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Hey guys! I have decided that reloading might earnestly be a good idea at this time as I am currently shooting a number of pricey cartridges. Mainly, I have ordered one of the new Bisleys in .480 Ruger and reloading makes a heap of sense for this cartridge. On top of that, I want to reload .454 Casull, .44 Magnum, and possibly .45 Colt. I have a RCBS Rock Chucker, and want to stick to single stage as these cartridges are too high output for me to be willing to risk a mistake. Especially considering I've never done it before. So school me! What do you guys recommend for brass, primers, powder, bullets, dies, and reloading manuals for these cartridges? Any advice is most appreciated! Also, any good accuracy target loads that you guys like to shoot would be great. I'm not a hunter, but love shooting some big bore bad boy handguns :)
 

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ABCs of reloading, Lee 2nd Edition and Lymans are all good. Read a manual and all the rest will come to you. I don't mean to sound cocky, but you really should have a good manual or two before you start. Single stage is the way to start, I'll give you credit for that. Welcome to reloading and be safe.
 

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Welcome to the world of reloading. First, start collecting brass. Brass is the most expensive component in reloading. Pistol brass tends to last longer than rifle brass.
RCBS Rock Chucked is a good choice.
As for dies, you can't go wrong with RCBS dies. I would suggest that whatever brand you choose, you stick with. I say that as it is easier to maintain them if you only have to support one brand. When buying dies for reloading pistol ammo get ones that have carbide inserts in the resizing die. This will save you the trouble of luring your cases.
The first thing to get is one or more reloading books. Read them before you start.
Most if not all of the cartridges you will be reloading will require large pistol magnum primers. I recommend you get Federal brand. It is the brand I have used for over 35 years.
When it comes to powder, you first have to decide what kind of bullets you will be using. Once you select the type of bullets, reference the reloading manuals for powder choices. Select the powders the books recommend.
Ask yourself what type or reloads you want. Will they be cast bullets or jackets bullets?
You will need accessories such as powder funnel, scale, calipers and powder dispenser, case priming tool.
I have been using an RCBS 10 10 scale and found it to be reliable. I use Lee powder measure scoops. They are cheap and work well. I use the Lee case primer tool, I find it works well.
While these are my recommendations, ask people you know what equipment they use to reload and see if you can watch them reload. I caution that some people don't practice safe reloading procedures. I teach reloading to my local club members and find it works well. Don't be afraid to visit your local gun store. The owner maybe able to steer you in the right direction. Good luck.
 

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I'm not sure I would load with loading data I got from someone on the internet.
I take your point. But, I'm the cautious sort. Most info I get off a forum is double checked before I do anything. Even on my non-dangerous hobbies like guitar playing. Recommend strings and I'll ask some folks around about them. If they agree, I try 'em. If not, I ignore the advice. But forums are usually good starting points. I think everyone here has recommended a loading book and that's where I'll want to start. Good, reliable reference.
 

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Lyman’s 49th edition is the most recommended reloading manual. Buy it and read the section on how to reload handgun cartridges. Then look in the data section and determine which load(s) will meet your requirements, for powder and bullet availability. It’s a good idea to compare load data in several manuals. All of the major manufactures make good bullets, just try a few to see what works best in your guns. RCBS makes great equipment and it wouldn’t hurt to stick with them for all your needs. Good luck and welcome aboard.
 

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GONRA suggests:

Purchase a ROBUST PRESS, perhaps LARGER than you believe you really need.
Cannot over emphasize how nice it is to have excess rigidity
to get uniform resizing for necked cases.
Yup, costs more $$$ but its worth it. This is NOT a cheap hobby.....

Resizing lube probably is just repackaged die lube, great stuff but …..
You can cheep out on this - STP Oil Treatment makes a great (probably the best) resizing lube.

Particularly for semiautos, get a case check gauge to checkout your
resized cases and ultimate product.

Contact popular powder manufacturers for free hard copy load data pamphlets.
(Hope they still supply these?)
Some commercial load manuals/books just regurgitate other data -
don't edit out bad stuff.
Try to check load data from 2 different sources.

Hate to say it, but Reloading does NOT fit well in this Modern World -
you CANNOT "multitask".
Make sure the wife, 3 kids, 2 cats and one hamster are all in slumberland
so you can give it your undivided attention. TV off too.

WEIGH all powder charges.
Oldsters like me use the beam scale PAN on an electronic scale.
Transfer pan back to beam scale to verify/touchup.

Can be handy, REAL HANDY to hava small machine shop hobby to back all this up.....

Be careful, don't be a +P+ Red Blooded American Handloader and blow yer head off!
 

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Resizing lube probably is just repackaged die lube, great stuff but …..
You can cheep out on this - STP Oil Treatment makes a great (probably the best) resizing lube.
Spend $10 bucks more and get carbide dies, no need for case lube at all on pistol cases. No muss, no fuss.
 

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Welcome to the world of reloading. First, start collecting brass. Brass is the most expensive component in reloading. Pistol brass tends to last longer than rifle brass.
RCBS Rock Chucked is a good choice.
As for dies, you can't go wrong with RCBS dies. I would suggest that whatever brand you choose, you stick with. I say that as it is easier to maintain them if you only have to support one brand. When buying dies for reloading pistol ammo get ones that have carbide inserts in the resizing die. This will save you the trouble of luring your cases.
The first thing to get is one or more reloading books. Read them before you start.
Most if not all of the cartridges you will be reloading will require large pistol magnum primers. I recommend you get Federal brand. It is the brand I have used for over 35 years.
When it comes to powder, you first have to decide what kind of bullets you will be using. Once you select the type of bullets, reference the reloading manuals for powder choices. Select the powders the books recommend.
Ask yourself what type or reloads you want. Will they be cast bullets or jackets bullets?
You will need accessories such as powder funnel, scale, calipers and powder dispenser, case priming tool.
I have been using an RCBS 10 10 scale and found it to be reliable. I use Lee powder measure scoops. They are cheap and work well. I use the Lee case primer tool, I find it works well.
While these are my recommendations, ask people you know what equipment they use to reload and see if you can watch them reload. I caution that some people don't practice safe reloading procedures. I teach reloading to my local club members and find it works well. Don't be afraid to visit your local gun store. The owner maybe able to steer you in the right direction. Good luck.
Pretty much 100% agree.

Unless you get really anal about long range accuracy the brand of primer you use won't make enough difference to worry about. I'm use CCI mostly but I also got a bunch of OLD Remingtons and such from my late father-in-law and they all went BANG.

Settle on a common powder and buy in bulk.

I agree with using RCBS.

Don't buy used dies unless you KNOW their history.

Decide early: Do I like reloading or do I like shooting;

A few tips:
1) I store my powder and primers in a locker. I only allow ONE POWDER and ONE PRIMER TYPE on my loading BENCH at a time.
2) I use the cardboard/foam boxes from Midway. They hold up well and they're priced very well. I label each one with load and date.
3) I use a magic marker to mark my cases; sometimes just the head and secondary marks around the case mouth to keep loads straight at the range. These colors are on the box (above) they came from. It also works to tell who owns which cases.

Case vibrators are all pretty much equal, IMHO. Try to find one with a on/off switch. I use the walnut shells. The liquid polish you can add does seem to work to make prettier cases but they don't shoot any different.

Clean your cases before you size & de-prime. I like working with clean material. It will save your carbide and picking that walnut shells out of the primer holes is a PITA.
 

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OP, moakes58 has addressed this before in several threads in the reloading section, it makes for some good reading and it does help you with what you need.

go check it out
 

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As has been stated by others, we cannot state strongly enough for you to buy this book before you buy anything else.

http://www.amazon.com/Lyman-49th-Edition-Reloading-Handbook/dp/B001MYEU0E

Once you have read all of the text chapters in this book you will need to read them again. After your second time through this book go back and read it again just to make sure you didn't miss anything. After doing all of this not only will you know how to reload but you will also know why you are doing each step.

Dan
 

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I own a ton of RCBS equipment and for the most part it has been great stuff. These days RCBS is owned by ATK a huge defense contractor that also owns Federal and Ramline. Customer Service from ATK is not what RCBS used to be. I won't bore you with details but you have been alerted that should you need CS from ATK/RCBS it may not be top line.
 

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All good advice

The folks here are giving you some good tips. I would condense them into about five .
1. get at least two manuals A Lyman is always great, as are the ones put out by the bullet companies.
2. If you are going to load straight walled pistol cases, pay the extra $ and get the carbide dies (you'll never regret it.)
3.With the calibers you mentioned, range brass isn't likely. Starline can help.
Brass prep is essential, even with new brass, Lee has some effective, simple case trimmers and de burring tools for low budgets that are great for beginners. A vernier caliper is also essential for measuring case length, cartridge length, bullet diameter,etc,etc.
4. A good powder scale is an absolute must. Again, this where you don't want to skip on $. I have an Ohaus 10-10 scale I bought in 1972 that is still the most accurate one I own, it cost me $40 then(about $140 now), but I am glad now of that decision.
5. Read the manuals before you buy any equipment. Get a feel for what's involved. Reloading bottle necked rifle cases is an entirely different animal.
Revolver cases are the most straight forward and forgiving.

Good luck and have fun
 

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Another option of course, is find a local "mentor" that will teach you the ropes. I've taught many folks to reload here in North/South Carolina. Other than that, what folks are recommending is the best way to go. Start with Lyman 49th Edition, and then go from there.
 

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FWIW, use a rotating tumbler. I bought the vibrating one first and after using the rotating one with the steel media, water and dishwashing liquid, I won't go back.
No need to mess with primer hole cleaning and even the inside of the brass is clean.
 

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Buy a good powder measure and LEARN to use it properly. There is absolutely no need to weigh each and every charge, although many seem to tell people it's a must
 

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grandpabear hit it right on the head.

Get a reloading manual or three & read them.
Lyman's, ABCs of Reloading, Lee's Modern Reloading.

Dies - depends on how much you wanna spend.
Decent - Lee dies
Kinda expensive - RCBS, Redding, Dillon
I have had all of the above & really see no difference, now all my sets are Lee.

Brass - If you have to buy it, might as well get some good stuff - Starline is highly thought of.

Primers - CCI is my favorite, but they pretty much all go bang.

Bullets - that depends.
Do you want jacketed (the most expensive), or plated, or plain lead (cheapest).
Jacketed - Hornady, and then get the Hornady manual.
or Sierra & get the Sierra manual

Plated - Berry's or Xtreme

Lead - Missouri Bullet Co.

Or you may consider casting your own.

Powder - depends on what the manual says.
 
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