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Re-loading 38spl?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Big Daddy K, Apr 22, 2007.

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  1. Big Daddy K

    Big Daddy K Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Sulphur Springs Texas
    What exactley do I need to start reloading. I have a good set of scales so what else?
    Wanting to load very mild plinking rounds one at a time.


    Years ago I occationaly loaded 243 with a little kit that fit in a small box. I guess thats what I'm looking for.

    I had rather ask here than at the store and get sold something I dont need.
  2. Eskimo Jim

    Eskimo Jim Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    New England
    Big Daddy,
    You'll need:
    1 Press (RCBS, Dillon, Lee etc.) If you are going for volume, look for a progresive or start with a single stage that can be upgraded to progressive.
    Dies for .38spcl/.357mag
    Reloading books for load information


    Nice to have:
    bullet puller
    plastic box for made up bullets

    You might want to pick up a book called "ABCs of Reloading". It is generic enough to go through all the steps of metallic cartridge reloading.

    You're better off going slowly and safely than trying to make up as many rounds as possible in the shortest time period.

  3. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Bid Daddy, welcome. There are some very good must reads in the Reloading section.
  4. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    Wild Western Illinois
    Reloading stuff

    Yes, check out the reloading threads.

    You are going to need.
    1) a press
    2) dies - and go for carbide dies, reason below
    3) a scale
    4) a powder measure
    5) a reloading manual
    6) components, i.e. primers, powder, cases and bullets.
    7) a case tumbler/cleaner

    That will get you going. Some manufacturers have 'starter kits' that include all the above items, give or take a set of dies (but no bullets or cases or primers).

    The press is what will make your bullets. Dies are the things that shape the brass case and push the bullet into the case. A scale gives you the correct weight of powder, the powder measure is a container that dispenses powder to preset by weight amounts (you use your scale to determine the adjustment). The case tumbler/cleaner helps you to reload by giving you cleaner cases that do not wear out your dies by having dirt on them. It also allows you to find brass that is defective or too worn to shoot anymore since it is cleaner.

    Carbide dies are special dies available almost anywhere you can get dies from that unlike plain steel, do not require lubrication to work. For many years, I was cheap and did not get carbide dies. I lubricated my dies by hand on a lube pad and had extra steps in cleaning the cases. Then I got carbide and my eyes were opened. If you are new to this, there is no real reason to make it harder on you than you need it. Get carbide dies.

    The reloading manual tells you what powder weight to use with the type of bullets you are using.

    There are many manufacturers of all of the above. Check places like Midway, Natchez, Graf's and other distributors that you can find on the web and manufacturers like Lee, Hornady, Fosters, RCBS, and Dillon, that you can also find on the web.

    Hope this helps.

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
  5. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    Northeast USA
    Don't forget a shell holder in the caliber that you are reloading. Not all die sets include the shell holder. Each one costs just a few bucks, but you can't reload without one.
  6. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Big Daddy, if you order this kit I'll wager you WON'T be disappointed:
    If I push it I can load over 200 rounds per hour. Since it's a turret press and not a progressive you really only have one thing happening at a time so it should fit that criteria for you.
    Since you already have a scale you'll be ready to go after getting some components.
    I like Rainier or Berry's plated bullets (Cabelas has Rainiers on sale or Kempfs has them as well) and Bullseye powder. 4.6g of Bullseye over a 125g plated Rainier works very well in my 642 for accurate plinking. Winchester primers seem to go in a little better than CCI's for me.
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Your scale must be a powder scale capable of measurement to 1/10 grain not grams as grams are much heavier.

    Go to the library and check out "The ABC's of Reloading". It will give you the essential information.
  8. Thirties

    Thirties Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Where the Red Sox meet the Black Bears
    Bullet puller -- mistakes happen
    Dial caliper -- essential tool
    Multiple loading manuals -- you can never have enough

    Don't forget a dedicated NOTEBOOK where you keep a log of your loads.

    There's more stuff, I'm sure, but that's all that comes to mind, other than what's been mentioned above by others . . .
  9. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Central IL
    The kit offered from Kempf gun shop is very tempting. Does anyone else have experience with it? Is there anything I should upgrade from the start?
  10. robert garner

    robert garner Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    columbus georgia
    Big Daddy K
    What you had was prolly a "Lee Loader" surely still available, if you remember using it they work fine once you develope your technique! However you will soon wish you had a less labor intensive set up and will move to one of the above mentioned presses. i still have mine for 30-06 somewhere,maybe.
  11. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    This upgrade kit is nice for the "adjustable charge bar" and the "swivel adaptor". The powder reservoir is also better since you can shut it off and it can be removed much more easily. Well worth the $14.
    Like was said, you should also get a calipers. Harbor freight sells nice digital ones for around $15. A couple of reloading manuals is also recommended. The powder manufacturers also provide load data and it's free.

    I have a Classic Lee Loader I use for 30-30 (the do everything kit in a box) and it works great but you would tire of loading pistol ammo with one of them in a real hurry.
  12. foghornl

    foghornl Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I don't 'roll my own' ammo now, but I used to reload .44Mag. The "kit in a small box" sounds like the 'Lee Loader', from Lee Engineering. At the time I bought the kit, they were $11.99.

    Very manual labor intensive, but even the basic kit like the Lee Loader will help you make very good ammo. And for less than factory prices.

    While the loads I made were not at hot as the factory .44Mag stuff, I could make them for about $6.50/50, vs $17 & up/50 for the Win/Rem/Fed stuff.
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