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Finally made the jump


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i have been putting it off for awhile now but since my buddy got his reloading kit and since the price of ammo keeps rising i figured its a good time to jump in the pool.  I have a ton of brass laying around in storage cans and needed match grade ammo for my 308 bolt so its time i think.  i'm going to go with a single stage for right now and get that down pat then buy a turret press.  keep the simngle stage for precision loads and use the turret for bulk loads.  I order some dies off midway usa today for the 9mm luger and 223.  my buddy is giving me the spare sets he doesn't use or has extras of.  I am gettinfg off of him 45acp, 40 s/w and 308.  all i need to buy are the 357 mag and 38 spl then my sets are complete for the calibers i own.  i will post pics an updates as i get them.  i am really pumped to get started reloading.

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Excellent Archangel!

Don't think you are going to save any money though, just count on shooting more.  Lots more!

Single stage is a great way to start or continue.  I know old dudes that can load rifle on a single stage as fast as others on a progressive, so don't fall for the speed trap.

Most important, any O-press will last forever.  The new ones from different manufacturers with the quick change die systems are excellent!  Set-in-and-forget-it!

Remember...ALWAYS pay attention to exactly WHAT you are doing in reloading!  The old axiom "Measure twice, cut once" rings true.  Check, recheck, then re-recheck your load data, correct powder, powder weight, charge, primers, etc, and you won't shouldn't have any significant issues.

You thought gun fever was bad!


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Thats great Archangel.

Read as much as you can, get as much info as possible on each caliber being loaded. I have posted some good links about technique, read them. Get some cheap trimming tools, a decent digital scale and a digital micrometer. You can up grade later. LEE Precision has good basic parts.

Most important dont be distracted when reloading !

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MikedaddyH has it right!

ZERO distractions!  Once, reloading on a single stage press, with .357 Magnum, I had gotten done dumping all the powder loads and was inspecting cases to ensure they all had the same quantity of powder.

A row of four were double charged (believe I was using Red Dot), just those four.  No matter how long I thought about it, I couldn't remember doing it but it MUST have been when the phone rang.

On the Lee stuff, their dies are almost all I use, the one exception being RCBS .32 H&R Magnum that came with a revolver in .327 Federal.  I replaced a RCBS .30-30 set that kept squashing the neck to an oval shape, wtih Lee brand and haven't had an issue.

A person can reload across a whole spectrum for one caliber.  For example, .45 Colt and .25-20 are anemic factory loads.  If you want you can download both even further (.25-20 well into .22LR territory) or spice them up to the .45 Colt Ruger Only/TC Contender loads and the .25-20 into .223 zippity zones.

Just pay attention!


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My electronic caliper had the last battery die.  Do not know what that battery size/U.S. Designation is.  Went a long time without a working caliper.

Was in Cabela's one day and saw a store-brand dial caliper for sale,  bought it.  Have never looked back.  No battery.  Less nervewracking to use.

I have a Lee beam scale.  Love it.  EVERY powder charge is weighed.

Have another beam scale.  Somewhere.  Don't even remember the brand.  More expensive.  Used it some,  went back to the Lee. 

There are a lot of powders.  Suggest you start reloading using powders where the proper charge fills most of the available space in the cartridge.  A double charge will overflow or at least the bullet cannot be properly seated. 

I reload with Lee Loaders and standard dies in a Lee Hand Press (I have two).  Slow if you need a lot of ammo,  should do fine for less than about a couple of hundred rounds at a time.  The hard (slow) part is measuring the powder charges.  I just cannot make myself trust an automatic measure where I cannot triple-check every cartridge.

When I shoot,  I normally have several guns and do not shoot many rounds in any given gun/caliber.  Every hole that prints on target matters to me.  Even the ones that I count as 'plinking.'  An automatic powder measure with a repeat rate of 1/10 or larger grain spread terrorizes me.  Maybe it is just hype,  but my little Lee beam scale is supposed to be giving me powder charges routinely within 1/100 grain.  I do know I can see the difference of one or two of those tiny granules of powder.  And I check the 'Zero' of the scale before and after the powder charging session.

Buy a Redding powder trickler.  If you already bought some other brand,  buy a Redding.  It's cast iron,  heavier,  will not dance around as much when you need it to stay put.

Food for thought.

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Dusty, my method is a little different on a single stage.

When working up a new load I set the powder measure to the recommended setting in the manual.  This is VERY conservative and I usually have to twist it to a higher setting to get the proper weight.

In use, my method with the auto powder measure goes like this:  rotate the handle ALL the way up, three FIRM taps to settle the powder in the barrel, rotate the handle ALL the way down dumping powder into my scale pan and three FIRM taps to get all the powder out.  Once a proper weight charge is thrown, everything gets tightened up.  I throw several charges, weighing each one then dumping it back into the hopper.  Once my standard for perfection has been reached, powder gets placed in the cases.

Each of the first 5 charges are weighed, then the 5th, then every 10th load until I'm done.  With the consistency of tapping the powder measure, there is no issue.

That being said, this is important information! 

Moving to an auto press, all powders are NOT created equal!  When cranking out hundreds and hundreds of round of handgun ammo, a load that worked fine with the ability to tap-tap-tap the powder measure is inconsistent with a crank of the press' handle.  The larger flake powders have a tendency to get stuck with smaller weight charges, perhaps only 1/4 of the charge being dispensed.

Smaller flakes/ball powder is the way to go on a progressive/auto press.


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I always recommend a single stage type press to start out & go to what ever you want after that , if you want . Keep the single stage , even lf you do go to a progressive , they have a lot of uses & are better suited for some .

I was loading test .223 last night & using my 30+ year old Redding  powder measure & ball powder( WC 846 ) , it was dead on so much I hardly used the tickler to get to my target weight . Probably one out of ten , using a digital scale.

It doesn't do all that bad on other flake like powders , its those cylindrical types that hang once in a while ,but still I use it to make plinking rounds with out verifying charge weight much.

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The cylindrical powders ARE problematic with the auto powder measure...but the tap-tap-tap/tap-tap-tap method keeps them on...as with flake, the smaller the better.

We usually reload .30-30 for reloading classes, using Reloader 7.  A student asked to load .300 Win Mag and I said ok.  He was using Reloader 19 (?).

I'd never seen it before, but it was exactly scale to the RL7 but 2 or 3 times larger.  Definately liked to bind in the works.


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the kit came today!!!!!!!! :banana:

here are some pics:



[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/4b6df374.jpg


all laid out:

[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/c2cab19e.jpg

[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/f1208f39.jpg

[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/ac3c1577.jpg

some dies i got off my buddy for free yesterday  ;D

[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/186d3ace.jpg

a ton of labels i had from all my mtm cases i bought over the years

[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/27addaf3.jpg

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Just like X-Mass brother archangel :banana:following thread STILL trying to convince the wife I'm not gonna blow up the house [that's what insurance is for right :o]Natchez has good stuff at reasonable prices.There ammo is still decent while CTD went sky high.Have fun brother and be safe. <thumbsup>

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not pictured is a set of 308 dies. going to order some 38/357 dies next pay.  gonna get everything set up tonight and tomorrow.  going to order a tumbler this friday and some media.  at least i can pop out all the old primers this weekend.  once i get the bullets and powder and primers in then its game on  >:D

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I got the same kit for students to use and now do all my load work-up on it. 

Get a different case chamferer...I got the Lyman, a bit more to hang onto.

The RCBS primer pocket brushes in a dremel work great!  Just get them locally, so you can check them in the package that the bristles are all straight, instead of cut at an angle.

You are gonna have so much FUN!!


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I now use the Stainless steel media method & I still use treated Lyman media to tumble the brass , for a about 30 min. to get the dirt off them before I size & de-prime them .

Than as said, the S/S method gets them brand new looking , inside & out . Its really a great method  , once you get it down right .

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The girl and I pitched in on the Hornady Magnum ultrasonic cleaner.  We should have enough deprimed today to try it out.

Prior to that I'm using the Frankford Arsenal tumbler, with crushed walnut media.  We get the walnut media from the feed store, 25#s for like $23...quite a bit less than any reloading supply.


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i had an old thick wooden table in my garage that needed some love so i reused it.  new coat of od green paint, some hefty brackets and bolts and she looks way better.  this will be my reloading table starting now.  i got the press mounted up so its all good to go now

the before:





redone table:


[img width=810 height=604]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/integra_papa/Arsenal/308fd57f.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're reloading rifle calibers, get a case gauge!!! $15-$20, cheap insurance to not blow up a rifle from improper case sizing. You'll thank me. ;D

an absolute must IMO!! And it's how I realized I needed to reset my sizing die to do that shoulder bumping. And it's how I know I trimmed it good or how I know I need to trim. I have so far thrown out some brass when I can't get something right after sizing then checking with the case gauge. You need one!!!

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