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If or when to start reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by billsnogo, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. billsnogo

    billsnogo Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking about reloading, but not sure at what point would be a good choice to start. How many cases should you have before making a start?

    It is easy to recover the brass for the .38, but my 9mm's tend to throw the brass all over, and don't have too much brass for it yet.

    Would 1000 or so cases be the time to start? :confused:

    I know it is recommended to get a book on reloading, and will to get a good idea what I am in for, and will read while I pill up the brass :)
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Reloading is sort of like having a baby. If you keep waiting around for the perfect time, you'll never do it. ;)

    Just do it. Many have started with a lot fewer than 1000 cases, trust me. :)
  3. Rugg_Ed

    Rugg_Ed Well-Known Member

    Jump in and get your feet wet, it proves to be a continuous learning curve, and enjoyable as you progress.
    Wow 1000 cases thatsabout 900 more than I started with.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  4. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't start until you have a good supply of primers. Seriously. You could very well end up like me...you get the equipment, you have the cases and the bullets, the reloading manuals and the powder...but you have nothing to fire it with.

    I've reloaded shotshell and pistol for a long time but just bought my rifle equipment over the summer. The equipment sat idle for months because I couldn't get ANY primers. None locally, none on the internet...none.

    If it were me I'd secure primers first, then get into it.

    As far as how many cases...you don't need many to start. When I started I just bought two boxes of factory ammo...shot them...then reloaded that brass after each session. It was a nice pace. No need to have thousands on hand to start.
  5. lgbloader

    lgbloader Well-Known Member

    Walkalong and co is right. I started with a box of 50. 1000 would have been a jackpot to me when I started.

  6. azyogi

    azyogi Well-Known Member

    I started with a Lee clasic reloader [sometimes called a whack-a-moe] and a single box of 20 brass in 30/06. This type of reloader can still be bought new for less than 30 bucks [Cabellas] The times being what they are I got to agree with gspn before investing now I'd say line up your ingredients first. I can find most everything in town, but what used to be a trip to just one store I now have to drive all over the valley to find everything. I know all the hole in the wall shops. Still the ammo and fixens appear to getting easier to find.
  7. Atroxus

    Atroxus Well-Known Member

    I couldn't find any primers online, then someone pointed out to me that unless I was buying in bulk I would be better off getting primers locally anyways due to hazmat fee. So I started calling local gun/sporting stores. If I recall correctly I had to call like 12 places before I found one with primers in stock, and had to travel 20 miles to get them, but it was worth it. I don't know if you tried it yet, but if not you may wanna just start calling places near you, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.
  8. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads up. I've been calling three places locally for several months. Nada. I found a few hundred at Bass Pro shops locally after months of looking. Tonight I called and they had 900 winchester large rifle magnums...WOOHOO. They also had 2k large pistol. It was tempting to take it all, but I just grabbed 1k and left the other for some fortunate sole to happen upon.

    It does appear that we MIGHT be on the front end of primers getting a bit easier to find...but it's still like looking for a needle in a haystack.
  9. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Well-Known Member

    What Walkalong said.

    Just start. It's not as if you're suddenly going to acquire everything you'll ever want or need to reload. And other than the basics, there's no threshold you need to pass in terms of number of pieces of brass, etc. etc.

    I've been reloading for 15+ months now, and I'm still figuring it out, acquiring tools and components. It's part of the charm of the hobby.
  10. billsnogo

    billsnogo Well-Known Member

    Wow, looks like the cost of shipping the primers is pretty close to the same price as the primers. There is a gun show locally this weekend and maybe can pick some up there as cabelas is at least 8 weeks backorder :(

    thanks for the advice so far. Now I need to decided on a beginer press, book, ect. Time for a little research.

    thanks guys :)
  11. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    Don't wait 8 weeks for cabelas. Several online places have Wolf primers in stock. Sinclair International, Wideners, and Powder Valley among others. Consider the Hazmat fee a temporary nuisance...when the normal supply/demand relationhsip returns to the market you'll be able to get stuff locally and won't have to fool with hazmat.
  12. Publius1688

    Publius1688 Well-Known Member

    If there is a retail store in East Tennessee with primers in stock, I don't know about it. They're rarer than hens teeth. My vote: buy a thousand and pay the hazmat. Sooner or later, the run on ammo and fixins will be over.
  13. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    bill,READ-READ-READ!! Did I say read?? That is the best way to spend your time while you are waiting for primers to come around.. For now the brass that you have can be washed and rinsed in the kitchen sink-spread out on newspapers to dry. That will be clean enough to start with. Just use some mild dish detergent with a little vinegar, and flush with hot water.
  14. Clarence

    Clarence Well-Known Member

    The best time to start was 30 years ago. The next best time to start is now.
  15. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    Bill, how many rounds are you likely to shoot in a week/month? How many calibers do you think you might reload for? Which calibers will you be loading? Answer these and you will get much better help. If you are already thinking about it, you are well on your way. The dark side has you. :)

    Once you know how many rounds you polan to shoot per month, and how many calibersm those numbers will have a lot of bearing on which type of press you buy. All presses from all manufacturers are good. They even come in different colors. :evil: Be wary of the color wars it's like the ford/dodge/chevy thing. They all work. Your budget will have a large influence on the brand of equipment you purchase. If you are well off or recently hit the lottery, Dillon is calling your name. If you are at the other end of the scale, Lee would love to have you as a customer. :eek: There are brands priced in the middle as well, and they all do the job. Some require a little tinkering as an offset to the cost, some cost so much you don't have to do anything to themand they work.

    Here is what I would suggest. If you think you will be reloading sometime in the near future, determine how many rounds and calibers you will be loading per month. Look into the dies and changeover parts for the press and see if it fits the budget you have allowed. Start buying stuff now. Don't wait. Get a few books and read them. ABC's of reloading is a great place to start, then Lyman's 49th. The reloading components sale forum here is a great place to buy brass and bullets. You might even find someone close to you to help you get started or sell you primers if you can't find any. If you could find someone close by that reloads and is wiling to show you the ropes, you will be light years ahead of many of us when we started. Anything else you need that isn't covered in the stickies at the top of this forum, just ask and someone will be along to help you.
  16. jfrey

    jfrey Well-Known Member

    Here's a suggestion for collecting your brass. Go to Wal-Mart and buy one of those cheap plastic tarps about 9X10 and put it on the ground behind and to the right of where you stand to shoot. It will catch that flying brass and when you are through, you just fold it to the center and collect the brass.

    As to reloading - now is the best time to start collecting brass, bullets, powder and a good press setup. Look around and shop for primers. They are out there, you just have to look for them.
  17. billsnogo

    billsnogo Well-Known Member

    Unfortunatly the ranges here are indoor for pistol, no public outdoor ranges for the tarp :(

    I would look to reload 9mm, .38 special, and .45ACP. Not sure as to amount of rounds yet, been pretty limited lately since the availability has been scarce up until recently. Hope to change that :D
  18. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    You can pick up loads of once fired brass here: http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=50 You can also find from time to time presses and dies for sale. If nothing else list a want to buy and someone will most likely have what you need.
  19. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    Look around your area for a private club to join, that's the only way to go. You can pick up all of your brass and usually find more. Plus they usually have a lot of fun matches to shoot at on weekends.
  20. delta5

    delta5 Well-Known Member

    I would consider the Lee kit with the challenger press. It has everything you need but the dies to start loading. Get to know the basics, then decide what you want to buy. The challenger press will make a great 2nd press for priming or de-priming. Dont blow a bunch of money on a high-dollar press until you know if you are going to like it or not.

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