11 replies [Last post]
jim boyd's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/06/2010
Posts: 889
Relaoding Equipment

Hey Folks,

I am going to have a little discretionary funds in the hunting account this spring and it is time to pony up and start doing my own reloading.

I am going to have a private 300 yard shooting range at the new lease and want to take advantage of that.

I am 100% new to reloading... what recommendations do you make as it relates to what equipment to buy?

It would be great if I could get it as a "kit" and not have to mix and match components.

I do not want Rolls Royce equipment - but I do not want El Cheapo stuff either...and I want to get ALL of the items I need at one time....

What are your recommendations for a purchase that will provide satisfaction without breaking the bank.... and can you help me understand exactly which pieces I really need?

I will be loading - at least initially - once fired brass (by me) or will buy new bulk brass...

.308, 7mm08 and eventually 30-06 or some other long action round...

 

Thanks!!!

Jim

 

 

Critter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3884
All of the major manufactures

All of the major manufactures that offer reloading gear will offer it in a kit for so all you need to buy after the kit is the reloading dies and shell holder for your caliber of choice.  I started out with a Lyman kit and have added to it through the years as I went along and decided to upgrade a few things.  RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, Lee, and a number of others offer good reliable kits for the shooter that wants to start to reload his own rounds.  The prices will range from $250.00 on up to $400.00 or more depending on what kit you are interested in. 

If I was starting out again I would go with the RCBS RC Supreme Master Reloading Kit that Cabela's has or even look around at a local sporting goods dealer and see just what they have on hand. 

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/shooting-reloading-presses-dies/_/N-1100195/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_104516280

Then all you need to buy extra is a set of dies, the shell holder, some powder, primer, and bullets and you are set and ready to get going.  Also when you buy a kit it usually comes with one of their reloading manuals with may or may not have the bullet that you plan on using.  If it doesn't then buy a manual for that manufacutre that makes the bullets that you are planning on shooting and then you are set.

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Good post critter! I'll add a

Good post critter! I'll add a bit. If you get  kit, and I suspect you will, it won't include all you'll need. You'll need a caliper, a decent dial caliper is about $20 up. You'll also need a case trimmer. They can run from the inexpensive Lee trimmer thay you buy for a particular cartridge and go up from there. I have two dial calipers, both Dillons. About $20 ea and they will do all you need as well as the most expensive you can buy. My trimmer is an old Forrester lathe. I think new today about $60 maybe a bit more or less. With it you need inexpensive pilots for the caliber you want. Your 30-06 and 308 will use the same pilot. The Lee press is inexpensive to get into in kit form, around $100. It sounds to me as though you can afford more than that so I would look ar RCBS Rockchucker or the Hornady. I have not used the Hornady but I am a Hornady fan and when they put their name on a product, it's enough for me to recommend it.

I forgot one other thing that makes the reloading process easier and thats an hand held auto primer. Lee, RCBS, Hornady and maybe others make one. I have heard bad news about each but I've only used the Lee. I will get the Lee again if I ever need another too. It's quite a bit cheaper and works well. I'm on my second in about, maybe 40 yrs; since whenever they came out! And get a long set of tweezers. Never touch a primer with your fingers, use the tweezers. The hand Auto prine from Lee you dump the primers in and shake it and the primers all jump into the right position, bet Hornady and RCBS do also. Sometimes one gets stubborn and I turn it with the tweezers and sometines I drop some, pick them up with tweezers. There can be enough oil on your fingers to kill a primer.

jim boyd's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/06/2010
Posts: 889
Great, great summaries

Great, great summaries folks!!!

This is what I love about BHG - there are KNOWLEDGEABLE people on here who genuinely want to help you.

Typing out clear and concise replies like that takes time - but really go a long way toward steering someone in the right direction.

Santa has left the building but my birthday is in mid January.

I already started dropping the hints last night!!!

 

Thanks so much guys!

 

Jim

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2485
I agree

I’ll agree with everything that has been posted.  I bought my reloading equipment piece by piece one bit at a time as I needed each thing.  That was a mistake because I had no idea what I didn’t have.  I was like Oh- cases have to be lubed.  I’ll go by case lubricant.  Ok ready to go.  Nope – I need a case lube pad.  Ok ready to go. Nope – cases might need trimming.  Ok go buy a case trimmer.  Well that left a rough edge.  Now I need a chamfer and deburring tool.  What about primer pockets? Oh I need a primer pocket cleaner.  Well I might as well get a flash hole uniformer too.  When I started I had no idea that you needed to clean primer pockets and should make uniformly sized holes for the priming compound to burn through so that it reaches the powder in the cartridge case uniformly and ignites the same way every time.  You can get away without doing a few of these steps but my point is that the RCBS Master Reloading Kit will include everything that you need in one box.  In addition, the Rock-chucker press that comes in it will last a lifetime. 

 

The absolute best thing that you can do when getting ready to reload is read a reloading manual.  I don’t mean to red the charts that show you how much powder to use.  You have to do that too, but I mean that you should read the introduction, the ABCs instruction on the basics of reloading so that you understand the reason for all the steps you do before you even pick up a tool.  One reloading manual will come in your reloading kit. But it is actually wise to pick up a second reloading manual from another manufacturer.  Get a used copy at half of the retail price of a new one.  There is no need to throw money away.  Read the second manual too to make sure that you understand what the first one was telling you.  You will pick up on details that you missed the first time around.  Even after you have begun to reload it is wise to cross reference the load that you are using with two manuals.  God forbid that there is a misprint in one manual.  There is no harm in checking for consistency in a second reference!

 

If you can find someone who is an experienced reloader to spend an hour reloading with it is worth as much as any two hours of trying to figure out how to reload alone.  There are things that just don’t translate well into print that are obvious with hands on instruction.  And you WILL have questions.  No book has ever been written that answers everything that you can think of doing wrong.  Even the Bible tells us to contact this planet’s manufacturer directly for technical assistance when needed!

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
technical assistance

groovy mike wrote:

No book has ever been written that answers everything that you can think of doing wrong.  Even the Bible tells us to contact this planet’s manufacturer directly for technical assistance when needed!

Do you ever get an answer when you do that?

JJD
JJD's picture
Offline
Location: Right Side WA state
Joined: 11/07/2008
Posts: 208
Answers

WesternHunter wrote:

groovy mike wrote:

No book has ever been written that answers everything that you can think of doing wrong.  Even the Bible tells us to contact this planet’s manufacturer directly for technical assistance when needed!

Do you ever get an answer when you do that?

Don't know about Mike, but I do every time.  Though the answers are often subtle, they are there.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
RCBS

Take a class from an NRA certified instructor on metallic cartridge reloading.  Buy The ABC's of Reloading by LEE.  Buy a few reloading data manuals.  Go with the RCBS reloading kit.  You'll also need a few extra pieces of equipment and tools that don't often come in kits.  These extras are:

1. flash hole deburr tool (optional)

2. 8" adjustable wrench (wide mouth)

3. standard sized vise-grips or slip-joint pliers

4. powder trickler

5. graduated deep glass shotglass

6. extra loading trays

7. case trimmer

8. case lube

9. case tumbler and tumbling media

10. shop towles

11. decapping die (non case sizing, non cartridge specific)

12. Dial calipers

13. pen/pencil and notebook

14. calculator

15. a few MTM or Plano 50 round cartridge boxes to store your finished work.

JJD
JJD's picture
Offline
Location: Right Side WA state
Joined: 11/07/2008
Posts: 208
Covered

I believe the guys covered your question pretty well.  If you really enjoy shooting, reloading is not an "IF" question, more of a when question. 

There is so much to be gained and nothing to lose but some $$ in initial outlay.  You will add handy items as time goes on.

I believe the best advice is to borrow a reloading manual from a friend and study it before you buy.  This may help you better pick a reloading kit that will best fit your needs.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
One more thing

One thing I forgot to mension is that if you are working with a full load or especially a compressed load you might find something like a cordless drill or a case tumbler handy to vibrate the bench enough so that your powder will settle into the cases.  Often times when dumping a full powder load or compressed powder load into a case, not all the powder seems to want to fit into the case at first attempt.  In fact it will completely fit just fine, it just needs to be settled my some type of mechanical vibration usually applied under the bench top under where your loading tray is.  I find that running a cordless drill with the chuck spinnning against the bottom of the benchtop works very well.  If using a tumbler you can run it on top the bench a little ways away from your stuff.  Also pouring your powder load real slow will prevent it from jamming up and ensuring all of the load fits into your cases.

jaybe's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 817
Good Stuff, guys!

I agree with the choice of equipment that critter suggested. I looked at it, and for the money, I'd say that will do ya.

 There are always those extra small tools that you'll want, but the main thing has already been stated. Read the instructions first so you'll have a good handle on what you are trying to accomplish and how to best do it.

Here's a suggestion while waiting to order, or waiting for it to arrive. Do a Google search for "How to Reload Bullets". You'l find everything from simple suggestions to complete instructions, and also some videos you can watch.

If you have any questions, I think you know where you can ask 'em.

 

 

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Ruger Redhawk .44 MagBullbuster608/18/2007 19:49 pm
Leverevolution bullets?Kirrmeister412/26/2008 14:45 pm
Winchester .405 1895 LevergunzeNMan407/15/2005 01:56 am
My reloading BenchHammer13712/28/2006 18:26 pm
Gator Hunting Equipmentcooterss104/28/2009 22:29 pm