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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been noticing an uptick in folks posting reload information lately. Maybe its just because I am starting down the reloading rabbit hole myself this spring. So I thought I would start a thread about us newbie reloader's for all you old, experienced farts to weigh in on our progress. So I will start with my story (quick go see a fun post from richenbacher39 before you get drawn in).
After going through over 2500 rounds of 38 in the last few years had to decide what to do with all that brass. At least that is my story on why I invested in reloading. In secret another reason is I am running out of gun related projects to keep me out of trouble in the evenings after work. So I figured reloading would provide an endless evening play time in my shop. I relentlessly pursued information about presses, accessories, loading data, powder and bullets for the last 4 months in preparation for my new venture. Spoke to my buddy at work who reloads rifle (30-06 and 300 WM) rounds to help me work through some of the initial thought processes. Then just like I do when researching a new firearm I began the fun part - shopping for the best solution.
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I put a $650 cap on the startup, so I needed a good medium priced press. Thanks to the experienced loaders on this forum discussions I decided on a Lee Turret press kit. This kit - while having some so so accessories, had the autodrum powder measure and their safety prime system included. Also a triple beam scale. Press kit $226 delivered to my door. Next I purchased 400 ACME poly coated 38 bullets ($69) and 300 ACME poly coated 45LC bullets ($62), two 4 die Lee carbide die sets ($89). Two bottles of Trailboss ($55) and one bottle of HP38 $28. Franklin digital scale ($34), the Hornady trio case prep machine $98, a Franklin Bullet puller ($17) 1000 CCI small primers $38, and 500 CCi large pistol primers $16. A friend at work gave me his bullet tumbler for fixing his Browning A5, so my tumbler is free.
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Well I went a bit over my cap, about $80. Total investment so far is $730. This pic above shows my two test platforms for 38 and 357, a Ruger GP100 and a Taurus 627. As in all good things a bit of bad almost always pops up, in my case that blankity blank nerve bundle in my wasted right hip. So for the last few weeks been building my first test run of 50-38 specials. My intent is to end up with low pressure, but still fairly accurate rounds for fun time on the range. Today was my first test. I ran about half my batch comparing to factory loads for recoil and steel worthiness. Well I did it - all my hand loads were consistent and able to ring a 10" gong at 40 yards almost every time. The recoil is about 20-30% lighter than normal factory loads. Barrel leading is not an issue so far. I will develop my next test load over the next few weeks and begin pressing more bullets.
 

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So...at what point do we stop being "newbies"? I've only been at it for a bit over 5 years but have loaded well over 10K rounds of multiple calibers...

I've had two squibs in that time and one of those was due to powder position instead of missing a charge. Otherwise, haven't blown my face off or destroyed any firearms....:)

As to the OP, check out SNS Casting if you plan to order any large quantities of bullets - they have a good selection of coated bullets and a $15 flat rate shipping up to 75lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So...at what point do we stop being "newbies"? I've only been at it for a bit over 5 years but have loaded well over 10K rounds of multiple calibers...

I've had two squibs in that time and one of those was due to powder position instead of missing a charge. Otherwise, haven't blown my face off or destroyed any firearms....:)

As to the OP, check out SNS Casting if you plan to order any large quantities of bullets - they have a good selection of coated bullets and a $15 flat rate shipping up to 75lbs.
Thanks I will add them to my bookmarks for my next order, looks like quality bullets at a great price.
 
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My journey started 11 years ago when I first thought about reloading, My dad gave me his lever action 44 mag , I shot 3 bullets and bruised the hell out of my shoulder and stopped shooting it lol. Then purchased my first 9mm and the price of reloading it at the time was not good it was so cheap I decided not to waste time on it. Fast forward 5 more years and I picked up my taurus 605 poly and bought 5 boxes of factory ammo and realized it would cost a arm and a leg to practice with it compared to the 9mm. So I started down the rabbit hole of reloading. At first I just wanted some practice loads. Now everyday I find out more stuff I need to purchase to get proficent at it. Just reloading with a lee handpress and enjoying it so far. It is a addiction! Started with a $250 budget now im around $500 in and have enough supplies to make around 3000 rounds so its not a bad investment and I get to make the rounds the way I like. Now I just need a chrono and somewhere I can use it down here.
 

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So...at what point do we stop being "newbies"? I've only been at it for a bit over 5 years but have loaded well over 10K rounds of multiple calibers...

I've had two squibs in that time and one of those was due to powder position instead of missing a charge. Otherwise, haven't blown my face off or destroyed any firearms....:)

As to the OP, check out SNS Casting if you plan to order any large quantities of bullets - they have a good selection of coated bullets and a $15 flat rate shipping up to 75lbs.
I think that's a personal evaluation kind of thing. I don't know how many thousands of rounds I have loaded in that time but there is so much to learn. Heck I consider myself to be a newbie in regards to firearms. I have some decent loads that I use but really haven't done as much experimenting and development as I think I should. The squib load was from my first learning curve batch on the Hornady AP.
I have had 1 squib and after that took apart 200 rounds and found 1 more without a powder charge. Fortunately, like you, I have not blown up anything yet!
 

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well its a conspiracy!
these manufatcures keep coming up with new powders, new design material projectiles!
they are trying to keep us down and as newbies i tell ya!
Gosh I been reloading now for about 40 years, been shooting for about 60, and a firearm owner for about 52 years or so. still learn stuff every day.
mostly that I like Dawgs a lot more than humans!
 

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Add kinetic bullet puller to you list of required equipment. You will probably need it sooner, rather than later.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/157862/national-metallic-impact-bullet-puller

This kit would have exceeded all of your expectations and still been under that $600 ceiling
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/509109/lyman-ultimate-reloading-system

Or you could have gone a little cheaper and added other pieces ass needed.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/509109/lyman-ultimate-reloading-system
 

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when i am asked i generally tell a newbie thinking about getting into relaoding to plan on dropping about 500 bucks into the process, that covers most stuff as well as componets.
all them lil gadgets and do dads add up.
trickler, pullet puller, additional dies, hand primer (possibly), tumbler, sifter, case gauges, labels, ammo boxes, scales, powder measure, and on and on.
 

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There are a lot of savings in these kits.
 

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when i am asked i generally tell a newbie thinking about getting into relaoding to plan on dropping about 500 bucks into the process, that covers most stuff as well as componets.
all them lil gadgets and do dads add up.
trickler, pullet puller, additional dies, hand primer (possibly), tumbler, sifter, case gauges, labels, ammo boxes, scales, powder measure, and on and on.
I fully agree. I tried to get away cheap with a single stage press kit and dies for 9mm and .40S&W (all I was reloading for at the time). Quickly needed other items like a digital scale ($19), a kinetic puller, more dies, a priming kit for the press, then a progressive press, found that I didn't like doing rifle on the progressive (plus .303 Brit didn't fit in it) so I needed a turret press, then a wet tumbler, then came case gauges, devices for converting brass, more dies, trimmers, ended up getting a press mounted bullet puller in an effort to not lose any powder with the kinetic puller, powders of different makes and models to fit my growing collection of reloading facilitators (gotta shoot stuff so I have brass to reload!) ....

it definitely adds up! I have no less than 13 calibers that I now load for...didn't see that coming!
 
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Add kinetic bullet puller to you list of required equipment. You will probably need it sooner, rather than later.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/157862/national-metallic-impact-bullet-puller

This kit would have exceeded all of your expectations and still been under that $600 ceiling
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/509109/lyman-ultimate-reloading-system

Or you could have gone a little cheaper and added other pieces ass needed.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/509109/lyman-ultimate-reloading-system
Definitely agree with GreenWolf70: A bullet puller is a must. The LEE kits will save you money so long as you understand that you'll need upgrades on things like the scale. Don't know how LEE managed to name the kit scale, Safety Scale. IMO, they're dangerous. Even an inexpensive digital is better and some of those from Frankford Arsenal get very good marks.

I still like to stay analog on some tools like Dial Calipers and scales. But the 3 poise RCBS powder scale I use is no longer available. It wasn't expensive, but I chose it for it's 131 grain limit. I'm more interested in the accuracy of powder charges than anything else and 131 grains cover anything I'm gonna load. Pretty much everything including dangerous game loads, but not .50 BMG that I doubt I'll ever load. You might even still be able to find the RCBS RC130 on ebay or at Amazon.

The thing about digital calipers is that can go squirrely. My dial calipers are a Mitutoyo that were warehoused for like 30 years and never used. My shooting partner found those. One inexpensive brand I would consider are those imported by Fowler. Shock proof and meet government standards for accuracy depending on the model. I've been reading vernier scales for most of my working life and had even thought about going that route. They might, however, be a bit tedious compared to dial calipers. In any event, calipers are a must also.

I'll try not to weigh in with lengthy posts, but I will monitor as others will do. Basically, I think this thread was a great idea to let you guys starting out to bounce ideas off each other. I don't use the term newbie. We ll had to start at the same point and for me, that was with a LEE whackamolly hand-held set in .41 Magnum 33 years ago.;)
 

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In case you failed to click on the links, the reloading kits are both with Lyman's Turret Press. The top kit is one that I have not seen offered by any other reloading company, as far as the level of tools included.

Contents:

• Brass Smith All American 8 station turret reloading press
• Gen 6 Powder System (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/733310/lyman-gen-6-compact-touch-screen-powder-scale-and-dispenser)
• Universal Case Trimmer
• Pro 1200 Turbo Tumbler
• Free Lyman Die Set Voucher
• 50th Edition Lyman Reloading Handbook
• Universal Loading Block
• Case Prep Multi Tool (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/135615/lyman-case-prep-multi-tool)
• Bench Wrench
• E-ZEE Prime Hand Priming Tool (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/699624/lyman-e-zee-prime-universal-hand-priming-tool)
• Quick Slick Case Lube
• Magnum Inertia Bullet Puller (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/667064/lyman-magnum-impact-bullet-puller)
• Stainless Steel Calipers (Dial Caliper)
 

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In case you failed to click on the links, the reloading kits are both with Lyman's Turret Press. The top kit is one that I have not seen offered by any other reloading company, as far as the level of tools included.

Contents:

• Brass Smith All American 8 station turret reloading press
• Gen 6 Powder System (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/733310/lyman-gen-6-compact-touch-screen-powder-scale-and-dispenser)
• Universal Case Trimmer
• Pro 1200 Turbo Tumbler
• Free Lyman Die Set Voucher
• 50th Edition Lyman Reloading Handbook
• Universal Loading Block
• Case Prep Multi Tool (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/135615/lyman-case-prep-multi-tool)
• Bench Wrench
• E-ZEE Prime Hand Priming Tool (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/699624/lyman-e-zee-prime-universal-hand-priming-tool)
• Quick Slick Case Lube
• Magnum Inertia Bullet Puller (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/667064/lyman-magnum-impact-bullet-puller)
• Stainless Steel Calipers (Dial Caliper)
Yep, I looked in case you're referring to me. I'd have no problem with a Lyman Turret Press kit or the Orange Crusher SS kit. Same for RCBS and REDDING. Even the LEE Classic Cast SS or Classic Turret kit and replacing the "Safety Scale." if you add a FA digital you can compare the weight of charges against each other. Buy a bullet puller and a Dial Caliper and you're good to go if you find the LEE Powder Measure to your liking.;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep, I looked in case you're referring to me. I'd have no problem with a Lyman Turret Press kit or the Orange Crusher SS kit. Same for RCBS and REDDING. Even the LEE Classic Cast SS or Classic Turret kit and replacing the "Safety Scale." if you add a FA digital you can compare the weight of charges against each other. Buy a bullet puller and a Dial Caliper and you're good to go if you find the LEE Powder Measure to your liking.;)
Dittos on the Frankford arsenal digital scale. Mine was around $37. It powers up fast and tar's consistently. I did check it at first with the Lee scale and they matched, but the Lee scale is not well made. The Franklin is easy to use, I check every fifth pour as well as visually verifying the charge with a light on those I don't.
 
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Dittos on the Frankford arsenal digital scale. Mine was around $37. It powers up fast and tar's consistently. I did check it at first with the Lee scale and they matched, but the Lee scale is not well made. The Franklin is easy to use, I check every fifth pour as well as visually verifying the charge with a light on those I don't.
Pro tip on pretty much any digital scale, though (pro as in I didn't know and thought I was going crazy until a pro told me this!) keep all electronic devices at least 6' away from them when you are trying to dial in a charge. Mine was fluctuating wildly - 0.5gn one way and then the other, sometimes it would not budge as I trickled powder in and then suddenly jump a whole grain....I had my cell phone in my pocket and was listening to a book via bluetooth headset....

Set the gadgets across the room, re-zeroed, and all was well- until the next time I forgot my phone in my pocket....
 

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The biggest thing you left off of your initial list was reloading books. learn the theory before putting it into practice. I personally break down reloading into 4 segments:
Components (brass, bullets, powder and primers)
Case prep (tumblers, sizers, media, waxes and oils and brass cut cleaning like chamfers and swages) you could probably add annealers and other items
Reloading equipment (presses, dies, shell plates, press add-ons, calipers, scales and storage for completed ammo)
And the most important; Reference materials (reloading books, Manu reload data, shooting logs, notes or anything you use to document anything related to the process)

The whole point of reloading is repeatability. It's virtually impossible to reload 10,000 great rounds. It's highly probably to make a great round 10,000 times.
 

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Does anyone have any auto charge dispenser they recommend? Like the hornady lock and load or rcbs?
When you say "Auto charge" dispenser, are you meaning the electronic ones that dispense the charge you put in or more like a press mounted charge-on-downstroke kind of dispenser? If that's the one you mean, you can't go wrong with the Lee Auto-Drum but if you mean the self-weighing automatic powder dispenser, then sorry - no experience with those, but they look like they'd be slow for any sort of bulk reloading session but great for precision load development.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The biggest thing you left off of your initial list was reloading books. learn the theory before putting it into practice. I personally break down reloading into 4 segments:
Components (brass, bullets, powder and primers)
Case prep (tumblers, sizers, media, waxes and oils and brass cut cleaning like chamfers and swages) you could probably add annealers and other items
Reloading equipment (presses, dies, shell plates, press add-ons, calipers, scales and storage for completed ammo)
And the most important; Reference materials (reloading books, Manu reload data, shooting logs, notes or anything you use to document anything related to the process)

The whole point of reloading is repeatability. It's virtually impossible to reload 10,000 great rounds. It's highly probably to make a great round 10,000 times.
Good point - I have the Richard Lee modern reloaders 2, and two other manuals one is Lyman and one is Hornady. I spent two weeks reading though all three, but only referenced the loading tables I needed.
 
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