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Greenhorn here gettting started???
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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rkymtnman30
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

I am a rookie/ greenhorn/ cherry I would like to get started but everytime I get to lookin' at equipment I get a head ache I have been reading up and would like to pick up some equipment would anyone like to help clear the fog I want the whole set up not a piece here a piece there. That being said I am planning on reloading 30.06 .300 win mag .270 and 20 guage is there equipment that is better than others? Is there stuff I should steer clear of? I figure why repeat mistakes that have already been made. I use heavy loads as I elk hunt and deer hunt in the same season 180's in the .06 and .300, 165's in the .270. I would also like to keep both hands if at all possible as well. Smile

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:40 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

I bought an RCBS reloading kit years ago and it was the only thing I used for many years using it to load handgun cartridges and rifle cartridges up to 458 Lott. I still use the press and scale that came with that kit though I've added other equipment over the years. You can see a similar kit at:

www.midwayusa.com/epro...mid=133068

I would, however, throw away the RCBS case lube and the pad you're supposed to put it on and use Imperial Sizing Wax instead which is MUCH less messy. Also, you'll need dial calipers, dies, shell holders and a case trimmer which I don't think come with the kit.

I've never loaded shotgun shells so can't advise you on that.
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Joe Boleo
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here getting started??? Reply with quote

rkymtnman30,

Welcome to the Forum. There are many good folks here that will be glad to assist you and answer your questions. Getting started in reloading rifle calibers is not too complicated. My recommendation would be to get one or more reloading manuals from Hornady, Lyman, Sierra or Speer. My personal preference is the Lyman manual and it (and the other reloading manuals) contains a wealth of information. Spend a little time looking through the manual to get an idea of the reloading process and what you will need to reload.

Reloading equipment preferences abound so opinions will vary depending on the reloader. There are complete rifle reloading kits available made by Lee, Lyman, RCBS and others. They are available from distributors such as Cabela's, MidwayUSA, MidSouth Shooters Supply and Natchez Shooters Supply. All of these distributors have website so you can browse at will and compare products. Your will need: a reloading press, dies, shell holders, powder scale, case trimmer, chamfer and deburring tool and a priming tool. Add to that list cases, primers, powder and bullets.

Shotgun reloading is really a bit easier than reloading rifle cartridges. Lyman has a wonderful shotgun reloading manual that outlines everything you need to know. The same distributors that sell rifle reloading equipment, also sell shotgun reloaders. You will need a shotgun press, powder and shot bushings for the press, a powder scale, cases, primers, powder, wads and shot.

My personal and biased preference is for RCBS reloading equipment for rifle cartridges and MEC reloaders for shotguns because they both have a complete line, are competitively priced and have a lifetime warranty on their products. My suggestion would be to get a good quality reloading press because they last a lifetime. Once you get started, you will develop preferences and add reloading items to get it done as you see fit.

Other folks are going to jump in and offer sage advice. Hope this helps. Take care...
Joe
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

Welcome Rky! To echo Joe, there are some good folks here who can help you with your questions, as they have done for me. If you look through the reloading forum you may find answers to many of your questions already posted.

As Grumulkin pointed out, there are some good starter kits available. I use mostly RCBS and Hornady reloading equipment. I highly recommend both. I have had an RCBS single stage press for about 30 years that I use for both rifle and handgun and bought the Hornady progressive press a couple years ago to use mostly for handgun loads. I have a mix of RCBS and Hornady dies too. I do my powder weighing with a PACT electronic scale and have a PACT electronic powder dispenser to go with it now. I also use an RCBS beam scale and powder measure on occassion. Primers are seated with a Lee Autoprime handheld tool.

Afraid I can't make any recommendations on shotgun loading.

I don't think it can be stressed enough to READ some good manuals before starting.

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rkymtnman30
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

Thanks, I have been reading for a year now. I just wanted to make sure I got good equipment, I am a foreman for a decorative concrete company and I know if the equipment is sub-standard then expect the final product to be sub-standard as well or you will have to work twice as hard to acomplish the same result as if you would have gotten the right equipment right from the start. I am so glad I found this site I was reading till 4am last night. Smile

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

The RCBS Rock Chucker kit is quality with a capitol Q. To it you will add, as has been stated, dial caliper, dies for each cartridge, I would sugest adding neck sizing dies for each caliber as well, case trimmer is a necessity after a very short time, and some small tools that help like; case chamfering tool, primer pocket cleaner (the RCBS brush type are great), neck brushes (for cleaning and lubing the inside of necks), and reloading manuals from each bullet maker that you use and the Lyman manual and a manual from the powder makers. You may want to make or buy a reloading bench. They are not hard to make but do require some skill and since I have never found a bench that was heavy enough to stay put when sizing or forming cases I built my own. I used to build them to a wall for stability but after having to leave two good benches behind when I moved I came up with individual benches for each of my presses. They are light, stable and portable.
The shotgun shells require a different press and accesories. MEC is a great setup and what I have used for years. There are others that are more or less than MEC and may be just as good. Separate shotgun manuals are required for reloading for the smoothbores but Lyman is my favorite.
Read all the warnings in the manuals and realize that they are there to protect you and your equipment (as well as the authors). Start by following the recommendations in your manuals and always double check information from ANY source. (even the manuals sometimes have errors in them) Don't trust any loads or processes recommended on the internet until you verify them with your manuals. Ask as many questions as you need - we all have opinions and after hearing them you can make your own decisions as to their worth.
Happy and SAFE loading!

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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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rkymtnman30
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

I want to load to tighten my groupings some but what is the cost per box look like? I can pick up a box of 180 grain Remington core-lokt psp for $17.99 per box of 20 and they will group 2". Will the cost justify the added expense?

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

Rky, I know that my handloaded .223 shot into a 0.25" group at 100 yards in my Encore recently. Nothing factory has come close so far. Besides, reloading can be FUN and cheaper (AFTER the initial investment). A box of 100 180 gr Rem Core-lokt bullets is $21 at Midway right now. A pound of powder (Easily enough for 100) is about $20-25. Primers under $3/100. So under $50/100 loaded rounds. You won't save any money, you'll just shoot more.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

The "per round cost drops about 50% with reloads depending on case life and component selection. The consistancy and accuracy improvements are worth more than I save.

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Paul
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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
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NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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rkymtnman30
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

That was my thinking too. A huntin' buddy was trying to tell me he spends $60 per 20 rounds loaded and I couldn't figure out why that would be, I have 200 pounds of Remington brass and with powder, primers and bullets it seems like I will be almost shooting for free. I am an Elk hunter and have never had a power problem my longest shot hunting is 528 yards on a 5X6 2 years ago so I like the Remington round but I can't find them on the Midway site any suggestions? I know everyone has an opnion but I would like to see some of your ideas on improving accuracy with the above round. I shoot an old girl but she's always shot straight Remington model 1917 I have a few other ladies but she is my best girl if you know what I mean. I love this sight I am hooked I have been reading so much my brain is overloading lol.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:16 am    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

Gidday Rky...welcome to the Forum mate. I see you have pulled up a stump, now grab a beer and relax.

As Paul says...the RCBS Rock Chucker is top quality gear. I have an aussie copy of the Rock Chucker and I have loaded countless thousands of pistol and rifle rounds on it over the last 30 years without any problems.

There are quite a number of companies manufacturing reloading presses and ancillary equipment (RCBS, Hornady, LEE, Dillon, Redding; all are good). Best thing you can do is ask and have a look around at what others are using and be guided by what they say...and your cheque book of course. Very Happy Laughing

When considering reloaders for shotshells I would suggest either a Ponsness/Warren press or a MEC. Either of these are top quality reloading presses for shotshells and produce high quality loads. Having said that, I have a little LEE LoadAll that cost me $85 and I have loaded a couple of thousand 12g on it without any problems at all.

As Paul says, you should save maybe 50% or more reloading your own for rifle. Out here in Oz I buy 100 Remington 85gn SP bullets for $19, 1000 primers for around $38 and 4kg (9lb) of AR2208 (Varget) powder for about $150. The cases I already had. For a .243 this comes out to approx 32c per round. If I had to buy cases the cost per round goes up to about 60c per round, but you should get at least 10 reloads out of a case if you look after it. Can't compare that to factory ammo as I have never bought any...never had the need.

Now, shotshells are a different kettle of fish. Out here in Oz it is not worth reloading shotshells. You would save maybe a dollar or two over a box of Winchester factory loads...depending on the load of course. I reload shotshell because I was given 5000 primers, 2000 once fired Winchester hulls and about 100kg of shot (OO/SG, BB, 7.5 and 9 shot). I also cast 32 gram Lee Key Slugs. You should do a little research on the costs over there to ascertain the viability of reloading shotshells.

The over-riding factor to the cost saving is the ability to churn out more accurate than factory loads (your loads are tailored to YOUR gun...factory loads are made for the "average" gun) and the sheer pleasure of "rolling your own". Reloading can, and does, become an addictive past-time...just ask any of the guys here who reload. We all have to get our "fix" on a regular basis.

Listen to what the guys here say mate. They are talking from experience and in most cases have 30 or more years of experience and knowledge behind them. Best part is they are more than happy to impart this knowledge to a beginner. Good luck with your reloading and enjoy it mate.

Cheers, Vince

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here getting started??? Reply with quote

I agree with these good folks. Joe nailed it and reflects my sentiments for preferring RCBS and MEC equipment. Most of the reloading equipment out there is first quality. Over time we tend to develop preferences. I also agree on reading the reloading manuals. Good luck. All the best...
Gil

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pommy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

Gday everyone new to forum and reloading literally just bought a Lee bench press kit and RCBS .308 win dies have made up 30 rounds and I have found the Lee press to be excellent the RCBS dies to be excellent however the only concern I have is the Lee powder measure and scales. One or both of them is not consistant in the amounts every round seems to be different not sure whether it is the powder measure or the scales so will change both to be on the safe side. I am going straight out as soon as my LGS is open next week to buy a better set of each. which brand I'm not sure of yet leaning towards RCBS. Any thoughts guys?

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here getting started??? Reply with quote

pommy,
Welcome to the Forum.

I have an RCBS powder measure, but do not use it. Instead, I have three RCBS 505 scales and weigh every powder charge for rifle and handgun ammo. Just a personal preference. All the best...
Gil

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Greenhorn here gettting started??? Reply with quote

I use ball powders exclusively and set my measure with a scale. I check the scale by throwing 10 charges and then weigh the powder. Tune it to the exact amount and then throw single charges 10 times weighing each to make sure they are exact. Then I check weights of the charge every ten cases. They are always right on but I continue to check anyway.
To save time I do 50 cases at a time - running each case through the step before I change dies. I can load two to three-hundred cases an hour - depending on the case. It is a lot faster than running each case through the whole process. I can also check the powder levels in the cases before I place a bullet. I just look at each case and compare the powder level in each case to the others around it. If one looks high or low you can remove it and weigh the charge to be sure. For bolt action and single shot rifles I do not crimp. My pistols are crimped because I am using powders that require the rounds in the magazine/cylinder to take a lot of recoil.

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So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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