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New to reloading


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#1 Pokey

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 07:00 PM

So, cost is a big factor to me. I have been reading a ton and decided the Lee's 50th package would be the better option for me. I just got the die's in 308, 38spl, 223, 7.62 X 39 and 40 cal. I ordered the Cabelas tumber kit too. Also a Big book on reloading. I just ordered 100 each of the 38 135 grain bullets (going to try lighter rounds for the snub nose for the wife) and 180 hollow point 40 bullets and 350 of the Nossler 135gr ballistic and 100 of some 155gr target stuff.I also just got a shotgun reloading kit from a coworker which will include 4 lbs of power 2000 primers, 1.5 sacks of 25 lb lead shot and a bunch of hulls and some wads. It is coming with a few charge bars for 1 - 1 1/4 oz loads. A better scale and lessonsI am very excited to try this. It seems like it would be a relaxing hobby for me and hopefully a money saver. I'll post up on my 1st loadsWish me luck!!

#2 Yateswell

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:21 PM

Good luck, go slow, have fun and be safe.I myself started reloading not too long ago - 223rem and 40sw only so far. I'm having so much fun and getting great results, not much savings though as I end up spent more on equipments and components, but hey, I'm getting accurate lead free ammo that I can't buy anywhere else.

#3 Frank

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:44 PM

So, cost is a big factor to me.

It seems like it would be a relaxing hobby for me and hopefully a money saver.

Hmmmmmmmmm... well, you may be right on the hobby part anyway?!However, while some savings might be had in handloading certain largeŽ calibers, most, if not all your calibers listed can often be had at fairly reasonable prices in factory offerings.In other words, it can sometimes take a LOT of shooting to find an accurate load(s) for any given firearm when handloading. Not to mention the original cost of gearing up, inventory &/or all supplys etc. Plus just HAVING to, or forced(condor) to try the newest and latest bullets & powders that hits the shelves. Along with shooting a lot more rounds by handloading, all adds up to more $$'s spent... not saved! Instead, pride & confidence that comes with rolling your own & are specifically assembled for a certain firearm that usually produces more, CONSISTENT accuracy (than factory) are a couple of more likely reasons for handloading. PLUS, as you say, a hobby, ESPECIALLY for one's later "retirement" years. But hey, if it does end up saving you $$, that would certainly be a bonus (but not a "reason" for handloading). I just haven't seen it... YET! LOLFrank

#4 Pokey

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:53 PM

Good luck, go slow, have fun and be safe.I myself started reloading not too long ago - 223rem and 40sweet only so far. I'm having so much fun and getting great results, not much savings though as I end up spent more on equipments and components, but hey, I'm getting accurate lead free ammo that I can't buy anywhere else.

Good point thanks for that. I did fail to mention, I have been shooting some crap russian ammo out of my 308, and when I switch to the higher quality stuff I notice a pretty good improvement on the consistancy and accuracy, I would like to reload for the same price as the surplus stuff but get the accuracy of the run of the mill walmart edition Winchester or Remmington rounds.I went in on this reloader with 2 other friends to keep the cost down and we always shoot together. But I understand what you are saying.

#5 Bisley

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:13 PM

Congratulations, and hope you enjoy your new hobby as much as I do. Even if it costs twice as much to reload (it does not) it is worth it for the satisfaction you get of knowing you did EVERYTHING, from punching out the primers to pulling the trigger. The pride you (should) get from it is priceless, especially after a nice, dignified, clean kill. Good luck to ya.I try and offer two pieces of advice though when I hear about people starting out on pistol reloads. 1. The .38 caliber is probably THE best to start and learn with, great choice. I don't know what dies you ordered with it, but my personal belief is that you can not beat a rolled crimp in those calibers that will allow it. I say those calibers that will allow it" as the forewarning leading to advice piece #2..........2. Semi-auto rounds like the .40 S&W and the .45ACP headspace off the mouth of the case and not the rim like .38's and others. Why is that so important? Being the ONLY family member at the time to EVER own a semi-auto, I had to teach myself. In the initial reloading of this round I went through quite the trial and error process until it just clicked after reading something and the gears in the old head FINALLY processing it. Nothing worse than having half your rounds feed, and half not. Again, I can't say it enough, the (taper) crimp on these kinds of rounds, as well as case length, is very important if you want reliable, easy feeding rounds. Much more so than typical revolver rounds. Since learning this (the hard way), I don't believe I have ever had a problem in well over a decade. I am much, much happier and would not hesitate to trust my reloads with my life now. Take it for what it's worth, it's totally up to you, but just trying to save you some frustration unlike myself. Again, good luck, and happy reloading.

#6 tawnoper

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:33 AM

Again, I can't say it enough, the (taper) crimp on these kinds of rounds, as well as case length, is very important if you want reliable, easy feeding rounds.

As well as bullet seating depth. A bullet seated too far out will cause problems as well. A quick way to check yourself and save some frustration later is to strip the pistol down and keep the barrel next to you while seating the bullets. You can drop rounds into it to make sure they are firmly contacting the mouth of the case. This is especially helpful when loading a few different bullets.
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#7 ratassassin

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:42 AM

That's good advice, Bisley, and it sounds pretty obscure. I had no idea about that because I don't reload handgun calibers, just rifle. Good luck to you, Pokey. I only started reloading a couple years ago but now reload for six calibers. It's a great hobby and very satisfying when you get a load dialed for your particular rifle. After the initial start-up cost, and if you buy components in bulk and split the hazmat and shipping costs with a friend, you can save some real money if you shoot a lot. My cost for loading .308 match ammo is $0.39/round excluding shipping and hazmat fees. Even with those fees included, it's about $0.49/round. For lead free 150 grain .308 Win, my reloading cost is $0.63/round -- a lot cheaper than the $1.50 to $2.00 per round charged for factory ammo. (This doesn't include labor, of course, but I don't count that because I consider it recreation.)So welcome to reloading. Work up your loads carefully and never start with a maximum load. If you use military brass for rifles, reduce your load by 3% because military brass has less case capacity. Pick up some good reloading manuals and study them religiously. My favorite is the Sierra manual, but I also use the Hornady, Barnes, Speer and Lee manuals. And the guys on this forum have taught me a lot so don't hesitate to ask questions.

#8 Bisley

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:54 AM

That's good advice, Bisley, and it sounds pretty obscure. I had no idea about that because I don't reload handgun calibers, just rifle.

That's pretty much the same boat I was in except for we did reload pistol, just rimmed ones though. It can be tough when first starting out and trying to sort between what is borderline OCD and not always needed, and what is really, really important. And it only gets harder to sort it out when your already frustrated. He and his friends may already have known this too, but I sure didn't and wouldn't want anyone to have to go through it also. Came that close to turning me off to one of my now favorite calibers.The pic below shows you what I'm talking about. While the "books" cal for an outside dimension of .423, I do the same as I do for the .30 carbine and make it a few thousandths smaller. This still leaves .020 of brass to headspace on, but still allows it to chamber in a barrel with super tight tolerances. Be sure and take a before picture of yourself so you can remember what you looked like before you started reloading as it will get under your skin and take over your life at times. Good luck and enjoy.Posted Image

#9 tawnoper

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:42 PM

I do the same as I do for the .30 carbine and make it a few thousandths smaller.

Question for ya Bisley... when you taper crimp, the smallest diameter you can get will be the bullet dia plus two material wall thickness. Although the book may spec out a certain diameter, it's going to be up the brass wall thickness (which does vary) to determine the actual dimension. Are you saying you crimp it down more than a bullet dia and the brass wall thickness?
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#10 DesertDog

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:04 PM

I have been reloading for 20+ years and started with handgun reloading. I now reload mainly for my Rem 700P .308 Win and I just love the process of hand loading. I love the start to fininsh and all the variables involved. Good luck. and stay safe!

#11 Pokey

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:43 PM

Thanks for all the good advice, I was planning in starting with the 38 round and I do know it takes a differenct crimp. Also the book we got was the Lyman 49th edition.I just got back from riding my dirtbike to see UPS man delivered my tumbler. Gonna test it out tonight with some of my brass

#12 Bisley

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 03:46 PM

Question for ya Bisley... when you taper crimp, the smallest diameter you can get will be the bullet dia plus two material wall thickness. Although the book may spec out a certain diameter, it's going to be up the brass wall thickness (which does vary) to determine the actual dimension. Are you saying you crimp it down more than a bullet dia and the brass wall thickness?

At the mouth (or neck if you will) area, yes. Since the brass has a larger outside diameter than the bullet (since it sits inside it) the tip of the brass will force itself into the lead or copper ever so slightly. Remember, we're only talking about .003" here. It will not bulge the brass nor shrink the bullet diameter except for right where the end of the brass contacts the the bullet. The remaining parts of the bullet, in front of the crimp and behind the crimp, are still .400. You end up with almost a self made canalure if you will. Absolutely no different than lube grooves in lead or an actual canalure. And the is no way in Hell it can ever be forced backwards (not really a problem in this round anyways). And if you're worried about the brass not opening up and swaging the bullet smaller than .400 when fired, then first off, all crimped cartridges would do this and no pistol would shoot well. Or, the only other reason for the case to swage the bullet would be if the chamber tolerances are too tight and the brass can not expand upon ignition, which would then make it a barrel issue. not a reloading issue. Does that make any sense? It's kind of hard to describe on a screen with no pictures and such (which I could do if needed).

#13 Caneman

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 08:25 AM

you can save money especially if you need rounds for the condor zone

#14 45Colt

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 03:54 PM

Another got the reloading bug !! :signgreatreport3kg: You too,desert dog ?? Fantastic !First thing ya know, bullet molding comes into view....Gotta love it.Caneman,got that right.
The old calibers and guns got the job doneKeep reloading-We may need it




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