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new to reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ddross, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. ddross

    ddross Member

    Hi folks,

    A couple of newbie questions on equipment and reloading.
    I have been given some reloading equipment from an friend and need a little clarification on the difference between a powder measure and powder scale.

    My equippment is as follows:

    RCBS JR-3 press, which I have read is a good basic press.
    Lyman #55 powder measure which also appears to be a good solid piece of equipment.
    Redding Model 13 case trimmer
    Redding Powder and bullet scale.
    Pacific -B15 bullet puller
    RCBS die set for 3-357 mag. (which I don't have one, gun that is)

    All of this equipment appears in very good shape and from the mid 1960's to maybe mid 70's if I had to guess.

    My question is this, do I use the powder scale to check powder loads from the powder measure, i.e. every 10th round to ensure powder loads are consistent?

    I have not used any of the equipment yet and still need to get dies and a manual or two. Any recommendations on manuals for beginners?

    Possible rounds I would be reloading are: 45 ACP, 7mm Mag, 30-06, and 7mm-08. With the exclusion of the 45 ACP would it be reasonable to use the same powder for the rifle calibers? Since I am just beginning this hobby I would be looking at recreating factory loads, at least to start with. We'll see what comes down the road later.

    Any comments or insight is appreciated.

  2. gdcpony

    gdcpony Well-Known Member

    First you use the scale to check each load until you have it right and it is consistent. Then every 5 or so.
    ABC's of Reloading is a great starting manual. But most loading manuals will have the basics in them. Lymans is a good one, and one from your bullet maker too.
    Don't focus on factory loadings too much. Go from the manuals. If you reference across the different calibers you will load for, there might be a powder common to them. If it works then give it a try!
    You will need some other equipment too. Do a search for starting out in reloading. It will return a ton of results.
    Here is one I posted in a while ago.
    Hope that helps.
  3. Shoney

    Shoney Well-Known Member



    It all depends! If you are loading pistol, once you get the measure set, every 10 rounds is good using flake powder, if using spherical (ball) powders, usually once it is set it rarely changes, especially with the Lyman 55. You still may wish to check every 10-20 with sphericals.

    When you get into rifle and extruded (stick) powders, you probably want to measure every charge, because they will vary +/- quite a bit. Again, there are spherical powders used for rifle, and they require much less attention.

    Read the "Sticky" for new reloaders at the top of the reloading page. It should have a good explanation of other equipment you will need.

    Good Shooting!
  4. ddross

    ddross Member

    Thanks for the information guys. I guess I better start reading.

    gdcpony thanks for the link and the mention of the ABC's manual. I like the pic of your duaghter and her bow. I enjoy hunting with my daughter as well.

    Shoney, I noticed you're transplanted away from Montana. My son is going to school in Butte, MT (Montana Tech). He really likes it there and really likes how friendly the people are. We went on vacation in Montana this summer and had a great time.
  5. Redhat

    Redhat Member.

    Welcome to the world of reloading!

    My first recommendation is that you read the sticky post from "Dave in flowery georgia" Lots of good explanation in that.

    I started out with the ABC book as well as Sierra, Hornady and Speer reloading manuals.

    Lots of good reading but well worth it!
  6. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    DD -
    Welcome to THR. And welcome to the world's greatest hobby!

    Yes, do the reading, but also get the equipment mounted and running. Here's what I would do with the powder dispenser....

    • Well before you start reloading, buy some powder for the caliber you intend to reload. We can recommend some common powders for you, if you like.

    • It's important to get your hand action as smooth and as repeatable and as close as can be to the same on each and every stroke. So simply sit there and run some powder through the dispenser. The graphite on the powder will "lubricate" the dispenser and get it back in action.

    • To do this you might have to mount the dispenser on a heavy block of wood, or hard mount it to your bench. That's up to you, but it's got to be stable. Here's a picture of mine....


    • It's really important that you do the exact same handle movement every single time. That way you get the same "powder drop" every time. Start with 5.0gr drops and see how consistent you can keep them.

    • No matter how good you get, your "drops" will always vary by some very, very small amount, even though your Lyman #55 is one of the best. So to dial it in, if you are looking for 5.0gr drops, set your scale to 50.0gr and measure the weight of 10 drops. In this way the very small variations are averaged out.

    • In the first week you start out measuring every 5th drop or so. As time goes on and you learn it's quirks and various behaviors, you'll begin to know what it will do. After you gain trust, you can then stretch that out. But we're talking only after 1000's of loads are dropped.

    • This won't be long. When you begin to get the thrill of shooting your own, you'll be up to 5000 in no time at all.

    Hope this helps!
  7. gdcpony

    gdcpony Well-Known Member

    No problem. The daughter has grown some and took her first deer with that bow after sneaking up on it while it was feeding. It was a tiny thing, but who cares.

    Here is a good link that may save you some time looking for loads. Since I use Hodgdon and IMR powders I find it to be all I need to start loading safely.

    I looked and found this as well. Seems like a good no nonsense guy wrote it for us normal people who want to reload and not break the bank.

    YouTube and some interesting videos too.

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