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Old 03-07-2011, 04:12 AM   #11
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I have never understood comparing cheap steel-cased ammunition to hand loaded brass-case ammunition. Then I think about the people I see at the range that set up, blast away for 30 minutes, and leave. Target looks like a shotgun went off, but the target is officially dead.
If your spare time is precious, then reloading may not be for you.
If you would like to learn about your gun and what affects its accuracy, reloading may be for you.
Nobody has yet followed my advise, but I enjoy giving it.
Buy the Lee Reloader Single Stage Press Kit (consisting of the press and the Lee's "Modern Reloading" manual for $38. Buy a set of Lee dies in the caliber you first want to load for. The Lee die sets includesa shell holder, a dipper, and instructions that include loads using the dipper. The 3-die set will run about $30 and the 4-die set will run about $40.
Buy Lyman's #49 manual for about $20. For priming, you can either prime by hand or on the press. For on the press, you will want to buy either the Lee or Lyman Ram Prime Unit ($11-$16). For priming by hand, you can get the Lee Auto Prime XR Hand Priming Tool for $18.49 and the special proprietary Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool Shellholder Package for $14.99, or $35 for the complete set-up. Rather than the Lee, you could get the RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool for $56.99 that uses standard shell holders. Of the two options, I prefer the hand priming systems as they eliminate my having to handle the individual primers.
Look at the loads and buy at least one of the powders, bullets of the given weight/construction, cases if you don't have any, and primers. These loads are all well below max, so you can start off just loading. There will be some, though safe, variation in the weight of each charge, but you are just loading by volume and learning. Follow the instructions to push the dipper into the powder so the powder flows into the dipper by gravity. Run the edge of a business card across the dipper to lever the powder. You will want to buy the Lee powder funnel for under $4.00. This funnel is as good as any other plastic funnel and fits the Lee Powder-through Expander die perfectly. Finally, you will want a loading block in the caliber you are going to load ($6.00).
If you are going to load for a rifle, you will also want to get the Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud for $6 and the specific case length gage and shell holder for your caliber for $5.
This is all you NEED to get started for about $150 plus the cost of cases, powder, primers, and bullets
If you like reloading, you will want to buy some other equipment, including a scale and powder measure. It will take very little time to recoup the cost of the equipment.

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:43 PM   #12
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Well the first thing is your trying to load for 2 calibers that there is a TON of cheap ammo on the market for.

Start looking at the 357 and you will see the cost of reloads is cheaper.

Now I have said it before and I will say it again. YOUR NOT GOING TO SAVE MONEY BY RELOADING. Some will say you will but you won't.

Reload to have loads tailored to your specific firearm reload because it is fun and enjoyable and no one bothers you while your doing it.

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Old 03-07-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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Well the first thing is your trying to load for 2 calibers that there is a TON of cheap ammo on the market for.

Start looking at the 357 and you will see the cost of reloads is cheaper.

Now I have said it before and I will say it again. YOUR NOT GOING TO SAVE MONEY BY RELOADING. Some will say you will but you won't.

Reload to have loads tailored to your specific firearm reload because it is fun and enjoyable and no one bothers you while your doing it.
i disagree. reloading has saved me thousands of $$ over the years and allowed me to shoot far far more than i could have with offshelf buys.

i do it for the savings, to be able to have affordable access to rifles and cartridges that you wouldnt normally be able to shoot a lot.

extreme example 458SOCOM off the shelf 57$ a box of 20 or 1425$ for 500 rounds.

brass 500ct 366$
500 bullets 280$

couple pounds of powder 60$~
primers 30$

about 736$ load it yourself even if you use the brass only once and toss em your talking HALF the shelf price for better ammo.

savings are about that across the board compairing shelf to reloads. with handguns reloading only really saves after the first loading as handgun ammo tends to be cheap off the shelf but the price really drops after the initial brass purchase.

does reloading save money?? definately
do you get better ammo than you can buy?? definately

the only reason NOT to reload is if your a person that doesnt shoot a lot. if you shoot 500 rounds a year or more you should be loading your own.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:34 AM   #14
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i disagree. reloading has saved me thousands of $$ over the years and allowed me to shoot far far more than i could have with offshelf buys.

i do it for the savings, to be able to have affordable access to rifles and cartridges that you wouldnt normally be able to shoot a lot.

does reloading save money?? definately
do you get better ammo than you can buy?? definately

the only reason NOT to reload is if your a person that doesnt shoot a lot. if you shoot 500 rounds a year or more you should be loading your own.
I started, and continue to reload because it saves me money on the 300-500 rounds of centerfire ammunition I will blast through at the range each visit. I'm not shooting more since I started loading, it just costs less and I have a reason to save my brass now.

I learned through other hobbies that some of the little needless gadgets will gather dust and/or get lost, or they simply replace a functional tool that will gather dust or get lost, which is why I don't bother with the digital measuring tools, motorized case prep stations or other convenience items available to loaders that I don't have an actual need for. If and when something wears out I may then decide to upgrade, but I won't replace something just because a new or updated version is on the market.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:11 PM   #15
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Thanks for all suggestions keep them coming. I am really thinking about it and leaning towards it. The only difference is that I am starting with a LEE Press instead of the Rock Chucker that I was originally going to start with. noylj recomended a LEE bare basic press but I was thinking about the Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Kit - MidwayUSA 112.00 less dies. I am new to reloading does this kit come with everything needed? If so all I would need are the dies ,powder,manuals recommended etc... If not what else is needed. Thanks

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Old 03-10-2011, 06:06 AM   #16
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I have nothing against the Lee package. If you are reloading bottleneck case, you will need to get the caliber-specific Lee case gage and special shellholder to trim your cases. You will also want (not need, but want) a decent 6" caliper to measure case length and COL. You will graduate, after some time to a case length gage that will measure off a datum on the ogive of the bullet.
Go to the Lee web site and watch their videos.
If you get the Challenger press, buy a bushing for each die. It really makes things more pleasant to simply pop the bushing out and pop the new bushinged-die in. The only die you will need to adjust afterwards would be the seating die when you change bullets.
When it comes to Lee, read all of the instruction sheets and manuals. They don't waste words and if they say to run a hopper of a graphite-coated powder through the press, they mean it.
If you go with a beam scale, such as the Lee Safety Scale, be sure you can use it, zero it, and read it properly. Mount it at eye-level so you don't have to squint and bend over to read it. Practice with it before you even start to reload.
For rifle (bottleneck) cartridges, I would want a Lee Auto-Prime XR rather than prime on the press. Back in the late '70s, I had an RCBS bench-mounted priming tool, but it costs over $100 now.
I have had success with the Lee Perfect Powder Measure for loading rifle cartridges, but you HAVE to run graphite powder through it, you have to disassemble it and remove any burrs or flashing from the casting, and you have to get the tension just right. Many powders can leak. Put something under the measure to catch the powder, DO NOT try to tighten the assembly when powder leaks out. Disassemble, clean, and then set it to a tighter tension. The measure will wear for a tighter fit and get better over time.
No matter what you are loading, I prefer a powder measure off the press if I am using a single-stage press. I will drop a charge in a case and weigh it to be sure it is right, then I will seat a bullet. I found that I was not very good with a loading block and preferred to inspect each case for the right height of powder in the case and immediately seat the bullet. Every 10 or 20 rounds I would check the charge weight being thrown again. You should be able to stay within +/- 0.2gn and normally you will be withing +/- 0.1gn.
I know for myself, my first press was a Rockchucker and I was very happy to sell it after about a year when I bought a Forster Co-Ax press. Then, I got one of the very first Hornady progressives back in 1980 or so. Despite those press changes, I still have the little Lee Reloading Press mounted on my bench, now next to 2 Dillon 1050s. I can load 20-50 .30-06 rounds on it, no problem.

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Old 03-10-2011, 09:22 AM   #17
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Thinking about reloading. I was all set to but a rock chucker and at about $.22 a round I don't if it gets much cheaper; at least to be worth the time and effort. Now again I don't reload but, kinda tried to calculate materials and initial cost of equipment and I don't see it. Is it much cheaper that's what I would like to know? I also shoot .223, .45ACP and .357. haven't done the research on those calibers yet. I guess what I am saying is it just for the hobby,art or enjoyment of reloading your own. This bulk idea kinda put the brakes on reloading at least for now or until I can see the savings in it. Thanks

Look at this site: Handloading Cost Calculator
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #18
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I have nothing against the Lee package. If you are reloading bottleneck case, you will need to get the caliber-specific Lee case gage and special shellholder to trim your cases. You will also want (not need, but want) a decent 6" caliper to measure case length and COL. You will graduate, after some time to a case length gage that will measure off a datum on the ogive of the bullet.
Go to the Lee web site and watch their videos.
If you get the Challenger press, buy a bushing for each die. It really makes things more pleasant to simply pop the bushing out and pop the new bushinged-die in. The only die you will need to adjust afterwards would be the seating die when you change bullets.
When it comes to Lee, read all of the instruction sheets and manuals. They don't waste words and if they say to run a hopper of a graphite-coated powder through the press, they mean it.
If you go with a beam scale, such as the Lee Safety Scale, be sure you can use it, zero it, and read it properly. Mount it at eye-level so you don't have to squint and bend over to read it. Practice with it before you even start to reload.
For rifle (bottleneck) cartridges, I would want a Lee Auto-Prime XR rather than prime on the press. Back in the late '70s, I had an RCBS bench-mounted priming tool, but it costs over $100 now.
I have had success with the Lee Perfect Powder Measure for loading rifle cartridges, but you HAVE to run graphite powder through it, you have to disassemble it and remove any burrs or flashing from the casting, and you have to get the tension just right. Many powders can leak. Put something under the measure to catch the powder, DO NOT try to tighten the assembly when powder leaks out. Disassemble, clean, and then set it to a tighter tension. The measure will wear for a tighter fit and get better over time.
No matter what you are loading, I prefer a powder measure off the press if I am using a single-stage press. I will drop a charge in a case and weigh it to be sure it is right, then I will seat a bullet. I found that I was not very good with a loading block and preferred to inspect each case for the right height of powder in the case and immediately seat the bullet. Every 10 or 20 rounds I would check the charge weight being thrown again. You should be able to stay within +/- 0.2gn and normally you will be withing +/- 0.1gn.
I know for myself, my first press was a Rockchucker and I was very happy to sell it after about a year when I bought a Forster Co-Ax press. Then, I got one of the very first Hornady progressives back in 1980 or so. Despite those press changes, I still have the little Lee Reloading Press mounted on my bench, now next to 2 Dillon 1050s. I can load 20-50 .30-06 rounds on it, no problem.

Thanks but for now I am only interested in handgun ammo: .45ACP, 357 Mag and 9mm. I do shoot a couple of rifle rounds 30.06 and .223. My 30.06 rifle I shoot once a year. I go through a box a year maximum it is my hunting rifle. I shoot a few rounds to make sure it is still sighted in and then if I am fortunate I get a few shot’s at a deer but, that is really it for the 30.06. Now my M4 is a different story I will eventually reload the .223's. I want to get a lever action just because I have always liked the old cowboy style rifles that’ll be in either 30/30 Win or .35 Rem.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:35 PM   #19
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Look at this site: Handloading Cost Calculator
The only problem with that is they don't include the cost of your set up. But in the over all scheme of things is nothing.
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