hand loaders

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Jan 21, 2013
would like to begin loading my own ammo but have no practical knowledge of of quality user friendly system please advise you in the know
There are some who'll disagree with me but I advocate starting on a single stage press.

If your on a tight budget, then Lee products are the way to go. You can get started reloading on a Lee single stage press, and a set of dies for well under $100.

You can buy a book for a specific calibre, cast bullets, primers and list here on the classified forum for the calibre of brass you need.

Should you decide that you want get a higher grade of equipment, the you can.

I strongly recommend RCBS.

Should you decide you want to continue reloading or diversify, then a hardback book like Speer, Hornady, lee or Sierra is called for. These books list most of the calibres in use today. IE: Hornady lists the 6.5 Grendel but the others do not. Before you spend the money on a book, check it out and make sure it is what your looking for

I am a fairly new reloader, started in 1978, and love it. My wife sez that the only reason I shoot is so I will have something to reload. :)

I think she is right.

Good luck
My first instintct is direct you to a reloader in your area, perhaps someone from a gun club or range where you shoot. Reloading is a good way to enjoy this sport but hands on training will help expand on book knowledge. The old Lyman and other manuals had sections on getting started in handloading. Grab some of those and read them. Lots of good information. I also recommend your first press to be a single stage. This will get you familiar with the loading sequences and allow you to understand them better. A good (used) set up should be available for under $100. Check out gun shops and even the for sale ads. I see them also at garage sales and estate sales. (This is where a reloading mentor can help you as he can tell you if everything is there.) Start with good tools and build a good foundation of knowledge. At some point, you my want to consider the progressive presses but learn the basics first.
calaverasslim and StrawHat are right on. I like Lee though, as well as RCBS. I do prefer RCBS dies, but like Lee presses.
A beginner should use light and moderate loads, and Lee powder dippers are good for that.
I think books are better than mentors - too many know-it-all's out there.
I started simple with a little "Lee-Loader" kit that did an adequate job, even it was slow. A few little extra hand tools make it easier, but in the end all you NEED is included in that little red box.

I don't use those anymore, but I'm not far from it. I use a Lee hand press and a set of Lee dies. I don't even use any powder weighing or measuring equipment, even though I have both. I just buy Lee dies, and use the little dipper that comes with them, and just buy the type power the included chart calls for for the bullet I intend to use. Throw in a Lee auto prime tool, case trimmer, chamfer tool, loading block and primer pocket cleaner, and I'm in business for about $100.00 bucks, and it packs up and fits in a shoe box. I did buy an inexpensive case vibrator so I'd have nice shiney cases but you don't really NEED it.

About as user friendly as you can get.
Find an NRA or similarly certified instructor in your area. Guys hanging around ranges shooting revolvers and reloading from ziploc bags or plastic ammo boxes will know who the good ones are. Others will know, too, but those are the obvious ones.
If you are shooting only pistol calibers, I highly recommend the Dillon Square Deal B. It used to be pretty cheap, but prices have risen over the past ten years. They do show up on eBay now and then. Its the entry level for a progressive press, which means you have to keep your eyes open for problems and learn how to clear malfunctions. It works best for shorter cartridges. I used to try to use it for 45 Colt, but that was pretty marginal in my experience.

I now use other presses for many of my needs, but I keep my original SDB set up for .45 ACP, which is my highest volume range ammo.
Welcome to The High Road!

I suspect a moderator will be along to move this to Reloading shortly. Which is where it belongs in any event.

I've got some Lee presses that were given to me for helping a guy clean out his shop. I later bought a Dillon 550b progressive. The Lee doesn't see a lot of use anymore since the Dillon does the job with less fuss and fewer hiccups. I still use the two Lees but more as a three position indexable single stage sort of deal. The primer handling in particular sucks.

Loading at first in single operation mode isn't a bad idea. The neat thing is that you can do that with a Dillon progressive very easily.

Make your first few hundred at least that way. Then when you are ready to shift to loading progressively run the first few around the positions one at a time and check each stage for proper operation. Finally when you're OK with all this and you know that the press is doing all the jobs correctly with no interference start loading progressively with a new casing being placed for each pull of the lever.

Note that there's HEAPS of good videos on You Tube showing all manner of presses and progressive presses in action.

this is the very first time i have ever posted on THR although wrong spot you folks were awsome! all the same thank you all very much
The Lee kit is how I started. If you want to find other reloaders, get involved in IPSC, IDPA, or 3 gun matches. My experience is pretty much everyone loads.
Lee kit would be a good starter kit. Go to your local gun shop, and if they carry reloading stuff, talk with some employees about reloading, or if there are customers that are purchasing reloading stuff.

Some gun shops even offer a reloading class. Just get to the the shop and strike up conversation.

Welcome to the forum.

Reloading is very rewarding!!! And cost saveing.
I load all my rounds, pistol and rifle on a RCBS Rockchuker, one at a time. You can get by using online powder manufacturer databases, but I believe the Loading manauals a beginner would get much more out of. A tumbler, dies, priming tool and powder measure your in business. Calipers are a must too.
The fine folks here could give very specific advice if they knew what caliber and how many you want to load.
Wanting to load a couple hundred ,38 special casual target loads a year, you can do a fine job with very little equipment.
If you are looking at 500 rounds per week in pistol matches, along with cowboy action shooting your 50-100 Sharps, perhaps a few other calibers, the answers will be different.
Shotgun is a whole other animal.
My generic advice is to start with a Lee Loader kit, or at most a single stage press.
Welcome to the forum mlash,

If there is a decent gun store in your area you could talk with the people there and see if any of them reload. They would be able to give you some good advice on what to start out with and demon straight how each press works. If not here are a couple of books that are a good source. The ABC of reloading and Layman 49th addition. And this forum has a tremendous amount of knowledge.
Well bag my brass!

I STARTED to get a clue when my spent brass was being snatched up off the ground at my (newly joined sportsman club) like pieces of gold. Sometimes guys would ask do you reload i'd say no and they would say you mind i'd reply no go right ahead made for a great way to start my most meaningful incounters so for. Now i know that look on the other guys faces was disapointment (pissed they didn't ask 1st) the welcoming conversation and knowledge i aquired in just one such encounter was worth it all i am sure.But right now i would like to have all those bags of gold ........i mean brass back!!
time line

And that was before all of these troubling ammo aquiring times
Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

Welcome to the forum and to reloading. Thanks for asking our advice.

We could target our advice better is you shared some information about yourself: (What I use has no relevance to you if our needs are not similar.)

What calibers will you be reloading?

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers?

How much time will you be willing to devote to those quantities

What is your budget?

Will you be putting your gear away after each session or leave it set up permanently?

Do you want it to be portable?

What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting?

Lost Sheep

It seems you have a good pool of knowledge to tap right at your range. Fellows who ask for brass are probably going to reload it or know reloaders.
It's not just troubling ammo acquiring times, it's troubling reloading equipment and reloading components times. I just visited the Lee website and they are out of stock on all of their single stage presses. Not trying to be a party pooper, but you should shop carefully if money is an issue.
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