Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Runningman22, Jan 11, 2021.
What part is confusing?
Pretty new as well to reloading. I can't offer much advice just my exp so far. You are in the right place for information and advice. Getting equipment may be a chore due to the times online. Took me awhile to get everything, but I was broke for 2 months too. May have to get to the stores early on truck day to get something now though but don't get discouraged as setbacks may happen when starting. They will be minimal if you do due diligence cannot stress do your research on what your loading as well. I'm worrying about getting my accuracy down first, speed will follow after that.
Good point here, slow and easy, safety first, speed will come later.
You might want to give us your budget, and then we can start recommending some sites for you to look over as well maybe give a little advice.
Single-stage presses can be had for a reasonable price and you can always trade up as you progress. Probably most of us started out that way, and it's not a bad way to get your feet wet. Lyman or Lee products might fit that bill. If you have deep pockets or a bunch of rich relatives, then we can most definitely help you spend some serious cash (married guys need not apply - you know it just won't work!). We'll be glad to help you buy what we ourselves will never get our hands on. Only the best for you, my man!
As had been said, primers are an endangered species. You might find the rifle primers, but there's not a chance in Hades that you'll find small pistol primers (I say this out loud so I can inevitably be proven wrong and you'll now find a bunch ). No sense not starting to plan though.
There are digital versions of several reloading manuals and other text sources posted on the internet that don't require anything more than the effort to post here to make use of. Not the most recent editions but the very basics haven't really changed. Here's a few if you're interested.
Even die sets for 9X19mm and 223/5.56mm are in short supply and going for above average prices on the preowned market these days. So of the 3 cartridges you're interested in reloading, start with 30-30 and work your way more broadly from there.
I knew I was interested in reloading and was saving all my brass, but didn't want to spend a bunch of money at first.
I got started with a complete kit from LEE. The LEE Challenger anniversary kit. It is a single stage press bundled with most (not all) of what you need.
I found it on amazon and just watched it. The price dipped from $160 down to $90 and I jumped!
I used this single stage press for years and made thousands of rounds of pistol and rifle ammo. I recently bought a small progressive press, but still use the single stage a lot for rifle and other operations (de-priming, brass prep, bullet sizing, pulling bullets, etc). Many useful tools are made to work in a standard single stage press, so even if you outgrow the production capacity of it in the future, you will always have a use for it.
With the current ammo and equipment shortage, I don't expect many sales. Be patient and you'll eventually get what you need for reasonable prices.
Been using SRP for 9mm and 357 Mag for years. No problems at all.
I remember rooting through a few hundred threads in 2009 and the general consensus was SRP in place of SPP = OK
But LRP and LPP do NOT interchange.
I live in kirksville , mo
I am a new reloader, so maybe my experiences getting started will help you.
I started the journey around November 5th and was finally able to do my first loads of .223 rifle and 9mm pistol the week between Christmas and New Years. It took over 20 different mail orders, since the local gun stores are basically unable to get product, in my area at least.
As has already been said, primers will be the hardest thing to find. I had just decided I'd go forward with setting up and then wait for however long it might take to get the primers when a neighbor stepped in with some of his stash of primers. I owe him greatly!
Bullets (ie. projectiles) in .223 and 9mm are available on-and-off from Evergladesammo.com. (30-30 I don't know.) They aren't brand name bullets, but they work. If they are out of stock one day keep checking back and they will have some in a day nor two. I am lucky that my range lets us collect all the brass we want, so if you can't find what you need I can send you a few hundred casings in 9mm and maybe .223. Send me a private message.
I figured which presses I might be satisfied with and backordered 7 of them from different sites. Midway, Midsouth Shooters, Graf and Sons and, of course, Amazon and EBay. Cabellas was no help - they would advertise items in stock and then when you order it they say it is backordered. Be very careful with EBay, a lot of them are WAY overpriced. The established sellers mentioned above don't gouge.
The first press that came available, I cancelled the backorders for the others. I figured that if I ended up with more than one press, I could always sell one since they are all backordered anyway. If a dealer won't let you backorder, click the "Notify me when available" box. I ended up with a Lee Value Turret Press. I'm still receiving "Now in stock" emails for various presses and other items.
I'm glad I ended up with a turret press because I can set up the dies for .223 and 9mm on separate turrets (less than $10 each turret) and they're ready to go. Soon I'll be adding another turret for 300BLK. You can set up a third turret for your 30-30.
With straight-walled casings like 9mm you can use a turret press and load your ammo all at one time. Bottleneck carts are a different story.
If I were only loading .223 or other bottlenecks I would probably be just as well off with a single stage, since you size and decap on the press, then take the casings off to trim them, and swage the military crimp if applicable. Then back to the press (or not) to prime, then charge them and set the bullets. For the .223 I spend more time with the auto-indexer removed from the turret than on. I'm sure the experienced guys have other opinions, but that's my newbie take on it.
Ask specific questions here before you make your buying decisions. "Why RCBS dies over Lee?", "Do I want a small base die for my AR-15?" "What is the best lube?" "Am I better off priming on press or handheld?". You'll get a lot of contradicting answers, but once in a while there'll be agreement and you can make an informed purchase. These guys and gals are a wealth of information and help.
Youtube is a wealth of information, some bad but mostly good. If you're looking for a tool, see how someone else uses that tool and see if it would work for you. Many of them take you on the whole sequence of loading a particular caliber with a particular press. These guys here can explain, but nothing beats seeing it in action.
Good luck and BE PATIENT. It will be frustrating at times, but in the end it is very rewarding to go to the range with all your own ammo. Oh, and don't plan on saving money. I figure I will need to reload well over 1,000 rounds before I break even on the setup expenses. You're doing this as a fun hobby, and to get ammo that is otherwise unavailable... not to save money.
OK guys, fire away!
I totally agree with approaching reloading as a hobby, makes it much more enjoyable. But you can save money or shoot more for the same amount of money spent, really depends on how you look at it.
I'm kind of new as well (2 1/2 years reloading now) and my equipment is paid for now with the savings from reloading.
But, I have loads that shoot great in my guns for less than factory ammo, and I enjoy the process.
Have fun and stay safe!
Welcome to THR and reloading.
As far as the videos on youtube the ones by the equipment manufacturers are all accurate. Others you need to take with a grain of salt until you can recognize the good from dangerous. As mentioned start out reading about the procedures/steps then ask your questions. Remember we all had to learn once upon a time. Things are difficult to obtain just now and patients will pay off well. Someone local to you that can show you the ropes will be ideal. Sorry, I live in Maine so not much help there. If you are one of the people that pay a lot of attention to detail and are good mechanically it should come easily.
This Lee press will do it all from the smallest seventeens up to the 50 BMG. Strong like bull. Lee makes great stuff for the budget minded beginner and the budget minded vet.
Haa, Haa, Ha - I love the link "stupidityshouldhurt.com"! My new most favorite saying. The one prior to this "There is no such thing as overkill".
While I agree the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Single Stage Press is a really nice heavy duty single stage press it won't accommodate a 50 BMG. It will do all cartridges up to .460 Weatherby Mag / 50 Rds per hr once the user gets proficient with it. I also doubt the thread starter plans on 50 BMG for starters. Again a really good single stage press. I have an old Lee O press which uses a similar design less the ability to quick change dies.
EDIT, my bad as the posted press is not a Lee Breech Lock Challenger. See below for further details.
Welcome Aboard !
I started reloading for the first time(at 70) a few weeks ago. I wanted to reload 38/357 and 9mm. I didn't want to spend a fortune since I didn't know how I'd like it. I bought a Lee classic turret press(4 die) kit and have been happy with it so far. You can use it as a single stage press if you like or utilize the turret. It was a lot to learn but i read a lot while waiting for supplies and i'm comfortable now. Shop around for prices as they vary greatly. Before I bought a Lee deluxe 4 carbide die set for $43 I saw one on eBay with a $192 bid! You will have to be patient finding supplies especially primers. If you know a reloader he may have some primers he'll sell you. A friend of mine sold me 3k SPP since he had a large stash. Maybe you know someone like him. I'm happy to say I'm enjoying my new hobby and wish you the best of luck.
Well, MY press is not a Breech Lock Challenger press. It's a Lee Classic Cast press and has a factory installed reducer which, if removed, allows the use of 1 1/4" - 12 dies for the 50 BMG. It takes a 1 15/16" socket to get the reducer out.
Well alrighty then and my bad on that note. Never knew the Lee Classic Cast press had enough clearance to load a 50 BMG. Sitting here looking at a 50 BMG and that is one big (tall) cartridge in comparison to most rifle cartridges. Anyway my bad and apologies.
It's amazing what one can learn from buying a reloading manual like Lyman #50 and reading the Beginner chapters. There are also lots of beginning reloading books, both new and old available on Amazon, Ebay, and B&N bookstores.
I certainly see no need for apologies. All those big red presses look alike. Anyway, yep, a 50 BMG will fit. This is one big honking press, but I will still have to get a bigger one for 20mm cannon, lol.
Some time back wasn't there a company that marketed a rifle chambered for the 20 mm cannon round? I want to recall something about that. Yes and thank you Google. Anzio 20mm rifle which fired a 20mm Vulcan round. The truth here is I have not even fired my 7mm Rem Mag in years because it hurts. My shoulder no longer has the beef it once had. I find myself loading a lot of .308 Win anymore.
On the slightly more practical note (very slightly more), there is a wildcat called the .50 McMillan FatMac, which uses a shortened necked 20 mike mike case to launch 750 grain 50 cal match bullets at in excess of 3400 fps. Actually, 50 BMG and up is beyond my financial, or my shoulder's, ability to support.
More in line with this thread, I bought this Lee press because it was bullet proof and affordable. The compound lever allows you to make short work of any case forming chores you may have. I have broken a couple of lesser presses. I would imagine most heavy O presses are as strong, but some companies think their stuff is real special when it comes to the price. RCBS comes readily to mind in that regard.
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