New to reloading, just got a used kit, where from here?


August 23, 2011, 01:16 PM
I got this stuff today in a kit from someone used:

- RCBS Partner Press
- Lee Scale
- Tools (chamfer/debur/case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners, funnel)
- Midway Tumblerfor
- Carbide Dies for .38sp/.357 (the only thing I intend to reload for at the moment)
- Bullets

So, I know I need powder, primer, brass, and case holders...

Here's some pics of what I got today.

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Jim Watson
August 23, 2011, 01:19 PM
You need a book.
Any of several loading manuals will give you the procedures and load data.
Lyman is good.

August 23, 2011, 01:27 PM
+1 on the Lyman manual. Your definitely gonna need a manual or two. A caliper as well.

August 23, 2011, 01:46 PM
ABC's of Reloading is a good book to read for beginners.

August 23, 2011, 02:10 PM
Is the book mainly for charts and numeric information?

August 23, 2011, 02:20 PM
Not only for charts and load data, but also good explanations of the steps and the reasons behind doing certain things. It is a good idea to have a basic understanding of why you are doing what you do during reloading, ie expanding, setting up the dies, powder charge, how much to crimp. The most important part though is the load data, it is a good idea to check a couple reputable sources to find a starting point when working up a load.

I second the ABC's book. I found it to be invaluable.

August 23, 2011, 02:52 PM
The abc of reloading is a must have. Easily explains to you things you should and need to know. It gives you information on everything your gonna be doing.

The Lymans manual will help with load data an charts as well. No reloading bench is without these books. The most invaluable equipment you will have on yours is these books just like anyone else.

August 23, 2011, 03:31 PM
Manuals preferrably 2 or 3, read them, learn from them, pay heed to them.

Then ask questions.

Hondo 60
August 23, 2011, 04:28 PM
Plus innumerable bunches on the manuals.

You absolutely HAVE TO HAVE more than 1.
My favorites are Lyman's 49th Reloading Handbook and there's a series by Loadbooks USA.

Each Loadbook manual is cheap - about $6 or so and covers a specific caliber.
I have one for each of the calibers I reload.

If you can't afford 'em right now, go to the Public Library.
When I started reloading the local library had the 47th edition.
When I upgraded to the 49th I bought a 2nd one & donated it.
Hopefully it'll help some youngster just starting out

Please stay safe.

August 23, 2011, 04:30 PM
Well as you can see....

Everyone has recommended than one manual. When you buy 1, You will know why your gonna need 2 :D Its extremely helpful.

After you get the manuals, Then I would be concerned with getting more equipment. My first piece of equipment was the Lymans 49th after reading The ABC of reloading.

August 23, 2011, 05:53 PM
What more equipment could I need?

August 23, 2011, 06:21 PM

August 23, 2011, 06:22 PM
I don't think I worded that right. Sorry.

If you need any more equipment, The books will tell you. It looks like your good to go with the exception powder, primer, brass and the shell holders.

You should get a shell holder if you bought the dies new but if not, You can always contact Lee or buy them. If your going to prime on a hand held unit, Your gonna need a different shell holder for that one with the same number.

If im wrong, someone correct me please. Don't wanna lead anyone the wrong way. :)

August 23, 2011, 06:25 PM
You'll need a tool to insert new primers. Such as a hand priming tool made by Lee or RCBS.

A set of calipers.

Some way of getting the powder onto the scale. The cheapest simple way to start is the little dipper spoons made by Lee. They will scoop a certain volume of powder that might be fairly close to the amount you need. Then you weigh it and see. Or you can buy a powder dispenser like the Lee Perfect powder measure that you can adjust to the desired amount.

August 23, 2011, 07:15 PM
Such as a hand priming tool made by Lee or RCBS.

Or by Sinclare International, K & M Products, Hornady, to name a few more.

Myself, I prefer the K & M hand priming tool, both for value and quality.

August 23, 2011, 07:20 PM
I started reloading metallic a few months ago and I found a good set of calipers to be invaluable to get the right overall length, check width of bullet, etc.

August 23, 2011, 08:18 PM
Welcome to the obsession.:D
First +1000 on reading a couple of reloading books from cover to cover BEFORE you attempt to reload or buy anything else. I wish I had spent the cash on manuals first off it would have helped me back in the dark ages-- BC (before computers).
My grand-father and uncles taught me to reload and just told me to do it exactly like they did cause the guy that taught them said to do it this way. They loaded from a hand written sheet using surplus propellants and home cast bullets right from the mold. Never had a manual or calipers.:banghead: Never tried to change a load for accuracy either cause the guy said not to. Might just blow off an arm if you do I was told. There are a lot of YouTube videos of how to--________--in the reloading realm they are somewhat helpful but watcher beware.:scrutiny: If you don't have the money to spend on a second book the local library might have one to loan you and also there is a lot of info on the net from FACTORY bullet or propellant websites. Call their 800 number and ask for a free printed sheet/book most propellant manufacturers will gladly send you something with some data in it for the popular loadings. Old books are a help but the latest data is the word unless using old propellants that match that book. These members here and on other sites personal loads should be used as starting points to establish where to look for safe data. When you are seasoned then the judgment calls about using random data will be somewhat safer.:scrutiny: 45 years later I still follow the current MANUFACTURER data for my reloading.;) This is a safe hobby and can be fun if you follow the directions at least until you are a seasoned reloader.
BTW I started with a Lee whack it reloader in 38/357. You have a good starter setup with what you need but for the above mentioned items for revolver reloading.

August 23, 2011, 08:43 PM
Besides several manuals that others have mentioned, you will need a caliper, shell holder, bullet puller, powder measure, and several loading blocks. I can't tell from the photo but you will need a priming tool unless the press has a built in primer seater.

Lost Sheep
August 24, 2011, 12:30 AM
You have everything you NEED. Press, Dies with shell holder and Scale.

Everything else just makes things faster, more convenient, or allows you to do things like undo mistakes or measure stuff more precisely.

For example. I loaded for 7 years before getting a bullet puller (for disassembling rounds you loaded that, for one reason or another, have decided need to be unloaded safely without firing them). It was another two decades before I needed to use it.

A powder trickler (along with the Lee Dippers as Funshooter45 suggested) makes it easy to bring a slightly low charge up to a desired target weight. You could use a chemists' spatula or a butterknife, though.

I do recommend two loading blocks. You can get by with none or one, but two is so convenient. Put 50 cases in a block to the left of your scale and an empty block on the right. After you process each case taken from the left, put the processed case in the block on the right. It's a matter of personal style.

Always wear safety glasses (your shooting glasses will do, but I keep a dedicated pair with my press), especially when working with primers.

ABC's of reloading is a good read. Excellent coverage of the loading process, but no recipes. Almost all loading manuals have their early chapters devoted to describing the loading process, but none covers it as well as ABC's.

Lost Sheep

August 24, 2011, 12:46 AM
+1 on the books i have the lee reloading manuel, it gives you cast bullet data too. the lee auto prime is a good tool to have also

August 24, 2011, 09:25 AM
Can't tell exactly from the photos but you may need a primer seater for small primers. You will also need a set of powder dippers or a powder measure. I would recommend those items and a couple of books for now. Later you can add things as you find you need them.

August 24, 2011, 11:38 AM
I too, recommend The ABCs of Reloading.This entire book is a "How to" fo reloading, plus some info on lead bullet casting and history. Read this book and you will know what equipment will suit your reloading needs. Another suggestion, get a manual from the same folks that manufacture the bullets you are going to use (ie.; Hornady bullets, get a Hornady manual). If you get into shooting lead bullets, get Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook.

It may not sound like the folks here are trying to help with a "get a book" reply, but for a beginner, the manuals and texts mentioned are essential. Until you get this whole reloading stuff figgered out (I haven't in 30 years off and on), sitick to data from a published manual. Don't pay much attention to the "forum experts" or "gun shop gurus" when it comes to load data, it could be hazardous to your health...

August 24, 2011, 11:48 AM
I appreciate that. As far as load data, I'm all for by the books. I'm just making sure I have all the equipment to get started doing pretty standard .38sp/.357 rounds, and if I like it, I might snag a good deal on a 44magnum or a single action 45 Colt, because the rounds won't be as expensive anymore (why I've stuck to .38).

August 24, 2011, 12:38 PM
+1 on The ABCs and the Lyman manual.

After you've read ABCs then you will understand the reloading PROCESS well enough to make your own decisions about what you need vs what you want.

Having said that, it looks like you are missing:

1. A way to seat primers in the cases
2. A way to get powder out of it's container onto the scale in small enough increments to be useful.

You'll probably tire very quickly of measuring each powder charge and want something to speed that part of the process up, but that falls into the 'want' category instead of 'need' category.

August 25, 2011, 11:05 AM
That press should have a swing away priming arm at the bottom that has a spring, both small & large primer cups, & stems. If it doesn't I'm sure RCBS will replace them along with the E-clip if you just send them a email letting them know what you have & need. Phone calls take hours to get through.

Even tho it has its own primer system I suggest another one because the one it comes with really sucks. The universal RCBS primer arm won't work on that press ether.

I suggest a ram prime system. They are cheep, easy, & work perfect. I see nothing to that could ever break or wear out ether on my CH4D but Lees looks just as good.

As far books I've bought 2 which I throw 1 away & my 1st I only look at when I want brass dimensions to make something odd. It doesn't hurt to have one & as you learn it's best to use something proven since you have no idea where to start but books can be borrowed from the library & data from the powder companies. I use powders that aren't in the books so they are of little use to me. If a powder data is listed for what I want or one in the same burn rate I will take a look at it so I can take a short cut in load development.

August 25, 2011, 11:11 AM
I also wanted to add that a powder measure like the Lee Auto Disk will be a worth while addition before you get burnt out. You can throw away those brushes also. Just more work for no return.

August 26, 2011, 07:05 PM
What ram primer system would work for cheap?

August 26, 2011, 07:50 PM
The Lee Auto Prime. I have two of them. They both work fine. If you wanna do it handheld of course...

August 26, 2011, 09:45 PM
The Lee & the CH4D are both cheap. If you go with the CH4D you should get the swager with it. It is only $10 more & you'll have a use for it one day.

August 30, 2011, 04:01 PM
I picked up an Auto Prime, and some dippers. I've also read the ABCs of Reloading... up to the Archives. I wasn't sure how much of that was useful for me loading handgun rounds as a beginner.

So... It seems I still need calipers, shellholders (or single shellholder?), and of course primers and powder. Maybe I overlooked it but I didn't find a lot of load data?

Cranky CJ
August 31, 2011, 01:16 AM
A place to work, or reloading bench. Take a little time to think through how you want to set up your equipment and how much space you want to devote to a workspace.

There is a thread where everybody posts pics of their reloading bench. some are quite nice and big. some others are modest. set yours up to suit your needs and wants.

I had my bench set up before I ever started accumulating equipment. Now I wish I'd made it a little bigger and am making plans to expand. My two sons like to help but there is only room for two chairs.

August 31, 2011, 09:09 AM
I've set aside a desk in the corner of my apartment. I don't get to shoot much, so I'd say I'll probably end up buying the equipment, buying the shells, and loading them, then holding onto them for a good long while until I get to shoot, and then reloading them again. It might also be an excuse to buy new guns (I've avoided bigger calibers, .45LC, .44mag, etc because of the cost to shoot, but maybe not now).

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