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Beginner looking for some advice

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by crazysccrmd, Aug 29, 2011.

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  1. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

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    I'm thinking about getting into reloading on a small scale. It will be mainly for plinking and possibly hunting loads for the mausers. I will only be loading 7.65x53, 8mm mauser and 9mm at this time and I don't have any plans to switch up to new calibers anytime soon. I also don't plan on making a lot of rounds, mainly just range rounds for my CCW (9mm) and non-corrosive loads for the mausers. I live in an apartment and don't have space for a reloading bench unfortunately so I've been looking at the Lee hand press.

    My shopping cart on Midway right now is as follows:

    Lee Breech Lock Hand Load Press
    Lee Pacesetter 3 Die set 8mm
    Lee Pacesetter 3 Die set 7.65mm
    Lee Carbide 3 Die set 9mm
    Lee Case Trimmer/Cutter/Lock stud
    Lee Chamfer/Deburring Tool
    Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner

    Totals out to $130, is this a good way to get started on a budget? Recommended replacement/substitute/extra items? Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Location:
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    powder scale
    loading block
    case lube (spray)
    priming tool (if one isn't on the press)
    loading manual (nice to have or you can go to reputable online mfg sites)
    Shellholders (if not included with the dies)
     
  3. bbq fan

    bbq fan Member

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    I did not see any reloading books on the list. You should have at least two as starting reference...
     
  4. gab909

    gab909 Member

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    Powder scale and calipers. For case lube, just use vaseline, sparingly. Don't glob it. Both scale and Calipers, can be had fairly cheap. Harbor freight has deals on calipers from time to time. Since you are not going to get into shooting dime sized groups any time soon, most of your reloading info can be had via the internet at reputable sites. Hodgdon, Imr, and Winchester powders are all the same sites. Alliant has its own, but Hogdon's is a much better site. Harder to navigate, but much more knowledge.
     
  5. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    As far as lube goes. I have been experimenting with many different types. I do not like the Lee lube. The Imperial wax is good. The stuff i really like and does not cost an arm and a leg is Kiwi brand Mink Oil for boots. I will never buy anything else.Plus if you run out you can go to any store and buy more.
     
  6. MickKennedy29

    MickKennedy29 Member

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    I would admit that I have never used the Lee Hand Press, but I cannot imagine that it would be easy. Even in an apartment with very limited space, I would think you could get a small single stage press that could be clamped onto a table easily. Like I said, I have no experience with the hand press, but I think it may be difficult to load rifle rounds with one. I load 8mm mauser and 9mm luger with a progressive and have a little Lee c-press clamped to my workbench that I use just for depriming. I think I paid $25 for the press shipped. I would urge you to buy an actual press for home use.
     
  7. Whacked

    Whacked Member

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    I am looking at doing the same thing for the same reasons, only for .45 Colt
    Tiny apartments suck.
    I'll be loading by volume, not weight (black powder) so for now, I'll skip the scale

    I've seen videos of reloading with the whack-a-mole type from Lee.
    stupid cheap, and can be fast with practice. I may pick one up for S&G and try loading a few rounds.
     
  8. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

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    I've been thinking about doing that too. I have a good bit of surplus 8mm/7.65mm for the mausers and could get started loading the 9mm pretty easily and cheaply that way.
     
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    You'll need a dial caliper. Harbor Frieght has a decent stainless steel one, very inexpensive, and in my opinion is as accurate as need be.
    I would also suggest picking up an inexpensive tumbler, it's much easier to evaluate your brass after shooting and resizing when all the crud is cleaned off. HF has decent functional tumbler's at a fair price.
     
  10. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    >>I've seen videos of reloading with the whack-a-mole type from Lee.
    stupid cheap, and can be fast with practice.<<

    That's how I started. Slow but very inexpensive way to get started.
     
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Forget the hand press, especially with rifle cartridges. Those are great if you want to load 1 or 2 while you're at the range to finish out a test, but they are not for volume or consistency. What I'd advise you to do is look on your local Craig's List web page and try to find a used RCBS Rock Chucker from the 1970's. You'll pay the same price, but you'll get professional quality equipment that will last for the rest of your life.

    They sold tons of these in the 70's and 80's and those guys are aging out of the hobby right now. The whole "starter kit sold for something like $125 back then, so these guys are 1) happy to get their money back, and 2) glad to see their press go to a good home as an added bonus.

    With even a well used RCBS (or similar by Lyman, CH, Hornady, Pacific, Redding, etc) you'll be making better ammo than most new kits. The older stuff was just built more ruggedly.

    If you want tips on apartment or limited space reloading, then read the third post RIGHT HERE.

    Hope this helps!
     
  12. noylj

    noylj Member

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    First, read the Lyman #49 manual and determine what you think you need.
    If you want to get in as cheap as possible, get the little Lee Reloading Press and the Lee manual as a kit from Midway. Order the Lee dies.
    You can load perfectly safe light starting loads with just the Lee powder dipper and the Lee manual for recommended bullets and powders for use with the dipper. You don't have to weight these charges, since the dipper can hold enough powder to get you in trouble. People have loaded like this for decades. It is only recently that people have decided that they need to get everything and to control, measure, and weigh everything.
    I never liked the loading trays. I charged the case and immediately seated a bullet. Of course, you always inspect the charge height.
    You will need the Lee case trimmers for each bottleneck cartridge and a 6" caliper to verify if the cases need trimming (some people use a case check gage that has several cartridges lengths cut out).
    Don't even think about trimming the 9mm or any other straight-wall pistol case.
    You can prime on the press or by hand. I prefer by hand rather than the various primer feeds for single-stage presses.
    Some day you will want a good powder measure and a balance. Also, for the rifles, you may prefer to put a charge on the weighing pan less than the target and use an RCBS trickler to bring the charge up to the target weight. Most people can not accept that +/- 0.4gn for most rifle cartridges will have no effect on the target until you get past 400 yds.
     
  13. Whacked

    Whacked Member

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    reloading for a .223
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVagUd4FE9s

    looks like it was harder to remove the primer than to seat the bullet
    A lube tray would be better than hand lube.
    Still, a cheap way to get into reloading.

    whack-a-mole
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeEl9wZyabc&feature=related
    that guy is FAST. granted they are not match rounds but still...

    for small quantities and limited space I still think either of these 2 are the way to go

    Ohh, just noticed something. Should also include a breech lock plug for every die. once you get the dies set up with the plug you wont have to unscrew the dies from the press anymore.
     
  14. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I can't say I've ever used my primer pocket cleaner.......

    I wouldn't mess with a hand press. get a single stage (lee makes fine affordable products) and bolt it to a board. then C-clamp the board to the coffee table. 9mm pistol and rifle reloading are completely different animals. 9mm don't need lube or trimming, and aren't really cost effective to load for on a single stage with purchased bullets. (in my opinion)

    be sure to use a coupon code if you're shopping midway. google for one. you should be able to save at least $10. if you order primers or powder online you will get hit with a $25 hazmat fee in addition to shipping. bullets are ok though.
     
  15. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    But noisy.
     
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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  17. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I recommend the Lee turret. You can use it like a single stage for rifle, or with the auto index to load 9mm faster than a single stage.
     
  18. Whacked

    Whacked Member

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    got my order in from midway.

    dont forget to add a bullet puller and extra Lee breech locks to take advantage of that feature.

    I haven't reloaded anything yet but I just finished setting the dies.
    Pretty nifty tool. For a entry level reloading, cant be beat. Perfect for small (or temporary i.e. dining room table) spaces, can take to range for load adjustments, or for someone that does not need high volume reloading capabilities.
     
  19. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    Lee Breech Lock Hand Load Press
    Lee Pacesetter 3 Die set 8mm
    Lee Pacesetter 3 Die set 7.65mm
    Lee Carbide 3 Die set 9mm
    Lee Case Trimmer/Cutter/Lock stud
    Lee Chamfer/Deburring Tool
    Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner
    ---------------------------------
    2 Manuals. MINIMUM!
    Dial Caliper.
    Reloading tray, At least 2.
    Bullet Puller. Your gonna need it for those mistakes.
    Powder Scale. You need to check your charge.
    Powder Funnel, to get the powder into the cases.
    Tumbler, Clean cases is a good thing. Can help detect problem with cases.
    Media, To go with the tumbler of course. These two things are optional but good to have.
    Hand Held Priming Tool.

    As for the manuals, I recommend Lymans 49th and Hornady 8th. There both very good. Read em first and then buy your other things. Oh yeah, Case lube for rifle calibers. Stuck cases are not fun.

    Its all I can think of at the moment. The tumbler and media are optional, The rest of the things...Not so optional.
     
  20. Adam the Gnome

    Adam the Gnome Member

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    Cramped

    I too live in a tiny apartmet and am new to reloading. I got one of those Frankford Arsenal stands from midway it looks flimsy but has held up well for how cheap and easy. It can get a little wobbly resizing but easily fixed by putting your hand on the other side. Best part throw a pillow case over it and set it in the corner.
     
  21. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

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    I'm good to go now. I'll be moving into a house with a friend in about a month so we will have a garage with room for a real reloading bench and not have to worry about our wives complaining about it. Thanks for all the advice everyone
     
  22. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Welcome to reloading and thanks for asking our advice

    Here is an essay I posted once elsewhere

    thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4731364

    I think it bears repeating here.

    Apartment Handloadng

    While it is possible to load with a kit that you can keep in a shoebox, it is not all that convenient. The kit is the size of a paperback book, but requires a mallet to power the metalworking, which means you need a wood block, lest you dent your coffee table, plus it makes a lot of noise with all the banging and it is also slo, but can be benchrest accurate. If you are REALLY tight on space, it is one way to go. About $30-$40 for the hardware.

    A hand press is the next step up in convenience. It requires no mount, but is not a lot faster than the mallet-powered setup. About $60-$80 for the hardware.

    A small single stage press mounted with bolts and wingnuts to a 2x6 30" long is the way I started (though I do have a few sets of the "whack-a-bullet" kits and have used them, too.). I wedged the 2x6 into the drawer of an end table/nightstand and used it to great effect for a long time with a RockChucker press. Press, scale, dies and you can be set up in style for under $100 and still fit everything in a (deep) dresser drawer or medium-large briefcase.

    Everything beyond the press, dies and scale just makes things faster, more convenient or moderately more precise. Highly recommended, but not ABSOLUTELY necessary. Of course, loading manuals, safety glasses and a dropcloth go without saying. For instance, you can apply case lube with fingers or a paper towel, but a case lube pad may be more convenient.

    My current setup consists of a Lee Classic Turret and that same 2x6 I started with 35 years ago, seven sets of dies, a scale, a couple of powder measures and a number of other miscellaneous tools round out my loading bench. They all fit in three medium sized plastic toolboxes. Add a Stanley or Black & Decker folding worktable and I can set up anywhere (including going over to a friend's house) with just three trips out to the car (two carrying the gear and one carrying the components) I make more trips to the car preparing to go to the range. It would cost about $500 to duplicate my setup, but I want for nothing.

    Lee Classic Turret Press
    7 Die sets (all mounted in their own quick-change turrets
    3 Auto-Disk powder measures (only two fit in my toolboxes, though)
    Powder Scale
    Powder trickler
    bullet puller
    calipers
    Primer Pocket cleaner
    Case mouth Chamfer Tool
    Safety glasses (shooting glasses would do, but I keep a dedicated pair)
    A set of Lee Powder Dippers
    Tweezers and other small hand tools
    A half-dozen loading manuals (don't keep them in the toolboxes, though)
    Dropcloth (not in the toolboxes, either, but covering them
    I think that's about it. Rifle shooters would have a few more items, as bottlenecked cartridges need trimming, lubing and such.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep
     
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