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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently asked Terry_P if it was possible to have a dedicated "help new reloaders" thread, he said he would run it by the other mods and discuss what the risk vs. reward would be. Terry PM'd me back and gave me the green light.

Basically this it what I proposed so in order to keep it up and running we need to stick to it. If it goes side ways I'm sure the Mods will not hesitate to shut it down........

......"A thread where seasoned reloaders or any reloader for that matter could share any tips that help promote safe reloading practices. a thread were any member can ask questions in search of answers".

....."What the thread WOULD NOT BE is a place to solicit or share load data, PERIOD".

I'm sure with the amount of members we have on the forum there are 100's if not 1000's of years of experience here. Everyone is encouraged and welcome to participate, if your input helps one person be a safer reloader it was time well spent.

P.S. I believe this is going to be added as a sticky.

Let the games begin,

Mark
 

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I wanna play..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Benches

I guess I'll open this up..........if it's possible build a dedicated reloading bench, its so much easier to not have to work around drill presses, grinders, hand tools and lawn mover parts, etc. My benches have gotten progressively smaller through the years, from a 3'x12' to 2'x8 to'2'x5'. At 2'x5' I'm still able to have 2 presses, tumbler, trimmer, pocket swagger, scale and bins.
 

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I’m not a reloader but interested in it. What’s the best book or site to get started? Was told to start with a single stage press, what would be the best press to start out with? If/when I do get started, I have a bunch of .357 brass, my buddy has a lot of .45acp & 9mm brass; that would be my primary interest in reloading. I’ve heard on the .45acp that there are small & large primer cases & the large primer cases are ideal for reloading. Can the small primer .45acp cases be reloaded or is it a waste of time?


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Discussion Starter #5
I’m not a reloader but interested in it. What’s the best book or site to get started? Was told to start with a single stage press, what would be the best press to start out with? If/when I do get started, I have a bunch of .357 brass, my buddy has a lot of .45acp & 9mm brass; that would be my primary interest in reloading. I’ve heard on the .45acp that there are small & large primer cases & the large primer cases are ideal for reloading. Can the small primer .45acp cases be reloaded or is it a waste of time?


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Eshooter, there are a ton of books out there, I suggest getting more than one, The ABC's of Reloading is a good start, Lyman is a good book also to name a few. The single stage is the best to start until you get more seasoned, but for pistol reloading you can't beat a progressive.

Most all the major manufacturers sell starter kits that include most everything one would need, (less dies) to get started. You can do your own research on that, but my choice would be RCSB, others may like something different.

Yes, .45ACP with a small primer can be loaded, but I don't since I have my Dillon set-up for large primer. That said, I toss them in the trash.
 

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I've read that small primer pocketed .45 ACP brass is suitable, but they are not worth my time. Keeping large and small primer pockets sorted is an unnecessary PITA.

Trying stuff a large primer into a small primer pocket will convince those who think otherwise.
 

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Reloading can be a very controversial topic …. mostly because there are many brands of presses, dies, and ancillary equipment. As it turns out, once someone makes successful reloads, they tend to "fall in love" with their equipment and have no use for other brands, so …. brand loyalty is very common. I do not want to see this thread turn into a "brand war". Further, there are literally tons of reloading gadgets and goodies, many of which aren't needed but many people buy them hoping for magic.

The most important thing about reloading is safety. Reloading is NOT for making "hot" loads, especially for the beginner.

The best advice for anyone thinking about getting into reloading is to invest in a good reloading manual before you spend a penny on equipment or supplies. If you decide not to reload, reloading manuals have a wealth of information on many different cartridges so it is not money wasted. Brands of reloading manuals follow the brands of equipment and bullets so here are some really good manuals that show you how to reload, step-by-step: Hornady, Speer, Nosler, Sierra, and Lee. All but Lee specialize their own brand of bullets which is actually a good thing because they give the precise bullet seating depths as well as the recipes for many different loads in lots of rifle and handgun cartridges. Hornady, Lee, and Speer (connected with RCBS) use their own equipment to show each step in the process. No matter what brand of equipment you decide to buy, the process of reloading is the same.

Learning the mechanics of operating reloading equipment is actually quite simple. The hardest part is learning how to match bullets with the optimum type of powder for your desired velocity. Starting with lead bullets is NOT advised because it introduces more variables so loading with jacketed bullets is much easier for beginners.

For handgun reloading, I recommend starting with 3 different burn rate powders …. fast for light target loads, medium for mid-range loads, and slow for magnum loads. It's a waste of money to buy more than one powder in a specific burn rate category. Many new reloaders get discouraged because their loads don't measure up to the standards they want. Often times this is because they try to go cheap and use the same powder universally for all loads. There are several powder manufacturers that make powders in many different burn rates, and for a very good reason. When you use the powder best suited for your desired bullet weight and velocity, you will get the optimum performance.

I posted some articles in the Forum E-Library such as Lead Bullets and Revolvers, The Mysteries of Smokeless Gunpowder, Smokeless Powder Burn Rate Chart, and a few others that might be helpful for new and even experienced reloaders. Here's a link to the E-Library (10 or more posts required for access): https://rugerforum.net/e-library/
 

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Great idea for a thread and sticky. My favorite safety tip: keep rifle and pistol primers in separate ammo cans, labeled. Then label each box of primers brightly, with type and size.

I realized this one day as I nearly began to reload .38 specials with the wrong primers.
 

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I'll second to motion, get a good reloading manual read it then get another.
Iowegan hit a bulls-eye about powder. Use the proper tool for the task at hand.
 

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Great idea for a thread and sticky. My favorite safety tip: keep rifle and pistol primers in separate ammo cans, labeled. Then label each box of primers brightly, with type and size.

I realized this one day as I nearly began to reload .38 specials with the wrong primers.
My rule is have components for ONE load on the bench at a time.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Powder and primers

One thing I do not do is have primers and powder out at the same time. As I load bottle neck cartridges I only have out what is involved in that stage of the loading process.

I prime and then put them away. Next I move to weighing charges, even then I only dump a small amount out at a time. Primers have been know to detonate and powder has been known to flash, both can be very unstable. The same can be said for my Dillon, I only dump as much powder as I think I need. About ten years ago a buddy had powder flash on him, it lit his arms up pretty good, enough to get skin graphs........
 

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I recently acquired some equipment via my father in law. Single stage press.
Next up, reloading manual.

Like Mark, I have a small bench set up. I think I'll pick up a 4 slot turret press to add to the mix.

I'm hoping dies are as universal as they make them out to be.

Just need to get the accessories worked out. (Powder dispenser, etc..)
 

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This is a good idea, and the info so far is spot on. However, in the interest of simplicity, one of my friends actually called me a "minimalist" one time. I try to limit my powder selections to work across calibers. I am not seeking one hole groups, as I hunt, not target shoot, so 1" at 100 yards is fine. That said, I do have several types, we just have to be very careful about what is out on the bench at any given time.

I also tend to use bullet manufacturing reloading manuals rather than powder reloading manuals. I've always heard that the bullet manufacturers leave a lot on the table regarding velocity and the powder manufacturers will go up to the limits regarding pressure and velocity. I don't worry about that so much as I do loads for different bullet designs.
 

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Yes, I am sick of the "Brand Wars" on other sites. Hey, if you can only afford Lee dies then buy them, lots of people use them with no complaints.

Johnny's Reloading Bench has the best (of what I've found) video series for beginners. He starts with the $125 Lee single-stage kit and works up from there.
Johhny is really good at explaining things so all can understand. He's low-key and unpretentious and surprisingly intelligent.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTTrjvDib94l4NNyug0efjXsXokBksmRa
 

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I first loaded ammo back in the '80s but got out of it for a few decades.

A year ago I retired and moved and have gotten back into the game.
I live in an apartment and started with this bench from Harbor Freight, I moved the lower shelves around and added their locking cabinet that happens to fit perfectly on top. Paid about $130 for the whole setup and it works great.

https://www.harborfreight.com/tool-storage/workbench/48-in-workbench-with-light-62563.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/hanging-tool-cabinet-39213.html
 

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Here's a tip …. something I have been doing for more than 50 years. I have a 1 square foot ceramic tile sitting next to my press. I use it to set my scale on and I use it to test each primed case to make sure the primer seated fully. If the primer is the slightest bit proud, the case will wobble when I set the head on the ceramic tile.
 

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Well like Lowegan, I've been reloading for over 50 years, and still have all of my fingers and both of my eyes, not to mention my feet and toes. The key to successful reloading is safety, as in shooting. Incidentally I reload for three different gauges of shotgun, (12,20, and .410 which isn't a gauge but a caliber go figure). Everything in pistol from .32 auto-.45ACP as well as .45Colt. I also reload for most rifle calibers with the exception of the wildcat, in just about everything from .222 Remington-45-70.

I never reload more than one type or gauge of cartridge at a time, in order to keep it simple (KISS in other words Keep It Simple Stupid). For all my handgun cartridges I do use a Progressive Press, which I employ a powder checker, to make sure each cartridge has a charge of powder, and that no cartridge has two charges of powder or more. Never get in a hurry when using a progressive press and they are as safe as the single stage, that I started out with over 50 years ago.

The fact that I still use a single stage in reloading all my rifle cartridges, due to the fact that in order to get the most accuracy out of each reloaded round, you should stop and resize all your rounds, clean the primer pockets, and chamfer the case mouths interior as well as the exterior using the proper tool.

Last but not least use an updated reloading manual in order to get the proper bullet, primer, powder, and of course the OAL (Over All Length) that the completed cartridge should be at. Just my two cents.
 

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Great idea. Just starting to learn about reloading. Will be getting a used single stage rockchucker press from a friend. I had been thinking about it for a while, but realized I would have to commit to it as soon as I bought a Super Black Hawk last week. Knowing what 44 special and magnum ammo cost, I know it is just a gateway into 357/38, and then the rifle calibers too. I will initially just concentrate on 44 special until I build proficiency. Lucky to have a neighbor that is already into it.
 
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