Newbe question


November 22, 2008, 08:41 AM
My two business partners and I just went in and bought a Dillion 650 (as a business expense, of course:)). None of us have reloaded before and since I'm the detail guy in the bunch I was assigned the task of figuring it all out. My research shows that reloading is more a "feel" than a science. So I figured I would come to you guys to help maybe make the learning curve not so steep. The first thing I would like to do is get some advice what I should get as far as powder, primers and bullets. We all have 9mm which we shoot regularly, mainly paper punching. Also we shoot .45's and occassionally .38 sp. (We got dies for all three). Is there a powder that would work for all three or is that asking for too much? Also I was thinking CCI or Winchester primers and I'll let you guys tell me the best bullet weight for target shooting in those calibers. I want to go to Sportmans Wharehouse and pick up this stuff today so when the press comes on Monday I can get started. I realize as we become more experienced our loads will change but for right now I just need some generic info to get us started. Thanks for any advice!

PS -I am one of those guys who will actually read instruction manuals cover to cover and plan on getting a couple reloading manuals to read through first. I realize there is a lot to reloading and I am not taking a blase approach to this.

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November 22, 2008, 08:50 AM
Kowenjr,there are a lot of good powders.I use Olin 231 in 9 mm,45 ACP and 38 Special. It is quite a useful powder in other pistol cartridges. I use either Winchester or CCI.For general shooting I cannot tell the difference.Bulk bullets can be gotten off Midway.I have always stayed with 115 gr in 9mm,158 gr Lead SWC in 38 and 230 grain fmj in 45. On charges,consult a repuatable manual. Always start low and work up.Each gun is different on how it handles a load. I have used a single stage press for about 30+ years.I like it as I can clean each primer pocket.I know some do not and have no problems. A high primer can cause a slam fire in a self loader and in revolver,make it difficult to rotate the cyclinder. Byron

November 22, 2008, 08:52 AM
I would read up on reloading before starting. Lyman's Pistol & Revolver Handbook would be a good start. Also Hornady Handbook has lots of useful information.The ABC's of reloading is another one. Get as much Knowlege and advise as you can before starting.

Jim Watson
November 22, 2008, 08:54 AM
Get the book. Every major bullet maker publishes a loading manual that will give you real information and not a "feel."

I will spoon feed you a few things so you can go shopping for other stuff.

I have loaded good quality 9mm, .45 ACP and .38 Special with Winchester 231 powder. Somebody will recommend another powder. But I am right.

I have used all major brands of primers and cannot tell a difference in pistol ammunition. See what is in stock. If any, the post-election panic has brought inventories way down.

As for bullet weights, I think 9mm 124 grain is a good compromise, so did Georg Luger.
In .38 Special 148 grain wadcutter or 158 grain semiwadcutter or roundnose will be hard to beat. No need to pay for jacketed bullets in the revolver.
I really prefer 200 grain .45 ACP but roundnose bullets - which you should learn on - are not common in that weight, so get the 230s.

November 22, 2008, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the advice. I went back and edited my thread before I got a chance to read your responses. I do plan on doing a lot of reading first.

The Bushmaster
November 22, 2008, 09:24 AM
Another good load manual that is almost a must on any reloaders book shelf is Lyman's 49 Edition...

evan price
November 22, 2008, 09:31 AM
For someone just starting out, I highly recommend that you start with basic, generic type loads.

I recommend Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP38 as a starter powder (same thing). It flows well in most powder measures, it is useful in virtually any pistol caliber out there, and it is available everywhere. There are lots and lots of loads developed for this powder.

Primers so far have done nothing for me to inspire brand loyalty. They have all worked perfectly so far. I usually used Winchesters however recently I found Wolf primers to be just as good and much less expensive.

When I said "Generic" loads, I mean, duplicates of what you are already buying. That way you have a benchmark to compare the quality and performance of your reloads against to see if you are "getting it" right.

Look at what you are buying to go shooting now, and select bullets that will be similar. For example, 115-grain FMJ-RN 9mm. 230-grain FMJ-RN .45 ACP. 158-grain JSP .38 specials.

This is because especially in the beginning you may have problems relating to the length of the cartridge, bullet shape, etc. and if you stick to what you know already works in your guns, figuring out what might be wrong if something doesn't work right will be simpler.

Once you are comfortable with the process and making ammo that 100% works, then start experimenting with wadcutters in the .45 or trying different powders to find a more accurate load.

You picked a horse of a machine to start with. That Dillon will work and work.

November 22, 2008, 11:58 AM
Thanks Evan. That's the info I was looking for. We went with the 650 because we wanted something we could grow into. I will be the one doing the reloading for myself and my partners. I look forward to learning the process, they look forward to more shooting, so since it's going to my house I need to keep them supplied with ammo! (I anticipate lots of ammo).

November 22, 2008, 12:04 PM
Powder unique should work for all 3 of them

November 22, 2008, 12:13 PM
Go get the books and read them.

It is not a feel, it is a science.

If you don't get the books and educate yourselves, make sure your business general liability insurance covers reloading negligence. Since you bought the unit as a business, anyone who gets hurt will file against your business enterprise and its assets. Be smart about it.

November 22, 2008, 12:34 PM
Scary stuff...

November 22, 2008, 12:39 PM
You've gotten some great info here. May I underscore some of the responses...

It's more math and science than most people give it credit to be. Study the loads in the published reloading manuals (RLM) and start with mild or minimum loads until you fully understand how to relate powder load-to-OAL-to-bullet weight.

Read. Obtain several RLMs and compare loads and tables. One of my favorites is the Lyman manual since they test a huge cross-section of manufacturer's components, whereas a Speer RLM only discusses Speer bullets. Used manuals available on Amazon. Pick up free powder brochures at your gun dealer.

Take notes. Start a reloading log book with bullet #1. Record the powder, OAL, bullet, etc for every run. Go back and note how they shot after the fact.

Powders. There is a difference in powders. Better to buy eight different 1 lb cans of powder, than one 8 lb can at a "great price". Win231 is definitely one of the powders to try.

Share the work. Reloading swaps your labor for purchase price. Reloading is labor intensive, and can be hazardous to your health if a lot of case handling and case polishing is involved. Don't let your "partners" plead ignorance and proceed to shoot 1/3 of the ammo. If you're the brains, then give them all the "dirty" work.

Danger. Realize there is inherent danger if recipes are changed too much. For safety, vary only one ingredient at a time. Reloading is FUN, but it is also work for a sober and focused mind.

And most of all, welcome to "the club" !! :)

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