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Reloading Newbie

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by THE DARK KNIGHT, Nov 5, 2009.


    THE DARK KNIGHT Well-Known Member

    Hello, I am completely new to reloading I have no equipment at all. I am curious about being able to reload .38 special, and perhaps even .45 acp. Here are my questions:

    What tools do I need to start reloading? I currently have none

    How much of an investment am I looking at?
  2. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

    Have you already read the various stickys right above your post for new reloaders?

    Worth a look-see IMHO.
  3. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    There's far more complete info in the "stickies" -

    Other than components (which are a little hard to find at present), tools include

    • Something to deprime the case. This can be a mallet-operated device, or be incorporated in a resizing die.
    • Something to reprime the case. This can be a hand-operated tool, or be part of a more elaborate press.
    • Something to measure powder. Can be as simple as a scale with a powder pan, or a "dipper", or as elaborate as an electronic powder dispenser, or a powder measure mounted to a press.
    • Something to resize pistol brass. This can be mallet-operated or look like pliers, or be a bench mounted press. Presses that perform multiple operations at one handle pull are called "progressives" and those that do one operation at a time are called "single stage".
    • Something to "bell" the mouth of the case to permit bullet insertion without shaving the bullet or crumpling the case.
    • Something to seat bullets to the correct depth. Again, this can be mallet-operated or a more elaborate press.
    • Something to crimp the case. Taper crimps for auto pistols, roll crimps for revolvers.
    • And finally, measuring tools (calipers and gauges) to make sure you are making rounds that are within specifications.

    Because of the wide variation in each tool, you can reload with something as inexpensive as a $30 Lee loader (mallet operated), or spend close to $1000 on an advanced progressive press.

    I believe most reloaders use equipment that is in the middle, cost-wise, but your needs dictate your choice in equipment.
  4. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

    I would 1st buy & read a reloading book, even used of recent printing would be alright. Don't get caught up in everything progressive, electronic, & all the lastest gizmos. There's more to reloading than trying to crank out high numbers of low cost ammo. Dip your toe in & get wet, the water's fine.
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member


    • Read the stickies!!

    • Highly recommend either Lyman's ABC's of Reloading or Lyman's 49th Ed Reloading Manual. Sometimes you can find reloading manuals at your library. Sometimes you can get deals on good used manuals at Amazon.Com

    • Skip the part about reloading rifle since it's slightly different. Concentrate on the steps for pistol ammunition.

    • Advertise here to meet a reloader in your town that would assist you. You're going to need a "buddy" sooner or later. Sooner would save you some time and money.

    All the best.
  6. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I've been rocking a lee turret press and a lee auto index for years. I can do about a case a minute while watching tv. accuracy is ok, (nothing match grade) I like lee, it is not awesome, but it works well enough and it is way cheaper than the competition. Particularly good for starting off. if you really like reloading and shoot a lot, dillion makes wonderful and expensive equipment. you can crank out maybe a round every 15 seconds. 38 and 45 are easy to load for. 38 particularly so because if you do mess up you are probably shooting it in a 357 that should handle small oops'.

    lee classic turret press $95
    lee autodisk (powder dropper) $33
    lee dies $25-35
    load data from lee or powder mfg's free online.
    powder $20/lb. (should last a thousand cases at least)
    bullets - varies
    primers - mostly unavailable. maybe $30/thousand is a fair price?
    brass - you've been picking it up all along right?

    ++++++1 on finding a reloading buddy/mentor.

    ******do not deviate from the load tables****** (at least until you REALLY know what you are doing and no longer care much about your gun or body parts)
  7. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    I like Greyling's attitude. Use what you can afford while you can afford it. It all turns out respectable reloaded ammo. Most people treat it like kitchen utensils and upgrade the various parts and pieces over numerous years to suit their needs, whims, caliber needs and budget constraints.

    The main thing is this: You'll REALLY enjoy what you're doing.

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