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  1. #1
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    Game On

    Alright reloaders; I'm really wanting to start reloading. I was hoping for some guidance on the basics. To give you a feel on my past experience, goals, etc:

    Past Reloading Experience: Zero

    Endgame: For the time being, I desire to get a single stage, simple press, and other essentials such as a scale, dies (need advice on what else is required and as of now, I am researching), etc.

    Also, what manufacturer should I go for in the beginning? I know Dillon is really good from speaking with others, though I do not want to start off with a progressive, OR break the bank. How's Hornady, Lee, Others? Wanting to get my feet wet and learn another fun skill Thanks in advance guys!
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    On a side note; Are there any books that are good for covering the basic foundation with terms, process, and purpose of each step like de-priming, tumbling (cleaning cases?), resizing (What is that?), re-priming, powder charge formulas, powder brands and burn info like speed and temperature and how it relates to case pressure and velocity, dies (what are they? Do they hold the case on the press?), and how to place a projectile in the case, crimping, etc, etc.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. Thanks again all
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    Before going much further, it would be helpful to know a few things about your plans, because knowing the desired end state will help to plot the steps to reach it.

    1) Are you going to reload for rifle or pistol, or both?
    2) If both, which is your priority?
    3) Will you shoot in competition, where you might need several thousand rounds a year or will you shoot informally, where maybe a thousand rounds a year is enough?
    4) Do you have a bench you can dedicate to reloading, and some lockable dry storage space for components?

    Knowing that much will help me/us to advise you further.

    Well, here's one place, Brownells has a beginning reloading video series http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/tid=0...mit=y/Guntech/

    Here is a link to the middle of a thread on this forum that covers a lot of the basics. This particular link gives you a shopping list and estimated costs.
    recommend list for reloading setup

    In a nutshell, the basic steps and tools for reloading rifle ammo in a single-stage (low volume) press are:

    1. Clean the dirty, fired brass cases (tumbler).

    2. Lubricate the brass cases for resizing (case lubricant).

    3. Remove the primer and resize the case (resizing die with de-capping pin, installed in the press).

    4. Clean the brass to remove lubricant (tumbler).

    5. Clean the primer pocket (primer pocket cleaning tool).

    6. Trim the brass to a standard length (case trimmer), remove the burr from trimming, and chamfer the case mouth.

    7. Clean the brass one final time to remove brass chips (tumbler).

    8. Insert primers into the cases (priming tool).

    9. Put the right amount of powder into the cases (powder scale and powder measure).

    10. Put bullets into the brass cartridge cases (seating die, installed in the press).


    Chris
    Last edited by cohland; 11-25-2013 at 10:07 PM.
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

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  5. #4
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    Chris, just saw this thread response, thanks! To answer your questions:

    I would estimate about 1,000-2,000 rounds per year is likely.

    Maybe competition in the future, but for now, just recreational and training.

    I do have a bench that will be a dedicated reloading station, as well as a lockable, Securall Fire Cabinet.

    I am leaning toward the Hornady Lock-N-Load Starting Kit based on starting cost and review reputation I have been reading over the last couple of hours. I have a few hundred cases each of 9x19mm, .45 ACP and 5.56x45 NATO that I will be reloading. I will be focusing on handgun loads initially, and later, rifle rounds.

    As I understand, in addition to the Press Kit, I will need to attain a tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner, Die sets for desired cartridges, Bullets, Primers, and Powder.

    Thanks again Chris, and I'll be in touch
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    Chris, just downloaded the pistol reloading equipment list...reading now I am still thinking about everything, and a have several weeks to absorb as much as I can and make a purchase decision. I'm not necessarily set on anything for now.
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    I was wondering, do you have to trim a straight-wall pistol casing? Or is that only for necked cases?
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    Some feel that trimming pistol cases improves function and reliability, as some brass stretches when fired, I do not trim pistol brass, no need to for shooting for fun at paper targets.

    Anything "necked", (.357 sig come to mind for handgun, and all rifle center-fire calibers) needs to be the correct length to assure full battery, thus is more important than a case that is indexed, by the rim.



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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otintx View Post
    Some feel that trimming pistol cases improves function and reliability, as some brass stretches when fired, I do not trim pistol brass, no need to for shooting for fun at paper targets.

    Anything "necked", (.357 sig come to mind for handgun, and all rifle center-fire calibers) needs to be the correct length to assure full battery, thus is more important than a case that is indexed, by the rim...
    OT is correct, I just wanted to add a couple of comments.

    Case length in a straight-walled rimless pistol cartridge (.45 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, etc.) is, or rather should be, a critical dimension because it determines headspace, which in this case is the distance between the rim of the case and the breech face. Since the case is pretty much captured between the breech face and the square shoulder at the front of the chamber when the pistol is in battery, I don't see how it could stretch in length, but I'm sure they do. If the case stretches at all, I think it must happen after unlocking, and not while the pistol is in battery.

    Name:  300px-Headspace.png
Views: 113
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    (Illustration courtesy of Wikipedia)

    My experience with pistol reloading is mostly .45 ACP, which is a low-pressure round, so I'm still learning. But having loaded about 3,000 rounds of this ammo, I think I have seen perhaps twenty or thirty that failed the Chamber Checker test, where the cases apparently had grown. I put those aside for practice, almost hoping that they would cause a feeding malfunction to give me some exercise, but that hasn't happened yet. As long as you check ALL of your ammo with a Chamber Checker, you will catch anything that has stretched.

    The occurrence of case stretching in .45 ACP, in my experience, is so rare that I have stopped measuring case length, which is something I did when I was just starting to load pistol. I just catch them with the Chamber Checker after reloading and set them aside.

    As OT inferred, a bottle-necked cartridge, like .357 Sig or most modern rifle cartridges (.223, .308) takes headspace from a datum line on the shoulder of the case. There is room in the chamber forward of the case mouth to allow the case to stretch, and they do. I personally check the length of every single .223 or .308 round that I load and trim them carefully, because uniform case length has to be maintained to achieve peak consistency and accuracy from ammunition. (information source: NRA Firearms Fact Book, Third Edition)

    Until I read OT's post I didn't realize that .357 Sig was bottle-necked (because I have never fired a .357 Sig), but I believe that everything I wrote about rifle cartridges here probably applies to the .357 Sig, and that if you reload it you should probably check length at least every third loading. The ones that are too long will need to be trimmed. In fact, you probably should trim the whole batch if any of them measure beyond the spec. I may be way off about the frequency of checking that is needed here, let's see if somebody reads this and corrects me. It's clear that .357 Sig is a high-pressure round, since it typically runs at over twice the pressure of the .45 ACP. (information source: Hodgdon loading data website)

    Purkeypilot, I expect we are throwing around some terms that are going to be new to you, don't be surprised. Allow me to recommend a couple of sources for you:


    Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual
    (5th Edition):https://www.sierrabullets.com/store/...Program-CD-Rom This is a little spendy at about $65, but it is really complete. Although the ballistics are all based on Sierra bullets, there is a lot more to this book than loading data.

    NRA Firearms Fact Book, Third Edition: this appears to be out of print but can still be bought new or used at Amazon.com. A good replacement would be the newer NRA Firearms Source Book:http://www.nrastore.com/nrastore/Pro...=PB+01548&ct=e Again, this is a bit spendy, but I would not be without a copy of this book.


    Chris
    Last edited by cohland; 11-26-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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  10. #9
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    Great info Chris, one can never be too safe when reloading.

    Purkeypilot I got this in the email box today :

    (There should be a RC reloading bundle kit at this address, let me know if it does not show that and I will check it)


    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Midway click here

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  11. #10
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    BTW, you can use Lee dies in a RCBS, RCBS dies in a Hornaday press, etc.

    I even think the hallowed "Blue" (Dillon, lol) will accept other makers dies ...

    I use carbide RCBS dies, although, I do have a Lee resizer that I use when needed.

    Why ?

    Cause IMO the Lee crimper does a better job than the RCBS.

    Scroll to the bottom of the flyer, there is a Lee set up there.
    Last edited by Otintx; 11-26-2013 at 12:41 PM.

    Josey Wales: When I get to likin' someone, they ain't around long.
    Lone Watie: I notice when you get to DISlikin' someone they ain't around for long neither.

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