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Hey guys,
I have been pondering the thought of doing my own reloads, but i am not sure what all i need to begin. I know some of you guys are experienced reloaders and am wondering if you guys could impart some of your wisdom to a beginner. What all do I need to begin, where can i get the supplies and equipment, and is it a worth while thing to start doing?
Thanks guys,
 

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Much depends on what you want to reload. Either pistol or rifle ammunition.
Which will you be focusing on?
 

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Definitely worth it if you shoot a bunch. What are you reloading? Handgun? Rifle? Get a good reloading manual first and foremost. Read and study first. See if you can hook up with someone who already reloads to show you the ropes.
I started with the Lee Anniversary kit and still use most of that same gear. I did change scales to a RCBS 505. I think it's easier to use than the standard Lee scale. A set of dies, a couple of reloading trays, calipers, powder, primers, brass, and bullets and you'll be on your way.
Safety is of the upmost importance. Study, read, watch videos and you will find reloading very rewarding and enjoyable. Good luck!
 

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I started back in May with the Hornady lock & load classic kit. Over 4,000 rounds later, I am still very pleased. As stated before, safety first. A good reloading manual is a must read. Also document loads for later reference!

The only issue that I have is that I've saved so much $ reloading .357, 45 colt, and 45acp, that I shoot more and wipe out the money saved. Not a bad problem to have, I suppose!!
 

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I started back in May with the Hornady lock & load classic kit. Over 4,000 rounds later, I am still very pleased. As stated before, safety first. A good reloading manual is a must read. Also document loads for later reference!

The only issue that I have is that I've saved so much $ reloading .357, 45 colt, and 45acp, that I shoot more and wipe out the money saved. Not a bad problem to have, I suppose!!
Good equipment to start with...,.

Thewelshm
 

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I was in the same boat before I took the plunge.
Quantity, number of calibers and spare time will determine if its worth your while.
Customizing loads far outweighs the savings you might expect to gain by reloading.
Caution.....once you get going it can be very addictive :D
 

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Definitely worth it if you shoot a bunch. What are you reloading? Handgun? Rifle? Get a good reloading manual first and foremost. Read and study first. See if you can hook up with someone who already reloads to show you the ropes.
I started with the Lee Anniversary kit and still use most of that same gear. I did change scales to a RCBS 505. I think it's easier to use than the standard Lee scale. A set of dies, a couple of reloading trays, calipers, powder, primers, brass, and bullets and you'll be on your way.
Safety is of the upmost importance. Study, read, watch videos and you will find reloading very rewarding and enjoyable. Good luck!
I'd venture to say yes.....
 

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I would be reloading my rifle- 30-06. :)
Getting a start up 'kit' from Midway or such is still a good way to start. You'll want to upgrade the pieces as you go along and get a better understanding of what each piece does. Sometimes you can shop around and pick up used pieces.

Do not buy used die sets! Usually they're worn out or scratched up, just not the savings you think.

If you don't have the cash to buy the kit right off, just pick up a reloading book like the one by Speer and read it. Don't put too much stock in Youtube videos.

If you can, reload some straight walled handgun cases (38, 45, etc) first. They're much easier because they don't have a shoulder to be concerned with like your 30-06 cases have.

I would start with used brass because there's a good chance you'll screw up a bunch of them at first. Load a bunch w/o primers or powder. Your mistakes will be cheaper. You can reclaim the bullets.

As regular tumbler style brass cleaner will work just fine. Buy a bullet puller; $15, looks like a hammer.

You will need a set of calipers, digital if you need it, but dial is just as accurate. Get what works for you because you'll use it quite a bit and at every step of the reloading process. I could almost make a case for two.

As far as which brand of gear to use; everybody will tell you what they use is the best so I'll go first: RCBS is what I've used and I've never been disappointed. There are others suited for high-end match grade work but I think RCBS is solid tools. I have been disappointed by Lee on multiple occasions.

Set your bench up with good lighting. Keep powder and primers DRY.

If/when you go with a digital scale; keep it a room temp and on it's own table. Vibration from the press or powder dispenser will bother it. Use it's battery power as overhead lights will bother it if you use the cord.

Don't DRINK and reload.

Some keep a diary of their reloads. I mark my boxes and my cases. For example, when I reload 5.56NATO, I use a perm marker to mark the case heads; red is 55g and green is 62g. I also mark the bottom of my mags with the same colors so even if the mag is loaded I know what's in it.

WHen I'm actively loading, the ONLY powder and primers that are on my bench are the ones I'm using at that time. ALL OTHERS are in the locker. No mistakes.

Have fun!
 

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I started reloading in '62 and have been at ever since. I find it enjoyable to "work up" a load for a particular gun,one that is accurate and achieves the velocity I want with the bullet of my choosing.
Welshman made a good point,get good equipment, Zaster also made a valid warning "it can be very addictive".

First I would suggest a or a couple of manuals Lyman #49 and the ABCs of Handloading, these will guide you to the basic equipment necessities on up to the more advanced needs as well as describing the process.

Have fun and Be SAFE!!
 

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Be on the look out for clubs and gun associations. They will sometimes do classes on reloading. For example, in Virginia the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) holds classes throughout the state. There might be something like that in Georgia.

I like the RCSB Rock Chucker . It's a good kit to begin with. Shop around for the best prices. I also like the Lee die sets.
 

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The ABC's of reloading was very helpful fro me when I started. I still stick to the manuals nothing fancy for me. Just my 2 cents.
 

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My 2 cents: if and whenever possible, bite the bullet [pun intended] and get the "better" quality equipment. This does not necessarily mean the most expensive and 1,000 people will give you 1,000 different answers which equipment is "better" than the other. The first clue as to why someone believes the Lee equipment, for example, is "better" then the Hornady equipment is [more often then not] because the one offering the opinion owns Lee.

Here is what I've learned: I've narrowed a purchase for, let's say a press, down to two (2) choices. One press appears to be better built with mostly metal parts. Because the other press has more plastic parts, it is inherently less expensive. The "better" press is $400; the other $300. I go with the less expensive. Shortly thereafter, after spending $100 in replacement parts, my savings is gone; however, my frustration has escalated. Therefore, I now go and buy the $400 press. In effect, getting a press has cost me $800 and countless downtime waiting for replacement parts. Cheap is cheap.

Now, a more direct answer to your question. If ALL you intend to load is 30-06, I'd be inclined to go with a single-stage press. The single-stage gives you better control over seating the bullet and more importantly, powder weights. With a single-stage you will not have a powder drop (which will have slight variations in weight) which will ultimately have an adverse affect on accuracy.

On the other hand, if you think you might progress to handgun calibers [which I highly recomend], you may want to start with a progressive press. This will allow you to "mass produce" more handgun ammo with less critical tolerances. The up side, you have the flexibility to use the progressive as a single-stage - thus getting "two presses for the price of one".

Many, many things to consider; but I highly recommend getting into reloading. IMO, doing so makes one a better marksman. Good luck.
 

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I have been reloading since 1977. I teach reloading to members in my club. Most of what was told in early posts is good advice. I would add the following:
I would look at getting a turret press. I use a RCBS Turret press. It saves a lot of time, you don't have to change dies. If you do look at a turret press, I would look at one that does not auto index (that means you have to manually go from one station to the next.
I have tried several different scales both balance beem and electronic. My preference is the RCBS 10 10. It is easy to set up and is very accurate. It is very quick in settling down.
Whatever brand of dies you start with once you settle in with, stay with.
Pick a powder funnel that does notr
have problems with powders sticking its side. The same holds true for powder measures. To cure any sticking issues, wipe the surfaces with a dryer sheet.
Procedurally, read any the books recommended in earlier posts.
Get a good caliper. I prefer a dial caliper, but digital ones are also good.
Never reload when you are not fully functional. No eating or drinking while reloading. No outside distractions. Take your time. Follow the reloading manual loads and start with minimum loads and work up from there. Have a quiet place with plenty of light. I built my reloading table, there are plenty of choices, try not to use the kitchen table.
If you ever get into reloading handgun ammo get carbide dies. They cost more but eliminate the hassle of living your brass.
Speaking of lubbing cases, I use a paste lube from Hornady. I use my fingers and industrial Q tips to lube inside the case neck.
If you know someone that reloads, ask that person to mentor you.
Be safe and have fun.
 

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My 2 cents: if and whenever possible, bite the bullet [pun intended] and get the "better" quality equipment. This does not necessarily mean the most expensive and 1,000 people will give you 1,000 different answers which equipment is "better" than the other. The first clue as to why someone believes the Lee equipment, for example, is "better" then the Hornady equipment is [more often then not] because the one offering the opinion owns Lee.

Here is what I've learned: I've narrowed a purchase for, let's say a press, down to two (2) choices. One press appears to be better built with mostly metal parts. Because the other press has more plastic parts, it is inherently less expensive. The "better" press is $400; the other $300. I go with the less expensive. Shortly thereafter, after spending $100 in replacement parts, my savings is gone; however, my frustration has escalated. Therefore, I now go and buy the $400 press. In effect, getting a press has cost me $800 and countless downtime waiting for replacement parts. Cheap is cheap.

Now, a more direct answer to your question. If ALL you intend to load is 30-06, I'd be inclined to go with a single-stage press. The single-stage gives you better control over seating the bullet and more importantly, powder weights. With a single-stage you will not have a powder drop (which will have slight variations in weight) which will ultimately have an adverse affect on accuracy.

On the other hand, if you think you might progress to handgun calibers [which I highly recomend], you may want to start with a progressive press. This will allow you to "mass produce" more handgun ammo with less critical tolerances. The up side, you have the flexibility to use the progressive as a single-stage - thus getting "two presses for the price of one".

Many, many things to consider; but I highly recommend getting into reloading. IMO, doing so makes one a better marksman. Good luck.
I did it backwards learned on a Hornady LNL progressive but also have a RCBS jR3

Best of both worlds :)

Thewelshm
 

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Getting a start up 'kit' from Midway or such is still a good way to start. You'll want to upgrade the pieces as you go along and get a better understanding of what each piece does. Sometimes you can shop around and pick up used pieces.

Do not buy used die sets! Usually they're worn out or scratched up, just not the savings you think.

If you don't have the cash to buy the kit right off, just pick up a reloading book like the one by Speer and read it. Don't put too much stock in Youtube videos.

If you can, reload some straight walled handgun cases (38, 45, etc) first. They're much easier because they don't have a shoulder to be concerned with like your 30-06 cases have.

I would start with used brass because there's a good chance you'll screw up a bunch of them at first. Load a bunch w/o primers or powder. Your mistakes will be cheaper. You can reclaim the bullets.

As regular tumbler style brass cleaner will work just fine. Buy a bullet puller; $15, looks like a hammer.

You will need a set of calipers, digital if you need it, but dial is just as accurate. Get what works for you because you'll use it quite a bit and at every step of the reloading process. I could almost make a case for two.

As far as which brand of gear to use; everybody will tell you what they use is the best so I'll go first: RCBS is what I've used and I've never been disappointed. There are others suited for high-end match grade work but I think RCBS is solid tools. I have been disappointed by Lee on multiple occasions.

Set your bench up with good lighting. Keep powder and primers DRY.

If/when you go with a digital scale; keep it a room temp and on it's own table. Vibration from the press or powder dispenser will bother it. Use it's battery power as overhead lights will bother it if you use the cord.

Don't DRINK and reload.

Some keep a diary of their reloads. I mark my boxes and my cases. For example, when I reload 5.56NATO, I use a perm marker to mark the case heads; red is 55g and green is 62g. I also mark the bottom of my mags with the same colors so even if the mag is loaded I know what's in it.

WHen I'm actively loading, the ONLY powder and primers that are on my bench are the ones I'm using at that time. ALL OTHERS are in the locker. No mistakes.

Have fun!
All great advice!
 
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