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Getting into reloading

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Does anyone have any advice for someone just getting into reloading? I will be reloading 7.62/308, 5.56/223, and possibly a few different handgun rounds. I'm wanting to start the process but have no idea where to start. Thanks for any and all advice.
 

mac1911

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If possible take a reloading class
 

andrew1220

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Also start gathering primers ASAP which may be tough. It helps if you join the discord reloading server where people post in stock items.

Once you join, go to the sidebar at the top where it says "notification-selection" and you can select which primers, powder etc you want to be notified for.
 

Wickedcoolname

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Personally, I don't think classes are necessary. There's nothing about reloading that you can't learn from a book. I'm sure a class can't hurt but of all the reloaders I hang with not one had to take a class.
I started out with an inexpensive single-stage press from Lee, some dies, a scale, a power measure, etc., and a Speer reloading book. The Speer book is an excellent resource because it explains everything you'd need to know about reloading in general along with very specific information about each caliber.
It didn't take long for me to progress from a single-stage press to a progressive press from Dillon. But I think starting off with a single-stage press is the way to go for a novice.
 

allen-1

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You can go either way, take a class or get somebody who knows what they're doing to teach you the basics.

I started on a progressive press without a class. But, my son and his buddy reload, so they came by and helped me set it up and showed me how the press worked. Once you understand the mechanics of assembling a round, it's pretty straight-forward.

It's VERY important to look up the specs on the round you want to load, (and I'd use at least two sources in case of a typo/misprint). Do some reading so that you understand what COL is, what starting charge means and what max charge means.

Put together a list of what you need. Obviously a press, and people can argue all day about whether you should start with a single stage or a progressive. So, pick a press, get the die set. Then you'll need at a bare minimum a decent scale and a micrometer. You'll also need brass, powder, primers and bullets. Depending upon where you are, you may have issues getting some of those. Primers are in short supply everywhere right now, and some companies don't ship to Massachusetts.

You've said that you're interested in loading 7.62 and 5.56 plus some pistol rounds. I'd probably start with a pistol round, a straight walled one such as 9mm, .38spcl or .45ACP. Bottleneck cases are a little trickier to crimp, so I'd get the basics down on an easier round first.

Set up the press, adjust the dies according to the mfg or to videos on youtube. Work with some empty brass, (no primers, no powder). Get the flare set and get the crimp and seating set, verify the OAL. Seat a primer in a case and setup your powder drop. Cycle the same case through at least half a dozen times, make sure the powder drop is consistent.

Assemble a dozen rounds or so, checking the powder drop and the OAL on each as you work them through the stations.

Take them to the range and chrono them. Pick up your brass and look at the primers, (google primer flow).

Patience, repeatability and OCD mentality are your friends. If you undercharge a round, you risk a squib. If you double-charge it, you risk catastrophic failure. Take it slow, pay attention. Do NOT force your press at any time. If it's not moving, stop, examine it. If you force it, you're probably going to break something.

Also, there's a reloading forum here in NES, as opposed to the General forum.

EDIT: I just noticed that @mac1911 already posted this link.
 

allen-1

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Also start gathering primers ASAP which may be tough. It helps if you join the discord reloading server where people post in stock items.

Once you join, go to the sidebar at the top where it says "notification-selection" and you can select which primers, powder etc you want to be notified for.

@andrew1220 has plenty of primers, offer him pretty trinkets or cash. :)
 
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Youtube

I spend many hours on youtube, yes, there is a ton of bad info out there but after a bit you will know what is good advice and what is bad advice.
I watch with a note book and first take notes on supplies, I also keep notes on what I should be paying for stuff, everything is available for a price, dont overpay, just be vigilant when looking, when you find what you need at a fair price dont hesitate, buy it! Good notes on everything you do is a must!

Good luck, have fun!
 

andrew1220

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I spend many hours on youtube, yes, there is a ton of bad info out there but after a bit you will know what is good advice and what is bad advice.
I watch with a note book and first take notes on supplies, I also keep notes on what I should be paying for stuff, everything is available for a price, dont overpay, just be vigilant when looking, when you find what you need at a fair price dont hesitate, buy it! Good notes on everything you do is a must!

Good luck, have fun!
I also watched a TON of youtube videos, read forums, and read 3-4 reloading manuals and felt pretty confident reloading. But figured it wouldn't hurt to take a class either.
 

whacko

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Personally, I don't think classes are necessary. There's nothing about reloading that you can't learn from a book. I'm sure a class can't hurt but of all the reloaders I hang with not one had to take a class.
I started out with an inexpensive single-stage press from Lee, some dies, a scale, a power measure, etc., and a Speer reloading book. The Speer book is an excellent resource because it explains everything you'd need to know about reloading in general along with very specific information about each caliber.
It didn't take long for me to progress from a single-stage press to a progressive press from Dillon. But I think starting off with a single-stage press is the way to go for a novice.
Same here. Read. Youtube. Manual.....actually started with a Lee whack a mole kit lol. Then a single then a turret. If I had it to do again I'd just get a turret because it can be used as a single stage.
 

whacko

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Does anyone have any advice for someone just getting into reloading? I will be reloading 7.62/308, 5.56/223, and possibly a few different handgun rounds. I'm wanting to start the process but have no idea where to start. Thanks for any and all advice.
Get a single stage or a turret to start. Buy a load manual like Lee or Speer. Watch some YouTube. It's not rocket science. Just pay attention to load data and take your time and focus on what your doing.
 

murf4321

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Does anyone have any advice for someone just getting into reloading? I will be reloading 7.62/308, 5.56/223, and possibly a few different handgun rounds. I'm wanting to start the process but have no idea where to start. Thanks for any and all advice.
YouTube. Lots and lots of YouTube. I started reloading last winter when I randomly stumbled upon a moving box filled with cases of primers I completely forgot about.

ultimate reloaded on YouTube is a good source.

other tip I’ll say is that when I wanted to get into it I was only looking for a single stage press. The guy at Shooters Outpost convinced me to spend a bit more for a turret press and I cannot recommend enough that recommendation, & I just got a basic Redding T7 press. Granted I started with pistol. That’s the other thing, I think starting on rifle reloading is a bit more involved re Case prep.
 

mac1911

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I will disagree with start with a single stage.
You can run a progressive like a single stage. 1 round at a time, heck you can run one step at a time if you want.
Now if your not sure or trying to jump in on a budget , single stage and turret style are less expensive- generally. I see a new expensive turret press out there now.
I spent more on dies knowing I would be reloading for at least 11 different cals.
I still have not up graded to a better press than my Hornady 007 and a few pro1000 . I have A LOT of time to reload so doing 50-100 here and makes for easy work. If i only had a few hours a month to reload I would have a 750 and probably a few 550s just for 9,45 and 38.
My round count down range does not warrant that
 

p..

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I think what equipment you buy depends to a degree on what kind of shooting you want to do. If you're just banging away at steel targets at 100-200 yards with a rifle and 10-50 yards with a handgun, that to me sounds like you need a Dillon 550. If you're going to be trying to put all the bullets through the same hole 600 yards away, you probably want a single stage or a turret press. I would say just go ahead and buy the right gear from the start so you're not throwing money away making multiple purchases. (like you won't anyway... ho ho ho)

I think the Lyman reloading manual is a good start. Just read it all the way through (barring the data sheets).

For Youtube, start watching Johnny's Reloading Bench, and Fortune Cookie 45LC. They have an enormous amount of information up on their channels, all the way from beginner level stuff to esoteric fine tuning stuff.

And I'll throw this in here, but it's about the tenth book you need to read: Hatcher's Notebook by Julian Hatcher. Definitely not the first book to read though.
 

andrew1220

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I will disagree with start with a single stage.
You can run a progressive like a single stage. 1 round at a time, heck you can run one step at a time if you want.
Now if your not sure or trying to jump in on a budget , single stage and turret style are less expensive- generally. I see a new expensive turret press out there now.
I spent more on dies knowing I would be reloading for at least 11 different cals.
I still have not up graded to a better press than my Hornady 007 and a few pro1000 . I have A LOT of time to reload so doing 50-100 here and makes for easy work. If i only had a few hours a month to reload I would have a 750 and probably a few 550s just for 9,45 and 38.
My round count down range does not warrant that
This. Though I think having both a single stage AND a progressive press is good if you’re loading rifle calibers.
 

EddieCoyle

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I'm the one that does the classes. If you take one of my classes and don't think it was worth it, I'll refund your tuition.

Here's an article I wrote on the equipment you'll need:

Here are a bunch more articles on other reloading topics:

Start with a good single stage press. Even if you end up with a progressive (which is likely) you'll always have a use for a single stage press. Sometime you're going to want to make 50 of something and it's not worth setting up a progressive to do so. Also, if you're going to be reloading rifle cartridges, it's easier to work up a load on a single stage than on a progressive.

Buy good equipment that has high resale value (in other words, not Lee). If/when you ever decide to give up reloading, you'll get almost all of your money back for a Dillon. Not so much with cheap stuff.
 
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Does anyone have any advice for someone just getting into reloading? I will be reloading 7.62/308, 5.56/223, and possibly a few different handgun rounds. I'm wanting to start the process but have no idea where to start. Thanks for any and all advice.
Step#1 before you buy anything, buy the Lyman's 50th reloading manual and read it cover to cover twice. A few comments. If your looking to embark into reloading in attempts to "save money" forget about that. You do NOT save money. You DO create your individual gun's best precision and you create independence from stupid ongoing politically induced gun panics. Problem is right now you are late to the party and you will not be able to find primers unless you are willing to spend "panic" prices. That's not to say you can't begin to build your component inventory if you are truly willing to commit the time and money needed.
 

vcman

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I made all this today at the gunrange..... can not reload steelcase lol.
It be very nice if i can get into reloading , just that it cost too much to buy all the stuff for it.hey op, i got a case trimmer machine and a set of 308 die, wanna trade me some ammo 4 it ( i shoot 308 7.62x39 .40 9mm .22 and 20 gauge ) scope for gun , knife.... ect...
 

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Sammy

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I started watching videos by the Ultimate Reloader. He's been making reloading videos for over a decade! He's very thorough!


I started reloading late last year when ammo was not available or $40 for a box of 9mm. I suppose that was my "enough is enough" point. So far I reloaded about 1500 of 9mm, 1000 of 40SW, 1000 of 5.56, 500 of 6.5 Creedmoor. So far the only mistakes is 1 squbb and 50 9mm cartridge where I accidentally put in Wolf small rifle primers. Those 50 would not fire in most guns. Only one gun would shoot them reliably: H&K VP9.
 
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allen-1

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I started watching videos by the Ultimate Reloader. He's been making reloading videos for over a decade! He's very thorough!


I started reloading late last year when ammo was not available or $40 for a box of 9mm. I suppose that was my "enough is enough" point. So far I reloaded about 1500 of 9mm, 1000 of 40SW, 1000 of 5.56, 500 of 6.5 Creedmoor. So far the only mistakes is 1 squbb and 50 9mm cartridge where I accidentally put in Wolf small rifle primers. Those 50 would not fire in most guns. Only one gun would shoot them reliably: H&K VP9.

My understanding is that small rifle primers are harder than small pistol primers, so any tuned action might not ignite them due to "light strikes".
 

whacko

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I made all this today at the gunrange..... can not reload steelcase lol.
It be very nice if i can get into reloading , just that it cost too much to buy all the stuff for it.hey op, i got a case trimmer machine and a set of 308 die, wanna trade me some ammo 4 it ( i shoot 308 7.62x39 .40 9mm .22 and 20 gauge ) scope for gun , knife.... ect...
To reload my total investment was under $400. Paid for itself in about a month of range time.

I don't know where you got the idea that it's prohibitively expensive. It's not. If you have the money to buy ammo.....you habe the money to buy reloading equipment. Unless of course you a 3 or 4 time a year to the range kind of shooter then it's not worth the investment.
 
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