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Nice to be here,need help in handload

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ricknadine1111, Dec 24, 2005.

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  1. ricknadine1111

    ricknadine1111 Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, california
    Hi everyone, I'm new to this site which I found by searching for a loader for my rifle rounds. I need info on what reloader to purchase for reloading 308 rifle rounds and if there are autoreloaders out there or if I should only load single rounds. thanks Rick :)
  2. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    I'm not a .308 winchester fan. You'll have to wait for the rest to come along. And they will...:D . I was wondering...Do you or have you ever been to Wes Thompson's Rifle range in Piru???

    Welcome to this (one of the finest) site and Merry Christmas to you and yours.:)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2005
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I assume you're asking about a standard press versus a progressive press.

    The basic functions in reloading are:

    1. Resizing and decapping.

    2. Repriming

    3. Charging the case with powder.

    4. Seating the new bullet.

    There are some presses where the cartridge case is mounted on a revolving base, and when you perform the first function, the case automatically moves to the next station -- while you insert a new case. With such a press, you load a cartridge with every pull of the handle.

    At the other end of the spectrum are single-station presses. With a single stage press, you have to set up and adjust a die for functions 1 and 4 (functions 2 and 3 can be performed off the pres.)

    In between are turret presses -- these have a thick iron disk with multiple die holes. You can screw in and adjust all your dies (in fact, you can have a turret press set up to load two or three different calibers.) But you still accomplish only one function with one pull of the lever.

    To people just starting out, I recommend the Lee Hand Press -- this is a single stage press that doesn't need to be mounted on a bench. For about $50 you can get everything you need to reload (except the powder, brass, primers and bullets, of course, which must be purchased separately.)

    The hand press is good to learn with, and as you gain experience, you can make your own judgements about what you really want. And when you decide to buy a new press, the hand press isn't wasted -- I keep a hand press complete reloading setup in a tool box and take it to the range with me, to work up loads at the bench.
  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Central Ohio

    I reload for two .308s using a simple "one at a time" RCBS press. I've used the same press for 20+ years and still haven't seen the need to go to something faster and I've reloaded thousands of rounds over the years in calibers from 222 Remington to 458 Lott.

    If you're just learning to reload, I would get a simple reloading kit that included the press, powder scale, powder measure, etc. It's a cheap way to get into reloading and will load accurate ammo in a reasonable time. Once you have some reloading experience, you can upgrade to something faster (and more complicated and expensive) if you like.

    I also have a Lee hand press which I use for certain operations occasionally but it would be pretty slow for loading much ammo.
  5. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Columbus, Georgia
    You can consider a "poor man's progressive"...two or three single-stage presses set up side by side, each with a die to do a different operation. You can find inexpensive used presses at gunshows, some gunshops, and INET auctions...;)
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Or a turret press, with all the dies set up at once. Right now, I have a three-die .45 Colt set up on my Lyman Spar-T press, along with a .22 Hornet set and a Universal Decapper in the remaining hole.
  7. confed sailor

    confed sailor Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Groton Ct
    buy a Lee manual, outstanding book. get a Lee press.

    BTW are you lazy? (i am) get a turret press and never mess with the dies after initial set up
  8. 5.56

    5.56 Member

    Nov 8, 2005
    For the first time loader I agree with the thought of a single stage press. The RCBS Rock Chucker I have been using a pair of them for 30+ yrs. I also use a dillion and 3 different Mec's and 3 RCBS ammomasters as well. A progressive is good press. However till you learn the basics of how things work and not to force something if it feels tight. You will be running the risk of alot of train wrecks till you get the feel of it. I had a few wrecks on my first progressive machines. RCBS green machines. You can get a starter kit from RCBS along with a rock chucker and load almost anything you need in metallics.

  9. snuffy

    snuffy Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Oshkosh Wi
    newbees guide.


    1. Do you have the patience to do detailed work away from distractions, (TV, Children, guests)?
    2. Do you have a secure area that can be dedicated strictly to a loading bench?
    3. Do you thoroughly understand what goes on inside a cartridge when you pull the trigger?
    4. Are you mechanically inclined? In other words can you understand and follow instructions exactly, to make needed adjustments to equipment? Do know how to use measurement tools such as calipers and micrometers?
    5. Read the front sections of several reloading manuals. I suggest one manual, printed by a company that sells reloading equipment AND bullets. The other one should be by a company that sells only powder. Case in point Hornady then Hodgdon. After reading and understanding the “HOW TO” section in those manuals, find someone who already loads to show you how and talk you through a box of shells. Better yet find a NRA Metallic/Shotshell Reloading instructor and take a basic reloading class. See links below for locating an instructor.
    6. Never be in a hurry. If you are pressed for time, this is when a mistake will be made.
    7. Do not under any circumstances smoke, eat or drink, especially alcoholic beverages. The reasons are obvious, but I’ll state them anyway. Smokeless powder burns at a very high temperature; it makes a dandy accelerant to start a fire. Drinking causes loss of motor skills and judgment.
    8. Wash hands thoroughly when you are through. You are dealing with lead in many forms when handling bullets and primers.
    9. Walk before you run. Buy a single stage press to start out with. The progressives are neat and useful when doing large quantities of ammo. You will always have uses for the single stage loader for special loads later.
    10. Stay with the basics at first. The tools for neck turning, flash hole uniforming, primer pocket uniforming and checking concentricity will be useful after you get some experience.
    11. To start with, stay in the mid-range of the suggested loads for medium power levels. Save the maximum loads for when you have more experience.
    12. Buy the best equipment you can afford. It will last a lifetime; the cheap stuff will wear out and need replacing.
    13. Have ONLY the bullets, powder, primers and empties on the table that you are loading at that time. Put everything away as soon as you are done, in a separate place.
    14. The only stupid question is one that doesn’t get asked. If you’re not sure, ask somebody. Use common sense, logic is a great tool for a Reloader.
    15. Maintain a log of all loads developed with the test results. Label all boxes with the load data and date of the load.
    16. Every Step is an inspection point.
    17. The last thing you do before the bullet goes in " Look in every case to verify the powder charge".
    18. Get a good pair of shooting/safety glasses and wear them whenever in the loading room.
    Links for Reloading help and instructors

    http://www.sierrabullets.com/ Bullet company, very good ballistic support group.
    http://www.speer-bullets.com Bullet company
    http://www.nosler.com/ Bullet company
    http://www.hornady.com/ Bullet company
    http://www.barnesbullets.com Bullet company
    http://www.hodgdon.com Powder company
    http://www.lapua.com VihtaVuori Powders
    http://www.bluepress.com Dillon Loaders
    http://www.mayvl.com/ Mec loaders
    http://ww.sinclairintl.com/ Precision Reloading and Shooting specialist
    http://www.lymanproducts.com All Lyman Products.
    http://www.shooting-hunting.com Great hunting and shooting site with list of instructors
    http://www.mynra.com/ NRA with links to NRA certified instructors

    Basic steps to reloading. This is a short edited version from the "NRA GUIDE TO RELOADING".

    There are 17 steps of which most are for both rifle and pistol and one for pistol only. This is will mark with an * .
    1. Inspect cases,
    2. Clean Cases
    3.Organize cases by batches
    4.Select proper shell holder
    5.Insert and set up sizing die
    6. Lubricate cases
    7.Resize and deprime cases
    8. Measure case length
    9.Trim cases
    10 Deburr and Chamfering
    11.Clean Primer Pocket
    12.Expand Case mouth (*)
    13.Prime Cases
    14.Measure powder charge and charge cases
    15.Check powder charge in case
    16.Seat bullet in case
    17. Identify the reloaded cartridges (Mark the box etc.)
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    Snuffy...Real neat "Beginner's List" you have there, but I don't see any beginners here. But again I could be wrong. I have been before.....Or was it that I thought I was wrong and found out that I wasn't.:)
  11. Clark

    Clark Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    I got into reloading to reload the .308.
    You can load cheaper than you can buy factory.
    You can load more accurate than you can buy factory.
    But you will not save money, becuase it's a hobby, not a biz.

    7 years ago when I was going to start reloading, I bought a Rockchucker Kit, made by RCBS, as it is supposed to have everything needed but the brass, primers, powder, dies, and shell holders. They are now called, "Rock Chucker® Master Supreme Reloading Kit"

    Some things in the kit are good and I still use them 7 years later:
    1) RCBS Rockchucker press
    2) RCBS 505 scale [OEM Ohaus]
    3) Deburring tool
    4) Uniflow Powder Measure
    5) Speer reloading manual [for over all lengths, not for loads]

    The other things I use to load .308:
    1) chair
    2) bench
    3) board that the press is bolted
    4) "C" clamps to clamp the board to the bench
    5) radio
    6) Lamp/magnifier lens
    7) space heater
    8) clock
    9) .308 brass, I like "LC" [Lake City military once fired surplus]
    10) Large rifle primers, any brand will do, WLR these days
    11) Redding Imperial Sizing Die Wax [better than the RCBS Glycerin]
    12) Shell holders, Lee 2, RCBS 3, Lyman 2, or Hornady 1
    13) Die sets, Forster is MY favorite with sliding sleeve seaters, but I can get good groups with RCBS cheepees if I rotate the case while seating
    14) Calipers, I use the cheap $20 made in China 6" dial calipers
    15) Sinclair bullet comparitor, a big nut full of holes, is used to measure cartridge length to the ogive
    16) RCBS decapping die
    17) Sinclair concentricity gauge [Save yourself $100, cut to the chase, and remove the expander ball from the sizing die; that's the main culprit, unsupported seating causes a little eccentricity, if the rifle chamber is eccentric, then reloading can't help much]
    18) plastic ammo storage boxes, how else are you going to store the ammo, sandwich bags?
    19) 3M Post its, how else are you going to label what's in the ammo boxes?
    20) 0000 steel wool to clean off the dirty necks of the cases after fired
    21) Lee primer pocket cleaner, it's $2, don't be too cheap for this one.
    22) Quickload software program for calculating pressure, velocity, and noise
    23) Leupold 40X scope, rabbit ear rear bag, bench rest [how else are you going to tell how accurate your loads are?]
    24) IMR4895 powder
    25) bullets, I like Sierra and Hornady, but now I am getting Barnes Triple shock for hunting

    Here are some step by step pictures on line:
  12. another okie

    another okie Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I use RCBS dies for .308 and like them. A factor you should consider is how much you will reload. I don't have a semiautomatic .308, so I'm just loading a few lightly loaded rounds for practice now and then. Probably that's your situation, and if so, a single stage press is plenty to start with.

    But if you're going to be using a .308 in some high capacity shooting short like 3 gun, you'll want a progressive. I also have to say that semiautomatics of all kinds, rifle, pistol, shotgun, are much pickier about ammo than say, a bolt action Winchester, and the reloading skills required are at a higher level. They are picky both about feeding and about the power factor.

    I also want to agree with the others. If you have a short attention span, can't follow instructions, or have to have the TV on all the time, don't reload.
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    While conventional wisdom is that automatics are picky about ammuntion, I have not found that to be true with the .45 -- as long as you keep OAL within acceptable limits and taper crimp, the M1911 is very forgiving.

    The M1 requires full-length resizing (RCBS X-die recommended) for reliable operation, and needs a fairly fast-burning powder to hold down port pressures to acceptable levels.
  14. BigBob3006

    BigBob3006 Member

    Jan 25, 2005

    It is possible too load .308 ammo on several different makes of progressive presses. I've done it. I've loaded a lot of rifle ammo on a Dillon 550B. I've come to the opinion that precision ammo, or ammo loaded at max pressures should not be. If your rifle ammo is too be loaded for use in a lever action rifle, such as .30-30 and are not a max load, a progressive will do a good job for you. If your .308 is to be fired in a lever, pump, or semi-auto action and you donot demand the finest of accuracy from it, have a ball, a progressive is exactly what you want. If you are loading at or near top pressures and do demand top accuracy, then only a single stage press is capable of the repeatability required for prime accuracy. I hope that this is of some help. Good luck and God bless.
    Bob :)
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