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Looking to getting into reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by the_hustleman, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. the_hustleman

    the_hustleman Well-Known Member

    Ok, interested in reloading .40s&w and .380acp

    Living in an apartment, would prefer something that didn't require a bench, but if it is truly required, I'll take it and stick it in a corner.

    So what are my options?

    The cheapest options please!

    And where can I buy primers and powder?

    *swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*
  2. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Well-Known Member

    Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit if you want to prime by hand which many people prefer.

    Lee 50th Anniversary Breech Lock Challenger Kit if you want to prime on the press like I do.

    Either kit can be found around the $100 mark. +/- $10.

    Add to that a set of dies in the caliber of your choice and a couple of bench blocks and you can be reloading for around $150.00.

    You can mount the press on a piece of plywood which you may be able to clamp to your coffee table if you're really stuck for somewhere to reload.

    The only other necessary cost is the cost of your reloading components.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  3. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    Get a Lee turret and you'll be able to make about 100-150 per hour once you get good at it.
  4. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    There are hand presses available. But it would be faster to set up a press, make ammo, then put it away when you're done.

    All you need is a sturdy table/dresser you can clamp a piece of plywood to. Attach the press to the plywood.

    If you go this route, a small SS press with a good priming system will do everything you need with a minimum of cost and space.
  5. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I spent many years with a lee turret press bolted to a piece of wood that I clamped to a coffee table when working and on the top shelf of a closet when I was done. The added benefit of this system is it puts you right in front of the tv! I put a hand towel between the wood and the table to protect the finish.

    Powder and primers can be had online, but they charge a $25 hazmat fee in addition to shipping, so unless you are buying 20,000 primers or more it's probably not worth it. Just buy locally. Your local gunshop, Gander mountain, cabelas, etc should all have that stuff. I'd buy a lee turret press classic kit from kempfs https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php...facturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41 it's a little spendy, but lee really is the best value, and you will thank yourself for getting a turret instead of a single stage after you've loaded a few. I'm cheap. My friends call me a penny pinching fool, and I still say it's worth stepping up to a turret, and spend the extra money and get the lee classic in stead of the regular turret. Regular turret is fine, but the classic is much nicer and does a far better job of keeping spent primers out of the carpet. (if you're married this is very important if you're loading in the living room) but it's got everything you need. (Buy the kit or buy all those things individually off midway and use a coupon code to get it all at a better price)
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  6. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Well-Known Member


    I've only been actually reloading cartridges for a month, been collecting brass and information for years; with that illistrated, here is my advice.

    Continune doing your online research until you see what you want. Copy and paste a unit into your search engine and read, read read. I found THR to be the best I have ever seen; there are tons and tons of threads; all you have to do is scroll back and you will see just about every question under the sun.

    A former boss of mine lived in an appartment; he bought one of those steel work benches that can be easily assembled/disassembled. He fit all of his reloading stuff on that table in his kitchenette.

    Myself, I don't see how the three-legged stands work; mine is bolted to a heavy bench, I still find myself pulling on the back of my press when I operate the lever. I also tap the handle when the powder drops (habbits already, I know). So, it seems to me that a stand would wobble. A lot of people seem to have clamped a piece of plywood (with the press bolted to it) to the kitchen table.

    The instructions that come with the presses are pretty good. Load some dummy rounds to get the hang of it (without powder or primers).

    If you get a kit, they usually contain enough to get started; consider these additional items that didn't come in my kit: bullet puller, tumbler, media, pocket reamers (military crimps), safety glasses, case lube. Trimming pistol cases seems to be overkill to many people here, so those tools might wait until you load rifle cases.

    A lot people shop local (if they can) for powder and primers to avoid paying the $25.00 hazmat fee. A pound of powder has 7,000 grains of bang so a pound goes a long way. Primers come in packs of 100 for about 4 bucks.

    Click on the reloading tabs at "MidwayUSA" or "F & M reloading" or at your press manufacturer's site and scroll through all the products, look for the lowest shipping costs; many of the items are small enought to fit into a small usps box.

    If you have a question, you can always come here and ask.

    As I mentioned before, you are in the realm of wisdom and knowledge, read, ask and learn, enjoy, reload.
  7. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Often times you can find a 10x12 piece of 3/4 plywood in the scrap bin at Home Depot. Then you can clamp that where you want, and when you want. I loaded on a kitchen table like that all through college. Here's a photo of a Lyman I had mounted on fiberglass board.


    Now I use that exact same system when adding a new press to my loading bench. You'd be surprised how small adjustments in position can help. That way my bench top doesn't end up looking like a woodpecker got loose.

  8. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    Start with a copy of The ABC's of Reloading.
    A Black & Decker Workmate make a good portable/removeable loading bench.
  9. Josh45

    Josh45 Well-Known Member

    Primers and powder can sometimes be found at your LGS. Call around before going out. Otherwise, There's a bunch of places online but they will hit you with a Haz Mat Fee.

    I would get Primers in bulk as in 1,000 ct. There about $30 +/-. The powder, It depends, I bought Bulls Eye for $20.00. Others are a few dollars more or less.

    Get a manual....Get 2 actually. Make sure you read the ABC of reloading. Get it thru you library if you have to. I would recommend the Lymans 49th edition. Plenty of data there.

    If you don't wanna use a bench, I know there is Breech Lock Hand Press kit. Its like a single stage, Just mobile. For a few more bucks, You can get a kit and put it on a bench....I would choose the second option. What comes in the kit depends on the kit and the Mfr.
  10. the_hustleman

    the_hustleman Well-Known Member

    If I don't reply, I want to say thank you very much to all of you helping me.
    I was told that this was the mecca of reloading information online

    *swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*
  11. wraith56

    wraith56 Well-Known Member

    I too live in an apartment. I am following in the path of GLOOB and rfwobbly.

    I have a 4 foot 2x6 with the a single stage press and powder measure bolted to it. Presently it is mounted on a cheap and not too sturdy folding work bench. I should have spent more and gotten a good black&decker workmate. The whole setup breaks down and goes into the closet when company comes.

    IMO a coffee table is too low to comfortably use a press. Clamping wood to the kitchen counter or dinner table would work better for me.
  12. the_hustleman

    the_hustleman Well-Known Member

  13. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Well-Known Member

    Read the stickies at the top of this Forum. Pretty cheap! :D
  14. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    A rectangular stool is plenty strong to mount a reloading press. Depending on the press you *may* have to steady it to keep it from tipping when you resize the cases but that's easy to do. You can find them for about $20 new on sale.
  15. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Thanks for asking our advice

    When I started reloading, I mounted my press to the end of a 2x6 about 30" long. I would take a nightstand/endtable and open a drawer, stick the 2x6 in the drawer and close it to wedge the 2x6 in tight. I did have to steady the press sometimes, but with the high leverage of the Rockchucker, it was no problem at all. But even with the RCBS Jr. it was still easy enough with .357 cartridges.

    If you go to a Lee Turret (I did and have NO REGRETS), I strongly suggest the Lee Classic Turret over the Deluxe Turret. The Deluxe is cheaper but the Classic Turret is superior in a number of ways, and one of them, I think will be very important to you.

    The Lee Classic Turret drops used primers down the center of the ram and into a tube, 100% in my experience. The Deluxe drops most of them (about 90% in my Lee Pro-1000s which use the same system) into a cavity inside the press' base. You have to empty it every once in a while and there is always a mess of burnt primer residue to clean up.

    Don't get the Lee Classic Turret confused with the Lee Classic Cast. The Lee Classic Cast is a single stage press.
  16. the_hustleman

    the_hustleman Well-Known Member

    Ok so go with the classic?


    *swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*
  17. S$W66

    S$W66 Member

    Just make sure watch OAL on your 40's for they are high pressure round and seating too deep is a real no no. Too much pressure and have ruined weapn and possibly some fingers or hand too. Be safe and enjoy.
  18. gpwelding1

    gpwelding1 Well-Known Member

    i just started reloading my self.
    before anything else,follow sunrays advice.get a copy of the ABC'S of reloading.and before you do anything else read,and make sure you fully understand it.:D

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