing to be afraid of. Learn as much as you can, pay attention to detail, and it's really pretty simple. In short order you will find that you can load better ammo than you can buy. There are plenty of members here that will help you along the way. All you have to do is ask.

April 17, 2007, 10:11 PM
Get yourself a copy of the book "The ABC's of Reloading". Several of the folks here recommended it to me, along with what others have already said, and it has helped a lot. Also, if there is someone in your area (friend from work, church, whatever) that reloads, see if they will show you. Often times, there is someone at one of the local gun shops that will be willing to talk to you about it.
As for the lee kit, it's what I started with, and it works quite well. I know that isn't what you asked, but thats my $0.02 on the kit (the manual that comes with it is okay, but not great, others are better).
Welcome to the obsession.

April 17, 2007, 10:43 PM
I fired off my first reloads last night. Since then, I've loaded an additional 300 rounds on a single stage press. I fired my first round offhanded and with my head turned. The other 23 that 1 had run up as a test went far too fast. I love this hobby, and I'm glad I started at 22, but wish I started earlier. Pick up the ABC's of reloading. It was my first reloading read, and I reference it every time I start reloading, for some reason or another. I picked up mine at a books a million, think it cost 21 bucks, you can get it off midway for far cheaper, but keep an eye on shipping costs.

Welcome to the sickness.


April 17, 2007, 10:59 PM
I've been firing at least 100 loaded rounds a week lately. I started loading late last year, and now I'm constantly calculating costs, looking for a better powder, and wishing I had more bullets. Not to mention brass scrounging. It is very much a sickness. The posters in this forum are great, as questions are answered promptly. Read the start-up sticky at the top of the forum, and don't be afraid to use the search function. I know it's hard to find a answer in those, but if you narrow it down enough, you'll find it. Almost every question has been asked (but some need repeating). And no one should be ashamed of wearing gloves and glasses when testing your first loads. All of us started out unsure, but experience gives you the confidence in your own work. Get the books, get teh gear, get into a pattern, and get to the range.

Shooting is more fun when it's cheaper.

April 17, 2007, 11:10 PM
Aproaching it with caution is good, read a couple different manuals, get the basic idea and load a few. You will be amazed haw easy it is and feel a sense of accomplishment when you fire your first mag of handloads. Good luck

April 17, 2007, 11:19 PM
i disagree with buying the abc of reloading. I dont own one. we have been where you are right now.

When you purchase a lee anniversary kit. From

it will usually come with the lee modern reloading book. This is all you need. MANY MANY MANY people have bought the kit with the book or bought the book seperately and read it a few times. I DID. then you go shooting buy some factory ammo. go home and clean the cases. then size them and prep them per the book and instructions. Then you press in a new bullet with out the primer. then you measure the bullet. compare it to a factory bullet. then you get the nerve to get past the be care full its a real primer stage. Then install a new primer into another case. Then add the powder. then you press in the bullet. then you measure it all again.

Then you come back here and tell everyone what you just did. how much powder how long the overall bullet is. what kind of bullet what kind of primer. then we tell you if its safe or not. You may even email lee.

I DID. told them what i put in, bullet wise powder weight and primer. they told me i was safe and go shooting.

Then i did.

YOU WILL NEVER FORGET the first time you fire a bullet you made. after your first box of bullets. you will be forever hooked.

April 18, 2007, 12:46 AM
Scrat, I have to disagree with you ( only about the books). I have both books. I bought the ABC's first, then I bought the anniversary kit. I'm glad I did it that way. The ABC's is an excellent "idiot's guide to reloading" It breaks down every step in the process almost too much. There were a few times that I had to put down modern reloading and cross-reference what i was reading. I have just started reloading, and those are the only two books I have. I am actually trying to decide what is next, and I'm leaning towards the Lyman manual. (this is why this board is such a valuable resource, more than likely, in the next ten posts, if there are that many, someone or many people are going to recommend books to me.)

Back to subject...

Reloaders tend (at least to me) to band together in sharing knowledge and expertise. The only time I see competiton between reloaders is when you get into the "red vs blue vs green" debate (Hornady vs Dillon vs RCBS)

then just remember Lee is the way to go.......:neener: :neener: :neener:


Koos Custodiet
April 18, 2007, 12:51 AM
+1 on the ABCs of reloading. But get the 5th edition, not the 6th. Dean Grennel has a way with words.

(OK, personal opinion, I have 2,5 and 6, and looked up annealing in #2 last week, it's not in the later issues).

Strange, I can't remember my first handloads.. but they worked out fine, I still have all my fingers :D

April 18, 2007, 12:51 AM
A reloader can NEVER HAVE ENOUGH reloading manuals. Nope! And, that is poor practice to have just one manual. The ABC's of Reoading is a great reference guide!

To think a person should email some guy on the internet :barf: or the people at Lee is not a safe practice! You have to work up loads that are safe, accurate, and reliable in your guns! There is leg work with reloading and it involves range time not emailing some to check a load out!

There are no short cuts to reloading! PERIOD:cuss:

April 18, 2007, 12:56 AM
your right thats why you should read what i wrote here

as far as reloading books nope only have one. as far as load data books. i have 5 same time it takes a lot of homework and research when you are making up a new load. it took me about 20 hours of research before i started making a load for cast 165 grn with trail boss as information was not available. I had to do a lot of research and comparisons before trying a test load. now i have data on loads that work awesome. next load i am working on is for lead cast 115 grain. from cast mold. its taking me some time and more research and homework to make up a load with the right type of powder for what im looking for. This is where the home work comes in. A learn to load by reading this book will not teach you that. modern reloading the abcs of reloading wont tell you that. they teach you how to reload and give you load data however when working on a load and trying to come up with different effects to improve your accuracy takes a lot of homework. a lot of homework.

April 18, 2007, 02:31 AM
Reloading is safer than driving. Smokeless powder doesn't explode. It burns quickly.
Buy the ABC's book, read it twice, set up your press and dies and load some ammo. Reloading isn't rocket science. All you're doing is taking the case back to spec size, removing the spent primer and replacing it, then weighing a new powder charge and putting in a new bullet.
Start with the powder given in your manual for the 'accuracy load' for the cartridge you want to load. It eliminates the guess work.

April 18, 2007, 05:00 AM
+1 on everything said is fun, easy, and rewarding all at once

April 18, 2007, 06:45 AM
Thanks guys,
I really am starting to like this forum... Really quick replys and all...

April 18, 2007, 07:33 AM
I think a lot of the "caution" comes from the earlier days of reloading in the 60's-70's. We didn't have the chronographs and pressure equipment we have today. The common mentality was "if 40 grains if good, 45 must be better". I had an uncle that used to have one of his friends load his .270 way hot. Thought it was cool. Now I look back and wonder how he got by.

Now we understand that extra powder may give a lot of extra pressure but very little in extra velocity. Also, is going from 3,000 fps to 3,200 fps really going to make a difference?? Is the target any deader?? Once you've got enough power to blow a bullet all the way thru a deer or elk, does any extra velocity really make a difference??

Start with mid-range loads, watch OAL, and you'll be fine.

April 18, 2007, 08:21 AM
Follow a good reloading books guidelines and you will be reloading worry free before you know it. Be attentive and carefull when reloading and all will go well. :)

the pistolero
April 18, 2007, 10:01 AM
How hard is this thing called reloading?

After you read your manuals and get the hang of how your equipment works, not hard at all. I've only turned out a few cartridges, but that was more due to time constraints than anything else. When the weekend gets here, more will come. :D Just be careful and go slow, and you'll be fine.

April 18, 2007, 10:19 AM
if your at all mechanically inclined, willing to read/learn, and patient, then you should find reloading fun, rewarding and safe.

if your impatient, unteachable, slip shod and comfortable with "gerry rigged" solutions, then you might consider a different hobby.

only you know the real you.

April 18, 2007, 10:21 AM
I agree with PO--The paperwork that came with my RCBS dies were very helpful. Over the past 39 years I've only wore out a few RCBS parts and they have replaced them for free. I load over 3000 rounds a year and i'm still addicted.
Good Reloading! I also recomment Guns and Ammo mag and Handloader. Also when loading cartridges that can take a double or tripple load, just weih them. only those that equal the weight of bullet, primer, case and charge are O.K.

April 18, 2007, 01:36 PM
Read your reloading manual, use common sense, and take your time and things will work out fine.

Stop frequently to check your work. If you're using a single stage press, or a non-autoindexing progressive, it's easy to make sure you don't have no powder or a double-charge.

I always advise people to start out with a single stage press. You have more control and less temptation to rush. I load all of my rifle ammunition on a single stage, even though I load all of my pistol ammo on a progressive. I load only for 600 yard precision rifle shooting and weigh and trickle every charge. The Dillon 550B works very well for me for pistol. I still started pistol and rifle using an RCBS Jr. back in college in the '70s.

April 18, 2007, 07:50 PM
It must be very easy, I am doing it. I would advise to not jump in and buy a press until you do some reading. Figure out what calibers and how many rounds a week or month you will need to load. We will be able to give you better advice when you can answer those questions. It doesn't make sence to me to buy a press that doesn't meet your needs and then have to upgrade in a month. Hope this helps.

April 18, 2007, 08:40 PM
if your at all mechanically inclined, willing to read/learn, and patient, then you should find reloading fun, rewarding and safe.

if your impatient, unteachable, slip shod and comfortable with "gerry rigged" solutions, then you might consider a different hobby.
I think this bears repeating.

I started with a Hornady reloading manual. Didn't spend too much time reading it though. My reloader came with a good manual. The ABCs sounds like it might be a good place to start.

Do you have a caliber in mind that you want to start with?
I would recommend that for your first reloads, use a powder that fills the cases. Something like Unique in 9mm for example. Some people will say it's a dirty powder, or filling the case isn't necessary, and try to steer you towards their personal favorite powder, but you only need to buy a pound to start, and that will allow you time to develop good habits and to get to know what to watch out for. With a powder that fills the case, it's hard to get a dangerous load (a double charge is impossible), and you'll probably catch a squib (little or no powder) before it happens. A squib isn't dangerous, unless you get a bullet lodged in the barrel and follow up with a regular round. Have to remember to clear the gun after a squib no matter what (even commercial ammo can have squibs - they're just really rare).

April 19, 2007, 08:47 AM

You can also find an NRA certified reloading instructor here. In addition to reading all the manuals you can lay our hands on, a little one-on-one with either an instructor or someone with experience would also shorten the learning curve and be able to answer your questions.

April 20, 2007, 07:46 PM
It's pretty easy. READ THE MANUALS/MATERIALS FIRST!!! You'll know what you are doing in one afternoon. Just use common sense and you won't blow yourself up.

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