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I started out reloading back when there was the first "Obama scare", primarily as a way to have ammo when it could not be purchased. Once I realized I could, then the chief benefit for me was producing tailored loads, specifically reduced loads (I've become quite knowledgeable about that niche) as I have gotten more recoil intolerant over the years.

There is so much to reloading - while I would not discount what others have said, another approach would be to start small. In the end, presses and reloading tools become like potato chips -- and you will in all likelihood develop your own ideas about what you want to get out of reloading, and as this changes over time, you may find you have items you don't need -- a pain to store and sold for pennies on the dollar.

So two recommendations to you: I strongly endorse the suggestion to buy used. Ebay is a great place. Craigslist too, as folks unload. Bulletin boards are up at some shooting ranges.

My second suggestion is to purchase Lee Loaders for your first couple of calibers while you devour every data source on which you get your hands. I have copies of multiple loading manuals, and I happen to be a big fan of AmmoGuide.com ($16.00/year subscription - far more data than any other single source). I'm also a big fan of the vendors' load online load data where offered - all the major powder suppliers have load data for their powder, and most of the bullet makers have load data for their bullets.

The Lee Loader used to be made for many calibers, and they are still made for the major calibers. I see these all the time en eBay. They are a self-contained loading system, that instead of a mounted press, depends on a hammer - pretty clever.

I submit all this discussion about volume reloading is "non-applicable" while one is learning, and there is a fairly steep learning curve -- with great joy in store for the many "ah-ha" moments as various aspects of reloading suddenly become clear and/or real.

I too succumbed to the logic of a multistage press, and it sat for years unused until I was confident enough to understand the intersection of what I wanted and what I could set the press to produce.

As time has passed, and we're talking a decade now, I have a collection of Lee Loaders, a Lee Hand Press, a Buchanan Precision Machine hand press, a Forster CO-AX press, and a Lee Load Master five station press with bullet feeder, case-actuated powder feed, case feeder, LED lighting, and so on.

As with many things in life, reloading depends greatly on the care taken in preparation - as one poster said, getting fired brass ready to reload can be more involved than priming, resizing, loading powder and bullet.

Reloading lends itself to those who enjoy tinkering. I have yet to get to a point where I want to leave well enough alone. Getting a progressive press dialed in is a challenge, and because of mechanical drift, settling powder, etc, keeping it there is a non-trivial exercise.

The Lee Loaders remove much of the complexity of reloading and so can be a good place to start with small investment.

Good luck, be safe, go slow, have fun, be wel.
 

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I do check my .30-06 with a paper clip after each firing to insure that the case walls are not thinning.
That's a good routine to have, unfortunately most don't do it . I've never had a case separate but I've helped guys get em out, all I can say about that is............Fun times. It's not a road you want to go down.
 

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Take this with a grain of salt. Lee has a “cheap” starter kit that I started out with. I’ve reloaded 1000’s of rnds .40s&w on the starter kit. Not talking smack on lee products. But you will start out with their kit then you will upgrade. The reason their fine starter kit is so “frugally priced” is cause its frugally built. A touch janky a touch sloppy but will produce quality rounds. Hornady’s starter kit is better but you get what you pay for. Keep at it and you will upgrade. Red, red, green, blue, orange. One piece of advice is stay with the round wheel dont buy gimmicks. If they reinvent the wheel its probably a square wheel!
 

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I see you are planning to load .357 and 9mm. My biggest recommendation is to skip the single stage press and opt instead for a 4 position turret press. I would recommend a Lee. I often see it being recommended that a new comer should start with a single stage until they learn what they're doing. I personally find it much safer than a single stage. You start with an empty case and after 4 throws of the handle you have a loaded round. Not much chance of accidentally going back and putting a double charge in an already charged case. I shoot as often as I can and cannot imagine trying do all that on a single stage. My Lee turret press will crank out about 180 rounds an hour without pushing it. You can feel what's gong on with each throw of the handle. If you really want a single stage just remove the spindle and the turret becomes a single stage. Also I feel that a digital scale is fine but not as your primary scale. I would recommend a balance beam scale. I've been using the same Lyman for years without issue. Use the 4 die carbide dies (again I recommend lee) and you won't have to deal with lubing your straight wall pistol cases.
I've been reload since 1964, I don't shoot a lot perhaps in mixed calibers 1500-3000 rds per year, I'm still using the original RCBS setup. Never did see the need to get into a big hurry. To me 1/2 the fun is experimenting with different loads. ☺
 

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The real cost to consider is not what it costs to get started but what it costs in the long run. I started in 1973 with a Lyman single stage C press, a set of Lee powder dippers and dies for .30 carbine. I now have 2 RCBS Rock Chuckers, a Dillon 550B, Dillon power case trimmer, Dillon Primer swager tool, Bench Source case annealer, 4 tumblers, 20 + sets of dies with toolheads, all sorts of case check gauges, a coupe of scales, various powder measures, a large supply of components and a 12' x 20' workshop building to keep the stuff in.

As to to cost per round... yes it is probably cheaper to hand load most calibers. But you will tend to shoot a lot more when you hand load.

But it is a GREAT and satisfying honny!

Ken
 

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i digressed
starter kits:
Lee best bang for the buck
Hornady more$ but better quality
Rcbs,Lyman and dillon high priced but high quality more $
If you stick with it you will upgrade from starters and have all the colors of the rainbow.
 

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I apologize if the info can be found in another thread somewhere. I checked and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, and I am looking for basic yet specific answers while saving time. I just have 3 questions regarding the approximate cost and items required to start reloading.

I know the 5 stage systems can run a lot. But if I decided to get a Lee single stage press (I watched a quick video demo on) or similar single stage press. My questions are:

1) Assuming that I could get most of my brass myself, what would be the approximate end cost if I wanted to reload my first 1000 rounds of 357 mag and 9mm with just a single stage setup in my shop? (Ex: $300 - $450)

2) Without getting into anything fancy, would the supply list be: The single stage press itself, a die for each of the 2 rounds, bullets (let's say basic FMJ for simplicity's sake), smokeless powder, a digital scale, measuring scoops, primers, brass, and reloading manual? Or is there more required than that to start out?

3) Is all of the info you need to learn as far as measurements and pressures for safe and proper reloading found in a specific manual? I often hear Hornady reloading manual referenced a lot.

Thanks in advance and again I apologize if missed the answer when scanning over thread conversations between folks experienced with reloading. Also sorry for such a newbie question, but I want to have the basics understood so that I can make an educated decision on if this is an investment I want to make soon. The only personal source I have is a friend who bought an expensive 5 stage setup. Hope everyone is staying safe out there!
 

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I apologize if the info can be found in another thread somewhere. I checked and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, and I am looking for basic yet specific answers while saving time. I just have 3 questions regarding the approximate cost and items required to start reloading.

I know the 5 stage systems can run a lot. But if I decided to get a Lee single stage press (I watched a quick video demo on) or similar single stage press. My questions are:

1) Assuming that I could get most of my brass myself, what would be the approximate end cost if I wanted to reload my first 1000 rounds of 357 mag and 9mm with just a single stage setup in my shop? (Ex: $300 - $450)

2) Without getting into anything fancy, would the supply list be: The single stage press itself, a die for each of the 2 rounds, bullets (let's say basic FMJ for simplicity's sake), smokeless powder, a digital scale, measuring scoops, primers, brass, and reloading manual? Or is there more required than that to start out?

3) Is all of the info you need to learn as far as measurements and pressures for safe and proper reloading found in a specific manual? I often hear Hornady reloading manual referenced a lot.

Thanks in advance and again I apologize if missed the answer when scanning over thread conversations between folks experienced with reloading. Also sorry for such a newbie question, but I want to have the basics understood so that I can make an educated decision on if this is an investment I want to make soon. The only personal source I have is a friend who bought an expensive 5 stage setup. Hope everyone is staying safe out there!
Hodgdon online loading carries info for all the cartridges.
Brass lasts a long time, if you load at only 80-85 percent og full charge your brass life will increase
Neither man nor beast can tell a full power from a 80 percent load when hit.
Reloading to save money is a myth
Reload to always have ammo when you need it
Store ammo, powder & primers in a cool dry place, your grandkids will be able to use them
Get to know people at your local gun store, reason being they can introduce you to a reloader
who might be interested in helping a greenhorn pick up the many small does and don'ts. If you are lucky enough to find someone, ask few questions and keep your eyes open. Reloaders don't like company when loading ammo reason being they are about two steps ahead of what they are doing and talking can break their train of thought
A 1000 rounds of 357? You are going to go to war?☺
Don't waste time on range brass, brass at the end of it's life can be spotted with a naked eye
Good luck it's a great hobby
 

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I apologize if the info can be found in another thread somewhere. I checked and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, and I am looking for basic yet specific answers while saving time. I just have 3 questions regarding the approximate cost and items required to start reloading.

I know the 5 stage systems can run a lot. But if I decided to get a Lee single stage press (I watched a quick video demo on) or similar single stage press. My questions are:

1) Assuming that I could get most of my brass myself, what would be the approximate end cost if I wanted to reload my first 1000 rounds of 357 mag and 9mm with just a single stage setup in my shop? (Ex: $300 - $450)

2) Without getting into anything fancy, would the supply list be: The single stage press itself, a die for each of the 2 rounds, bullets (let's say basic FMJ for simplicity's sake), smokeless powder, a digital scale, measuring scoops, primers, brass, and reloading manual? Or is there more required than that to start out?

3) Is all of the info you need to learn as far as measurements and pressures for safe and proper reloading found in a specific manual? I often hear Hornady reloading manual referenced a lot.

Thanks in advance and again I apologize if missed the answer when scanning over thread conversations between folks experienced with reloading. Also sorry for such a newbie question, but I want to have the basics understood so that I can make an educated decision on if this is an investment I want to make soon. The only personal source I have is a friend who bought an expensive 5 stage setup. Hope everyone is staying safe out there!
I have been loading for over 50 years and have loaded everything from antique black powder loads to the very latest long range loads. I would recommend that you start with a rcbs rock chucker press. single stage. forget the measuring scoops and get a nice powder scale. I would recommend a lyman 55 or rcbs powder measure. All of these things will help you as you learn and progress to a multi station press. Get together with an experienced reloader. There some pitfalls that you can learn from them and save you time and money. I have several Dillon 550's and 650's and I still load on my rock chucker for the short batch 10 rd, test loads. Once you fully understand the loading process, then move on to a Dillon set up. I have seen new reloaders run 4oo rounds on a progressive and forget to refill the powder measure or primer tube and have to pull those rounds just to make sure they were safe. The real beauty of reloading you can taylor your loads for your handgun or rifle and get the most accuracy out of them. And save money. The basic startup set up will cost you around $250. If you can get to some gun shows you can but used equipment for much less than retail but take your experienced friend with you to help select the good stuff. good luck TEMO1017
 

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Here's a suggested list of minimum required equipment:
1) Die set for each cartridge
2) Press
3) Shell holder for each cartridge, if not included with die set
4) Caliper, to measure length of completed cartridge to set correct bullet seating depth
5) Powder scale, either balance beam or digital
6) Powder funnel
7) Case lube (for bottleneck cartridges or if you don't get carbide dies for straight wall cartridges)
8) Loading block to hold cases
9) Powder measure of some sort
10) Reloading manuals

Optional
11) Scale calibration weights
12) Case trimming tools (usually not required for straight wall cases)
13) Priming tool, if you don't want to prime on the press
A good list...I would add:

A bullet puller
Soft brush (it is messy after all)
Empty coffee buckets with the lids (to keep empty shells)
Tumbler and media (to clean used shells)
 

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i digress again.
Manuals and data, get your dirty reloading grubby’s on as many as you can. Never consider one the “bible”. Powder manufactures, bullet manufacturers, all reloading materials that are in some sort of print. Read them all! Take in all. Start small and overtime weed out what is repetitive and what is just salesmanship or forum opinions. Too much is too good.
Lee’s 2nd ed. and Hodgson/ IMR/ Winchester data go hand in hand. Hornady’s 10th follows their bullets. Nosler, sierra, speer. Same.
All of the afore mentioned have excellent reloading techniques. All differ a bit but once again read read read then weed weed weed
 

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when I started reloading I started with a Lee Classic Turret press kit. I came with every thing I need to start reloading 38spl. I bought a couple of books and read the reloading portion of the book and then looked a the reloading data section of the book. I suggest you look at the Lee Precision web site and look at some the there videos also look up Lee reloading video on face book. I have been reloading for a long time and I am still using the same press. I have added some do dats to it and some upgrades. I really think up get more for your money from Lee products
 

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i digress again.
Manuals and data, get your dirty reloading grubby’s on as many as you can. Never consider one the “bible”. Powder manufactures, bullet manufacturers, all reloading materials that are in some sort of print. Read them all! Take in all. Start small and overtime weed out what is repetitive and what is just salesmanship or forum opinions. Too much is too good.
Lee’s 2nd ed. and Hodgson/ IMR/ Winchester data go hand in hand. Hornady’s 10th follows their bullets. Nosler, sierra, speer. Same.
All of the afore mentioned have excellent reloading techniques. All differ a bit but once again read read read then weed weed weed
I’m going to disagree with the majority of this post.

First, for someone new......keep it simple. You don’t meet to get your mitts on every book out there. Reloading isn’t rocket science. Loading for a pistol is, (IMO) pretty straight forward. Multiple books come into play for the specific bullet you’re loading for, (Hornady, Sierra, Speer, etc). If you stick with bullet specific manuals and use THEIR data you will NEVER have a problem......if you’re new and mix and match, you may or may not have things go wrong.

Please explain how someone new to reloading can read, read, read and then weed, weed, weed? The idea is not to confuse or overwhelm the new guy with slight variations in the process that may exist from one book to the next. If it’s in print from a reputable company......it’s safe, there’s zero need to “weed” anything.
 

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ive been reloading since the mid 80’s a kid. Ive read through so many manuals and versions and have came to the conclusion that all of em are different in they’re own way. Start loads. Never exceed loads. Educate your self. Never conclude one source is gospel. When you “know” you dont know poopie read some more. If you read something about reloading take it in keep it or expel it. I dont think that im out in left field.
 

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Exactly my point. read all of this thread. Read many more like it. All of it. Take in everything till your head spins and your eyes cross. Everything all of us have replied with is either bs or all of it is learning. From the first reply to the last. It sucks i know you ask a question and get a myriad of answers. Read, weed, learn.
 

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If you get something like the Lee Classic Turret kit you pretty much need to just add a set of dies, primers and powder. I would get a set of calipers too as well as something to clean brass. Then start with your most expensive to buy round, probably your .357. You don't save that much on 9mm. I did load some .223 but it was a pain in the neck. I shoot steel in my AK. The nice thing about revolver is you don't have to pick up your brass. You can save big time on expensive rounds, not so much on cheap rounds. .32ACP is more expensive than 9mm. Why, supply and demand. Not necessarily the best time to get into reloading but once things quiet down stock up big time on supplies. I would recommend that if you are thinking progressive don't buy Lee. Go Dillon.
 

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i digressed
starter kits:
Lee best bang for the buck
Hornady more$ but better quality
Rcbs,Lyman and dillon high priced but high quality more $
If you stick with it you will upgrade from starters and have all the colors of the rainbow.
I purchased an RCBS RS-3 starter kit in 1986, with press, 5-0-5 scale, ram primer, lube pad, loading block, powder funnel, primer tray, and Speer #9 manual. I still use all the hardware, but the Manual #9 is on the archives shelf now. RCBS makes some good stuff.
 

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I apologize if the info can be found in another thread somewhere. I checked and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, and I am looking for basic yet specific answers while saving time. I just have 3 questions regarding the approximate cost and items required to start reloading.

I know the 5 stage systems can run a lot. But if I decided to get a Lee single stage press (I watched a quick video demo on) or similar single stage press. My questions are:

1) Assuming that I could get most of my brass myself, what would be the approximate end cost if I wanted to reload my first 1000 rounds of 357 mag and 9mm with just a single stage setup in my shop? (Ex: $300 - $450)

2) Without getting into anything fancy, would the supply list be: The single stage press itself, a die for each of the 2 rounds, bullets (let's say basic FMJ for simplicity's sake), smokeless powder, a digital scale, measuring scoops, primers, brass, and reloading manual? Or is there more required than that to start out?

3) Is all of the info you need to learn as far as measurements and pressures for safe and proper reloading found in a specific manual? I often hear Hornady reloading manual referenced a lot.

Thanks in advance and again I apologize if missed the answer when scanning over thread conversations between folks experienced with reloading. Also sorry for such a newbie question, but I want to have the basics understood so that I can make an educated decision on if this is an investment I want to make soon. The only personal source I have is a friend who bought an expensive 5 stage setup. Hope everyone is staying safe out there!
How much does it cost???

How much do you HAVE!!!

It’s a vicious cycle of the more I reload.... the more I shoot..... the more I reload.....

Hope the pocket are deep, as it can get ADDICTING!! Good luck! 😜
 

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Reloading was once a money saver, not as much anymore. You can buy off the shelf 9mm for same as what you reload. Myself, I'll capture some caliber such as 45 or 6.5 creedmor.
It depends EVERYTIME on the caliber too.Cost but also time are factors. If you enjoy reloading then it's a hobby, a very risky hobby. I look at reloading as great for 1) lean times (obama era) and 2) custom loads.
 

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Permit me to begin by saying what I have, what $ I have it in and how slow my operation is would not be nearly good enough or fast enough for the vast majority of reloaders.

Though I started out on a SS Baer mounted press in 1973, for over 35 years now I have done all of my reloading on the same Lee hand press . It's the only press that I have. I have just 3 sets of dies now . Overs the years I loaded for several more calibers, both rifle and handgun but now as far as my reloading goes I'm down to just .45 Colt, .44 Mag and .357 mag. Lee 3 die Carbide for the .45 Colt and Hornady Titanium for the other two. I use a Lee primer set. I've used the same Lyman 500 beam scale for over 35 years as well. I weigh each charge . Yes, it's slow but I have no need or desire to speed things up. I have no idea how many rounds that I have cranked out over the years using only the above mentioned equipment for both plinking fun and hunting . Reloading for me is an enjoyable, relaxing hobby and I take pride in the rounds that I make.

$250 would easily replace everything I have now for the 3 calibers . Obviously, components are extra.

Federal Cartridge Company I'm not but my operation fills my needs.
 

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