If or when to start reloading?


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billsnogo
December 3, 2009, 04:31 PM
I have been thinking about reloading, but not sure at what point would be a good choice to start. How many cases should you have before making a start?

It is easy to recover the brass for the .38, but my 9mm's tend to throw the brass all over, and don't have too much brass for it yet.

Would 1000 or so cases be the time to start? :confused:

I know it is recommended to get a book on reloading, and will to get a good idea what I am in for, and will read while I pill up the brass :)

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Walkalong
December 3, 2009, 06:42 PM
Reloading is sort of like having a baby. If you keep waiting around for the perfect time, you'll never do it. ;)

Just do it. Many have started with a lot fewer than 1000 cases, trust me. :)

Rugg_Ed
December 3, 2009, 06:49 PM
Jump in and get your feet wet, it proves to be a continuous learning curve, and enjoyable as you progress.
Wow 1000 cases thatsabout 900 more than I started with.

gspn
December 3, 2009, 06:49 PM
I wouldn't start until you have a good supply of primers. Seriously. You could very well end up like me...you get the equipment, you have the cases and the bullets, the reloading manuals and the powder...but you have nothing to fire it with.

I've reloaded shotshell and pistol for a long time but just bought my rifle equipment over the summer. The equipment sat idle for months because I couldn't get ANY primers. None locally, none on the internet...none.

If it were me I'd secure primers first, then get into it.

As far as how many cases...you don't need many to start. When I started I just bought two boxes of factory ammo...shot them...then reloaded that brass after each session. It was a nice pace. No need to have thousands on hand to start.

lgbloader
December 3, 2009, 07:06 PM
Walkalong and co is right. I started with a box of 50. 1000 would have been a jackpot to me when I started.

LGB

azyogi
December 3, 2009, 07:10 PM
I started with a Lee clasic reloader [sometimes called a whack-a-moe] and a single box of 20 brass in 30/06. This type of reloader can still be bought new for less than 30 bucks [Cabellas] The times being what they are I got to agree with gspn before investing now I'd say line up your ingredients first. I can find most everything in town, but what used to be a trip to just one store I now have to drive all over the valley to find everything. I know all the hole in the wall shops. Still the ammo and fixens appear to getting easier to find.

Atroxus
December 3, 2009, 07:17 PM
I wouldn't start until you have a good supply of primers. Seriously. You could very well end up like me...you get the equipment, you have the cases and the bullets, the reloading manuals and the powder...but you have nothing to fire it with.

I've reloaded shotshell and pistol for a long time but just bought my rifle equipment over the summer. The equipment sat idle for months because I couldn't get ANY primers. None locally, none on the internet...none.

If it were me I'd secure primers first, then get into it.

As far as how many cases...you don't need many to start. When I started I just bought two boxes of factory ammo...shot them...then reloaded that brass after each session. It was a nice pace. No need to have thousands on hand to start.
I couldn't find any primers online, then someone pointed out to me that unless I was buying in bulk I would be better off getting primers locally anyways due to hazmat fee. So I started calling local gun/sporting stores. If I recall correctly I had to call like 12 places before I found one with primers in stock, and had to travel 20 miles to get them, but it was worth it. I don't know if you tried it yet, but if not you may wanna just start calling places near you, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

gspn
December 3, 2009, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the heads up. I've been calling three places locally for several months. Nada. I found a few hundred at Bass Pro shops locally after months of looking. Tonight I called and they had 900 winchester large rifle magnums...WOOHOO. They also had 2k large pistol. It was tempting to take it all, but I just grabbed 1k and left the other for some fortunate sole to happen upon.

It does appear that we MIGHT be on the front end of primers getting a bit easier to find...but it's still like looking for a needle in a haystack.

mongoose33
December 3, 2009, 08:19 PM
What Walkalong said.

Just start. It's not as if you're suddenly going to acquire everything you'll ever want or need to reload. And other than the basics, there's no threshold you need to pass in terms of number of pieces of brass, etc. etc.

I've been reloading for 15+ months now, and I'm still figuring it out, acquiring tools and components. It's part of the charm of the hobby.

billsnogo
December 3, 2009, 08:33 PM
Wow, looks like the cost of shipping the primers is pretty close to the same price as the primers. There is a gun show locally this weekend and maybe can pick some up there as cabelas is at least 8 weeks backorder :(

thanks for the advice so far. Now I need to decided on a beginer press, book, ect. Time for a little research.

thanks guys :)

gspn
December 3, 2009, 08:46 PM
Don't wait 8 weeks for cabelas. Several online places have Wolf primers in stock. Sinclair International, Wideners, and Powder Valley among others. Consider the Hazmat fee a temporary nuisance...when the normal supply/demand relationhsip returns to the market you'll be able to get stuff locally and won't have to fool with hazmat.

Publius1688
December 3, 2009, 08:56 PM
If there is a retail store in East Tennessee with primers in stock, I don't know about it. They're rarer than hens teeth. My vote: buy a thousand and pay the hazmat. Sooner or later, the run on ammo and fixins will be over.

billybob44
December 3, 2009, 09:01 PM
Wow, looks like the cost of shipping the primers is pretty close to the same price as the primers. There is a gun show locally this weekend and maybe can pick some up there as cabelas is at least 8 weeks backorder :(

thanks for the advice so far. Now I need to decided on a beginer press, book, ect. Time for a little research.

thanks guys :)
bill,READ-READ-READ!! Did I say read?? That is the best way to spend your time while you are waiting for primers to come around.. For now the brass that you have can be washed and rinsed in the kitchen sink-spread out on newspapers to dry. That will be clean enough to start with. Just use some mild dish detergent with a little vinegar, and flush with hot water.

Clarence
December 3, 2009, 09:05 PM
The best time to start was 30 years ago. The next best time to start is now.

bullseye308
December 3, 2009, 10:26 PM
Bill, how many rounds are you likely to shoot in a week/month? How many calibers do you think you might reload for? Which calibers will you be loading? Answer these and you will get much better help. If you are already thinking about it, you are well on your way. The dark side has you. :)

Once you know how many rounds you polan to shoot per month, and how many calibersm those numbers will have a lot of bearing on which type of press you buy. All presses from all manufacturers are good. They even come in different colors. :evil: Be wary of the color wars it's like the ford/dodge/chevy thing. They all work. Your budget will have a large influence on the brand of equipment you purchase. If you are well off or recently hit the lottery, Dillon is calling your name. If you are at the other end of the scale, Lee would love to have you as a customer. :o There are brands priced in the middle as well, and they all do the job. Some require a little tinkering as an offset to the cost, some cost so much you don't have to do anything to themand they work.

Here is what I would suggest. If you think you will be reloading sometime in the near future, determine how many rounds and calibers you will be loading per month. Look into the dies and changeover parts for the press and see if it fits the budget you have allowed. Start buying stuff now. Don't wait. Get a few books and read them. ABC's of reloading is a great place to start, then Lyman's 49th. The reloading components sale forum here is a great place to buy brass and bullets. You might even find someone close to you to help you get started or sell you primers if you can't find any. If you could find someone close by that reloads and is wiling to show you the ropes, you will be light years ahead of many of us when we started. Anything else you need that isn't covered in the stickies at the top of this forum, just ask and someone will be along to help you.

jfrey
December 3, 2009, 10:32 PM
Here's a suggestion for collecting your brass. Go to Wal-Mart and buy one of those cheap plastic tarps about 9X10 and put it on the ground behind and to the right of where you stand to shoot. It will catch that flying brass and when you are through, you just fold it to the center and collect the brass.

As to reloading - now is the best time to start collecting brass, bullets, powder and a good press setup. Look around and shop for primers. They are out there, you just have to look for them.

billsnogo
December 3, 2009, 10:38 PM
Unfortunatly the ranges here are indoor for pistol, no public outdoor ranges for the tarp :(

I would look to reload 9mm, .38 special, and .45ACP. Not sure as to amount of rounds yet, been pretty limited lately since the availability has been scarce up until recently. Hope to change that :D

bullseye308
December 3, 2009, 10:44 PM
You can pick up loads of once fired brass here: http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=50 You can also find from time to time presses and dies for sale. If nothing else list a want to buy and someone will most likely have what you need.

RustyFN
December 3, 2009, 11:34 PM
Unfortunatly the ranges here are indoor for pistol, no public outdoor ranges for the tarp

Look around your area for a private club to join, that's the only way to go. You can pick up all of your brass and usually find more. Plus they usually have a lot of fun matches to shoot at on weekends.

delta5
December 4, 2009, 01:20 AM
I would consider the Lee kit with the challenger press. It has everything you need but the dies to start loading. Get to know the basics, then decide what you want to buy. The challenger press will make a great 2nd press for priming or de-priming. Dont blow a bunch of money on a high-dollar press until you know if you are going to like it or not.

RandyP
December 4, 2009, 07:50 AM
+1 on starting out with either the Lee single stage or their Classic 4-hole turret. Caliber changes are very economical, they both churn out safe, reliable and accurate ammo. Without trying to set any records (lol) I get about 50 rounds per hour on the single stage and about 150-200 per hour on the turret.

YES the Dillon machines are the Cadillac of reloaders, but my budget is Chevy and I am able to more than meet my realistic reloading needs with what I have. I reckon if I were shooting thousands of rounds per week, every week, I'd move up to a high output progressive machine, but I don't so I use the price difference and buy components.

qajaq59
December 4, 2009, 08:11 AM
bill,READ-READ-READ!! Did I say read?? That is the best way to spend your time while you are waiting for primers to come around.. Yes, yes, and yes.......

Wildyams
December 4, 2009, 12:32 PM
For collecting brass for your 9mm, try getting a tarp, something like 10x10 would be more than enough. try to work on where you stand to make the brass land near the center of the tarp, then when you are ready to leave you have all your brass.

but that could be a problem at indoor ranges.

bullseye308
December 4, 2009, 01:16 PM
At indoor ranges you can use a PVC stand with some netting in it. Sand the ends lightly so it is a slip fit and use lots of connectors. All the pieces can be short enough to fit in your range bag. Any store that sells cloth to make clothes has some kind of netting. Incredibly cheap and you keep all your brass.

billsnogo
December 4, 2009, 03:32 PM
Thank you guys for the great advice!

I will try and find the ABC's of reloading, while keeping an eye out for a good used single stage/turret press, dies and components :)

I will also look at making a brass catcher too :p

Winston_Smith
December 4, 2009, 05:02 PM
Reloading is sort of like having a baby. If you keep waiting around for the perfect time, you'll never do it.

You crack me up.

Billsnogo, I decided to get started reloading when this whole ammo shortage started. I have been accumulating tools, components, and information over the past year. My advice is not to rush it and realize that many of the people here have been at it for a very long time.

Wildyams
December 4, 2009, 07:46 PM
Another thing i've noticed about reloading is it usually tends to throw my brass in a tighter pattern. With factory loads my 9mm will throw brass in 5 foot circle, with my hand loads my brass lands in about a 1 foot circle. Much easier to find.

idahoglock36
December 4, 2009, 08:03 PM
I started out with 40 cases of .222 shot them all each weekend. Bought my primers and bullets 100 at a time, and a pound of powder when needed. Had to save a long time to get there.

Then I was only 13 or so and would use the Lee hammer slammer reloading kit. Dipped my powder from a baby food jar, with the only lee dipper that came in the kit. No one to really teach me anything until I got enough money to go out the the do it yourself reloading shack in town....oh the good times.

Now we need tumblers, chronographs, trimmed brass, bullet pullers, special powder and bullets, calipers, scales, different dies, progressive reloaders.....Man was I surprised the first time I took a case trimmer to those 40 pieces of brass..probably could have made a real penny from the shavings from each one.

Some how I still miss hammering those rounds out on my parents living room floor while watching cartoons.

Spend a little money and try it out before you spend a lot....If you like it the rest will follow, if not it is less equipment to collect dust.

billsnogo
December 4, 2009, 08:35 PM
Great advice! I am looking at borrowing the abc's of reloading from my library to start, then buy it if I want to proceed. In the time being, I am thinking about maybe something like this http://cgi.ebay.com/LEE-Deluxe-4-Hole-Turret-Press-Kit-LEE-90928_W0QQitemZ390121536730QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5ad50e3cda and a tumbler from cabelas for $50, and need to find out what else to get.

Not looking to cast any bullets, just buy them for now. Will keep an eye on this forums classifieds also :D

Seedtick
December 4, 2009, 11:37 PM
Hey Bill,

I think you can save a little on that press kit at Graf & Sons - here (http://www.grafs.com/product/262469) and that price includes shipping. Grafs is a good place to do business and they have even had a few primers in stock the past few days.

ST

rfwobbly
December 6, 2009, 09:42 AM
It is easy to recover the brass for the .38, but my 9mm's tend to throw the brass all over....

Here's another point you're missing: With reloaded ammo in your auto pistol, the brass tends to pile up much, much closer together. With reloads you'll recoup a much higher percentage of your brass.

If you need volume brass, most indoor ranges will sell you 1000 for around $30.

Arkansas Paul
December 6, 2009, 10:01 AM
Don't count on finding any at a gun show. Oh, you'll find them all right. The last show we went to, we found them. Large rifle primers, $12 per 100. No thanks.

billsnogo
December 8, 2009, 03:39 PM
I can get the RCBS supreme kit for $250 from cabelas. Would this be a good starter kit?

edit: looks like I can get the Lyman Crusher II Expert Reloading Kit for the same price too.

or would I be better off piecing it together myself? :uhoh:
Something like the lee classic turret and use the extra $ for dies and tumbler, bullet puller?

rfwobbly
December 8, 2009, 06:18 PM
If you want new, then there's no way to beat the price on an assembled kit. You do save some money. In no particular order the top kits are probably: Hornady LNL Classic, RCBS Rock Chucker, Lyman T-mag, and Lee has several.

If there's any rifle ammo in your future then the Lyman kit is great because you get the #1 selling reloading manual and a case trimmer. I'm not aware of any other kit with a case trimmer, which is a "must" for rifle reloading.

If you are going to mainly load pistol, then you may wish to piece your system together. I say this for several reasons....
Excellent single stage presses have been made since the 70's and there are a lot of them out there for cheap. Lots of excellent scales and accessories too.
Once you hone your skills and processes on a single stage for about a year there will be no holding you back from a progressive press. When that time comes the single stage will be relegated to rifle, specials, and odd chores. You'll still need it, but you may not wish to have an outrageously expensive press sitting at the other end of the bench doing very little. So a lot of people buy a used press to start if there is a major urban center nearby where such things can be found.

What ever you do, remember this... Don't be like the new motorcycle owner who spends every dime on the bike only to remember they also need a helmet, coat, gloves, etc. There is no complete kit out there. They are all missing calipers, dies, bullets, powder, primers, work bench, chair, bikini-clad assistant, etc.

The choices are bewildering. Hang in there. Keep reading. Keep asking questions. Keep interviewing assistants. :D

Hope this helps!

editingfx
December 8, 2009, 07:50 PM
bikini-clad assistant

I need to load with wobbly sometime! :evil:

Walkalong
December 8, 2009, 08:09 PM
They are all missing............................... bikini-clad assistant, etc.
So.......unless he ordered one extra. :scrutiny:

I wonder what those run anyway?



Explaining said assistant to the wife :eek:...........priceless. :D

lgbloader
December 8, 2009, 08:49 PM
Walkalong:Quote:
They are all missing............................... bikini-clad assistant, etc.

So.......unless he ordered one extra.

I wonder what those run anyway?



Explaining said assistant to the wife ...........priceless.


I hear ya, AC. I had to pass on that option for just that reason.

LGB

billsnogo
December 9, 2009, 12:50 AM
If you are going to mainly load pistol, then you may wish to piece your system together. I say this for several reasons....
Excellent single stage presses have been made since the 70's and there are a lot of them out there for cheap. Lots of excellent scales and accessories too.
Once you hone your skills and processes on a single stage for about a year there will be no holding you back from a progressive press. When that time comes the single stage will be relegated to rifle, specials, and odd chores. You'll still need it, but you may not wish to have an outrageously expensive press sitting at the other end of the bench doing very little. So a lot of people buy a used press to start if there is a major urban center nearby where such things can be found.

What ever you do, remember this... Don't be like the new motorcycle owner who spends every dime on the bike only to remember they also need a helmet, coat, gloves, etc. There is no complete kit out there. They are all missing calipers, dies, bullets, powder, primers, work bench, chair, bikini-clad assistant, etc.

The choices are bewildering. Hang in there. Keep reading. Keep asking questions. Keep interviewing assistants. :D

Hope this helps!

It does help. It will be mainly for pistol, at least for the next couple of years. So I take it something like the lee classic turret press will be the better choice.

I guess I can buy that and wait until I can get the abc's of reloading to find out what else would be needed other than dies. Just don't want to pass on the discount I can get ($50) with cabelas for now. Probably not that great of a savings, but what do I know :p

THe Dove
December 9, 2009, 07:21 PM
My advice is get the RCBS Supreme kit and start there. (Heck, I wish I would have had that oportunity for $250 18 or so years ago when I started)..... But, for danged sure I like the bakini clad assistant interviewin' idea as well!

The Dove

billsnogo
December 11, 2009, 12:52 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions and help.

I picked up the ABC's of reloading from my library and headed to Cabelas to get the Lee Classic turret kit. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0044122216337a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=lee+classic+turret&Ntk=Product_liberal&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

I want that one because if I get that and a set of the deluxe dies for 9mm, the total will be $227, and I have a $50 off coupon (club card deal), so I can get all that for $177. I didn't think that was too bad of a deal.

I didn't see it and asked if they carried it in the store? The guy said he could order it in, as my coupon can not be used for online purchases. So I should have it by next week.

I also picked up some clays powder, recommended by the employee behind the counter that also reloads. He also was kind enough to hand over 1k of CCI small pistol primers! They are in stock again!

Next I plan on buying some berrys plated bullets from them too, since they are in stock and can be had for $80 for 1000.

Now to get to reading :D

DoesItMatter
December 12, 2009, 04:10 AM
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/video.html

Even if you don't use a Lee press, they do have some very helpful videos.

You can watch the whole process of loading and trimming, and some other info.

RustyFN
December 12, 2009, 09:58 AM
My advice would be to look at the Lee classic turret. With the single stage press you will be loading 50 to 75 rounds per hour after you get the hang of it. With the classic turret you will be loading close to 200 rounds per hour. I have been loading on a classic turret for around four years. It has been a great press for me. I load close to 200 RPH. The safety prime took a little tweaking to get it right but once set up it has been near flawless. The pro auto disk measure has been very consistant. For example for 9mm I load 4.2 grains of Titegroup with a 115 and 124 grain jacketed bullet. Every so often I will take one off the press and pour the powder into the scale to double check. It weighs 4.2 grains 99% of the time and has never been off more than .1. Once your dies are in a turret and are set up they will stay set up. Buy a turret for every caliber and you can change calibers in less than one minute. You can buy the classic turret in a kit at www.kempfgunshop.com for the same as the RCBS single stage kit. I load 9mm, 38 spcl, 45 auto and 223 on my classic turret. I also have my lead hardness tester for testing my cast bullets set up in a turret and use it on the press.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8da27b3127ccec398914a0e3000000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9da02b3127ccec6bad36bf34100000040O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Good luck with which ever press you decide to go with.

nulfisin
December 12, 2009, 10:37 AM
Lee makes fine equipment. Earlier this year, though, I went with the Lyman T-Mag turret kit. I don't know if there's any difference in quality, but it came with the Lyman reloading manual. An excellent manual that covers the points in the "ABCs" and also gives you load data for most rounds you'd want to load.

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 10:52 AM
I like RustyFN's setup. All marked and ready to go. Nifty storage he came up with. A little LED light shining down into the case. I bet he can swap calibers before you can blink. :)

sig220mw
December 13, 2009, 12:33 AM
It's all been said above. One more word of advice. Back during the Clinton years (1993-2000) there was a stretch of time when primers were hard to come by. When primers came back, I made it a point to always pick up 2 packages of primers of the kinds I use any time I was in a sporting goods type store that sold reloading supplies. 2 boxes of large rifle or large mag rifle or 2 boxes of large pistol or large mag pistol. Didn't cost so much that way and over the years I've laid in a few thousand primers. If you're in a store that sells the stuff, especially if you drove a ways to get there why not buy that powder or that brass that you will getting short of fairly soon. A little here and there and you stay supplied. Just a thought, but it's worked for me and I'm presently not short of anything I use.

rfwobbly
December 13, 2009, 09:47 AM
Billsnogo -
When you get around to reloading for the CZ talk to me here or on the CZ Forum first. The CZ has a notoriously short leade and, depending on the bullet style you bought, may take some special and interesting procedures. Nothing hard, and nothing that requires a PHd in "rocket science" to understand, it's just that the CZ may not digest every load and OAL listed in your manual.

All the best.

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