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Getting started reloading, do I have everything covered?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by givo08, Feb 6, 2008.

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  1. givo08

    givo08 Member

    Jul 28, 2006
    I'm new to reloading and have been researching it quite a bit online to figure out how I want to get it setup. I've read the faq at the top of this forum a few times for suggestions and wanted to run my plan past this group to see if I'm missing anything. I also have read the reviews of the products at Midway to see the pros and cons of some of the equipment. I'm definitely trying to get into it for minimal cost, while still getting decent quality equipment. I'm looking for best value for the money in a lot of categories rather than the best thing out there. I'll list the cost of each item at Midway when I priced it.

    First, I will probably be shooting 400-500 rounds/month at the most. I want to start out loading only .45 acp, but eventually will want to load .357 mag (don't have one yet), 9mm, and .223/5.56x45 (also don't have a gun in this yet) sometime in the next 2 years.

    I'm leaning toward the Lee Classic Turret press $87 (up to 200 rds/hr) due to the recommendation on this forum for good quality for the money. I don't think I need a progressive yet due to the lower volume of shooting I do. It also seems a little safer for a beginner to start out on a single stage/turret press, correct me if I'm wrong?

    For other accessories i'm looking at:
    -Hornady Carbide Die (.45 acp) $23.99
    -Powder Measure/Dispenser -- I haven't settled on a brand yet but leaning toward Lee $18.99 (not automatic). If I go for an automatic I was looking at a Hornandy one $65.99.
    -Powder Scale - RCBS 505 $65.00. Open to recommendations here.
    -Calipers - Frankfort Arsenal $26
    -Reloading Manual - Hornady $29.99. Although also open to suggestions if I should just get a .45acp manual only ($6.99) to start with.
    -Bullet Puller - RCBS Collet $10.99
    -Shell Holder
    -Plastic Storage Bins

    -Brass Cleaner- Is this a required item to start out or something to make your brass last longer and not necessarily a requirement? I'm looking at the Frankfort Arsenal one ($45.99)if it's required otherwise I will probably hold off for a few months.
    -Brass Trimmer- Same as above...is this a required tool to get started or just something I'll want down the line if I really get into it?

    So, help me out if you can and let me know if I'm missing anything or picked a product that's too cheap in quality or if there are other alternatives that will be just as good for less $$. Thanks.
  2. scrat

    scrat Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Monrovia, CA
    Cleaning brass is not a requirement. its just a lot of people dont like shooting very dirty brass. Same time a case trimmer may not be necessary for a handgun. However its one of those things you will eventually want to get. One thing that you should get is primer pocket cleaner. You will also need lube of some sort.
  3. mhillsing23

    mhillsing23 Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    St. Louis
    Looking forward to the responses here. I am almost the exact same position as givo08.
  4. 1911NM

    1911NM Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    Northern NM
    You probably will never trim your .45acp brass, but having a taper crimp die from Hornady will make your life much easier. Taper crimp this cartridge, don't roll crimp.
  5. jfh

    jfh Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    First, both of you guys should see this thread, and the comments there about how to adjust the list.

    Insofar as your comments about your reloading needs / future use, the Classic Cast should do you just fine for the indefinite future.

    Then, about your selections:

    1. get the Lee Pro Auto Disk Measure, c/w swivel, riser, and adjustable charge bar. It integrates perfectly with the Classic Cast Turret.

    2. Personally, I would stay with the Lee 4-die carbide pistol dies--they will be cheapest when bought in a package, and Lee includes a shell holder with their die sets.

    3. The Scale is fine--personally, I use the Lee scale without trouble, but a lot of people do not.

    4. As others have said, you really don't need the case trimmer items at the startup--and probably not in the long run. .45ACP cases tend to shrink as they get used, and unless you are a bullseye expert shooter it isn't worth worrying about.

    5. Definitely add the case cleaning gear and a MAX cart gauge.

    I suspect your best value on the purchase will likely be through Kempf's, or maybe Graf's. Others will work as well--but if you can buy nearly all the stuff at one source, you will save money on shipping.

    OK, after you've digested the information in that link, ask any other questions....

    Jim H.
  6. jameslovesjammie

    jameslovesjammie Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    You should have a reloading block. This is the one I have. It will also work when you upgrade calibers.


    You mentioned getting the Loadbooks. They are an excellent starting place. I have one in every caliber I reload for. I definitely recommend one. Here's the one for .45 acp:


    You cannot ever have enough manuals. It is a good idea to have at least 2 that you can cross reference data. This is the safest way to reload.

    There was a recommendation earlier to not tumble your brass. We didn't tumble ours for at least 40 years. I do recommend tumbling, but it isn't a necessity. It will make your dies last longer, and may make your rounds chamber easier, but it isn't required to start.

    I like your choice of the 505 scale. It is the one I use and recommend. I have used the cheap Lee recommended above. It worked, sometimes, but just seemed chincy to me.

    I also would recommend going with the Lee dies to start with. They are made to tight tolerances and will produce quality ammunition. When you decide to start reloading for other calibers, I would recommend getting a lock ring for your seating die so that you can remove it from your press and keep the exact seating depth/crimp every time you insert the die.

    You mentioned getting a shellholder. I would get a shellholder set for a few dollars more. That way, down the road, you don't have to make any additional purchases. They're only like $19 for the set of 11, or you can pay $3.50 for each one. If you're looking to reload .357, 9mm, .223, and .45, that is $14 worth of shellholders. If you ever want to get a .44, .45 Colt, .270, etc...you're already covered with the set.

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