Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chad1043, Apr 17, 2007.
Before you get the Lee kit...
Get yourself a copy of the book "The ABC's of Reloading". Several of the folks here recommended it to me, along with what others have already said, and it has helped a lot. Also, if there is someone in your area (friend from work, church, whatever) that reloads, see if they will show you. Often times, there is someone at one of the local gun shops that will be willing to talk to you about it.
As for the lee kit, it's what I started with, and it works quite well. I know that isn't what you asked, but thats my $0.02 on the kit (the manual that comes with it is okay, but not great, others are better).
Welcome to the obsession.
Welcome to the sickness.
Shooting is more fun when it's cheaper.
When you purchase a lee anniversary kit. From www.midwayusa.com
it will usually come with the lee modern reloading book. This is all you need. MANY MANY MANY people have bought the kit with the book or bought the book seperately and read it a few times. I DID. then you go shooting buy some factory ammo. go home and clean the cases. then size them and prep them per the book and instructions. Then you press in a new bullet with out the primer. then you measure the bullet. compare it to a factory bullet. then you get the nerve to get past the be care full its a real primer stage. Then install a new primer into another case. Then add the powder. then you press in the bullet. then you measure it all again.
Then you come back here and tell everyone what you just did. how much powder how long the overall bullet is. what kind of bullet what kind of primer. then we tell you if its safe or not. You may even email lee.
I DID. told them what i put in, bullet wise powder weight and primer. they told me i was safe and go shooting.
Then i did.
YOU WILL NEVER FORGET the first time you fire a bullet you made. after your first box of bullets. you will be forever hooked.
Back to subject...
Reloaders tend (at least to me) to band together in sharing knowledge and expertise. The only time I see competiton between reloaders is when you get into the "red vs blue vs green" debate (Hornady vs Dillon vs RCBS)
then just remember Lee is the way to go.......
(OK, personal opinion, I have 2,5 and 6, and looked up annealing in #2 last week, it's not in the later issues).
Strange, I can't remember my first handloads.. but they worked out fine, I still have all my fingers
NEVER HAVE ENOUGH reloading manuals. Nope! And, that is poor practice to have just one manual. The ABC's of Reoading is a great reference guide!
To think a person should email some guy on the internet or the people at Lee is not a safe practice! You have to work up loads that are safe, accurate, and reliable in your guns! There is leg work with reloading and it involves range time not emailing some to check a load out!
There are no short cuts to reloading! PERIOD
as far as reloading books nope only have one. as far as load data books. i have 5 same time it takes a lot of homework and research when you are making up a new load. it took me about 20 hours of research before i started making a load for cast 165 grn with trail boss as information was not available. I had to do a lot of research and comparisons before trying a test load. now i have data on loads that work awesome. next load i am working on is for lead cast 115 grain. from cast mold. its taking me some time and more research and homework to make up a load with the right type of powder for what im looking for. This is where the home work comes in. A learn to load by reading this book will not teach you that. modern reloading the abcs of reloading wont tell you that. they teach you how to reload and give you load data however when working on a load and trying to come up with different effects to improve your accuracy takes a lot of homework. a lot of homework.
Buy the ABC's book, read it twice, set up your press and dies and load some ammo. Reloading isn't rocket science. All you're doing is taking the case back to spec size, removing the spent primer and replacing it, then weighing a new powder charge and putting in a new bullet.
Start with the powder given in your manual for the 'accuracy load' for the cartridge you want to load. It eliminates the guess work.
I really am starting to like this forum... Really quick replys and all...
Now we understand that extra powder may give a lot of extra pressure but very little in extra velocity. Also, is going from 3,000 fps to 3,200 fps really going to make a difference?? Is the target any deader?? Once you've got enough power to blow a bullet all the way thru a deer or elk, does any extra velocity really make a difference??
Start with mid-range loads, watch OAL, and you'll be fine.
After you read your manuals and get the hang of how your equipment works, not hard at all. I've only turned out a few cartridges, but that was more due to time constraints than anything else. When the weekend gets here, more will come. Just be careful and go slow, and you'll be fine.
if your impatient, unteachable, slip shod and comfortable with "gerry rigged" solutions, then you might consider a different hobby.
only you know the real you.
A reloader can NEVER HAVE ENOUGH reloading manuals.
I agree with PO--The paperwork that came with my RCBS dies were very helpful. Over the past 39 years I've only wore out a few RCBS parts and they have replaced them for free. I load over 3000 rounds a year and i'm still addicted.
Good Reloading! I also recomment Guns and Ammo mag and Handloader. Also when loading cartridges that can take a double or tripple load, just weih them. only those that equal the weight of bullet, primer, case and charge are O.K.
Stop frequently to check your work. If you're using a single stage press, or a non-autoindexing progressive, it's easy to make sure you don't have no powder or a double-charge.
I always advise people to start out with a single stage press. You have more control and less temptation to rush. I load all of my rifle ammunition on a single stage, even though I load all of my pistol ammo on a progressive. I load only for 600 yard precision rifle shooting and weigh and trickle every charge. The Dillon 550B works very well for me for pistol. I still started pistol and rifle using an RCBS Jr. back in college in the '70s.
I think this bears repeating.
I started with a Hornady reloading manual. Didn't spend too much time reading it though. My reloader came with a good manual. The ABCs sounds like it might be a good place to start.
Do you have a caliber in mind that you want to start with?
I would recommend that for your first reloads, use a powder that fills the cases. Something like Unique in 9mm for example. Some people will say it's a dirty powder, or filling the case isn't necessary, and try to steer you towards their personal favorite powder, but you only need to buy a pound to start, and that will allow you time to develop good habits and to get to know what to watch out for. With a powder that fills the case, it's hard to get a dangerous load (a double charge is impossible), and you'll probably catch a squib (little or no powder) before it happens. A squib isn't dangerous, unless you get a bullet lodged in the barrel and follow up with a regular round. Have to remember to clear the gun after a squib no matter what (even commercial ammo can have squibs - they're just really rare).
Separate names with a comma.