CMP Greek vs. Reloading setup


Red Tornado
March 2, 2010, 09:07 PM
I'm RT and I'm not a reloader...yet. Anyway, I was about to place an order with the CMP for some of the Greek M2 ball and realized that I might get close to a reloading setup for what I was about to spend on two spam cans. (Approx $200)

So, my questions: What is the minimum I'll need to get started reloading. I'll only be reloading for my Garand (30-06) initially. At some point I may reload for .45 ACP, but that's not an issue for now.
I don't have a "reloading" room or shop, so I'll need something that can be easily stored and brought out.
Right now, I have more time than money, so basic, 'fill the needs', starter kit is what I'm looking for. I have plenty of CMP once fired brass, so I won't need that at this point.
I do have a buddy that can teach me the tricks and techniques, but he's been reloading too long to see the beginning and goes straight into progressive loaders, etc.

Any suggestions or should I just order from the CMP.

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March 2, 2010, 09:13 PM
This kit ( and a set of dies and you are ready to load.

A turret would be much faster, and of course a progressive would be faster still.

A big part of getting started would be brass cost. Buying brass, bullets, bullets, powder, and primers will make you think there is no savings, but the brass can be loaded several times. You will save money if you are careful, but most of us spend just as much and just shoot more.

I have plenty of CMP once fired brass, so I won't need that at this point.Missed that. You are good to go.

March 2, 2010, 09:23 PM
I read somewhere that there are three kinds of reloading -

1. Reloading straight-wall pistol cartridges (like .45ACP) - simple
2. Reloading bottleneck rifle cartridges (like .30-06) - a little more involved
3. Reloading bottleneck rifle cartridges for "gas guns" (like M1 Garand) - even more to watch out for

So, IMO, starting out reloading with .30-06 for the Garand is commendable, but you should be aware there are quite a few things that must be done.

Here's a link to a good article about reloading for the M14, which is similar to the Garand -

It touches on all of the important points, including powder selection, seating primers below flush, primer selection, FL resizing dies and cartridge headspace gauges.

Hint: Make sure your buddy has experience with #3, or his advice may not get past #2... :)

March 2, 2010, 11:18 PM
If I were starting out now, with prices the way they are, I'd go the reloading route. .50/rd+shipping for HXP is more than I'm willing to pay.

March 3, 2010, 12:33 AM
I like this...

I'm RT and I'm not a reloader



March 3, 2010, 12:36 AM
I've read that one of the danger signs of reloading is if you start picking up brass for a caliber you don't have, "because you might get a rifle in that caliber someday"...

A variation of this is buying dies at a gun show for a rifle you don't have...

So far I've managed to avoid these two clear signs of addiction.

In other words, I'm a reloader, but only in moderation. :)

March 3, 2010, 01:13 AM
I'm a reloader, but only in moderation.

:rolleyes: Great, another one...


March 3, 2010, 02:09 AM
As to a portable reloading bench that you can store in a closet or in the corner/garage, check out this link:

March 3, 2010, 04:05 AM
Yeah, you can't beat the Lee kits for value. I've never had a problem with any of their stuff. Definitely something you'll want to know how to do.

Cheap bullets will be the biggest challenge.
Don't know if River Valley Ordnance is still in business but they had military pull downs cheap.

It's not really as addictive as they say. :rolleyes:

Okay it is, it's a gateway activity. Next you'll start casting. You'll know you're in too deep is when t first question you ask the new girl on the first date is
"Are those lead or zinc wheelweights on your car?"

March 3, 2010, 05:33 AM
The kit Walkalong mentioned will handle any cartridge you want. I would add the Lee dipper set and make sure to get the appropriate shell holder for the hand primer tool. It is different from the shell holder used on the press. Also, get a good reloading manual for both technique and load data.

Suggestion: I use the Lee Hand Press (looks like a giant nutcracker) and the universal decapping die. I can sit in my easy chair and decap cases while watching TV. I do the same when priming the cases with the hand priming tool. When it comes to charging the case and seating bullets I don't want distractions but decapping and priming are just mechanical.

Suggestion: If you start loading for handguns, get the carbide dies. They are definitely worth the few extra bucks.

Good luck! I enjoy reloading and it adds to my enjoyment of the hobby.


March 3, 2010, 06:54 AM
A wise man once said.....
Buy the man some 30-06, hes good for a day.........
Teach him how to reload, he'll be screwing around in the basement for life!!!!

I would get into reloading. To me, it is almost as much fun as shooting, and will allow you to shoot more often, cheaper.

March 3, 2010, 07:03 AM
Since you already have the brass pick up a kit. Whichever one you like will do as none are super great or super awful anyway. Any of them will do the job. And if you mount the press on a piece of 2 x 10 you can then clamp it to most any table to work off of quite easily. And do a lot of reading on the suggested links for the Garand. I hear that is a different critter then a bolt action. It will take you a little while to get the ammo exactly the way you want it, but it'll be worth the effort.

Red Tornado
March 3, 2010, 10:09 AM
Awesome! Thanks for the responses, that's just what I needed. I'm going to get one ordered from Midway, since I'll save about $30 with my C&R, that should pay for my dies. It also mentioned needing a case length gage, so I guess I'll add one of those too.

March 3, 2010, 10:15 AM
You want a headspace gauge ( It will check everything. You can check case length with any cheap caliper.

Perhaps that is what you meant.

March 3, 2010, 10:18 AM
I have the Lee Kit shown (or one very similiar) and it does a good job with 30-06 -- Loaded a few hundered last year -- Also have a Dillon for pistol and 223

I would add the following:
Lee Case length trimmer for 30-06
Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud -- allows you to use drill to spin case (Included in the Lee Kit in Post #2)
DeBurr / Chamfer Tool (some even work to remove military crimp) -- (Included in the Lee Kit in Post #2)
Case Vibrator -- Case Cleaner
Flash Hole Cleaner Tool
Military Crimp Remover (I have the Dillon due to the number of 223 cases but DeBurr/Chamfer tool can also be used)
Calibers for case measuring

This Lee kit at Midway is on Sale -- Looks identical to the Cabela's kit --


Red Tornado
March 3, 2010, 03:05 PM
I think this is what they meant, but a headspace gauge will probably be on the agenda at some point, as will all the add-ons, but I'm looking at the minimum right now. I know how stuff accumulates. :eek:

March 3, 2010, 03:42 PM

My thought was along the line of the two similar gauges. No sense buying one that only does length, when the other is a couple bucks more.

At minimum you certainly can get by without a headspace gauge. Just hope the dies and shell holder are in spec, which they probably are.

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