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Remember your first reloads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Olon, Dec 2, 2018.

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  1. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Storytime! What cartridge did you start reloading? What was your setup back then? Just curious and thought it would be a cool idea for a thread.

    I'm just about to start myself and on the fence about whether to begin with 40 S&W or .223. Got a 550b press thinking I'd probably upgrade to it later on anyway. Chomping at the bit here but I'm not starting until I read that reloading manual cover to cover a time or two haha.
     
  2. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    My brother started reloading while in his teens, so I would have to been in the 8-10 year old range. I would be a helper, if I wanted to shoot. He started with one of the “mash it with a hammer” Lee set ups in 45 ACP. That is what I learned on, and still have.

    It really made a difference when I bought a RCBS single stage (still have), and progressed to a pair of Dillon 650’s.
     
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  3. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    1968 (a bad year, BTW). Lee "whack-a-mole". 7.92x57. (My maternal grandfather gave me a K98k BringBack that year).

    I spent years scrounging thru discarded cases at outlaw shooting locations for 8mm Mauser boxer brass. :)

    How it all started for me ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  4. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    .357 Magnum and 30/06. We were hammering them out on the Lee Loader. Usually in front of the television on the coffee table. The ammo was passable and shot well. Getting out 50 rounds was a big effort!:)
    download.jpg
     
  5. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Cover to cover may be hard. All the good stuff is in the front anyway. I would read that twice and have...

    I started with Fourty Five Auto as well. Though I think either would be just fine. Pistol may be easier? I tend to overthink every thing anyhow. You may "save" more on rifle for stuff that actually shoots well. Knowing, of course there is no actual money saved...;)

    Best way to know is to start. You'll be fine, you have us. I had us, too. We're great that way.
     
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  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Start with .223. Then .40 will seem like a wonderful vacation by comparison. :D

    I started with .40. Still my favorite handgun round to reload. The cases and bullets are the right size. I started on LCT. great press.

    First rifle cartridge was .30-06, and is still the primary rifle round I load.

    Since I started reloading I've loaded around 45,000 9mm, and a bunch of .380, .38 Special, .357, .40, .45acp, .45 Colt, .30 Carbine, .308, .270, and .30-30. Tried a bit of .223 but the effort didn't seem worth it for my purposes. Have dies and rifles for .25-35, .32-40, and 8mm but haven't loaded those yet.
     
  7. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    Oh yes I do! 1974 and 14. I had my Marlin .22, plus my grandfather's 1894 30WCF eastern carbine and M12 16ga pump. I got the RCBS Jr press reloading kit and Forrester case trimmer that Christmas. Carefully loaded up 50 rounds. They all went bang, no booms or clicks. Best part was they all were on the 50 yd target and when I got that load sighted in I got 1 1/2" 5 shot groups. Still have all that I started with. New cases though. Second cartridge was a 7x57 Mauser I read about. Picked up a sporterized M95 Spanish Mauser. That gun taught me about excessive headspace after 3 reloads. No booms luckily but that sooty smile like crack around the base wasn't good. I now load for close to 20 different cartridges. Reloading isn't rocket science. Just pay attention, follow the rules and don't get distracted. One of my top rules is I stay at least a grain under max. Just as a safety cushion. Lower if signs point to pressure. Some guys like to push it. I don't I'll go to the next bigger cartridge if I need more than is safe from a round. Good luck and have fun.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  8. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    38 Special and I used my brand new Lee Deluxe 3 hole turret press. It came with a hardwood box and I could bolt it into the crotch that box and then clamp the box to the table top, since I was living in a rented room. I used an RCBS Little Dandy powder measure and a 502 scale. I also had a plastic RCBS vernier caliper. I followed the Speer reloading manual after reading it through. I first try was a failure, though, since I did not get enough crimp and the bullets jammed the cylinder. Ever since I have put a good crimp on revolver rounds!
     
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  9. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    GREAT idea for a thread!

    I started reloading about 4 years ago. My first caliber was .223. I remember my first batch was 20 cartridges. It was a Sunday afternoon. I walked into the house and said to my wife "I have to go to the range." I couldn't help myself. I was the only one there. I fired all 20 down range not even at a target. I just wanted to see if they functioned. I'm sure I had one of the biggest grins of my life.

    Interestingly, just this morning I set up dies for my newest caliber (.30-06). This makes caliber #7. (.38 Spcl, 9mm, .223 Rem, .243 Win, .270 Win, .32 Rem, .30-06 Sprng)
     
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  10. AZAndy
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    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    .45ACP, Lee Turret non-Deluxe. A Springfield GI model was the only gun I had at the time, though that changed pretty quickly. I was delighted that the rounds not only worked, but didn't blow up the gun or anything. I just checked my loading book, and it was in August of 2008. Now I have two Lee Pro 1000s and load .32 S&W Long, .38 S&W, .38 Special, .357, and .45. Loaded 9mm Makarov for a few years too, but got rid of the guns a couple of years ago.
     
  11. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    .30-06 with an RCBS rockchucker starter kit
     
  12. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    For my fourteenth birthday, my mom gave me a Lee Loader in .38 special.

    No one in my little hometown sold components. An "old-timer' at the gun club had switched to 700X for his .38s, so he gave me a partial can of Bullseye.

    I rode the bus to a larger town 40 miles away, and bought 100 primers, and a used one cavity Lyman 148 grain wadcutter mould. (I didn't know you could buy bullets "ready made." My dad had a "plumber's pot, so I used that to melt wheelweights and cast wadcutters. I lubed them with my fingers using Crisco.

    A couple of old timers at the club took pity on me, and sat me down for a few reloading lessons. One of them had a beautiful 10 cavity H&G mould, and he gave me 500 158 grain Semi-wadcutters. I was hooked!
     
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  13. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    That's a fantastic story!
     
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  14. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    30/06 When I was 12 . That was 42 years go. My mom and brother gave the old man a RCBS rock chucker setup. I think dad only loaded 2 or 3 boxes on it. I kept him , my brother and some uncles supplied. He had very little time when I was a kid . However , he got cheaper ammo with little effort on his part. He built the shooting bench and would do some case prep when he had the time. I did the rest. Funny thing is I didn't shot any of my reloads for 2 years until I had my own 30/06.
     
  15. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I was forced into reloading by finding a deal I couldn't pass up. I bought a Husqvarna Husky in 7x57 AI with a custom trigger and a custom feathered-wood walnut stock for $150 with the dies. I had to reload in order to shoot it. I used that rifle for 4 decades hunting in 5 countries and loved it. However, it met with a fatal accident 3 years ago. :(
     
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  16. Shimitup

    Shimitup Member

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    My first loads were .38sp 148HBWC with 2.8 gr of bulleye IIRC on a Rock Chucker that I still use. I started around 1980
     
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  17. glc24
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    glc24 Contributing Member

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    My first press in 2013, is the one I currently use. A Dillon 550B, which has a casefeeder now and a few mods!

    My very first reloads in same year, were 40 S&W 180 grain plated flat points and once fired mixed nickel and brass cases.
     
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  18. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    30-30 back in ‘89 with a Lee Anniversary “O” press kit. For my birthday my dad got the kit for me along with dues for 30-30, 7.62x39, & 7.62x54R. Loaded many hundreds of rounds with nary a hiccup and and even dropped a deer with a 30-30 loaded with 2460 and a 125 ballistic tip.
     
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  19. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I started reloading when I was 13.

    I bottle fed a calf that’s mother had died from mastitis and when it got big enough, I sold it for enough money that I had my Father buy me a 357 magnum.

    That was fun for a couple weeks before I couldn’t afford to shoot it as much as I wanted to. Lucky for me I had an older Brother that I guess was a little jealous of his younger brothers 357, so he bought one himself and we went in 50/50 on a reloading press to feed our habits. A box of 500 bullets cost $11 back then.

    I miss those days, funny how things that made you so happy make you sad thinking about them.
     
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  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    My father, brother and I decided we wanted to shoot more often so we all pitched in on a Rock Chucker kit.
    We all deer hunted with a .30-06, so that's the first round we started loading.
    We went through some learning pains like loading rounds without trimming the brass and ending up in the woods with ammunition that wouldn't chamber. One day I took a box and not a single one would chamber. I remember rooting around behind the seat of my truck and finding a half box of factory ammo. Not even knowing if the point of impact would be close, I hunted with them that day, and killed my biggest buck to date. Pure luck.

    Now we load for over a dozen cartridges, both rifle and handgun, and haven't purchased a box of centerfire ammo in years.
     
  21. Lee Q. Loader

    Lee Q. Loader Member

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    I started reloading 12 ga with my dad on a Bair press back in the 70's. I have to laugh at some of the things he did. My dad was so tight he would NEVER throw away a 12 ga hull. I can remember him dripping candle wax on top of the crimp when the crimp was so bad the shot would spill out. We killed a lot of ducks and geese with those loads
    I also started loading 38 special and 357 mag with the Lee classic hammering kit.
    Thanks for helping me recall some good memories!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  22. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    My first batch was .270 Win for my M77, with a Lee whack-a-mole tool. They shot quite well, but chambered HARD. . . and thus began my introduction to egg-shaped rifle chambers and partial FL resizing.
     
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  23. Maynard Shooter

    Maynard Shooter Member

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    I inherited a Maynard 50 from the New York arsenal dating back to the Civil War. I'm a firm believer that you should be able to shoot every gun you own. So I went on a quest to learn how. I met a group of black powder reloaders and the owner of the shop took the brass that I had acquired from Buffalo Arms, through some powder in it, grabbed a fifty caliber cast bullet put that in and handed it to me. That's what it took to get me reloading. I now reload for not only my Maynard 50 but also, 30-06, 308, 35rem, 357mag, 38 spec, 38super, 9mm, and 30 luger. I have more fun reloading than shooting.:)
     
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  24. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    1967 , 38/357 Ruger Blackhawk , followed the directions carefully , 5.2 grains of Unique under a cast bullet and made nice accurate reloads....still having fun after 50 years.
    Lyman Spartan press and RCBS dies started the ball rolling .
    Gary
     
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  25. hot chili powder

    hot chili powder Member

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    Still remember that day, Lee Hammer Slammer for my 270, this was in the 1970's, very nervous about squeezing that trigger.....but first round @ 100 yds was a dead center bullseye, that did it for me, been reloading ever since.....270, 30-06, 9mm and 44 mag, great hobby!
     
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