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  1. #1
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    Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    I'm getting to the point with my guns that everybody is telling me I should get into reloading my own ammo.
    I shoot a little of all the common ammo sizes. When I'm done shooting I currently give my spent brass to a friend that does his own reloading.

    I shoot .38, 9MM, .357, .45, 30-30, 30-06, lots of .22 LR
    I plan to add .40 S&W auto and probably .270 HMR next year too.
    Does anybody load their own .22 LR ammo? Is it cost effective?
    Do you create your own specialty, designer ammo?
    I know the basics are Casings, bullet, primer and gunpowder. And it's a combonation of all these things, to get what I like or want to shoot.

    Is there a single, quality reloading machine that I can start out with that can handle all of these ammo types? How much time will it take to load let's say 100 rounds of a given centerfire ammo? Time will also need to be a consideration in this equation also.
    I've already heard about the enjoyment factor of reloading my own ammo, so that counts too! I'm trying to be reasonable with my questions. I can get into specifics a little later as I narrow down my thoughts and ideas.
    I've never looked at reloading equipment so I have no idea where to start.

    If I ask a salesperson at the local Cabela's or other local sporting goods shop I'm going to end up with whatever product is on their "Hot Sell list" for the week.
    I know it's accurate for me to make a statement like that. I worked in high end specialty retail for 14 straight years and I learned very effectively how to sell the products that put the most money in my paycheck.

    I can really use some input here. I will need to decide if I am going to continue buying factory ammo or if i will start reloading.
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
    When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, call the undertaker!
    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
    .45 ACP, Because shooting twice is just plain silly!


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  2. #2
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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    There are a lot of "ifs" involved. The very first thing you should do is buy a manual that explains the process step by step. A thorough primer (haha) is a must. I personally think the best instructions will be found in a Speer/RCBS manual. You should have a few manuals probably, for the cost of a new one you should be able to get at least a few used ones. Lyman makes a good one as well. You must be sure to never violate the safety measures/rules these manuals spell out, they are as important to follow as the 10 commandments of shooting safety.
    There is a world of difference between loading say, 9mm or .40, and loading the 30-06. The first 2 can easily go to 1000 rounds at a time, while the latter we often load 10-20 at a time. Sometimes I load 5 rifle cartridges at a time, when either I need a few rounds of a load I really like, or I am trying something out for the first time. The handgun calibers you list could easily turn into a progressive press system, if you shoot them a lot. It is worth having and very cost effective.
    But the typical rifle set up does not require anything more than a single stage press, in fact I'd say its the only way to go. A tough choice to make. I'd start with a single stage press, and if you like it, then a bit later consider the progressive.
    It is easy to get going, and the ammo you turn out will be better stuff than the premium ammo on the store shelves that costs a lot of money, and you'll do it a lot cheaper too. The exactness possible will open your eyes. For example when I shoot an AR with factory NATO ammo, the spent shells that eject land in an area several feet in width. But if I fire ammo I made myself, say some hunting rounds that I have hand weighed/measured each charge of powder individually, the spent shells land in almost the same exact spot, and can usually be all recovered from an area that is a foot or so in diameter. The same sort of exact precision, in the form of accuracy, will happen downrange on the targets you fire at. The tightening up of your groups will amaze you.
    Nobody reloads .22 rimfire ammo. Tooling up and making .22 rimfire is actually a lot more complicated than any centerfire ammo is, because the bullet and the unfired shell casing it sits in must both be the same diameter with the finished product.

  3. #3
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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    Your comment on the consistancy of the ejected really hits home. When my wife & I were at the range yesterday I was catching by hand all of the 9mm Hornaday casing that she was shooting from my 669 as they ejected - except for the last casing that always goes overhead.
    Her girlfriend was shooting another brand of ammo in my pistol and I noticed that the casings were going all over the place. I thought it was the pistol causing the inconsistancies in the ejection. I never even considered it being the ammo.
    My wife girlfriend got out her 9mm and her casings were all over the place as well. I commented to them that I thought it was odd that our .22 semi's dumped ammo in the same spot all the time and these pistols don't do that.
    Interesting thought.
    I have a friend that is retired special forces and he has his "sniper rifle" and he shoots only his hand loaded ammo thru it. His measurement of accuracy on that ammo is like Marine Corps shooting team accurate. At 200 yards he puts 3 rounds so close together you only see one hole. It's bigger than the single bullet but it's still only one hole.

    I guess I need to do some serious research on this. Thanks for your input. Well taken!
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
    When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, call the undertaker!
    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
    .45 ACP, Because shooting twice is just plain silly!


    http://www.corneredcat.com
    http://www.takdriver.com



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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO ST

    Geoff 40 +1

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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    Geoff and Bob are right on the money and a primer course in handloading would be to ask your friend to let you watch the process of reloading. It may not be your cup of tea and you can find out for no big expense. I have had some people tell me they were intrested but after seeing the process, they backed off
    To me, it is another hobby in addition to shooting/guns. The payoff is not having to pay the price they get for a box of cartridges {was at Cabelas yesterday and about
    My friends call me 'Mick'
    Save the Second Amendment, take a kid shooting!

  6. #6
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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    I started reloading around 1984 when a deputy from the local SO decided he wanted to teach me how to do it. I used my buckin' bales and pipe changing money and bought one of those RCBS Rockchucker kits. At the time, I only reloaded 9mm and .357 mag.

    That worked great until about 1998 when I got into CAS, IDPA and USPSA - where I was reloading about 20,000 rounds a year. Had to go to a progressive machine as I just couldn't sit for that long reloading that much ammo on a single stage press.

    I don't shoot games much anymore, maybe 4-5 matches a year now, so I've been back on the single stage for about a year.

    You've been given some good advice and I really can't add much more. Start up cost is going to be a little high, but it'll pay off in the long run. Brass can be easy (read free) if you visit ranges that let you pick it up. I've gotten bucket loads over the years and haven't spent a dime on them. It's a lot cheaper to pick up a box of bullets or two every time you go to the sporting goods store instead of picking up a couple boxes of loaded ammo.

    I've gotten lucky at a few estate sales and auctions in which I was able to buy boxes of powder, primers and various reloading stuff (a lot of which I didn't need, but you bought by the box ya know) for good prices.



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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    I would suggest you purchase the following; A RCBS 'Partner' Press Kit, A RCBS Uniflow powder Measure, and a good trickler. Then you need dies for each caliber you want to reload. Everything with one set of dies should run about $225.00. Pistol dies run about $28.00 a set,rifle dies run about $35.00 a set.
    Before you even take anything else out of the boxes read the book that comes with the Press Kit. It's called Speer #14, it has the best tutorial on handloading extant.

    A really good place to shop for this is MIDWAYUSA. They're always running sales.
    "Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas"
    Jeff Cooper

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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO START?

    Like guns themselves, never overlook used reloading equipment/tools. You can get some great bargains if you are patient and shop the used shelves. I continue to watch and every so often make some great upgrades or additions to my bench, the last being an ANIB Redding scale, one of those old heavy pot metal/stainless ones, for $12. I tend to stay away from used dies unless they are in rust free, ANIB condition, but pretty much anything else can be eventually found at bargain prices.

  9. #9
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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO ST

    gearchecker, Lee 50th aniversary reloading kit for $104 SHIPPED!!! on ebay, good equipment too. look into it

  10. #10
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    Re: Thinking about loading my own ammo, WHAT DO I NEED TO ST

    Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit for $81.00 at MidwayUSA right now.
    Let go of anything that stops you from having everything…DM

    Dom






 

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