Strange noob question


May 25, 2010, 09:10 PM
I've got a week coming up in July when my usual "two jobs and a family" crazy schedule turns into a bunch of time off by myself. (Conceal your envy. :) )

I've got very little reloading experience, but I'd really like to use the downtime to put together a bunch of .45ACP. So I'm looking for recommendations on a setup that I can learn fairly easily in a couple of days and that I can then use to produce about 400 rounds per day.

If that's totally unrealistic, that's good to know too. Any thoughts?

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May 25, 2010, 09:31 PM
I started reloading with a Lee Classic Field Loader, everything you need to make one at a time except the hammer, in a package the size of a paper back. I still have one for each caliber I shoot a lot. These are great if you have a #2 BOB. 400 a day, sure if you have all day. Next came a challenger press, case cleaner, auto primer, auto disc, each investment increased productivity. I'm now up to a progressive and can turn out ammo as fast as I can clean it and load into my feed tube. Next will probably be a dillon with auto case feed.

May 25, 2010, 09:34 PM
Shmackey, learning to reload in 2 days on your own will be tough because you also have to factor in range time to test your initial loads to verify they will work in YOUR pistol before you load a bunch of them. How many rounds are you looking to reload? I am quite certain we can walk you through on this thread if you like to get ready.

A good, reliable and accurate 45 ACP recipe for me is 230 gr Round Nose with 5 grains of W231/HP38 (I guess you can toss in Green Dot too now) with 1.25" OAL. It has shot in every 45 pistol and cycled very well with excellent accuracy.

If you are new to reloading, I would recommend that you start out with a single stage press. If you got some reloading experience, that might be another story.

I have someone at the range who has several 45 pistols and he's doing the same thing like you. But he'll be starting out with a Pro 1000 progressive with me setting up the press and the bench for him. I could do 400-600 rounds of 45 ACP per hour on my Pro 1000 since I can use the LP primer attachment without jamming and case collator/feeder for speed (you will have jamming problems with SP primers). If you got time, you can go slow and not use the case feeder and hand insert the case. Still much faster than single stage/turret press.

With a single stage press, I could probably reload 500-600 rounds a day easy (that's like 70 rounds an hour for an 8 hour day). Some will recommend the Turret press and that's another good choice too for faster speed than single stage.

If you can get all the reloading equipment and supplies within the next 2 weeks, it is plausible that you can practice enough to get the rounds loaded in July.

Have fun!

Five of Clubs
May 25, 2010, 09:41 PM
I recommend the Lee challenger kit for about $100. It will take a while to make the first "perfect" loaded round, but after that you can just keep cranking them out. With the Challenger kit you don't need to readjust your dies every time you change them on the press and the single stage makes learning a little easier. Another good option might be a turret press as they are not overly complex.

EDIT: BDS just typed pretty much the same thing, only a little quicker. Nevermind.

Jeff H
May 25, 2010, 09:57 PM
I'll be one of the many to recommend the Lee classic turret. 150-200 rounds per hour once you get used to it. you can sleep in late, do your goal of 400 rounds per day before lunch then spend the rest of the day shooting. :D

May 25, 2010, 09:59 PM
This is all really good info. In terms of how many rounds I'm looking to make total, probably about 2,000.

I'm OK with a single-stage press as long as the setup has a good automatic powder measure. The one thing I really don't want to do is hand-measure each charge.

Here's one setup I've been looking at:

I suspect it's overkill, but I have no problem buying into a quality system if it makes sense.

Edit: I crossposted with Jeff. Will look at that one now.

May 25, 2010, 10:23 PM
I started with an RCBS Partner press kit many years ago. ($99) It was a great way to start. The kit included a Speer reloading manual. After a thorough reading of the manual, and a little trial and error, I was on my way.

May 25, 2010, 10:27 PM
Mackey, I've only reloaded for a year now and started with Rcbs supreme kit. I shoot about three to five hundred rounds a month. Single stage gets old quick.
Looking back, I wish I got the Lee classic turret kit. It can be used in single stage mode to learn on but when you want to go faster it will. If you plan on loading rifle later RCBS single stage is always good to have.
I also taught myself and as bds said above, you need range time to test before you start cranking out loads. It's no fun to spend two hours with a bullet puller (don't ask me how I know).
Buy books, read here and dont hurry. Be safe Rick

May 25, 2010, 10:41 PM
If you are looking to pick up a RCBS single stage, I have the Reloader Special 5 press and I love it (spent primer is caught in the plastic cup behind the ram on top of the bench). RCBS gets a big thumb from me.

If you want to start out with the Classic Turret press, many posted good things here - probably the obvious choice if you want faster speed than single stage. You can pick up the whole kit for the price of the RS5 press.

May 25, 2010, 10:46 PM
Is this the Lee in question?

One of the reviews said "Cabela's, pat yourself on the back for this package. It's the one Lee probably should have put together." I assume that means that there's a different Classic Turret kit out there with different items.

May 25, 2010, 10:49 PM
Mackey, The RCBS supreme has a manuel measure. They are great ive used mine for years. Get you a Lee Turret or classic. The lee measure (auto disc) is different. You tube has a lot of vids on all reloading stuff.

May 25, 2010, 10:59 PM
Shmackey, yes, that's the one. Classic Turret press sells for $95 by itself and is made with steel and cast iron frame and Deluxe Turret press is made with steel and cast aluminum frame. Between the two, many will recommend the Classic turret (me too).

The $199 "Classic" kit at Cabela's comes with Pro Auto Disk (better powder measure than regular Auto Disk) and better primer feeder. Regular kit is $110 at MidwayUSA (I wonder why they don't have the Classic kit) -***731***680***&brandId=1262$main-Large$

May 25, 2010, 11:09 PM
Kempf gun shop has a different Classic turret kit for $178 (It does not come with the scale, but you probably want a different scale anyways) -

Pistol Caliber Kits Include:
- Lee Classic Turret Press
- Lee Deluxe 4-Die Set for the pistol caliber of your choice. (3 Die set in 380, 44/40 and 357 Sig)
- Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure
- Lee Safety Prime System (Large or Small)
- Lee Auto Disk Riser (Required for the Safety Prime System)
- Six MTM 50 round Plastic Ammo Boxes

May 26, 2010, 12:44 AM
Nothing wrong with the RCBS kit...

You still have to select dies. If you spend a little more and get carbide dies, you won't have to use that lube pad until you start loading rifle cartridges. I suggest you get individual dies, unless you can get a set that includes a separate taper crimp die. Taper crimp dies are much easier to set up than the combination seater/crimp die and are what you want for .45 ACP.

Not having to mess with lube saves a lot of time.

The kit doesn't include a way to clean brass, either. Unless you are loading new brass, it is a good idea to clean it before running it through your dies. The old way is to get some kind of tumbler (actually a vibratory cleaner) and use walnut shell media. A newer way is an ultrasonic cleaner.

The rest of the RCBS stuff in the kit is top quality. Nothing wrong with the 5-0-5 scale, the press or the powder measure. I have read the hand primer is OK, too.

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