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Old 08-01-2003, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Oklahoma City
Reloading

So, anyone here reload? Got any tips or tricks? Questions?

Personally I've been reloading for about 10 years now. I find it quite relaxing.

I use an RCBS Rockchucker



One round at a time scenario. Size them all, change dies, bell the case, change dies, prime and seat the bullet.

Someday I would really like to upgrade to one of these guys:



Do it all at once. Every pull gives you a round. No more chaning dies.
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Old 08-01-2003, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I help my friend clean and prime cases, but leave the rest of the work to him.

I can get you the recipe for some awesome .223 rounds if you like...
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Old 08-01-2003, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd be interested in a few of the .223 rounds except one gun will shoot one round completely different than another gun sometimes.
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Old 08-01-2003, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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oooooo.......223, that's what I'm in the process of reloading now. I ran out of powder though. Gotta get some more.
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll get the specifics and post them here...
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
kel
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Location: Ask Acetylene
Been thinking of

loading my own ammunition. Given how it's a hassle finding someone to make it for me cheaply.

I am not interested in putting in a large time committment to making rounds. About how long would you say it takes you to make 500 rounds?

When at the range I usually go through 200 or so rounds in a sitting and only 5 or 6 sillouhettes. After a while I stop caring whether I can see where I hit the sillouhette..
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
I mostly load .45 long colt and .40 s&w, but I am experimenting w/ loading for .270 (If I can't do it well, I will quit).

My favorite load for .40 is: 155 gr. hornady xtp bullets (or speer gold dot) w/ 5.6 gr. of Hodgdon Titegroup w/ an OAL of 1.126 inches.

The titegroup isn't the cleanest, but it fills the cases up nicely and it seems to be very consistent.


Reloading 500 rounds w/ a single stage press can take forever....probably six hours or more if you are anal.

The fancy super duper presses out there can turn out finished bullets as fast as you can pull the lever.

Edit: And if anybody needs a reason to reload, let me give you a couple:

A box of cowboy loads for .45 LC costs about 25 dollars per box of fifty. When I reload I end up paying about 2 dollars per hundred primers, probably about 10 dollars/thousand rounds for powder, and 20 dollars/500 bullets.

Which means I can reload a box of fifty bullets for about $3.50 (big difference).

The same is true (for a lesser extent) to .40. My price per box (when I load lead bullets) drops to about 3.50 as well.

for .270 my total cost for 100 rounds is about $20 (compared to $20/20rounds). And that is loading top of the line hornady ammunition.
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
kel
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Let's talk presses

Prices, models, brands?

How much space do they take up, do they need to be mounted on something?

woowee
[EDIT]
Looked it up, 513 dollars. Lesse... that over the course of a few years would definitely pay for itself. Still a big investment though.
Must get $$ first though...
[/EDIT]
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
I use a lee challenger press (about $50)

It works really well for me, but since it is a single stage press, it is a lot slower than some of the fancier ones out there (but better to learn on). RCBS and Lee are the two main brands, and they are both good. Hornady is also excellent.

I use Hornady tungsten carbide dies (they are much better than normal dies) (about 30 bucks per set)

You will also need a powder measure, a primer pocket cleaner, a camfer tool, a reloading manual, bullets, powder, primers, etc.

You can get a basic reloading kit from lee for 120 dollars and that has just about everything you need to get started.


I live in a small apartment, and I have all my reloading equipment on a desk. It doesn't take up an excessive amount of space.

I would say you should expect to spend about 250 dollars to get a good setup for reloading handgun rounds (that includes enough powder, bullets, and primers for maybe a thousand rounds).

If you do the math, you will probably do more than break even after loading your first thousand. Just remember, reloading is a hobby, and it takes a lot of time.
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
kel
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Time isn't something

I want to spend reloading
I am interested in increasing the number of rounds I have available to me on the same budget. Big investments don't scare me. Even if I am going to spend more on the reloading equipment then I will on the pistol...

I am seriously considering selling my gl-31 and getting another glock chambered in whatever round I can find cheapest. I was thinking 9MM.

Looking at some of the material online makes me think it's really complicated...
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Old 08-01-2003, 10:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nah, it only sounds that way until you get the hang of it. The actual doing is pretty simple, just time consuming (unless you have a multi stage press).

Here's the rundown:
Resize your cases and deprime them (one operation in the press)

Expand the case mouths just enough that they won't shave material off of the bullet when they are loaded (another press operation)

prime your cases, and add powder (you can use a little dipper, or a cheap powder measure)

Load the bullets (the third and final press operation).

If you have a multi stage press, it will do all three of those operations at once, including priming (I think), and charging. Sort of like an assembly line. These are a bit more complicated, but I have heard that they don't take people more than a couple hours to get the hang of.


Check that your bullets (at least the first couple) are within specs for overall length.

The rest is pretty much optional: cleaning your spend cases, camfering new brass (rounds the sharp edge), crimping, etc.

Loading for handguns is, in my opinion, a lot easier than it sounds. I was overwhelmed by the literature as well until one of my friends showed me the process. Loading for rifles is tricky though, you have to worry about a bunch of stuff (like case trimming) that you just don't have to bother with in a pistol.

I think you will find that your reloading costs will be almost identical for 9mm, .40, and .45 (maybe a little more for the .45).
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Old 08-01-2003, 11:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
kel
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Location: Ask Acetylene
Let's start with I know nothing

And move on from there.
I could go with a cheaper press even if it takes me more time. I just won't do 500 rounds in one sitting. 30 minutes every other day would be more then enough to ensure that I have plenty of ammo for my next trip to the range.
So I need to buy
A. http://www.leeprecision.com/catalog/...37=pistol.html

B. A set of dies for .357 sig.
Which dies?


C. I need to buy brass. What brass?

D. I need to buy powder. What powder?

E. I need to buy primer. What primer?
(I don't know what primer is)

D. I need to buy bullets. What bullets?
(My understanding is that .357 sig rounds is really identical to 9mm)

Suggestions on the where to buy would be good also. Local, online etc.

I assume the press comes with a detailed manual.

What are the risks of loading your own ammo? I understand I have to be careful in measuring and following the recipe, but what if say the scale malfunctions, the round is to powerful, and something in my beloved pistol (which I can't really afford to replace) breaks. If I produce ammuntion that doesn't chamber properly.

Horror stuff like:
"It is extremely important to note that due to aftermarket modifications and for certain factory produced semi-auto pistols, some pistols have chamber configurations that do not fully support the chambered cartridge case."
And thus the brass is damaged after each firing...

And they do specifically mention glock

And finally
" Only Lee Dies include the shell holders (except RGB) that is necessary to use your dies on the press."
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Last edited by kel; 08-02-2003 at 12:00 AM..
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Old 08-02-2003, 01:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
A. Looks good to me.

B. I personally have had great luck with hornady dies. They seem to be the best made, and most....convenient.
https://www.hornady.com/cgi-bin/web_....html&cart_id=
For .357 sig you will need to get a specialty die set that sells for 62 dollars. (I dont' know whether you need to worry about case trimming for .357 sig since it is necked down)

C. If you are going to buy new brass, you can't beat Starline brass. It is expensive, but you can reload it over and over and over again.
http://www.starlinebrass.com/
I personally by once fired speer brass off of gunbroker for about $15/1000 rounds. But I shoot .40 s&w mostly and it is readily available.

D. Hodgdon Titegroup powder. It is designed for optimum performance in medium handgun calibers. It isn't the hottest powder out there, but it is damn accurate, and hot enough.

E. Primers: you probably know better, but the primer is the small round thing that in the end of the cartridge. You should probably get CCI small pistol primers. There are a bunch of different kinds, so make sure you get the exact right kind.

F. You should be able to get any 9mm bullets. Make sure you get midweight, jacketed bullets. For simplicity, you should probably just get hornady xtp bullets for your first go around since most reloading manuals give specific data for those.


Answers to Misc.:
" I understand I have to be careful in measuring and following the recipe, but what if say the scale malfunctions, the round is to powerful, and something in my beloved pistol (which I can't really afford to replace) breaks. If I produce ammuntion that doesn't chamber properly."

You don't weigh the powder for every single round. You use the scale to calibrate your powder measure, which measures powder by volume. Also, if you use titegroup powder, it pretty much fills the case up, so it is pretty much impossible to load enough powder to blow up your gun.
If you use the reloading dies, and you get the over all length of your cartridges within specs, your ammo will chamber properly. The dies physically resize the brass to make sure that it fits. You need a pair of calipers to measure the length (reloading manuals tell you what the over all length should be for each type of bullet).

Shell holders run about three dollars and can be picked up at any wall mart or gun store. Or, worst case, ordered from the manufacturer.

You will also need a priming tool, but those are cheap too and will be included in any reloading kit.

I have reloaded lots of brass that has been fired in glocks and I have not had any problems. However, I have not heard that glocks damage the brass.

Here is a list of all my reloading equipment:

Press
Dies (for .45 long colt and .40 s&w) (and .270)
Calipers (to measure OAL)
Shell holders for each caliber
Scale
Powder measure/dispenser
Priming tool
Primer pocket cleaner
camfer tool

bullets (several kinds, even super cheap lead ones)
powder
primers
cheap once fired brass

tumbler for polishing brass (since I am anal)
tumbler media

case lube (not needed w/ carbide dies)

Everything but the .40 and .270 dies were made by lee.

I hope this is helpfull, I certainly dont' want to give bad advice.
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
kel
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Location: Ask Acetylene
*groan* ;-)

140 for the kit
75 for the dies
120 initial layout for brass (although that should last a longtime)
1,000 brass @ 10 reloads a brass is 10,000 rounds, or about 2 years of heavy heavy shooting...

Couldn't price powder, but that seems like it would be around 30 dollars.

40 dollars for 2000 pistol primers
50 dollars for 2000 rounds + shipping... which would be almost as much as the rounds.

cool beans!
Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2003, 10:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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This sounds like fun. Whenever I get a firearm I'll have to look into this.
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Old 08-02-2003, 11:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I reload .45, .32sw and .308win so far. I use a dillon 650 and love it.
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Old 08-02-2003, 12:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Great Hard Boiled quote there, Antagony....
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Old 08-03-2003, 08:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Motown
I've been shooting Comp high power rifle and pistol for many years and all I have to say ... when it comes to reloading you can jaw about it all day when only hands on will teach you all of the tricks .

#1 You get what you pay for .

#2 How much money do you have ? ( As this could turn into a money pit )

#3 What kind of shooting are you going to do ?

#4 Do you have good house keeping skills ? As this is not a hobby for slobs or slackers .

#5 Is it cheaper for you to buy surplus rounds for you are an occasional plinker ?

The above and probably many other reasons should make you question is hand-loading really for you .

If reloading is for you ... the Rock Chucker Master Reloading Kit is a good start .
At a little over 250 bucks it has everything you need less dies and shell-holders to get started .

Dillon , Sinclair and Midway will supply you with everything else you'll need .

Get a good reloading manual .

Sierra , Hornady , Hodgdon and Nosler to name a few .

Where are you going to keep the powder and primers ?
Someplace safe and dry and away from each other . Check your local ordinances about powder safety and what they require .

Join a local gun club and head over to where they shoot benchrest rifles . These guy's know what you need and what you don't . Make friends with the guy who is there almost everyday . He is A) alone because his wife left him over the time at the range B) lonely C) full of information that he can share with you when you buy him a beer at the clubhouse .

Whew ! Hand-loading is really something that should not be taken lightly or in haste . Although it could be one of your favorite pastimes if you follow the above guidelines .

There is no other instant gratification then squeezing a trigger and making bug-hole groups down range with one of your hand-loads .

Good Luck !
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Old 08-03-2003, 02:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
I am the anomaly.
 
Location: Motown
I would really be amiss if I did not mention ' Record Keeping '.
This is a metallic cartridge reloaders best friend . It tells him/her about handloads that worked and ones that didn't . It keeps track of how many times you reloaded a metallic cartridge so you do not end up with case separations or case fractures . One of my pet rifles is a .220 Swift . I love the firearm and cartridge but I really have to watch the case neck thickness for thinning . This is exactly the reason to keep a Reloaders Log . Even though to the naked eye your 44 mag case looks great after 2 or 3 full loads there could be unseen problems , bringing us to lot numbers . The idea is to keep track on paper so you don't get sloppy .
Wow ! There seems to be allot more to this reloading thing then pulling a lever and having a loaded metallic cartridge pop out .
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Old 08-05-2003, 06:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Looks like everyone already filled in the blanks (no pun intended). I use the RCBS stuff. They have a no questions asked lifetime warranty on all their stuff with the exception of the electronic powder scale.

Just had to use that warranty too. Really easy to use, called them up, asked for the parts, they went, "OK, give me a name and address and we'll send it out under warranty."

I love to reload....it's relaxing to me.
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Old 08-05-2003, 06:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Oklahoma City
Quote:
Originally posted by Greg700
C. If you are going to buy new brass, you can't beat Starline brass. It is expensive, but you can reload it over and over and over again.
http://www.starlinebrass.com/
I personally by once fired speer brass off of gunbroker for about $15/1000 rounds. But I shoot .40 s&w mostly and it is readily available.
Don't buy cheep Japaneese made brass. Some of these can NOT be reloaded. I just ran into about 30 rounds of this that I had. Ruined some of my stuff and I had to have it replaced.

This cheep stuff has a plate over the primer with 2 holes that are offset instead of the primer being right up against the powder. Even after I had my stuff replaced, I still broke 2 decapping pins before I realized what was going on. (luckily the factory sent me 8 new ones).
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Old 08-05-2003, 03:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by hrdwareguy
Don't buy cheep Japaneese made brass. Some of these can NOT be reloaded. I just ran into about 30 rounds of this that I had. Ruined some of my stuff and I had to have it replaced.

This cheep stuff has a plate over the primer with 2 holes that are offset instead of the primer being right up against the powder. Even after I had my stuff replaced, I still broke 2 decapping pins before I realized what was going on. (luckily the factory sent me 8 new ones).
That stuff is berdan primed. You can't reload berdan primed brass. 'Normal' bullets are boxer primed, and are reloadable.

You have to check when you buy brass, a lot of old military surplus brass/ammo is berdan primed. It's ok to shoot, it just can't be reloaded. There is a lot of cheap ammo out there that is reloadable.

Oh, and Starline brass is not cheap japanese brass, It is top of the line. I just thought I should mention that in case there is any confusion.
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Old 08-05-2003, 04:01 PM   #23 (permalink)
I am the anomaly.
 
Location: Motown
Quote:
Originally posted by Greg700
That stuff is berdan primed. You can't reload berdan primed brass. 'Normal' bullets are boxer primed, and are reloadable.

You have to check when you buy brass, a lot of old military surplus brass/ammo is berdan primed. It's ok to shoot, it just can't be reloaded. There is a lot of cheap ammo out there that is reloadable.

Oh, and Starline brass is not cheap japanese brass, It is top of the line. I just thought I should mention that in case there is any confusion.
Actually you CAN reload berdan primed cases . A friend of mine has a pet 6.5x52 Carcano rifle . He bought a special berdan depriming tool and reloads these cases regularly . The only problem is allot of this ammo he gets is 60ish in vintage and you really have to inspect for brittleness in the cases . He also coverts berdan primed cases by increasing the primer pocket from .204 to .210 and drilling out the berdan holes with a single hole for a box primer . Although the above procedures are not suggested for the novice it can be done when needed . I personally would not convert any 7.62 X 39 rounds because of the surplus but a rare or obsolete foreign round is definitely worth the effort .
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Old 08-05-2003, 04:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
I am the anomaly.
 
Location: Motown
A little dity on pistol cases that I found ...



Pistol brass gets no respect from most of the manufacturers of reloading tools (Redding excepted) and often does not even get respect from the shooter community itself. The consequence of this is the fact that there are no neck turning tools available that can uniform revolver brass. This is probably the result of years and years of pistol brass being used in revolvers where the manufacturing tolerances were - shall we say - "generous". So it really didnít matter if the brass wasnít uniform, because the gun it was being shot in was as loose as a goose. However, things are changing, and when it comes to the modern revolvers and autoloaders itís a whole different world out there. Consequently, it can make a difference if bullets are seated off center because of poor case wall tolerances.

I then measured the case walls of the same 25 cases from each brand and found that the case wall variance from one side to the other for IMI brass was only a maximum of a .001 of an inch. Additionally, 80% of the IMI cases had exactly the same variance in their wall dimensions. This means that the case walls were indeed, very consistent.

For Starline, the maximum case wall variance was .004 of an inch. 72% of those cases had the same variances. Not as consistent as IMI.

Now trimming. This is a very important operation for pistol brass. In many brands of brass , case length can vary significantly. The result is that when a bullet is seated in the case and crimped, the variable length of the cases will determine the amount, or "hardness" of the crimp being applied. Additionally, it will also determine where in the bulletís cannalure the crimp takes place (low, middle, high, or maybe even out of the cannalure). The amount of crimp and placement of the crimp, in turn, can affect the consistency of the powderís ignition, and cause velocity changes from shot to shot. Bottom line - we want all the cases to be the same length to avoid these variations.

"Speciality tools from Redding Reloading
make a difference in quality."

Besides trimming, Rick also uniforms his primer pockets and primer flash holes to achieve the most uniform ignition. In fact, Rick says he can prepare 100 cases in 10 minutes (primer pockets).

I use a RCBS power case trimmer just like Rick .

So how accurate do you want your handloads ? It is the difference between spraying a target or creating bughole groups .
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Old 08-05-2003, 04:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
kel
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Location: Ask Acetylene
Since brass is part of the investment

I guess I would go with whatever is more accurate.

But I won't shoot in bug hole groups for a good long time... need loootttsss of regular practice...

I get to plink once a month of I am lucky now adays, that's why I want to find cheaper ammo...

My current money situation?
I have a credit card and no money. And I am not going to use the credit card for this. So I guess it's time to hit ebay.
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:17 PM   #26 (permalink)
I am the anomaly.
 
Location: Motown
Re: Since brass is part of the investment

Quote:
Originally posted by kel

But I won't shoot in bug hole groups for a good long time... need loootttsss of regular practice...

Kel ... you said a mouthful ! Work up a load , Practice . Change powder charge and primer , Practice . Increase powder charge a little more , Practice . In between all of this is the use of a chronograph and data keeping ... not to mention the cleaning of the firearm ! But it is all worth it when questing for that elusive bug hole group!
I have to share this story with all of you Firearm/Weapon aficionados , I was loading 44 mags for years and I wanted a ( then it was new ) A ported .444 Marlin lever action rifle . Handloading convinced my wife that I should make the purchase . I mearly pointed out how ' economical ' it would be because I already had a shitload of .44 bullets , primers , shellholders and powder all I had to do was buy the dies and casings ! Hell ! This was a deal to good to pass up . Well the little ' on sale ' light went off in Mrs. Polo's head and the rest is Gun Folk Lore which I tell around the club at least once a year by request . See . It really PAYS to reload !
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