Getting started!


January 17, 2013, 07:57 PM
So I have been trying to buy reloading equipment since the summer and finally spared the cash. Of course at the wrong time, but I have been dreaming for a while and I know the lyman 49th like the back of my hand. I bought the lee breach lock kit, digi caliper, 2 blocks and a digital scale, as well as 9mm dies carbide, I bought a pound of unique, federal small pistol primers 1k, having trouble finding bullets but found a store that has them and am heading tomorrow. Is there anything else I should get? Can I clean brass without a tumbler? Local store has a tumbler lyman for $70 but would rather pick up bullets than a tumbler at this point. Thanks in advance for any help, or pointers, I know the current situation is tough but Im gonna fight through and find what I need in this crazyness.
Even if it means driving all over my state! Another question do I need the factory crimp die?

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January 17, 2013, 08:01 PM
Most all bullet seating dies can apply the appropriate crimp. So no, you don't need a LFCD. However, if your loading mixed brass and the case length varies, it can sure come in handy.

Many people reload for years and never tumble brass. It's optional.... but a good option if you can swing it.

Be careful and thorough... don't reload when you're tired or distracted... and don't sweat it if you're not braking the land speed record.

It's meant to be fun ;)

January 17, 2013, 08:26 PM
Thanks vet, do you still clean the brass with waterand soap? One shop owner told me to buy media put in trash or plastic bag with the brass and then throw it in another bag then throw it in the dryer on air cycle. Dont know how safe that is though? Sounded weird to a beginner? Haha

January 17, 2013, 08:29 PM
I suggest you get a bullet puller as mistakes happen. I also think cleaning brass is important not simply to make brass pretty but protects the sizing die from becoming scratched due to dirty brass.

January 17, 2013, 08:32 PM
So a tumbler is an investment that should be made sooner than later.

Hondo 60
January 17, 2013, 09:56 PM
The reason for a tumbler is to clean the range grunge off the cases.
That can be done with soap & water.

Be careful and thorough... don't reload when you're tired or distracted... and don't sweat it if you're not braking the land speed record.

It's meant to be fun

+1000 -
I have 1st hand knowledge what a distraction can do to your equipment and or guns.
(lost a revolver to a kaboom from a dbl charge)

Please stay safe & welcome to the addict .. oh, I mean hobby
Ya, that's it - hobby! :eek: :D

January 17, 2013, 10:33 PM
In all honesty, the FCD isn't a all necessary and often causes reloaders more more grief than can be justified as necessary in most circumstances.

As for tumbling, do buy a tumbler as the dryer method is very likely going to end with a rather nasty mess, and maybe a ruined dryer. Harbor Frieght has them at a pretty good price. When I start reloading many moons ago I didn't have a tumbler, but it didn't take me long to realize I really needed one. It's harder on the dies, and it's harder to read your brass when inspecting it too.

Be safe and implement safe guards into your process and you'll enjoy this hobby for years to come, if the hobby doesn't get banned that is.


January 17, 2013, 10:56 PM
Pretty new at this myself, but I'll throw this out...I used a pickle jar with some dishwasher soap and lemon juice at first, now I am using a half gallon plastic jug, it seems glass and brass don't get along with me 'agitating'. I also just ordered a tumbler

On the FCD I use one on 9mm but not on .40, no real difference its just that I load for 1 .40 cal and 7 9mm including the most Godawful picky carbine ever. If you have a picky gun its worth the $18 bucks, if you don't you'll never even miss it.

Good luck out there

January 17, 2013, 11:18 PM
Definitely buy the tumbler. It will make your life a lot easier, and will reduce wear on your dies. Besides, shiny brass is pretty. ;)

Regarding bullets, go ahead and buy some now to tide you over, but I would recommend looking into some plated bullets. I've got some Berry's Mfg 124gr 9mm bullets that are very nice. I also just placed an order for cast lead bullets for my .45 ACP. Lead/plated will run you $80-90/1k vs ~$150 for FMJ.

January 17, 2013, 11:32 PM
I have never used a FCD & rarely use my tumbler. I'd also suggest keeping the running all over the state down or those will be some expensive loads.

January 18, 2013, 01:18 AM
While I agree a FCD is not necessary I personally like using one. It's not great with lead bullets but works very well with jacketed bullets. I also like the Lee rifle FCD which works differently than the pistol FCD.

My suggestion, give it a try and see if you like the results. If you do keep using it, if not don't buy one with your next set of dies for the next cartridge you reload for.

January 18, 2013, 08:13 AM
Thanks guys I will look into a tumbler, I knew the dryer thing sounds like a bad idea haha! GS hate to sound naive but what kind of safe guards like check double check and then check again.

January 18, 2013, 01:20 PM
I washed my brass in a pail for 2+ years before I bought a tumbler - no need for the dryer unless you're in a hurry to load it. I did use a hair dryer a few times, otherwise just rolled it on a towel and let it air dry for a couple of days in a warm area. A tumbler is very nice to have especially for small handgun brass, but I wouldn't consider it a necessity.

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