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How to start reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by monotonous_iterancy, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    I've been reloading for several years now (well over 40,000 rounds).
    And I totally agree with your posting.

    A "classic" turret press is an outstanding press to begin with, for the reasons you mentioned.
    I also agree about the Lee scale.
    It's as accurate as any other scale, just very slow to zero, & tiny controls make it "fiddlesome".
    To combat that, I bought a digital.
    Just a few months ago I bought a Lyman/Ohaus beam scale - WOW!!!!
    Ohaus beam scales are a world of difference vs the Lee scale.

    The only thing I'd add is a reloading manual or three.
    Trying to reload without a manual is like driving a car w/o ever having learned how.
    While not illegal, like driving w/o a license, it's dangerous & certainly not a smart way to do it.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps some new person.
  2. GCBurner

    GCBurner Well-Known Member

    You'll wind up getting a piece at a time, until you wind up with a set of tools that fit your particular needs. I started with a simple Lee Reloader, back when I had only one centerfire calibre to load for, and reloaded the same 20 brass cartridges over and over again. Umpteen years later, the three final pieces I've bought are a bullet puller, a progressive loading press, and a chronograph.
  3. John3921

    John3921 Well-Known Member

    'the three final pieces I've bought'

    Yea, right!

  4. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    As Hondo 60 says, "what Vin said."

    However, I will quibble about disparaging the Lee scale. Yes, it can be finicky, etc., but the trick to using it successfully is to 1) leave the 'friction pin' in (on) all the time, and pick up the beam to adjust it. Hold the beam in both hands, and use either thumb to adjust the desired weight. Set it back in its base (and double-check for free measurement) and verify the ball bearing counterweight is in the correct trough. I have other scales (RCBS / Lyman) and an electronic one, but for space reasons my primary weighing scale is the Lee.

    Like the others, I primarily use a Lee Turret--I can readily load about 180 rph when I am organized, although I probably am more comfortable at 125-150 rph.

    Before you order, post your list of items here, and we will be happy to critique it.

    Jim H.
  5. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

    Manual: first item. I would consider where you will get your bullets and buy a manual from the bullet manufacturer of the bullets you are likely to start with. If you will use cast bullets you can't beat the Lyman 49th. Lots of Hornady bullets available locally here so a Hornady manual has been a good choice for me. No, I don't think you need 2 or more starting out, but you definitely need one for the "HOW TO" info. . You can get plenty of data online from powder and bullet manufacturers so you can have a couple sources of data to compare.

    You can go for a kit that has most everything needed except components, or shop for individual items. Some things are available on eBay if you care to look there.

    Bare minimum you will need: Manual, press, shell holder, scale, priming system, dies, powder funnel. (Most presses have a priming arm with them. If not, a hand priming system is good.)

    It didn't take me long to want a powder measure. Lyman 55 was my choice and its a good one.

    I loaded for many years with no calipers, however they are sure nice to have.

    Tell us a bit about your shooting habit and how much of what you shoot. It would help us make recommendations.
  6. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    How many times can you reload a cartridge before it gets worn out?

    I want to start reloading because I can't afford much ammo, and I'd like to make my money go farther, allow me to shoot some more, and save a little. I only plan on reloading 50 or so rounds at a time first, not a large amount, likely nothing over 100.

    Some rounds I might reload would be things like 7.62x39, 30-06, and .38 special.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    .38 Spl brass can last for dozens of reloads. Sooner or later it will split. Just scrap them when they do.

    Bottle necked rifle rounds like those listed are a whole nother ball game. With them it will depend on how much you are working the brass, and mostly in how far you are moving the shoulder back each time. Pressure will also make a difference. Load them at max all the time and it wears out faster. Load a little under max, don't push the shoulders back more than .003, and it can last a dozen loadings, sometimes more, sometimes less.

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