Reloading newbie

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by travis9mm, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. travis9mm

    travis9mm Member

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    So after realizing how much I wanma shoot my .40 carbine I think it maaaay be time to invest in a loader. Is it something a novice person can do? I know the value is in the long run but what are the main things ill need. I know primers, cases, projectiles, powder, die set. What else? Looking for a budget set up. I may do 9mm too... thanks for the advice!
     
  2. Hermitt

    Hermitt Hey! Get Off My Lawn! Member


  3. fal205

    fal205 Member

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    Lee Gear

    You absolutely cannot go wrong with anything that Lee makes. It's inexpensive (not cheap... there's a difference) and it works perfectly. Lee has more patents in the reloading business than any other MFG - they are truly and innovator. I have the Breech Lock Challenger as well, but I use it for larger rifle cartridges and it works extremely well. I have the Lee Classic Turret press for just about everything else - 9mm, 40cal, 44-40, 38spl, 357mag. I load 30-30 and 303BR on the single stage. There may be other presses out there, but I bet just about every reloader has something made by Lee.
     
  4. VinnieD

    VinnieD Member

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    Buy a loader, read the manual. Learning from the Internet is like trying to take a sip from a firehose. Personally I'd suggest starting out with a single stage press so that you can get a better understanding of the process of reloading, though a progressive press will get you the most rounds for your time.

    If you're reloading, I suggest you look into casting too.
     
  5. agrace

    agrace Member

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    I bought the Lee Challenger kit that came with the primer, press, scales, and powder measure. I then purchased the Lyman 49th edition handbook, .45 dies and started reading the manual and what I could find online. Took me a bit but made my way thru reloading my first 50 and it worked great for me.
     
  6. travis9mm

    travis9mm Member

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    What did it cost you to get started?
     
  7. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    These are loose prices...

    Lee kit...$125
    Dies...$30
    Powder, 1 lb...$20
    Jacketed Bullets...250...$40
    Brass...100...$20
    Primers...1000...$32 (you can buy smaller lots)

    Really, this would do it. $267.

    Bet you thought it would be cheaper.;)

    It can be. Don't buy brass, use your once used. Find some cheaper bullets, like plated lead. Buy primers at an LGS that sells them by the 100.

    And if you REALLY want to cut costs, use a Lee dipper (in the dies) instead of a scale, and a $30 Lee Reloader press. Knocks $95 off, but limits you to a powder Volume/weight that is on the Lee dipper list.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  8. travis9mm

    travis9mm Member

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    How many rounds will 1lb of powder do? A lot id assume... so really if I could do 200 rnds for $200 its not terrrrrrible to get started. Next 200 would be roughly $43. So thats roughly $25 savings on a 200 rnd purchase.

    200 winchester white box is $64
     
  9. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Exactly. After the third or fourth reload, you are playing with house money.;)
    Of course, depending on the loads, 5-6 might be all you get before buying new brass.

    1 lb of powder can do 1000+ rounds of .40. 1 lb is 7000 grains, .40 runs 5-7 grains per bullet, give or take.
     
  10. Hermitt

    Hermitt Hey! Get Off My Lawn! Member

    Depends on the powder you use and what caliber you are loading.

    I got some titegroup and it calcs out to about 1750 - 1891 rounds of 9mm for 1 pound.

    1 pound of powder is = to 7000 grains.
     
  11. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    I like TG powder little goes a long way. Just be careful with it. Not a lot of wigggle room with it on most loads.
     
  12. travis9mm

    travis9mm Member

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    Ive found that lee has a hand load kit for 9mm for $40. But nothing for .40 ive seen some videos on YouTube where people do 9mm. Rubber mallet and some time but "beats" (see what I did there???) buying store ammo.
     
  13. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    My break-even when I got in to reloading a couple years ago was 700 rounds, but I set myself up in multiple calibers right off the bat and have added another 3-4 calibers since. It's a really zen type thing for me. I can sit out in the garage for a few hours on a run and knock out enough rounds for a weekend of shooting with the family.

    Get multiple manuals to compare and learn from because the more reputable sources you can glean information from, the safer and more efficient you will be.

    I have a Lee Classic 4-hole turret press, multiple turrets, dies for 7 calibers now, and looking to add at least one more in 5.56/.223.


    It can be done...I've seen it. ;)
     
  14. Asher1

    Asher1 Member

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    I agree with others, buy a lee kit (challenger, breechlock, etc.) they will put you in a very good position to start reloading. Make sure to buy carbide dies so you don't have to lube your cases.

    I couple things I would also suggest is to immediately buy a bullet puller ($15), that way if you screw up you can safely pull the bullet back a part. Then as soon as you can afford it, buy a cheap chronograph... It scares the heck out of me when people are reloading and reporting their load data by "feels hotter"... If you don't know your FPS then your missing a huge part of calculating any kind of data.

    Also a digital scale will go along way in making your life easier, just look for one on sale and grab it when it does...

    I hate to tell you, but your not going to save a dime (with your shooting budget). Of course the rounds will be cheaper, but your going to wind up shooting more.

    One way to save a couple bucks is to spread the word to your shooting buddies that your reloading and ask them to bring you their brass back. I usually wind up with a couple hundred dirty cases sitting beside my car after work on Mondays from the weekend warriors I work with... Every once in the while I throw them a box of reloads to balance thing out...
     
  15. Asher1

    Asher1 Member

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    Something else to consider later on... A way to clean your brass, I de-cap mine then put them into a ultrasonic cleaner with a water/acidic acid mix, then rinse and into the oven (or on the deck when warm) to dry, then into a tumbler with lizard litter and a dab of car wax for a polish. The de-cap and sonic really helps make get the primer pockets clean, and does a good job of cleaning and is good enough, but they will dull from the air. That's where the tumbler and wax come into play... Now my reloads look factory fresh or better...

    Invest in safety first, then worry about pretty later if you choose...

    Look at Berry's Bullets or extreme bullets and consider plated bullets, they are a great compromise between jacketed and cast. The cost is very reasonable.

    A couple tips that really helps me..
    -dedicate an area to reload and nothing else, good lighting.
    -take notes make a diary.
    -label and date EVERYTHING!!!!
    -organize, organize, organize...
    -don't use anyones (word of mouth) load data until you verify it.
    -buy all your supplies when you see them and can afford, they might not be available when you need them later on.
     
  16. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    34,646
    10,984
    NE Utah
    I have a few of those for rifle calibers that I won't shoot a lot. They work great for cranking out 10-20 rounds in a half hour. Very little set up.
     
  17. VinnieD

    VinnieD Member

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    Which one, learning from the Internet, or sipping from a firehose?
     
  18. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I use the Lee Loaders with a Sinclair Arbor press when working up loads at the range.

    Many say they are way to slow, but often I use them at home as I like the relaxing hobby of reloading, and usually I'm no longer in a hurry.

    On my reloading bench I have 2 presses in place with another 4 or 6 already to be clamped in place, I use whatever trips my trigger at the time.

    Powder I'm currently using for 9mm is Red Dot, 3.4 grs. IIRC, and 120 gr. round nose cast or coated bullets.
     
  19. TopGas

    TopGas Member

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    As can be seen from the numerous suggestions in this thread so far, there is a considerable degree of variability on what is "needed" to get into reloading. While all of the suggestions have validity, some go beyond what is needed to just get going. There are bare bones hand loaders (I have a couple) that can be taken to the range and allow for "on-site" reloading, the process is pretty unsophisticated and you would tire of it quickly. LEE also makes a hand held press arrangement but I think that the main difference is that a hammer isn't involved in the process. A bench mounted press of some sort is probably the best way to start out.

    I started with the LEE Challenger Kit and added to it as time went on. Prices will vary but now may be a good time to buy with lots of Holiday Specials going on everywhere. It might be possible to get a press used from someone that graduated to a multi-stage press. The presses from all of the makers are very durable so I wouldn't worry about getting one that was worn out.
    I would buy the die set new.

    As mentioned, the LEE dies are probably as good as any of the others (tho some may disagree) and WILL be less expensive. Getting the carbide dies is a good suggestion but if you found a great price on a non-carbide set and were willing to take the time to lube the cases prior to sizing and depriming, they would be difficult to wear out. (Again, others may disagree).

    If you are going to be shooting a lot and prefer to shoot brass cased ammo, sizable savings will be realized in the long run. The reloading equipment can probably be considered an investment although you might be taking a loss if you decide that reloading isn't working for you and sell off your stuff after only a few months. You will have to collect up your brass (and any that other shooters haven't) which is sometimes a PITA especially in the Winter months. While brass cases can be reloaded perhaps several times, "new" brass will occasionally be required.

    Another consideration will be the cost and availability of the expendable supplies; powder, primers and bullets. Powder, in general, is tight in the current market. Prices are up and availability is sketchy. Primers have gone up in price too but availability (in my area at least) is good. Lead cast bullets are 12 to 15 cents each for .40 cal/100 count boxes (again in my area), jacketed bullets, of course, are more. Buying 500 to 1000 at a time will bring those costs down.

    Lots of considerations to be made. If you are fine with shooting the much cheaper, but not as reloadable, steel-cased ammo, it's going to take longer to recoup the initial costs of the reloading equipment. You'll need to do a cost/benefit analysis. Just sayin'. TG
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  20. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Lee has a special starter kit that has pretty much everything you need Google Lee reloading starter kit and you will get a bunch of places to look at it.