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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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    could i buy the breech lock system for the classic cast single stage press? Basically turning it into the classic breech lock?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    It ether is a Breach Lock or it isn't.

    Even at 100 I'd suggest a powder measure. A pro disk is inexpensive & will make it go from a task to fun.
     
  3. mingansr

    mingansr Member

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    TyGuy said

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

    be careful when you buy an electronic scale, Wolverine, cuz i bought one at Harbor Freight for 9 after 25% discount, but it was only sensitive to .1 g, that's gram. fyi, .1g is equal to 1.543 gr (grains). and if you're loading max loads, that could be an error that could cause way too much pressure.

    i returned my scale, and went to opticsplanet.com and bought a nice Franklin Armory scale, including the powder pan and 50g. calibration weight for 35.78 inc ship. that has a sensitivity of .1 gr. real happy with that. my buddy borrowed me the Lee scale, but that is, tho accurate, very slow to use.

    fyi, i bought the Lee Loadmaster at fsreloading.com for 219.95 incl .40sw dies (not including the Lee Factory Crimp die). tricky to get set up properly, but i'm feeling like i'm ready to attach the 4 tube case feeder assembly and pound out 200 rounds now.

    in my opinion, humbly, i think fsreloading.com is about the cheapest prices on Lee equipment. nice people to deal with too.
     
  4. Warners

    Warners Member

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    You know...I've heard this over and over, but I have to respectfully disagree. I spent about $400 on my Lee turret press, dies, case tumbler, etc. What I need to get started with one caliber. I calculated the cost of reloading versus buying loaded ammo, and my cost savings was about $10 a box. So MY break even point for this one caliber (like the OP is suggesting) was roughly 40 boxes, or 2,000 rounds of ammo. After that, I'd be saving the same $10 a box. I guess if you buy real expensive equipment and lots of extra cool toys, it would not be as quick of a break even. I just bought my 3rd set of dies and the 4 hole turret (so I only have to set the dies up once). This is how my costs worked out for reloading 9mm Luger, showing the first time, and then subsequent reloads (if you're starting with NO brass). Obviously the cost savings on other calibers is significantly higher:

    Here’s how the costs work out:

    First time (including the cost of the brass) for 500 rounds:

    $40 – Brass (once fired from Brassman Brass)
    $15 – Primers
    $57 – Bullets (Berry's 124gr HBRN-TP)
    $7 – Powder (HP38)

    $119 Total (or $11.90 a box)


    Subsequent Loads for 500 rounds:

    $15 – Primers
    $57 – Bullets
    $7 – Powder

    $79 Total (or $7.90 a box)
     
  5. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    i have already been saving brass
     
  6. Warners

    Warners Member

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    Good. I'll be doing my first 9mm reloads tonight in fact. I've already reloaded 500 rounds of .45 ACP and 750 rounds of .38 special.

    Warner
     
  7. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    what press do you have

    Sounds like the turret is the way to go for me so i dont have to change dies but the single stage is 40 bucks and i dont know if i can pass that up.
     
  8. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    Will any dies work or do i need lee dies for a lee press?

    I just talked the guy down to 30 bucks for the classic cast single stage press
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  9. James2

    James2 Member

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  10. James2

    James2 Member

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    All brands of dies and presses use the standard 7/8 13 threads. Some presses have inserts that you can take out to use other configurations.
     
  11. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    Rock Chucker Press

    Lyman 55

    Balance scale
    __________________
    James

    isn;t the chucker press about the same as the lees? or is it superior to the lee's press i can get for 30 bucks?
     
  12. James2

    James2 Member

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    RCBS Jr3 Press

    I bought one of these on eBay. Good price. It is a nice press for handgun ammo. Like I said, it takes a bit of patience to win the bid.
     
  13. Warners

    Warners Member

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  14. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    what did i end up with?

    Gunwearpictures2011001-1.gif

    Gunwearpictures2011003-1.gif

    Gunwearpictures2011002-1.gif
     
  15. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    it is not the same as this one, but i bought it anyways

    CLASSIC.gif
     
  16. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    mine is missing the little primer thing sticking out the side
     
  17. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Does it have a slot for the priming arm? If so, you should contact Lee Precision and they will set you straight.

    If it has the slot, then you're missing TWO little primer things sticking out the side. There's one for small primers and one for large primers.

    I'm having a hard time seeing how one would switch the priming from left to right on the Classic Cast. Anyone know? And what happens to the catch tube for the decapped primers? I suppose you couldn't decap and prime at the same time if you switched it to right side priming? I love the Breechlock Challenger for being set up for right side priming.
     
  18. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    The one downside for a turret is you need to have all your stuff laid out on the table at once. This means primers, power, cases, bullets, and finished rounds, they all need to find a place around the press, and you're using all of them sequentially. And stopping to pour a charge down the top of your press every third/fourth pull of the lever would remove any benefit in speed/efficiency.

    No one in their right mind would use a turret press this way. So in addition to the press you need an automatic powder measure in the least. This one thing is what makes the turret press significantly faster than a SS. Without this powder drop, then it would be close to a wash. Most people use the Lee Safety Prime attachment, as well.

    Now, when switching between loads, you also have to recalibrate and remount your powder drop each time. And possibly change out the priming system. So turret press isn't always the faster method. If you are a low volume shooter with multiple calibers, you might find a SS press is just the ticket. Heck, even just dealing with the storage and organization of the extra parts and the loading and the storage of leftover loose primers can eat up your time savings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  19. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    no slot for a priming arm. Looks like it doesn't do that function
     
  20. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Looks like a old version of the Challenger. Looks like you need ether a Hand Prime or a Ram Prime. I suggest a CH4D swage & ram prime set. seems like it was $35 TYD. You will need a swage tool at some point anyhow. Seems all brass is getting crimped primers anymore.
     
  21. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    You COULD. Here's how.

    Drill out the die mounting threads (being careful to keep the proper alignment, because if you don't you have just turned your press into a boat anchor).

    Then tap the (enlarged) hole for the breech lock threads, keeping in mind that the interrupted-thread design is more complex than just regular machine threads.

    All in all, it would cost you several times the price of a new press to have a machine shop do it and even if you could do it yourself, is probably not worth the trouble or the probability of ruining a usable press.

    But, yes, it COULD be done.

    Lost Sheep
     
  22. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    So my press is only worth 35 40 bucks? But it still works right? just have to hand prime
     
  23. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    It will make you a good press.
     
  24. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Gloob, I respectfully disagree.

    True, you have to have all your components close at hand. But I don't see that as a downside at all.

    I have my empty brass on the floor near my left foot next to a box for my loaded rounds. Powder, primers and scale on a table off to my right (isolates the scale from press vibration). A box of bullets to the immediate left of the press.

    As I load, my right hand operates the lever and the safety prime. Auto-disk drops powder and my left hand places the bullets on the cases. When I have a finished round, left hand extracts it from the press, goes down to the floor and puts it in the ammo box and picks up the next empty case.

    If I lay my supplies out efficiently, I have no problem.

    I THINK I am in my right mind. But then, if I were crazy, would I know it?

    If I don't use the Auto-Disk powder measure, a bowl of powder sits beyond the bullets on the bench and my left hand can operate the dipper into a funnel atop the die where the Auto-Disk usually goes. Not as fast as the measure does it, but fast enough that the turret press in continuous mode is still substantially faster than batch processing on a single stage or on a turret. I do admit that if you have a turret press without auto-indexing, you do suffer a speed loss.

    "you need an automatic powder measure in the least. This one thing is what makes the turret press significantly faster than a SS", I believe the one thing that makes the turret press significantly faster than a single stage is that you don't have to insert and extract the cartridge from the shell holder multiple times. Second most significant factor is if the turret press has automatic indexing. An automatic powder measure can speed up a single stage just as easily as it can speed up a turret, so I think that factor is a wash. But I haven't run speed tests to prove it.
    Not if you have more than one. Just leave it mounted on the die and empty the powder. They only cost about $25 each and a funnel, $4 (but the funnel takes no time at all to move to another set of dies).
    ??? It is a simple drop-in operation. It takes less than 5 seconds.
    Leftover loose primers? I have never seen one. Once I open a box (of 100) they find homes in the bottoms of cartridge cases before I quit for the day.

    My entire loading bench (except for my manuals, tumbler, the workbench itself and the "extra" stuff I hardly ever use) fits in 3 medium size toolboxes, the largest of which is 24" x 10" x 10". Teardown is a few minutes and setup less than 10 minutes. My single stage is no quicker to set up than my turret.

    I loaded 100 rounds in 47 minutes the first time out with my Lee Classic Turret. That is nearly 3 times as fast as I could load with my single stage and equal to my production rate with my Lee Pro-1000s (I am ultra-cautious on a progressive, as monitoring multiple simultaneous operations made me a nervous wreck). I am sure I could be faster now that I have some experience with the press.

    The biggest thing (to my mind) the batch method has (for me) over the continuous method of loading is that when you have a batch of cases charged with powder, you can inspect the whole batch at once and easily see that all the powder charges are equal. That is worth a lot in the safety arena.

    The matter of personal style is another thing that leads people to the batch mode (for which the single stage is admirably suited) rather than the continuous mode (which the turret can do as well as the batch mode). But some people simply LIKE to do all the sizing at once, then all the priming (often away from the loading bench sitting in an easy chair with a hand primer) and save the powder charging and subsequent operations for later.

    My style (at least as it is now - but do give myself permission to evolve) prefers starting with an empty case and ending with a finished cartridge before moving on to the next case.

    Everyone has their preference and I will not fault anyone for following thier bliss. But I will point out where I think they miscalculated or overlooked something.

    Regards,

    Lost Sheep
     
  25. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Member

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    indeed it is the old version of the challenger. Im okay with that.

    So what 9mm dies should i buy. What are the different kinds and i take it most brands will fit in my press, correct?
     
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