Reloading

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Chardo, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Chardo

    Chardo Member

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    Do you load or reload your own ammo? What setup do you use for Shot shells and or metallic rifle and pistol cartages?

    Chardo
     
  2. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

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    I've got a Lee O-frame press and a Lee pawder balance, a Lee powder measure, Lee Auto-Prime ( excellent device!) and the Lee case trimmers and dies.
    Got most of it as a kit.
    Works pretty good, I load ammo a lot cheaper than shop price.
    Don't load much but enough to make it worth it.
     

  3. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    I have a 'Rock Chucker' (Full steel frame from RCBS, VERY strong and accurate) for my 'Long Range' rounds,
    [​IMG]
    Since I occasionally shoot 1,000 Yard competitions, I'm REAL PICKY about my bolt gun ammo!
    This press gives me ultimate control and 'Repeatability' from one round to another...


    I have a Lee turret press and Lee single die press for various things...
    Lee Turret press has the advantage of being able to get extra 'Turrets' so when you want to change calibers, you don't have to go through setting up your dies from scratch again!
    Turret Press,
    [​IMG]
    These are particularly good for small batches of ODDBALL ammo, like strange cowboy calibers or wildcat rounds...
    No use buying a progressive press for $350 to $500 when you are only going to load 300 or 400 rounds a year...
    But those 300 or 400 rounds a year purchased as 'Oddball' ammo will run you $80 for a box of 20! this thing sure pays for it's self in a hurry!

    Single Press, I use my single Lee press now for de-capping or removing crimps from the primer pockets of military/police rounds.
    [​IMG]
    This is an entry level press, and you can get one for about $25 several places...
    MidwayUSA - Lee Reloader Single Stage Press

    With those types you have to pull the handle 3 or 4 times for each round, changing dies with some of them 3 or 4 times...
    ----------------------------

    For volume reloading, I have a Dillon Progressive press that spits out a loaded round with each pull of the handle.
    I use it for ammo for 'Auto-loaders',
    Everything from 9mm & .45 ACP for handguns to .30-06 for my Garand.
    I mostly do .223 Rem for my AR's, and that Dillon spits out rounds nearly as uniform as I can do by hand in the Rock Chucker!
    It is a truly repeatable system they have!
    RL550B, w/o a Caliber Conversion Kit: Dillon Reloading Machines

    [​IMG]

    Works flawlessly once you get everything lined up the way it's supposed to be.
    Usually, I don't sit down in front of it unless I have 1,000 or more cases already cleaned and ready to reload since setting up the dies can be a pain in the butt...

    I buy different plates so I don't have to move my dies around, once they are set up, I just change out the entire mounting plate, so when I go to change calibers, it's REAL easy.
    ------------------------------

    I don't have a shot gun reloader, I trade ammo with a guy that is set up for shot shells. I do his rifle ammo ( a few hundred rounds a year) and he returns the favor with the few hundred rounds of shot gun ammo I expend a year...
    Works out for both of us!
    ---------------------------------

    Reloading links,
    http://www.midwayusa.com/
    http://www.cowboyshootingstore.com/
    http://www.hornady.com/
    http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/linksammo.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  4. Chardo

    Chardo Member

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    I have a MEC Jr. setup for 20ga. And a Dillon setup for 12ga. Both cams from a house I did some work in. "Take this stuff if you want" so I did . Ten bags of 29ga wads, 5 bags 12ga wads, 4bags #9 shot, 4 box 209 primers, 2 cans of powder. I couldn't pass it up.
    So how do I get started?

    Chardo

    Also for metalic. I shoot 45acp, 357/38spc, 243win, 223rem. Can I setup one press to load all these or do I need one press for rifle and one for hand gun rounds?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  5. Backwoods

    Backwoods Out In The Sticks

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    Used to do my own .357's and 38 Spec years ago with an old Lee hand held press. I've been out of it for awhile but I'm planning to setup a small unit to "Roll My Own" 762x54r for my Mosin rifles. I have an M39 that is pretty accurate and I think a good handload MIGHT make it a real tackdriver. More than likely a single stage Lee or something to keep it simple.

    Never tried shotshells. Might be pretty interesting to see what kind of loads that could be worked up...............
     
  6. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

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    You can use the same press for handgun and rifle.
     
  7. coinguy

    coinguy Guest

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    I have been a reloader since the 70's, when gunpowder was 3 or 4 bucks a lb. I worked for some time for a gunpowder company doing loading research. I have no idea how many rounds I have loaded but I go through 5K primer boxes like water. And I cast most of my own bullets.

    I got started with some very cheap equipment and loaded quite a bit of ammo with it, but I soon learned one thing - you get what you pay for when it comes to presses and other equipment.

    For pistol and rifle ammo, a good simgle stage press will let you get rolling. I can fully recommend an RCBS Rock Chucker. You won't ever be able to wear it out. It will handle all of your resizing needs and gives you the control that will let you make some great ammo. If you are only loading pistol you can use a lighter rated press, but for rifle and case forming, the 'O' press is the best one.

    For shotgun, get a Mec press. They have a number of different models with various options. I think one that resizes the brass is a good choice, like the 77 sizemaster, especially if you are using autoloaders.

    A number of my friends are using Dillon machines of various flavors but I have never been able to get them to work very well for me. I have a Hornady pro-7 press for a progressive press that works great.

    Do yourself a favor and stay away from the Lee equipment. I know I will get trounced by those that prefer cheap to performing but if you had seen as much broken loading gear as I have, you would not want it around. They have a good warrantee policy, but I got tired of sending in the items over and over and over again to be replaced. They just won't hold up to heavy use. The one exception is that I still use their factory crimp dies. They give me consistant performance in auto loaders especially.

    Go ahead and spend the extra bucks for carbide dies in calibers they are available in. They will save you lots of time, work and make it much cleaner for you.

    Have fun, follow the loading manuals, stay consistant and make some great ammo!

    G
     
  8. coinguy

    coinguy Guest

    61
    0
    I have been a reloader since the 70's, when gunpowder was 3 or 4 bucks a lb. I worked for some time for a gunpowder company doing loading research. I have no idea how many rounds I have loaded but I go through 5K primer boxes like water. And I cast most of my own bullets.

    I got started with some very cheap equipment and loaded quite a bit of ammo with it, but I soon learned one thing - you get what you pay for when it comes to presses and other equipment.

    For pistol and rifle ammo, a good simgle stage press will let you get rolling. I can fully recommend an RCBS Rock Chucker. You won't ever be able to wear it out. It will handle all of your resizing needs and gives you the control that will let you make some great ammo. If you are only loading pistol you can use a lighter rated press, but for rifle and case forming, the 'O' press is the best one.

    For shotgun, get a Mec press. They have a number of different models with various options. I think one that resizes the brass is a good choice, like the 77 sizemaster, especially if you are using autoloaders.

    A number of my friends are using Dillon machines of various flavors but I have never been able to get them to work very well for me. I have a Hornady pro-7 press for a progressive press that works great.

    Do yourself a favor and stay away from the Lee equipment. I know I will get trounced by those that prefer cheap to performing but if you had seen as much broken loading gear as I have, you would not want it around. They have a good warrantee policy, but I got tired of sending in the items over and over and over again to be replaced. They just won't hold up to heavy use. The one exception is that I still use their factory crimp dies. They give me consistant performance in auto loaders especially.

    Go ahead and spend the extra bucks for carbide dies in calibers they are available in. They will save you lots of time, work and make it much cleaner for you.

    Have fun, follow the loading manuals, stay consistant and make some great ammo!

    G
     
  9. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    684
    1
    First of all, Get a MEC reloading book that covers the operation of your press.
    (instructions are usually free if you ask)

    Every reloader company and every powder manufacturer puts out books or booklets (usually for free) that cover their powders, wads, primers, ect.
    Stock UP!

    Visit gun shops that stock powder and buy some of the basic supplies so you are a 'Customer' and start asking questions.
    This is all old hat to most dedicated gun guys, so Owner/Operated gun shops will be glad to shoot the bull with you and give you some pointers!

    The NRA puts out good basic information with 'How To Reload' books, get them!

    Kind of wish I had a shot shell reloader like that, but I just don't bang enough shells to make a purchase worth it...
     
  10. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

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    Good advice there, and most of the Lee stuff is available in better quality from others.
    I also use Factory Crimp dies when reloading for the BLR .243. I would also say that a Lee Autoprime is a very good thing to have. It makes priming a bunch of cases bloody easy.
    The case trimmer system they have is also pretty good and cheap. It is foolproof to use.
    The Lee balance scale is pretty good in some ways, but fiddly to set up.
    Their powder mesure is pretty useless.

    I got all of my Lee stuff in an introductory kit with all you need to start except dies. Over time I will be replacing most of them with better stuff, and RCBS has impressed me a lot with what I have had to do with it so far.
    I will keep the Autoprime and Crimp dies though...
     
  11. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    1
    If you are going to shoot anything with tube magazine (like cowboy guns) or auto-loaders, the factory crimp dies are just MANDATORY or you WILL have problems!
     
  12. groundhogsniper23

    groundhogsniper23 Active Member

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    i have an rcbs kit from cabelas. i reload pistol, rifle and my benchrest ammo on it. i learned most of the basics from my granddad, as i started to get into benchrest shooting my loading became more precise. i have a 30-06, 22-250, 6mmbr norma, 357, 40 s&w, 9mm, 6mm, and am right now looking into getting a 243. the rcbs kit is a great starter kit. i would like to get a lyman dps 3 but i think i'll stick with my balance scale for now. a little slower but accurate and if the power goes out then u don't have to worry bout it working. the only product i lioke from lee is their deluxe die sets.
    chardo if u want to set up just one press for pistols then i recommend a turret press. redding or rcbs are very good. not cheap but good.