New to reloading and got some questions

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by BSK, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. BSK

    BSK Guest

    OK so I am debating on getting on getting a reloading setup but unsure as to what to get.

    looked around on youtube and it seems like a lot of people are using the RL550B reloading thing. So in addition to getting that bench setup you would also need the correct "head" for the machine to accept the correct bullets correct?

    Besides that there would also be the need for a digital scale to measure powder loads correct? As well as used/new brass, primers, powder and bullets themself.

    I was hoping to find an FAQ here with links that point me to the correct and procedures. What is meant with load recipes? As in how many grams a person is using in their ammo? Why is that not allowed to be posted?
  2. Ari

    Ari Guest

    Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit
    Then all you have to add is some dies and a set calipers. If you tell me what you want to reload I will link to the dies you want.. The above kit will be the easiest to learn on and you can reload rifle on it too... You will also want a good reloading book. Reloading loads are setup in grains. There is 7000 grains to the pound. We cant post load data in open forum as it is very easy to mess up. I would be happy to help you at any point.

    P.S. There is a bunch to learn when first starting. It is good to learn it right as if you mess up you could get real hurt. The single stage press is way easier to learn on. Not is it easier to learn how to run the press but it is easier to learn good systems for reloading.

  3. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    Ari is right. start small with a single stage and move up later. Its WAY too easy to mess up starting out with a progressive press.

  4. that is the press that i started out with and i was able to make excellent ammo very quickly. Ask lots of question and read the directions over and over again. Check out a good reloading manual at the library as well.
  5. The RL550B is a darned fine press, I have the XL650 but the guys are right. Start with a single stage press.

    I actually started with the xl650 then bought the single stage because I found that it's not all about just saving money, I actually enjoy reloading and the xl650 is just too fast to enjoy the process. I would need a 2nd job just to feed it components everyday.

    You don't actually need a digital scale to start, a decent beam scale is good enough. Some guys don't use a scale at all but rely on the Lee powder measures. That is ok but personally I still would recommend at least a beam scale to do double checking with.

    You are correct about the brass, primers, powder and bullets. Brass you can save your own and perhaps get some from your range, the rest you'll need to buy though after awhile you might decide to cast your own bullets as some people do but that is another expense and another thing to learn so I recommend starting off by buying your bullets in the beginning.

    Much more important than a digital scale would be a good collection of reloading manuals - HINT-You can borrow some of these at your local library.

    Good luck and keep us informed on what you decide and how it goes.
  6. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Thanks for the link: I am thinking aweful hard on buying that next payday.
  7. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    right now reloading is abotu the only way i can shoot with any type of volume. WWB had jumped to 25$/100 bulk or 10.95$/50. blazer brass is 13.95/50.

  8. some of my beginner tips

    To avoid geting a case tumbler use a cut off jean leg zip tied at one end. Fill it with wihe rice, and shell casing. seal with another zip tie and place in a small trash bag. Tumble on no heat in the dryer for and hour, and even the nastiest range brass will be bright shiny and clean.

    Practice priming with used primers to get the feel for it.

    When you set up your dies, use a deprimed case wiith no powder to set up your expander and bullet seating dies. That way if you scrw up you dont have a "live round" to deal with.

    When setting you your bullet seating die, put a snap cap in the shell holder and run it up to full stroke. then you adjust the die to where it just touches the snap cap. this way it gets you in the ball park for your OAL.

    When starting out weigh every 10 charges or so.

    When charging cases, establish a routine. I have primed cases on one side of the press. I put a primed case in the press expand it, charge it, and then set a bullet on top of it. this way i cannot double charge the case.

    I suggest starting with 9mm, becasue it is very difficult to double charge a case without it overflowing.
    I am sure i will think of more things later
  9. Gus

    Gus Member

    Starting out reloading

    You are starting out correctly.....Asking will get your answers from this and other forums....
  10. Years ago I started out with one of the "whack-n-bang" Lee Loaders, then moved up to a single stage Lee Challenger kit. The Challenger kit is a great starter kit for those who have never reloaded before. Last year I picked up a Lee Turret Press Kit and have been very pleased with it, it would also make a great press kit for a new reloader.
  11. yeah I too would recommend the Lee to start out with. Its cheap(so low startup cost, not lost much if you ditch reloading), reliable, and the perfect thing to learn on. Sure you can't chuck out anywhere near as much ammo in as short a time but its the way to get started.

    Now you didn't speak to what you will be reloading for, but heres some basics of other things you may want to pick up in addition to components:

    Dies: Personally I like Lee dies, better design, cheaper, and the factory crimp(if you get it) is great.

    Case holders- hold your cases while you process them

    tumbler- not needed, but damn its good to have.

    Personally I like an aerosol case lube like one shot. I'm too prone to using too much of the lee stuff and causing dents in my bottleneck cases.

    and lastly a decent set of calipers. Preferably metal, frankford arsenal is okay, lyman or rcbs is better.
  12. If you are doing pistol, spend the extra jack and get the carbide dies. No lubrication required, so you can cut out that whole step. +1 on the factory crimp die as well. My reloads feed way more reliably than WWB in my browning hi power. For case holders you can use the ones that come with factory ammo. That is what I do.
  13. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    I wouldn't really be able to afford to shoot anymore if I hadn't started reloading. With WWB 9mm going up to about $19.00/100, from $12.88 a year ago, there's no question that it's worth it. Now that I've got a couple of XD-40s, feeding them would be next to impossible with ammo going for about $30/100. I can load either caliber for about the same... $11/100. I found a source for good cheap bullets that will let me load for about $7/100, and when I start casting my own, it will be about $4/100... That's $40 per thousand rounds! WOOT!

    Anyway, everybody's pushing the single-stage press, but I'm gonna throw something else out there. I went with the Lee Turret press. It auto-indexes, so it can be almost as fast as a progressive press. You can take out the auto-indexing rod and make it a single stage press in about 3 seconds. It's a much better press to start with, because once you get the process figured out, you don't have to buy a whole new press to "upgrade". It's only $67.00 and it comes with 1 turret

    You can get a great set of digital slide calipers form Harbor Freight for about $15 or so. I have both the 4" and the 6" calipers, and they're both dead-on.
    I compared them with a set of really nice Blue Point (Snap-On) calipers, and they were dead-on. The Blue Point calipers even looked a LOT like my HF calipers... Dangerously similar. Glad I didn't spend the $70 on 'em.

    They also have a 5 lb tumbler for $39. I just bought a Lyman 1200 (about a 3 lb tumbler I'd say) and it works well, but I wish I'd seen that one that Harbor Freight had before I picked this one up. At any rate, the tumbler is a great thing to have!

    I also went with the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure. It works great, and was only $22 from Midway

    Next time I place an order, I'm gonna get the adjustable powder charge bar for the powder measure. For $10, I hear it works great, and I'd love to be able to fine-tune my loads. I wish I'd known about it when I first bought my loading equipment.

    I didn't get a scale yet, but I need to. The disk measure does a pretty good job though. The loads seem quite consistent for every day shooting.

    I'd also like to get a separate turret and powder measure for each set of dies, so that I can leave the dies set up the way I like them, and just quick-change between calibers. Right now, it takes me about 15-20 min to set up the dies each time I change calibers. With the separate turret and powder measures, I could do a change in about 5 seconds!
  14. I just actually placed my order on tonight to add the auto index feature to my turret press. Add some factory second 4 hole turrets, throw in the 4 hole turret upgrade and some factory crimp dies, and I am good to go. I ordered 11 items for a total of $104.98 shipped....

    That also includes some parts for my Lee Pro 1000 progressive, which is getting mailed off for the half price replacement tomorrow, after I call them to get a price plus tax.
  15. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    How much are the factory-second turrets?
  16. $6.00 each. I bought 4 of them.
  17. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    Sweet! I think I'll order a few as well!
  18. PM me and I'll get you the item numbers, they are kinda hard to find on the Lee Precision website.
  19. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    Naw, wasn't that hard. I located them under the closeouts section.
  20. Ok, cool. I can't wait till my stuff gets here, got all that and some lee lead melting pots ordered up tonight. Gonna also send my Pro 1000 back to Lee tomorrow, just gotta get a confirmed price and it's going out tomorrow. CAN'T WAIT!!!!