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What do i need for beginning reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by wolverine_173, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    I have no idea what im doing but want to learn. I dont have much money either. I mainly shoot 9mm. I know most people think its worthless to reload 9mm but thats pretty much what i shoot.

    First what do i need to reload? Whats the bare minimum? I dont care if its slow to reload i just cant afford the 1 machine does it all.

    Please post links to what i need to buy
     
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    How much can you afford & how many are you going to shoot.

    I load more of 9mm then anything else.
     
  3. TyGuy

    TyGuy Member

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    Look at a local store on online (midwayusa.com) at a kit. I really like my Hornady Lock n Load kit. I watched craigslist and ended up getting one for $100 when they retail for $300 or so.

    At the minimum, to reload handgun rounds, you'll need the following:
    Press
    Dies (not in the kit)
    Powder thrower
    Scale
    Calipers (not in the kit)
    Priming tool
    Case cleaner (not in kit)
    Reloading book

    Eventually you'll probably want an electronic scale and calipers, but they are not a MUST
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    First thing you need is a book explaining it all, like Lyman's.

    Buy the book read all the data, THEN read the stickies at the top of the page and THEN you'll have an idea of what you need, what you need to do, and what you need to buy
     
  5. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    +1

    If you primarily want to reload 9mm, don't get a single stage. Get one of these. It can be a single stage, but can also load 100-200 per hour once you get good at it. Get the upgrade to the pro auto disk too. Spend the extra money for a turret instead of the single stage, it's worth it. I load more 9mm than all the other 5 calibers I load combined. I think 9mm is best with a progressive, but the Lee turret works too. I would say that calipers are a MUST have for 9mm. Deep seating can greatly increase the pressure.
     
  6. joecil

    joecil Member

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    Yes buy a book first or better yet two or three. I started with 4 now plus a bunch of powder makers pamplets. The books are Modern Reloading 2nd addition, Lyman Reloading Handbook 49th addition, Hornady Reloading Handbook 7th addition and The ABCs or Reloading. I find them all very handy and often refer to them.

    As for the equipment decide what you can afford and get the best you can for the money. I have mostly Lee but got a great price used when I bought my stuff and Lee is decent stuff that will hold up well as well as much cheaper than others. I also think they make some really good dies. However there are others out there I dream to be able to afford and can't but meanwhile I do plenty of the 4 calibers I load now with what I have.
     
  7. bubbacrabb

    bubbacrabb Member

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    Best advice I can give is put all the money you got and put it in a jar... Wait a bit and keep adding to that jar wait til you have the money to buy good stuff the first time. That way you don't have to spend it again later. I got a lot of money in my set up, and completely plan to use it for my whole life. So the initial cost will be spread over many years God willing.
     
  8. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    The cost of the reloading tools pales in comparison to the cost of buying the components, even if they are bought in bulk to reduce the unit cost.

    I believe a lot of newcomers think reloading is a kind of magic solution to the high price of ammunition, even at lower quantities.

    In general, this is false.

    If you can shoot the same number of rounds after getting into reloading as before, and if this number is around 500/month or so, most will see a "break even" point after approximately a year. Cheaper calibers like 9mm take longer than more expensive calibers. (Estimate based on saving $0.20/round and a total cost, including components, of $1200. If you can get started with $600, break-even occurs sooner.)

    The truth is, most simply shoot more after they get into reloading. Until it cuts into their food budget, kid's college fund, etc. Then they have to impose a limit.

    So reloading doesn't save money. It just lets you shoot more. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  9. James2

    James2 Member

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    I was thinking there was a sticky on this question, but it seems to have went away. It comes up pretty often.

    Good advice to buy a book first. The loading manuals have the information you require, both on tools and procedure.

    Just a quick list:
    Book
    Press +bench to mount it on.
    shell holder
    dial caliper
    die set
    scales
    powder measure
    reamer comb. inside and outside (deburring tool)
    Hand priming tool
    Then components: primers, powder, bullets

    A lot, if not all, of these tools show up on ebay. If you have the patience to shop there you may get set up pretty cheaply.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  10. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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  11. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    will any 9mm dies fit in this press or do i have to buy specific ones?
     
  12. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    I think people are going a bit overboard for "bare minimum". You don't "need" a powder measurer, scale, reamer, hand priming tool, or a case cleaner. For absolute bare minimum for safe pistol reloading I would say:

    Lee Reloader Press at fsreloading - $25
    Lee Ram Prime at fsreloading - $9
    Lee Die Set at fsreloading - $26
    Digital Caliper at HarborFreight - $9

    That's it, $69 + shipping. It won't be fast or easy, but it'll work. The shell holder for the press comes with the die set, as well as a dipper you can use for measuring powder. You'll just need to choose a powder that is in the right charge range for the included dipper. If you're just making the same round over and over, you only really need to read though the manual once so you understand what's going on, so you can hopefully borrow one from someone for a weekend. A powder measurer and scale would help immensely, but aren't absolutely required.
     
  13. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    thanks for that info
     
  14. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    The kit you asked about is good. You will need to add a caliper and die set, and you'd be good to go except for a manual. The case prep stuff they include will be useless to you for 9mm, but it's not much of the cost of the kit.
     
  15. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Consider switching out ^ this for a Lee Breechlock Challenger press.* Costs $55.00. It primes pistol cases much faster and easier than a Lee Ram Prime, cuz you can do it while you're sizing or flaring.

    Or just get the 50th anniversary kit for $110.00. It comes with a scale and a powder measure.

    *The Classic Cast you linked is even better. But the aluminum alloy of the Breechlock is plenty strong enough to load accurate pistol ammo.

    FYI, for 9mm, you do not need a trimmer, a chamfer tool, a commercial loading block, lube, or a powder measure. I have all those things, and I don't use any of them for pistol reloading.

    Basically, you need a press, dies, a scale, and a way to prime (if not integral to the press). For charging cases, you can use a cut down 9mm or 380 case to make a dipper.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  17. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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  18. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    Ill probably try to pick that one up.
     
  19. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    whats a single stage press vs others such as a turrent, they seem to cost the same
     
  20. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    The Classic Cast single stage is massively overkill for reloading 9mm. It's a very heavy duty press made to handle anything you can throw at it with ease, including the 50 BMG. The turret won't be as heavy duty, but allows you to run a round through all stages of the press sequentially, which reduces time handling the round and speeds things up significanly. You'd be much better off with a turret for 9mm, really. If you find one of those for $40, don't even hesitate.
     
  21. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    I agree, but I was going for absolute minimum with my list. That extra $21 would be a 30% increase in cost! :D

    I will disagree a bit here, I don't see a caliper as optional, especially when dealing with a high pressure round like 9mm. OAL is important to controlling pressures.
     
  22. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    So the classic cast single stage will handle 30-06 and 223 but will be slower at 9mm. But 40 bucks is a great price vs 105 for a turrent. should i just grab that classic press for 40?

    whats the breech lock press? how does it differ from the classic?
     
  23. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    The turret would handle 30-06 and 223 with no problem at all. It would really be when you get into the large magnums that you'd start to notice a difference. There will also be a little bit of play in the turret as the piece that holds the dies moves a bit within the mount. Not a big deal, really, but it doesn't happen with the Classic Cast which is all one big hunk of cast iron. The turret may wear out earlier, where the Classic Cast would be like new when your great grandkids used it.

    Breech Lock is a system Lee uses for quickly changing dies. They offer that system in their Challenger and Classic Cast presses (and the hand press, which I'm ignoring for now). The Challenger is what you linked to earlier on ebay. It's a cast aluminum press and is a bit smaller than the Classic Cast.
     
  24. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    So should i go for the classic if i can get it for 40 bucks? It may not be as fast as the turrent but i only plan on reloading 100 9mm a month at the most.

    or should i get the turrent for faster reloading?
     
  25. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    Depends, at that rate you're looking about 1 hr/month on the single stage or 1/2 hr/month on the turret. What's your time worth to you?
     
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