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What do i need for beginning reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by wolverine_173, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    I have no idea what im doing but want to learn. I dont have much money either. I mainly shoot 9mm. I know most people think its worthless to reload 9mm but thats pretty much what i shoot.

    First what do i need to reload? Whats the bare minimum? I dont care if its slow to reload i just cant afford the 1 machine does it all.

    Please post links to what i need to buy
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    How much can you afford & how many are you going to shoot.

    I load more of 9mm then anything else.
  3. TyGuy

    TyGuy Well-Known Member

    Look at a local store on online (midwayusa.com) at a kit. I really like my Hornady Lock n Load kit. I watched craigslist and ended up getting one for $100 when they retail for $300 or so.

    At the minimum, to reload handgun rounds, you'll need the following:
    Dies (not in the kit)
    Powder thrower
    Calipers (not in the kit)
    Priming tool
    Case cleaner (not in kit)
    Reloading book

    Eventually you'll probably want an electronic scale and calipers, but they are not a MUST
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    First thing you need is a book explaining it all, like Lyman's.

    Buy the book read all the data, THEN read the stickies at the top of the page and THEN you'll have an idea of what you need, what you need to do, and what you need to buy
  5. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member


    If you primarily want to reload 9mm, don't get a single stage. Get one of these. It can be a single stage, but can also load 100-200 per hour once you get good at it. Get the upgrade to the pro auto disk too. Spend the extra money for a turret instead of the single stage, it's worth it. I load more 9mm than all the other 5 calibers I load combined. I think 9mm is best with a progressive, but the Lee turret works too. I would say that calipers are a MUST have for 9mm. Deep seating can greatly increase the pressure.
  6. joecil

    joecil Well-Known Member

    Yes buy a book first or better yet two or three. I started with 4 now plus a bunch of powder makers pamplets. The books are Modern Reloading 2nd addition, Lyman Reloading Handbook 49th addition, Hornady Reloading Handbook 7th addition and The ABCs or Reloading. I find them all very handy and often refer to them.

    As for the equipment decide what you can afford and get the best you can for the money. I have mostly Lee but got a great price used when I bought my stuff and Lee is decent stuff that will hold up well as well as much cheaper than others. I also think they make some really good dies. However there are others out there I dream to be able to afford and can't but meanwhile I do plenty of the 4 calibers I load now with what I have.
  7. bubbacrabb

    bubbacrabb Well-Known Member

    Best advice I can give is put all the money you got and put it in a jar... Wait a bit and keep adding to that jar wait til you have the money to buy good stuff the first time. That way you don't have to spend it again later. I got a lot of money in my set up, and completely plan to use it for my whole life. So the initial cost will be spread over many years God willing.
  8. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    The cost of the reloading tools pales in comparison to the cost of buying the components, even if they are bought in bulk to reduce the unit cost.

    I believe a lot of newcomers think reloading is a kind of magic solution to the high price of ammunition, even at lower quantities.

    In general, this is false.

    If you can shoot the same number of rounds after getting into reloading as before, and if this number is around 500/month or so, most will see a "break even" point after approximately a year. Cheaper calibers like 9mm take longer than more expensive calibers. (Estimate based on saving $0.20/round and a total cost, including components, of $1200. If you can get started with $600, break-even occurs sooner.)

    The truth is, most simply shoot more after they get into reloading. Until it cuts into their food budget, kid's college fund, etc. Then they have to impose a limit.

    So reloading doesn't save money. It just lets you shoot more. :)
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  9. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking there was a sticky on this question, but it seems to have went away. It comes up pretty often.

    Good advice to buy a book first. The loading manuals have the information you require, both on tools and procedure.

    Just a quick list:
    Press +bench to mount it on.
    shell holder
    dial caliper
    die set
    powder measure
    reamer comb. inside and outside (deburring tool)
    Hand priming tool
    Then components: primers, powder, bullets

    A lot, if not all, of these tools show up on ebay. If you have the patience to shop there you may get set up pretty cheaply.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  10. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

  11. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    will any 9mm dies fit in this press or do i have to buy specific ones?
  12. Scimmia

    Scimmia Well-Known Member

    I think people are going a bit overboard for "bare minimum". You don't "need" a powder measurer, scale, reamer, hand priming tool, or a case cleaner. For absolute bare minimum for safe pistol reloading I would say:

    Lee Reloader Press at fsreloading - $25
    Lee Ram Prime at fsreloading - $9
    Lee Die Set at fsreloading - $26
    Digital Caliper at HarborFreight - $9

    That's it, $69 + shipping. It won't be fast or easy, but it'll work. The shell holder for the press comes with the die set, as well as a dipper you can use for measuring powder. You'll just need to choose a powder that is in the right charge range for the included dipper. If you're just making the same round over and over, you only really need to read though the manual once so you understand what's going on, so you can hopefully borrow one from someone for a weekend. A powder measurer and scale would help immensely, but aren't absolutely required.
  13. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    thanks for that info
  14. Scimmia

    Scimmia Well-Known Member

    The kit you asked about is good. You will need to add a caliper and die set, and you'd be good to go except for a manual. The case prep stuff they include will be useless to you for 9mm, but it's not much of the cost of the kit.
  15. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Consider switching out ^ this for a Lee Breechlock Challenger press.* Costs $55.00. It primes pistol cases much faster and easier than a Lee Ram Prime, cuz you can do it while you're sizing or flaring.

    Or just get the 50th anniversary kit for $110.00. It comes with a scale and a powder measure.

    *The Classic Cast you linked is even better. But the aluminum alloy of the Breechlock is plenty strong enough to load accurate pistol ammo.

    FYI, for 9mm, you do not need a trimmer, a chamfer tool, a commercial loading block, lube, or a powder measure. I have all those things, and I don't use any of them for pistol reloading.

    Basically, you need a press, dies, a scale, and a way to prime (if not integral to the press). For charging cases, you can use a cut down 9mm or 380 case to make a dipper.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  17. Scimmia

    Scimmia Well-Known Member

  18. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    Ill probably try to pick that one up.
  19. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    whats a single stage press vs others such as a turrent, they seem to cost the same
  20. Scimmia

    Scimmia Well-Known Member

    The Classic Cast single stage is massively overkill for reloading 9mm. It's a very heavy duty press made to handle anything you can throw at it with ease, including the 50 BMG. The turret won't be as heavy duty, but allows you to run a round through all stages of the press sequentially, which reduces time handling the round and speeds things up significanly. You'd be much better off with a turret for 9mm, really. If you find one of those for $40, don't even hesitate.

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