Reloading Component Help?

ElkHntinMD

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Aug 30, 2002
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124
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Maryland
People,
I know there is alot of experience here on this site. I was wondering if ya'll would mind giving me your opinions on good gear to use for reloading. What I would like to know is what specifically I will need to start reloading. I have some components already. Examples: Good tumblers, good dies and why, scales, media types, or any other components that are nice to have and most importantly what not to waste my time and money on. I figure Alot of you guys have been reloading a long time and know what works and is dependable. Any help will be appreciated.


Thanks
ElkhntinMD
 

AA

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Jul 25, 2001
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ElkHntinMd.....

To start out, you might try to get your hands on as many reloading manuals you an afford....Speer, Hornady,Hodgdon,Barnes,Lyman,Nosler,Sierra hall have good data. Powder companies like Du Pont(IMR, Alliant, Accurate have pamplets with there own data using their powders. With the internet you are only a few clicks away from all the above which makes it easier than 30 years ago
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My father started me with RCBS reloading equipment and it's still my favorite today. They make good quality stuff(lifetime warranty) and have a very good service deptpartment should you have any problems. Other quality gear is made my Redding,Dillion and Lyman I would steer away from Lee as it somewhat light duty compared to others.

After some good manuals and a press the next thing you will need is a good scale,I started with a balance beam and have been using an electronic since 1990 and really like it. For weighing cases they are much quicker than a balance type. But to start out there is nothing wrong with a balance beam scale. Just make sure that the scale is calibrated properly. On the same line a powder measure isnt really needed to get started but it sure speeds up the process. I would recomend either the RCBS Uniflow or the Redding M3BR. There are also powder measures that hook up the an electronic scale but I have no hands on with them.

Some other items that are nice but are not needed are a deburring tool(these chamfer the inside and outside of the neck),a powder trickler,case blocks(never can have to many of these), a bullet puller( you might not ever need one but no one is perfect and soon or later you are going to want to pull some loads down), a good pair of calipers/micrometer(Starret,Brown and Sharp), primer trays, a hand operated priming tool such as the Lee Auto-Prime or the RCBS APS priming tool, a primer pocket brush(large and small), case lube/pad or some dry lube such as Hornady's One Shot, a case trimmer: I use RCBSand Forster

I am sure I have missed somethings but these are a start. The above will get you a pretty good start for general reloading. For precission loads there are other companies like Sinclair that make/sell highly precission gadgets for extreme accuracy such as neck turners,primer pocket gauges,priming tools,specialty dies etc etc...

Just some thoughts........AA
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PS... after re-reading this I can already see that I left out some small powder funnels and you will need something sturdy to mount your press on, the more solid the better. Oh, and some of them see through plastic cartridge boxes come in handy to put all your new reloads in! Lets see now, what did I forget ??? ahhhhhh shell holders, I know I bad mouthed LEE earlier but do like their shell holder set, you get all you'll need in one box for around $14 which is cheaper than buying them one at a time.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 02-24-2003 20:24: Message edited by: AA ]</font>
 

Calif. Hunter

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Dec 13, 2000
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Apple Valley, CA, USA
First - read a manual or two. (You can't have too many, IMHO.)
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I like my Midway tumbler, Redding BR measure, old Lyman scale, RCBS powder trickler, Hornady case trimmer, and a heavy old iron CH single stage press. AS far as dies go, I like the Lee dies, and use their rifle collet and handgun factory crimp dies a lot. I've had no problem with Forster, Redding, RCBS or Lyman dies. I have a Midway dial caliper and the Stoney point OAL guage, Forster deburring/chamfering tool and 2 Lee Auto prime (one left set up for large primers and one left set up for small.) A starter kit from Lyman or RCBS is always a good start.

With all the .45 ACP I'm shooting the last couple of years, I'm tempted to get a Dillon press!
 

RANDALL K

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Nov 10, 2002
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Rapid City, SD
ElkHtninMD, AA is right "get as many manuals as you can afford," and Caly is exactly right "you can't have too many!" (I've been reloading for 26 years and I still buy one every time I can scrounge the money together).

From AA's list, I can tell he's done this awhile. The only thing I might add is, when you're starting out, do all your powder measuring by weighing it on a good powder scale --when beginning you need to learn good-habits & take your time & methodically do everything (not that you don't when you're an experienced reloader, but now is the time to develope good habits
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)

Mainly, don't skimp on your equipment, buy quality (but don't buy something just because it "cost more"). When you have a question don't be to proud to ask someone, "better safe than sorry" is very true when manufacturing ammunition.

Welcome to the "reloading ranks !!"
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Washington Hunter

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May 8, 2002
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Location
Rochester, Washington
Just one comment...I'd spend money on things other than reloading manuals first. Get one good manual, but don't waste your money on more than one. They aren't cheap! And heck, you can get just about all the load info you need from guys on here that already have all the manuals! And there is plenty of sites on the web that give reloading data. So, that's just my opinion, but I wouldn't waste my hard-earned money on a bunch of books. (I've been reloading for about 20 years, and I only have 2)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 02-24-2003 23:43: Message edited by: Washington Hunter ]</font>
 

ElkHntinMD

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Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
124
Location
Maryland
Wow guys thanks for the info!
As I stated I have several components which I have owned for years! I have a press it's an older RCBS. It's still in pretty good shape! Do they wear out? I have shell holders, RCBS dies for the calibers I will be reloading, I have (2) new reloading manuals Speer and Barnes I bought them because they both contain 300 Utra Mag data. I have a scale but, was thinking about just going to a digital, Funnels, I had a powder measurer but, it got broke in my many moves, brushes and some aother items. It looks like I'm just about there! I have a bench half built. I may have it completed by this weekend. I hope it will be sturdy enough! Ya'lls info gives me a good start. I have to order a few components now! Anyone deal with midway USA? I was just wondering how they are? Thanks again guys! I'm sure I'll be posting more here! One more question, I own RCBS dies already they are brand new. Is there any particular type I should own? Most dies come complete right?


ElkhntinMD
 

Calif. Hunter

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Messages
5,189
Location
Apple Valley, CA, USA
RCBS dies are great - make sure you lube well enough. That is one thing you will have to learn by doing - but do not use too little as a case stuck in a die is a pain, even with the removal tools. Too much lube can cause dents or creases in your case, so it is a skill that comes with practice. Most dies are complete, but do not include shell holders.

I use Midway a lot, mainly for their sale items. Others are Grafs, Mid-South Shooters Supply, Lock, Stock & Barrel and several others.
 

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