So what do I need to get started?


December 4, 2009, 04:10 PM
I'm seriously considering getting started reloading. I'm thinking of picking up a reloading setup for Christmas. I can't decide if I want a re loading setup or to just get something else and keep using factory ammo.

Anyway, what I want to reload is 30-06, 9mm, 38 Special and maybe 12 Gauge shotguns shells. All of which would be for semi auto's except the 38 special. It's also the least important to me so if I can't do that it's fine. So if I want to reload all of these what kind of setup do I need? Have any links to the total list of equipment I need? I've looked and just not sure what all I need to buy the be complete. I'm trying to price out what it will cost to get started.

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December 4, 2009, 04:14 PM
Here's a good start:
Equipment Basics (

December 4, 2009, 09:53 PM
The link Floppy gave you is great, as well as the other fixed posts at the top of this forum. Check them all out.

No problem doing 9mm and 38 Spec on the same press. Doing 9mm, 38 Spcl and 30-06 narrows the field slightly since rifle cartridges are longer and take more force. However, I'm not aware of any press that will load both "metallic cartridges" and "shot shells".

Check out a book called "The ABC's of Reloading".

All the best.

December 5, 2009, 10:03 AM
Yes the shotshell reloading will require a completely different setup and some different propellant. In the respect do your research and get the basics for reloading once fired brass for the selected calibers try some and then buy the accessory items like case trimmer primer pocket cleaners, vibratory cleaner, etc as need arises. Also look on Gunbroker or the like for deals on used items and brass. I have been really successful there, and remember time is your friend as in looking for deals. Other sources would be the local gunshop or swap/sell paper. I am sure others will post what you need to start with but this has been covered to death already. Welcome to the world of reloading.:D

December 6, 2009, 09:54 PM
I suggest to pickup a good reloading manual. Lyman has a lot of data and it is pretty inexpensive. Read it, make a list of necessities, then price them out online or at your local gun shop.

Ignition Override
December 6, 2009, 11:51 PM
Would it be ok to elaborate on your excellent topic?

I've only done reloading once, on a friend's equipment and only for .303 with my new Prvi Partizan once-fired brass (reportedly the best). This friend retired from the Navy (Reserve) Marksmanship Team and is quite experienced with some other calibers and rifles (ARs, Garands). Another guy, my brother, reloads now and then for his LE #4 + K-31 and uses basic Lee gear. His priority is economics and he knows his stuff.

Floppy D's list is much appreciated.
Anyway, when the only objective is plinking economics (with safety), how about this for the minimum types of gear, not including a book or two and safety glasses:

Simple press,
powder measure,
brass trimmer,
Already have a shell holder, and neck trimmer to increase life of .303 brass. We're all aware of bullets, powder, primers (almost none in Memphis)....

Is this enough for the .303 caliber for a middle-aged guy to safely reload and hit bricks and juice jugs from about 20-30 yards with Prvi Partizan from my LE #4 and #5? The cases are being separated into two groups by marking them a tiny bit.
To avoid wasting anybody's time out there, i.e. inspiring persuasions to invest in fancy stuff (am 54), quite frankly I would rather buy more over-priced POF surplus (have 2,300 rds of mostly low-cost POF and '43 British) than pay hundreds for my first reloading gear. Spare time is not a factor.
Any pm is welcome in order to avoid bloating this space.

December 7, 2009, 12:09 AM
A Lee 50th Anniversary single stage kit and a set of .303 dies would likely meet your stated needs. Heck, the Lee $30 loader would too..

Here's Mr Lee himself doing the deed on a rifle round:

Ignition Override
December 7, 2009, 12:34 AM
Thanks-just read up on the 50th kits at Ebay. Should do it.

Not yet having a work table, could a fairly large/heavy board sit on a marble coffee table and safely hold the press, without causing too much assym. force on the marble or legs?
This computer is on a really heavy board and a similar type could be supported by some cheap rejected concrete blocks from a construction site.

The only serious struggle my friend Mike had was with a small bag of some used HXP or SB brass which I bought. Weeks ago he was either trying to remove some primers/resize a case or such that I had bought from somebody, but he had me hold onto his work bench once as he struggled and then gave up.
This was not the situation with my Prvi. These appeared to be easy, when there are no distractions.

December 7, 2009, 09:56 AM
A reloading press puts an amazing amount of force on the bench. If your board is clamped down tight it 'should' work. Many folks are using a Black & Decker Workmate to hold their press and board with success.

December 8, 2009, 04:32 AM
If you're reloading bottleneck cartridges, most reloading handbooks recommend a cartridge headspace gauge in addition to calipers. (The cartridge headspace gauge lets you adjust the resizing die correctly, and also provides a quick check on case length.)

These are around $30, but I consider them essential. (And so do a lot of folks with a lot more experience... :) )

December 8, 2009, 06:54 AM
Before you buy any equipment read the sticky at the top of the page. Then read at least one manual several times. Then talk to the guys in here some more. That way you'll have a better idea of what you do need to spend money on.
The one "frill" that I would suggest to anyone starting out in reloading is a stuck case remover. You may never need it, but if you do and it's right there in the drawer, you'll be a happy man.

December 15, 2009, 08:18 PM
The way you mount your press makes a difference. Sizing the case is the most stressful step.

For loading pistol cartridges, I can do everything on a light Black & Decker portable table with a 2' x2' piece of 3/4" plywood attached...great for apartments! The beam measure should be on an adjacent separate surface where it won't get jarred by the loading operations.

Full-length sizing rifle cases requires the press to be bolted to a heavy, sturdy bench. All other loading operations can be done on the light Black & Decker table.

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