Reloading Setup


October 12, 2010, 12:02 PM
I am considering starting to reload but I have no idea where to start. I have been looking at this one:

What else do I need to get started? I would like to reload 9mm, .45, .38 and .357


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October 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
That will work just fine. Pick up some dial calipers ( They will be used all the time. A tumbler is nice as well. You don't have to have one, but once you do you will be glad to have it.

October 12, 2010, 12:16 PM
In addition to the above, add a case trimmer to the list as well as dies for each caliber you plan to reload.

October 12, 2010, 12:20 PM
I use that setup and it works great.

October 12, 2010, 12:27 PM
First, get a reloader to help you out in person. or at least a good reloading book to help you set up your dies, determine powder selection etc. THR is a good resource, but not a substitute.

I would strongly suggest you get a lee turret press with autodisk instead of a single stage for those pistol calibers for a couple of reasons.

1) you load 1 complete round at a time instead of having loading blocks to knock over and risk losing your place and double charging or missing a charge etc.

2) it's faster. those pistols do not need to be loaded to benchrest accuracy, and if it takes your 2 hours to load 100 rounds I'd get discouraged and quit reloading.

3) it's more convenient. on a single stage you have to set all your stuff up and run in batches. size 50-500, prime 50-500, etc. On a turret it's all set up all the time. you just walk over, crank out 10 rounds and then head off to work.

4) ease of caliber change. keep your dies in a spare turret and you can change calibers without having to adjust dies.

I'd get the lee turret press, $73 or $95 for the classic cast version. (worth it)
auto disk powder dispenser $25 or $38 for the fancy version (debatable upgrade)
die set $35 for a 4 die set. (you can use the 357 dies for 357 and 38)

additional die sets will want a $10 turret to live in.

you will need powder, primers (buy local to avoid the $25 hazmat fee) and bullets. if you stick with a 110 to 125 grain bullet you can use the same bullet for 9mm, 38 and 357. those 3 take the same primer size too.

I like to get some plastic ammo boxes to store my ammo in too. $2-3 each.

with that list you can reload good ammo. calipers, trimmers, primer cleaners, scales are all nice to have, and make nice stocking stuffers, but are not really NEEDED.

October 12, 2010, 12:37 PM
Here's where you start....

good information is just as important as good gear.

October 12, 2010, 01:10 PM
+1 on reading.

• Your first visit should be to the library or the book store.

• Secondly, I'd try to meet someone here, at your local gun club, or shooting range that reloads. There's no substitute for 1) seeing it done and 2) having a mentor. And you'll always, always, always need someone to call on Sunday night to borrow primers or case lube from. It never fails.

Often times these guys will let you load your ammo on their equipment. THEN you might find out, Wow! the press I almost bought lacks a feature I think I'll really need. Or that the press has extra features I'll never use. It's like living in an apartment and discovering what you really want in your first house. Your whole point of view can change in a very short time.

October 12, 2010, 01:14 PM
I vote for the recommended changes noted by greyling22.

Yes, you can save a bit by buying the Single Stage press--and if cost is the driving factor, then buy the SS.

However, if you are reasonably convinced now that 1) you will not become disinterested or 2) are not an inappropriate person to do reloading, then step up the Lee Turret (Classic Cast) now. Use it as a single stage when you are learning the steps, then install the indexing rod and enjoy the increased production of your handgun rounds.

Jim H.

October 12, 2010, 01:50 PM
I second the progressive press, I have a Dillion 550 and love it.

October 12, 2010, 04:57 PM
I don't know that I would jump to a 550 for somebody just getting started. that's like giving a 16 year old a vette. fine piece of equipment though it may be. and it's nearly 500 bucks set up.

October 12, 2010, 05:19 PM
Ok so here is the grocery list so far: ( I can't find the $25 one got a link?)

And I am still looking for the die kit for 9mm, .357, and .38

Links to those would be great.

Thanks all.

October 12, 2010, 05:35 PM
I have 38/357 dies for sale. Brand new RCBS and a new Lee crimp die (you'll need it) I'll ship usps priority for 45.00 If you want a great deal, go to reloading components and gear. My post is near the top, under "equalizer" Check it out, it is a good deal.

October 12, 2010, 05:43 PM
Kit, 9MM, .38/.357, .45 ACP dies (Dies come with shell holders.), caliper, tumbler....

October 12, 2010, 05:50 PM
Don't forget reloading blocks! They're like having a third pair of hands!


A good reloading book, the trays, and the set-up you mentioned previously should get you good and hooked on a fun past time!

October 12, 2010, 06:01 PM
No one mentioned a bullet puller...:

You WILL want/need this.

October 12, 2010, 06:08 PM
Not sure if you'd like a single stage kit but I got the rockchucker supreme kit from midway and I like it. I've had it 3 years now, and it comes with just about everything but a caliper.;)

Jeff H
October 12, 2010, 06:46 PM
In addition to the above, add a case trimmer to the list

IMHO, this wouldn't even make the top 20 list of things I would recommend someone buy for startup gear on those pistol calibers. Some might argue that revolver cartridges benifet from trimming, but it really isn't that important for plinking ammo.

October 12, 2010, 07:29 PM
We all started with basics. I originally used a Lee Loader for 3 years, you wouldn't believe the quality of the ammo this little tool put out. I did use a scale with it for measuring the powder though. From here I added equipment as needed.

I now have a Rock Chucker and 2 Dillon presses. And I still have the Lee Loader in .25-06 sitting on the shelf. Haven't used it in 25 years and probably should pass it on to a new loader.

October 12, 2010, 07:44 PM
Also check pricing--and working up the entire order at Kempfs' ( you shoulld probably also work up the pricing at Graf's, as well.

Jim H.

October 12, 2010, 08:33 PM
the $25 autodisk.

the coupon 191010 might take $10 off a $100 purchase. if not, wait a week or so. midway's usually got a good code.

you might also want to check pricing on midsouth. they usually undercut midway by a couple bucks and have good service. their website is not as good as midway's though.

example: midway 4 hole turret press $73. midsouth $71.60. though midsouth costs 50 cents more for the turret press classic.

October 13, 2010, 01:00 AM
Ok I ordered the following:

Lee Carbide 3-Die Set 38 Special, 357 Magnum

Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure

Lee 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index

And the abc's of reloading 6th addition

I will get the rest of the stuff in town, I'm sure I will be back with more questions.

I have been a production jeweler by trade for 15 years and regularly calibrate presses, shears and mills that make reloading equipment look like child's toys. I'm sure reloading will be different and there will be a learning curve but my prior experience may give me a slight edge.

Thank you all for the info.

PS: thanks greyling22 the code worked!

October 13, 2010, 02:03 AM
Beware! Reloading is worse than crack.

October 13, 2010, 12:06 PM
if you stick with a 110 to 125 grain bullet you can use the same bullet for 9mm, 38 and 357

I'm not sure if that is a very good idea. 9mm uses .355" bullets, and .38/.357 use .357" bullets. Cramming a .357" bullet into a bore that is designed for a .355" bullet could cause a number of issues. Same goes for using a .355" bullet in a .357" bore.

October 13, 2010, 01:16 PM
I am going to start with reloading .38 and shooting it out of my ruger gp100. Seems like a good idea to fire my first reloads out of an over built gun. When I move to 9mm and .45 I will just buy the proper bullets for that caliber. I want to reload semi wad-cutters for my revolvers anyways. Not a good idea to use those in an auto I don't think.

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