Looking to start reloading...help?


PDA






OldBrownDog
February 2, 2013, 02:33 PM
I recently picked up a Colt 1911, my first .45. But obviously, .45 ACP is hard to come by. I bought 500 rds in early December, before the panic, but that's running out (I saved the brass), and the prices when it is on shelves have gotten to me. I want to start reloading for it, and eventually add .357/.38, .30/06 and .30/30 as well. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good reloading kit to start out with? I'm thinking single stage, but I'm open to progressives. Budget is right around $500-$600. Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Looking to start reloading...help?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Bio-Chem
February 2, 2013, 02:36 PM
The Rock chucker supreme reloading kit is a good place to start. for 45 ACP i've used W231 and Red Dot powders for a lot of success. Good luck and welcome to reloading

Adam the Gnome
February 2, 2013, 02:48 PM
I bought the rock chucker supreme kit and i am now wanting a progressive.
Everyone says the single stage is best to start on and i agree. You learn every step, and for limited rifle rounds would love it.
I am about 5500 rounds in on 9mm and it is a chore but still very rewarding. And fun!
Pick up the ABCs of reloading and read it a couple of times

dbb1776
February 2, 2013, 02:54 PM
I started with single stage and enjoyed it. But it is very slow. I received a lee turret press and suggest starting there. It is as simple as a single stage but ups output to over 100 rounds an hour after you learn the basics. Check YouTube videos of turret presses

dbb1776
February 2, 2013, 02:58 PM
Lee sells very good start up sets w everything but dies. The one piece I rarely see mentioned that I highly recommend is a set of Check Weights. Very important to verify your scale.

cowtownup
February 2, 2013, 03:05 PM
I got a Hornady LNL single stage and its a great press. It is kinda slow but I enjoy the time spent reloading and listening to the radio. If I just had somebody to pull the handle for me... LOL.. Sometimes when preparing a lot of brass my arm gets tired... The press I got came with 500 free bullets as a promotion.. Also, right now supplies are tough to find... Be prepared to pay premium prices for powder and primers...

izhevsk
February 2, 2013, 03:29 PM
I picked up the Lee Challenger kit, which includes a single stage press, a beam scale, a powder measure, a hand priming tool, a deburring tool, a case trimmer, and one quick change die bushing. It didn't come with hardware to mount the press (not a big deal, just picked up a couple of bolts / washers / nuts at the hardware store), or dies, calipers, specific caliber case length gauges for the trimmer, or a reloading manual.

In addition to purchasing the kit, I also picked up an electronic scale to verify charges against the beam scale, a set of digital calipers, a Lee reloading manual, a set of .38 special Lee Carbide dies, bullet puller, a couple of plastic reloading blocks, a reloading tray, and the components for my specific caliber - .38 special bullets, cases, small pistol primers and various powders. The deburring tool that comes with the Lee kit hurts my hands after trimming a few rounds, and I'd like to pick up a nicer RCBS one (but they're around $20 and I'm cheap). I hope I'm not forgetting anything. :)

izhevsk
February 2, 2013, 03:32 PM
Oh, I also picked up a set of Lee universal shell holders, but as it turns out Lee includes the specific shell holder needed inside each die set. I'm not sure if other die manufacturers do this as well. The Lee hand priming tool in the kit also comes with a set of shell holders, but they're only good for the tool and will not fit the press.

OldBrownDog
February 2, 2013, 03:45 PM
Thanks for the suggestions so far guys. I just ordered the ABCs of Reloading, and I wasn't familiar with the differences between turret and progressive presses. I'm leaning towards a turret press, having poked around on google. I realize components are a bit pricey right now, but I would rather get set up for reloading and pay for components then continue to pay for factory ammo. I just got Natchez's catalog today and the prices didn't look too bad.

Lost Sheep
February 2, 2013, 03:46 PM
Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

Bold subject line, eh? Let me qualify it down. I load for handgun only; 5 calibers, about 100-400 rounds per session and about 5,000-10,000 rounds a year. If this comes close to describing your situation, you might like to read on.

35 years after starting, I found I outgrew some gear and overbought elsewhere. So, I cleaned house. I emptied my bench and populated it with the best equipment I could find precisely fitting my loading needs. I could have saved a lot of experimentation and waste if I had known back then what I know now (about handloading and about myself).

Informed by my experience reconstituting my loading bench, I compiled a list of the barest essentials that would allow a novice loader to load well and which would still be gratifying in 30 years. (In my opinion and somewhat matching my style of shooting and loading.)

Here's a link to the thread that describes what I did.

www.rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-outgrow-novice-handloader.html

I think it makes an ideal shopping list for the handloader just starting out. I hope you do, too.

For 5 calibers, $700 plus shipping to duplicate my entire current loading bench with all new stuff, misc accessories and tools. I am not in the least bit inconvenienced in my loading endeavors.

Thanks to Sue Kempf at Kempf's Gun Shop, and Mark and the guys at Factory Direct Sales and the technicians in Customer Support at Lee Precision.

Good luck

Lost Sheep

MarshallDodge
February 2, 2013, 03:59 PM
If you are shooting an autoloader then I would definitely buy a progressive or at minimum a turret press.

My suggestion for a beginner would be a Dillon 550B for a progressive or a Lee turret kit.

Both can be used in single stage mode.

gspn
February 2, 2013, 04:04 PM
My initial setup is a lot like the one described by LostSheep (great writeup by the way).

I've added more since then but I really like the post he did on that subject. Read the post LostSheep did and if you decide you really want to get into reloading do yourself a huge favor and buy all of your components first.

The reason I say that is that you likely won't be able to buy any components. I would hate for you to get all worked up and order a press and dies and all the equipment only to discover that you can't find any primers, power, or bullets.

It would be exceedingly frustrating to me to have a work room full of gear that I couldn't use. So...shop for your materials first...if you find that you can get enough components to start reloading then go ahead and order your press and the rest of the gear. Good luck.

gamestalker
February 2, 2013, 04:40 PM
You could get everything you need with that budget if you go with a Rock Chucker and you'll never wear one out in your life time. Actually a single stage is a very good place to start, and depending on how much you shoot, it can make a fine press for life, worked well for me for several decades.

GS

savanahsdad
February 2, 2013, 05:51 PM
I also started with a Lee kit , and have made many upgrades over the years ,but not because I had to , I used that first set for 270win and 44mag I made lots of great ammo and still have all of that kit, I'd say best bang for the bucks,
when I got mine you could get them with or without the book and there was no shell holders with them , now they come with or without shell holders or a book, so if you go with a Lee kit get the one that comes with the most stuff , it will still cost less than the other starter kits and with your budget you should have lots of cash leftover for powder, primers and bullets,
also check out loaddata.com and watch E-bay for some good old books

Bmac1949
February 2, 2013, 07:24 PM
Get hold of a good manual before you buy and read the sections on reoalding. Lee has a good part of his reloading manual on this if you can stomach the advertizing for his equipment but the man is a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Once you've done this you'll know pretty much what you need and what you might want. Speed should be the last thing you worry about as consistancy and accuracy are most important.

OldBrownDog
February 2, 2013, 07:43 PM
LostSheep, thanks a bunch for that write up. I've bookmarked the page as a shopping list, I think I'm going to start ordering stuff this week or next. Does the Lee Turret press allow the same preciseness when loading rifle rounds as a single-stage? By manually indexing, it essentially becomes a single stage for loading rifle rounds, right?

gspn - I'm going to take your advice and buy components first. I think I'll get enough to load 500 rounds and go from there.

gspn
February 2, 2013, 08:07 PM
LDoes the Lee Turret press allow the same preciseness when loading rifle rounds as a single-stage? By manually indexing, it essentially becomes a single stage for loading rifle rounds, right?


Yes. You can remove the index rod and it will stay on the same station until you manually change to the next. Removing the rod takes about 5 seconds...you just lift it out...no tools required.

LivewireBlanco
February 2, 2013, 08:14 PM
Lee classic turret kit. Best bang for your buck.

Lost Sheep
February 2, 2013, 08:35 PM
LostSheep, thanks a bunch for that write up. I've bookmarked the page as a shopping list, I think I'm going to start ordering stuff this week or next. Does the Lee Turret press allow the same preciseness when loading rifle rounds as a single-stage? By manually indexing, it essentially becomes a single stage for loading rifle rounds, right?

gspn - I'm going to take your advice and buy components first. I think I'll get enough to load 500 rounds and go from there.
Yes, gspn got to the question before I did. Remove the turret, lift the indexing rod out, replace the turret. 5 seconds. Putting it back might take 10.

Kempf's Gun Shop online sells a kit based on the Lee Classic Turret which includes dies, but DOES NOT force the Lee Safety Scale on you. It is virtually the only kit that does not include some stuff you will eventually want to trade off. Also Sue Kempf is a truly helpful and kind person. The Lee Safety Scale (usually included in other kits) is equally accurate as any other, but only goes up to 110 grains and is a challenge for some people to use, as the tenths are read by a vernier scale.

All turret presses have some movement ("slop", some people call it) but it is hardly an issue to anyone but the most critical of loaders. Only single stage presses cast in a single, solid piece with a full "O" frame will satisfy those (or the excellent, but expensive, Forster co-ax). One thing about the Lee Turret. The turret disk is mounting in a circumferential ring. Other turrets are mounted at the center, with a brace at the rear. Center-mounted turrets tilt. A circumferentially mounted turret simply lifts (pretty much) straight up. Pure vertical play is not an issue, in my opinion.

Good luck. Good shopping. Be careful of backorders.

Lost Sheep

If you enjoyed reading about "Looking to start reloading...help?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!