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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking of beginning to start reloading, and have been trying to gather some information from the forum here, and I have a question, or three. IS there any truth, or is it just a personal preference that some shooters feel that reloads are bad for thier firearms, and will not use them, and some ranges will not allow them? Or is it based on the ingredients some of the reloaders use? Second, what is a good starter kit to buy, if you were not in a situation where you had to buy the cheapest one out there, bbut not the most expensive either? Maybe middle of the road? I want to load basic handgun loads along with 10mm, and 5.56/.223 and 7.62x39 on the long gun side. Thanks.
 

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Hey, there you are again.
Some guns are bored differently than others, and so they don't act the same shooting cast, swaged, or certain alloyed lead bullets. The Glock & H&K guys can comment here. The upshot is, they don't have conventional grooves and lands, and the 'corners' of the rifling can get clogged up, reducing accuracy, but more importantly, raising operating pressure due to increased resitance in the bore, increasing the odds of an accident.
That bein' said, as long as you are sensible and play heads-up, you will never wreck your firearm. If you hot-load, and monkey around, or if you don't go heads-up 100% of the time, then the likelihood of having an unpleasant experience increases dramatically. I have guns that have never seen a factory round. I have never blown one up, but I know guys who have. It ain't pretty, and it is scary as hell.
Check around your area for information on what rounds are allowed. Some don't want lead; some want to sell you their ammo on site.
As for getting some gear, I would suggest a comprehensive reloading manual first. There are lots of 'em, and they cover every aspect in detail. You might find a decent set up on E-bay or someplace. I have a ton of old (real old) equipment. Some of it is obsolete, but it works well.
The best tip I can offer to a new reloader is 'Never be in a hurry'. I reckon that would be in the heads-up category.
PM me if you like.
You are gonna like this reloading business.
 

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Thinking of beginning to start reloading, and have been trying to gather some information from the forum here, and I have a question, or three. IS there any truth, or is it just a personal preference that some shooters feel that reloads are bad for thier firearms, and will not use them, and some ranges will not allow them? Or is it based on the ingredients some of the reloaders use? Second, what is a good starter kit to buy, if you were not in a situation where you had to buy the cheapest one out there, bbut not the most expensive either? Maybe middle of the road? I want to load basic handgun loads along with 10mm, and 5.56/.223 and 7.62x39 on the long gun side. Thanks.
I've been reloading for over 35 years, and have never heard such drivel that reloads are bad for any gun, nor have I ever heard of a shooting range not allowing reloads.
Reloaded ammunition is no more detrimental to a firearm than factory ammo. However, for a beginner, I would strongly recommend enlisting the advice of someone you know that does reload before going it on your own. Reloading manuals MUST be followed for the beginner. Strick attention must be paid constantly. Lee makes a complete set of reloading equipment, and is probably the cheapest out there. My preference is Redding, and in my opinion the best other than custom dies (which I use ffor my benchrest competition loads). RCBS is probably in the middle of the field, but I believe better than Lee. A good powder measuring scale is a must...don't scrimp on the scale.
As any reloading manual will recommend, start loads with a powder weight of 10% less than given, and work up from there. What is a good load in one rifle/pistol/revolver may be not-so-good in another.
If reloading for handguns, a set of carbide sizing dies are the way to go, as no lube is required for sizing.
I hope that helps a little. Reloading is not as complicated as you may think IF you pay attention and never daydream while doing it.
B50
 

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Thinking of beginning to start reloading, and have been trying to gather some information from the forum here, and I have a question, or three. IS there any truth, or is it just a personal preference that some shooters feel that reloads are bad for thier firearms, and will not use them, and some ranges will not allow them? Or is it based on the ingredients some of the reloaders use?

What kind of people do you hang around with?
Since people have been reloading smokeless powder for well over 100 years and the "ingredients" (components, in the parlance) are the same or almost exactly the same as factory, the hesitation would be
liability. I have NEVER been to a range that did not WELCOME reloaded ammunition. I don't let others, other than family and friends when I am with them, shoot my reloads, and I don't shoot other's reloads.
Reloads have never been bad for any of MY firearms. In fact, I can load down in pressure for accuracy and "work" my guns less than factory rounds.


Second, what is a good starter kit to buy, if you were not in a situation where you had to buy the cheapest one out there, bbut not the most expensive either? Maybe middle of the road? I want to load basic handgun loads along with 10mm, and 5.56/.223 and 7.62x39 on the long gun side. Thanks.

I would read several manuals and make up my own mind. I don't follow the crowd and I don't join cults. I look at what my specific needs are and determine what will work best for me.
Do you need 100 rounds a month? Then, all you need is any single-stage press.
Do you need 500-1000 rounds a month? Then, you need a progressive press.
What you need in a kit for pistols, and this is what you NEED and NOT a bunch of toys, are:
Straight-wall pistol cases
press
die set
cases
bullets
primers
powder
scale to weight the powder
funnel to pour weighed powder into case
You can clean cases perfectly satisfactorily with a rag. All you need to do is remove the dirt, grime, oil, mud from the case exterior.

Bottle-neck rifle cases
Above, plus
a case trimmer like Lee's

Then, later you can get a powder measure and other toys.

Most any kit will give you all you need, you just have to find the press you like. I find a progressive like the Hornady L-N-L is all the progressive I need (though I have three Dillon 1050s just because), but a single-stage is ideal for bottleneck cases.
 

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The only issue I would have with a person new to the hobby and a progressive press is that there is a lot happening at once. Start out on a single stage press and learn the ropes first. Don't expect to sit down in an evening and pump out 500 rounds of anything but plan it out and size cases one night, prime the next and do powder and bullets the next one after that. In other words don't get in a rush. Winter is my reloading season. I usually stock pile enough loaded ammunition to last me through the summer shooting season. Buy components when you can, right now they are very scarce so plan ahead and get what you need.

As I said in a previous thread to you I have worn out lots of Lee equipment. Not because it isn't any good it is just not capable of putting up with year after year of use and high volume. I will say I have yet to find a better designed tool than the Lee factory crimp die. My RCBS Rockchucker has been my press for 30 years. I have a Forster case trimmer only because I believe them to be very accurate, but parts are difficult to come by. I have an RCBS Uniflow powder measure. I have a stainless steel dial caliper. If you look in my die drawer you will see 98% RCBS dies. Not because they are better than the rest but I feel they give the biggest bang for the buck and they are available everywhere. For those rifle cartridges that I require extreme accuracy from, i.e. .22-250, .222 Remington, I have Redding benchrest dies.

Their are catalogues of equipment to make ammunition. As you get more experienced you will find what works and what is unnecessary. There are a couple reloading forums out there that like this one, are full of members willing to help without all the puffing out of chests found some places. Anyway that is my .02. Again enjoy the hobby and be safe.
 

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Everybody has their own preferences, as do I. You won't go wrong with any quality press. I suggest getting an RCBS Rockchucker single stage press. Not only can you learn the basics of reloading with it, even if you later go to a progressive for increased volume, the single stage press will still be useful for working up new loads or critical loads, or for small volume reloading like hunting rifle loads.

I'll make it easy for you. Buy this:

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit

This is a set of reloading tools from RCBS that's fairly complete except for dies and components. It's on sale until the end of August, and if you buy enough extra RCBS stuff (dies, for instance) to get over $300 in purchases, you can get a mail-in rebate of $50. That's about as cheap as you're going to get into this hobby with quality stuff.

So, study the reloading manual, go slowly and carefully, and you can craft really good ammo tailored to your needs. If you have any questions when you get started, come back here for really good advice.

Have fun,

Buck
 

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I concur, the RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Kit is a good place to start. Good equipment and good value. Add a good digital vernier caliper.Nothing wrong with Lee dies. If you get into some precision rifle shooting in the future, you may want Redding or Forster. You mention 223, you should have a tool to measure shoulder setback. When I started reloading pretty much all factory ammo was crap, factory ammo today is much better. As above, read several of the newest manuals, Hornady, Speer, Nosler, Sierra, they're all good. Lee manual taxed my ADD, too many chapters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I really appreciate all of the information. I am going to order the RCBS Rockchucker. Unfortunately, i just ordered on Sat. 350(7 boxes of 50) rounds of 9mm for $140. I could of paid for half of my starter kit. I hope to order it anyhow in the next week or two. I have a few last questions, before you guys tire of me(just kidding), the manual that comes with the RCBS Kit, would that be a good book, that will start with the very, very basis basics, and be useful as reference for years, or is there a kind of, "must read" for anyone who is going to hand load, that I should also have? Next the press, does that clamp to the bench, or bolt, I cant tell from the photo? Also, when the time comes and my starter kit get's here, other than brass, bullets, primers, powder, a die(9mm in this case) and the calipers, is there anything else not in the kit that I will need for my first batch. I will start out loading 9mm because thats the brass I will have, unless theres a technical reason thats a poor choice as a starter. Thank You.
 

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  • Read a lot about reloading from different references. But the RCBS book is a good place to start.
  • The press bolts to the bench, and the bench should be substantial. But not necessarily expensive - I built my first reloading bench from 2x4's and two layers of 3/4" C/D plywood fastened together with contact cement.. I also fitted a Formica surface with contact cement to give a better work surface. Make sure to fit a small fence to the back edge to prevent things rolling off.
  • Get a few extra reloading blocks to be able to handle 100 rounds at a time - or 200 rounds total. If the kit doesn't have an impact bullet puller, get one - it's the reloader's eraser. I'd also get some 50 round cases for your reloaded rounds. Four plastic ones will suffice to start. You can also get cardboard ones that are less expensive.
  • 9x19 is OK to start with. Just remember that it is a high pressure round, and that you need to taper crimp pretty hard to keep the bullets in place. Also, watch overall length (OAL) carefully - don't go less that the recommended specs, or longer that that which will fit in the magazine. And don't use lead bullets in Glocks with polygonal rifling - jacketed only.

Buck
 
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IS there any truth, or is it just a personal preference that some shooters feel that reloads are bad for thier firearms, and will not use them, and some ranges will not allow them?
Some ranges do not allow reloads because they have no idea how capable the person was that put together the ammunition (they also may want to sell you ammunition). As for reloads being bad for your gun? This is pure BS due to ignorance! Properly prepared reloads will not harm your firearm. Get that Rock Chucker and wade in. You will find reloading a rewarding experience both mentally and financially. Shoot more for less and learn in the process. Good luck.
 

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HOW would your pistol know you are shooting reloads through it ?? We burn up fifteen to twenty thousand HANDloads a year with nary a problem.
 

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Over the years when folks learn I reload my ammunition, they usually ask one or two questions, or both. First is "Can you load as good ammunition as you can buy?", and "Do you save a lot of money reloading?"

I've had two stock answers:

"I can't load a better cartridge than I can buy, but neither can I buy a better cartridge than I can load."

And,

"No, I don't save any money reloading, but I shoot a lot more for the same amount."

But the kicker is I can load a cartridge tailor made to my gun and needs.

Bob Wright
 

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Hi Bob,


That last line is most of the charm for me.

I like 'Lead' Bullets, plain, pure, soft, friendly malluable, Lead. No 'Hard Cast', no Jacketed.

I also like flat front Wadcutters, all 'Meplat'. ( As my Avatar may suggest ).

There is no where to buy such, and or certainly not in Ammunition which is off any Factory's Shelf, in .44 Russian or .44 Special or .45 Colt or .45 ACP ( for Revolver ).

For any given Cartridge, Loading one's own allows one to have variations which either do not exist otherwise, or would be expensive and or hard to find, if they did exist.

I like Black Powder .38 Special, for yet another example. It can be bought I suppse ( or can it? ) , but, it is fun and easy to Load one's self.

Same with Double-Ball Cartridges, in .38 Special or .45 Colt. Years ago I think some Manufactures sold them, but does anyone make or sell them still? I doubt it....but, easy and fun to make one's self.

it is satisfying too, to head out to the Range, using Ammunition one has Loaded one's self...there is something nice about it.

Plus, it is a very good way to learn more about Cartridges and Bullets and Ballistics, than one may have otherwise.
 

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Reloads aren't bad for your gun if they are to spec . A lot of ranges in the Chicago-land won't allow you to use them. I think it's more that they don't trust people to have correct loads and don't want malfunctions in their range. I'm sure some fool would try suing because their reload blew up in their hand or someone else's and got hurt.
 
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